When was your last Awesome ride?

Saturday saw me return to the local shop I’ve been riding with for group rides. I hadn’t given the ride too much thought throughout the week but it turned out being Awesome with a capital A. That’s why I capitalized it if you didn’t notice. At the start of the ride we rolled out with about 15 folks. A group of about five took off pretty quickly so we’ll call them the A group. The rest of us kind of fell into a group of our own, at a slower pace, so we’ll call ourselves the B group. There were a few people in the group I hadn’t seen before so I don’t know if they were brand new or just hadn’t been out with us in a while. We had two ladies in the group. One who is a very experienced rider while the other is relatively new. We also had two riders from the shop – one of the mechanics and the shop owner. Both great guys. All-in-all a pretty diverse group. After leaving the shop, getting past a stoplight, and then a stop sign, we got onto the main route and settled into a paceline at about 18-19 mph. I pulled for the first three or four miles before letting one of the ladies pull a bit. We stayed together like this for the next ten miles or so with each person in the group sharing the pulling although the pulls I took were quite a bit longer than most which I was happy to do. We eventually upped the pace to the 20-21 mph range....

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...

Cycling for Optimal Weight – A Mission

A few weeks ago, Darryl over at Lovingthebike.com and Kelli of Apex Nutriton, unveiled a new training program called Cycling for Optimal Weight. Darryl and Kelli released a mini-ebook that covers both the cycling and nutrition sides of getting fit and healthy with the sport of cycling. The ebook (which is totally free by the way) is filled with some great tips and I love the section at the end where they include sample eating plans tailored to when you are riding – morning, mid-day or in the evneing. I decided to take them up on their offer to track my progress and have already filled out my assessment, taken my starting measurements (rope and choke), and snapped a couple of profile photos. The measurements and photos were an eye opening experience but I kinda had an idea of how bad they would be. As I work with Darryl and Kelli to get this weight off, I’ll keep you informed of my progress here on Biking To Live. I’ll do my best to relay to you what I’m going through, the riding I’m doing, and what I’m eating. I believe I’m going to learn a lot and it’ll be the perfect opportunity to pass that info along to you, my readers, as you work to improve your health with cycling. Why did I decide to try their plan? Well, there are a few reasons: Darryl is a great person. I’ve come to know him personally over the last six to eight months and the encouragement he’s shown me has been awesome. I couldn’t imagine working with another person to...

How To Start Road Cycling [Again] Ebook

As I told you all several weeks ago, I was going to write an Ebook to help new cyclists, or those returning to road cycling after a long layoff, get started in this great sport. I’ve finally completed it and am ready to release it. For free. As you can tell by the title, it isn’t for the advanced, or even intermediate, road cyclist. It’s basic from the first page and filled with knowledge and tips that I wish I had known when I returned to cycling in 2008. Will it answer every question? No. But I think it’ll help anyone looking for help in deciding where to buy a bike, find out what to carry in a seat bag, or learn what online tools are available for road cycling. To get How To Start Road Cycling [Again] just click on the link below. How-To-Start-Road-Cycling Thumbnail Photoc: Explore The...

Five Steps To Choosing A Road Cycling Helmet

Thanks to Victor Jiminez of Bicycle Lab (@bicyclelab on Twitter) for his assistance in putting this article together. As the weather warms up ever so slowly here in North America, more and more cyclists will be leaving the trainers behind and heading outdoors to get their rides in. Before heading out we need to make sure we have all the required equipment and one of those items is our helmet. Of all our road cycling gear, I think the helmet is the most important item as it offers protection for our gray matter in the event we do crash. Five Steps To Choosing A Cycling Helmet Find your price point. Road cycling helmets are typically between $60 and $250. Design, materials, retention systems and purpose are what drive the prices. They all offer protection if you crash but features like custom fitting mechanisms, visors, adjustable/removable padding, reduced weight, exotic materials, and extra ventilation will cost more. More expensive helmets tend to have more adjustable fit and retention systems. For around $100 you can get a very good quality and nice fitting helmet. Check the certification. Cycling helmets have certification? Absolutely. Helmets sold in the U.S. are required by law to meet testing standards as set forth by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). The purpose of these tests is to make sure that the helmet can handle the impact if you were to crash. With helmets getting lighter and more comfortable every year a standard is necessary to ensure that you’ll be protected. Look for the CPSC stamp or sticker on the helmet. Pick some helmets. Road cycling helmets...

Getting Started With Nutrition

I’ve made a commitment that today I start counting my calories and eating better (you’ll know why tomorrow). I did buy a food scale this weekend and have messed around with The Daily Plate so that I can start tracking my calorie/nutrient intake on a daily basis. Right now my daily calorie intake is set to 2013 calories. This takes into account my age, height, current weight, activity level outside of cycling, and my goal to lose 2 pounds per week. I’m certainly not going to bore you with what I’m eating each day but will provide any insight or lessons learned I have. I Need To Get Smart I am so dumb in the area of nutrition management as it pertains to cyclists. I know snippets of info here and there but there is so much info out there that information overload can be achieved in about 30 seconds. Stuff like hydration, supplements, when/what to eat before/during/after riding based on what type of ride it was, etc. I’m probably going to do some research and experiment a lot and see what works while keeping track of my calorie intake and losses. Creating A Meal Plan I want to move to a point where I plan out my meals a week in advance. That way it will make my shopping/cooking easier. I thought this might be easy but I’ve found out that it isn’t. I’ve found some 2000 calorie/day meal plans on the Internet and may give them a try (or at least portions of them). At least initially, I think I may just stick with weighing/counting what I’m...
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