Swimming in the outdoor pool pulled me away from my strider during the summer, but now that it's cooler, I've returned to striding. I've ridden twice this week. Originally, I was afraid that I'd be back where I started last spring - able to ride only a short time. While I'm not striding as far as I was in May, I am still able to go as far as April.
The first day back, I stayed on flat ground and re-aquainted myself with the feel of turns. I also broke my 40 minute ride into two 20 minute segments, taking a 10 minute break to look around the lake shore - I found a longhorn bee. No macro photography equipment with me on the StreetStrider, but here is a photo of a longhorn bee from another day.
I took a day off and then went striding again yesterday. My ride time was just a bit longer, although I ended up taking two breaks while I talked to a couple of people about my StreetStrider. (I think a few breaks, especially after time off from striding, helps me have a longer overall stride.) I had intended just a repeat of the day before, but since it was Sunday, there were more people at the park on the short, flat, lake trail, especially toward the end of my ride. If I had stayed on the short trail, I would have had to repeatedly pass the same people, each time requesting that they give me enough room to pass.
I was also missing the exhilarating feel of going downhill, so I went out onto the longer loop and down the curving hill to the creek. I walked back up, remembering how long it had taken me in the spring for my first uphill strides. Once on the other side of the lake, I thought I'd stride down and walk back up the other hill, but once I was at the bottom, figured I should just stay on the flat portion until I reached the hill I had just walked up. Once I reached that hill, I decided to see how far up I could ride. I took 3 brief pauses on the way up, but the uphill wasn't as difficult as I had expected after a summer off.
I'm still riding several times a week. Twice I've made it up steep hills without any rest break but I still usually take a short break of less than 1 minute. Recently I've been able to be in gear 2 or 3 at the base of the hill where it isn't as steep instead of needing to be in the lowest gear on any slight upward slope.
My estimate now is that I'm burning 450-550 calories per hour with fewer (but still some) short rest breaks. At first my estimate was 600 / hour. When I first got the StreetStrider my heart rate was skyrocketing every time I rode and now I'm in better shape so that doesn't happen.
According to my heart rate monitor, I burned 862 calories on April 5th and 847 calories today. I've lost 1 1/2 pounds after riding the StreetStrider 12 times. According to my Lose It! food diary app, I typically eat enough so that I'm gaining weight. I'd rather exercise than be hungry, so the StreetStrider is working great so far!
I'm getting better at going uphill, although I still need to stop for a break on the way up. But now I'm just making brief stops, basically a short pause, without even getting off of the strider. And I'm breathing somewhat hard but not really out of breath.
The first day I went downhill, I rode my brakes virtually the entire way downhill. I'm letting myself coast faster and just relying on the fact that leaning harder turns the StreetStrider.
Between April 30th and May 4th I burned 2327 calories on 4 rides with my StreetStrider. I'm still taking rest breaks, but now I can ride at least a mile before stopping. And my rest breaks are shorter. I've been able to increase my calories burned by taking a long rest break and then starting again. So after riding enough to burn 400-500 calories, I just head to the lake and watch Barn Swallows and dragonflies for a while, then after I feel well rested, I'm ready to ride again.
Over the past 4 rides I've started to let myself go faster on some of the turns now that I'm feeling much more comfortable leaning farther. I'm also feeling a lot more confident on the strider itself and I'm learning how to rest and recover without actually coming to a complete stop and getting off of the StreetStrider. When I notice my heart rate nearing my pre-selected rest break point, I just slow down my pedaling for a bit or even stop completely without getting off.
Before heading out to ride, I sprayed WD-40 on the underside of the left foot platform once again. Slowly the noise is continuing to disappear, although it still happens occasionally.
Today I still went back and forth on the flat portion of the trail rather than doing a loop. But my rest periods have been getting shorter and I don't really feel out of breath anymore after one length of that portion of the trail. I've been doing a single trek back up the hill to my car and seriously needing a rest break halfway up the hill.
On my first few rides, my heart rate was 150+ bmp and I seriously needed a rest after a single length of the flat portion of the trail (about a 5 minute ride). Now I am about 135-145 bmp after a flat 5 minute ride and I've shortened my rest period - unless someone stops to talk about the StreetStrider.
Still gasping for air up hills but I feel ready to start increasing my hill climbing trips. I've been only going up hill once - just to get back to the car. Today was the second day I devised a route back to the parking lot going half-way up the hill then taking the path to the inner loop trail to get back to the car on flatter ground.
On my single trip uphill today I was plenty out of breath halfway up hill to the turn-off with my heart rate nearing 160 bmp. My heart rate monitor recorded 547 calories expended in 83 minutes. But that included rest breaks (including two slightly longer ones when people had questions about the StreetStrider). At 15 minutes into my ride I was on target for 600 calories in an hour including 2 short rest breaks.
I have noticed one interesting thing about hill-climbing with a StreetStrider compared to a bike. Since the StreetStrider is easy to stand on without needing to balance, it's much easier to stop halfway uphill. On a bike, if I ride uphill until I'm exhausted, I need to be careful stopping since my seat is high enough that my foot just barely touches the ground. I also feel that adopting a walking pace uphill on a StreetStrider is more comfortable than that speed on a bicycle. The posture and motion on a StreetStrider feels similar to running or walking.
Today I noticed that hill-climbing is a bit easier with a very slight backward lean. That combined with my previous technique of increasing my pull on the poles seemed to make it easier to go uphill although it was still exhausting.