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Trail Ride from Kingsview to Morrow: Dodging Thunderstorms and Equipment Tweaks

July 4, 2008

We’ve had a couple of short/easy rides this week, not so much because of the weather (it’s been beautiful), but rather because my quads have been aching and not withstanding extra abuse.  So today they were feeling a lot better, so I was itching for a good… either longer or a short one with extra effort.

Tonight’s bike ride didn’t look like it was going to happen because of thunderstorms most of the afternoon, but I wasn’t to be deterred! We didn’t have a lot of time because it was going to be dark before we knew it.

I’d gone to the bike shop (LBS) and picked up some proper shoe inserts. Pue has issues with hot spots on her feet, and when my quads get sore, my knees start to ache. As I’ve heard BP49 (Bob) mention, clipless shoes are one of the better ways to do this, not only for power and efficiency, but for proper fit can help with alignment issues. It seems that most people’s knees don’t bend/align in a straight plane over their feet. Wedges can compensate for this, and a good insert can distribute weight better around the pressure points. This is an interim step, and I think the next thing for us to do is get properly fit for shoes and clipless pedals.

I’m trying to support the LBS more. We got our stuff initially from a national retail chain, like Dick’s Sporting Goods and even Walmart, but after getting some really nice tips, advice, and questions about usage and such, I”m preferring to patronize the LBS. They have some good local knowledge too.

I also picked up some vertical bars to attach to my mountain bike handles, and some good gloves (I’ve been using my weight lifting gloves).

All these combinations worked pretty well tonight, and we were able to keep a stronger pace on our 15 mile ride. My hands normally fall asleep and tingle, but having several different hand positions helped immensely. Also, leaning forward on the vertical handles helped with my seat positioning, which improved my strength/cadence and kept me from getting numb in the loins like I often do.

We still are learning about riding and cycling equipment, but each little tweak seems to make things better.
Dang… that ride REALLY felt good…. still feeling the endorphs!!!

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