Saturday, July 25, 2009

Training While Commuting

Steve Schafer, DRA
Albuquerque - East

Off the Pitch - Bicycling

I ride bicycles a lot. It’s a great way to keep you in shape to referee. The following are some ideas on how to incorporate bicycling into your referee fitness plan.

Commuting on a bike kills two birds with one stone. You get to work and home, plus get a workout during a time you would normally be sitting in a car. You save gas money and lower your stress level by not fighting rush hour traffic. It takes some planning on your part. Planning a route that is bike friendly is the first step (the city has bicycle route maps or I can help). I pack my work clothes and lunch in a backpack, wear weather appropriate cycling clothing (more in the winter, less in the summer), and leave earlier to get to work on time. I really like my end of the day commute as it gives me a chance to unwind from work stress.

I recommend mountain bikes for first time riders. They position you upright and the fatter tires give a more comfortable ride. Put ‘slime’ (liquid stop leak) in the tubes and mountain bikes are almost maintenance free. While you can ride a mountain bike on paved roads, I really enjoy them on the dirt. Mountain bikes make me feel like a kid again, taking jumps and skidding in the dirt. Albuquerque has some great off road trails to ride along the foothills or along the river paths.

Road bicycles are about going fast. Your position is bent over the handlebars (more aerodynamic) with skinny, high pressure tires (less rolling resistance) underneath. If you ride a road bike, you need to carry all the equipment (spare tube, tire levers, and pump) to fix a flat tire and know how to use the equipment. Albuquerque has some great roads to ride on (Tramway, Chelwood, Morris, Moon, Constitution, Comanche, etc.) and some roads to avoid (Juan Tabo, Eubank, Wyoming, Central, Lomas, Menual, Montgomery) on a bike. For a training ride when you have more time, the east mountain area has many quality riding roads.

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