Three Years Down…

Time for a short post today since it’s already late here in the east coast. I stayed off the Internet all day so I didn’t see who won Paris-Roubaix so am just now writing this. Three years ago today I launched Biking To Live and it’s been an interesting ride. Since I started this blog back in 2008 a lot of things have happened – I’ve ridden lots of miles, trained for a century (but didn’t get to ride it), got laid off and moved to Dallas, worked in Dallas for 18 months, moved back to Florida, my dad passed away, my trusty Cannondale of 15 years finally gave up the ghost, I bought a new (used) bike, I signed up for a charity ride, and started doing some group rides. Some great stuff but some unfortunate stuff too. One thing that’s not on that list is a consistent loss of weight. The last year of Biking To Live has been hard. I went through periods of not riding and found it hard to continue writing posts. There were times I went weeks without posting. I’m still not past that as other demands are taking lots of my time including family and work. I plan to continue writing about my exploits on the bike in hopes that it will continue to motivate others who are trying to do what I’m doing – lose weight with cycling. To those of you who come here and support me in my efforts I thank you. My readers are the most important thing about Biking To Live. Without you I would have probably...

Don’t Take Away My Bike

This past weekend I had some serious cycling plans. I was going to ride in another 50 mile group training ride on Saturday and watch the Tour of Flanders on Sunday. How could it not get any better? It couldn’t. It could only get worse. Many of you know that I’ve experienced ongoing issues with my crankset and I honestly thought they were fixed. Over the last three weeks I’ve had the bottom bracket replaced, the chain replaced, and the drivetrain cleaned and tuned up. The cleaning and tuneup were performed last Thursday and my bike rode like a dream on Friday morning. I was really looking forward to the big group ride on Saturday morning and seeing if I could replicate the numbers from the 52 mile ride the week before. I arrived at the host LBS at 7 AM, got signed in, and ready to ride. I even turned a couple of laps around the parking lot just to make sure everthing was OK and it was. A few minutes later we all gathered for the pre-ride instructions and then we were ready to roll. Not a half-mile into the ride I start experiencing a significant creaking sound coming from the bottom bracket/crank area. At first I couldn’t believe it and thought it might be someone elses bike. It can’t be mine because I had just had all that work done on it. Oh how I was wrong. I pulled over onto a side street to give it a look. A fellow rider was kind enough to stop and lend a hand. We both looked at it...

Tour de Cure Group Training Ride #2

This past Saturday saw another local bike shop sponsoring a group training ride for those riding the Jacksonville, FL Tour de Cure this year. They offered routes of 25 and 52 miles along with burgers and hotdogs after the ride. Little did I know that I would produce one of the best rides of my life on Saturday. Earlier in the week I had decided to try the 52 mile route. The training plan called for a 35 mile ride and the 25 mile route option was just too short (and not fast enough). After discussing it with Darryl we agreed that attempting the longer route would be good so that’s what I committed to. The only thing I didn’t know was what pace it would be ridden at. In discussing my fueling plan with Kelli I calculated my time on the bike based on a 16 mph pace. Boy would I be in for a surprise. I arrived at the bike shop at around 7 AM along with about 70 other riders. I did see two people from the shop ride the previous Saturday so it was nice to be able to talk to them. Eventually the announcements started and they identified the ride leaders depending on the route you would be riding. They also included the expected pace. The 52 mile route was to be ridden at a 19-20 mph pace. I was now officially worried. My best pace so far as 16.7 mph over 24 miles in the last TdC group training ride a few weeks earlier. Oh boy. We started the ride at about 7:30...

Pre-Ride and On the Bike Fuel

On Monday I mentioned that I had a great group ride last weekend that, I believe, was sparked by a change in my pre-ride meal. The change came about because I was ignorant on a couple of things and Kelli at Apex Nutriton straightened me out. If you’ve been cycling for any length of time you know that your body needs to be properly fueled before you start riding and, if the rides is long, continued to be fueled it while riding. I knew this but my knowledge of fueling was very limited so I needed help. When I signed up for the Cycling for Optimal Weight plan with Darryl and Kelli I started getting an education and help. One of the first things Kelli did was help me establish a pre-ride fueling plan. Short One Hour Rides My weekday rides are, generally, about an hour in length. I ride anywhere from 10-15 miles depending on what the training plan calls for that day. The pace can range anywhere from 14.5 to 16.5 mph solo (so no drafting off a buddy). For these shorter weekday rides Kelli had me eat the following before riding: 4 oz of water mixed with 4 oz of juice. (I use a measuring cup to get it pretty exact) 1/2 of a banana. Ideally I would eat this about 30 minutes before riding but it was usually anywhere from 15-20 minutes before I rolled out of the garage. Prior to getting help from Kelli I would almost never eat or drink anything before riding in the morning. I immediately started to notice an effect...

$75 Classic Cycling Gift Certificate Winner

The Tour de Cure fundraising contest has come and gone and a winner has been selected. After running for a week, the contest to help me raise money for the American Diabetes Association was completed last Friday. I put on my ninja costume and performed some freaky spreadsheet moves to help me select a winner using Random.org. Actually, choosing a winner wasn’t that hard since only two of my readers entered. That made the odds of winning pretty good. The winner was Bob Simonette. In addition to the $75 gift certificate to ClassicCycling.com, Bob also got a 10% coupon code for donating at least $10 on my Tour de Cure fundraising page. Congrats Bob! I emailed Bob to let him know he won and this was the response I got back: Woot! Very cool, looking forward to doing some shopping. Thanks and best of luck with your training. I did my first century ride in January to celebrate my 62nd birthday. It was cold and rainy but I made it along with two other riders, one of whom was doing his first, the other was doing his 3rd of the year towards his goal of 36. I thought it was totally awesome that Bob completed his first century this year at the age of 62. It kinda of puts my training efforts into perspective. Did you catch that part about the other guy doing his 3rd century of the year already towards a goal of 36? That’s a century every week and a half. Crazy! A big thanks to the two guys that entered, those of you who promoted...
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