Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Breaking Sacred Promises

Well, I promised myself I'd stay off my knee, but didn't have the heart to turn down a casual ride with EB and hubby LB.

First, let me recount a discussion I had with new Quaker friend SS about why serious cyclists use special pedals. Perhaps this exercise will help: Sit in a chair and put your weight on the ball of one foot. Notice which muscles in your quad get activated? Now put your hands over your knee and push up against it. Notice that you're working different muscles? Alternate between putting your weight on your foot and pushing against your hands, and you might get a better picture. When you have a bike pedal without clips, you only get the downward force. With the clips, you can pull up while the other leg is pushing down, so you're using both legs on any given pedal stroke, and only working a given muscle group a fraction of what it was doing (probably not half, but maybe). That means any given muscle group is going to tire more slowly.

Ok, back to the ride.

LB & EB with their metallic green Scion in the background. Metallic chartreuse? Whatever. Their car is green.

Here I am with LB. Told me he might be moving back to the Brea gym to train again. If that happens, it will be cool to see him consistently. Here we are, talking about getting the band back together:

AL constantly tells me that I have terrific form when we work out (along with how much definition I'm getting in my arms, and how sexy my calves are, and how much chicks will swarm over me because of my new bike... ok, maybe she doesn't say any of that except the form), and I've always credited my brother and LB for that.

It was LB's first ride since high school in 1972 or something like that, so naturally he wanted us to do a 24 mile beach ride. I thought this was a horrible idea, but didn't quash it. Riding to the beach is just too tempting. Staged out of the Dennys parking lot off of Chapman in Orange, and headed out. LB had his bike checked out at Banning's Bikes, where they reportedly told him he'd need some replacement wheels if he wanted to ride more than twice. Those guys are awesome.

A ride needs to be tailored to the weakest rider, LB in this case (not weakest person, me, or weakest personality, me again, or weakest willed, again me). I should have know this and quashed even the possibility of riding to the beach by staging out of Yorb Linda Regional Park, but I was weak hearted. LB immediately mentioned sitting discomfort.

You don't ever want to go on a ride figure out that you're done, then have to ride all the way back to your staging area, but this is what I let LB talk me into. My plan was to turn around at the 5 mile point, but EB's "Awwww..." and LB's "I feel fine!" convinced me that we might actually make the beach. We stopped for a break at just under the 9 mile mark, and I quickly read my mistake. We were clearly turning around, and if luck held out, it would really only be LB's butt hurting on the return.

Luck didn't hold out, and his quads started to burn. I think the underpasses were especially hard on him (climbing up the other side) and his quads really started to tire out. We had to slow way down to make sure not to drop him. Again, not really a reflection on his fitness (he's a fit guy despite his statements about not being a cardio king). More about adjusting to cycling and the differing demands it places on one's body. Neither he nor the wife have pedal clips (or clipless systems like SPD) to help lessen the amount of work done by the quads when pedaling, and I think the amount of work one's legs do is pretty deceptive. Having them tire out can really sneak up on you.

We didn't eat at Denny's (which I'm happy about, in retrospect!), but I was still over an hour late for my next "appointment."

No comments:

Post a Comment