I’m still having trouble finding a bike at the gym that works well for me.
I listened to an article about a guy talking through all the mistakes you can make in weight training if you are a bike rider. He was pretty much saying that everything that I was doing was wrong. Bummer. But, rather than pay him money (which was his goal) and hire his company to correct me, I think I will just try and incorporate some of the stuff that he said into my routine.
So, yesterday afternoon, I added some standing squats as the first thing after the bike ride. Will work the weights up – I think I was doing about 130 or 140 yesterday. Amazing how much more total energy those take – home much more winded you are after each set. Then I do some sitting squats on a machine, then some leg extensions. By the time I get to the leg extensions, the quads really scream. My logic is that most of the hard work is done early in the standing then sitting squats, so I am not overbuilding the quads with the extensions. I’m probably full of bologna…
Also hit a sit-up milestone – got over 400 my something. I sort of lost track, but know for sure I was over 400.
Also signed up for the Iron Horse Classic in Durango in May. I find that I really need those upcoming milestones to force me to improve my fitness. Without that stuff, it is just too easy to “put it off”. With the January backcountry trip coming up with my son, if forced me to get started in November on building the fitness level, then these next milestones will force me to keep it going.
The backcountry trip is a big deal. I have learned the hard way that I am putting not only my life but the lives of others around me at risk, and it is just not OK to approach these trips casually. Last year I caused a real problem (though not with lack of fitness – just with a really bad judgement call), and I really want to make sure that I never do that sort of thing again. The cold is bad enough – I have to work hard to make sure that I don’t let my body temp drop in the extreme conditions – but then if you add onto that any lack of fitness or preparedness, it is just the height of irresponsibility. More about the adventure last year in another post…
Listening to the Fredcast podcast, he asked a question about whether or not we should be outlawing the use of headphones while we ride. Made me think. I actually sent him an email with some feedback.
Here is the deal. I think that we all listen to the iPod (I will use that term generically as-in “Davenport” or “Frigidair”) for different reasons. The issue at hand is whether or not the use of the iPod is distracting, and creates more danger on the road because of this distraction. If the answer is yes – that there is increased danger because of the distraction – should we then legislate the use of the items as a way to increase safety and reduce risk.
My Soapbox – the whole risk thing and the government’s role in reducing risk.
The government should prevent lasting and mortal damage to one individual (or group) by another individual (or group), to a reasonable extent. That is the key word – “reasonable”.
In this case, it is silly to think that listening to the iPod doesn’t create a distraction. Get real – that’s why people plug in to them – for the distraction in one way or another. Is a more distracted rider less safe than a less distracted rider? Of course. However, the greatest risk is posed to the rider themselves – not the government’s job to force me to reduce my risk to myself.
Just like the bike helmet laws – or any helmet law for that matter. It is not the government’s job to force me to wear this stuff. This should be my decision.
So, short answer – heck no don’t legislate this.
But guess what, I ALWAYS wear a helmet. And I rarely (can’t even remember the last time) listen to the iPod while I ride. I DO listen to the iPod while I work out – because I want the distraction.
But I LOVE to ride my bike. I have ridden bikes for 50 years in one way or another, and I still love it. Even on a grueling “survival” ride like the Triple Bypass, I love the riding. I love the sounds and sights and feelings. I love the thinking that happens while I ride. I love it all. (Well, OK, maybe 8 hours into a “survival” ride there isn’t a lot of love happening, but later than night it is there for sure, and the next day…) So, why on earth would I plug an iPod into my ears while I ride, and distract me from this thing that I love doing? Just doesn’t make any sense to me.
Some of the buddies that I ride with have taken to listening while they ride. Good manners and a conservative nature keep me from telling them I think this is stupid, but it really is kind of a slap in the face. I ride by myself a lot – probably most riders do. If I take a ride with a buddy, then it just seems like good manners to ride with the buddy – not to close myself into this little bubble with an iPod. When my buddy Ted started wearing them, it took me a while to get used to the fact that I might say something to him and he wouldn’t hear because of the iPod. I find that now when I ride with him and I know that he is “wearing”, I pretty much behave as-if I am riding alone, and that he just happens to be another rider riding close to me. If he has something to say or wants to talk, then he takes the headphones off and initiates conversation. We ride “together” for a while, until he plugs back in, at which point I am riding alone again. This is really a sad thing, isn’t it? It just goes along with this whole disconnection that we have been going through as a culture.
Oh well, I think I am swimming upstream on this one.
Sort of reminds me of a friend I had in high school. Early on, we were young boys, and experimented with lots of different ways to rebel against whatever needed rebelling against at the time – usually anything that smelled like authority. Drugs and booze were certainly part of that. For me, it was just a learning experience, and I learned a couple of things. First I learned that this stuff reduced my “control” over myself, and I didn’t like that. Second, I learned that this stuff reduced my ability to “be” where I was, and I didn’t like that. Paul (my aforementioned friend), on the other hand, found that he loved all of that stuff. We remained friends, but drifted in different directions. We used to hunt together on his uncle’s farm. I’ll never forget the last time I hunted with Paul. I picked him up at his house well before dawn. I sat on his bed and watched as he injected himself with something he was addicted to. He mostly slept as we drove to the farm. I remember he spent most of the day making sure that he stayed high – usually he stayed and “rested” someplace while I hunted. I remember clearly seeing the giant difference between us, and realizing that we would probably not hang out together anymore.
The last time I saw Paul he was out on parole. I don’t think the parole lasted long – I think that he ended up back in jail fairly soon.
For Paul – for whatever reason – life was something to escape from. He used drugs to escape. For me, spending the day in the field was heaven. I loved hunting, and loved being “in” the field, truly experiencing the woods and meadows and wildlife around me. Why on earth would I dull this experience that I loved?
It is the same with the iPod – and media in general – today. We use “The Box” as our new god or our new Drug. We can’t let ourselves unplug and “be” where we are – we have to tether ourselves to “The Box”.
So, each of us should decide – not the government. If a person “needs” the iPod while they ride, I guess I’ve gotta ask why. They must not love the riding in the same way I love the riding, or they wouldn’t drug-up to do it.
Next: More on the whole “government imposing safety” thing…