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TexLaProgressive's Journal
TexLaProgressive's Journal
July 1, 2015

Tested the safety of SPD pedals and cleats this morning

Long ago I rode with these Italian shoes with plastic cleats and pedals with toe straps. These were very dangerous for with the the toe straps tightened your feet would stay attached even in a fall. Clipless pedals came about with the development in snow ski bindings. It was the same thing, a fall when bound to skis was highly probably to lead to serious injury.

I changed to clipless pedals years ago but never took a fall and I wondered how save they were. This morning I inadvertently tested it out. I have the same mount on both bikes for my cycling computer and I swap them back in forth changing the wheel circumference matching the bike. The mount on the MTB is fine but the one on the road bike sometimes doesn't latch securely. The ON button is at the rear and so if you push it on the computer flies forward skidding down the road. That's what happened today.

I was pissed and just stopped pedaling still clicked in. I came to a stop and just fell over on my left side with BOTH FEET FREE! Fortunately there was no traffic as I was on my back in the middle of the road. I stood up, righted the bike and retrieved the computer which was running. The bike looked OK and it wasn't until I was a mile or so down the road that I realized the left brake/shift lever was moved inward. Everything worked OK so I continued the ride.

When I got home I tapped the brake lever with a rubber mallet and did a thorough check of the bike. The only thing I could see was some scraping on the rear wheel quick connect lever. That's only cosmetic. So I got lucky. I may feel some soreness later but all I have now is a chain mark on my right leg.

One thing did buy the farm. I had my reading glasses in my pocket and did not notice they were gone until I got home. I walked out into the street without hope, and sure enough there they were, twisted and bent with no lenses. Better them then me or the bike.

June 29, 2015

06/29/2015 Longest ride yet.

At the end of May beginning of June it was all I could do to bike the 1/2 mile to the highway and back home. It is amazing how fast my legs have come back. I am avoiding 2 lane, no paved shoulder state rodes because the carry too much traffic. I scouted out a nice county road that runs close to 7 miles. At its biginning is the county run dumpster site where I bring our garbage. So I loaded up the bike and our household refuse. The attendant showed me a good place to park and I was off.

The route runs southerly and the wind generally comes from that direction. Headed south is more uphill than down. So it was pretty tough going that direction. At the turn around place I got off the bike and ate a protein bar with some of my water. After a short break I was headed north and down hill. According to my bike computer I hit a max speed of 25.8 MPH. This was a stretch where the pavement was 1st class, really smooth. Overall this was a really good ride on a really good day.

June 26, 2015

Busy day 6/25 so no ride- short one this morning

Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment at 7:40AM. Everything is good HA1C dropped .2 from 6.3 to 6.1, Cholesterol unchanged at 143 with HDL still a little low, Triglycerides dropped 47 pins to 91(they have been as high as 550!!!). The only thing that is worrisome to me the doc didn't go over, Hematocrit .3 below normal and Hemoglobin .6 below normal. Since my wife became severely anemic and required emergency transfusion.

While in town I bought feed, groceries etc.. When I got home I was tired out.

Wednesday I did some bike maintenance on all 3 bikes. I'm getting the Raleigh ready to put on Craigslist. I hope to recover the new tires and tubes. It had Ritchey SPD type pedals on it. I changed them out for platform pedals and put the Ritcheys on the mountain bike. By the time I got through I was boiling so I didn't get to test ride til this morning. All was OK but I had to readjust the left cleat again. I need to be slightly toe out or I get knee pain pretty quick.

June 24, 2015

Scorpion nights and low blood sugar

I think that I was in danger of over work, not injury at least, but I was awfully tired before, during and after my last ride Monday. The grass was in need of mowing again so the bikes stayed under cover. For supper I ate an omelet with one plain pancake for a few carbs. My sugar was at 105, I took me reduced dose of insulin and was in bed by 9PM.

11 I woke up knowing I needed to get some sugar. It was 55. I sat at the table watching Craig Ferguson's quiz show and ate a banana and a half with peanut butter. Just as I was going back to bed I felt a sting on my thigh. It was a small scorpion. I brushed it off and ground it into the rug with my slipper. My wife made up her sting cure all, a paste of baking soda. I think most venoms must be acid and the alkaline of baking soda, ammonia and even bleach (don't use!) help to neutralize the venom. In any case it works. This wasn't a severe sting as I brushed it off quickly.

Some info about Texas stangin' lizzardds, their reputation is more dangerous than their sting. Few ever have allergic reactions other than localized swelling and pain when stung by the stripped bark scorpion.

So with the miracle cure on my leg I went back to bed. Took awhile to fall back to sleep as I keep feeling them crawling on me. Morning sugar was at 105. I ate, did morning chores and was on the bike at 8AM. I made a commitment to pay attention to cadence and not speed. The ride was good and I stayed on the big chain wheel except during warm up and cool down. I even did a short uphill sprint that felt really good.

Maybe lawn work lowers blood sugar more than bike riding. Last week I rode in the morning and then cut grass in the afternoon and had the low blood sugar blues in the night. Since then I reduced my dose by five minutes. I thought I was safe by limiting the day to just lawn mowing.

Thanks for any who are reading this tripe.

June 22, 2015

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions!

Yesterday was supposed to be a rest day. But I took a little Sunday ride on the mountain bike. There is a dead end gravel road that breaks off of my road that I never tried. So I turned left. It is fairly smooth and went on for about 1/2 mile where it ends in 3 gates. My total ride was 30 minutes and ran about 4.5 miles. A couple of hours later we drove into town for the mandatory Father's day dinner. I chose Tex-Mex.

I had every intention of riding about 16 miles this morning. My morning sugar was OK after eating such a carb (and fat) rich diet at 105. I ate a light breakfast adjusted the cleat on my left shoe and rolled out the gate.

It was like lugging a great weight in my belly I managed 8.4 miles, averaging 12.3 MPH with a max speed of 24 MPH. That 24 was on a long down hill with a little wind on my left rear quarter. I did try for 25 but didn't have it in me, or was that it I had it in me, I can't believe I ate the whole thing!

After I put up my gear I usually do a blood pressure check. This morning was no different. WARNING for those with sensitive sensibilities stop here
Avoid passing gas when doing blood pressure
This really scared me
Systolic 145
Diastolic 128
Pulse 124

I waited a few minutes and did it again
Systolic 126
Diastolic 76
Pulse 90

So my advice is never fart while checking blood pressure. And don't eat a heavy dinner the night before a ride.

June 21, 2015

Interval day on the new bike

I got out on the road at 7:10 to do intervals. I did 5 sets and 2 for a total of 7- most yet. I road 6.5 miles for a "cool" down. I say that because I did a couple of sprints including one out of the saddle for the 1st time since back cycling..This new bike is so much fun that I'm in danger of over doing it. Last night I had some soreness in both hamstrings. And again today. I think that I am using those muscles more on this bike than on the old one.

Tomorrow is a rest day because I'll be busy in the morning. If the weather cooperates I might do a fun slow ride.

June 18, 2015

No ride today

My morning pulse was good at 54 but blood pressure was running a bit high so I opted for a rest day. I had a lot of errands to run in town, garbage, groceries etc. On the list was getting a new pair of SPD shoes. My old ones self destructed yesterday- actually just the left one. I could unclick because the sole came away. To get loose I had to reach down and pull the rest of the shoe away. The sole remained attached to the pedal and made a fine flapping sound as I returned home.

I lucked out and got a pair of SH-M065L mountain bike shoes. They are 46 my old ones were 45 and the fit great. My toes were a little cramped in the 45s. I went to 2 bike shops looking at endurance road bikes in my size. At one I got to test ride a Trek 1.1 around the parking lot, but it started to rain so it was short. The other store sells Jamis and Cannodale. We looked at a Jamis Ventura Sport and a Cannodale Synapse 8 Claris. It was pouring down rain by this time so no test ride at this time. Even without riding I'm leaning to the Cannondale.

When I got home there was a new helmet waiting for me. That makes me feel better. My old lid is really old.

June 17, 2015

Windy ride courtesy of T.S. Bill

Looking at the radar it was looking like the rain was past us for now. The winds are gusting pretty hard almost directly out of the south. I decided to take the mountain bike so at to have some lower gearing.That was smart thinking. The one real hill in the ride was accompanied by a hard wind quartering to the right side of my face. Not quite a headwind but pretty stiff. I ended up in the small chain wheel and the lowest gear on the cassette.

The ride was fairly slow but the longest in distance and time yet. It was 10 miles and 1 hour. This includes warm up and cool down. This is the first real ride on the mountain bike since I learned about keeping pressure off the median nerve. I still had some tingling in the fingers. I think it might be from vibration. I'll have to pay attention to that on the road bike.

I think I have been riding to large a frame. My old road bike is 59/60 cm. I think it should be in the range of 54,56 max 58. I'll stop by one of the local bike shops and see what they think and if they have a bike in my range (price and size) that is also a bit lighter. Well one can wish, can't one?

June 16, 2015

Gloves designed to prevent numbness

When I was searching about numbness cures one glove was highly recomended- Spenco Ironman Elite. Well it doesn't seem that Spenco has them anymore. I countinued looking around and found out that they were invented by Dr. A. Robert Spitzer. I guess it would take a cyclist neurologist to come up with a real working solution. What he did beside gel padding in the palm is to put a channel in the middle of the heal which protects the median nerve from vibration and pressure. It looks like they are available from Shock-Tek which has a line of gloves for industry, sports, motorcycle and wheelchair users.

Dr. A. Robert Spitzer, MD
Clinical Neurophysiologist, Neurologist, Psychiatrist

Robert Spitzer, MD is a renowned neurologist and recognized expert in electro diagnosis and electrophysiology. He is a specialist in the diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Occupational Neurological Injuries. Suffering tingling in his own hands as a cyclist inspired and fueled Dr. Spitzer’s invention and development of the patented technology used in Shock-Tek™ Gloves.

I'm thinking of getting a pair of these at $34.00:


June 16, 2015

Going no where fast

Today is an interval day, the 2nd actually. Because we are expecting a blow I found my old "Travel Trac 3" Magnetic trainer. Now if intervals are a pain, it should be a double pain on a trainer, for me at least. I hate stationary. It is BOOOORRRRRRINNNG! But I was thinking that doing the intervals on the trainer makes sense and I don't have to worry about getting caught in a tropical squall generated by the approaching Bill.

It was surprisingly OK. The parts that I found onerous were the warm up and cool downs. The sprints and recoveries keep my mind busy. One thing I had a little trouble with is setting the resistance and gears for a proper workout. This workout has a 6 min warm up, then 1 min sprint, 1 min recovery with 5 2 min reps with a 6 min cool down. I was a min and 1/2 in the second sprint when I had to stop. I was out of breath, sweating like a race horse and I had forgotten 2 important things; a towel to cover the top tube and my water bottle. So I retrieved those did 30 seconds recovery and did 4 reps with a bit less resistance. After the 6 minute cool down I felt good so I did one more rep and another 6 min cool down. I had a total of 40 minutes on the bike. The routine calls 10 reps total with a cool down in between. Maybe I will get there next week.

My road bike has developed a worrisome click, I think in the bottom bracket. It happens when the left crank is even with the chain stay. Ironically it is when the magnet passes the cadence sensor, but they are not touching.

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