Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dig Like A Naked Mole Rat

Above photos:
Sunset on Quinobeguin Road - I Hate March, luckily I got to drive on this day - Dork - Hemlock Gorge.

Weird thoughts go through my brain when I'm riding sometimes. Been working on seated climbing. Most Bicycling Magazine get fit quick articles will tell you to to "pedal from the hips".
In my vernacular this has become "You can do it put your back in to it - I can do it put your ass into it", these are Ice Cube Lyrics, I find them immensely helpful. "Pedal from the hips" does not accurately describe how to engage the muscle group you are trying to engage on a low cadence climbing effort. You want to pedal from the "gluteus Maximus", i.e. your "ass". Ice Cube is a genius.

Above Photos:
Bear Hill Road Waltham

Another thing I say to myself when I'm climbing or really anytime I'm trying to maximize my pedal stroke efficiency is "Dig like a Naked Mole Rat".

Naked Mole Rats wallow on the floors of their communal bathrooms as a way of imbuing themselves with a scent unique to their colony, but that's not important right now. What is important is that Naked Mole Rats can also burrow through concrete...bad ass. I'm just trying to burrow my way up the water tower hill next to Rt. 2 in Arlington. Sure, you can "throw your knee over the bar", "scrape mud (or poo) off your shoe"...whatever works for you. I like visualizing my feet clawing into the dirt/asphalt, scooping down with force and fluidly coming up and around (sometimes I think about a swimmers stroke here as well) to do it again. I also think about "keeping it all positive" as in all positive engagement throughout the pedal stroke.

Above Photos:
Late sunday afternoon, coming back through Concord

While I'm sharing all these incredibly useful and sane bits of information I might as well share my new diet. Not so much diet as feeding schedule. It developed from doing them there 100 milers. I realized that I ate more during a work day than I did during an eight or nine hour bike race, that's just silly. I hate silliness.

So now I eat in small increments throughout the day, having a snack every couple hours, with the largest single meal being a PB & J, sometimes eaten in sections. I commute by bike both ways to work and have a slightly physically demanding job and this "program" has made me more productive and energetic in general. I do drink way more coffee than I would during a 100 miler but as David Letterman once said "if it weren't for the coffee, I'd have no identifiable personality whatsoever".

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