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The Long Ride
Mooresville vet stays in shape with cycling -- Watch the video!
Larry Reyman, 60, a doctor of veterinary medicine with Associated Animal Clinics in Mooresville, has been practicing since 1984. Now living near Plainfield, he is a member of the Central Indiana Bicycling Association.
How long have you been riding?
I rode as a child, but then I didn’t ride much until I was a 20-year-old. I bought my first 10-speed when I was in the Air Force for four years. I went to college and used them for commuting purposes. So, most of the bicycling I did was point A to point B. Very utilitarian in that sense. By the time I turned 40, I was riding for speed and exercise.
How is it different riding for exercise vs. commuting?
The intensity is different. The goal in exercising is to improve. If you go out one month and exercise, the next month you’ll try to go faster or farther. There’s always that carrot hanging out there as a goal.
How do you prepare to ride?
I tend to get ready to ride by riding. Realistically I know I should get ready by doing many things, like cross training, weight lifting to build my physical strength and endurance. But I’d rather get on my bicycle and go out and ride in the country.
Tell us about your equipment
. I have what everyone would recognize as a regular 10-speed with brakes and gears and shifters.
Then I have a bike that many would say, “oh, I can’t do that.” It takes me back to my childhood, because this bike only has one gear. When you ride this, there is no shifting. It has a direct drive train and no gears. So, when I’m out riding with anyone on this bike, it makes me work harder because I can’t find an easier gear to pedal in. It increases my exercising in any given ride.
I’m fixed in that it doesn’t coast either. If I’m going uphill, I am pedaling slowly. If I’m going downhill, I’m pedaling quickly.
This is like what they race at the Velodrome and fixed oval tracks such as Indianapolis has. It allows those athletes to accelerate quickly and stay there without a lot of weight.
I do have a a bicycle built for two. My wife and I took a lot of rides when her job allowed her to. We ride it about twice a year now.
I have a mountain bike for going off road.
Then I have a recumbent.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start bicycling as an exercise routine?
Bicycling, as with any exercise routine, is best if it’s taken in small bites. Consistently push yourself a little more each day or week.
Start with small, achievable goals and then you only increase 10 percent a week. If you go 10 miles in the first week, you go 11 in the second week and add a mile a week. Very gradual increases will get you in shape without damaging you or burning you out.
What’s the minimum equipment you would recommend?
Bicycling as exercise, first, needs to be safe. You would always want to wear a helmet. I use glasses to protect from bugs striking my eyes. I use hand protection because I am going to fall some day, some time, and when I do, I don’t want to tear the skin off my hand.
So, basically a helmet, eye protection and gloves.
Anything else you’d like readers to know about bicycling?
Central Indiana has some of the most varied bicycling experiences that I know of and some of the best-run events that I know of.
The Central Indiana Bicycling Association (visit cibaride.org for more information) every weekend from March to November hosts two rides that are mapped out on public roads and they provide maps to show you where the ride goes, they paint the corners on the turns. Every so often they have water stands and food and there is no charge for this. Membership is voluntary, but after you do a few of them you feel guilty and pay the membership fee, which is only $15 a year, which is incredibly low.
I recommend everyone get involved with CIBA if you are going to bicycle, because they have members of all sizes, shapes and skills and you will find a cycling friend who will match you. You can do this sport better with a friend.