Meet Rick Bienias
January 17, 2015
Rick Bienias is an elite amateur cyclist and bike racer who has held the Strava King Of the Mountain (KOM) title/record for Palomar Mountain in San Diego. This means Rick has registered the fastest recorded times on the Strava cycling network for the popular hill climb. Interestingly, he has set this Mt Palomar KOM record for both road bikes and ElliptiGOs.
Like a growing number of ElliptiGO riders who also cycle on traditional road bikes, Rick has discovered that the ElliptiGO is not just an effective cross trainer and performance enhancement for runners – it also works really effectively for cyclists (in relation to improving their measured performance).
Many cyclists who adopt ElliptiGO training have noticed an improvement in their road bike endurance, a loss of body fat and considerably improved hill climbing ability. They also report being able to ‘ride out of the saddle’ for considerably longer periods on their road bikes after they have been doing regular ElliptiGO cross training sessions for a few months.
Rick Bienias recently shared his ElliptiGO training journey with Idai Makaya from ElliptiGO UK and explained how the ElliptiGO has benefitted him as a competitive cycle racer. You can read about his experiences in his own words, below:
“My wife had to stop running because of degenerative knee issues and it also had limited her cycling to a point where it became frustrating to an active and usually very fit athlete like her, who has done Ironman races, etc…
After researching for alternative outdoor exercising options, she bought an ElliptiGO 8S in Jan 2014. Riding the ElliptiGO enabled her to get her fitness and strength level back to where she now can alternate with regular cycling and minimal knee issues. I am amazed how strong her regular cycling has become again.
I am an avid cyclist and had a very strong 2012 season, but in 2013 (after having to limit my cycling workouts and intensity level due to continuous knee issues), I thought my best years were over. I started riding my wife’s ElliptiGO and found that riding the ElliptiGO was much easier on my knees. Of course, I immediately wanted my own ElliptiGO, ready to sell one of my other bikes for an ElliptiGO. But one day my wife surprised me with a brand new ElliptiGO 11R. I was so happy!
I started slowly building up miles and speed and was riding the ‘GO’ more than any of my other bikes! My fitness improved quickly and I started testing how my road and MTB bike times compare to my 2012 level. STRAVA is a great training tool, where I can set up my own routes and training segments to monitor my training and fitness level.
I started to beat my previous cycling PRs on many hill climb segments I regularly train on. This was with less overall training miles and training hours. I am surprised how well training on the ElliptiGO carries directly over to the regular bike.
This is perfect for me. I can now do more frequent (and higher intensity) workouts when cross training on the ElliptiGO and find it easier to keep a higher fitness level (and knee, back issues, or saddle soreness are all under control with the cross training). After a longer or harder bike ride that leaves me sore, I always seem to be able to still do a good workout on the ElliptiGO the next day – or at least get a good recovery ride.
I am looking forward to raising the limits on the ‘GO’. I must admit, the ElliptiGO has become my favorite bike to ride (also for commuting) and my more expensive other bikes have to sit out more often! I still make sure to get enough regular bike miles in (so I stay used to sitting on a saddle). It’s fun now to switch between bikes and I enjoy Road Biking and MTB more again, since I get a break from each with the ElliptiGO cross training – while still getting improvement in both.
I am quite excited and very thankful that I can reach a very competitive cycling level again. It feels like I have gained some years back since I started training with the ElliptiGO. I could not ask for anything more. It is priceless…
PS: I look at Rick Hermelin. At the age of 73 he is still doing 100 milers on the ElliptiGO, no problem. Quite astonishing. Now that is inspiring.