Trading My Bike for Shoes The Next Few Days

For the next several days I am off the bike due to surgery today. I am not supposed to pull or exert effort on my left arm while the stitches heal. The reason for the surgery was to remove Squamous Cell Cancer from a spot on my inner left forearm. Since bikers ride outside in the sun (most of the time anyway) we are exposed to ultraviolet rays and other stuff that can increase the likelihood of skin cancer. Up to this point I did not think I was having a problem but a visit to my dermatologist in December resulted in a biopsy which showed the skin cancer. I would recommend that every biker get a checkup for skin cancer.

I don’t want to bore you with too many details but I have learned a few things about skin cancer:

  • Squamous Cell Cancer is the second most common one
  • there is a  Skin Cancer Foundation
  • Mohs Micrographic Surgery

So today after two rounds of Mohs surgery I have a 2 inch long incision with a bunch of stitches. I decided to walk about 3 miles to replace the bike ride I was planning in the great weather we were having: 74 degrees, partly cloudy sky and a light breeze. In my last ride report I said I hoped to ride more in January 2012 than January 2011 but this will slow me down for few days.

For the record below is a picture of my bandaged forearm.

Bandaged arm

Can a Person Be Fit and Fat?

As you have probably read or heard, America has a weight problem. Sometimes the statement is made that a person is fit and fat. I see some people that might be in this category on some of the rides I go on. I try to think of how these people may be in this condition and how they can remain that way while riding as much as they may claim.

My favorite health and fitness doctor had an article in his recent email newsletter that touched on this subject. Dr. Mirkin had this to say,

“Obesity and High-Fat Diets Interfere with Muscle Growth.

An editorial in The Journal of Physiology explains how both high-fat diets and obesity prevent strength gain with exercise, and increase risk for diabetes heart attacks, and premature death (1).

The editorial was inspired by a study from the University of California at Davis, showing that a high-fat diet prevents exercising mice from enlarging their muscles (2) . If this study can be applied to humans, it means that not only does a high-fat diet make you fatter, it also prevents you from enlarging your muscles.”

You can read the full article at www.drmirkin.com.

I dropped Eggs from My Diet Years Ago – Was I wrong?

According to an article from Dr. Gabe Mirkin, eggs do not cause heart attacks. He cites “the Physician’s Health Study followed doctors for 20 years and showed no association between eating eggs and heart attacks or strokes.  However, the doctors who ate lots of eggs did die earlier than those who avoided eggs, possibly because they also ate more bacon, sausage and butter.”

The question is the statement at the end that possibly the stuff we eat with eggs causes the problem with dietary cholesterol. While I have enjoyed fried, scrambled and poached eggs in the past I do not make them part of my regular diet now. Once in awhile my wife likes to have an egg burrito and I do partake though. I generally eat lots of vegetables, fruit and no red meat. Fish tacos are a new found item. My cholesterol is usually below 140.

Read Dr. Mirkin’s full article here.

For example, the Physician's Health Study
followed doctors for 20 years and showed no association between
eating eggs and heart attacks or strokes.  However, the doctors
who ate lots of eggs did die earlier than those who avoided eggs,
possibly because they also ate more bacon, sausage and butter.

Cyclists’ Bone Density Questions

I was reading over the New York Times and starting reading an article by Gretchen Reynolds titled “Bones?Is Bicycling Bad for Your “. Ms. Reynolds writes about a study Aaron Smathers did that sudied bone density amongst cyclists and compared the results to other sports participants. I have posted information about this subject previously from Dr. Mirkin.

Thinking of this from what I know about metals, density is not the only factor one has to consider when comparing strengths and characteristics about materials. Much like bike frame materials, our body’s frame has many properties that just one measurement does not describe.

Aaron Smathers observed first hand from crashes he experienced but I was somewhat wondering why he was racing just six weeks after breaking his collarbone.