Knee pain - success!

When I started cycling last year, I had knee pain (tweaky knees I called it) in either or both knees when I'd start out on a ride.

I found that if I took it easy, spinning moderately fast, I could warm them up and relieve the pain eventually. Some rides, it never went away, so I didn't ride too hard at all at those times.

I've hardly had any knee pain at all lately except for today. I had a little twinge on the downstroke on my left knee this AM when I went out for a ride.

So I followed procedure and was careful not to strain it, pedaled easy and fast but not too fast and it finally went away after about 25 minutes. Wonderful! It really works!

It's very important to listen to your body. As a young man, I subscribed, as many do, to the belief that you push through the pain. That's true if it's the pain of muscular exertion but not joint or cartilage pain.

Not always easy to tell the difference. That's how I got golfer's elbow (tendonitis) a few years back.

I was doing bicep curls on my own in my basement probably with incorrect form and when I experienced pain I kept going, pushing. Eventually, I couldn't even hold a coffee cup with my right hand. Took years to get rid of that and I still have to be careful.

So after that knee "tweak" went away I had a fabulous ride. Fall is my favorite time and this route was a very scenic and peaceful one, almost no traffic. I got out in the countryside before the kids started going to school and came back into town when everybody was already at work and kids were in school. Nice. I went 35 miles and just enjoyed it.
No specific agenda. Not too worried about cadence, heart rate, speed, etc.

My main goal is to lose some more weight, specifically fat and not so much improve my riding performance. So as long as a big chunk of my ride is in heart rate zone 3 (70-80%MHR), I'm happy. That's the "fat burning zone".

I have also been doing push-ups and sit-ups to improve my upper body strength and tighten up the tum-tum. Would like to get a chin-up bar too although I can't even do one without assist!

I moved the cleats on my shoes all the way back too and that's worked out OK. Nothing negative from it anyway. I'd have to go 60 or more miles to really see if that relieves the "burning foot" syndrome.

So, on this ride, my cadence and speed were down a bit. Just enjoying the ride and the scenery.

Here's the route!

Recovery ride - Mohawk Hudson Bike Path

I rode a pretty hard 42 miles yesterday so I wanted to take it easy today. I passed on an offer by Charles to ride this afternoon and instead rode 10 with Mrs. MTBMan on the Mo-Hud trail.

This time we drove out near the western end of the trail past Schenectady into Rotterdam. A little parking area just before Lock 8 on the Mohawk River.

I think this section is the most scenic part of the whole Corning Trail/Mohawk-Hudson Bike Path system.

For one thing, the path is generally narrower and more winding which not only makes it more fun to ride but I think somehow it adds to the beauty of the scenery. Maybe it's because you are surprised around the turns at some of the vistas that open up.

While it's generally flat, there are no serious climbs, it is also more rolling than most of the easterly parts of the trail some of which can get monotonous.

The ride went by quick and I felt rejuvenated.

This time I brought the camera but the batteries died after taking this one picture.

The Foggy, Foggy Dew!

Wow, what a foggy morning. I don't think I've ever ridden with it this bad short of actually raining.
My rearview mirror was dripping with moisture.

After an hour the sun finally started to come through and burn off the cloud but I found that was only at the higher elevations. When I dropped back down, there was the fog. Finally, towards the end, after 2-1/2 hours the sun came out all over.

This ride was 32 miles. I was shooting for a 2 hour ride but as I turned toward home I felt so good like I could keep going another 10 or 20 miles.

Here's the route:

Native-American Summer!

Well, the other one is not PC, right?

Wow, this was a great day for a ride! I worked in the morning today so I had to take a ride this afternoon. Too good to pass up.

I was just feeling a little lazy, like it would be nice to have a nap instead but I've been at this long enough to know it's worth it.

Sometimes when you're thinking you should ride, you're thinking of the effort, the unpleasant sections of highway, the cars but you know after 1/2 hour or so and your first good hill you will feel like a million bucks.

And that's the way it was. Just to be out there in the sun, 73 degrees, mmmm-mmmm! 28 miles, just about right.

Oh yeah, this was my first ride with my new seat. A "Terry" Fly.


It seemed a little stiff at first even though it is a Gel seat but it fits pretty good. They also make one with titanium rails but that's an extra $100 dollars! I'd do better to lose another 10 pounds than spend $100 to shave a few ounces!

Also, my bottom bracket is acting up again. It's making clicking sounds.
I'm going away for the weekend so I may leave it off at the shop before I go.

Burning foot syndrome...This is huge!

I've got to try this. I had terrible pain when I did the 100K benefit ride this summer.

This from Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health e-Zine
September 21, 2008, (my favorite on-line health and fitness advisor)

"Burning Feet while Cycling

Many cyclists suffer from "burning foot syndrome", pain
on the bottom of the feet, particularly during a long ride.
After years of this problem, I tried a simple tip from RoadBikeRider,
a free weekly newsletter from some of America's best long distance
bicycle riders: Ed Pavelka, Fred Matheny, and Lon Halderman.
They suggest moving the cleats back as far as possible toward
the arch of the foot. All of the other articles I have read and all
of the experts I have consulted recommend that you set your cleats
on your shoes so that the ball of your big toe is exactly aligned
with the axle of the pedal. Following Lon Haldeman's advice, I
moved my cleats back last week and my feet have stopped burning.
I also think that I am riding faster."

"This flies in the face of what other experts claim: the
further back your cleat, the less power you get from your calf
muscle. That's just not true. More than 90 percent of the pressure
on your pedals comes from your thighs, not your lower leg (calf)
muscles. The pain is caused by the front part of the foot pressing
on the pedals. Moving the cleat backward takes the pressure of
the forefoot and relieves the pain. As Haldeman states, you
actually can be in better shape when you don't have burning feet,
and you can train further and ride faster. (To subscribe to their
free newsletter go to http://roadbikerider.com)"

Saturday Bike Path Ride

Mrs. MTBMan1 and I had a nice ride along the Mohawk-Hudson bike path here in the NY Capitol District.

I've mentioned this before. We have ridden other parts of it and I have ridden it from my house in Delmar, a suburb on the south-west of Albany to Schenectady where I lost it when it fizzled out in the city.

But actually, it continues through Schenectady and picks up again on the western side of the city.

This is where my wife and I picked up the trail on Saturday.

We were surprised to find it is really one of the nicest sections of the trail. It is very shady; lots of tall, old trees, some bending precipitously over the path. There are gorgeous views of the Mohawk river and Lock 8 on the old Erie Canal Towpath. Lots of NY history here.

The path from Schenectady west is more winding, narrow and rolling than other parts of the trail making it more fun actually although less conducive to relaxed side-by-side chatting. You've got to pay attention!

One of my goals is to ride the entire bike path from my house and back in a day; a total of 88 miles. So far, I have done 60 miles on it in one trip.

Recommended!

Here's a map of the east-west leg:
Mo-Hud Bike Trail:Cohoes to Rotterdam Junction

Ridin' with Hanna

Yes, I went out on a ride today even though the fringes of Hurricane Hanna were predicted here in upstate NY. Well, it wasn't raining when I started. Maybe 2 drops at the very beginning but nothing for 20 miles although the sky was very threatening at times.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I had a 56 mile route planned out that I abandoned last time because of a flat and concerns about the condition of the flatted tire. I headed out with that route in mind.

I had a great spur of the moment brainstorm in that instead of the original route which started out on a road that I don't like because of bad or no shoulders and people seem to drive stupid on it, I realized there was an alternate way that cut out almost all of that route and still got me where I needed to go.

This was a great ride because it was almost entirely on zero to low traffic country roads and avoided the bigger, high and fast traffic roads; my favorite type of ride.

It also had 2 big climbs, Blossom Hill (where I had my flat) and Copeland Hill. I think maybe this plus the rain is why I was so tired at the end of this one. Plus all the country roads around here are either hilly or rollers and I suppose that can tire you out too even if there are no major climbs.

At about the 20 mile mark it started raining and while it wasn't a downpour it was a good soaker, consistent and steadily increasing in intensity. So I opted to turn back from the 56 mile route. I wasn't sure about any more climbs either and I was feeling pretty tired and soaked.

On the way back I had one train crossing and as luck would have it, the barriers went down just as I approached it. I rode up, checked out the oncoming train and went for it. Judging from the amount of horn blowing after I did this, the engineer was not too pleased. It wasn't really a very smart thing to do. The train was going faster than it looked. It went by me after I crossed a lot sooner than I expected it to. Sorry!

Total ride was 41 miles.

Here's the route!