Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Agony of Da Feet

Anyone who has read my previous post, My Health Conscious Roots, knows that I have been trying to live a more natural lifestyle. I have developed a rule of thumb when evaluating if a health claim is true or not; If early humans did it, then it is good, otherwise it is bad.

That is just a general rule and I do take into account that the world we live in is not natural and sometimes unnatural solutions are in order. For example, everyone claims that juicing is healthy for you. I even had a juicer for a while but I got rid of it because I realized that I was removing the beneficial fiber from all these foods that I was juicing, and that is something our early human ancestors did not do. What I did not consider was that because our foods are abnormally low in nutrients today, juicing may be a solution to the problem, or it may just be adding another layer of abnormality to our lives. I don’t know.

Shoes are another example. I truly believe that we were designed without shoes and walking barefoot is the healthiest way to walk. But again, we live in an unnatural world and have covered our soft ground with asphalt, concrete and tile. To counter this problem we wear shoes. Two unnatural things working together to give us back problems.

reebok realflex shoes

My Reebok Realflex shoes

Recently I bought a pair of Reebok RealFlex shoes. They are called a minimalist shoe but they are really a hybrid shoe. They have a fairly thick sole to cushion your feet but they are designed to be light and flexible. They are much lighter than my last shoes and I like them but my feet have hurt lately.

I wasn’t sure if standing all day at work or wearing the shoes while riding the bike was the reason for the pain. I am still not sure but after a week break from riding and then two trips to work on the bike have me almost convinced it is the bike ride that is the cause of my foot pain.

Using my rule of thumb mentioned earlier, riding bicycles is something early humans did not do, therefore should be considered bad. But as I mentioned, this is an unnatural world and the alternative to riding my bike to work would be driving. What’s worse? Also, it seems that you use very similar muscle groups while riding as you do while climbing up a hill so I don’t see a problem with it.

I did look into buying bicycle shoes when I was last at the bike shop. They had clipless pedals and matching shoes that could also be worn off the bike for around $150 or a little more. I would love to get them but spending that much on myself before Christmas might not go over to well with my wife. I could also ask for them as a Christmas present but I have so many other things I want that it is hard to choose.

I have read that cycling shoes should have a very rigid sole. This makes some sense and would probably prevent the pain that I am feeling since my shoes have a very flexible sole. I, however, am not convinced that is the best advice. I think it is possible that the pain I am feeling is because I am using muscles in my feet that never get used. If that is the case, it is a good thing and I should continue wearing my shoes. If I am wrong, the pain will continue to get worse and I will have to admit that I am not smarter than all the experts.

I’ve been wrong before. Think real estate. Oh, but that is a story for another blog…or not.


This and That

It has been too long since my last post. I have been very busy lately and, ironically, the more I ride my bike the less time I have to write about it.

That being said, I have ridden fairly often since the rainy season ended. Now I have to put up with the colder weather and riding home in the dark. I must say that I am not a fan of night riding. For me, part of the enjoyment is being able to see nature and what is around me. I also enjoy feeling the sunlight. I still enjoy the ride but daylight is better.

I am also somewhat of a cold wimp, which is why I left Chicago 24 years ago. Surprisingly, riding during the heat of the Florida summer did not bother me but the cold is going to take a bit of getting used to. Yesterday morning was in the low 50’s which is okay standing still but on the bike it is a bit chilli. I also misplaced my gloves which didn’t help.

On another note, I discovered an app for my Android phone that is pretty interesting. It is called Map My Ride. It basically records your ride using GPS and allows you to share it or just keep it for your records. It give you calories burned, distance, average speed, etc.. There are many other things it can do that I haven’t explored yet.

My problem is that I forget to pause it when I stop or turn it off when I am finished. The other day it mapped my trip through the grocery store when I stopped to pick up food for lunch.

With Thanksgiving around the corner and company coming to stay with us, it looks like I may not be back on my bike again until next Monday. I hope everyone (at least in the U.S.) enjoys your holiday.