Sunday, 7 December 2008

Crashed Out!

So, I thought, today would be a good day for a ride. Sunny, little wind but quite chilly. What I hadn't bargained on was just how chilly it was. I was riding quite happily when I hit a patch of black ice. One moment I was riding along, the next I was laying on my side with my arm in agony. I had no recollection of falling, it all happened so fast. I guess the lucky thing was that it was in a rural area as there was no other traffic.

I managed to get back on my bike and struggle home. Most of the way my arm was at my side as it was too painful to hold the handlebars.

When I got home, I took off my helmet and my head was quite badly bruised - I always insist on wearing a helmet and can now smugly justify why as without it I have no doubt at all that I would have had a fractured skull. My helmet is cracked all the way through in two places.

I went off to the hospital for a check up and it turned out that I had a broken elbow and suspected broken writs in two places. Also, my thigh was very badly bruised. The ligaments in my arm are also badly damaged, limiting movement.

Still, the good news is that the only damage to my bike was to the handlebar tape which can esily be fixed.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

How to talk to non-cyclists

Rule 1: Understand their bizarre world view..

You need to understand that non-cyclists don't realize that cycling is the most important thing any person can be doing at any given moment at any point in the universe. Non-cyclists' eyes - and minds - are shuttered, leaving them to believe that things like friends, community, work, and even family supercede what they naively call "just exercise." It's sad - OK, it's pathetic - but it's true.

To appease non-cyclists, when asked about what matters to you, you must from time to time mention friends, family, the environment, or some other such nonsense. Otherwise, they'll never leave you alone and it will be hours until you can get away, back to the comfort and kinship you feel when with your bicycle.

Rule 2. Use metaphors from "real life"

Non-cyclists aren't ready to hear about your exquisite existence in its unadulterated perfection. No, you will need to translate the sublime cycling experience into terms they might be able to understand. Naturally, you and I know that the following metaphors don't do the actual cycling event justice, but they'll have to do.

To describe how it feels to ride down perfectly banked, twisty forested singletrack on a cool autumn morning: "It's like that scene from Return of the Jedi where Luke and Leia are zooming on their flying motorcycle things. Except you're the one powering the flying motorcycle. And you're not being chased by stormtroopers. And you don't have to tolerate the constant chattering of Ewoks."
To explain why you gladly get up at 4:30am each weekday morning to ride your road bike for three hours on an entirely unremarkable road: "You know how you have to drive your car in stop-and-go traffic to get to work every morning? Well, imagine if you didn't have to stop. And imagine your car going as fast as you can make it go. And imagine starting the day feeling perfect. It's kind of like that."

To explain why you pay $200 to participate in a race you have very little chance in winning: "Ever play the lotto? It's like that, except much, much more so."

Rule 3: Pretend to be interested in their life

This one's going to knock you off your feet. Believe it or not, non-cyclists sometimes think they have something interesting to say, have an interesting hobby, or an interesting experience to relate.

This, of course, is utter nonsense.

Still, for the sake of propriety, you must act as if you care. Feel free, as they talk, to pleasantly daydream about biking. Just smile and say, "Absolutely," from time to time.

Warning: It's entirely possible that a non-cyclist will say something with which you disagree. When this happens, do not engage. If you do, you will have unwittingly stepped into a non-cycling conversation, and who knows where that will lead, or when it will end.

Always remember: Be polite, be brief, be gone.

Rule 4. Act like their theory on doping in cycling is very interesting

A tactic non-cyclists will often employ, once they have discovered you are a cyclist, is to try to talk with you about cycling. This usually takes the form of trying to talk with you about doping in cycling.

You will, no doubt, be tempted to gouge your ears out rather than hear their simplistic, uninformed opinion ("Doping is bad") to its rambling, incoherent conclusion. After all, as a cyclist, you have no doubt been pummelled with story after story after story about doping. You have heard so much about doping that you could now be called as an expert witness at the next doping trial. Or open a lab. Or be the next president of WADA (and you're rightly confident you'd do a much better job).

But if you point any of this out to your non-cyclist "friend," he will no doubt take that as a sign that you are interested in continuing the conversation. So, instead, repeat this simple phrase, "Yeah, doping sucks."

Your friend will feel like he has made his point, whatever it was.

Rule 5. Don't tell them the truth about how much your bike cost

Few people ever own anything that works, fits, or looks as well as a truly well-built bike. And yet, when they find that your bike costs as much as their high-end computer or mid-range stereo, they will fake a heart attack, guaranteed.

The solution? Tell non-cyclists you paid £499.99 for your bike, no matter how much you really paid for it. This number has been scientifically formulated to sound like more than a non-cyclist would pay for a bike, without otherwise drawing attention to itself.

No matter how you try, you can't always avoid non-cyclists. All you can hope to do is minimize contact with them - so you can get back to what's important.

And I think we both know what that is.


Monday, 15 September 2008

A Fine Day Out

The weather forecast was good. My new bike has only had a couple of outings (well I have only had it just over a week). Summer, or what there was of it, is drawing to a close so, I thought, what a good time to get out there for a nice long ride. I had been wanting to cycle to a place I had visited several times by car which goes by the illustrious name of Burnham-on-Crouch. Not that there is a great deal there apart from yacht and hostelries, but it was target to aim for and something of an ambition of mine to cycle there.

So a meticulous planning exercise was put underway on Saturday working out the best route to get there. To cycle there and back would have been about 70 miles. I decided I wasn't feeling that energetic so thought I would get the ferry back and cut out half of the return journey. But, as it turned out, the planning could have been a bit more meticulous.

Sunday morning arrives, and it's nice to get ready without having to rush around to meet a start time, although it does take me a good 30 minutes to find everything, including the mini tool kit which does a magnificent job of alluding me. Finally, I am all ready to go and set off with glad heart.

The wind is fresh (cold) and I am beginning to regret not wearing a long sleeve jersey or arm warmers. Shall I turn back? Nah, just carry on as I am bound to get warm. Big mistake as I never really did. Then it dawns on me. The wind is blowing from the east rather than the usual westerly. So what's the big deal? It means that I will be cycling into a headwind for a lot of the way. But if I change my plan and catch the ferry to the other side of the River Crouch first, then I can cycle back with a tailwind for most of the way. Bit of a no-brainer really. I had even checked the ferry website, and there were sailings on the hour every hour. A quick bit of mental arithmetic and with luck I should be at the ferry jetty about 10.30 which would mean a 30 minute wait. But better than a headwind.

And that was where the planning could have been a bit more meticulous. I arrive at the ferry point at 10.30 as predicted and with a good five miles added to my journey only to find that there isn't an 11 o'clock ferry. I read the departure times again and again but no, there is no 11 o'clock sailing.

Where's the ferry?

So, decision made, I am not going to wait 90 minutes so it's into the wind with a few miles added to my planned journey.

And off I go again! The first part of the journey was immensely enjoyable. Nice tailwind blowing me along, the hills are a lot easier on the new bike (or maybe also thanks to the wind) and in no time at all I reach my first check point, Battlesbridge – I break my rides down into check points to give me something to aim for. I am very tempted to stop for tea and cake but no, must press on as this is probably about half way there.

There is quite a steep hill out of the village but again, my Felt makes light work of it. Now comes the next interesting bit, I have left my map at home. I had worked out a route which went along various country lanes running roughly parallel to the main road. I think I can remember what it said. Nope, wrong on two occasions, going wrong the first time and thinking I had gone wrong the second but hadn't – you can just about see the two lines going nowhere on the top left-hand side of the map. Still it's all good practice.

And also, here began the fun, cycling into the wind and climbing several steep hills. These start at the 29 mile point, where the hill rises from about 28 feet to 180 feet over about a mile. I am afraid there isn't enough detail to accurately calculate the gradient, but the elevation profile shows pretty well how steep the end part of the ride was.

By the time I had got to the end of the second hill, my legs were aching like they have never ached before. But at least when I reached the summit of the hill, I could see below, the yachts on the River Crouch and new that this stage of my journey was drawing to an end. And I have to say, I was looking forward to the run down into the town centre and a rest in the sun by the River. There might even be a snack bar open so that I could have that tea and cake I forsook at Battlesbridge.

Unfortunately, there were several pubs with really nice looking food but I only had about 30 minutes before the ferry arrived which would not have been enough time. So lunch comprised the remains of the energy bar and packet of dried apricots, washed down with Gatorade – yum yum! Still, Burnham is nice little town and there was yacht racing to watch while waiting for the ferry so it wasn't all bad.

Yes, this was the ferry

The ferry journey back to Wallasea Island made a pleasant interruption to my journey and there were only two other people on board so taking my bike didn't cause any problems. I had to buy a return ticket though but was told I could use it any time. So maybe one for the first long ride of the Spring? Or maybe even this route the other way round in October? Who knows, I will just have to wait and see.

The final leg of the journey home was one I had made on many occasion. I passed an elderly couple also cycling and had a bit of a chat before riding off and heading for home. All was going well although my thighs were starting to ache pretty badly by this point. I don't know if it was breaking the journey with the 30 minute wait to the ferry or whether they had just had enough, but I reached appoint about five miles from home when I had to stop my bike and almost fell off. It was becoming impossible to pedal as my thighs had become two masses of pain with next to no strength in them. I can remember thinking at the time that if there was anyway I could have got a lift home I would have. The funny thing was that I didn't feel exhausted at all; it was just that my legs would not get through the pain barrier. I had a five minute rest and took off again. Somehow, through sheer willpower alone I made it home. All ideas of doing a 13 mile training lap to finish with completely and utterly gone. Even my planned cool down five minute ride at the end was impossible. It simply a matter of trying to get off my bike without falling off and then stumbling in through the front door to recover. Surprisingly, this didn't take as long as I though it would. One recovery drink and a shower later and I felt right as rain. Not that I was contemplating doing that final 13 mile training lap mind you!

All in a great ride in during which I covered 58.9 miles in 5 hours and 3 minutes, an average speed of 11.9 mph. It also turned out that I climbed a total of 2,085 feet which probably accounts for the unresponsive legs at the end.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Southend Bikeathon 2008

The least said about this year's bikeathon the better. Rain, cold, late for the start and my Garmin stopped working two-thirds of the way round so I have no idea how my times compared with previous years. But on the plus side, it was the first major outing on my new bike and, according to Tatia, I was the first one back. I can't vouch for that as it wasn't a race, but I did reach a point on the first lap (there are two laps to the full 26 miles) where I stopped passing anyone so it is possible I guess.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

New Bike

After several weeks of agnoising and "shall I, shan't I" arguments with myself, I finally decided to upgrade and buy a new bike. And here it is:

Sunday, 20 July 2008

London to Southend 2008

Do you ever have one of those days when the gods seem to conspire against you and something you had planned to do, you begin to woder if it's such a good idea after all? Well, today was one of those days.

It all began yesterday when we went to a BBQ. Rather than sticking to frut juice and leaving at a sensible time, I stuck to the Budweisers, didn't eat as I was going to have a pasta when we got home, but then didn't leave when I had planned to and so missed dinner altogether. Had a terrible night's sleep, woke late and missed the train I had planned to catch and had to miss breakfast as I was running late. No problem though, as I bagged some bananas and an energy ar planning to eat breakfast on the train. All well and good but I left the extra Gatorade at home and so was feeling quire dehydrated.

Once on the train though, things started to change for the better. There were engineering works on my line which meant all trains were being diverted to Liverpool Street – and one of the stops included Stratford. So, no need to have to change and get the organised train. There were lots of other people on the train taking part in the ride and it was good to while away the journey chatting to like-minded souls.

Then it was off the train and cycle to the starting point at Victoria Park. I got there and was ready for the off at 8.00, my original intended start time. All was well that ended well.

The ride was great fun, and for the large part very well marshalled. There was the usual crap trying to get out of London as we sat at red light after red light. But once on the outskirts the roads were a dream. There are a series of hills just outside London at Chigwell which were a right killer last year and I have to admit to walking up the last one. This year though, it was ride all the way – not without a great deal of effort mind you.

The wind wasn't too much of a problem apart from at a place called Hannignfield where there must be a two mile stretch of road running alongside the reservoir where 15 mph headwinds were blowing – not a lot of fun just over half way into the ride when the legs are starting to feel it a bit.

I must admit though that I was pleased to arrive at the finish line and the jacket potato was to die for!

I was very pleased that I considerably improved on my time – last year took me 4 and half hours, this year took only 3 hours 50 minutes.

Can't wait for next year!!!

Sunday, 13 July 2008


Whoops I have just realised the London to Soutned ride is next weekend and not the 27th!!! That gives me just 7 days to recover from yesterday. Maybe I should have only done 40 miles - ah well, too late now.

Essex Countryside Ride

Well, today was the day and inspite of a later night last night and having to rouse myself from bed at 6.00 this morning for the ride, I was feeling pretty good and decided to go for the 60 mile ride – I could always change my mind at the time but you gotta aim high right?

The weather forecast was fairly good, with a window in the rain promised for between 7:00 am and 1pm and the winds didn't seem too bad either.

So it was load up the bike and off I went.

When I got to the venue, the weather was actually quite chilly and I wished I had put a long sleeved shirt on. It ought to warm up once we get going but make note to self to get a pair of arm warmers as these can be worn or stashed as required.

There was a slight delay at the start as, in spite of it being advertised as a 7.30 start, the ride commentator (well, the guy blabbering into a microphone at the start) announced it wouldn't actually get underway until 8.00. In the end, the decided to split the difference and we were off at 7.45. And so, without further ado, the tape was cut and off we headed – all 800 of us. Well, no about 100 actually as the rest must have opted for a bit of a lie in and later start.

The ride itself was a great deal of fun. The weather held out for most of the way although the wind was biting cold at times and was gusting at up to 13.8 mph. So it was from sweating one minute to shivering the next. Not to mention the extra effort required for hills.

The wind also made it hard going up hills. Oh and as I say time and time again, anyone who thinks Essex is flat should try cycling here!

Total climb = 1,937ft

I felt pretty comfortable for most of the ride but the last three miles become a battle of will-power against sheer exhaustion. And it didn't help that it was all up-hill. My legs were just about giving out. But the crowning glory? A half mile uphill with roadbumps just before the finish! Whoever worked out that part of the route should be made to ride it daily!

And then it was across the finish line, collect my medal and certificate and tuck into a large, greasy cheeseburger with no feelings of guilt as surely I am allowed some indulgence for cycling 60 miles and burning off 3,750 calories.

I was slightly disappointed with the time as 4 hours 35 minutes (average 13.2 mph) - I would have liked the average to have been closer to 14 mph. Still there is always the London to Southend ride in two weeks!

The Results

The detailed results:

Monday, 7 July 2008

Another Windy Day

Why is it so damn windy in Britain these days? Where are the supposed long, warm calm sunny days. I checked the weather forecast this morning and came close to cancelling my ride:

34 mph gusts increasing to 45mph! I wonder how much that effectively adds to your distance? Looking back over recent rides the weather seems to be nothing but windy!

But still I went ahead as planed and it was only in one or two places that the wind almost brought me to a standstill. In the end, I did a healthy 39.75 miles in 2 hours 50 minutes (14.0 mph average).

Friday, 27 June 2008

Bloody Awful

Well, that must count as just about the worst ride I've had. Not that anything seriously untoward happened – no white van drivers trying to knock me off the road. Just 25 mph winds, bottom bracket developing an annoying click, seriously bad indigestion kicking in, foot cramp and my Achilles tendon hurting like hell. Oh yes and it started to rain too. So 1 lap it was then into the shower. Let's hope Sunday's is better as the 60 miler is fast approaching and I need the training.

The figures:
Distance: 13.27 miles
Time: 53.24
Average speed: 14.9 mph
Max speed: 21.9mph
Calories 816
Av Cadence: 65 rpm

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Bloody Marvellous

Ah what a difference 48 hours makes.

This morning's ride was wonderful. 39 miles in weather that may not have been quite perfect but really good for riding nonetheless. Sun, cloud now and again, wind that offered and challenge and cooled. Shame I didn't have time to do a fourth lap but is was back to my usual job of unpaid chauffer!

Feeling much more confident about the Essex Countryside Ride in two weeks time although I am still debating between te 40 and 60 mile route. The main reason being that the London to Southend ride is two weeks after and I don't want to overdo the training.

Friday, 23 May 2008

A Blustery Day

Ahh the little ones were out on Sunday for the kidz bikathon along Southend sea front. Not that my little one washaving anything to do with it. There was daddy having these sweet thoughts about his little four year old riding though the finish line after two miles along the sea-front to collect her medal. But when we go out for a practice ride a couple of weeks back she rides for five minutes before claiming she is tired and wants to go play on the beach. How they break your heart.

Anyway where was I? Oh yes, as part of my usual trainingng route along the sea-front was closed off for the kidz event I decided to head off in a slightly different direction and see where my nose lead me. Along the way it struck me that I think I am starting to get masochistic tendencies. No nothing like that, it's just that I am starting to enjoy the battle with hills. Not that I am going out of my way to find them mind you, simply that I don't ride an extra five miles to avoid one. Hills, in Essex I hear you say? Wellthe 240ft climb over three miles O tackled a couple of weeks back may not qualify anyone for king of the mountains, but being as unfit as I am, it felt like it was never ending and hurt!.

So I decided to tackle a similar route with the same hill. Only this time with the added fun of headwinds ranging from 25 to 40 miles an hour (check the news for freak summer winds on 22 June). But then every cloud has a silver lining and it was enormous fun cycling along the sea-front with 25-40 mile an hour tail wind blowing me along. Keeping up with the traffic, meant being able to ride in the middle of the raod and grin in the rear view mirror of the car in front. Mind you it got a bt scary at times when a freak side wind would hit and try its best to blow me over!

With only three weeks to go with my first ride of the season (we don't talk about the first two I was supposed to do) – the 58 mile Essex Countryside ride on 12 July ( – I feel woefully prepared and need to start getting some extra training in. I could always do the 18 or 35 mile course buut then where would be the fun in that. So if the weather holds, it will be 13 mile circuits Tuesday and Thursday evenings as well as my Sunday ride. And if the weather doesn't hold it will be time to dust off the turbo trainer.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Sat Nav Try Out

Today I went out for a quick spin to test out my new Garmin (see the Sat Nov blog if you have no idea what that it is). Well, first of all, I have to say it is probably a quick to crashing into something as it is tempting to keep reading the 8 datafields rather than watching where you are going! But once the novelty wore off, I used it pretty much the same as any other bike computer, checking the usual stuff like speed, average speed, cadence and the like.

But when I got home, the fun started as I downloaded the information and started playing around with the analysis it provided. There is also a cool goggle earth view where it zooms in from the view of the earth to the route just taken (did I mention that the Garmin records your route and all of the other data). I have to admit to being a bit of a gadget freak as although some of the data will allow me to track my progress as I train over the summer, I haven't a clue what I'll use the other half for!

And here's the goggle map of today's route:

Or if you want to see more detail: CLICK HERE

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Sat Nav

My new sat nav arrived today. Sat Nav for a bike? Well yes but as a training aid more recording where you have been that where you are going!. It's one of these:

And here's the blurb on what it does:

Rugged, lightweight Edge attaches easily to the stem or handlebars of your bike with the included bike mount. Just turn it on, acquire GPS satellites and go. Edge 305 automatically measures your speed, distance, time, calories burned, altitude, climb and descent, and also records the route you have taken for review. For extra-precise climb and descent data, Edge 305 also incorporates a barometric altimeter to pinpoint changes in elevation.

Other Edge features:

Easy to install; no calibration required. Just snap it into the bike mount and go.
  • High-sensitivity GPS receiver tracks your position even in tree cover and canyons, making it extremely reliable for location, distance and speed information.
  • Virtual Partner® lets you race a virtual competitor over a specified distance and speed.
  • Courses let you race against a previously recorded workout, so you can compare your current and past performances over the same ride.
  • Auto Pause® pauses the timer when you slow down or stop and resumes when you speed up again, so you can focus on your ride.
  • Auto Lap® automatically starts a new lap each time you pass a specified location or travel a preset distance.

Measure Your Heart Rate and Cadence

Edge 305 comes packaged with a heart rate monitor, speed/cadence sensor, or both. These wireless sensors use ANT technology to send valuable workout data to the Edge.

* Edge 305 + heart rate — measure your heart rate and track your heart rate zone with the lightweight, comfortable heart rate strap. Don't worry about cross-talk; ANT technology eliminates interference from other heart rate monitors.

* Edge 305 + cadence — monitor your pedaling cadence and wheel speed as you ride with the self-calibrating, wireless speed/cadence sensor that attaches securely to your bike. You can even use it to train indoors because the sensor attaches to your rear wheel.

Track Your Progress

As an added benefit, you can plan, analyse and store data from your workouts using free Garmin Training Center® software, which lets you analyse data with interactive graphs that chart your speed, time, heart rate and elevation. Overlay your ride on a map so you can pinpoint specific areas and see how elevation and other factors affect your performance. Or, upload your workout data to, Garmin's web-based application that provides in-depth analysis of your workouts, online mapping and route sharing that will take your training to the next level. Endurance athletes can also use the Edge with, an easy-to-use web-based training system designed to help athletes train for any event.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Tips for becoming a roadie

By Elden Nelson, The Fat Cyclist

Oh those silly roadies! (Tim de Waele)

As a mountain biker, you have no doubt noticed an entirely different kind of rider from time to time: the road cyclist. You have probably heard that many pro mountain bikers train on the road, due to the improved power, stamina, and pedaling technique road cycling yields.

Perhaps you've noticed how elegant and svelte a good road bike looks, and have thought to yourself 'I wouldn't mind riding on the road.'

Well, good for you.

However, my mountain biking friend, there are seven vital things you should know before you hit the road, so to speak.

1. Your bike is different.

As a mountain biker, you are used to putting your back into it when you need to lift the thing onto a bike rack, over a log, or so forth. My own preferred method is to use the 'Clean and Jerk.' If you use similar force when lifting a road bike, there's a good chance you'll accidentally throw it over a building.

Also, you need to pump the tires up harder. Much harder. No, even harder than that. Generally, in fact, it takes the weight of two or three 'roadies' (an endearing term road cyclists like to call themselves) to push down hard enough on a standard floor pump to get the tires to the proper pressure.

How do you know when a road tire is inflated to the proper pressure? The answer is simple: it's hard enough when one single more stroke of the pump will blow it off the rim. The real art is, naturally, in knowing whether you've reached that point.

2. The terrain is different.

When you are mountain biking, you naturally are inclined to look for interesting obstacles to ride over -- roots, rocks, fallen logs are all part of the fun. On a road bike, on the other hand, anything but perfectly smooth pavement is a potentially life-threatening danger, and must be avoided at all costs. Further, if you are ahead of another cyclist, you must use elaborate hand gestures to indicate that there is -- horrors! -- a pebble 75 metres up the road.

3. Words you know have different meanings.

Since roadies and mountain bikers have a common heritage, it's no surprise that they share some vocabulary. It's also no surprise that the variance in meaning in some of that vocabulary can get you into trouble.

For example, if a mountain biker says a ride is 'technical', you can assume that there is loose shale, several ledge drops, high-penalty (e.g., death) exposure on one side of the trail, or slick, mossy roots twisting along the singletrack. If a roadie calls a ride 'technical' on the other hand, it most likely means that there is a roundabout somewhere in the ride.

As a second example, when a mountain biker talks about going on a 'group ride', it means that a bunch of friends got together, regrouped at junctures of the ride, talked as they were riding, and probably had a beer or twelve together after the ride. When roadies have a 'group ride', on the other hand, riders are expected to ride in a tight formation, paying strict attention to the gap between your front tire and the rear wheel ahead of you. the gap should be no more than four inches. After the obligatory ten minute warmup, it becomes each rider's dual purpose to drop every other rider, while not being dropped yourself.

4. Beware of triathletes.

As a mountain biker, you've always been deeply suspicious of triathletes. As a road cyclist, you will find out you were correct to be so, and you will find out why. Triathletes will try to infiltrate your ranks and join your rides, then demonstrate that they have no idea of how to ride in a group, and very little control of their direction of travel.

Most importantly, though, they wear these short shorts and tank tops that are just plain creepy.

5. You must now keep your bike clean.

On a mountain bike, dirt is a badge of honor. A little mud on the downtube tells other riders that you're not afraid to ride in the rough stuff. On a road bike, on the other hand, if your bike isn't 15 percent cleaner than when you bought it, you are a slovenly ne'er-do-well who cannot be trusted.

6. Your body needs to change.

As a mountain biker, you've no doubt noticed it's quite helpful to have not just strong legs, but strong arms as well. Roadies, on the other hand, regard their arms as a necessary evil, their sole function being to keep their chests from falling onto the bike's stem.

It's a well-known fact that roadies bind their arms to their sides when not riding bikes, doing everything they can to facilitate the atrophy of these non-contributing limbs.

7. What you look at changes.

When mountain biking, you have no doubt been astounded at the beauty around you -- the trees, the streams, wildlife, beautiful sandstone vistas. As a road cyclist, you will also find yourself occupied with things to look at, such as the pavement. Or, if you're riding in a group, you'll be treated to the constant, unavoidable sight of the butt of the guy riding ahead of you. And cars flying by you, yelling out helpful suggestions about what you should do and to whom, as well as their understanding of whether you belong on the road (their stance is that you do not).

It's breathtaking, frankly.

As you can clearly see, road cycling has numerous exciting different experiences to offer the mountain biker. I'm sure you can hardly wait to try it out.

Elden 'Fatty' Nelson blogs as the Fat Cyclist, where he has been known, on occasion, to present a lopsided point of view. Next week, he will present the new experiences roadies can expect to encounter when trying their hand at mountain biking.