SPORT AND HEALTH
 
 
INTRODUCTION  


     The advices that we have the pleasure to give to you, it's the result of our personal experiences and of the important advices taken by the book: Bicycle and Health... the advices of the trainer doctor, Dr. Marco Pierfederici.
     Before the analyze of the following topics, we want to thank Mr. Vittorio Anastasia by: Ediciclo Publisher s.r.l. - www.ediciclo.it, that kindly has supplied us one copy of this book and allowed us to deep our acquaintances in matter.
     The problems that we have faced have the prerogative to supply to all those who want to begin the carrer of bike travellers, a series of simple informations profits to the preparation of their physical shape and to resolve these small problems that can be met cycling for a travel some days.  
 
 
WHO'S THE BIKE TRAVELLER  


     For definition he's a biker without time and who riding by bike learned to know the sacrifice's spirit; this means that in our life there isn't a precise age to do this type of activity, even if it principally interest people in ripe age.
     When you think about a bike traveller, you must think about a man without borders, who loves cycling slowly and who has made his bicycle an object to explore the world.  
 
 
TRAINING  


     The bike traveller doesn't have to confront himself with a potential opposing sport man and doesn't have to impose himself rules of the true professional sport man.
     He doesn't have to follow tables of hard training that obliges him to plan the number of escapes, the type of distance, the speed, the ratio to use and so on.
     The bike traveller has a very spacious conception of training and when he is getting ready to begin the season for the new raid, he base his training essentially on two factor:
     - to prepare himself to confront a level ground travel;
     - to prepare himself to confront a mountain level (over 1,000 metres a.s.l.).
     As far as the athletic preparation, we advise you to take starting-point from our web page TRAINING, that we have prepared during our numerous escapes, and that consist of a series of indications for the preparation of a bike travel over 1,000 kilometres.
     The tables that you will find in this web page it's the report of our Sunday bike travels, to wich you only have to adapt it to your requiements.
     But you must respect the frequency of escapes and the difference in level to exceed in height.
     In our packages of training you will notice that there are also some escapes in the quite cold periods of the year, or rather when the medium biker has already stop cycling for some week.
     Nowadays thanks to the new production of more and more innovative sportwear clothes, the athletic program could also be extended in winter limiting to interrup it only when there are very extreme conditions.
     Finally I'd like to answer a question it's often a question for me: "What's your average per hour during the training or a bike travel?".
     Well, the "average per hour" doesn't exist in the bike traveller's dictionary, because he loves to travel slowly and to admire the surrounding landscape.  
 
 
NOURISHMENT  


     The nourishment, as in all sports, develops a determining factor also for the bike traveller, and so when he cycles he needs to follow a nourishing and a balanced diet.
     In our case, the bike traveller's sporting typology places between a medium and a long-distance bike traveller, but it is characterized by two substantial differences:
     - the bike traveller hasn't got the necessity to consume a food when he is on his bike, because he doesn't have to respect a precise time;
     - but the day after the race a sport biker can rest, while the bike traveller must begin cycling again.  

     Generally the nourishement can be divided in two great categories:
     - those organic like the proteins, the vitamins, the fats and the glucides;
     - those inorganic like the mineral salt, the oxigen and the water.
     If you want to be restored correctly by these elements it will be necessary to nourish yourself before, during and at the end of your job day, so the caloric spending necessary to get the maximum rendering of yourself is restored.
     Said this, there aren't the particular limitations to nourish yourself, you must only change the menu in function of the hours of the day privileging:
     - for breakfast... some milk, honey, jam, bread, cereals and biscuits too;
     - for lunch... some vegetables, very easy food and many season's fruit (this one is very important to mitigate the thirst sense);
     - for dinner... some meat, fish, pasta, cheese and vegetables;
     - I forgot to tell you, if "you are very hungry", remember to dedicate a just time to eat, don't eat too fast and masticate slowly.  

     Although you follow these advices carefully, it will be opportune to have a supply of energetics integrators in slab or liquid form (to fast action) to your disposition, necessary to exceed those unexpected deficiencies of muscular tone that could manifest for various causes.
     Before concluding, remember to overvalue always that so called "attack of hunger" or rather, a feeling of hunger that provokes yourself a decrease of physical performance involving all body's muscles.  
 
 
THE HOT AND THE PERSPIRATION  


     Another problem that the bike traveller never has to overvalue is the perspiration, that during strong sporting day, could be a cause to lost until five litres of sweat.
     This natural phenomenon of thermoregulation at the same time is responsable of another degenerating process too, or rather, to expel together some water, some mineral salt like sodium and potassium, that are the chemical elements necessary to guarantee the just water-saline solution to balance body.
     And so... it's useful to remember all those who want to undertake this carrer, that it's very important to restore this substances, to don't have some problems like the unexpected muscular pains or lessening, etc.  

     Here are some useful advices:
     - don't leave without eating but only after you had a good breakfast;
     - after two or three hours passed cycling, do you have to nourishing yourself again;
     - often refresh yourself and after a long perspiration begin to restore the mineral salt;
     - interrupt cycling and stop to shade (this stopping will help you to relax your body and your mind, too);
     - don't expose to sun without right safe protections;
     - protect your head from the sun;
     - bathe yourself a lot;
     - dress technical perspiratoning clothes and don't wear dark colours.  

     Finally, don't forget that the bike traveller during his cycling outside, isn't doing a race competition but a journey with a target : it is important to arrive where we want and it isn't important to arrive at the first place!  
 
 
CYCLING FOR MANY HOURS  


     when do sport for many hours, it's important to have a good athletic preparation and in any case, it's a trial of strength for your body.
     Although you are accustomed to remain on saddle for much time, after many hours your muscles begin to be tired and you fell pains everywhere.
     Perahps it would be the moment to stop but as we know, many times "you must hold hard" for some kilometres and so..., here some useful advices to you.  

     the position on saddle and the problem of the onsaddle:
     - mount a comfortable saddle;
     - dress only specialized bike-trousers with leather bottom and antibacterial treatment (if you love some particular clothes, you always have to remember that is very important lo leave for a new raid with new bike-trousers, because after frequent washing they lose the anti-allergic treatement property);
     - mount a pair of appendixes on the handle-bar to move your backbone and to assume many positions on the saddle.
     - do some pauses during the day;
     - wash often and very well the part of your body that is in contact with the saddle;
     - one or two times a day smear a liniment on the interested body's part. The liniment unguent is very important to prevent skin's alterations caused by long decubituses and/or a scarce spraying-blood (it's very useful to prevent the abrasions caused from saddle).  

     backache:
     - mount a pair of appendixes on the handle-bar to move your backbone and to assume many positions on the saddle;
     - mount an absorbe-saddle;
     - do some pauses during the day and do some movements to relax the muscles of the back;
     - at the end of the day do a massage at the back with a refreshing lotion and do some stretching.  

     problems at the cervical zone:
     - mount a pair of appendixes on the handle-bar to assume a back's erect position and the most verticality of your head;
     - do some pauses during the day and do some movements with your head to relax the muscles of your neck (do this exercise very slowly and stop immediatly if you fell pain);
     - at the end of the day massage the neck for five or ten minutes with an unguent liniment (for this operation is better if somebody can help you to relax the muscles completely).  

     a legache:
     - first of all do good training before leaving;
     - the morning before the leaving, do you will to warm a little bit muscles' legs;
     - do some pauses and lie down on the earth with your legs lift. This exercise is very important to relax the legs;
     - after shower, do a massage with a refreshing lotion and do some stretching.  
 
 
CYCLING UNDER THE RAIN  


     Certainly cycling under the sun and enjoy the landscape it's your desire, but if you will decide to undertake the seriously carrer of bike traveller, you will have to surrender the idea to cycle always dry.
     When the weather is rainy the problems are essentially three.  

     the first: value the entity of rain
     those can be mainly of two types:
     - storm raining, such as the classic summer heavy short raining;
     - the disturbance of low atmospheric pressure that can interest one or many days.  

     the second: cycle safe if will choose to continue
     if you are overwhelmed from a summer heavy rain our advice is to stop, because generally it's a strong rain with strong wind;
     if the weather is rainy from the morning and/or the forecasts become good during the day, you can continue to cycle and try to follow our advices:
     - the dry asphalt road formes always the slippery patina;
     - when the traditional brakes is pulled, it doesn't brake until the rim is dry;
     - in presence of water, the rubber will become very slippery and dangerous (while the weight of your luggage doesn't change);
     - the visibility will be reduced (you will have to pay more attention to the holes along the road);
     - the water masses lifted up from the cars, contributes to have a dangerous drove;
     - turn on your back red light (you will take with you a flash light).  

     the third: now... if you will continue it's better to bathe yourself the less you can
     cycling under the rain it's a great discomfort. In this case we use this shrewdness:
     - to wear a pairs of sea-sandals without socks, if you don't bathe want to your shoes for the day after, because they couldn't be completely dry (in this case it is necessary to mount a polyvalent pedal that allows to use shoes without coupler);
     - to mount adapt anti-rain splash-board;
     - to wear a comfortable anti-rain tail-coat jacket;
     - using a long hat-brim to protect the face and the head (you mustn't use a jacket's cowl);
     - to wear glasses with clear lens.  
 
 
BIKE AND WOMAN  


     The activity of bike traveller as the cycling in general, it has behind its adepts many woman and so..., we want to dedicate a space to this Amazons army and make a praise for their wonderful enterprises.
     One we must say to you thing: if you decide to leave for an important raid with some women, you have to understand them and help them when they are in difficulty, but you mustn't undervalue them and do you must respect them always, so be a true knight on your saddle-bike, too.
     For all the rest, our general indications aren't so different to the one for man, except for the problem of cycling when the woman has menstrual cycle.
     Our advice in this case, it is better to avoid cycling in that period, but if you fix an abroad bike travel beyond 1,000 kilometres between the stages, ...the transfert by car, ...by train and/or by airplane, ...the pauses for recharge themselves and to visit the towns, peraphs you won't succeed in stopping during this period.
     Our advice is to learn to cohabit with it without many problems, but the question is so personal that we leave the decision to you.
     Remember that it's important value to the weight and the distribution of luggage, because the woman has a smaller muscular power than man about 25/30%:
     - if you decide to cycle in pair you have to take the weighter luggage and leave to woman the lighter luggage;
     - if you decide instead to travel alone or with a group of women, you must take all the luggage.  
 
 
NOT ONLY BIKE  


     A bike traveller like each sport man, doesn't have to upgrade exclusively the legs' muscles, but he must follow a complete program training, that could give him a complet athletic preparation.
     If you want to do it most of the problems that we have said won't probably be a problem for you because you will be able to exceed them with your performance.
     If you want to get this result it isen't necessary to go often to a gymnasium or to impose yourself a particular life's style, but it will be sufficient to dedicate a little bit of yourself during the week for some evening runs and with a small matter, some weights and a training bench you can do some exercises at home.
     You only have to be constant, so don't stop for long periods becouse you will lost your training soon; remember that your body is different from your mind and this behavieur could only be a loss of time.
     You must be patiente and engage a lot... before you can see the first results, but the your body will regard you.  
 
 
FIRST AID  


     The first aid for obvious reason is the last problem that we have decided of dealing and that everybody hope to avoid it.
     But we'd like to clarify and to remember that the neophyte or expert bike traveller never has to undertake a journey without an adapted set for first aid.
     As far as the choice of the medication package content, we send back you to the VADE-MECUM... column while in this case, we will speak to you exclusively about how the traumatology in the greatest part of the cases is showed and the behavior to hold in case of accident.  

     Here are some indications in order to estimate the type of lesion:
     - SCRATCH... trace of superficial laceration produced by sharp object;
     - ABRASION... superficial substance of skin and/or on the mucosa removed;
     - EXCORATION... loss of substance of the superficial layer in due to a fast rubbing against a rough surface;
     - ECCHYMOSIS... light reddening of subcutaneous layer doesn't it wound;
     - HAEMATOMA... blood collection that it shapes in the tickness of tissue or inside a muscle as caused by the breaking of a blood vessels;
     - LACERATED AND CONTUSED WOUND... lesion produced by not cutting objects (these wounds have a high risk of infection because they are caused by dirty objects);
     - CUTTING WOUND... lesion produced by a sharp object that could be more dangerous when an important main artery or vein is interested (in this case you must resort fastly and call a doctor for stitch).  

     After a fallen it will be necessary to value the health condition of the hurted man and them follow the following advices:
     - 1. if the hurted man has lost consciousnes, much blood, endured serious lesions and/or other important damages, you must call an ambulance immediatly (help the hurted man with much care);
     - 2. if the injured person has light damages it is possible to medicate yourself and so:
     - wash the wound to remove very well an eventual impurity inside;
     - disinfect the interested part;
     - apply a bandage and/or plasters.  

     The terminology used for the bones system and the fractures:
     - BONES... they can be of three kinds: long - flat - short;
     - ARTICULATION... it is the point of union beetwen two or many bones;
     - FRACTURE... breaking of a bone in its lenght.  

     Here are some indications in order to estimate the type of fracture:
     - DIRECT... when the fracture happens in the point in which you have the trauma;
     - INDIRECT... when the fracture happens far to the point in which you have the trauma;
     - SIMPLE... when one bone is broken;
     - COMPLICATED... when a bone isn't broken, but blood vessels, nerves or other organs near the fracture are broken;
     - COMPLETE... when the bone in broken in its all thickness;
     - INCOMPLETE... when the bone isn't completely broken;
     - EXPOSED... when the bone exits from your skin and there's a breaking of the soft tissue (epitelial tissue, the muscles tissue and the connective tissue);
     - DECOMPOSED... when the bone is broken in many points.  

     Symptoms of the fracture:
     - 1. a sharp pain;
     - 2. impossibility to move it;
     - 3. alteration of the form and of the movement;
     - 4. swelling.  

     First aid of the fractures in general:
     - 1. avoid useless movements;
     - 2. immobilize the breaking part in the position it is;
     - 3. leave free limbs' finger;
     - 4. you mustn't try to abate the fracture (to abate means to bring back the parts of bone tom in the main axis);
     - 5. the exposed fracture are very dangerous... and they can infect easily, so they must only be covered with a very clean bandage and then you must trasport the injured person to the hospital;
     - 6. you mustn't try to manipulate anything.  

     It is very important to remember that the concussion also if it is apparently light, it is must always be cured to the hospital: it is also possible to have head-ache after many hours by the crash (you must wear the helmet).  
 
 
CONCLUSION  


     We spoken to you about all the things you have to remember, especially if it is your first raid even if there are so many other things to tell you.
     But you will learn many things with your personal experiences.
     When you leave home you must have clear ideas and this motto in your head "first of all attempt, but you always have to follow your wisely and when you reach the limit you must stop.
     So... we wish you to realize all your bike dreams and incite to leave immediatly to discover the world around you.  

     Best wishes to everybody and have a good travel.  
 
 
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