Woman Question - Does Moon-phase Affect Your Cycling?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Elisa Francesca, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. I cycle regularly on an apartment trainer and before that, I
    used to train on a kick-scooter. For both of these
    activities I keep records in a database.

    Over time, I began to notice distinct fluctuations in
    performance in keeping with my menstrual cycle.

    It took me two and a half years to learn the trick of
    balancing on a kick-scooter. My training consisted of
    doing five runs up, and five runs down, a track of
    sidewalk perhaps 80 m long, with a very slight incline,
    and counting the number of steps on each run. The object
    was to minimize the number of steps, since each step meant
    that I was falling off the scooter and needing to correct
    my balance from the ground. A competent scooterist would
    not need more than one or two steps on a downhill run,
    just to hop on and get started and let gravity do the
    rest. Also, the object was to have equal competence on
    both legs. I started using the right leg to push uphill,
    and the dominant left to push downhill. The best possible
    score was two steps downhill and twelve uphill. Then I
    switched legs until I achieved the same score on the right
    leg downhill, thus becoming ambidextrous, or more
    accurately ambisinistrous, on the scooter.

    But my progress was not steady. I would have a brilliant
    day, when I broke records on fewness of steps, and a
    short while later would find myself way back where I had
    been weeks before, with forty or fifty horrible steps on
    both runs!

    Out of curiosity, I also had a field in the database to
    track "menstrual day", with day 1 being the first day of my
    period. Over time, it became apparent that the good days,
    when I broke records, were in the second half of the cycle,
    days 19-28, usually just before my period began, but that as
    soon as I hit Day 1 and in the week following I would have
    those frustrating throw-backs when I could scarcely balance
    on my two feet, let alone on a scooter. I mentioned this
    fluctuation to my regular doctor, who detected a light
    anemia and prescribed iron tablets. I feel better and more
    energetic with the iron, but it didn't seem to make any
    difference to this monthly eclipse of my balance.

    Now, both on my trainer and on my wild bicycles, I am
    noticing similar fluctuations. My trainer score is
    calculated on the number of kilometers the odometer records
    in 60 minutes, with my heartbeat averaging not more than 136
    beats per minute. Once again, records are broken in the
    second half of the menstrual cycle, whereas the throwbacks
    to much lower and earlier levels of skill that I thought I
    would not see again (under 32 km?!) happen in the first half
    of the cycle. On the wild bikes, I also notice that on
    certain days I have much more trouble, for example,
    negotiating turns, than on others, as well as greater
    difficulty starting my pesky bike Behemoth. I haven't
    tracked these incidents to the lunar cycle, because wild
    bike activity is not in my database, but I feel confident
    that there is a connection.

    So, it seems like some cyclical hormonal factor - not iron -
    is linked to a monthly diminishing, not only of strength and
    vigor, but also of ability to balance. Has anyone else
    experienced similar? I'm assuming this question concerns
    women primarily, but in fact that assumption is not
    scientific, since not all werewolves are female.

    EFR Ile de France

  2. I remember reading somewhere that in the week before your
    menstrual period, there is a surge of Estrogen, and then on
    the first day of your cycle, or just before, your Estrogen
    takes a plummet, causing exhaustion and dimminished
    performance. The article I read said that women have their
    peak mental and physical performance during that last week
    of the cycle. In fact, the article also stated that you
    could eat up to 50% more calories during that week and not
    gain weight. So, I suspect there may be a scientific basis
    for your findings.

    Any MDs who want to chime in and enlighten us would be
  3. "Elisa Francesca Roselli" <[email protected]>
    wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > Over time, I began to notice distinct fluctuations in
    > performance in keeping with my menstrual cycle.

    For me, it worked the other way -- a long hard ride would
    get my blood flowing (so to speak). My cycle adjusted so I'd
    menstruate on Saturday's big ride. When I started spending
    time on Saturdays doing other things, and moved my big rides
    to Sundays, then my period would start on Sunday.

    I learned to carry tampons in my bike bag. Someone
    suggested jamming the OB brand style up your handlebars as
    a way to carry them easily and waterproofedly, but I find
    just buying the style out of a vending machine (that comes
    prewrapped in plastic or sturdy cardboard) is the best to
    carry on the bike.

    Warm Regards,

    Claire Petersky
    Please replace earthlink for mouse-potato and .net for .com

    Home of the meditative cyclist:
    Email me re: the new Tiferet CD (http://www.tiferet.net)