10 June 2024

Trail ride was not as enjoyable

Question for veteran riders – do you prefer riding on the road or in trails? This morning I went to the Greenway trail. For some reason, it was not as enjoyable as the portion that I did on roads. I thought without any cars zooming by and the trail being totally empty, I would like it more. In fact, the green trees, the creek and deer all over made for some great scenery.

But I am not sure I enjoyed the flatness of the trail or the small gaps in between the concrete slabs every three meters or so. On the way back, ditched the trail and took the normal roads. Enjoyed that much more.

Is that your experience too?

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7 June 2024

Third bike ride and a few realizations

Put in my third bike ride today. Riding a bike has one advantage over motorbike riding. You can feel the wind in your face (the helmet does not cover your face). But unlike running, I cannot just stop anytime because I am feeling tired.

Tried Don Mitchell’s advice on holding on to the handle like holding eggs. And came to the most important realization: The core of my problem is that my core is the problem!!

Also, hit 173 on heart rate – 106% of theoretical HR Max. I am getting convinced that my real Hr Max is higher.

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4 June 2024

Second bike ride – 10 miles

Encouraged by veteran bicyclists (thank you Matt, Michele, Jordan, Dave, Yasser, John, Chris, David, Stephen and many others), went for a slightly longer ride. You will be proud of me that I came close to only one car on the way! Same pace as last time – 11 mph. Heartbeat at 169 bpm peaked at a little over 100% of HRMax.

Some newbie problems… My left shoe is brushing the pedal rod often, I think I am putting too much weight on my wrists and I still can’t stop the way bicyclists do – I stop with my left leg on the ground (and the right on the pedal) like we used to in India!

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1 June 2024

Starting of yet another new hobby

The last time I was this thrilled to get on a bike was in 1975. I was in third grade. And I had finally managed to do a “half-pedal” on dad’s bike. It was a Phillips bicycle. I am not sure if the concept of “half-pedaling” is still there in India.

Essentially, you are too short to get on the seat of the bike. So, we would hold on to the left handle with left hand, grab the seat with the ride hand, slip our right leg thru the frame of the brake so as to reach the right pedal and in general look like we were hanging off the bike from the left side. And since we were too small to go full rotation of the pedal we would simply pedal forward half a loop and then backward half a loop.

That act of being able to roll on the ground without the feet touching and the constant feeling of the wind on the face would send us to a sense of unparalleled thrill. The fear of falling down and getting hurt just added to the heady mix of adrenaline pumped feelings.

It was no different today. Did a maiden ride of 8 miles at a little over 11 mph speed with my first bike in over three and a half decades! The idea is to slowly back off from running miles and replace them with biking miles to adjust to the aging of the knees. To be sure, the Alpharetta hills kicked my butt for my first ride.

In a rich irony, growing up, our scooter had gears but the bicycle did not. Today, my car and motorcycle has automatic transmission but the bike has 18 manual speeds!

Hoping this new hobby sticks. If I have John Mcgehee to thank for getting me into running and Magesh Ranganathan for getting me into motorbiking, then, without a shred of doubt, I have to thank Matt Tebbe for getting me into biking.

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