The biggest problem with cycling while pregnant, is the number of stupid people out there who do not understand pregnancy or cycling. This makes it very hard to do actual research, and since I wasn’t willing to stop cycling, I felt myself getting pretty frustrated, especially in the second trimester as my body started to really change.
Tag Archives: cycling
Last night, my husband and I got offered last minute tickets to see Half the Road, a documentary about women’s professional cycling. I had seen the event advertised but was on the fence about going because I’m not super into professional sports and I don’t really follow pro cycling. When we were offered the tickets though, it felt like fate and therefore we went.
Well. It turns out there is a reason that I, and probably most of you, am not super into women’s professional cycling. I thought that most professional sports organizations, the NFL excluded, sort of at least pretended they wanted to see women’s sports succeed and take off. And then there is cycling, where actually, women’s professional cycling probably could really take off in a way that women’s basketball or soccer might not, and you have a governing organization that is actively discriminating against women in a way that makes no sense. Like, requiring that women only race half the distance of the men in events. (I’m not sure the exact rule, but there is also some kind of distance limit of 140 miles, and I’m sorry, but that’s just insulting because I’m pretty sure if I trained really hard I could ride 140 miles and I’m a chubby kid who was picked last in gym class.) Like requiring that a professional cycling team have 60% of it’s members under the age of 28. As a 28 year old, this is OUTRAGEOUS. This, fortunately, was changed in 2013, which means that I can still dream of becoming a professional cyclist and not worrying about being too old, at the age of 29, to break into the sport. (See above, chubby kid, picked last in gym class, but it’s good to have dreams.)
There is also the issue of pay – and this is huge. Women professional cyclists do not receive a minimum wage. Male professional cyclists do receive a minimum wage. So most female cyclists work a full time job and they train full time to race. Yet people are telling them that they couldn’t possibly compete in the Tour de France because it’s too difficult. Well, maybe it would be easier for them to complete a grueling three-week multistage ride if they could devote all of their time to training. The average female pro cyclist makes $3,000 a year from cycling. I don’t know how much your bike cost, but my pretty basic entry level road bike was $600.
As a person who has watched exactly one cycling road race in my life, and it was the extremely exciting 2012 Olympic Women’s Road Race I will now explain why I think women’s cycling is a women’s professional sport that could really make it: it’s hard to tell the difference between women’s cycling and men’s cycling. Even the riders do not look terribly different, when they are on the road, they do not seem any less fast or any less powerful, and it’s not like women’s team sports where the big complaint is “it goes too slowly”. It’s not like women’s ice hockey where there isn’t as much potential for dramatic fights – women crash in totally ugly ways, just as men do. People tune into the Tour de France. There is no evidence that suggests that nobody would tune in for a Women’s Tour de France (which used to exist and needs to exist again.) There is also no evidence that suggests that women couldn’t race with men – look at the Ironman races and Triathlons and Marathons – why do they even need to be separated by gender? Maybe just let the women in and see how it goes?
Anyway, this is supposed to be a movie review, not just a rant about the incredible sexism rampant in professional cycling. So, here is the review: this is a movie worth seeing. It’s not the greatest documentary ever made, as it’s a smidgen long and at times seemed a bit disorganized, but it’s funny and smart and will make you both very impressed and extremely angry. So! Go see it! There is probably a screening near you sometime soon. Or order yourself a home copy once they are available.
I am a person who usually likes change. So this morning, when I went to spin class, I saw that the new Keiser stationary bikes had arrived and was pretty excited.
I knew we were getting computerized bicycles and that the wheel would be on the back. There are a few things about the bikes that are neat, like the mechanism for raising/lowering the seat is really quiet and smooth and super customizable, and the computerized display features a clock, RPM, and mileage, as well as watts and something else – maybe calories per hour? I stopped caring how many calories I burned during a workout a while ago, so I was okay with not having a calorie counter on there.
There were some new frustrations too though – the tension switch is incredibly sensitive to touch, so adding gear is a fine tuned flick of the finger instead of a sweaty, grunting twist of the knob. The seat is also really uncomfortable, and I made a poor sartorial choice with regards to my shorts, so I had some severe discomfort. The pedals were incredibly uncomfortable to wear with regular sneakers, because I forgot my spin shoes.
The computer had it’s advantages and disadvantages. I didn’t like having a clock on there, because I felt like I was constantly watching it. The RPMs is really nice, because you can tell whether you are keeping your pace up like you are supposed to be. The distance calculator is nice, because I feel like I’m doing more training when I know how far I went.
I’m hoping that I can get used to these new bikes and that I can keep my act up to go to class. I checked in this morning and it reminded me that it had been 37 days since my last checkin! That is a long time to have been slacking for, even though I have been cycling at the gym or outside a few times a week. Once it warms up (maybe next week?) I’m hoping to do class once a week and a long outside ride once a week.
I’m still trying to pick a training plan. The Beginner Tri plan for this month is:
|Notes||Short Swim||Off||Long Swim||Short Run||Long Bike||Off||Long Run|
Grand total: 17h 11m
So that means for this week, the plan is to do 24 minutes of swim and 48 minutes of Spin on Monday. Tuesday is a rest day, but I’m planning to still do some cardio – my theory being that a rest day should still involve enough activity that you meet the minimum suggested number of steps, etc. for the day.
Wednesday is 40 minutes of swimming, which is the most swimming I will have done ever. Thursday is a run day, and Friday is a pretty intense bike day. Sunday is a 40 minute long run, which is no problem since I’ve been anchoring my husband as he does his 3-5 mile recovery runs as part of marathon training.
The TriNewbies 18-week workout’s first week is as follows:
|Mon||750 yds||15 miles|
|Tue||750 yds||20 min|
|Thur||1000 yds||20 min|
So there is more swimming, and the biggest problem is I have NO IDEA how many “miles” I bike in spin class. The Spinning website suggests that while very varied, a 40-minute class with a high cadence is the equivalent of a 15-20 mile ride. So I think I’d be safe in assuming that a 55 minute class is at least 15 miles.
Here is what I think my average week might/should shake out to for right now:
M – spin class in AM, weights in PM
T – swim in AM, run in AM if there is enough time (and I don’t get totally bored running on the indoor track at the gym
W – spin class in AM, weights in PM
Th – swim in AM, run in AM if there is enough time
Fr – hot yoga class
Sa – swimming and spin class/long bike rides once there is less ice on the ground
Su – 3-4 mile run & hockey
And my average week once I’m also half-training:
M – spin class in AM, weights in PM
T – swim in AM, run in PM
W – spin class in AM, possible weights in PM
Th – swim in AM, run in PM
Fr – hot yoga class
Sa – long run
Su – long bike ride & hockey
Moving the runs to the evening will allow for me to do longer swim workouts in the morning, which will make up for dropping the Saturday morning swim. This will shift as I hopefully sign up for a tri club and maybe somebody will share their preferred training program, and also as I decide whether to join the master’s swim program at the gym.
We are house hunting right now and it’s kind of a problem. We have a lot of stuff, which includes 5 bikes. Which includes a tandem. Our ideal house would have an unfinished or tiled walk out basement. It would also have 3 bedrooms upstairs so that we didn’t have to dedicate the basement to housing our stuff. The problem is, we also need a parking pad, and we’re not finding that in our price range. So we started looking at other solutions.
We have a gravity stand (like this), which houses our two least-frequently used bikes, and in the past we have used hooks inside a closet. The problem is, I don’t want any of these on display in the main floor of our new house. I think having bikes in the living room is awkward, period.
I’m not a big fan of anything that looks like this:
Because I ride a heavy bike with a step through frame, the cute bike shelves are not an option.
I do really like this design, if I have to keep my bike in the living room.
The problem is, again, five bikes. One of which is a tandem. So building a bike shed seems much more practical, except that every house we look at with a parking pad has a large AC unit right next to the front door, isn’t long enough for a shed and our car, and isn’t wide enough for a shed and our car.
There are a few places we have seen which have a deck over the parking pad, or we could build a deck over the parking pad. At that point, building a shed under the stairs is certainly possible, and hopefully the deck would be high enough. The other problem with our neighborhood is that security is definitely a concern, so we can’t just keep the bikes on a rear deck, they need to be very securely locked.
Anyone have any suggestions?
Night riding is the scariest part of cycle commuting. So how do you make sure you’re visible? Reflective gear, bright lights.
I bought a white reflective vest this year, which was easy to layer over my black jacket – unfortunately, all of my winter coats are black. I really wanted a nice reflective coat, but those don’t exist, though some of the ones on this site are pretty nice, and currently on sale. I also bought some reflective tape to add to my fleece jacket but didn’t get around to doing it before it warmed up and the seasons changed.
The most important things to get are a good headlight and tail light. I have this set, but I actually don’t recommend it. The tail light is super-hard to turn on and change from flashing to steady to off, so I would get the blaze headlight and then a tail light that has a button.
These are the new version of those glow in the dark spoke things you would put on your bike when you were a kid. They are very bright and when your wheels go around, they look really cool.
I don’t have many good tips for riding in the dark, because I just find it scary and try to make sure everyone sees me and get home as quickly as possible. I would also say do not run red lights late at night, but sometimes if I’m at an intersection where I feel unsafe waiting in the dark, I will actually make the call and run the light – but make sure the intersection is clear of cars before running the right. Also, make sure that you travel on roads you are familiar with, if at all possible, so that you know where potholes, construction grates, and other hazards are.
Did I miss any reflective items? Do you have any night riding tips?
There was a freak hail storm and a flash flood warning all before I left work yesterday, so I figured it was a good time to write about rain gear.
First of all, the most important thing is to cover your seat if they are calling for rain. They sell a thing, but really, just grab a plastic bag. I keep a few in my desk drawer and if the skies darken, I dash down and tie one on. I have a gel seat, so if it gets wet, it’s bad news.
Secondly, get rain gear. Then, keep it with you, just in case. I really like the Marmot Precip, which you can fit in a small stuff sack. The PreCip has pit zips and is very lightweight, I also love it for running. Several other companies make similar jackets, so just look for something with pit zips, zipper pockets, and that compresses really small. You also want to make sure you get a jacket in a bright color – now is not the time to go for basic black or a nice neutral – you want to be seen, especially in the rain.
I do not own rain pants, but my husband does. I usually opt to walk if it’s raining when I leave my house, so I only get stuck in freak rainstorms going home and arrive drenched at my house, rather than my office. I do own a pair of Mistral Pants which are great for drizzling weather, and I found on sale, but they’re not super-office-appropriate, so I don’t wear them that often.
You also need fenders. Fenders will keep the rain from splashing onto your pants. They are super-important even if you aren’t riding in the rain.
Thirdly, set up rain alerts on your cell phone so that you know when it is going to rain.
Fourthly, be prepared for your body temperature to drop. On a day when I might not normally need gloves, if it rains, my hands will freeze. Keep a spare pair of gloves in your raincoat pocket.
Fifthly, ride smart. Go slowly, make sure people can see you, and signal everything, and for longer than usual. Take an entire lane even if you normally wouldn’t, especially in a downtown situation where traffic is moving slower than usual anyway.
Anyone else have any tips or gear suggestions for riding in the rain?