Good for Nothin’ but Pedalling

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Yesterday I helped Trudi build a couple cedar planters to put in the front yard to get the strawberries more sunlight. Today my legs are so sore. And that is just after less than two hours of, not even, manual labor.

I’ve always been amazed how bad cyclists are at doing other things with their legs, other than riding their bikes. They aren’t good at standing. They get tired walking too much. While Christmas shopping, I have to “rest” while shopping. It seems nuts. A rider can pedal continuously for 6 hours at a stretch and can’t go shopping for two hours.

I run pretty okay. I ran a 4:16 mile during my one semester of college. But I’ve never been able to run downhill without being destroyed. I’ve run a few 10 km and even a half marathon once. Uphill, I could breathe through my noise, downhill I would be sprinting as hard as I could go as the other runners were nearly talking.

One year after the National Road Championship, 3 of us from Kansas decided to go hiking in the Grand Canyon. We loaded up our packs, the day after the race, and hiked the 9 miles down to the Colorado River. The next day, not one of us could stand up. I had to use a tree to get vertical. We ended up staying not hiking for another 3 days and when we started moving along the plateau, we mostly walked backwards when we went downhill.

The same after hiking Mt. Fuji with Ned and Trudi, after a Cactus Cup in Japan. Uphill, a breeze. Downhill unbelievable hard. Ned couldn’t step off a curb trying to catch a cab to the bikeshow, since he couldn’t walk anymore. Trudi was fine. Not sore the least. I was destroyed.

I remember reading that Zoop Zoetemelk, who won the Tour in 1980, did a Superstars competition and couldn’t do one pull up or dip or something involving his arms. An European road cyclist wouldn’t have done very well in the

I know we’re all trying to get more balanced and most cyclists are doing some core work, etc., but it is nothing compared to the amount of time we spend riding. And, it seems, that is only good for doing that, making our legs go around in circles.

Cutting the wood in my driveway probably was what did in my hamstrings.

Obviously not done. It is going to be around $100 to get enough dirt delivered to fill these. That seems like way too much.

I saw this guy on the way back from riding yesterday. I'm not too much into the commercialization of Halloween, but this guy was great. His head moved back and forth. Pretty scary.

15 thoughts on “Good for Nothin’ but Pedalling

  1. Noel

    I used to work on the eighth floor, I would take the stairs about once a month to remind myself why I didn’t take the stairs everyday. I was commuting 20 miles round trip by bike and got wiped out trying to walk it up. Even on the days I didn’t ride in.

  2. Ryan Fiddler

    Now that I’m not trying to be super serious about riding I do a lot more weigth lifting with my lower body and running. The eccentric work is key to improving overall function.

  3. TC

    Fill those boxes with some of your compost! It took us a couple of years to get our raised bed full (since we don’t have a ton of compost dirt). Those strawberries will be the size of your head! Also when I made ours, I was really surprised at the price of ceder in comparison to the treated pine. It was like triple the price.

  4. Nick Hand

    I work as a gymnastics coach and even my gymnasts, who train every part of their bodies, get sore and tired once we change up their conditioning workouts about once a month. It is amazing how well the human body can acclimate to certain things so fast. As soon as you change it up just a little though it gets mad.
    I do ok with standing but I stand all day coaching but I have had very similar situations to you regarding running and hiking. Very funny how cyclists legs work.

  5. Joe Saling

    And it does get worse Steve, you just wait. Here in the east all the run-ups on cross courses have mysteriously changed to walk-ups! Go figure. The governing bodies have made barrier height 40cm max. How the hell do promoters make them get bigger each lap?

  6. Jim

    Like everyone who reads your blog, I ride a ton of miles. I go for a walk in the woods and I am tired and sore (and bored) in no time at all. I sure don’t get it.

  7. Aki

    Earlier this year a Cat 1 was chided for not pulling much in a break during a mid-week training race. The Cat 1 (who won, beating other Cat 1s) said he was a bit tired. The others misunderstood, saying they were all tired in the break. The Cat 1 in question explained further: “You guys put floors down for 8 hours then get on a bike.”

    That shut them up.

    Any change in workout is hard on the body. I’m lucky, I get to do a lot of manual stuff at work so I can do some stuff without getting crazy sore, but other things still kill me. High rpm fixed gear spin ups = can’t walk right for a few days.

  8. Phil

    These comments are all so true! I always have to laugh at myself for being able to ride 100 miles, but can’t play basketball or tennis for 20 minutes without feeling like I was run over by a truck the next day!

  9. H Luce

    Maybe you should try some stretching or yoga when you come back from a long ride or race? It could be that your muscles used in the race are all tight and need to be relaxed…

  10. Scott Dickson

    Cypress is the wood of choice for planters and raised bed gardens. Although a bit pricey, cypress is naturally rot-resistant and has held up well for 6 years here in damp Delaware.

  11. CORider

    Try to mix in some tennis, it will get your legs, arms and core a good workout, and if you dont take it too seriously, its alot of fun.

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