Time in the Saddle

has the unfortunate acronym of T.i.t.S.  I thought of using that as my post title, but then realized it may bring too much attention of the unwanted kind.

Today was my first bike ride since getting my road tires on my mountain bike.  It was also my first bike ride since 2009ish.  It was about 40F when I set out after running some morning errands.  I had noticed that the other bikers out there were wearing jackets, gloves and long pants (although the runners were in capris or shorts and maybe a long-sleeved shirt). I followed suit.  I don’t have those attractive padded cycling shorts (yet), but I figured I wouldn’t be out so long that it would actually matter.



The chilly temps also gave me a reason to wear my gaiter, something I was not able to wear all winter long, because it never got that cold enough.  I wish I had had ear covers.  My ears were chilly.

My ride: I went about 2 miles to the local park, about 1.25 miles around the park, and then the 2 miles back home.  For some reason, my tracking app had me at 6.37 miles.  I dunno.  When I run this route, I don’t think it’s quite 6 miles.  Anyways, it took me 31:29. Now I have a benchmark.  This will be my morning ride until I can start running again.  And I know I can lengthen it to 9 easily by just continuing down the main drag of my town (instead of turning off to my neighborhood).  This will add another 2 miles (even more, if I loop through some other neighborhoods and my app continues to be off).

It felt so good to move my body, to feel the wind, to breathe hard.  My fitness was ok–I’ve got a bit of an incline from my street to the main drag, and I handled it ok.  The best thing: my leg didn’t hurt at all.  The worst thing: realizing that on the downhills, all the other cyclists were still pedaling, whereas I was cruising and I had my brakes on.  (really, I tell you, I do NOT like to go fast.)

Having the upright handlebars didn’t bother me so much–most of the other cyclists out there were not crouched that low either (their hands were on the top of their handlebars, not on the curved part).  But I think as soon as I do save some coin, I’ll switch mine out.

My bike doesn’t have clip on pedals–just straps to hold my shoes in.  I know I can loosen the straps to fit my running shoes, but I haven’t yet.  Plus, I don’t like to ride in running shoes, just because the bottoms are so nubbly and they drag on the nubbly pedals.  For my ride, I was looking for my Sambas (lost the left shoe somewhere!!!), when the postman brought me my much longed for package:

IMG_1084 IMG_1085 IMG_1086


The Mizuno Be shoes.  I “liked” Mizuno a while back on FB, and a recent post talked about how these Mizuno Be trainers were trainers NOT to be worn when running, but as everyday trainers that would improve your foot strength for running.  I clicked on their promotion video and fell, hook, line and sinker.  Maybe it’s just marketing, (ok, it’s likely it’s just marketing), but the Mizuno folks designed these minimal shoes with an insole that stops right after the ball of your foot, so that your toes drop a bit. And when you walk, your toes have do some work to keep you stable.  Given the foot/lower leg issues I’ve been having, I figured more foot strength isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  So I started looking for retailers for the Mizuno Be shoes.

Just my luck, they weren’t available in the US yet.  A larger search turned up a pair in England. Woot!  Yeah for England! And yeah for the ebay seller who got them to me toute suite.

These are the first minimalist shoes I’ve ever worn. Well, maybe that’s not true.  I’ve got a pretty large chuck taylor collection, and while those may not be ‘minimal,’ they’re definitely zero drop. and zero cushioning.  Anyways, the Mizuno promo video describes the Be shoes as designed to mimic Japanese warajii (a type of straw sandal in which the toes protruded over the edge).  The video actually says that the waraji had a “minimal” sole.  Yep, I would definitely describe straw-bottomed sandals as “minimal.”

After a few hours of walking around my house (and a little outside), I can definitely feel my toes spreading with each step.  The drop off in the insole isn’t noticeable, but I can feel my feet making adjustments with each step.  I think I like it.  And their flat-ish sole made them perfect for bike riding, too!

Now to find me some duathlons…


  1. Yahhhhhhhhhhhhh! Go Chez Biker Girl Go!

    That is a good ride out especially if you have not been on a ride in 4 yrs or so. WOW. Way to go you.

    I find that it is my hands and ears that get cold too. For hands, in colder or windier weather I wear full fingered gloves. During the summer, fingerless gloves. Glasses…I noticed you had some. Good. If you start riding a lot more, wrap arounds work well as they totally take the wind away from your eyes.

    I don’t have clipless pedals yet (or even the clips with straps) … but I mean to try some soon. I am going to go look at some new bikes today too.

    By the way, I think your BESTEST bike gear you had today was that smile. Yahhhhhhhhhhhh!

  2. Looks like you’ve found an interim solution to the exercise question.I love cycling-tempted to haul it out after reading this.Thanks for checking out minimal footwear too.I’ll be watching to see how that goes as I’ve foot trouble too.

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