Hey, Just Ride 28

One would probably have a better chance of seeing a snow leopard than catching me in a Lycra cycling jersey these days. I’m not really sure why. Maybe just too many years of chasing pros in Lycra, or my desire to look like some poor fool who doesn’t know any better.

Oh, I do wear cycling shorts, but typically hidden under cargo shorts or long pants depending on the season.

My cycling helmet reigns as my most updated accessory, and we’ll get into my helmet’s technological wonders one of these days. I wear my cycling cleats until they fall apart — four pairs from ’90 to today — and likewise cycling gloves.

I own all the stuff to deck myself out like most old guys and gals riding bikes out there, but most of it sits in my chest of drawers awaiting future use.

It probably harkens back to my desire to be incognito as a former editor of VeloNews, lest I have the ugly expectations that follow. So as soon as I stopped writing about racing, I stopped dressing like a racer. Weird, I know, but you already know that’s what I am.

I’m as old school as they come. My cycling computer died in ’94, shortly after my ride from San Fransisco to Los Angeles with my brothers, when I clocked my all-time high speed of 55.5 mph on a descent outside Goleta on a mountain bike with slicks. Never replaced it.

I don’t track miles. If I’m interested in how much I’m riding, I’ll total up hours, just to see if last week matches this week.

My last stint as editor of OutdoorsNW magazine included a lot of gear reviews, so I got a lot of neat stuff that, again, is mostly sitting in my drawers — as in chest of, not my personal drawers.

The point is that you shouldn’t come to me for any advice on cycling gear. That said, here’s one thing I think you should know.

My wife discovered the benefit of compression socks well before me, raving how they helped her aching arthritic knees and tired muscles.

Since I’ve never had any real issues with my legs — which, by the way, were voted Best Legs in my senior year of high school, frustrating many of my female classmates — I never considered trying compression socks until I got a pair for a gear review.

I slapped them on before a winter/offseason bike ride with really no expectation other than to hope their thin tight-knit composition would keep my feet warm or at least warm a little bit longer than usual.

I rolled off on my seasonal ride, which typically is an hour out and hour back, always more than ready to turn around at that point.

As my first hour clicked away, I suddenly realized that my legs felt, well, they felt like they were in summer shape. I did take a few days off prior to that ride, but even that couldn’t explain the feeling I experienced.

So onward I rode, attacking one of my long summer routes in about the same time I do it in mid-summer form, if not faster. When I finished, I was still ready for more. And the next day I felt great!

I’m sure results may vary and I don’t believe in the placebo effect here because I had no expectations and basically forgot about the socks until an hour into the ride when I wondered why I was contemplating continuing on instead of turning back.

I was simply shocked at the benefits from the proposed increase in circulation, oxygen and blood flow, and can vouch for less lactic acid build up.

So I bought a couple pairs that sit in the drawer. I’ll get to them after I have to cut the remaining shreds of the first pair off my legs.

Of course, once the weather warms enough for shorts, I put them away until it gets cold again. Subtle design is not in the DNA of compression sock makers. And, well, you know me. I’m not about to draw attention to myself — even my award winning gams.

Time to ride.

TCI and Hey, Just Ride are sponsored by our friends at Shimano North America, who make real nice socks as it turns out.

Leave A Reply

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More