Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Finally got the road bike on the road this morning. 18.25 miles in an hour. Felt great to have the wind in my face again. Easy to see why those who can't run, bike instead. Wore the heart rate monitor for grins. Amazing the actual heart rate versus perceived effort, much different than running. Average heart rate was 131 bpm on the bike, running that's recovery HR. Maximum HR on the little hills was 145 bpm which is easy run pace. But on the bike it felt like tempo pace with the hard breathing. Also, the burn in the quads and hamstrings is noticeable versus running.
Hills are tougher on the ups on the bike versus running. Payback is the downhill, what a blast zooming down the hills. Easier to rest on the bike, either sit up or change cadence. See a lot more on the bike, only because you cover so much ground. A head wind on the bike seems to slow you down more on the bike versus running. Tail winds though significantly push you on the bike, with no effect running. Drafting on the bike is a definite advantage and also a good recovery method. Only time drafting while running would seem to be beneficial would be into a headwind.
Made sure to announce my presence to walkers/runners/bikers I overtook. Easy to forget the "on your left/right". Lots of folks out on the greenway especially for 5:30-6:30 in the morning. Maybe they're trying to beat the heat. Looks like the summer heat pattern has arrived. Great for biking, not so much for running. One thing that took a long time for me to get use to on the bike was all of the gear. I still think most bike riders, "roadies" look silly with all of the gear. But, most of it makes sense once you ride a few times. The shorts with padding are a must. The jersey with pockets in the back, zipper in the front and skin tight is readily apparent after a long ride.
Big downside is the cost. Easy to drop a wad of cash really quickly. My suggestion would be to ask around and borrow someones bike for a week or 2. Most riders have a couple. That way you can figure out if biking is for you or not. Entry level bikes are around $600 or so nowadays. Easy to find one of those for around $300 on craigslist. Or the older bikes for around $100 or so. I'm still riding the $80 bike I bought/saved from the trash. Great forum for all things bikes. Use the search function, most questions have been asked a few times already.