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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth of July! Additional Questions Answered

Hello all! Time to do a little catch up here. First and foremost, I'd like to welcome someone to my "Old Friends" list over at my MSN Space, Zeynep Ankara. Zen is an interesting writer and Psychologist from Turkey, who's as far as I am concerned, proof positive that there are enlightened people everywhere in the world!
Addressing some of the questions I've had
I'd like to address some of the cycling related questions I've been recieving:

What kind of bike should you look at if you have problems with chronic pain:
That would depend on the type and location of the pain. One option would be a recumbent bike or trike. There are several styles of recumbent. Long wheelbase, short, touring, racing, they all share a common feature. That would be comfort! Essentially, it's like pedaling an easy chair. Lower back pain is virtually eliminated. You don't need to invest in padded cycling shorts, either.

Recumbent trikes, in two configurations, either the "Tadpole" or the "Delta", and they offer other options. The Tadpole is a single rear wheel dual front wheel configuration, is the most stable of the trikes. It's essentially like a sports car. They are fast and stable and are just plain fun to ride! The Delta is a more traditional design, with a single front and dual rear wheels. Greenspeed offers a Tadpole configuration trike designed for trekking and touring that has stood up to tours around the coast of Australia very nicely. Here is a Wikipedia article about recumbents, or as they are referred to, "Bents", that is truly informative. Incidentally, one point as to why I don't ride recumbent. Recumbents aren't sanctioned in most cycle races. The perception is that they offer an unfair advantage in aerodynamics over a conventional diamond frame bike. Matter of fact, the land speed record for a bicycle was set by a recumbent bike.

Drawback of a recumbent:

  • They don't climb hills as well, when climbing with a recumbent, first, you can't "stand the pedals" to increase the climbing power with your body weight
  • When climbing in too high a gear, you can blow out the knees (ACL damage), so you need to spin up the hill in a low gear at high cadence
  • Cost, recumbents can get very pricey, with some of the extreme high end models costing as much as a luxury SUV!

Advantages of a recumbent:

  • Comfort on a ride
  • less lower back stress
  • no problems with compression of the perineal artery, or groin discomfort
  • Far better aerodynamically and fast as hell downhill
  • With a recumbent trike, balance issues go away completely. You can go uphill as slowly as necessary, without worrying about falling over.
  • The recumbent trike can be configured for paraplegic riders as a handcycle. During RAAM, there was a team of handcyclists from Austria that completed the race in 10 days and 12 minutes. This was a tremendous accomplishment. It truly shows that the only limiys we have are those we impose on ourselves! Here is the Bio from RAAM for this team, Team RC-Enjo Vorarlberg. As fine a group of atheletes as I have ever seen, and an inspiration to me as well!

Recumbent resources:

1. Greenspeed Recumbents
2. Whizwheel recumbents
3. Valley Bikes and Fitness, Carmel, Indiana, specializing in recumbents
4. Supersizedcycles

Feel free to browse through these sites and definately check out Team RC!

A Thank You!
I'd like to thank all of you who visited last week and especially those of you that voted for me! It was quite a ride! Most of the responses were very positive, and I recieved more email than I can possibly answer! If I didn't answer you personally, please understand that it was the sheer volume! At times I had as many as a quarter million emails on the server! To those of you that requested my phone number, I am truly sorry, but I can't do that, simply for the security of my family. I'm just an individual, with no staff, funding, or even an office (Nor am I rich ). I'm not an organization or foundation, nor am I a pro. I'm just a lowly ol' college student trying to set an example of what can be accomplished if you have sufficient drive and determination. I'll be happy to respond to email as it is humanly possible or I'll answer questions posted to my blog here as well. I won't give medical advice, by the way, as I'm not a doctor, or even a nurse yet. I will be happy to refer you to resources, whether it be for cycling, bariatric surgery, or dietary. They will be responsible and authoritative resources, as far as I am able to judge: reader beware, it's on your own responsibility as far as the use of them. You should also consult with your doctor before ANY diet or exercise regimen.

Spinner Saturday charts come out tomorrow, I need your data, members!

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