Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Ultimate Workout

I have been riding for quite some time, now. I have ridden all sorts of "the latest and greatest" machines that promise you all sorts of life altering trail riding bliss, only to find that cycling is not immune to technological advances either. Yep, that $4,000 wonder bike is now last decades landfill; ok maybe not quite, but you get the gist of my point.

Mountain biking has changed considerably over the last decade, even the last few years, but there is one discipline that remains untouched; untamed in all of it's unbridled glory. One area that some companies have dared try, but alas, come way scratching the heads of the bean counters and come away wondering why. What is the allure of this...this, this simple machine? Well, by George, simple is the reason.

The whole purpose of this blog is to give people an insight on why they should add a singlespeed bike to their quiver. Working in a bike store gives me a lot of stage time to perform my gig and hopefully be back for an encore performance. My tour is doing very well and I am opening the eyes of some of the nay-sayers.

Let me put it to you real simple. Riding a SS not only is a blast to ride, but it makes you a
P90X? I dont think so Mr. Tony Horton...
stronger rider from top to bottom. I mean think about it; what other recreational activity can give you a total body workout and still keep you wanting more...ok, this is a clean blog, dont even go there. When you are riding that geared thing, you have a tendency to want to sit and spin and eventually you get to the top. Sure, you made it, but did you? Be honest, wouldnt be great to get to the top of a climb faster than your geared buddies; sure it would.

Now there is nothing wrong with that, but to some it is still the way to go just because you have the gears to "make" you go that route. I have been guilty of it myself, you get lazy and before you know it you are relying on them more and more. If you think about it, you arent fully utilizing the strongest muscles in your body... your quads, arms and shoulders. When you get out of the saddle and tackle a climb while standing, you are getting full extension from your legs and your shoulders and arms are sawing the bar back and forth; just like watching a Great White tear apart its prey and flicking and PULLING AND TEARING AND...whew, ok-got a little excited there. Think of the SS bike not as your mysterious enemy, but a close friend that is there to help you get stronger and faster. Just dont approach it with the attitude that riding one is too hard or I am not strong enough to climb on one...sure you are! One nice thing about todays bikes is that some come with the option to go both ways (here we go again). If you choose to go back to the gears, you can do it without buying another bike.

Now. I am not here to say that geared bikes are undesirable, pointless or dead; nothing is further from the truth. I have a few and I do enjoy riding them. I am not as efficient as I am on the SS, but it is a nice break to just cruise around and have fun.

All I am saying is riding a SS is super fun, but more than that, it is a great workout that will leave you begging for more. I honestly didnt think I would ride one, and it took a few rides to really get to the point that it would be my ride 90% of the time.

So the next time you are on your local trails, try and hook up with some monocoggers and watch and learn and ask questions and maybe throw a leg over one and maybe, just maybe you will get away from those Richard Simmons Sweatin to the Oldies Videos and get the only REAL total body workout.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

It has been some time...

Well, this is the longest I have gone without boring you with my usual pointless bantering and frivolous writings; but I figured two months was long enough.

There hasnt been too much happening in the way of racing; ok nothing has been happening.  I aint doin' no kind of dat racin' stuff till next year. I even thought that I may decide to "retire" from racing due to the fact that I am having a blast just riding and doing as many junk miles as possible. In fact, this has been the lowest race total sincel 2007 for the year. Funny thing is, I had some of my best results (at least consistent) this year; all top 5 finishes. I do still have some goals that arent race oriented for the final leg of this year, though.

The goal that is at the top of my list is 450,000 ft of elevation. My previous best was 301,000 from two years ago. As of today, I have amassed 386,000+ ft. All told, I have been really hitting the hills in and around Ellicott City for the past two months where you can easily get 3-4k in a short time. I have been feeling pretty good, but definitely feeling a bit tired.

I am also going to beat my previous best of 7,500 miles in the year as well. A little over 300 miles to go with a month and a half to go.

I have also destroyed last years best of 332 personal records. As of today, I am at 414. I really have felt a bit stronger than the past few years even though I have pretty much abandoned any form of training known to man.

I turn 46 pretty soon and I really dont feel that old, em er young. I am still putting up some pretty good consistent efforts. My recovery seems a bit slow, but again, that is what fun junk miles will do.

Most of my rides are of the road variety with at least two mountain bike rides a week. I am feeling pretty strong on the mountain bike, although my technical skills seem a bit rusty as of late.

On another note, our Aviation Velo kits arrived and man they look great. I have to admit, I
think I did good this time. Hill Killer handled the job and did it well. They look better than I thought. We have had nothing but super positive responses as well. So far, 13 kits are out and about tryn' to get the word out-yeah, that was lame. I do have that Euro look about me though, huh?

So, next year I may just focus on endurance races instead of the short stuff. I have a great co-ed partner in Elizabeth. I really want to do the Shennandoah 100 this year in the SS class so it is going to require a new mindset on my part. We shall see if I can maintain some sort of training plan. Hmmmmm...