It's a new year and time once again to give a new look to this blog. New graphics and colors. Same bike writer!

This blog is created not only to track my own progress on my biking journey but it is intended to also assist others who have either osteo or rheumatoid arthritis or both like I do. I hope as you read about the progress I have made that it gives you inspiration and hope that you can overcome the dibilitating effects of these conditions.

If your doctor agrees that you should be capable of expanding your limits read on and don't be afraid, just listen to your body and give it challenges. Biking is a great non-impact form of exercise and greatly enhances flexibility and range of motion.

It's not a substitute for Doctor visits, taking your meds or otherwise getting off your health plan but it auguments what your Doctor does for you and can give you a better quality of life. Go for it!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Puerto Rico On My Bike - Next, The World

The DVD arrived this morning so I popped it in for today's trainer session.  I like it.  I was only into the DVD for 25 minutes, so I was able to review just a portion of it.  I enjoyed what I saw.  The run time on this is 116 minutes so it's a bit longer than the Pacific Coast California DVD.  The scenery is interesting, the music is ok, it was appropriate for the venue and had a salsa flair so the tempo was quicker and I noticed that my cadence was stepped up so that's a good thing.  I don't have a cadence meter on either of my bikes,. nor a heart rate monitor, but I can see where I'm going with all of this, one thing sorta leads to another.  Still considering an iPod too.  I've never had one or the desire to have one before but I can see where music plays a role in exercise.  Years ago I used to work out to Donna Summers and Carly Simon and the "I Am Woman"  and "Last Dance" songs were powerful motivators to step up the intensity of my workout.  These videos are filmed with a dash mounted camera in a car and the driving was a tad bit faster than the other video.

Still, it is realistic enough to get caught up in and lose yourself in the experience.  With temperatures hovering in the single digits for the last few days, wandering through the streets and narrow cobblestone paths through Old San Juan, forests and along the beach in a tropical climate is a good thing.  I've never really visited Puerto Rico before, I've flown in and made a stop at the airport terminal, loaded onto a bus and was whisked to the seaside terminal to board a cruise ship and followed that routine in reverse to get home.  Spending a brief hour ferrying back and forth for travel is hardly a vacation to  some place and with this video it makes me want to spend a few days there exploring.

I think we all suffer from the same "build-on" syndrome where we get interested in one new thing and it spurs us onto delving deeper into what we find is a whole new sub-culture.  One video leads to another for variety sake, of course, then that leads to more research on the subject and a whole new world opens up.  Spinnervels, hard core workouts, EpicRides Virtual Cycling, journeys across the globe, and working yourself into a quivering mass of jello, it's endless.  Or so it seems.  So I've succumbed and order two more videos, one more from Bike O Vision, for a sampler of Europe and that should satisfy the explorer in me whilst spinning in my living room vicariously.  Maybe.  They have a whole library of videos of all the popular tourist destinations in the USA, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, California Wine Country, Sequoia National Park and I could go on an on, I believe their full complement is more than two dozen videos.

The other is an introduction to indoor spinning in a group setting with a coach from the Spinnervals series.    That one satisfies the devil in me that wants to be surrounded by other sufferers while I sweat away on my bike on a trainer spinning to nowhere in the comfort of my living room.  Again here is a whole new set of dozens of videos they offer.  Oh yes, then there is the EpicRides series which is similar to the training theme of the Spinnvervals in intensity, but it takes place outdoors (in equally epic and highly desirable tourist locals) and there are also on screen displays of cadence (which you should be striving to match), power output, an insert display of the course map you are following and more.  The thing I like about the Spinnervals and the EpicRides is that you are with other cyclists.  That's one thing I miss with the Bike-O-Vision tourist type of videos.  In those you see other cars and an occasional person but I've yet to come cross another bicyclist.  

A plan is beginning coalesce and I'm approaching this with a strategy somewhat similar to my outdoor riding.  Some rides are for exploring new places, some rides are for enjoying the sport with other people and some rides are for all-out-flat-out work-outs.  I first approached this to use my winter season on the trainer to keep up my fitness level, keep up on my legs and keep my butt accustomed to the saddle.  That was my primary purpose of using one, but now I want more.  I want to be able to work on endurance and climbing during the winter season and hopefully make an impact on my riding next year.

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