After the bike rush

Sitting at your desk

The bike ride is over, what’s new, what’s next? One of the organizers said that no one loses weight on the Tour, but almost everyone gets stronger. Weight loss is achieved by burning more calories than you take in, which on a bike ride could mean bonking, a bad experience. We were provided with several types of energy drinks to keep us fueled at all times. What about getting stronger?

Chances are that you are sitting down while reading this, on a couch, in front of a desk. Put your thumb on the edge of your jaw, below the front of your ear and move it back and forth until you feel the pulsing vein. Look at a clock, breath slowly and count how beats happen in a minute. If this is your first time, if you don’t exercise much, your pulse might be 70-80 beats per minute, or in the 60s if you do aerobic activity like running or biking. Mine ranges from the low 50s to the high 40s and has not moved much in the last month. What has changed is how my body reacts to exercise.

When riding this summer I kept my heart rate in the 120-140 range, with spikes to 160-170. When I coasted downhill, my heart rate dropped to 100 as I drifted along. During the PAC Tour this “recovery rate”, how quickly my heart slowed down when not under stress, dropped dramatically, to the 80s, 70s, and finally as low as 64 when rolling downhill, following another rider. Essentially, my body treated sitting on a bike and not pedaling to be as non-stressful as your sitting at a desk. When the next hill started, bang! my BPM shot up to 120-130.

Hopefully this conditioning will last more than a few weeks. Right now my feet are still too sore to squeeze into bike shoes, and even walking is painful, so I will probably not ride again until November. “Too early!” says my behind,

Visiting Savannah

Laura and I planned a post-Tour long weekend in Savannah. One highlight was the family-friendly Midnight Garden Ride leaving Ellis Square. Many families and individuals got dressed up for the occasion.

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Bike helmets should not inhibit your imagination.

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Some were somewhere between Alice in Wonderland and Dr. Suess..

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The colorful 10-mile ride departure was at 8pm. Herb from the Tour jumped in too!

Have a happy October and enjoy life on or off the bike.