It was beautiful, sunny, t-shirt weather here in S.W. Washington yesterday. We took a ride to the playground so Jack could start working on his new found fear of slides, he did manage to make it down once with lots of persuasion. The ride was really enjoyable but I think I may have pushed my knees a little too far because last night they ached, then this morning I had to retrieve a ball from beneath the bed and my knees felt painful and weak.
|Walla Walla sweet onions growing- one of the things I look forward to every year is the smell of onions that permeates the air in fall, it smells wonderful and always leaves me longing for a bag of Sour Cream and Chive potato chips.|
Last night I decided to write a post on Bike Forums, this is how it went:
Hi fellow cyclists!
If you've had a rough day and if you don't want to be depressed by the likes of me then I warn you now to click the "back" button . The truth is I'm feeling a little run down and old right now and thought I'd seek comfort by venting a little and also asking how everyone else copes with the aches and pains of cycling.
Since going car free in January it has been very slow progress. When I'm on my bike I feel like the slowest thing on the road and my pedals feel like they are barely moving. I haven't been cycling daily, maybe about 2-3 times a week...I'd like to get out daily and was thinking that might help? I ride everywhere with my toddler in tow on my cargo bike so my set up with him and the bike and his seat, plus panniers makes for 100lb of "bike" + my weight (which I just can't mention right now)...I feel like I'm barely moving. I've been experimenting with gear use and find I work better with higher RPM's and get less knee pain that way.
Prior to my life as a cyclist I was about as sedentary as a mum of a toddler can be, I keep busy- but not really the same output as cycling. There are times now where my heart feels like its going to beat out my chest.
I've signed myself up for the 30 days of biking event, and therefore have committed to getting on the bike every single day in April- which is scary for me right now.
I guess my questions would be:
Did most of you feel like this when you started but not so much now?
Or, is it going to be this tough all the way through- or at least until a major amount of weight comes off?
Do any of you take supplements for joint pain?
Do you have any words of advice or inspiration for me?
Below is a picture of my awesome bike from my little trip to the park with my family today. Thanks again for letting me vent, I write about my journey in my blog but didn't feel like doing a long blog post tonight- thanks!!!!
Very much appreciated in my time of need!
As I expected, I received lots of truly helpful advice from people who have been where I am right now.
Most of them mentioned the same thing- seat positioning. I have played around with my seat height since I got the bike and I do actually feel like it's in a good position. I started with it rather low, purposely just so I could reach the ground with both feet while I got used to carrying Jack on the back. Since starting I've adjusted it up twice, till now my legs seem to be at the right angle.
The second thing most commonly mentioned in the replies was cadence. In the past I admittedly was a gear cruncher- preferring to pedal less repetitions with more push behind them. I realized rather quickly that this wasn't going to work for my knees and have now been opting for faster pedaling. As was pointed out in the comments at Bike Forums, faster repetitions stress your heart and lungs, whereas harder pedaling places more work on muscles and joints- I thought that was an excellent point for me to remember.
When I consider yesterday's ride I do remember when we left the park I cycled on the grass for about 100 feet in a hard gear and really had to power through it, I now realize this was probably a bad idea. I'm trying to include some of these more mundane details in the blog because if I do manage to inspire someone in a similar situation I would like them to be able to learn from my mistakes.
I also hurt my hand yesterday and almost dropped the bike twice, once while mounting and once when I was attempting to dismount. Kyle was with me and got really concerned about my abilities- offering advice I won't repeat. I hope to never let this blog become a depressing rant, but I do want to include the realistic challenges of someone in my position.
I had no intention of even including this topic in a post until this morning when I retrieved the ball that Jack had lost. The pain reminded me to check my post at Bike Forums and the answers inspired me to go ahead and include this chapter of my journey.
My plan after careful consideration of the excellent advice given is to rest for a few days with some help from ibuprofen. Maybe take a leisurely stroll in the field opposite our house and be content with that for a few days. Then as I refuse to be put off from my 30 days of Biking commitment I will map out a simple, stress free route for days when I want to keep it light, and then maybe a few tougher ones for days when I'm really hoping to get some mileage in.
It would be unrealistic to not expect mishaps and bumps in the road to health and a car-free lifestyle and I refuse to let these things get me down. I still hold fast to my aspirations of becoming a healthy role model for Jack and every day when we enjoy our morning snuggles I feel refreshed and re-inspired!