Friday, June 29, 2007

A Little Frustrated

I'm just not adjusting to my wonderful new bike as well or fast as I'd hoped. My wrists hurt. I had the handlebar stem thing changed, so it's a bit higher, and then my hands went numb. (I THINK and HOPE that I just didn't move my hands around enough today, but dang, the ride wasn't that long.)

I've been doing some reading, and I'm thinking maybe we need to adjust the angle I'm holding the bar with rather than the height? I'm heading over to do that this morning. (I feel stupid going into the bike shop so often; they're nice, really nice, about making adjustments, but I still feel stupid.)

I'm riding slower than on my old bike!

When I went on a 40 mile ride on Saturday with my friend's son, a teenager, well, even though he rarely bikes, he was very polite about not kicking my rear. But it was very clear that he could have.

At one point, we stopped to drink and shake out my wrists, and another guy passed us. So we joked about catching and passing him. And off we went. I encouraged my friend's son, and he took off as if I were standing still. I managed to pass the other guy, too, eventually, and caught up to my friend's son when he stopped for me.

But still, I've been biking lots and working up, and this guy just has lots more power in his motor than I do.

He was a fun riding companion, though. Lots of fun to chat with, considerate, all good stuff. I'd be happy to ride with him again.

Then there's the weight thing. I've been trying to lose weight for a couple of years now, this past year, fairly seriously. And I've gotten nowhere. I bike at least 5 hours a week, working pretty hard (and more in the past several weeks).

Now, I know I've probably built a bit of muscle, and if I could actually SEE muscle, I'd be less frustrated. But I can't. Nor do my clothes fit differently in any real way. But the exercise makes me hungry, so I eat (and try to eat sensibly and all). And I'm frustrated!

And yes, while I can't compete with a man reaching his physical prime, I'm probably in pretty decent shape aerobically and such. And that's the real point. But losing some weight would really be a nice bonus. Or riding faster. Or something!


  1. My husband and I are in the bike shop all the timegetting little repairs done -- we've become quite good friends with the bike shop people! I hope you can get your wrists to stop hurting.

    I don't tend to lose weight when I'm riding either -- because I tend to eat more too. But you definitely are getting stronger and healthier!

  2. Anonymous5:18 PM

    Consider getting a heart rate monitor. Many people try *too* hard and have the rate up too high in the anerobic area. gives some basics.

    The other thing to consider is something to count cadence. THe way to speed tend to be spinning, if you can keep your cadence at 90rpm which still feeling there's some effort in the pedalling you will go faster than putting much effort in at lower rpm.

    I found that I didn't get dramatic weight loss. I did get a little change in shape, and I was feeling and sleeping much better.


  3. Dorothy W, The bike shop guys are really nice about it. And yes, I think my overall fitness has improved.

    Anonymous, I've heard about heart rate monitors. I feel like I don't know enough to make it useful, though. I just got a cadence thing on my new computer; generally I seem to ride in the mid-80s (on the flat). I'm slowly working on spinning faster, but it's slow!

    Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. I'm not sure if this suggestion will help at all, so please ignore me/damn me to hell if it isn't up your alley, B ...

    I've often tried to couple semi-serious training with weight loss efforts and each time, I'm continually frustrated. When I'm training in the off season for rowing, while it's important that I have a ball park idea what my weight is, I purposefully *don't weigh myself, sometimes for several months at a time. During competitive season, I never step on a scale. I find that the way my body works, the way it puts on muscle and sheds excess body fat, doesn't jive with the rhythm I think it's *supposed to have, and I only get discouraged. It sounds like you're riding well (new bike kinks aside) -- 5 hours a week on the road is great!

    Do you do any other kinds of training other than biking? Other cardio? Weights? Maybe doing some leg stuff with a bar and plates (like lunges or squats) would help with on-the-road power and off-the-road metabolism.

    Listen to me nattering on ... More than happy to talk about this stuff outside the blog if you want to post me.