Benefits of cycling for other sports

Hey all, I wrote this short piece this arvo on the difference that cycling has made to my practical shooting. Anyone else got any other experiences of the impact of cycling on other sports they partake in? Positive and Negative please :slight_smile:

This is probably poorly written and not make a whole lot of sense, and the terminology isnt really there, but I had to write it so my mum would understand!

For those of you that are interested :slight_smile:

So as many of you may know, I shoot what is called ‘Practical Pistol’ as part of the International Practical Shooting Confederation- or in short IPSC. You also may know that I now do a lot of cycling. Around 150km’s a week minimum, on a Fixed Gear Bicycle, also known as a Track bike, Fixie etc. The rear cog on these bikes are ‘fixed’ to the rear hub so that as long as the wheel is spinning, the pedals are spinning. Naturally this means that they are only one speed/gear.

What I am trying to do is look at how Cycling is improving my Shooting. Seems like a strange link, but I am going to start documenting my notes from now on.

Since I moved to Western Australia late last year I have not been able to shoot at all. A combination of not being licenced in WA for firearms, and refusing to ‘hire’ club pistols and purchase someone elses reloaded ammunition was a big factor in this. So instead of shooting on weekends I would find other things to do, namely cycle. This continued onto weeknights and is almost a daily duty now unless I am too knackered from work or have something else on.

Practical Pistol is more than just standing still and shooting at targets. It involves movement, strategy/pre-planning and ultimately, last-minute-think-on-your-feet decisions. It can be fast paced, it can be slow paced, and ‘Stages’ or ‘Courses of fire’ can have as little as 6 or 8 Shots right through to 32. To put it simply, the most exciting ‘Stages’ (in my opinion) are those that you are running through at a fast pace shooting targets (that could be moving) through doorways, windows, ports, on your knees or on your stomach, moving rapidly, then having to stop suddenly etc etc. Plenty of videos on youtube demonstrating this. Just search IPSC.

How does riding fixies improve on this? Well as I said, movement between targets is key in IPSC and where valuable time can be gained (or lost) depending on how you look at it. It’s easy enough to piss-bolt between targets, but stopping at the next designated point to shoot is the difficult part. The movements are explosive, and you need to stop on a dime, give yourself a steady platform to shoot from and first and foremost, BE SAFE. And this is all in the legs. Riding a normal bike is great, you build muscle and stamina and all sorts of good things, but you are forever PUSHING. And that’s great, from all your roadie riding you may be able to sprint like Ussain Bolt, but can you stop at the end? Riding fixie’s brings resistance into the equation. Using those same muscles in a different manner to fight the pedals resist rotation, or even ‘shockload’ your limbs and stop pedalling altogether causing you to skid. (I understand that I’m not being very technical with some of these words but I am trying to make this as easy to understand as possible for EVERYONE, not just cyclists, or shooters- haterz gonna hate).

So basically after 9 months of not shooting my own Pistol in competition, I finally got myself licenced and got out to shoot this weekend. A match was being held at the local Pistol club so I entered. I was feeling good, I was pumped to shoot, but I did have the expectation that I would be off the pace, both score wise and time wise but boy did I get the suprise of my life.

Yes my scores were not crash hot with several misses and one penalty target being recorded, but the movement between targets/through the courses of fire was phenomenal. I was quick, I was fluid, and I could come to a dead stop nice and have a nice strong frame to shoot from instantly, as if I were not running at all. As a result, my time’s were up there with the quickest guys - at most only 1 or 2 seconds off the pace. Something that I had not done for a long time prior to my hiatus from the sport. I attribute this to the massive (they aren’t really that big) ‘track legs’ that I have now got after so much riding pushing a big gear to accelerate, and stop. Something that I did not have 1 year ago. The other benefit was that I was not coming out of long, movement intensive, stages gasping for breath feeling like I wanted to die. I was coming out fresh, feeling that I could move faster… if only the trigger finger/arms/eyes could keep up. My increased leg strength allowed me to get moving much quicker, from standing straight or squatting or any other position, and then could slow me up giving me a nice solid platform to shoot from incredibly quickly. Yes at some of these stops I was carrying huge momentum, but the increased strength that I had in my legs did a suprisingly good job to curb it.

The other major thing that I noticed was the lack of now arm definition/strength that I was carrying compared to my legs. My legs were propelling me forward and stopping me so quickly that my arms felt slow and I just couldn’t get the firearm onto target quick enough, and solidly enough that I could gurantee accurate shots. I am sure part of this is just getting back into the sport and will take time, but there was definately a major strength imbalance that I did notice and this is now something that I will work on in the future.

So as bad as fixie riding is for your knees, it certainly has it’s benefits, and I am keen to see what it will do for me in the future.

All in all a good day, I came 6th overall (what a suprise!! I did not think I was shooting that well, but my quick times saved me!), and won my grade. Funnily enough, I beat everyone in the 2 grade’s above me as well - (I’m graded too low anyway) so I think I will be regraded soon enough! If you got this far, thanks for reading. Just thought I’d put this down as I find it interesting.

you should combine the sports.

+1, instead of skis, bikes =D

*edit…CX decathalon!

its Biathalon that has shooting+skiing :open_mouth: and thats boring as shit target rifle anyway :open_mouth:

I don’t play any other sports or have any interest in them. That said, if they would make it legal for me to ride my bike with a shotgun, I could make all sorts of jokes about ‘riding shotgun’.

But, in all seriousness, when i started riding more seriously about 6 years ago, i found my general coordination was heaps better. When once i couldn’t catch a ball to save my life, now i was actually ok. Little things like that.

I have a friend who tried to fire a shotgun whilst riding, was not easy. Good old the country.

On topic, I run and rock climb occasionally and find that whilst my cardio holds out OK most other muscles in my body are just above useless. I do agree with a HMC’s coordination comment though.

I find I can’t fit into skinny jeans anymore because of riding. While wearing skinny jeans isn’t a sport, I certainly treated it like one and my forced ‘retirement’ from it still breaks my heart to this day.

if that happens to me i will kill myself. my career as hipster will be ruined

If you’re still wearing skinny jeans I dare say you’re no longer a hipster.

nah bro, skinny cordueroys are all the rage at the moment

hahah fukkin teach me to reply before googling …hahah

hmm…so CX while duck hunting probably a better theme? =D

A friend of mine is a personal trainer.

He told me that because cycling is working out your legs and arse ie. the biggest muscles in your body, the chemical effect of this should make it much easier to put on muscle elsewhere in your body eg. upper body.

I’m not sure how true this is. I have pretty skinny arms.

It sounds kinda true though.

In conclusion, cycling may or may not have benefits for the sport of body-building.

Cycling has little to no effect on my running, however, after a long run a cruisy ride is great for the legs.

i play soccer.
riding and soccer ruined my knees for a few months.
also i hust myself falling off my bike and that affects soccer.

now i’m pretty it though, and i’m sure it’s because i do both.

basically as long as i don’t do something stupid on my bike then it’s good for fitness…and i guess leg strength

Riding a fairly large gear has been great for my movement in kickboxing, it comes down to your calves in both. As with JimmyJ, hurting myself falling off the bike didn’t really help, but that’s okay.

Interesting thread.

I study, I play soccer, I ride and I am applying for the QPS this September.

Riding Fixed affects all of these, it affects my study because time I am ment to be studying I am either tinkering with my beater because something is loose or broken or I am painting it.

It affects my soccer, as sometimes I forget I have soccer training, go for a ride, and then is too tired to run around for 2+ hours.

It also nearly affected my future as second ride ever I didn’t have a bell or lights riding at night, Mrs Police women came and gave me a talking to until I told her I wanted to be in her position soon, she let me off and told me little offences like that could jeopardize my future.

This beater really isn’t having a positive affect…

I play football. I injured my knee last season, so got into cycling more as the motion of pedalling and lack of lateral movement was a good way to keep excercising etc and keep fit. whilst i did keep fit, i don’t see any major benefit to my footy, i came back to pre seaso this year and was struggling big time with running, i hadn’t lost speed or anything, but i definately lost stamina, as i had not run for a good 4 or 5 months.

now i ride to and from training, i like it because i get to the ground warm and ready to go, and it’s a good recovery on the way home.

in conclusion i really has not effected my football ability in anyway, bit at least i didn’t get fat whilst injured and unable to run much!

hope that helps somehow?

Bit of self censorship?