Friday, March 4
Monday, February 21
I got asked to give an addition to the BikeHub.ie website a while back. I faffed and faffed due to being away, and frankly not knowing what to write about. Should i aim it to be more performance oriented as my interests lie, should it be more general, should i just accuse everyone of being fat and needing a bike to get fitter.
I think i managed to find a common ground, drawing from my own experience of being a fat, unhealthy, angry person and what cycling and exercise did for me in many ways. Somehow i think i made it sound not to much of a rant....but well....one has to rant when you see how fat the country is getting and where it is going to take us in the future.
Hopefully Paul won't rip this to shreds and will at least let it be posted like this....
First draft, probably lots of errors, blah blah blah Mike.
The Benefits of Cycling for Long Term Health and Fitness.
The impact that cycling can have on a persons long term health and wellness are well known within medical and scientific community. Yet among many it is still seen as an activity for the elite few requiring hours of dedication. For many during the 70's and 80's names such as Kelly, Roche and Elliot followed the peak of cycling interest for many households in Ireland. Cycling was a popular sport and for many still the only manner of transport.
Bicycles bought and ridden with so much love now remain rusting in a shed unused, unloved and unridden. We forgot what was amazing about cycling, we left it behind, and moved into the modern transportation age. We left the bike at home and we drove, rode the bus, or DARTed to work. We became apathetic.
Every year more people are diagnosed with conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes (adult onset diabetes), and atherosclerosis. All of these conditions are directly related to living a sedate, inactive, lifestyle and sadly our country is following a similar trend to the United States ten years ago. Current medical guidelines from the ACSM for exercise advocate the following as minimum as targets for exercise, yet how many of us actually reach them:
Do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, five days a week
Do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week
Do eight to 10 strength-training exercises, eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week.
One of the defining moments for me that brought a realisation of the long term health of cycling was while training in the Alps 2 summers ago. Half way thorough a long training cycle, with the Col de la Madaline as the main climb for the day, we'd just reached the summit and were waiting for the rest of the group. A man in his early 60's rode towards us on a touring bike with panniers full of food. We got chatting to him and discovered that every day he rode over the Col, 1993 meters high, every day to a village on the far side, bought his bread, and rode home. On asking 'why?' in confused tones, the reply 'Bien sur, pourquoi pas?' - 'Sure, why not?'
To advocate anyone going from zero to hero and cycling such vertical distances every day from no training would be foolish, and unreasonable. However a little reassessment of what is possible day to day to meet the MINIMUM requirements for exercise would allow for an improvement in your life as you age. With cycling as a non impact sport it is one of the easiest sports to undertake. You have an initial investment for sure, but you are free from gym fee's, free from a singular location to be allowed to exercise, and free to exercise when you want.
Honestly ask yourself.
Do I meet the minimum requirements for exercise?
Why do I not make these requirements?
What can I do to meet them?
Look at where you work.
Can you shower when you get in?
Can you leave clothes in to change into?
Can I ride into work?
Assess the time requirements.
Is it faster to ride in, or sit in traffic for an hour?
Can I ride with my family or partner?
Assess the benefits.
How much will you save on petrol or public transport?
Will you be calmer after riding in, or sitting in traffic staring at the learner driver stalling at every light on the way into work?
What opportunities could this open for me?
Gregory May, B. Sc: Greg is a post graduate research student in the Department of Health and Human Performance in Dublin City University and a member of the Applied Sports Performance Research Group. His primary area of research deals with understanding the factors that effect energy expenditure in different activities. As a member of the CLARITY: Centre for Sensor Web Technologies he is able to investigate aspects of real world cycling with novel technologies not previously available to coaches, athletes or scientists outside of a laboratory setting. In addition to a diverse coaching background in cycling, triathlon and other sports he is also a competitive mountain biker and triathlete. Someday he hopes to finish his Ph.D. but cycling keeps getting in the way.
Friday, February 18
- Cycling: 17.5 hours
- Running: 3 hours
- Swimming: 7 hours
Thursday, February 3
Monday, January 31
Back to the real world with a massive CRASH.
Had a great week training in Lanzarote with the Manchester Triathlon Club. Clocked up some amazing hours between bike, run and, swim.
Have to catch up on real world work before i can stick up stats. But to say i've put a block in is an understatement.
28hours in 6 days....oh yes
Monday, January 10
Saturday, January 8
Not a rider was stirring, except in one house;
The skinsuit was hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that cold weather soon would be there;
The tubs were nestled all snug on their rims,
While visions of mud rut danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my lid,
Had just settled down for a long summers kip,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen rain
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature rider, and 9 massive gears,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Slick.
More rapid than Sven his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Seymour! now, Ryan! now, McCall and Campbell!
On, Convil ! on Newman! on, McDonald and Ahern!
To the top of the steps! to the top of the hill!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As wet muds that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the bike full of carbon, and St. Slick too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and posing of each little hoof.*
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Slick came with a bound.
He was dressed all in lycra , from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with blood dirt and muck;
A bundle of tubs he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were so gaunt, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the stubble on his chin was as cool as the snow;
The stump of a Torq bar he held tight in his teeth,
And the smell it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was skinny and ripper , a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the kit bags ; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his bike, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"No Sherlock, no Ferguson, we're in for a fight!"
*you try find something that rhymes with hoof....good luck tomorrow all
Wednesday, January 5
- Internal cables on a cross bike. What more can i say. Makes it easier to shoulder, keeps the gunk out, and makes the bike look much much better.
- Fork, its so stiff. No flex, no straying off line. Stick it where you want and it goes there. Braver than me.
- Chainstay clearance is much much MUCH better for my heals than the last two bikes ive had. Probably not going to need to constantly apply helitape.
- Looks like a carbon frame :) The amount of people who have done a double take when they realise its not..priceless.
- When i was looking at the bike the first time i noticed the open end to the tubing on the downtube. OK..water does not tend to go to much upwards into the tube..but...when you are washing the bike and water gets into the tube it can flow down towards the headtube, where it then flows into the toptube...and wont come out. Pain in the ass.
- Fork break brace thingy. Pretty much makes it impossible to carry with your arm across the headtube...as i do. So either i learn to carry under the downtube or i deal with the bruises on my forearms for the near future.
- Brakes, the stock Avid brakes are terrible. No modulation, but lots of power...so kinda ok..but impossible to get carbon brake pads for in Ireland. So pointless. Swapped them out for Froglegs.