Friday Biking Buddy

Friday morning I had a buddy join me for my bike ride into work! Michael decided to go with me, which was a fun surprise. First things first: adjust my bike seat. For a few weeks now my lower back has bothered me on the bike. I need to take my own advice to prevent injury and get refitted. Or adjust the seatSomething. Something is not right and my body has been telling me. Stop ignoring it! Adjusting my seat at 6 a.m. was not preferred but it had to be done.

We ate a quickie breakfast–he had two turkey sausage links and toast. I had plain Greek yogurt with strawberries and Fiber One cereal. Then we hit the road.

It was fun having a riding buddy. It’s pretty quiet early in the morning. We rode together on my usual route and then took a detour through Sellwood that I didn’t even think about taking. It was easier and safer.

We made our way through the Springwater and downtown where Michael left me at the Steel Bridge. We stopped at the “Breakfast on the Bridge” people (see below) where I’m pretty sure Michael got a donut 🙂 and I continued on to downtown and work.

Biking to work gives me a lot of time to think. And observe. And ponder. Being out there on the road, I see a lot of stuff. Sometimes weird stuff. Sometimes things that make me angry (like the jerky cyclists that break all the rules of the road and give the rest of us a bad name or the drivers that blow stop signs and near miss me on the bike). Here are some things I wanted to share:

Breakfast on the Bridge

There are a lot of cool things about Portland and this is one of them. While I’ve never had the chance to partake in it, I think it’s a very awesome idea: Breakfast on the Bridge. It’s hosted by Shift volunteers and I think it’s a great way to encourage a positive community in the biking culture.

They have coffee, fruit, cookies and donuts. It’s fun to see cyclists just hanging out, meeting new people.

Spandex Sucks…But It’s Necessary

Spandex is not fun. Ever. Unless you look like a greyhound. (See below.) While spandex cycling clothes may look ridiculous, there are major reasons for wearing it.

First, it’s made of wicking material that is quick drying (which is nice if you sweat buckets like me). Second, there’s pockets in the back to carry snacks, sunscreen, keys, etc. so you don’t have to have a backpack. I also hear that they have UV protection built in.

Finally,  it’s form fitting so it doesn’t flap in the wind. I see so many people on bikes with these jackets that billow out like a parachute. Not only is it uncomfortable, it slows you down. Spandex just has less drag. So yeah, it sucks wearing it but it works.

My morning calories were about the same as they usually are. Oh–and yes, the bike seat adjustments Michael made were great! The back pain was reduced a lot.

My ride home in the afternoon was solo. It was also really quiet, very light traffic I’m guessing as a result of the upcoming holiday. It was also one of those rides where everyone SAW me! No scary incidents but incredibly polite and patient drivers. It’s always a nice thing when I complete a ride without feeling frustrated.

The last mile of my ride introduced rain. Luckily it was not much and actually felt quite refreshing. I made it home with a decent time and calorie burn. Unfortunately, my knees weren’t very happy with me. I don’t know if it was the seat adjustment or something else. Time will tell.

It was a nice way to end the week, despite my creaking knees. Ice, ice and more ice. 22.6 miles for the day. 45.21 miles for the week (two rides). I’m glad I got in a second ride. I really really hope I can get 3 days a week very soon!

QUESTION: Do you wear spandex for cycling or running? How did you get over the embarrassment?

14 Responses

  1. I think it is so cool that you and Michael share a hobby! My boyfriend and I have next to nothing in common, and he hates anything physical. It makes for hard to plan dates!

    I wear tight pants when I workout. It is important for when I’m weight lifting, so I can see my form easily. And when I am running my pants don’t flap around and annoy me.

    1. We didn’t really have many hobbies in common when we first met. He hated hiking (I changed that) and I wasn’t a cyclist (he changed that). I bet it is hard for you to plan dates with your honey. Maybe gentle coaxing on activity dates?

      I am with you–I hate running in pants or shorts that bunch up. I like my compression shorts.

  2. Just this very morning, I got caught out wearing spandex. A friend and I went for an early morning ride and then stopped for some coffee at what turned out to be a very popular place. Of course I had to run in to several people that I know. Oh well. It happens.

    1. Of COURSE you ran into people you knew…that’s how it always is! Since I ride my bike to and from work, I have to change into my spandex clothes before I ride home. So all of my coworkers have seen me in my gear. Fun times.

  3. Good luck with the knees and the low back. Those are my two problem areas, too. I really have to be careful with both (I think I’m quite a bit older than you). My left knee was really bothering me when I started my skate yesterday, but the pain went away as it warmed up. That doesn’t mean it’s fine, though, I will need to limit my impact activities for a while if it continues. But I like to jump……
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    1. It could be overuse–at least for me. I’m going to try it again this weekend and see if I still have pain afterward. If I do, it might be the seat adjustments.

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