Saturday Bike Ride Video

Today was THE day for riding!

Sunny and warm, 68°!

Boo-hoo for skiing but great for cycling.

I look forward to getting back in shape and losing some weight! ;-)

I rode from my home near Albany, through the city and down to the Hudson River where the Mohawk-Hudson Bike Path begins. I rode the path to the parking lot in Menands then turned around and headed back home. Just over 2 hours and 24 miles.

Here's the vid kids!

Power to the pedals recovery day and ski forever!

Now I begin a week of "recovery" in the "Power to the Pedals" program from roadbikerider.com.

This means 2 workouts this week (as always) at the same intensity but a reduced amount.

So for example, I had worked up to five, 1 minute independent leg intervals and five 20 second seated sprints but this time I only did 3 of each and then spun easy to fill out an hour of riding.

I'm still feeling it. It's been 2 days since I skied so I thought it would be OK since it's a reduced workload but at my age I guess it's better to be safe than sorry. Not that I would get hurt necessarily but the older you get, the longer it may take to recover from a hard workout. And recovery is really where you get stronger so you don't want to short-circuit this.

On another front, I have a fantasy. This fantasy is to ski year 'round. As the resorts close in early to mid-April around here I would go further and further north. To Jay Peak near the Canadian border and then maybe even to Mt. Tremblant in Quebec.

After that, there's Mammoth Mt. in California. Their last day is July 4th and the only reason they close after that is because people don't come out. They won't stay open for less than 4000.

Then, I would spend the summer skiing in Australia. Then, it's back to the East and do it all again.

Of course, you can't ski EVERY day so in between there's biking.

Hey, I can dream can't I? ;-)

I know I won't lose much weight skiing ...

... but the endorphin flood has got to be good for you! :-)

I mean it's not like it's a huge aerobic, fat-burning-zone activity.

Plus you are sitting in a lift chair for 5 to 10 minutes between runs.

But you do get high from the speed, the centrifugal force and the rhythmic, twisting and turning, bobbing and weaving. I certainly was beaming after each great run and later in the evening as I was just sitting in a chair, I felt that great somatic buzz in my quads just radiating out to my whole body. Still high! And it's good for you too!

It's a stress reliever for sure and I don't think anyone would argue that stress is a major contributing factor for illness. That's one reason the old canard "Laughter is the best medicine" is literally true.

Anyhow, we went skiing yesterday at Butternut.

I mentioned in a previous post that our last time at Butternut was the best of my 3 year skiing career but yesterday was the new best!

We really beat up the mountain.

I feel like I'm really skiing now. Why? Because rather than approaching steep runs with some caution and trepidation, I am seeking them out and going faster and faster while still able to work on keeping a good form and rhythm.

I'm not jumping or getting air but I am enjoying the feeling of loft, a weightless sub-second moment when going over a hump (that's between a hill and a bump, I guess) at speed. Sweet!

And Mrs. MTBMan1 and I had a lot of laughs; over our "senior moments", getting so absorbed in the skiing that we missed our pre-planned routes and over our aches and pains yet still drawn to do "one more run" because of the high of it. A true definition of addiction, eh?

We were hoping to run into brother-in-law Mike and nephew Jeremiah as they have season passes and ski Butternut 4 days a week but they were not around. We did however ride the lift with Mike's friend Chuck who is over 80 and still skis every week during the season. Something to aspire to, no?

I don't like the wind!

Strangely I am not sore after yesterday's upper body workout. I worked fairly hard although not as hard as I could have because of my right shoulder and not as completely as I wanted to because of time restraints.

I guess the extreme soreness that I had experienced was because I hadn't worked those muscles in a long time at all.

Today I rode outside for 1 hour, 30 minutes out and back. It was still a bit chilly but not terrible, 32°, but there was a bit of a wind. It wasn't much but I guess because of the temperature it seemed particularly annoying.

I don't mind cold, I don't mind rain and snow but there's something about the wind I just don't like.

It is an OPPONENT, almost like it has a will and it is relentless, merciless. It doesn't get tired (but I do!)

My intention was an easy ride, I averaged a heart rate of 123, that's just about 70%MHR for me. Tuesday, I intend to do my interval workout from "Power to the Pedals" at the gym. Might get another "easy" ride in tomorrow. Sunday I won't get to ride 'cause we are going to the rels.

Here's the route:


Here's a little video (before my batteries died):

Strength training day and shoulder problem

I opted to do upper body strength training today. It was rainy out this AM but that really had nothing to do with it.
I have really felt the weakness in my arms and shoulders when climbing hills on the bike. I have been weak in that area all my life.

So, although it's my least favorite thing, I went to the gym and did my warm up on the stationary bike and then upper body workout.

I have this problem with my right shoulder which I didn't have all winter but resurfaced after my bike ride last Sunday with Brad and Charles.

I have to watch it when climbing that I don't put undue stress on the shoulder joint but keep it below that. Also, when mountain biking, I don't do front wheel hops properly by using the pedals but do it all with a sudden jerk of the arms. That'll do it to my shoulder too.

So now on the upper body workout I have to be careful that my right shoulder doesn't hurt. The biggest problem I have is with the bench press. I have to take it easy and maybe back off on the weight. I want to work that shoulder as much as I can but don't want to exacerbate the problem.

Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be good. Maybe I'll take a light spin on the bike around the neighborhood for an hour or so.

recovery spin

I could have done a "real" bike ride today. It was about 38°, doable, and dry although they were predicting rain after 8.
I opted to go to the gym, though, I'm not sure why. I was thinking about watching a movie on the AMC channel which is on the TV near the bikes. Usually, they have a good western or some action movie which can be engaging although I can't really pay attention to it when I'm trying to do intervals. "Great White Hope" was on. Kind of a depressing movie.

I should have ridden outside. When I left the gym at 9 it was really warm and partly sunny. Would have been a great ride.

Watching TV is really a terrible reason to go to the gym. Don't let me do that again!

I felt good about the spin. Kept up a high cadence and tried to maintain good pedaling form throughout. My average cadence was 92 and I was frequently over 100.

My quads are not hurting like I thought they would be from yesterdays intervals. Sometimes I feel them more on the 2nd day after a hard workout. I do want to work hard enough to be sore. See what happens tomorrow.

Power to the pedals!

Today, even though it was nice out, I opted to go the gym and do my "Power to the Pedals" program workout from roadbikerider.com.

This program can be done on the road but I feel it's easier to concentrate on the workout parameters on a stationary bike in the gym than on the road where you have to accommodate to the terrain as well as watch out for traffic and obstacles. Especially around here where it is hard to find long, straight and flat stretches without intersections and stop signs on which to train.

Today was week 3, workout #2 of the program and it was the hardest yet. After warming up, it consisted of 3 5 minute form intervals and 6 30/30 intervals.

Form intervals require you to work hard but not maximum while paying attention to good form especially pedaling with equal force around the circle and not just on the downstroke. These are 5 minutes each with 2-1/2 minutes easy spinning in between

30/30s are a hard effort for 30 seconds where you do about 100RPMs but then are forced down to 90 (through fatigue) in the last 5 seconds. Then rest with easy spinning for 30 seconds. Then do it over again. Your heart rate doesn't come down very much in those 30 seconds of rest especially on the last intervals.

Warm up was 10 minutes of steadily increasing resistance and then 5 - 15 second intervals of hard effort (not max)interspersed with 1 minute of rest between.

After the intervals, I spin easy until 55 minutes are up, then cool down, spinning slower and easier for the remaining 5 minutes to make a 1 hour workout.

I almost averaged 15mph on this one and my average cadence was 88. Pretty good for me. I'm already feelin' it. That means I'll be hurtin' tomorrow! :-)

"group" ride ...

i don't know, group ride implies a larger group. Maybe this was just a "buddy" ride.
Sunday, Charles, Brad and I got together for a road ride.

If you recall, Brad and I did a first ride together back in the fall up near his house right after the big ice storm. I got great pictures and video from that ride.

This is the first time Brad rode with Charles and me.

It was really a great ride. I worked pretty hard keeping up with the guys and I think I did alright although Brad smoked both of us on the hills until toward the end when he got fatigued ... he hasn't ridden since that ride last November.

As I said, I worked hard, my average HR was 139, thats almost 80% MHR for me. My average speed was only 12.9 but that's taking into account Copeland hill which is a moderately long and hard hill. I tried to keep my cadence up on the rollers especially towards the end.

I'm pleased with myself and I definitely worked harder with the group just trying to keep up plus a little friendly competition passing the other guys on occasion.

Here's the route! There's video after the route.


Here's the video!

Light Saturday ...

I thought I might take a 2+ hour ride yesterday since it was nice but I got caught up raking the lawn. We have a lot of pine detritus from an ice storm back in the fall.
So that was some exercise although not the kind I would like.

Also took an easy 5 mile ride with Mrs. MTBMan along the suburban streets (flat) later in the afternoon.

Today I hope to get my longer ride in, perhaps with Charles or if not, solo.

Don't have to kill it today 'cause I am doing my hard interval workouts at the gym during the week.

Independent Leg Training

Today's workout was at the gym (baby it's cold outside!).
I am following "Power to the Pedals" from Roadbikerider.com and twice a week I do a hard training workout from the program.

Today was Week 3 workout 1: ILT(that's Independent Leg Training) and Seated Sprints.

I did 5 sets of 1 minute each with each leg. You detach one foot at a time from the toe clips and pedal with the other leg exclusively. The idea is to train your legs to form smooth circles when you pedal, evenly exerting force all around the rotation.

Today I found that my left leg is much weaker than my right. I was supposed to try to maintain a cadence of 90 and while that was easy with my right side, I gave up on my left after 4 sets.

After doing the intervals you are supposed to fill out the hour with easy spinning but I only had 45 minutes this time.

One more hard session and then comes a recovery week!

Hands froze!

I guess it was colder than I thought. It was 25° this AM and predicted to get up to 36 later in the day so I thought I'd wait until then to ride.
For some reason I thought 36 was warm so I went out with just my fingerless cycling gloves. It was windy too. My hands really froze.

I finally cut the ride short and I think it was a wise thing to do 'cause my hands were in bad shape when I got back. Dropped my computer too. It didn't break though. Just reset it. I had to enter the wheel factor and all that back in.

Just rode under 6 miles.

Great Day Skiing at Butternut!

Went skiing at Butternut in the Massachusetts Berkshires on Tuesday. The best day in between 2 really crappy ones.
Got on the hill about 9:30 and it was pretty good.
The grooming held up for a couple of hours and there weren't too many people out.
I was really pleased with our skill level. I think we're ready for the black diamonds if the conditions are good.
Knocked off about 1:30 cause it just got too slushy.
One funny moment on our last run: I cut across what I thought was a patch of ice (why would it be ice, it was 50°? ... duh) but was really wet slush. Instead of flying across ice I stopped dead and clicked out of the bindings with both feet. Wish we had video of that. Good thing I wasn't going too fast!
Here's a quick video of the day starting with a ride on the triple:

1st ride of the season with Charles!

Sunday I got a good 2-1/2 hour ride with Charles. Funny how I always get a better workout riding with him. There's always that need to catch up or even a little competitive "let's see if I can pass him on this hill" not that we're racing or anything.

I definitely worked harder than I have in a long time and we didn't even hit any big hills.

Bonus: I mentioned last post that my cadence counter on the computer stopped working. Well it's working now!! When I set out from the house to meet Charles, it still read zero. But while waiting for him to get ready I fiddled with the adjustment of the sensor and magnet a little bit and ran my fingers along the wire looking for an obvious kink or break and when we started riding it was working!

I don't know if there's an intermittent break in the wiring that i jiggled just right or that the alignment is that fussy. Usually if the alignment is off it will read wacky numbers but not just stay frozen on one.

Oh well, I'm happy. Even though I do like to spend money on the bike I didn't really want to have to buy and install an new computer.

It was kind of warm, probably in the high 40s even 50s. I got to wear my new jersey with pockets in the back which I got for $19 on closeout from Bike Nashbar (oh, yeah!). Now I don't have to wear a fanny pack.

Hey, here's some video from that ride. It was about 32 miles. Check out the route:


Shoulda, shoulda ....

Today I rode for an hour. I shoulda had my camera with me.
Twice a herd of deer crossed the road right in front of me.
I'm not talkin' one or 2 I AM talkin' a HERD!

I could've shot 2 full minutes of video the first time. They crossed in front of me on the road and few laggards hesitated until I was right up to them.

Then the whole bunch ran off across the field, white tails bobbing until they got to the edge of the woods, then they all turned and stood looking back. Just like "Wild Kingdom" or whatever nature shows they have these days (I don't watch TV).

Oh, by the way, did I tell you my cadence thingy stopped working on the computer?

The other day I revved it up really high for no good reason and it got stuck. After I zeroed it out, it stayed at zero! Bummer! Have to do something about that. I guess I'll check to see if the wire is broken. Not sure how I'm going to do that. There are no exposed terminals to check for continuity.

Probably wind up buying a new one. Think I could upgrade? ;-)

Road Ride

Today was my 2nd real "Road Ride" of the new year. 1 hour, 13.8 miles.
It was about 38°, bright and sunny.

Didn't worry too much about heart rate, I wasn't trying to keep it down (recovery) nor keep it at a certain level. I got up in the 150s at some point, standing in the saddle in a hard gear going up hills. It felt good but I'm feeling it a little in the calves and quads.

I might just take an easy spin tomorrow if it's not too messy. It's supposed to be freezing rain at some point.

My arms and pecs are still REALLYsore so I may lay off the upper body workout tomorrow too. Am I trying to avoid going to the gym?

Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I do not like working out at the gym!
It's crowded, noisy and full of TVs! Just the opposite of what I like about cycling on back roads: it's solitary, quiet and has no electronic media.

Having said that, I'm grateful that I have it to use when the weather is absolutely impossible.

We are looking to go skiing at Butternut on Monday or Tuesday. Hope the weather doesn't screw it up. It's supposed to be warm and rainy before then.

soreness for seniors!

I can't get used to calling myself a "senior" (I'm 61). I just don't think of myself that way. Is it just me or do they bump up the definition of senior 5 years every time just before I reach the currently designated age to get the discount?

My mental image is that of a 30 year old or maybe 40 at worst (don't look in the mirror though!)

Anyhow, as I mentioned in the last post, I'm doing this training program called "Power to the Pedals" from roadbikerider.com.

Monday I did the program and then you're supposed to go easy or do something that uses other muscles in between so I did an upper body workout on Tuesday. It's been awhile since I did an upper body workout so, as usual, I probably overdid it. I was shaking like jelly after 15 minutes!

Yesterday I was pretty sore (arms, shoulders and pecs) and I did another interval routine for 1 hour from Power to the Pedals.

Today I'm REALLY sore which is typical. Dr. Gabe Mirkin says you should rest the sore muscles until the soreness goes away, not necessarily just after a set interval of day or 2 or whatever. The soreness is caused by the muscle damaged being repaired. If you exercise hard before the muscles are repaired you don't really get the full benefit of the exercise either the previous or the current if I understand him right.

Also, for us seniors (I prefer the term Masters!) recovery can take longer, up to a week.

So, having said all that, I guess, today I'll go for a real road bike ride this afternoon after it warms up to 30 or so. (It's about 15° right now).

According to Power to the Pedals, I'm only supposed to do 2 hard efforts a week and maybe a nice long ride on Saturday. The weather and roads are still iffy for that. We'll see what the weekend brings.

What am I doing?

I am following a program I found on Roadbikerider.com. It is an e-"article" entitled "Power to the Pedals".
It's a series of off-season workouts that's supposed to prepare you for the upcoming riding season by working on your form as well as power.

I am doing 2 "hard" workouts per the program per week with some easy pedaling or cross-training activity in between.

I have been doing the 2 workouts at the gym and sometimes the other recovery days at the gym too if the weather hasn't been right for anything else.

I did get to ride one day last week on the road.

So far, the workouts have been intervals of one type or another. One was ILT or independent leg training where you work on pedaling with one leg at a time for a specified interval.

I'm trying to do downhill skiing one day a week while the season lasts. The last day we did at Stratton Mtn. in VT was not exactly a "recovery" day. The ole quads were feelin' it but oh what a good time we had.

I like to cross-country ski in between hard workouts but the snow has been lacking the last month or so. Frustrating!

Today, I got on the treadmill at the gym for 1/2 hour and then did a 1/2 hour upper body workout. I'm thinking I'll do more running as there is some concern with osteoporosis for people that do cycling exclusively for exercise. So, the impact type of exercise helps with that.