Monday, July 13, 2009

9 Bridges On A New Morning Ride

As some of you may know, I have recently tried out leaving the city and riding for longer trips through the country. Although I've only been out three times that way, I've really enjoyed it. My longest trip thus far has been 88km (54.7 miles) long. I know that for some cyclists that isn't all that far, but for me it is. I initially reported feeling fine after the rides - I was mainly concerned about muscle pain and general soreness, and in that sense it really wasn't too bad. What I have come to realize, however, is that at my current fitness level, I have been biting off a little more than I can chew. I have been too tired for too long after those rides, and I think a combination of too much weight (being somewhat fat) and not enough practice at shorter distances are the reasons why.

Riding only about 15km a day commuting isn't going to get me into the shape I would like, and piling all my exercise into a single weekend ride isn't the best way to proceed either. So, I've been getting up earlier and lengthening my morning commute ride to about 22km (13.7 miles). I figure a few of weeks of commuting 30km instead of 15 is a good start on getting into better shape. If I can just watch what I eat a little better, I might even lose some weight!

I'm not usually one for stopping and taking pictures, but lately I've been thinking about how much I like bridges and the views they offer a cyclist, whether in or out of the city. I also like the way some of the narrow walking bridges look on video from my handlebars. My "new" morning ride offers some of both, including some really nice views of the Thames River. Since I had bridges on the brain, I took video on every single bridge I crossed last Thursday morning, whether it was big or small, and stopped to take photos from many of them.

When I started preparing this video, I searched a little harder for good music I could use that wouldn't infringe copyright, and holy man did I get some great stuff. Listen well! Credits for the tunes are in the video.

Ride that Bike! Yer Pal,


cafiend said...

Once you're bitten by the distance bug you have to work the wave.

Alternate longer and shorter rides. A couple of days a week try adding sprints or other intervals of hard effort to a short ride to improve your recovery after an effort.

Try to make a mid-week ride notably longer than the others,at low intensity.

Remember that distance and intensity are relative. Variations seem to work better than repeated efforts at the same intensity or distance.

RANTWICK said...

Understood. I'll try to mix it up. I already have a tendency to make my short commutes high intensity ones, and my new morning ride includes a good climb (hard to find in London) that I can make tougher by hammering it as hard as I can on some days.

Thanks Cafiend!

Keri said...

Thanks for the great video! It made me smile.

Another thing that helps with the fatigue is nutrition/vitamin supplementation. Endurance sports require a lot of nutrients. Nutrient-rich food choices are important. I find that a vitamin-rich recovery drink helps.

Alive! Whole food energizer works well. Amazing Meal is another good one (I like the taste of it better).

Of course, my preferred recovery drink is beer. Sadly, it's quite unhelpful.


RANTWICK said...

Thanks Keri - cutting down on beer is part of that "watch my diet a little" thing, and one less thing to recover from! Thanks for stopping in.

ChipSeal said...

Fifty miles is big pull, no doubt about it! On a single speed let's not forget!

Keep an eye on the weather forcast- I try to arange the return part with a tailwind.

Can you mix in a public transport leg? I would use Dallas's light rail to give me a lift 30 or so miles into the wind. (More tailwind time! Wee!)


cafiend said...

I agree on the tailwinds, but prefer to earn them.

O'Doul's or other non-alcoholic malt beverage cuts the grunge nicely and gives you some bubbly carbs without the liability of alcohol.

[pronti] (plural of pronto?)

Unknown said...

Have you thought about running up Snake Hill on Colonel Talbot Rantwick? The climbs in Byron are pretty solid.

RANTWICK said...


Yeah, some of Byron's hills are quite good. In fact, my longest ride thus far started with some of them... I have yet to climb snake hill, however. I wonder if it would defeat me on the fixed gear? Maybe.

If Byron were usable as a route to my work, that would be ideal! Sadly, it is very much the wrong way.

Kurt Vonnegut is King said...

Very nice video, and a nice ethical use of someone else's artistic creation (the music, that is).

Some scenes were familiar, as I lived in fair London for about a year, long ago. I had forgotten that it has its very own Thames and many UK-homage street names. Excellent bunch of parks, too.


(or SQUEAKER, I suppose)

Steve A said...

I admire Rantwick's exposure of his ride choice to all of us. I enjoyed it.

To encourage him, he should consider that riding a bike to lose weight is a lot like riding a bike to save money - both are entirely possible - IN THEORY! In practice, remember how to get to that Labatt's brewery in the video. I'll bet they have a tasting room!

Post a Comment