Cycling

LunarMist

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I had a bit of an accident today while riding my bike around the park. I had a muscle cramp developing in the calf of my right leg while I was riding. Not the first time it's happened so I just kept riding. About 1/3rd of the way into my second lap I went to overtake some other riders and as I put a lot of force down with my right leg the cramp got super bad. So bad I couldn't bend my leg and was in excruciating pain. I pretty much jumped / pushed off the bike sending it and myself crashing into the grass. I laid there with my leg straight while i tried to stretch it and massage the muscle.

Needless to say this all attracted the attention of the people I was overtaking who stopped and asked if I needed help, etc., etc. Within a few minutes I was able to get back on the bike and finish my 18 mile ride. My right calf still hurts, it's really stiff when I get up from sitting, and I've got a bit of a limp as I walk. Whee!!!
Is it just the muscle? I hope you did not injure a tendon or something. :(
 

jtr1962

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I had a bit of an accident today while riding my bike around the park. I had a muscle cramp developing in the calf of my right leg while I was riding. Not the first time it's happened so I just kept riding. About 1/3rd of the way into my second lap I went to overtake some other riders and as I put a lot of force down with my right leg the cramp got super bad. So bad I couldn't bend my leg and was in excruciating pain. I pretty much jumped / pushed off the bike sending it and myself crashing into the grass. I laid there with my leg straight while i tried to stretch it and massage the muscle.

Needless to say this all attracted the attention of the people I was overtaking who stopped and asked if I needed help, etc., etc. Within a few minutes I was able to get back on the bike and finish my 18 mile ride. My right calf still hurts, it's really stiff when I get up from sitting, and I've got a bit of a limp as I walk. Whee!!!
I've had the same thing happen to me from time to time. Usually in my case the cramp will go from tolerable to excruciating when I'll accelerate after needing to slow or stop at an intersection. Sometimes it gets so bad I can't go on, although this rarely happens. Usually I'll just need to reduce my effort for the remainder of the ride.

At least you crashed into grass, so I'm assuming you didn't get road rash or any other injuries. If you're like me, it's going to take a few days at least before your leg feels normal. I tend to get cramps when I go too hard after a long break from riding, or when I start doing more miles than usual. In my present condition I'm used to ~20 mile rides. I'm only riding about 1000 miles a year for the last two years. If I try to go 25 miles, there's a high probability I'll start to cramp. I've done 40 to 45 mile rides as recently as a few years ago, but I worked up to those by gradually increasing my distance a few miles each week. Anyway, sorry to hear about this but it sounds like you'll eventually be OK. I'm guessing the cause may have been either trying a longer ride than usual, or being dehydrated on account of the warm weather (very hot and humid in NYC right now and probably in Michigan also).

I also get numbness of my hands and feet on longer rides but that generally doesn't affect my riding ability. It's more annoying than anything else.
 

jtr1962

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Is it just the muscle? I hope you did not injure a tendon or something. :(
He most likely would have felt a pop if that happened. It happened to me once. I nearly fell on a slippery road, put my leg out to stop the fall, but the leg went too far due to putting it in a pothole I didn't notice. I took six months before the leg felt normal again. :( In retrospect I probably would have been better off just falling. I was only going about 20 mph, so I probably wouldn't have gotten much beyond mild road rash.
 

Howell

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It sounds like you tore some muscles. Try to take it easy using it, with pain as a guide, and gently stretch it periodically as it heals to maintain mobility. Heat can also promote healing with the additional blood flow. Check Google for more details.

I had never had a pulled muscle when up until a few years ago. I kept playing soccer after I pulled it and ended up shedding it resulting in a gigantic bruise and a couple months of off time.
 

sedrosken

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With the distances between points on campus being so great, and wanting to go other places in town without relying on the bus or generous friends with vehicles, or of course spending hours walking to and from, I have concluded that I need a bike. Most of what I'm planning on doing with it is in-city and on-campus travel. Any recommendations that aren't outside my means? I've already sprung and bought some cheap accessories that I figured I'd need, namely a spedometer, phone cradle for navigation, more comfortable seat, and head/tail light set. And of course, a helmet. Should I just go to Walmart or whatever and go with whatever they have in stock that I like best?
 
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Clocker

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I would get a cheap bike that nobody would want to steal. It's not like you really care if it is light weight or has the best parts. Just something that works good enough. Just my opinion!
 

sedrosken

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I would get a cheap bike that nobody would want to steal. It's not like you really care if it is light weight or has the best parts. Just something that works good enough. Just my opinion!
Sounds about right. Weight doesn't matter much, I'm not going to be carrying it after all -- and the best parts are shining beacons for would-be thieves. Walmart special it is, then.
 

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I agree with timwhit on Walmart bikes, it's probably better to buy a used bike. I don't know if a fixie can be an alternative, but they are cheap and low maintenance.
 

Howell

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The local bike shop might have some used bikes and or a board for notices.
You can start building a relationship for when you need maintenance and they can give you specific advice on your purchase as well.

If you know anything about bikes craigslist can be a good source.
 
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Striker

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Check your local craigslist too. Whenever I'm looking for something on there, I ALWAYS see people selling bikes.
People always buy bikes and fitness equipment thinking it will motivate them to exercise and it virtually never works out. Eventually they get tired of seeing it and sell it for a song to stop feeling guilty about it.
 

jtr1962

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I agree with everyone else about avoiding Walmart or other cheap, mass produced bikes. Craigslist, ads on local grocery store bulletin boards, word of mouth, and so forth are all good places to start. I don't know what exists there, but NYC has places like Recycle-A-Bicycle which fix up old bikes, then give them away or sell them for low prices to young people who need a bike.

Cycling often tends to be addictive. You might get a cheap Walmart bike thinking you'll only use it on campus but then find you're riding it a lot more. That's when things will start breaking down, often after only a few tens or hundreds of miles. It's better to have a solid, used bike from the start. If you don't use it much, it'll last for years with little maintenance. If you do ride it a lot, you'll get lots of use out of it before you'll eventually want to upgrade to something better. Decent used bikes are also more pleasant to ride than mass-produced junk from Walmart.
 

sedrosken

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I'm thinking something along the lines of this, given the recommendations I've received so far... Not looking to spend $600+ like everyone on Craigslist is wanting.
 

timwhit

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How about this, then? Or does it have the same problems? Sorry I'm so bike-illiterate.
Some of the models appear to have front and rear calipers others just a rear brake. I'd try to get one with both front and rear.

Brakes: Caliper - front and rear drop bar version, rear riser bar version
I think you should go to a local bike store and try out a similar bike before buying anything.
 

Howell

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Sed, Do you know your inseam or what size you need?
When you test ride one be sure to adjust the seat height and get comfortable and ride for a good 10 minutes.
 

sedrosken

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Ended up going with, as recommended, a fixie from a local shop. I'm pretty happy with it. Still needed to replace the seat -- it was just too hard. Please don't make the obvious joke, I didn't mean it like that.
 

snowhiker

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Talk to me about bike lighting systems.

Need a good headlight and taillight system. Headlight with a low & high power setting would be nice. Flashing taillight for better visibility preferred. LED "bulbs" and decently sized rechargeable/replaceable batteries. Battery I can quickly slip in a standard water bottle cage or something like that. Don't care about light weight. Willing to spend decent money to get a quality product.

I won't be biking in any heavy traffic, just doing multiple laps of a 2.2 mile loop around the neighborhood for some exercise. Probably around 2-3 A.M. during the summer months as it will have cooled down to mid 80F by then.

I have a 20% off coupon for REI but honestly they don't seem to carry anything that interests me. Looking for a good on-line vendor for said lighting system as well. Not Amazon. Direct from vendor or good bike shop with an online presence.
 

time

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Knog. Great product at a great price. Elliptical beam headlights, fantastic multi-blinking-pattern tail-lights. I only bought the cheap POP lights that use an AA battery, and they just blew me away in terms of value for money. Note that the high power versions use a non-replaceable Li-ion battery, and that their emphasis is on making the rider visible rather than trying to dazzle oncoming cars.
 

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These don't have replaceable batteries, but are great lights nevertheless.

Rear light:
https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/...-lights/bontrager-flare-r-tail-light/p/13202/

Link to video (tip: jump to 1:30 to see it in action) https://youtu.be/4dBRmzvzv4M

I own the rear light and am very happy with the visibility even in daylight conditions. There's also a matching front light, but I don't know if it fits your needs https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/...ries/bike-lights/bontrager-ion-700-r/p/10945/
 

snowhiker

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I was tired of being wishy-washy so I just went ahead and ordered a bunch of bike accessories from REI. I have two 20% off member coupons, one for regular priced items and one for "garage" items.

Headlight. Way overkill for street riding but if I ever do decide to ride an offroad trail I want a good light. $200 after member discount.

Tail-Light. This should be good enough.

Helmet. This helmet is $75.78 after member discount. I like all the vents as air temps will be mid 80s+ when I ride early A.M. (before sunrise) during the summer months.

Computer. It's just a basic, wired unit for $25.

Also bought open-fingered gloves, two water bottle cages/bottles, hex wrench bike tool, floor pump and chain cleaner.
 

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I think you're going to be very happy with the purchase. A really good headlight like that is high on my wishlist, I only have a Philips Saferide, commuter oriented, headlight that is too heavy for offroad riding + I really want a helmet mounted light on trails.
 

snowhiker

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/facepalm

I'm having bike repair woes.

1) The tire pump I ordered doesn't work. I attach pump to valve but when I press pump handle down I can hear escape from bottom of pump and tire loses air.

2) I went about removing the old water bottle cages, as they were huge and designed for 1.5L bottles. First three bolts are no problem as they are standard 4mm hex heads. Well the last one is 3.5mm, and of course the new hex multi-tool I bought doesn't have 3.5mm. Luckily I was able to use a pair of pliers to remove the bolt.

3) Take bike to backyard to hose off the dirt/mud and come to find out the rear 7-speed Shimano Deore LX rapid fire shifter doesn't work. Bike stuck in high gear. And suspension fork elastomer/bumper is worn out and fork is just bottomed out with less than 1/2 inch of travel.

F-Me.

Well I guess I know why I was given a "free" bike.

Well shit. I have $400+ in head/tail lights, helmet, computer, tools and less than fully functioning bike.

/sighhhhhhhhh
 

snowhiker

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I took my "new" bike to a local bike shop and was told I can get a replacement rear shifter for about $40 installed. I went ahead and decided to get a full overhaul. Front/rear hubs, bottom bracket, headset re-greased. New cables/housings. Brake pads. Need to replace grips as old ones will be destroyed when they're removed for shifter replacement. The shop is also checking to see if they can order a replacement bumper kit for suspension fork. Hopefully by next weekend parts will arrive at shop and bike will be ready for pickup.
 

snowhiker

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What is the fork? I have some elastomers I don't need since I switched to a titanium spring.
The fork is one of the early model Answer Manitou models. My bike is currently at the shop so can't look at fork to see which exact model it is. I won't be hitting any off-road trails anytime soon so it's not a big rush. If bike shop can't/won't replace elastomers I'll let you know. Thanks for the offer.

What bike do you have and where do you ride? I need all the motivation I can get.
 

Howell

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Unfortunately my elastomers are for a rockshox but the era is probably right. I have a mid 90s Al Gary Fisher I built from the frame up. I don't ride much anymore but there are a lot of misty mountain trails here in the foothills of the Smokey mountains that I used to ride. Find a local group ride for motivation.
 
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