Does e-Biking Help You With Other Sports?

Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Now that the weather is hot, I'm switching my primary sport to body-boarding, probably through November. I did swim a few half-miles in the pool to train, but due to cool weather-- and obsession with e-biking!-- I started swimming much later in the summer than usual this year. And I was really worried that I would be totally out of shape for riding waves because, one would think, both sports use totally different muscle groups.

Imagine my surprise that this turned out not be true at all. Yeah, I was sore my first two days in the water, but both sessions were a full half hour, and in easy to moderate conditions-- most seasons, I wait for a really small day to start, and I can barely stay in the water 20 minutes.

I was most sore in my lower back and triceps, but my stamina was much better than expected. What shouldn't have surprised me is that my legs are in better shape than any other season I can remember. I use big fins-- they are called "duck" fins, if anyone knows what those are-- because conditions are so erratic at my home break, which is a beach break. I had much less trouble getting out, and less trouble catching waves-- I missed a few for sure, but a lower percentage.

What I don't think I could have anticipated was that shifting weight, maintaining my balance on the board exactly where I want it, and reading the waves were all skills that came back very, very quickly this season. I remember reading a book in the '70s that said pro skiers cycled in the off season, and that it helped their balance and weight distribution, but I kind of dismissed it-- 'oh, come on, it's just riding a bicycle.'

But the skills seem to transfer! It turns out that reading a sandy, rocky grade on an eMTB is not that different from reading a sloppy, half-closed-out swell. I guess a hill is a hill, and a slope is a slope, whether it's made of dirt or water or snow. The first day, I thought maybe I'd just gotten lucky. But today, I was really doing some subtle, tricky stuff-- the waves are so bad, it's kind of like reading a complex fall line that's breaking in two different directions. Of course, it means something different on a body board than it does on skis or a bike, but the point was, I could see it when a second break formed over my left shoulder for my last wave today, I got on my right rail, and really got a blast of tremendous speed right when I wanted it.

Body boarding is hard on the body; I'm in my mid '60s and have health issues, so I'm down to about 15 days a year, though I did 25 or 30 in my 50s, and I'm avoiding the big days. I figured I'd have to pack it in in a season or two... now I'm wondering if I can keep doing this another five years or so if I'm careful... and keep riding hard! Part of the issue, I think, is that other years it was just too hard to stay in shape during the late fall, winter, and early spring. The elliptical is just boring, and the acoustic bike was too debilitating on the hills near here. Also, now I'm less worried about getting out of shape if conditions, tide, or traffic are not favorable for two or three weeks. I can ride in the hills and be ready when the conditions are good!

Anyway, just curious whether anyone else had a similar experience.
 

Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I can ride like a monster, but hiking up a hill, or a lot of steps, totally takes it out of me.
I get that. Hiking, or walking, requires completely separate training, there's no cross-training benefit.

I can be swimming a half mile five times a week with a 45 minute body-boarding session, and doing that for a month.

But if I have a trip planned to New York? That's no help. I have to make a point of walking several miles a day for about 10 days before the trip, because in NYC I sometimes wind up walking six or seven miles in a day. And if I don't prepare for all that walking, I get completely wiped out just by wandering around the city.
 

Coolbob

Active Member
IMO any activity is good and any cross training is even better.

Since retiring a few years ago, my primary activity year round is Pickleball. For a few years I played Pickleball four or five days a week and golfed once or twice a week. Pickleball gave me sore knees and tennis elbow, the golf gave me a sore back and golfer's elbow but the two activities together seemed to balance each other out with golfing helped my Pickleball injuries and vice-versa. Since getting my first eBike a year ago I haven't played any golf, but eBiking and Pickleball seem to be just as complimentary and restorative.
 

Dmac

Member
Region
Canada
I started strength training in the winter and that helped when I started with my ebike but what I notice now that I ebike so much is my legs are so much stronger so I can handle more strength training and my knee problem is slowly getting better (I hope I didn’t just jinx it).
 

Gmanx

Member
Region
USA
Kettlebells - basic functional strength training - hinges, squats, presses, snatches, swings and my favorite Turkish getups. Translates to any sport.
 

Mulezen

Well-Known Member
I once met the man (Sig Klein) who first brought kettlebells to the New World. It was many decades ago and he was 85. Where ebikes could have helped me was when young and a serious Olympic lifter (140kg snatch). Off days we often tried for ‘active rest’ like swimming, tennis etc. The ebike would have allowed some aerobic work centered on the all important legs. Your riding could be tuned to where you were in training cycle, tired legs…turbo time. The inherent, generally automatic, instability also makes it superior to indoor trainers. And its fun…
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Riding a bike works the core and fine balance muscles, situational awareness and cognitive skills are maintained and sharpened. It seems to help people with Parkinson's. And it gets the endorphins going - that is the smile on your face.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
The e part of the biking doesn't help much, except get me home in 3.5 hours when the headwind would drag my bike commute out to 6 hours @ 140 bpm. Electric bike keeps me from re-activating my fossil fuel car as the wind gets stronger and more frequent.
But when I walk around my property with a weed sprayer or carrying a trash can of tree limbs, it is not my legs or wind that pain me or limit me. I definitely need to get back to Pilates for my arms, back, stomach with the 5 pound weights next winter. Last September my 4 hand weights were stolen along with nearly everything else not fabric furniture food prep or paper. I found the stolen hand weights used but am going to have to spend the $$ the stores are charging since I haven't seen any more used ones in 9 months.
 

Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Riding a bike works the core and fine balance muscles, situational awareness and cognitive skills are maintained and sharpened. It seems to help people with Parkinson's. And it gets the endorphins going - that is the smile on your face.
This. My mom had Parkinsons and kept riding as long as she could.

I'm glad a bunch of you responded today, because I'd been lying on the couch feeling vaguely bored and depressed, which is unusual. This reminded me why: I am eliminating all hard exercise for several days before and after vaccine #2 so that my B and T cells-- normally overactive-- get a chance to 'rest' and should respond more normally to the vaccine.

Can't wait to have #2 in the rear view and get back on the road and trail!
 

MartsEbike

Well-Known Member
Region
Other
I use to do motorsports and now I do legsports, that has to be an improvement!😄

I'm not sure how much it helps with other sports, I play football now and then too but not often enough to compare....

But I do feel my overall health has improved by having an ebike, and that must help somehow!
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I had my first and second shots in the morning and then rode for hours to energize my system. I was so wiped out from riding that I could not tell what was going on with my body but recovered quickly. That is other than the clotting weirdness associated with Covid of an inexplicable bloody nose one week after the second shot. My bikes do not have throttles and are torque sensing. If I want to clock up miles with big climbs I need to do most of the work.
If you see the video of a man in the Netherlands who cannot walk but can ride a bike, watch part 2. It is amazing!
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
A buddy has an e-Bike cargo Surley which he rides up Mt. Tam that I made electric and kite surfs big waves, with big wind with the temperature differentials between the cold costal and the inland valleys of Northern California as it blows through the GG. He is older and mellow, in shape like an action movie hero but in a level smart, fun way. To test ride his bike he took 80 pounds of dog food up the mountain. Yes, e-bikes help people keep sharp and fit as part of a healthy active life.
1625809302891.png
 

Attachments

  • EricKiteSurf.png
    EricKiteSurf.png
    561 KB · Views: 20
  • 07012106.jpg
    07012106.jpg
    59.6 KB · Views: 23
  • BigDummy04.JPG
    BigDummy04.JPG
    471.7 KB · Views: 20
  • BigDummy08.JPG.jpeg
    BigDummy08.JPG.jpeg
    1.1 MB · Views: 22

Brockrock

Active Member
Region
USA
eBiking helps me with the sport of Life. Since getting my eBike in mid April, I have ridden just over 700 miles of hilly terrain where I live, and I would not have done so otherwise on my traditional bike. I feel better, I'm losing weight, and I'm ready to party again...👍...
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Sporting activities of any sort help to keep a person mentally sharp and physically coordinated. The more you do, the more you can do. The great thing about ebikes is I can get the workout I want. My class 1 is low power, I have hill climb routes where I can climb 18 to 24% grade hills between 1 and 3 miles long. This offers plenty of strength training. The assist is enough for me to get it done. The fast pace of the downhill requires coordination and quick decisions. Spinning on the flat offers a good cardio workout. I use a fitness tracker, Garmin Venu, so I get the confirmation that I actually accomplished what I set out to do. Even a day of leisure touring shows benefits. It all adds up and lifts the spirit too!

"When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking."

- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
 

TNC

Member
Region
USA
I rode street and dirt motorcycles all my life since 1970. I raced my state's enduro circuit through a good part of 3 decades. When I started mountain biking in 1999, it felt like a whole other talent and skill required even with full suspension...at first. All my dirt motor off road skills didn't seem to transfer to the bicycle as much and as quickly as I thought. The bicycle was twitchy, not as stable, unforgiving in any challenging terrain.

However, that passed fairly quickly. I got pretty good on the bike and especially as the bikes got better with better suspension. I rode my dirt motor less and less and almost quit. After a few years of serious mountain biking with many trips to Moab and hardcore local riding, I started riding my dirt motor again. The dirt motor felt like a new vehicle. By that I mean that the dirt motor felt so much more competent now...extremely stable, unable to plow over anything, forgiving. I soon realized this feeling was because the mountain bike had sharpened my skills of balance, line selection, and mental aggressiveness. And it's not that riding a dirt motor in challenging off road is easy. It's just that the mountain biking gave me a mental and physical appreciation of how good the dirt motor is and a better way to take advantage of it.

So along the lines of what the OP was talking about, the sport of mountain biking clearly enhanced my dirt motor riding, and it was less because of fitness and more because of the mental and physical qualities that mountain biking enhanced that clearly carried over to the dirt motor. Currently I still ride both dirt motors and mountain bikes. However, I've moved over to an emtb, and it has enhanced my enjoyment of the mountain bike. Sure, my age has appreciated the less abusive element of pedal assist and such to not be so punishing, but the work and effort is still there in an emtb. It has been a pleasure and will obviously allow me to continue to enjoy mountain biking longer.
 

TrailSeeker

Active Member
Region
USA
Last September my 4 hand weights were stolen along with nearly everything else not fabric furniture food prep or paper
So sorry to hear that happened to you. That's terrible!


I was just going to say that e biking has really helped me start getting into shape and it definitely uses a lot of your core muscle groups. You can still get winded on an ebike! Also, if you're really hardcore, you can try turning off the motor/all assist and try peddling a 50 to 60 pound bike up a trail haha. But yeah e-biking can be very useful to train with. It can also ease you into more intense circuits by using the assist and gradually lowering it over time. Plus that can help you track your progress, in terms of conditioning and skill level.