Posts Tagged With: road bikes

So Happy with our New Bikes!

We were pretty pleased with ourselves this evening when we returned unscathed from our second ever bike ride on road bikes (the first being yesterday!)…

It is such a relief to discover that we actually like cycling 🙂 It could have been a bit of a disaster if we just couldn’t get the hang of it!! I can’t believe how much easier they are than the ‘Boris Bikes’, but at least it is a pleasant surprise to find I can actually make it up a hill without getting off!

We had a great chat on our ride this evening (yesterday we were too busy figuring out the gears etc to have the brain capacity for talking!) and we thought about how lucky we are to have something positive to focus on. It is so hard watching Daddy suffer. He is so brave and selfless, but I had no idea that modern medicine was so limited in it’s capacity to alleviate this kind of suffering.

Just getting out of the house for an hour, having to concentrate on learning something new and feeling the wind in our face was the most amazing relief.

We came back rejuvenated and refreshed,  and so much more able to cope. It’s amazing what a shot of endorphins can do! 🙂

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New Age fitness: The Curve, the Watt Bike and my First ever Personal Training session

So getting a road bike hasn’t proved quite as easy as we’d expected. Sadly it seems – we cannot just walk into a bike shop eager and excited and exchange our cash for shiny new bikes! Alice and I are apparently verging on deformed having unusually long legs and short backs meaning we really need a specially adapted ladies bike in a large. So far not a single shop (and we’ve tried a few!) has had one in stock that we can try.

Having tried a selection of mountain bikes, cyclocross, touring bikes and road bikes at the super helpful Beeline Cycles we at least now know that we both want a road bike. (We actually REALLY want one!) A few months ago I never could have believed I would be so excited about getting a bike! A couple of people have very kindly agreed to order some in for us to try, but that takes a few days meaning we have had to consider other avenues to get our post exercise endorphin fix…

I decided to try some of the new more funky looking equipment in the gym and even had my first ever experience of personal training. It has been a pretty fun week of firsts!

 

The CURVE

This was my first experience of a self-powered running machine. It is the human equivalent of a hamster wheel.

According to Woodway, the manufacturers, it breaks all the rules; runs on sweat and determination and burns up to 30% more calories than a conventional running machine. From personal experience I would say that this is definitely true. In just over 17 minutes I had burnt 400 calories – and I didn’t even run the whole time. Just out of interest I went straight onto a conventional machine, set the pace at 10km/hour and incline at 2.5 and it felt like I was expending zero effort in comparison.

Running on the curve is hard work and constantly uphill, but I like this. It feels less damaging to the joints and more natural because you are controlling the pace with your legs, not buttons. It did take some getting used to – I wasn’t sure I’d be able to maintain my balance or slow down without falling over for the first few minutes, but I quickly got comfortable and I’m not sure I’ll ever be satisfied with a conventional running machine again!

 

The WATT BIKE

Apparently the Wattbike is the first factory calibrated indoor bike to deliver accurate, consistent performance data and technical feedback…

I am still getting my head around this one.

I think I need a few more sessions to really appreciate all its functions, but I did enjoy the experience. The riding position is comfortable and it is very easy to use, it feels much more like riding an actual bike. I also found it helpful that it told me that I was generating more power with my left leg than my right – I guess it is good to work on balancing these things out early on. I will definitely be using this more in the coming weeks, while I await a real bike of my own!

 

PERSONAL TRAINING

The Virgin Active near my office were giving free trial personal training sessions and this seemed like too good an offer to pass up! I have always been a bit dismissive of personal trainers, refusing to accept that I need to pay someone to motivate me to push myself and thought that my combination of running, yoga, spinning, swimming and the odd squash match was already pretty rounded.

I clearly need to re-evaluate that position.

In just an hour I did more different kind of strength training exercise that I have done in the last year; learnt what TRX actually is; discovered I love kettlebells (as a tool); that I can actually do a pull up and that working on your abs can be fun! I especially enjoyed working with the medicine ball. And I really noticed the difference in my body – even after just one session! I could feel all the muscles I had worked, but also my core felt stronger and more defined.

I will definitely be tempted to sign up for more of these! But if anyone knows where we can find ladies road bikes with a 56” frame and a triple chain step ASAP please do let us know!!

This is our new dream bike:

 

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Richmond Park, Sunshine and Deer: Outside at Last!

Yesterday we decided to rent bikes in Richmond Park from Park Cycle at Roehampton Gate (Postcode: SW15 5JR)… This was our first proper attempt at cycling outside for real! Getting bikes of our own is massively to of our “to do list”! But renting them was a good start… I didn’t even know that this was an option until a great friend suggested the idea. Thank you Laura!!

After a hesitant start we had an absolutely fantastic time. We initially rented road bikes, but pretty quickly (after about 200m!) realised that this was a massive mistake – not only did it mean we couldn’t get away from the traffic and into the park proper, but they were also rather difficult to get the hang of. After swapping to mountain bikes we had so much fun cycling on the off road tracks and grass in glorious sunshine through the beautiful scenery:

We even saw some Deer:

The eight mile circumference of the park whizzed past us in no time!

There is a cafe right next to the bike-hire shop which looked like it served pretty good food (albeit rather pricey!) We now can’t wait to go back… hopefully next time we will get there before the traffic builds up so we can give the road bikes a proper chance!

If you’ve never been to Richmond Park and you live anywhere near London it is definitely worth a visit!

The morning’s cycle left us feeling inspired and excited about our challenge – we are now in the process of planning our route and searching in earnest for the right bike. We still aren’t 100% sure whether we need a road bike, a touring bike, a cyclocross bike or a hybrid bike – it is all quite foreign to me – so any advice would be very much appreciated!

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