In the summer I would use the exercise bike over at my folks’ place. I went over pretty much every other day, until I realized it was completely messing up my knee.
If I had to guess, the problem is that my legs are short. I’m not exactly tall anyway, but what height I do have is more in my upper body.
Like, I really needed to be at the very closest setting for me to reach the pedals all the way around the loop… but then I would basically have to fold myself and my knees would risk hitting the console.
Long story short, my legs are too short for the radius on that bike. I need something with a shorter crank size.
(Plus not gathering in other people’s homes at present. In case you forgot for 5 minutes that we’re in a pandemic.)
And probably also, I needed to do shorter spurts to begin with. Which was harder when it was a trek (albeit a short one) to get to the equipment.
Still, I really wanted to be able to add biking to my repertoire, even if there’s no scenario in which I would actually go get on a bike (yes I would fall down, thanks — this has been proven already and need not be re-tested).
I wanted more variety in my workouts, and I wanted something that would help bring this insane African Loop challenge into the realm of possibility.
So I took gift card values from my last birthday and the previous Christmas and whatnot, and waited for a sale, and bought myself an under-desk cycle.
Basically, it’s got a smaller turn radius (because it’s meant to be used under a desk though I still don’t see how that would work without cracking one’s knees) than a typical exercise bike. And the angle is more “recumbent” than “upright” — but that is okay for my aging joints.
I started very light. My knee had not been happy with me after my previous experience and I didn’t want to mess myself up. I set it at a medium-low intensity (resistance level 3 of 8), and didn’t try to jump into “every day” or even long stretches at a time. At first, while my knee was still jacked up, I might do a mile at a time, then walk away and stretch or do something else.
But at this point I can do up to 10 miles at a time, if my knee feels good and I go easy (and my schedule permits).
And that’s great!
It means that between that and the ever-increasing step goal, I will eventually pass the pace marker for my Africa loop – and that would mean my solo mission impossible could move into the “challenging but possible” category.