I Still Know …

… how to bicycle:

After a long break [my last ride was on July 27] for various reasons [heart problems in the heat and humidity as well as being reluctant to ride after a friend of mine was nearly run over by a driver not paying attention and serving onto the shoulder] I finally got onto my bike again today and did 20 miles at an average of 15.5 mph and I really enjoyed it. Well, to tell the truth, my butt didn’t actually enjoy it. But I really felt fine otherwise, and I’m happy I can still – without overexerting myself – do that average after such a long pause.

6 Comments

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6 responses to “I Still Know …

  1. Being able to breathe without searing your lungs is helpful. Glad you’re back in the saddle.

    • Pit

      Hi Kathleen,
      Thanks for your comment. and your interest in my bicycling blog. I agree, the cooler weather helps a lot. For me, btw, it’s not so much the air searing my lungs but the humidity and heat combined, which make me lose too much body fluid by sweating. Even if I drink as much as I can, I still lose about 1 pound of weight [which roughly equals 1liter of water/body fluid] per hour. And so I’m always anxious about dehydration. What made me stay off the bicycle for a long time, were two facts, btw:
      First, at the end of July I got irregular heartbeat on a ride for quite a while [I know that can happen with me, but I’ve never had it for that long on a bike ride] and didn’t want to hop on the bike again before I had seen my cardiologist. He assured me, btw, that there’s no danger with that. So I’m no longer worried re that.
      And then there was the fact that a friend of mine here in Karnes City, with whom I used to ride quite frequently, was nearly run over by a driver [very likely texting] veering onto the shoulder of HWY 181. My friend said the driver was definitely looking down and never even noticed that he had nearly run over a bicyclist. That scared not only my friend – who, since then, has not ridden on the roads around here any more, but only on a stationary bike – but me, too. And that. too, prevented me from venturing out on the roads.
      But since I really am not stationary-bike fan, even if we have one here in hour house and my wife rides it a lot, I made up my mind to ride again. And for today I’m planning on a nice ride, too. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed,
      Best regards from Karnes City,
      Pit
      P.S.: Talking of my blogging: Have you ever had the chance of looking at my Texas Expat’s Blog [http://pitstexasexpatblog.wordpress.com/]? That might be more interesting for you than the bicycling blog. I’d be happy for you to “take a peek” and read your comments there, too.

  2. Pit,

    I experienced what I believe was atrial fibrillation about 7 years ago when I got really serious about riding some miles, for health reasons. I would be riding along with my heart rate in the 120-130 range, then start up a small hill and the HR would ease up to about 140 then bang it was at 170-180 in a second or two. Both times it happened were in hot July conditions and it took several minutes to get it settled down, then it would kick back in if i let my HR go over 140.

    I discussed this with a Doc friend and he suggested that my electrolytes were depleted and recommended that I try a serious (as opposed to sugar laden ) electrolyte replacement suppliment. He said that we need more tan just sodium and phosphorus salts replaced. I tried several and eventually concluded that endurolytes (Hammer makes it) works best for me. It is a capsule and I base how often to take them on a ride on taking one with every half liter of water.

    As for dodging distracted drivers… that is a tough one. I ride with both left and right mirrors (on a Catrike) and when i see traffic about a quarter mile bak I weave back and forth across the lane quickly a couple of times. Eyes/brains detect motion better that a still object. On the Catrike I also have the “what the hell is that?” reaction in my favor.

    Don Bynum

    • Pit

      Hi Don,
      Thanks for reading my blog and for your comment. As to my heart problems: it certainly was atrial fibrillation – off and on for abot 30 minutes. I know that sometimes I have this, without my cardiologists [both in my native Germany and here in the US] ever having been able to find what causes it. They can only assure me that – the way I have it – it’s not dangerous. We have never been able to provoke it by bodily exercise. It was the first time ever it happened on the bicycle that way. And when I discussed it with my cardiologist, he also – like yours – said it could be brought on by a lack of or a wrong mixture of electrolytes. Well, I really try to get these back during the ride. I even prepare for rides in the south Texas heat by taking them [like you, I take Hammer endurolytes, btw, plus potassium and magnesium] even before my rides. But on that ride, just after about half an hour, it happened kind of out of the blue. Well, I’m back in the saddle and will just wait and see how things develop next summer.
      As to the drivers around here:I keep watching them in my rear mirror, too. And I have been following the advice I got from – it was Fred Meredith, from the ACA, I think] not to hug the curb – as I used to do – but ride more in the middle of my lane, so that they really have to go over to the next lane to overtake me. I think that helps. And I also try to signal them if it’s safe for them to overtake me or not. Some really obey these signals and even flash their rear lights as a “thank you”. The pity is that we don’t have really good/nice roads for bicycling in Karnes County.
      Safe bicycling,
      Pit
      P.S.: Maybe we’ll meet sometime on the road, especially as a bicyling friend of mine has moved from Kenedy to Lampasas and I intend to see him for a bicycle ride or two soon.
      And something else: would you be interested in The LBJ 100 Tour next March? [http://www.lbj100bicycletour.org/] One way or other, i.e. either riding my bicycle or helping with the organisation, I’ll be there. It’s a great ride.

      • Pit,

        Let me know when you will be coming to Lampasas for a ride. A couple of my riding friends here would be likely to make the trip up there to meet for a 40-50 mile ride. With you and your friend plus 3 or more of us we could have a nice group ride.

        The “take the lane” advice is very sound.

        Don

  3. Pit

    Don,
    I’ll certainly let you know: thanks for the suggestion/8nvitaion. I’d be happy to ride with you and your friends. But I think I’ll need to get some training in before I’ll be able to do 40 to 50 miles up there. I haven’t been on my bicycle too much lately. But I’ll give it a try.
    Take care, and safe bicycling,
    Pit

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