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Cycling for enjoyment

Discussion in 'Fitness, Exercise and Sport' started by Yorksman, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. Yorksman

    Yorksman Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Cycling is dominated in the UK by road racing bikes. Enthusiasts are hell bent on improving their PBs and giving it all they've got. And that often on roads with heavy traffic. Some young men take an alternative path and go in for difficult, and sometimes dangerous, off road routes. Thrilling but it's bound to put many overweight and unfit type 2 diabetics off. Cycling can look like an extreme way of getting some exercise.

    Cycling for enjoyment however is an ideal low impact sport. If you have dodgy knees or ankles, cycling is kind to them. I have a problem with a severe heart failure and arthritis in addition to being type 2, but can now spend a few hours per day cycling gently on one of the many off road prepared cycle tracks. OK, it's not something one can do stepping out of the front door, you have to take your bike to a country park or railtrail or one of the many other traffic free routes that one can find on the web. As 'something to do at the weekend', it's hard to beat. Start to look for flattish, traffic free or light traffic routes, and getting some extra exercise becomes a fun thing to do, rather than a chore.

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  2. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Good post @Yorksman and nice photo's too :)
     
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  3. Pipp

    Pipp Type 2 · Expert
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    Great! So where is that?
     
  4. Yorksman

    Yorksman Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Several places, Longdendale Trail, Heysham at the end of Morecambe Bay, Elbe Cycleway, AireValley Cycleway. There are loads more, Penistone to Dunford Bridge, Monsal Trail, York to Selby, Hull to Hornsea, Rother Valley Park, Harrogate to Ripley. The point is, wherever you live, look on the web. The Sustrans site has a map (click to zoom in) but it is by no means exhaustive. Google up traffic free cycle routes. These are from the Aire & Calder Navigation near Woodlesford:

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    Many tourist Info offices and local authorities publish info. This is a map of the Monsal trail followed by a couple of web photos:

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  5. dawnmc

    dawnmc Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I live about 2 mins from the Trans Pennine trail, loads of cyclists, horses and dog walkers. its very flat and straight, which is good. But...I cant ride a bike, never could, I'm not sure why, I've fallen off a lot over the years, see I still keep trying.
    I'm one of those who has to get off to turn a corner.
    I'll stick to my stationary bike, never fallen off that yet.
    Fab pics by the way.
     
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  6. Heretic1

    Heretic1 Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    I agree fully with @Yorksman
    I have had a bike I hadn't ridden in any seriousness for a number of years.
    After I was 'labelled' (my version of being diagnosed) as one of the elements of my new activity regime I got it out again. Around where I live there are many old railway lines that are now converted to trails.
    Initially I found it quite hard - and managed around 4-5k, with s number of stops! I'm now routinely doing 20-30 k - and picking some of the more hilly routes - which initially I could only walk up! ...... I now love getting out on the bike .... Weather permitting of course.
    I can't believe just how active cycling is. I was out yesterday, I did 26k and burned 850 Cals ..... According to my Fitbit.
    I've even got the 'memsahib' out on her bike that had never been used, and going to get a decent second hand one for number 2 son (he's 16) so we can drag him away from his PlayStation and do something as s family!
    It gets my vote!
     
  7. Yorksman

    Yorksman Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, its the same way with my wife. The last time we tried, she lasted about 50 yards. At least you use a stationary bike. I still use mine most days for 30 mins or so. It's in the shed and is one of those that is hooked upto cycling films. In fact, it's the only way in winter when the wind chill on a bike makes it icy.

     
  8. Yorksman

    Yorksman Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    You lucky guy. Unfortunately, if we go abroad and I hire a bike, my wife hits the shops!

    Your experience of getting fit sounds very much like mine. I was doing ten mins twice a day on an indoor bike at first. Now I can do 30k on the flat, but spending most of the day doing it. The objective is to have an enjoyable day out and the scenery is an important part of that. Can't do with this head down, push as hard as you can. I have to measure my heart rate and have a chest strap and monitor on the handlebars. I back off when it gets to 120. That's nothing to some people but I need to play it safe.
     
  9. dawnmc

    dawnmc Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I've just treated myself to a South of France cycling dvd, hope its good.
     
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  10. Garr

    Garr Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Couldn't agree more @Yorksman ! I'm on my mountain bike everyday (including xmas and monsoons) and it's a brilliant way to control my blood sugar. Never fancied those road racing things as I prefer fresh air. I'm lucky that I live in the country and there are loads of off road tracks around and loads of wildlife to scare! Used to run all the time until my knees started to complain so switched to the bike and my knee problems have cleared up. Invariably the best part of the day.

    Corrie Fee.JPG
     
  11. DeejayR

    DeejayR Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Excellent advice. Mrs DeeJay and I hired bikes and managed to get from Wadebridge to Bodmin and back on the Camel trail earlier this year, but I confess my old machine has been under a tarpaulin for months. Then I damaged a knee and was told not to ride up hills. In Devon? Ha!
    Used to spend hours on the Wiltshire Ridgeway back in the day, between Barbary Castle and Avebury.
    We spent a weekend in Wales on bikes too.
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  12. Wurst

    Wurst Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    In my experience cycling is by far the best exercise for BS control and also weight control. I cycle to work every day ~ 30 kms per day in all seasons and weather conditions. Summer weekends I'm out on my road bike for ~ 70 km rides.

    I started off 4 years ago shortly after diagnosis and it's been invaluable for diabetes management, I wouldn't have tight control without cycling. I tend to push it on all cycle rides to get the most benefit, coasting is a waste of time for me in terms of BS management.

    My last 70 km ride I had an average speed of 32.1 km/per h , which is fairly respectable. It's fairly flat where I live , I would love to see my BS after a few steep hills or even a mountain or two :)
     
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  13. Yorksman

    Yorksman Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I see some of the more ambitious and adventurous serious cyclists are keen to sing the praises of this multifaceted sport, but some of us have other serious underlying conditions. As I mentioned, I have severe heart failure, an implanted cardiovertor defibrillator and am on blood thinners. I can't afford to overdo it or fall off. Tempting as it is to attempt to become an MTB GoPro action hero, I have to respect my limits and was thinking more of this:

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    And plenty of this:

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    The fitness will come if you get out and take it easy and you're more likely to do it often if it is enjoyable.
     
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    #13 Yorksman, Jul 29, 2016 at 1:45 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2016
  14. RuthW

    RuthW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm a hobby cyclist too. I used to cycle to work every day, but at weekends I'd go and cycle round the London parks, along the canal, etc. I had a pretty heavy city bike too, so my pace was always sedate. I've just moved back to the UK after 11 years in Turkey and I'm planning to buy a flat, a bed, and then a bike.
     
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