Category Archives: Bicycling

Two Week Quarantine Update

Time to revive this blog for a bit to share a few notes during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

I played in a chess tournament in Los Angeles the weekend of March 7-8. Participation in this event was down from prior years due to the threat of COVID-19. They had a rule prohibiting hand shaking before and after the games, but otherwise the tournament was uneventful. (Well, aside from me making a huge blunder in my last game in a favorable position against an internationally titled player, but that’s another story.) The plus side was that we had enough elbow room in the top section for social distancing, even before social distancing became a thing. Continue reading

Ankle One Month Update

I just had my one month follow-up doctor appointment for the ankle and foot sprain. The swelling has gone down enough to start physical therapy to regain the lost range of motion. I go back to the doctor in an month, I should be at least walking in the boot by then, if I don’t have it off already by then!

In celebration, I set up the bike on the indoor trainer and went for a short ride.

Is This Blog Dead?

Short answer: pretty much, but I’ll still keep it around for the archived material, such as my bicycle trip across the USA, and my Kenmore dryer mounting hardware post which seems to be of use to many. Also a couple of posts on using Open Street Maps and using my Garmin for on-bike navigation seem to be of interest to more than me!

I’d say that I don’t have the time to post, but that’s not entirely true. It’s just that, in general, I’d rather not spend the time writing about doing something, when I could be spending more time doing it!

One other update from mid-2019: I disabled all commenting on this site. The spammers are getting more creative, and since I rarely post, the spam battle is not worth fighting.

New ElliptiGo!

In mid-December, I hurt my foot (plantar fasciitis) and decided it would be best to lay off the running for a while. I’ve heard of runners using the ElliptiGo as a cross training tool, and it just so happened that I was able to pick one up used!

Here’s some information on some tweaks I ended up doing to the ElliptiGo to make it more suited for my needs. In a future post I’ll talk more about how it is working out as an exercise/training tool. Continue reading

Returning from Injured Reserve

I last spoke of the return of the plica syndrome in mid-December, so I’ve stayed off the bicycle since then. And even though I’ve been doing short easy runs through the holidays, plantar fasciitis struck in mid-January. I know from past experience (believe it or not, I had PF years ago from bicycling!) that I don’t dare do anything which could aggravate it. So I’ve been completely sidelined for the latter half of January.

In the meantime I added a couple of pages to the website: Race All 50 and Bike All 50.

Today I decided to hop on the bike for about 10 miles through the local hills.  Continue reading

Plica Syndrome is Back?

Back in the late 1990s, I had pain and swelling in my left knee during and after bicycling. Orthopedist after orthopedist told me it was tendinitis, but it never went away with physical therapy and rest. Finally I saw an orthopedist who thought it was something else: plica syndrome. Long story short: conservative treatments didn’t work, so in 1999, I had arthroscopic surgery to have the plica removed. I made a quick and full recovery, and I had no problems during my 2001 ride across America. Since then I’ve had the occasional ache and pain, but nothing more than stretching, ibuprofen, and on occasion a day or two of rest couldn’t handle.

Then one cool morning (45°F) last week, I went for a bicycle ride, and after only seven miles I felt the unmistakable pain and swelling of 15 years ago. My orthopedist had warned me that the plica could grow back. Many people have a medial plica, so it’s not the presence of such that is an issue, the concern is if it somehow becomes inflamed. And now it was back and inflamed with a vengeance. Continue reading

VO2 Max Testing

I recently read the book 80/20 Running by Matt Fitzgerald, which makes the case for doing 80% of training at low intensity and only 20% at moderate/high intensity. I’ve been making the mistake of running too hard on every run, increasing my chance of overtraining and injury! But if I hold back and go easier on some runs, how do I know whether I’m going too easy or too hard? I know the answer is in using my heart rate monitor (dusting the cobwebs off as we speak), but where to set the heart rate training zones?

That’s where metabolic stress testing, or more commonly known as VO2 max testing in exercise circles, comes in. I found somewhere local where this test is done in a doctor’s office, and so in my case it was covered by insurance. Continue reading