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harv
recumbent enthusiast

426 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2010 :  08:16:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sean, Maybe the NoCom seat is too slick and even with a couple strips of foam there, there isn't much coupling of your meager mass to the bike. Have you ever tried gluing your (Ok, use velcro)skin suit to the seat...low tack spray adhesive? <slightly tongue in cheek>

Pulling on a lowracer's bars is wasted energy...blood nutrients and oxy that should be used by your legs are being wasted in the arms and shoulders. The bars are there for steering, shifting and braking, not bench pressing. What you are trying to accomplish is to couple your body to the bike so your big guns can get the watts to the ground, that's what prompted my 'glue yourself' to the bike comment. Become one with the seat young jedi and faster will you go.

Harv
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randy
recumbent guru

729 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2010 :  10:03:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sean,
Sean,

I'm referring to aerobic power only. Of course for anaerobic power (sprints) you need all of the stability you can get but if a bike/body position is stable enough to do 40mph on the track during a sprint then it is impossible for that same bike to be a power-robbing noodle while doing 30mph during a TT.

As far as circulation goes, compare the veins in your hands when they are hanging at your sides to when they are raised overhead.

I'd guess that rowers would be able to generate the power you state because one, they are using more muscles than a recumbent rider and two, those muscles, primarily the hamstrings, glutes and spinal erectors, are below the heart. Because of these two reasons rowing, like DF cycling, is probably a much harder sport systemically than lowracing.

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randy
recumbent guru

729 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2010 :  10:10:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by harv



Pulling on a lowracer's bars is wasted energy...blood nutrients and oxy that should be used by your legs are being wasted in the arms and shoulders. The bars are there for steering, shifting and braking, not bench pressing.



Bar pulling and other forms of "wasted energy" are part of some peoples argument as to why DF can climb better (produce MORE energy) than recumbents. I agree that it should be unnecessary to pull on the lowracer's bars but recumbent riders have the most unused energy to spare so it's not a huge deal.
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randy
recumbent guru

729 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2010 :  10:31:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sean costin



I'm not sure where you get the idea about recumbent stabilty affecting power. I am just talking about creating seat designs to take advantage additional lower body movement that could help boost power.



I was addressing your second post in this thread where you said to think about how it would feel to run without arms and how DFers were able to use their upper bodies to counteract pedal forces which I interpreted as increasing stability.
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Tedd Wheeler
New Member

USA
84 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2010 :  11:29:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Food for thought: The makers of the Cruzbike Silvio claim it has "full body cycling" like an upright combined with recumbent aerodynamics. That's just advertising of course, but here is some anecdotal evidence: Maria Parker set the UMCA women's unfaired road course record for 12 Hour TT's on a Silvio. This was also a new overall record, beating the women's upright record which has been held for 17 years, plus she set overall 100 Mile and 200 Mile TT UMCA records en route along with 2 WRRA records.
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randy
recumbent guru

729 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2010 :  12:45:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In my always humble opinion, she would smoke that record on a proper racing recumbent. Imagine what Barbara Buatois would have done on that day.
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Larry Lem
human power expert

South Sandwich Islands
2541 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2010 :  13:43:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sean,
Can you make a non-stretchy hammock-type seat that will let you body move but not waste energy (like a loose mesh seat)? It would be an interesting experiment.

Do you have a test-bed bike to put it in?

Have your thoughts on body movement and power output changed since this thread was started?

Larry Lem
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alevand
human power expert

USA
3574 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2010 :  16:56:36  Show Profile  Visit alevand's Homepage  Reply with Quote
How about a flat as a table seat with budgie cords attached to the shoulders pulling forward to simulate gravity weight. You can sway side to side and jump on the pedals. An upright will still climb better.

C:
Tony Levand
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Hadden
recumbent enthusiast

United Kingdom
208 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2010 :  02:01:50  Show Profile  Visit Hadden's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The first streamliner I raced in had a waist strap to help stabalise you on the seat when sprinting. My new Road Race bike AV-ACG has a fairly uprigth back position as my bum is shaped into the floor of the monocoque fairing (keeping knees and shoulder same height) and feels good for sprinting. It helps keep the bike short to reduce the fairings surface area too. http://www.flickr.com/photos/bhpclub/3257050069/in/set-72157604828238682/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/bhpclub/3700757506/in/set-72157604828238682/ Should be able to get some comparative figures when I get the Metrigear Vector power pedals. (There isn't enough room for Powertap or SRM)

Simon sanderson http://www.bhpc.org.uk/simon-sanderson.aspx http://www.youtube.com/my_videos http://www.flickr.com/photos/bhpclub/sets/72157604828238682/

Edited by - Hadden on 01/15/2010 02:15:10
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sean costin
human power expert

Lesotho
2007 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2010 :  05:05:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think if a moving seat allowed you to move backward, it would not be productive. For this reason, a slightly exaggerated lumbar bulge in the seat has been useful to me in the past. I would like to try something that would allow my hips to move laterally or rotate on an axis similar to my head tube so that as my leg moved forward my hip would move toward the pedals and to that side. Something like if my bum was sitting on 1/2 of a lazy susan. The idea is that there would be a rythmic left to right movement of the hips. It could be that the down tube would interfere too much.

It could be complete quackery, but I think if you can involve more muscles without enduring equal mechanical losses it could work out.

Sean

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25hz
human power supergeek

Canada
1223 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2010 :  05:06:41  Show Profile  Visit 25hz's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by randy

In my always humble opinion, she would smoke that record on a proper racing recumbent. Imagine what Barbara Buatois would have done on that day.



From having built, ridden and raced swing booms, including one the same design as the Cruzbikes, I am in complete agreement. If ever they decide to start selling rigid boom performance bents, and Maria runs that course again on a rigid boom bent, those records will fall immmediately.
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E.B. Erickson
New Member

50 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2010 :  05:22:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sean,
Here's an idea... Use a horizontally mounted rod end bearing to allow the seat to move. The seat could be attached to a bolt passing through the bearing, and you could control the amount of movement with rubber washers (old inner tubes). This would allow some back/forth and up down motion, and might mimic the hip movement that DF riders have.

--ElJay
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25hz
human power supergeek

Canada
1223 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2010 :  06:32:46  Show Profile  Visit 25hz's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by alevand

It (blood circulation)is a closed system ,but everyone has experienced getting dizzy when standing up too fast. When recumbent climbing feet are more elevated than on level ground.

C:
Tony Levand



So, some known facts:

1) The heart utilizes gravity to aid getting the blood down to the extremities, both arms and legs. In this case, we're concerned about the legs, btu there are lots of peopel that report tingling and numbness in their hands and arms when using bents with hand positions shoulder height or higher.
2) The body utilizes muscle contraction in the extremities to function as a pump to get the blood up and out of the extremities and back towards the heart. The muscles utilize the outbound pressure from the heart along with their own contraction pressure (not unlike milking a cow) as well as check valves to counteract gravity's negative effects.

There have been a number of studies comparing blood flow during vertical and supine, and by "supine" the positions have varied from semi-upright to laying flat. The results from the tests and studies are sometimes a surprise to the peopel conducting the tests and in most of the cases, the people only have theories or speculation as to why they got the results they did. While the circulation is fairly well understood, they have no concrete explanations for the physiology changes when body position changes, relative to gravity. So, what do they report?

1) Blood flow to extremities is reduced when supine. This is attributed to the reduced effect of gravity pushign the blood down into the legs.
2) Blood pressure is reduced. This is attributed to the heart having to work less to push blood up and out of the legs against the force of gravity, even with musclular help.
3) Oxygen uptake is higher when supine. This is thought to be related to waste products being removed faster when supine than upright due to the reduced negative effect of gravity.

Now, when it comes to specific cycling oriented testing, the testing gets harder to explain.

Is the reduced bloodflow and heartrate also related to the reduced amount of muscle groups being used and needing blood flow in supine cycling compared to upright cycling? No tests I've seen have examined this.

Interesting thing about the link posted by Steamer is the blood flow time lag. For anyone who has exercised hard, they know there is a time lag between when you start exerting yourself and when your heart rate speeds up and catches up with your need fuel and oxygen demands. This is linear and is in line with thee linear rate that oxygen delivery and uptake occurs at. With the link provided, and with the other similar test listed on the same page, the examiners found that this rate of increase of heart rate, oxygen delivery and uptake is affected by body position. This ramping up of the circulatory system is delayed in the supine position. Prior exercise can be used to reduce or remove this delay, but only certain intensities of exercise seem to work.

Every competitor understands the volume of warming up, but apparently, tests show that just warming up might not actually help for supine cycling positions. While prior exercise helped with upright oxygen delivery and uptake, only HEAVY intensity prior exercise helped with supine exercise. Any other type resulted in a delay of the heart rate, oxygen delivery and uptake. So, say someone is going to run a sprint or a TT. On an upright, wiht no warm-up, they can expect anywhere from 3 to 6 minutes of "lag" before their system catches up to their exertion. With a warm-up, they can be ready to rock as soon as the gun sounds. On a recumbent, according to the testing, starting the race cold turkey means it could take almost twice as long to get up to speed than it does on an upright. Even if you do a nice, casual warm-up, it can STILL take up to twice as long to get your circulation up to speed. According to the results, the supine position needs prior HEAVY intensity work to get the system to respond the same as when it is upright. That's pretty interesting. That time lag results in a tested reduction in output of anywhere from 12 to 20%.

So, say your riding along on your bent at a moderate effort, and you come to a hill. Up you go and it's going to get harder for a number of reasons.
1) You can't stand up on the pedals like an upright
2) As you start up the hill, your feet and legs are going to get further above your heart. That extra height is more than you are likely used to, regardless of initial BB height, so that will reduce blood flow, oxygen delivery, and oxygen availability. This will reduce your power output and make you have to work harder.
3) Additionally now, according to these tests, you are at a further disadvantage because there is an extra performance lag in getting the circulatory system from light/moderate intensity, up to heavy intensity for the hill (if you want to go hard). So, depending on the length of the hill, you might be riding in the "lag" for the entire length of the hill. Studies show that prior effort on an upright is sufficient to remove this circulatory lag, so you can hit the hill with all guns blazing, but apparently not so when supine. Is the difficulty of doing a hill on a bent also partially because we are in this physiological lag?

When it comes to things like short TTs, you could be riding up to half of it in "lag" without a proper warm-up. With 200 or 1km sprints, you could still be riding at a deficit for the entire race. For me, I don't start to fell like I "click" until about 30 mins into a hard ride. I try to warm up for about 30 mins when I can, but I know I never go hard in any portion of the warm-up because I feared prematurely burning my matches before the race. Perhaps I was short changing myself with too easy of a warm-up and the time maybe wasn't so important.

Also, with reduced heart rate, blood flow and blood pressure in the recumbent position, with the legs still working away and pumping (or trying to pump) blood back and out of the legs, is it possible that there's some form of negative pressure being created on the return side that's having a negative effect on circulation? Blood vessels only hold their shape because of the pressure inside them - like a balloon. What if part of the issue in flow is related in having to reinflate the vessels as the red blood cells push through them? This might mean that part of the low blood pressure picture is related to this negative pressure, the heart having to reinflate the vessels, or both? Just speculation, and in the end, irrelevent, but as little is understood about why the circulation operates the way it does under exercise in the supine position, I was just curious.

The whole blood flow thing realtive to performance also makes me think about those wonderful pressure/compression shorts and tights you can buy. That compression created by those tights is applied to the entire length of the leg, all the way around the leg. That pressure is pushing on all the blood vessels (to whatever degree), both on the outbound side and the inbound side. That pressure means the heart is going to have to push against that extra artificial pressure on the way out, and for the return route as well. That also means the muscles are going to have to work against that extra pressure to push the blood out as well. As it is a static and uniform pressure over the entire surface of the leg, even after reading all the hype about them, I fail to see how this actually "helps" circulation at all. When I was scuba diving, if the wet/dry suits were too tight, especially in the legs, my feet would go numb and start turning blue. I've seen high tech inflatable pants that athletes use to speed up recovery, but those had zones that were individually controlled, and when they cycled, they did much the same process as milking a cow. Again though, if these fancy pants are milking the blood and waste products up and out of the leg, how does that help the outbound flow? Again, just questions on my part.

The differences of power output on a bent vs a DF is an interesting thing. Depending on how detailed one gets, it could look like your just picking fly **** out of pepper or looking for excuses. For me though, I'd like to use as much of my energy for performance as I can, and I can't do that with no understanding. The most obvious way for me, is to do what is preached - train on what you race. My body will learn and adapt as much as it can. The next thing I'll start doing though, just in case, is start warming up differently and maybe not be scared of a few hard efforts near the end of the warm-up.
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LongJohn
recumbent guru

China
581 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2010 :  08:40:36  Show Profile  Visit LongJohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hey Tim,

I think you sum it up real good.
The explenation you give is my exact personal experience during races.

I always want to do an exercise before the race that lifts my hartrate to the same level as required during the race. If I don't, I struggle to get power to the required level (hartrate does go up).
I do think that the time between that "maximum" training intensity, and the "maximum" race intensity is different per person, and needs to be figured out individually.

When I start training again I will try to keep this in mind.

Thanks for the recap.

Thomas
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randy
recumbent guru

729 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2010 :  09:29:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm wondering if our vascular system (primarily the legs) that has evolved to optimally work in the vertical position has become too much of a good thing when used in recumbent mode.

Suppose you had a fuel pump mounted above an engine. Because it was mounted above the engine it wouldn't matter if the output fuel line was bigger than was necessary; you could use a 2" diameter inner tube. Now move the fuel pump under the engine. The large diameter, flabby fuel line is now the weak link in the system. It hinders fuel flow to the engine (the cyclist's legs) reducing its output and in the case of the recumbent cyclist reduces the legs ability to aid in circulating the blood.

In the case of the engine with the low-mounted fuel pump a narrower-diameter fuel line would be in order. Is the same true for the recumbent rider? Perhaps switching the veins and arteries, if it were possible, would yield better results. One way or another I would think that increasing pressure in the arteries of the legs would be a good thing.

While the compression pants 25hz spoke of may not be the best of ideas for the DF cyclist perhaps the added pressure would give the recumbent riders heart something better to push against (because, at least in my case, the heart in the recumbent position has a lot of room to work with). Another possibility, as I stated earlier, is to boost pressure by compressing other areas not involved in cycling.

There might be a way to test this theory. It would require somebody who is on blood pressure medication (the kind that relaxes the blood vessels, not diuretics) to compare their outputs when on and off the drug. Any takers?

My blood pressure is on the lower end of the spectrum and that would explain the huge differences in power output I've seen (I figure about 100 watts at AT) when going from DF to recumbent, especially as I get more laidback.
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warren
human power expert

USA
6482 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2010 :  09:31:43  Show Profile  Visit warren's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I agree, nice post Tim.

When I do a TT or another sprint race, in addition to a nice warmup, I try to run in place for a couple minutes as close to launch time as possible. This gets my Cardio-Vascular system running fast so that when I launch my CV system does not freak out. This works great and saves me from having to back off until my CV system stabilizes.

Yes, I look goofy running in place, but then I ride a recumbent, so obviously I don't care.

-Warren.
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randy
recumbent guru

729 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2010 :  10:12:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by warren

I agree, nice post Tim.

When I do a TT or another sprint race, in addition to a nice warmup, I try to run in place for a couple minutes as close to launch time as possible. This gets my Cardio-Vascular system running fast so that when I launch my CV system does not freak out. This works great and saves me from having to back off until my CV system stabilizes.

Yes, I look goofy running in place, but then I ride a recumbent, so obviously I don't care.

-Warren.



Yep, at my last Fiesta Island TT I did a really light warmup on the trainer and went into the race completely unprepared. I spent the first third of the race with my heart beating out of my chest doing a whole lot of nothing before it suddenly relaxed. Boy, what a relief that was. At previous Fiesta Islands I did only about two miles but jumping directly into anaerobic threshold pace and was fine.
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randy
recumbent guru

729 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2010 :  10:27:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by randy

Sean,
Sean,



I didn't mean to do that. I added the second one after I finished the post when I didn't notice the first one next to the quote symbols. Just in case it sounded punkish (more than usual).
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25hz
human power supergeek

Canada
1223 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2010 :  18:21:45  Show Profile  Visit 25hz's Homepage  Reply with Quote
That's an intersting idea about volume reduction of the blood vessels. Maybe it's simpler to come up with options if we start simple first, like the example Randy gave. For the blood vessels at the muscles, at the feeding end, the vessels are so small they are only big enough for one red cell at a time. They're actually smaller than the dia of a red blood cell, but the squishing action is what actually releases the O2, and the red blood cells release ATP to help the vessles relax to minimize pressure.

So, we can't get any smaller than that, so maybe the direction to head is to the torso like Randy says, with a corset. Problem is, how can you selectively reduce the volume of blood vessels in the torso to increase the pressure, velocity and volume of blood going to the legs? A corset would do it, but that would make breathing difficult, and in turn hamper oxygen intake and exhaling of waste gases. I've been training to breathe with my belly instead of my chest. "Gut breathing" supposedly lengthens the lungs more than widneing them, increases the air velocity into the lungs, which goes deeper into the lungs and helps clear air around the alveoli. It's also much easier to expand my diaphragm out through my stomach than fight the ribs and all the upper body muscles to expand my chest. It's also good practice for hopefully the near future where I'll be jammed in a streamer and my width will be restricted anyway. So, if there's maybe not a practical physical way to reduce torso volume, maybe the trick is to do that by reducing muscle group use.

Vaso dilation occurs predominantly in areas where muscle groups are being asked to work. Not being a keen biologist, I remember reading that part of the chemical soup around working muscles encouraged more blood flow to them at the expense of other areas. Digestion shutting down during exercise is a prime example, but no reason why that couldn't be adapted to more concious control of muscle groups, is there? If you gut breathe rather than chest breathe, is that going to reduce the musclular load of the torso? Additionally, if the upper body is kept quiet, all those muscle groups will require less blood flow, less oxygen and less food. Any major heart effort should then be predominantly routed to the major working muscles, which would be the legs. If my hands are hanging relaxed on the bars, and my hsoulders are relaxed and dropped, minimal energy and muscle use is needed to steer. If I don't pull with my arms, I don't need to create a column with my core muscles to try to help push my hips down and try to add pedal force. If I set the bike up so that the second I start pushing, I push myself back in the seat and my hips, back, shoulders or whatever bite the seat and hold me in place to resist the pedalling force, then both my structure and the bike structure is holding me in place, not muscular effort. If more of my cardio capacity is now available for leg use, all I need to do is make sure my legs are strong enough to be able to utilize the resources. Training should accomplish this, should it not? Maybe not easy, maybe not fast, but I believe I can train my legs so that I can use just about all the available capacity from my heart.

As far as adaptation goes, I know that my body will increase the red blood cell count if i make it think it needs it. I know my body will add more muscles to my legs if I pound the hell out of them with intervals squats and extensions. I also know that if I can overstress and overspeed them using things like plyometrics and 180+ cadence drills, my body will develope higher muscle recruitment. At the same time, I know that not only will it add more muscle fibres but it will also grow more blood vessels to supply the muscles I'm working hard. None of this is particularly earth shatter news, but the trick is finding out how to exercise to do those things. Being rather unscientific about it, I just try to kick the crap out of my legs as often as i can. They bounce back pretty fast and i have never been even close to "overtrained" so it's sort of scary how hard I would need to push to really get into the hurt locker. I guess that's where mental toughness and committment will get you afew steps closer to that hurt locker.

It's not at all hard to understand how someone would need to spend pretty much all their waking moments on studying this **** to get a handle on it. It's also completely understandable why the desire would be there for someone to go looking for a GOOD coach that had already figured this **** out if the athlete really wanted to pin their performance meter. As bents have a smaller pool of perhaps practical resources to employ during racing, maybe instead, the direction to go is to try to max out the resources that we DO use? IE, go for Tom Platz legs, or Curt Harnett.
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steamer
Starting Member

USA
43 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2010 :  18:43:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3416865

Here is another one. This abstract is even more telling. Here they are creating a vacuum condition on the lower body during supine exercise of the lower body muscles and testing it's similarity to upright exercise. The two were found to be similar and superior to simple supine exercise in terms of performance.

Here is the main quote from the abstract: "In supine exercise, the lower body negative pressure (LBNP)-induced reduction in blood lactate and enhancement of work performance are attributed to a more efficient muscle blood flow resulting from increased local perfusion pressure. This strongly suggests that the primary limitation of work performance was set by the peripheral circulation in working muscles rather than by cardiac performance. A similar mechanism may, in part, explain why work performance in dynamic leg exercise was greater in the upright than in the supine posture. It is also concluded that supine leg exercise during LBNP is a useful model of upright exercise, with regard to the central circulation and the circulation in working muscles."

One possible mechanism is just simply that when the leg muscles are at the bottom of the system, a greater pressure is exerted by the height of the body above, and like balloons, the vessels, capillarys, and veins all expand in response to the higher pressures. Bigger pathways means more blood flow and better perfusion.

For me personally, this is starting to gel into something that actually makes sense on a gut level.

Tom

Edited by - steamer on 01/15/2010 18:44:31
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alevand
human power expert

USA
3574 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2010 :  18:49:52  Show Profile  Visit alevand's Homepage  Reply with Quote
vacuum bag pants!

C:
Tony Levand
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steamer
Starting Member

USA
43 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2010 :  18:52:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by alevand

vacuum bag pants!

C:
Tony Levand



BRILLIANT! Do these look anything like parachute pants?

Tom
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sean costin
human power expert

Lesotho
2007 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2010 :  19:53:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I cannot agree with you Larry. It is the opposite as pictured here.


quote:
Originally posted by Larry Lem

"

Wow, I don't know how you could ever manage that. Exagerated bike sway on an upright is in the opposite direction. As the right leg drives down, the bike and bars swing to the right side as the body swings to the left.


Larry Lem



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sean costin
human power expert

Lesotho
2007 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2010 :  20:15:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Randy,
I'm on a daily low dose of Lisinopril which is one of those blood vessel relaxing medications. I've been on it for the last 4 years . I've gone off it a few times just to see what would happen. Over about a week, my blood pressure starts to rise above the 120/80 level. It would probably go to 130/90 at which point I become prone to headaches and I just don't feel 100%. I've also raced and trained during these times trying to see if I noticed a difference and I did not. Caffeine is a vaso constrictor and cold can cause blood vessels to constrict. Sudafed and other antihistamines can have the same effect (which I am on right now due to a cold). I'll let you be the guinea pig. I'd rather not go this route.

Sean












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Larry Lem
human power expert

South Sandwich Islands
2541 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2010 :  21:43:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
....so I just ran outside and hopped on an upright and rode down the street in the dark. How embarrassing. I'm going to delete my earlier post.

Larry Lem
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