In search of cycling guidance, I decided to check in with Ellie Bogue, who in addition to being a fantastic News-Sentinel photographer is also an industrious runner and cyclist, among other pursuits.
Last fall Ellie ran the first 5 miles of the Parlor City Trot with Traci and I before she looped back on the 10-mile course and we continued on for the half marathon. (Ellie, who ran the Fort4Fitness Mini Marathon two weeks later, was surely eager to pick up the pace once she ditched us.)
Just recently Ellie ran the Indy Mini Marathon, and I hear she may be doing a triathlon later this summer as well. Here’s what she had to say, once she stopped laughing at the prospect of me doing a triathlon on a garage sale mountain bike:
Q. What’s your perspective on biking vs. running as a workout?
A. Hmm … well, they are both a good workout. However, I run more now then cycle because of the time factor. To get a good bike work out it means putting in some significant miles, which takes more time then I have had lately. It is an excellet workout for your glutes and upper thighs. I find running gives me better overall endurance and I can go out and run ten miles in a lot less time. It does not work on your glutes or upper thighs the way biking does. Biking will make you a stronger runner on hills.
Q. Do you allow yourself to coast, or are you constantly peddling?
A. I tend not to coast much unless going down hill. The idea is to keep it spinning on the medium of your three front sprockets, it you have those.
Q. Is it ok to call a bike ride a bike ride, or is there some other term that’s more appropriate to fitness biking?
A. Most people refer to it as cycling — not biking.
Q. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?
A. The biggest mistake I made was getting distracted when riding in a pack and crashing when the rider ahead of me braked with no warning (newbie).
Q. What’s the farthest you’ve biked?
A. The furthest I have ridden at one time in a day was 112 miles after having ridden 100 miles the day before — that was during the 500 mile ride in 6 days I did from Minneapolis to Chicago several years ago.
Q. Most interesting place you’ve ridden to/through?
A. Most interesting was probably when I did some riding in the Rocky Mts a few years ago on vacation — beautiful.
Q. Do you have a particular biking goal these days?
A. No particular goal these days– I do group organized rides with friends through out the summer that are about 50 miles at a time. Haven’t done a century ( 100 mile) in ten years. Would love to ride coast to coast some time but have never met the right people to make this happen — not to mention the time factor.
Q. Anything you’d like to add?
A. I recommend you put road tires on your bike. Lose the nubs, you will go faster. And with cycling it really is about the equipment if you want the speed. Carbon fiber is incredibly light and durable and well worth the cost. I bought my best bike used from a racer for a fifth of what he paid for it — still seemed like a fortune to me, but every time I ride it, I know it was money well spent.
Oh and I might add — eat before you are hungry and practice drinking from a water bottle while riding.
*I didn’t find any dictionary definition that said it was OK to call a cyclist who had rode a “century” a centurion, though it seems like a reasonable thing to do, given that there aren’t that many Roman army commanders wandering around the planet these days. There is a cycling company that uses that name. And the online Urban Dictionary lists a secondary definition as someone capable of “Sinking 100 shots of beer in 100 minutes. Without chundering or missing one.”