#28: Pain v2: Annoying, or is it?

NothingWorse

So freaking annoying. I’ve been off the bike for a month now with the same nerve issue I had with my foot in January (Morton’s Neuroma). I feel like I have gone back 9 months in time and so has my riding.

[As I write this I have been tweeting with Jonathan Lovelock (@Jono_L) and if you read his crash story, you will understand that my pain is zero. Get over it Stu!]

Whilst travelling a little for work two months ago, I ate too much, didn’t ride, didn’t exercise, rode a bit, then got the injury, continued eating and didn’t exercise. Now I’ve started to put weight back on. It’s a vicious cycle when you continue to eat like you do when you burn calories.

But the thing that is so frustrating is I haven’t resolved the issue. Is it the tightness, or hardness of the shoes, or the angle I peddle in them, or even walking in them to the bike.

So I’ve decided to go back to what works and doesn’t put stress on the foot, and that is the more flexible loose fitting MTB shoes that I started with and never had any issues with. I’ll try them for a while and see how the foot settles and if all good, maybe I try the new shoes again, maybe I just cruise on and accept the MTB’s are for me.

Yet there is a question that plagues my mind and I have no idea how to answer.  Have I damaged my body for so long (smoking, drinking, no exercise) that it’s never going to be good and I just have to manage what is?  Any thoughts?

Anyhow it’s so good to be riding again, even if a bit gingerly but better than not because I hate other exercises (unless I try surfing again). My legs feel good and get stronger as I ride but I have really noticed how my lungs have gone downhill so quickly as it now only takes a little effort to get to high bpm on the heart rate monitor.

Time to work on my fitness again. Spring is coming and I have some rides to do!
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#26: More ways to keep cycling interesting

Skate Park Roady

I have decided not to go racing. I have decided for now not to do long distance. I have has a few aches and pains, been travelling for work and now winter has arrived – all reasons to make it harder to ride. But, my weight is good, my lungs are fresh, my muscles still get sore and I get comments on how much better I look.

So what keeps my cycling interesting? For me it’s the activities, and keeping up the variety.

  • During the week, I change my destinations, road types and effort
  • Especially on weekends, I try and ride new roads
  • I stop and take photos for my Instagram and Pinterest accounts
  • I take my Garmin Virb with me and record Strava Segments
  • And I also put some videos on Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest

It’s all good and I enjoy doing it even though I will never be a Steven Spielberg,

If you want to see some of my latest, I hope you enjoy my skate park rides below. I will post some more content soon.

As I ride past people on their stationary bikes in the gym I dont get how that can be interesting, stuck in doors and the relentless boredom. They will never be able to go for a four hour ride and soak up what the world has to offer.
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#24: Video of Strava Segments Sydney North

Strava Segments 1 Sydney

If you are someone who likes to check Strava segments before the next ride, or someone who likes to explore new rides online before venturing out, you’ll be interested to see some reconnaissance videos I have put together and continue to grow in number.  It’s way better than clicking a thousand times through a Google map street view.

You can see and search all the segments I have recorded on Pinterest here

Or, check the map above, see the segments and follow the links below.

1. Sydney Harbour Bridge
2. Battle Boulevard
3. Parriwi Rd
4. Taronga Zoo KOM
5. Monavale to Church Point
6. McCarrs Creek Rd
7. Bobbin Head West
8. Bobbin Head South
9. Wakehurst Parkway North
A. Burnt Bridge Creek Deviation
B. Wakehurst Parkway South
C. Pymble Hill
D. M2 Westbound
E. Lane Cove Cycleway

Hope you enjoy the videos.  Let me know if there are any segments you want added. I know I have to do Akuna Bay, West Head, Brooklyn and Berowra, and I am also have a set of bike paths and some Lower north Shore hills.
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#23: Strava, Virb, Video, Segments, Pinterest

Road to Church Point

In post #18, “So what do I want for Christmas” I was torn between asking Santa for new Specialized road shoes or a Garmin Virb.  As you know I chose the shoes but the profound thing is they ended up being involved in me missing some time on the bike (that is I pinched a nerve in my foot) which I am happy to say is nearly all resolved due to refinements.

Now that I am on the bike again and getting out there, I am enjoying my new shoes and my new Garmin Virb – yeh!!!!   Yes, I couldn’t help myself and bought one with a bike mount for the handlebars and started taking video and pics like the one above on the road to Church Point.

My Garmin Virb

This year I have come to terms with the fact that racing is not where I am heading and that exploring on my bike is, so I have found the Virb is adding to that experience. In addition to me enjoying being out there on the road, appreciating the visual world I live in, feeling the wind in my face as it cools my sweat and having the time alone with my thoughts, I have now found a way to continue the ride when I get home.

As you may have noticed I really enjoy combining technology with riding. Continue reading

#20: 1% could be the difference

1percent

In sport, you will often hear the commentator say that the game is a game of inches, meaning the littlest things can make the biggest difference. I totally subscribe to this theory when applied to road cycling.

As a smoker, advertisements about cancer concerned me but now as a cyclist, the regular reports of cycling deaths and my own close calls constantly remind me that there are always risks with getting off your butt, getting out on your bike and sharing the road with drivers.

I used to joke that “why should I exercise, I could be hit by a bus” and now that I am exercising, that reality is often front of mind, except it’s 4x4s, SUV’s and provisional drivers.

As a rider, there are basic ways to deal with risk:
– ignore it and keep moving
– don’t go out at all or
– continue riding and minimize the risk,
and because cycling has giving new life to this old body, there is really only one option and that is to keep riding and minimize the risk. Yet I understand how some people are too scared to go near the road.

Therefore my motto is that “it’s the 1% that could make the difference” where the 1% difference could be between being on a bike or being in an ambulance…. Continue reading

#17: Why do I ride? Good question.

RidingToday a friend asked “Why do I ride? What drives me on?” And he asked me this because he has seen me go from nothing to 160km a week and keep on doing it.

So I ask myself “why do I ride?” because I wasn’t sure I knew the answer.

I don’t race (although I am considering it) so I am not training for anything.

I don’t have any events planned. I first pushed hard to achieve a virtual goal of two consecutive days of 100km. I road 100kms on the Spring cycle and another 100 on the Sydney to Gong ride but by that time, I had already learnt to ride the distance. Since then I tick off personal bests on Strava and continue to do some long rides to keep the skill level up.

I don’t have any big goals. I achieved Continue reading

#14: You have to learn to love hills!

Do Them
I look back now after 6 months hard riding and realise that hills don’t scare me like they used too.  I have put in the work, got over the hills, the worst is behind me and the future is now not that far ahead.

When I began riding and started to go distances greater than 50kms (30 miles) I discovered that whichever direction I rode from home, I was going to face hills. So I hit the forums looking for suggestions to avoid some of the bigger hills and basically was told…

 

“If you want to ride anywhere, you have to learn to love hills.”
and that has been my mantra every since.

After recent ventures out on a couple of my solo rides and some organized spring rides, distances of 100kms with many hills now don’t seem to be a problem. Sure, they hurt a bit and I puff and pant a lot but after completing one, I am soon thinking about the next one.

But there are a couple of hills Continue reading