Monday, December 20, 2004


Hurt Knee

Okay, here's the deal. I went out for a 10 mile ride on Saturday. I rode a little over 4 miles, then stopped at some friend's house. I stayed way too long and had to hitch a ride home because it was dark. I don't like riding at night. Anyway, I woke up Sunday morning to head to church and I noticed my right knee was hurting. I knew that I wasn't pushing too hard on Saturday. I usually gear down and just "spin." I'm not trying to win an Iron Man race. Spinning in an easy gear is far safer than putting the thing in high gear and killing your knees. However, I couldn't figure out why my knee was in pain. I retraced my route and it hit me. It was the downtown hill. There is only one hill in town that kicks my but. My mountainbike only has a 19 inch low gear. That's pretty standard for that generation of mountainbike but considering my weight, the grade of the hill, and that the Buckets of Doom decided to come along for the ride, that 19 inch gear was too high. I need more like a 14 inch gear or so. I think that's where I pushed it too hard. I'll have to keep this in mind for the DoomSled.

For you guys that missed out on gear ratios in 5th grade math here is a short primer on bicycle gearing. Have you ever noticed when you walk uphill that you use shorter steps. Likewise, when you walk downhill you use longer steps. On flat, level terrain you set a pace somewhere in between. It's pretty amazing that you do that instinctively. God designed our bodies so that we have basically an infinite number of gears. On a bicycle the easy gears are like the small steps, the hard gears are like the big step, and etc. Gears can be calculated in inches or rations. For me the inch unit of measure is easier. When I say a 19 inch gear that mean the gear combination is such that I am peddling the equivalent of a 19 inch wheel. Remember the old Penny Farthing bicycles? One big wheel in the front? Some of those thing have close to 6 foot diameter wheels. 6 feet equals 72 inches. So on my mountain bike the highest gear has 95 inches which is the equivalent of a 95 inch diameter wheel. What a fascinating modern era we live in!!!

I'm curious, what approximate RPM were your legs moving? I naturally tend toward about 80 rpm, but this hardly counts as "spinning" in the fitness world.
Yeah, I was definately not spinning uphill. I was pushin' like a son of a gun.
I'm sorry to hear about your knee, and the guy you were reading about training I think was David Lawson, he goes by Crazyguyonatrike. I believe that he recieved the same unkind letter that I did. Neil mentioned him when E-mailing me about my inappropiate content. Like I said, God will provide, and he did. And I honestly like better anyway! Ritz :)
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