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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 22 Jul 2012
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Science of Adventure Motorcycling

Hi guys

I have started a blog on the scientific aspects of adventure motorcycling.

I will post tips and advice about nutrition, pre-expedition training, how to keep fit whilst travelling, and how to reduce physical and mental fatigue.

I will also keep you up-to-date with research relevant to adventure motorcycling, and with my scientific expeditions.

If you are interested, here is the link:

The Science of Adventure Motorcycling

Have a look, and let me know what you think

Thanks

Sam
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  #2  
Old 22 Jul 2012
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Thanks for an interesting angle on offroad riding, Samuele. It looks as if this has and will turn up many interesting findings.

You ask for comment and I begin with the above, though I would question the article you cite in your opening which says

"it has been shown that offroad riders are less likely to have physical limitations or health problems.

Therefore our politicians should promote offroad motorcycling" ...etc.

The italics are mine, and I suggest that the final sentence is a non sequitor to the first. For it doesn't follow that because there are less health problems that offroad motorcycling should be promoted by politicians. There are several factors which affect the promotion or not of offroad m/cycling, and riders' health may not be one of them. I realise these are not your words and you only cite them.

Bear in mind too that this site is not dedicated to offroad riding, though that is a part of it. This may influence your thinking.

Best wishes for your enquiries and feedback.
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  #3  
Old 23 Jul 2012
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i find it very interesting , definitely a very scientifical approach. The bioharness is really worth it, happy to see the results of your experience.

esteban
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  #4  
Old 23 Jul 2012
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great stuff man ! i always like every scientific approach to anything
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  #5  
Old 30 Jul 2012
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Thanks for positive feedback

Thanks for all the positive feedback. I will keep posting new stuff, including more extended pages on various topics of interest like nutrition and training. So keep checking the blog out.
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  #6  
Old 13 Aug 2012
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How to test your fitness before the next trip

Hi guys

I have just posted an article on my blog about how to simply test your aerobic fitness before your next trip

The Science of Adventure Motorcycling: How to measure aerobic fitness: Rockport Walking Test

Based on the results of this test, you can plan how much aerobic training you need before you leave. It may not be much if you are young and healthy. However, a middle age and not physically active individual is better off doing some training and achieve a minimum level of fitness if the trip involves some off-road riding.

More infos on my blog

Cheers

Sam
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  #7  
Old 13 Aug 2012
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Sam

I am a very overweight 55 year old with type 2 diabetes and hypertension albeit both under control with medication. Last year I completed a round world trip including off road and managed very well without science and aerobic exercise. Agreed I did lose 4 stone (that's 56lbs or somewhere around 25kgs) but a lazy Christmas meant that I found most of it again.

This year we did a 4000 mile trip down to Albania through Romania, Bulgaria & Greece with some offroad. All of this on a heavy bike.

I fail to see that you have to be some superfit whippet to be able to undertake these journeys or find it necessary to "get in shape" before the off. I travel long distances most years without the benefit of any pre trip regime.

Am I the only one then ?
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  #8  
Old 14 Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strimstrum View Post
Sam

I am a very overweight 55 year old with type 2 diabetes and hypertension albeit both under control with medication. Last year I completed a round world trip including off road and managed very well without science and aerobic exercise. Agreed I did lose 4 stone (that's 56lbs or somewhere around 25kgs) but a lazy Christmas meant that I found most of it again.

This year we did a 4000 mile trip down to Albania through Romania, Bulgaria & Greece with some offroad. All of this on a heavy bike.

I fail to see that you have to be some superfit whippet to be able to undertake these journeys or find it necessary to "get in shape" before the off. I travel long distances most years without the benefit of any pre trip regime.

Am I the only one then ?
Congratulations on your trips.

I am not suggesting anywhere in the blog that you need to be superfit to do an adventure motorcycling trip. In fact, I have calculated the minimum level of aerobic fitness required for adventure motorcycling, and it is a VO2max of 35.5 ml/kg/min. To give you a comparison, good endurance athletes have a VO2max above 70 ml/kg/min.

However, many overweight and sedentary middle age riders are likely to have a VO2max below 35.5 ml/kg/min. So they could benefit from some physical training before the trip. I am not saying that it is essential, but having an adequate level of aerobic fitness is definitively going to reduce physical and mental fatigue during the trip, and this may reduce the risk of accidents.

On the top of that, developing (and maintaining) a VO2max of 35.5 ml/kg/min improves health and life expectancy. So why not doing a bit of aerobic training? There is nothing to loose.

Anyway, it is a personal choice. I just hope that my site can help those who choose to get fitter before the trip. There is also a lot of information about things other than fitness, like the effects of altitude, mental fatigue, hydration etc.

Cheers

Sam

Last edited by samueleuk; 14 Aug 2012 at 17:15.
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  #9  
Old 14 Aug 2012
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Sam

I think your site is very good and points people in the right direction with regard to their trip planning. My posting was merely to allow the "fatties" amongst us not to give up because they haven't got fit before leaving home.

I would tend to agree that it must be better to be fitter when undertaking what can be long arduous days (this is where mental strength is important).

I find that as my journeys progress I get fitter along the way - perhaps I should just stay on the road and become superfit

Good luck with your high altitude ride next year !

Martin
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  #10  
Old 15 Aug 2012
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Originally Posted by strimstrum View Post
My posting was merely to allow the "fatties" amongst us not to give up because they haven't got fit before leaving home.

I would tend to agree that it must be better to be fitter when undertaking what can be long arduous days (this is where mental strength is important).

I find that as my journeys progress I get fitter along the way - perhaps I should just stay on the road and become superfit
For the Russia part of the original SibirskyExtreme I had done no training, was not by any means fit and, with figures of 85Kg 1.78M, certainly I was a little overweight.

My only real difficulty was a lack of strength litfting the fallen bike without removing the luggage first. This is not a matter of aerobics but strength, that I believe inevitably diminishes with age. At the time I had 67, mostly sedentary, years behind me.

After nearly 4 months on the moto, zigzagging across Russia and back, mostly off road, I dont think I was any fitter than when I started. But I was certainly 'trimmer' - but I consider that was a result of long periods without my normal quantities or quality of food. (Two potatos and two tubs of pot-noodles was once all the two of us had for 3 days!)

I have found in other physical activities during my life (regular snow skiing, and irregular periods of running and windsurfing) the best practice to getting fitter for it was actually doing it. Subject to some warm up and down to reduce performance injury possibility.

Whilst not decrying Sam's good intent, efforts and research which will hopefully assist some, I think it will be a 'project' more academic, toward the 'Science' in its title, rather than something of serious benefit to those seeking the 'Adventure' that is also in the title - and an essential ingredient needed for Adventure Motorcycling.

Ultimately there are always those who will read, study, prepare, equip and plan to the Nth degree - but nothing beats doing it. Too much preparation can get in the way, give wrong expectations and deter the spirit.
BWTFDIK?
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  #11  
Old 15 Aug 2012
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Originally Posted by strimstrum View Post
Sam

I think your site is very good and points people in the right direction with regard to their trip planning. My posting was merely to allow the "fatties" amongst us not to give up because they haven't got fit before leaving home.

I would tend to agree that it must be better to be fitter when undertaking what can be long arduous days (this is where mental strength is important).

I find that as my journeys progress I get fitter along the way - perhaps I should just stay on the road and become superfit

Good luck with your high altitude ride next year !

Martin
Thanks for your comment. I definitively need some best wishes for the riding at high altitude. it is going to be quite hard. This is because altitude reduces aerobic capacity and cognitive function. Therefore, if one is riding at high altitude, the minimum level of aerobic fitness is actually much higher than 35.5 ml/kg/min. In future posts I will explain the effect of altitude on aerobic capacity, and how to take altitude into account when planning some aerobic training before the trip.
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  #12  
Old 15 Aug 2012
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Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
For the Russia part of the original SibirskyExtreme I had done no training, was not by any means fit and, with figures of 85Kg 1.78M, certainly I was a little overweight.

My only real difficulty was a lack of strength litfting the fallen bike without removing the luggage first. This is not a matter of aerobics but strength, that I believe inevitably diminishes with age. At the time I had 67, mostly sedentary, years behind me.

After nearly 4 months on the moto, zigzagging across Russia and back, mostly off road, I dont think I was any fitter than when I started. But I was certainly 'trimmer' - but I consider that was a result of long periods without my normal quantities or quality of food. (Two potatos and two tubs of pot-noodles was once all the two of us had for 3 days!)

I have found in other physical activities during my life (regular snow skiing, and irregular periods of running and windsurfing) the best practice to getting fitter for it was actually doing it. Subject to some warm up and down to reduce performance injury possibility.

Whilst not decrying Sam's good intent, efforts and research which will hopefully assist some, I think it will be a 'project' more academic, toward the 'Science' in its title, rather than something of serious benefit to those seeking the 'Adventure' that is also in the title - and an essential ingredient needed for Adventure Motorcycling.

Ultimately there are always those who will read, study, prepare, equip and plan to the Nth degree - but nothing beats doing it. Too much preparation can get in the way, give wrong expectations and deter the spirit.
BWTFDIK?
I totally agree with you that developing muscle strength and endurance is the most important fitness component for adventure motorcycling. But is quite a complex topic, and I will cover it in future posts on my blog.

The good news is that strength training works even in very old individuals, and it can reverse many of the negative effects of aging on muscle mass and function.

So old adventure bike riders should not be discouraged. They may just need to prepare a bit better than their younger counterparts.

Last edited by samueleuk; 15 Aug 2012 at 03:00.
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  #13  
Old 15 Aug 2012
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A Great Contribution to Motorcycling

Crossing the Andes at Paso de Hama, 5000 meters Elisa wobbled to a stop, dismounted as her knees buckled and she fell to the ground due to lack of oxygen... It took some ... tea leaves and time with her head down on an incline for her to recover. She almost lost control of her motorcycle.

This even after a three day accent , being in great condition and having lived in Flagstaff, AZ at 7000 feet for many years.....

While in Argentina, I assisted Globebusters with a couple accident caused injuries and know first hand that there is no substitute for good scientific logic when considering all aspects of overland adventures.

When you join Globebusters say hi to Kev and Julia (they call me "Dragon Slayer") I am sure they will avail themselves of your expertise.

Thanks for your web site and blog. Thanks You might enjoy The International Journal of Motorcycle Studies
and quite possibly the journal would publish an article from you. web site http://ijms.nova.edu/

xfiltrate Eat, Drink and Be Careful
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  #14  
Old 15 Aug 2012
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Originally Posted by xfiltrate View Post
Crossing the Andes at Paso de Hama, 5000 meters Elisa wobbled to a stop, dismounted as her knees buckled and she fell to the ground due to lack of oxygen... It took some ... tea leaves and time with her head down on an incline for her to recover. She almost lost control of her motorcycle.

This even after a three day accent , being in great condition and having lived in Flagstaff, AZ at 7000 feet for many years.....

While in Argentina, I assisted Globebusters with a couple accident caused injuries and know first hand that there is no substitute for good scientific logic when considering all aspects of overland adventures.

When you join Globebusters say hi to Kev and Julia (they call me "Dragon Slayer") I am sure they will avail themselves of your expertise.

Thanks for your web site and blog. Thanks You might enjoy The International Journal of Motorcycle Studies
and quite possibly the journal would publish an article from you. web site International Journal of Motorcycle Studies

xfiltrate Eat, Drink and Be Careful
I will definitively say hi to Kevin and Julia from you. I am seeing Kevin next week.

Thanks a lot for the link to the journal. I did not know about it as I publish in physiology, psychology, and medical journal. Very interesting. Good to know that there is a conference as well. Thanks again for directing me to this journal

Cheers

Sam
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