Training: The Older You Get, The Harder It Is To Come Back…Pfft

May 8, 2014

That’s what I’d always heard.
“It’s gonna take you  longer, and it’s going to hurt more and more each time.”
So now that I’m older here’s what I’ve got to say:
Screw you, buddy.
The older I get, the smarter I train, and recover.
Science and technology are making that easier and easier for me. So there.

Here are some basics that I KNOW will always help me.

  1. Start small and build up.
    Nope, it doesn’t matter what it is, but the general rule is that 21 days makes a habit. So I build my programs 3 weeks at a time, and the build is usually gradual and comfortable.
  2. If anything hurts, STOP NOW.
    Tomorrow is another day, and long-term injuries that do not go away come from not stopping. Good things come from controlled failures.
  3. Nutrition and Eating Schedule.
    I generally have a good diet, but I try to have more protein and fat in the beginning of my season, and as I need more calories, I put in more carbs. I also go from eating 3 larger meals a day, to 6 smaller meals. The difference in calories on season and off season is incredible (from 1600 kcal/day to 3000 kcal), so I have to fit them in somewhere. But I have discovered that when I eat is just as important as what I eat.
  4. Myofacial Release and Stretching.
    I know. I hate it too. But rollering and stretching are the best things for keeping me balanced. I have problems with Hyper-mobilty so I have to be careful about building muscles evenly, and keeping my tendons in balance. Most of my injuries have come from a muscle or tendon being too loose while the opposing tendon/muscle is too tight.
  5. Compression.
    This is a precious gift from the materials science gods and goddesses, and GAWD does it work. #ifuckinglovescience.   It cuts down on soreness immensely.
  6. A Weight Training Program.
    No, not just going to the gym a grabbing a couple of kettle balls for a 10 minute pump. I am talking about a serious program like powerlifting. Powerlifting is excellent for cyclists in particular, because it helps stave off bone loss. In fact, it increases bone density pretty much exactly where we need it. Oh the other thing? Crashing with a good deal of natural armor (aka muscle), is better. I really KNOW this to be true for me, because when I have a good deal of muscle, I bounce and yes, even skid better. Sorry about the imagery.
  7. A Coach
    “Any racer who’s only had themselves as a coach, is eventually coaching a fool.” – Girl Meets Bike.
    Yes, I said that, and I mean it as much for myself as anyone else. Want to get better? You have to have a qualified objective observer. Nuff said.

    “Thinking getting older sucks? Consider the alternative.”

              Steven Wright

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AIDS/LifeCycle 10 Podcasts a success…

April 18, 2011

It seems that AIDS/LifeCycle is taking up all of my time right now. We are in crunch time of ALC preparation, and I’ve also taken on these podcasts (which has been a HUGE learning experieince in itself), so I have not been able to blog for Girl Meets Bike in a while.

What I can tell you is this:

  • Being an ALC Cyclist Representative is wonderful, but requires a lot of time and multi-tasking.
  • Much of what I do is either coaching, teaching my cyclists how to fundraise, or filling out reports mentioning every interaction I have with them (that’s right, it not all fun and games 😉 )
  • Being a podcaster is insane and wonderful; it’s also like a second job right now, but I think it’s really important, and worth my time.
  • Podcasting it for AIDS/LifeCycle is an experience of a lifetime, if just for the stories I get to hear from our participants and clients.
  • When I can get out for a ride on my own, it is usually on my New Specialized Myka. I hope to put up a review of the Myka soon, but I can honestly say right now that this bike is the most versatile bike I’ve ever owned.

UPDATE:
The Podcasts Can Now Be Found On The Girl Meets Bike YouTube Channel

The quality of the first one is bad, but it gets better as the series continues.
http://youtube.com/girlmeetsbike

ALC 10 Podcast- Episode 2: Positive

March 16, 2011

This is the Second podcast for AIDS/LifeCycle 10, coming to you directly from the AIDS/LifeCycle offices in Los Angeles, from Cyclist Representative Lisa Hachadoorian. It is a mix of stories from past AIDS/LifeCycle participants, and information for the upcoming ALC 10 ride.

Episode 2:

Positive

AIDS/LifeCycle Podcast – Episode 2: Positive

New Segment: AIDS/LifeCycle News

1.  Lifeline

  • Carlos Hernandez of Positive Images helps me field a call for help.

2.  Ask Everyone

  • Fundraising Advice from Jay Lennox.
  • 3 Fundraising tips from the Fundraising Workshops

3.  Positive

  • Pos Peds help a young man learn the I’mpossible.

AIDS/LifeCycle 10: CR Lisa makes a Podcast “For the Newbies”

February 21, 2011

This is the first podcast for AIDS/LifeCycle 10, coming to you directly from the AIDS/LifeCycle offices in Los Angeles, from Cyclist Representative Lisa Hachadoorian. It is a mix of stories from past AIDS/LifeCycle participants, and information for the upcoming ALC 10 ride.

This is not an official AIDS/LifeCycle podcast.

PODCAST 1:

For the Newbies

1. Urban Legend.

  • Hearing is believing. Brendan Patrick helps us remember this one.

2. What is a Training Ride Leader (or TRL)?

  • Mark Botello explains the role of these vital volunteers

3. Where do your donation dollars go?

  • The Prevention On Wheels Mobile Unit (or the POW Van) is just one of the life saving programs that is, in part, supported by your donation dollars. Jimmy Ramos, who is program manager for the POW van, explains the process of the FREE HIV testing service, which the POW Van provides.
  1. What’s so special about a bike ride?
  • Matthew Campos sends us on a trip down memory lane, back to California AIDS Ride 3.

Music:

found on fma.org, all this wonderful is available under Creative Commons Licencing. Thanks SO MUCH to the musical artists, Lee Rosevere, and Northbound for sharing!

Forward by Northbound

Do What You Can by Lee Rosevere

Up All Night by Lee Rosevere

Nightlight by Lee Rosevere

 

ALC 10 Podcast 1- ForTheNewbies

Interbike: A First Look at Specialized Women’s Bikes

September 29, 2010

The Specialized Women’s 2011 bicycle line is very impressive indeed.

Specialized has rethought bike design for women in a three dimensional way; this makes their mountain bikes particularly easy to handle in all types of terrain.  The Specialized MTB bikes I tested are light enough to Manipulate and maneuver,  but  have a weight distribution that made it easy to keep  “tires to the ground”.

For Women’s road bikes, the Amira will be the bike to look out for. This is their premium bike for women. There are a lot of details that make the Amira stand out (it has all the earmarks of a really fast bike). One look at the geometry and you can see how nothing compares. It’s also sexy as anything.

If you are a fan of Specialized already, you need to try one of their 2011 bikes.  But if you’ve had questionable results with their Women’s geometry bikes from previous years (hey, I wasn’t always a big fan), then you really need to try the 2011 series. Specialized really went back, did their homework, and found what really works for Women’s geometry; and in this 2011 line up, it  shows.

In the coming weeks I will have separate reviews of 2011 Women’s Specialized bikes, including:

Myka – A 29er Women’s Hardtail Mountain Bike, with entry level pricing (warning, this bike could make mountain biking addictive).

Safire – Women’s All Mountain Bike (a dream to ride in 2010, with some interesting changes for 2011)

Era – Women’s Cross Country Performance Mountain Bike (2011 line adds a budget conscious carbon fiber level).

Amira – Women’s Premium Road Bike, redesigned again ( the delight is in the details).

Have Things Changed for Women in Bike Shops? (Updated 9/27)

September 17, 2010

Update: Sept 27th 2010

So far, about half the women surveyed said they recognize these, shall we say, regrettable sales tactics. But the other half say they have no problem in their local bike shop, or that their shop has improved. It makes me think that things are changing, but we have yet to reach the tipping point when it comes to the female cycling consumer. There are truly great cycling products available for women nowadays. So why are they not making it on the the floor the of local bike shop?  Why are these bike shops still not connecting with their female clientele?

Could it be that they need a lesson on “Selling to Women?”

This was the title of a seminar I attended at Interbike, put on the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition. It was a wonderful seminar and panel discussion; I personally walked away with new ways to help women feel more comfortable and confident about cycling purchases, and the whole shopping experience while in their local bike shop.

However I couldn’t help but notice that most of the audience were female. I have to say, it felt a bit like preaching to the choir. Why didn’t male dealers/buyers/ local bike shops owners jump at this chance to learn about how to easily increase their customer base?

Guys, if you were at Interbike,why didn’t you check out this seminar? What would get you to go to a seminar like this?

Members of the press who attended, what did you think? (By all means, post a link to your site in the comments).

(coming soon: Women’s Products at Interbike: A First Look)

Have Things Changed for Women in Bike Shops?

About a year ago, I made this cartoon series called “Jane Meets Bike Shop”. I’ve reposted two of them here.
Would it surprise you if I said that this was actually more than just a joke?

These were based on a compilation of real experiences of many women. OK, perhaps with a bit a humor and sarcasm, but my question today is:

Have things changed over the past year?
Is it any easier for a woman to “through a leg over” a bike in her size, at the bike shop? Are women getting treated with more respect as a consumer, at the bike shop?

Take a look, then take the quick poll at the bottom. (please leave a comment, if you like).

Jane Meets Bike Shop

Some women of a town would like to enjoy riding their bike. However, the one “good” shop in town just isn’t very good when it comes to understanding the female cyclist.



Mountain Bike Review: Specialized Safire Comp Women’s Full Suspension MTB

August 30, 2010

I tested the 2010 Susan Komen Limited Edition Version from Bear Valley Bikes

I tested the Susan Komen Limited Edition Version from Bear Valley Bikes

Small Safire from Bear Valley Bikes

The Demo Bike

TESTED: Specialized Safire Comp, Susan Komen Edition from Bear Valley Bikes

Price: $2400 for the Comp (tested),  to $7400 for the Carbon Fiber Top o’ the Line Pro Version

Bike Size: Small, with an Effective Top Tube of 540mm,  Weight: 27lbs

Rider Size: 5’4″  Back Length: 545mm (find out why that’s important HERE). Weight: 120lbs (135lbs with gear).

Terrain: Big Bear, California

(The Exact Specs can be found on Product Wiki HERE, or BikPedia HERE


Spec Highlights:

  • FRAME: Safire FSR M5 manipulated alloy frame w/ women’s ORE TT/DT, sealed cartridge bearing pivots, DMD front, replaceable derailleur hanger, disc only, 120mm travel
  • REAR SHOCK: Fox Triad, custom on-the-fly 3-position switch 1) lock out 2) Open 3) ProPedal pedal assisting damping, rebound adj., 7.25×1.75″
  • FORK: Fox F130 RL, 130mm travel, compression and rebound adj. w/ LO, alloy steerer
  • FRONT BRAKE: Custom Avid Elixir SL, alloy backed semi-met organic pads, 160mm rotor
  • REAR BRAKE: Custom Avid Elixir SL, alloy backed semi-met organic pads,S/M: 140mm, L: 160mm rotor
  • BRAKE LEVERS: Custom Avid Elixir SL Hydraulic, tool-less adj. reach
  • FRONT DERAILLEUR: Shimano M660 SLX, DMD, top swing, dual pull
  • REAR DERAILLEUR: SRAM X-9, 9-speed, mid cage
  • SHIFT LEVERS: SRAM X-7, aluminum trigger

SPECIALIZED OFF-ROAD: A REAL WOMAN’S BIKE

Specialized really does want us girls to ride mountain; why else would they make, not just one, but a series of REAL women’s mountain bikes? These bikes are not candy; they are hardcore mountain bikes that a woman can tailor for the way she rides. And on budget . From the sizing, weight and geometry, to budget and componentry, Specialized seems to be one of the “Big Boy” Companies to actual listen to what we women mountain bikers have asked for; then they stepped it up a notched and gave us some dream bikes, like the Safire, which is available in Carbon. (Oh, how I would love to test that bike!) But what I tested while I was in Big Bear CA, was the more budget conscious “Comp” level of the Safire. It seems that Specialized Comp level is a perfect Beginner/Intermediate bike, due to the “bang for your buck” quality of the components.

But what draws me in to this bike, is the unbelievably correct geometry. It is absolutely spot on. Somehow they managed to figure out how to make the head tube angle slack enough to handle any downhill (at 68.5°), yet not sluggish on tight corners and uphill.

Descending

At first I was a little unsure of it, so I picked my way down some trails. Well, that’s not what this bike wants to do. It wants to go fast, and it told me so. Steep downhill with roots and rocks means nothing to this bike, and given a chance, and some well guided direction, the Safire will glide down the trail pretty effortlessly, without “tugging me down the trail” the way some bikes do when they’re longer in the cockpit. Cornering was so easy, even at speed off-camber. The tight geometry made even tight corners smooth and fun. After a few trail runs, this baby felt as secure as a sofa, on the downhill.

Climbing

But how does it perform, going uphill? I really thought that the slack head tube angle combined with the 130mm fork meant a lousy ride uphill. SO wrong, was I. Specialized figured out how to make the head tube just a little shorter, which allows a woman to move her weight further forward for the climb, without losing traction in the rear.

Out of the saddle on climbs, I was able to get over the front end without leaning on it, and the front end never felt like it was was trying to force me to sit down (which also happens when a head tube is too tall). The kicker for me? When I stood up and tried to give it pedal bob, it responded by smoothing out the ride. I felt none of that “walking in molasses” feeling that you can get with a lesser suspension system.

Of course for longer climbs it’s very easy to lock out the suspension which completely eliminates all bob. Sorry Bob.

I would heartily recommend the Specialized Safire for women who would like a light all-mountain to cross country bike. This is a fun bike to ride.

In the last few years, I’ve demo’ed MANY mountain bikes directed towards women, but this is the first one that’s good enough for a “Girl Meets Bike” recommendation.  No, I don’t work for Specialized or anything like that; I’m just a girl who really appreciates good design.  I’m looking forward to testing other frames before I decide on which full -suspension bike is “The One” for me, but this is DEFINITELY in the running.  I’m hope to try the Myka FSR, which is Specialized’s first Women’s Full Suspension 29er.

Proper suspension set up is vital to truly experience what a bike has to offer. Without it, even the most amazing bike can feel like a dud.  Many thanks to Clay and Derek of Bear Valley Bikes for setting up the suspension beautifully for me. A review of their Bike Shop is coming very soon…

Girl Meets Safire, the Bike:


For those of you that want the quick and dirty version, here are some thoughts from the day.

  • Women’s geometry, 130 mil suspension, fairly light. Has my dream come true?
  • Why does the chairlift have to be so friggin’ cold!
  • Take your hand off the brakes..the brakes.
  • OH SH* , oh, no, I’m OK.
  • Trust the steep…Wow, do I love this bike.
  • the bike wants to go fast.
  • OH SH* no, I’m… Actually, that was fun. Should do that again!
  • Wheeeee!!!!
  • Stomping it! It can handle uphills!
  • Love these trails.
  • Love this bike!
  • Comes in carbon, there’s a 29er, comes in carbon, there’s a 29er.

An AIDS/Lifecycle Story: Instant Karma

August 20, 2010

Here’s a story about how I met a young man whom I’ve grown to admire through AIDS/Lifecycle. Let’s call him “Crash”

I believe it was the Day 1 of my first AIDS/Lifecycle as a rider. I’d trained well for the ride, and met my fundraising goal, so this AIDS/Lifecycle really was an opportunity for me to sit back, and take in some of the gorgeous views as a cyclist.

In the afternoon, I found myself overlooking the cliffs of Pacific Coast Highway, looking out onto the Pacific Ocean. It was a warm day with a cooling sea breeze. I was climbing a small hill when I noticed him. He was standing by the side of the road, obviously a rider who had crashed. Despite his thumbs up, he was bleeding in a few places, and crying, but still trying to smile, he nodded yes when I asked, “is everything OK?” I think that’s why it took me another twenty feet before I thought, “What? Wait a minute. That’s not right!”

It wasn’t just the fact that Thumbs Up (and smiling for that matter) is the AIDS/Lifecycle symbol for “I’m OK”. It was the Universal Thumbs Up that caught my sense of irony; that “everything’s honky dory, carry on”, “I approve of this message”,  that  got me.  He was in fact, being a real trooper through some painful road rash. He was clearly shaken. Boy, do I know that feeling. I pulled over, stopped, and walked back to him.

“Are you sure you’re OK?”

“Yeah, my front tire blew, and I fell while trying to get to the side of the road.  Something’s wrong with my bike now, so now I’m waiting for the Sweep Car.”

“I was a Bike Tech last year, so I could take a look at your bike if you want. But you should really clean the wounds that are bleeding as soon as possible.” (With road rash (or trail rash), this is the best way to prevent Staph infection.)

I offered him my emergency Crash Kit, which he gratefully took. We chose a shady spot, and while tended to his wounds I tended to his bike. It turned out that his handlebars got knocked out of alignment during the crash, which is an easy on-the-fly adjustment. I lent him an inner tube, since this he was out. We had a pleasant conversion on the side of a hill, overlooking the ocean.

He decided that he’d like to get back on his bike and ride the rest of the way to camp. Like I said, he was a Trooper. His first few strokes of the pedal were understandably a bit shaky and tense, but after few miles of following him, I could see that he was fine. More than fine, he was actually quite a proficient rider. I felt no qualms about leaving him when he turned off at Rest Stop 4, and I continued on to camp.

BOOM. That’s the sound you hear when you’re in a rush, and  pump up your tire too fast. It was 7:50 am the next day and I was still in Bike Parking. My rear tire had gone flat overnight, so there I was, rushing to fix a flat and get on the road. Threats of sagging (not being able to ride that day) were blasting over a megaphone, and I had just used my last inner tube.

“Can anyone spare an inner tube?” I yell out in desperation.

“I CAN!” I hear a familiar voice call out. It was Crash. He looked fresh as a daisy and ready to ride. He lent me the tube, and I made it out in time to have a wonderful riding day. Thanks, Crash.

It’s wonderful how Instant Karma works, isn’t it?

If you’d like to register for AIDS/Lifecycle 10, visit http://aidslifecycle.org

I’m registered as a roadie this year! If you’d like to help me help others, you can visit my AIDS/Lifecycle 10 Webpage here.

Thanks.

An AIDS/Lifecycle Story: The Man in the Red Shirt

August 20, 2010

Here’s a little story about one of the people I met on AIDS/Lifecycle. He was a compassionate soul who helped me through a difficult day. Let’s call him the Man in the Red Shirt.

I was working as a Bike Tech that year.  It was Day 4 of my first AIDS/Lifecycle. I’d gotten dehydrated from too much coffee, a heavy workload, and not enough water. I felt sick to my stomach, and woozy. So off to the medical tent I was sent.

As I lay there on the cot, staring up at the ceiling, a gentleman in a bright Red t-shirt with the word “MEDICAL” sat down next to me. He took my information, then told me a funny story that made giggle. After he set me up with an IV, he tended to another patient in need. I began to feel better.

I started to think about being a part of my first Red Dress Day, and how exciting it would be: I was imagining one big fashion show and costume party, in RED, and on bikes! And all, as a celebration of saving lives. I was looking forward to seeing the riders who stopped by Bike Tech every day just to say “Hi”. So many riders were excited about what they’d be wearing.  As I began to wonder what Ginger Brewley would be wearing, it hit me: Red Dress Day is tomorrow! Would I be well enough to make it? or would I be stuck in here on this cot? I have to work Red Dress Day. I just have to. Tears welled up in my eyes; I couldn’t help it. I was probably more emotional from being so dehydrated, but I just started sobbing.

The Man in the Red Shirt sat down next to me and gently asked, “Honey, what’s wrong?” I was embarrassed. With all the problems in this world, this was why I was crying? Really?

But he just knew. “Red Dress Day?” he asked. Looking into his eyes, I realized that he wasn’t making fun of me; he  understood  the importance of being of service to AIDS/Lifecycle, as well as the importance of witnessing great fashion. He just knew. Thanks to his care and kindness, I was released a few hours later, and on Day 5, I worked Red Dress Day. And it was FABULOUS.

Many thanks to the Man in the Red  Shirt.

Have you ever thought about doing AIDS/Lifecycle? It is a beautiful bike ride down the coast, but it is SO much more. Visit the AIDS/Lifecycle website to find out how you can participate: http://aidslifecycle.org

To donate to my Roadie number for 2011’s AIDS/Lifecycle 10, click here: Http://tinyurl.com/ALC-2011

How cool is this?

Race Ya? Virtual Trainer Racing Through Twitter

January 21, 2010

It’s been POURING here in Southern California, which makes it impossible ride outdoors. But I HATE (with a captial H8) being on a trainer. It is boring boring boring. Outdoors, I can be on a bike for up to 10 hours, and enjoy most of it. Indoors, I’m fidgeting in twenty minutes, ready to stop after about a 1/2 an hour.
So I want to motivate myself (and you) to stay on the bike trainer longer. How?

Twitter Trainer Race!

Next Twitter Trainer Race:

Tuesday, January 26th at 10:30 AM, Pacific Standard Time

Rules:

  • You have to have a Twitter account, and be on an indoor bike trainer.
  • Check in by following me at girlmeetsbike, then send a reply to @girlmeetsbike that you are entering the “race”. I’ll Twitter some reminders before we begin.
  • At about 10:30am I’ll ask you to get ready, get set and go!
  • Ride your bike! For the purposes of this race, I don’t really care how fast or slow you go; the important thing is to stay on. The pace you set for yourself should be determined by your personal training program. DO keep track of your time.
  • Twitter me when you’re done. Tell me what your time was.
  • The twitterer who is on the their bike for the longest time wins! I’ll tweet the winner at 1:30, three hours later. If you ride longer than three hours, well OMG, wow! I’ll make a correction, but maybe you should being challenging Lance instead of Twitter folk, eh?
  • There’s no prize, save the satisfaction that you might ride on the trainer longer than you normally would, but isn’t that a prize in itself? BTW, this is obviously the honor system. It’s all about having fun, and being social, while biking indoors.

Got cabin fever? I do. Let’s turn boredom into fun!

This was Fun!

Twitterer @cardiffcrew had taken up the challenge last week, and WON by about 14 minutes.

Yeah, @cardiffcrew!!!!

But Could I actually go as long as one hour, without stopping, on a trainer?

I did it! Thanks to @cardiffcrew joining in and cheering me on at the end, I was able to get through that last 15 minutes; for the first time in about a year, I kept my pedals turning on a trainer for one full hour (yeah me!). Plus it was fun to have someone to workout with, even in virtual space. As it turned out, @cardiffcrew was on the trainer for an 1o minutes, because of the Trainer Race, so we both won! Yeah us!!!

What social media formats would get you working out more often?


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