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Bicycle Ride - AdrianG [APOD]
May 7th, 2005
04:34 pm

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Bicycle Ride
I've just gone on a short, 10 mile bicycle ride through jogging/biking trails in Overland Park (a suburb of Kansas City). I know of at least two people who read my journal who routinely go on longer rides, and in fact, I've gone on longer rides not too terribly long ago. But early in 2004, I decided that I wasn't riding often enough, and I purchased what I've heard people call an elliptical trainer. The movement our feet make on those things isn't precisely elliptical, but I'll go with the flow and call it that. My elliptical trainer includes a heart rate monitor, and it helped me to discover something about myself that I hadn't been aware of, before. When I worked out on that device to about the same level of stress that I felt on the bike rides I had taken before, it told me that my heart rate was routinely rising to about 180 beats per minute, or so. That seems a little high to me, so I did some checking, and it turns out that, since I was 40 at the time, I ought to have been monitoring my heart rate during exercise and limiting it to around 140 beats per minute. After some thought, I realized that I had indeed been bicycling too infrequently, and my body had very cleverly adapted to infrequent exercise by developing the ability to sustain a heart rate of 180 beats per minute or more, for hours at a time, rather than developing the aerobic fitness that I was really trying to get from the bike rides.

Clearly getting the elliptical trainer was a good idea, and I set the bike aside for a while and worked on getting my heart rate down to a reasonable level, by exercising more frequently but for less time and with less effort. I'm finally to the point where I have to work to maintain 140 beats per minute or so rather than having to hold back. So I'm ready to start bicycling, again, but I don't yet have anything that will measure my heart rate while I ride. I went to "The Bike Source", yesterday, or rather to where The Bike Source used to be and found that it was closed. That was disappointing. But I had my handy Garmin iQue 3600 with me, along with some Map Source data loaded onto it, and I asked it to find stores with the words "bike" or "bicycle" the names, and let the iQue guide me to two of them. I couldn't find either of the additional two stores it claimed where there. Oh, well, I suppose Map Source data has the same chance of being out of date as the phone book. I was tired of looking for bike stuff after having just left work, and the other places it pointed me too were rather far away, so I have up.

I felt like I could have ridden 20 miles, but I really want to be careful not to fall into the same old habits again. I'll wait until I have some sort of heart rate monitor before I ride much more than 10 miles. Maybe I can still get out, this weekend, and get one.

Adrian

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[User Picture]
From:ukelele
Date:May 7th, 2005 10:49 pm (UTC)
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I know of at least two people who read my journal who routinely go on longer rides

Am I one of them? *g*
[User Picture]
From:adriang
Date:May 7th, 2005 10:55 pm (UTC)

Three

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Not before, but I guess I now know of at least three people. 8-)

How far do you typically ride? Do they have convenient bike trails where you live?

Adrian
[User Picture]
From:ukelele
Date:May 8th, 2005 02:03 am (UTC)

Re: Three

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I actually live near one of the nicest bike paths in the country, but, being nice, it's so heavily populated I don't care for it much ;). And there are a fair number of other trails in the area, but I'm mostly a road girl.

I typically ride twelve miles a day (total) to and from work, on some fairly crappy roads. Last summer I rode 89 miles in a day in a charity event, plus training leading up to this, and this summer I'm going to ride 178 miles/2 days in the same, though I haven't gotten a lot of training in for that yet.

So...I don't routinely ride more than 10 miles, but I do ride 6 miles twice per day almost daily (rain, snow...), and have been known to ride more than 10 miles on a number of occasions.
[User Picture]
From:adriang
Date:May 8th, 2005 02:16 am (UTC)

Re: Three

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Still, I don't think I've ever ridden much more than about 30 miles in a day. I think you still have me beat.

I drive 15 miles of freeway, each direction, to get to and from work. I used to work in a small enough town to ride to and from work, and that was great, but not any more. 8-(

The running/cycling paths here, aren't so crowded, in general. I'll pass a few people per mile, but that's not really a big deal. When I was younger, I used to cycle more on roads, but in the middle of Kansas City and its suburbs, there's just too much traffic. I have a bike rack, so I can drive out of town for ride, but I'm more likely to ride if I can reduce the amount of extra effort involved. Pushing my bike out my front door and starting the ride right there works best for me.

Adrian
[User Picture]
From:ukelele
Date:May 8th, 2005 02:31 am (UTC)

Re: Three

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Yea, though I drive through the valley of the shadow of Boston, I shall fear no traffic ;).

I mean, I did fear traffic. But it's a fact of life. And I would scarcely get anywhere if I let it intimidate me. I'm really a very risk-averse person, I promise. I just don't happen to be afraid of cars (except perhaps in the very heart of downtown where, let's face it, even drivers are afraid of cars, because it's Boston). Because, really, I'm traffic too. I know my rights and my vehicle and my abilities and they'll just have to share.

I envy you your open bike paths -- ours are jammed with toddlers and rollerbladers and dogs and joggers and people with headphones and people who don't look before changing direction and people who are blissfully unaware of the "keep right" signs and they just raise my blood pressure too much for any kind of utility.
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From:adriang
Date:May 8th, 2005 03:14 am (UTC)

Re: Three

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    Yea, though I drive through the valley of the shadow of Boston, I shall fear no traffic ;).

8-)
    let's face it, even drivers are afraid of cars, because it's Boston

I've only driven in the Boston area once, when I went to a friend's wedding, about 13 years ago. It didn't seem too bad, although there was no rhyme or reason to the layout of the roads. I've also spent some time on the freeways of Los Angeles, and that was an experience, although I don't think it's as bad as many people think. But in Kansas City, far too many of the drivers are just plains stupid. In other cities, they are impatient and aggressive, but you can at least expect them to look out for themselves to some extent. In the Kansas City area, expecting drivers to act with much intelligence at all is bound to be a disappointing experience. I think, when people refer to Kansas City as a "cow town", they are talking about the drivers. 8-)

Adrian
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From:pamelonian
Date:May 7th, 2005 10:51 pm (UTC)
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Bike Nashbar.com or Supergo are good catalog sources for bike stuff. I have a heart rate monitor that I wear when I ride that I got for under $30. I consider myself rather lazy, and I don't like to push my heart much beyond 140 bpm for any length of time. Biking usually involves long stretches of easy riding combined with brief, intense uphill sprints.

When I first started using the heart rate monitor, I discovered that I had a tendency to overdo, as I believe almost everyone does.
[User Picture]
From:adriang
Date:May 7th, 2005 10:59 pm (UTC)
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    Biking usually involves long stretches of easy riding combined with brief, intense uphill sprints.

I like having good hills on a ride. Fortunately for me, the five mile point in one direction I can ride is at the peak of a substantial hill, so I don't have to miss the hill, even when I go on a short ride.

Does Lawrence have good bicycle routes? One of the nice things about where I live in Overland Park is that there's an entrance for an extensive set of trails about 1000 feet from my front door. Once I get on those trails, I hardly ever have to get on a street.

Adrian
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From:pamelonian
Date:May 8th, 2005 03:36 am (UTC)
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Lawrence has a great path that runs from the movie theaters to Clinton Lake. About 5 miles one way. Then it turns north and goes about 5 more miles toward Lecompton. My problem is that I have to ride about 5 miles from my home through traffic to get there. People take their bikes to the path in their cars, but I feel silly doing that.

I love to ride out on the country roads around Lawrence. They have not much traffic and I can go as far as I dare... I don't mind hills, but I prefer them spread apart some. My friend has a road atlas that marks all the back roads in Kansas. I need to pick up one of those.

I have been on two bike paths in Johnson County. I rode the one from 67th to Johnson Drive and the one at Corporate Woods. Both of those have nice nature experiences and pleasant riding. I even went to Topeka and rode the Shunga Trail that follows the Shunganunga River, which is worth riding just to get to be able to say "Shunganunga." You are fortunate to be able to stay off the roads.
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[User Picture]
From:adriang
Date:May 8th, 2005 04:01 am (UTC)
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The bike path that goes through Corporate Woods is the one I'm close to.

I probably ought to explore other bike paths more. Lawrence has been an interesting and pleasant place on those rare occasions when I've gotten to visit. I grew up in another college town, and Lawrence has much the same feel, even though it is about twice as populous.

Adrian
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From:lightning_rose
Date:May 7th, 2005 11:07 pm (UTC)
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Any largish sporting goods store should carry heart rate monitors. A few years ago my doc recommended a Polaris brand, which is what I bought.

[User Picture]
From:adriang
Date:May 7th, 2005 11:15 pm (UTC)

Polaris

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Did he say anything about why he recommended it?

Adrian
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From:lightning_rose
Date:May 7th, 2005 11:28 pm (UTC)

Re: Polaris

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I don't remember anything specific, but she's a competitive cyclist.

I havn't used it in ages, but it seems to work ok. It has two parts, a band that goes around your chest just below your boobs, and a watch-like device that displays your heart rate.

And that's Polar, not Polaris.
http://www.polarusa.com/consumer/default.asp
[User Picture]
From:adriang
Date:May 7th, 2005 11:39 pm (UTC)

Re: Polaris

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    but she's a competitive cyclist.

Then I'm guessing she would know. 8-)
    I havn't used it in ages

I'm afraid I'll have to use such a thing. I simply can't treat my body like it's 20 anymore.
    a band that goes around your chest just below your boobs

I'm not used to thinking of myself as having boobs, but I suppose that description still tells me where to put the device. 8-)
    And that's Polar, not Polaris.

Oh, okay. That will help. And thanks for the link.

Adrian
From:hangedwoman
Date:May 8th, 2005 05:22 am (UTC)
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I've long been suspecting something similar about myself, that I'm pushing myself too hard and my heart rate too high, to my ultimate detriment.

Bah, I need to get chain oil and hiking boots anyway, I might as well give REI a little more of my money. :)
[User Picture]
From:adriang
Date:May 8th, 2005 02:07 pm (UTC)

REI

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    I might as well give REI a little more of my money. :)

We don't have REI in Kansas City (Which I suppose means not quite everything is up to date in Kansas City), but I've been to one, once, when I was visiting one of my sisters in Denver. They are awfully nice. One of the problems I have with such places is that they are like book stores in that it feels virtuous, somehow, to spend money in them, so I always end up spending more than I should. 8-)

Adrian
From:hangedwoman
Date:May 8th, 2005 10:01 pm (UTC)

Re: REI

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Well, this is Alaska. We didn't get our first Wal-Mart or Barnes & Noble until the 90s, but we've had REI since I can remember. :)
[User Picture]
From:adriang
Date:May 8th, 2005 10:07 pm (UTC)

Re: REI

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No Barnes and Noble until the '90s? I can't imagine how you endured. 8-)

Adrian
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