Cycling Takes Dedication

Each morning after my ride I log my stats into Dailymile. Once I click on ‘share’ my ride stats and comments are transmitted to the Biking To Live Facebook Fan Page and on Twitter @bdewberry. This morning I said something about the moon looking great at 6:15. @marijolamarche responded to my shared workout on Twitter with: “On your bike at 6:15 Bryan? That’s dedication!” You know what? She’s right. Cycling does take dedication. Am I any more dedicated than someone else? Probably not but for any of us getting out there to ride it takes some measure of dedication and motivation to do it. We have to make sure our equipment is ready to ride. We have to hydrate properly before riding and after. We have to eat right (which I’m still working on) and, probably harder than anything, we have to make time to get our cycling in. For me, I like cycling in the morning. So Why Do We Do It? We all have our reasons why we’re dedicated to cycling. Some of you probably have the same reasons as I do but others will have different motivations. We all have them. Here’s what @eqtmgr said when I asked on Twitter why you were dedicated to cycling: “This is going to sound weird, but for me its the punishment. Its the pain that I put myself through every time I ride.” Why Am I Dedicated to Cycling? As most of you know, I’m using cycling to lose weight and get healthy. There’s really no other major reason. And last week I was reminded of that. I won’t...

Final Review: Cateye HL-EL450 Headlight

A couple of weeks ago I announced that I had a Cateye HL-EL450 Bicycle Headlight in for review. I’ve ridden with it for two weeks during my pre-dawn rides on the weekdays and am ready to give you my final review. I purchased the HL-EL450 at a local bike shop because I needed a new headlight. My old light worked for my old Cannondale but it’s mount didn’t fit the over sized bars of my Specialized Allez. Because my weekday rides are performed pre-dawn I had to have something that made more more visible to the early morning drivers. What Cateye Has to Say About the HL-EL450 From Cateye.com: See your way home. The HL-EL450 is perfect for occasional night rides and regular commutes. Its improved OptiCube™ lens focuses the beam to help find your way through dark streets. A lockable switch eliminates accidental switch-on/off, while letting you easily toggle between high, low and flashing modes. The adjustable bracket quickly mounts to almost any handlebar, stem or helmet, and a simple clip lets you attach and detach the light in seconds — without tools. Whether you mount the HL-EL450 on your bike or keep it in your pack, it will always light the way. High, low and flashing modes 720 candlepower 30-hours of run time on high beam on three AAA batteries Waterproof to 50 meters/165 feet Lockable switch Cateye HL-EL450 Bicycle Headlight Final Review HL-EL450 Mounting Mounting the HL-EL450 to my handlebars was very easy and the bracket accommodated my oversize bars with no problem. It’s attached with a simple ratcheting mechanism that’s tightened down with a small...

Seven Reasons Why The Morning Is Best Time For Road Cycling

Last week I asked you to vote in a poll about when you prefer to ride. 18 of you responded and Early Morning beat out Mid-Morning by a vote of 7-6. Evening came in with 3 while Afternoon got 1. There was 1 other. I asked the same question on Twitter and got the following replies: From eqtmgr: “I prefer morning.” From Eric_McWhirter:”Right in the morning, but the temps get to a point that I like 60/70 range anytime would work.” From daveydave999: “I prefer to cycling at night. Sometimes after dark. I never was a morning person.” From mx4789: “ride time: usually anything except *early* AM.. hate getting up to alarm clock on weekend just to ride.. I’ll sweat instead.” Just looking at the results, it appears that most of my readers prefer to ride in the morning. I couldn’t agree more and believe the morning is the best time for road cycling. Seven Reasons Why The Morning Is Best Time For Cycling Before I headed off to Dallas for 18 months I had gotten into a routine of getting up at 5 AM to ride. Getting up wasn’t that big a deal to me as long as I got plenty of sleep the night before. Getting enough sleep is a big problem for me though (a bad habit left over from my military days). Anyway, a long time spent in the military got me conditioned to getting up early so doing so to ride wasn’t a big deal. Now that I’ve returned from Dallas I have pushed my wake-up time to 6 AM. Here’s why I think...

Starting Road Cycling After Watching The Tour de France

The test of endurance that is the Tour de France (TdF) captivates the entirety of the cycling world every July. As road cyclists, it inspires us to want to do better. To get out and ride. To push our limits of physical endurance. Cyclists aren’t the only group of people that are moved by the sprint finishes and mountain stages. Many people who watch it cycled early in life but gave it up for one reason or another. Their passion for cycling never left but watching the TdF re-kindled it and they look to start road cycling again. Others have never ridden road bikes before but are inspired by the beauty of the sport. They’re inspired to get fit, lean, and healthy. Finally there are those that fit into both of those groups (like myself). For these people looking to return or start road cycling, what do they do? They almost always turn to the Internet and begin searching for how to start road cycling or search for what equipment they need to start cycling. There are many other questions they ask but they all point towards the same thing – the seeking of knowledge about how to start (or re-start) road cycling. I’ve written posts in the past about things you need to start cycling and things you don’t need. I want to give these new, or returning, cyclists a more concise guide to help them get started. I’m Writing An E-Book That’s right, I’m writing an e-book that will provide them a collection of information and tips that will make it easier to return to the great...

Biking To Live Weekly Recap July 19-23

I’ve got several topics I wanted to cover so I thought it best to do a recap, or summary, instead of a dedicated post today. Here goes. Yes, I changed the theme…again… If you’ve been reading BTL any longer than 8 or 9 months then you know I get tired of my theme easily (which means I’m very concerned about appearances). And, if you’re actually reading this on the blog then you’ll see that I’ve changed the theme over the last couple of days. Why did I change? I wanted a cleaner, more professional look. I think I’ve achieved that with this new design. I really like the fact that I can feature both blog posts and reviews at the same time. There’s still some tweaking to do with the logo, background, and colors so please be patient. Otherwise, I hope to remain on this theme for a while. Let me know what you think. The Tour De France is all but over… I’ve been watching and have a lot of mixed feelings. I wish Lance wouldn’t have crashed but that’s racing. I feel the officials over-reacted when they tossed Mark Renshaw (but Cav can still win without him as he proved today). I’m disappointed El Pistolero didn’t wait on Schlecks-of-steel on stage 15. I wish Lance could have won one final stage but he had no gas in the end (sounds like me). Glad to see Chris Horner riding great. Sad to see Levi fade after such high hopes. And disgusted to see El Pistolero win another one. Which he’ll do unless he suffers some seriously bad luck...

When Do You Prefer To Ride? [Poll]

I’m preparing an article and would like you to vote in the poll below so I can get a feel for when my readers like to ride their bikes. I believe I’ve got the major time periods covered but there is a spot for you to write something in. Take Our Poll I’d love to get your comments on this topic as well. If you prefer to ride in the middle of the afternoon, or are constrained to riding at a particular time, please share it with us in the comments below. PHOTOc:...

Starting The Morning Out Right

The Bike Is Fixed My crank problems were finally resolved on Friday and I picked up my bike that afternoon. The shop never heard back from Sugino (the maker’s of my cranks). Instead of flat-out telling me I needed a new crankset (which is what I was prepared for), one of the mechanics did some experimenting and found that a Cannondale external crank nut fit my crankset perfectly. Crisis solved. I escaped with my bike for only $33 which included the crank nut and a service of the bottom bracket. Thanks @bicyclesetc. Saturday’s Ride and the Headache I rode on Saturday morning and the cranks performed perfectly. It wasn’t a hard ride but it was hard on me after having been off for so long. I was basically limping along putting in the miles. I rode 10 miles in 46 minutes along a new route that I created. I started off at 7 AM which meant traffic wasn’t bad going underneath the interstate. What’s really nice is that about 9 miles of that 10 is on bike lanes. I didn’t see any other riders out on Saturday. I was back home by 8:30 and then the family headed to the beach for a couple of hours for some sun and fun. The waves were rolling in pretty good with quite a few folks out surfing. If we’re going to be going to the beach more I’ll need to invest in a boogie board again. Maybe sometime I’ll try and take up surfing. It looks like fun. My chest/stomach got a little too much sun though. I paid for it...

The Biking To Live Logo

I’ve wanted to design a logo for Biking To Live for a long time now. I just hadn’t gotten around to brainstorming designs and making one. That all ended last week after I decided to start mocking up some drafts and seeing what I came up with. Below is what was come up after collaborating with Darryl over at Loving The Bike. I owe Darryl a large debt of gratitude for his help in coming up with this design. We went through several versions before zeroing in on what you see below. His insight into helping me make the connection between my blog and the logo was awesome. Thanks Darryl! After some changes (made the cyclist bigger and removed the heart): With the logo above I’m trying to convey a sense of accomplishment, victory, or achievement that someone can attain by making cycling a part of their day-to-day lives. Cycling lets us make connections to Family, Health, and Life. Family. Cycling has a way of keeping families in touch with each other. We all probably started riding bikes as kids and, if you were like me, rode them with brothers and sisters. Many parents today actively ride bikes with their children as a way of establishing a bond, teaching them how important fitness is, or using it as a motivational tool. Cyclists as a whole are a large family as well. Even within the circles of blogging, cyclists develop friendships all because of bicycles. Health. For many (myself included), we started cycling because we wanted to improve our health or fitness. We had weight to lose or were motivated...

The Crank Problem Is Far From Over

Yesterday I explained in length how I was missing the compression nut (actually called an ‘External Crank Arm Fixing Bolt) on my cranks and that’s what was causing my left crank arm to keep coming loose. Remember how I went to the bike shop in town that sold Specialized bikes to get the part? Well, they sold me the wrong one. Go figure. This was discovered when I took my bike to my favorite local bike shop to have yhe bottom bracket serviced and the nut put on (due to needing a special tool). After some searching, the mechanic verfied they don’t have what I need in stock and couldn’t find one via their online sources. They will call Sugino (the maker of the cranks on my Allez) to see if they can get the part. If they can’t, I did find what looks to be the right part on Amazon. It also looks like you don’t need a special tool for it but I’ll have my BB serviced anyway. In short, it looks like I’ll be without my road bike for at least the weekend and into next week. Why, oh why didn’t I take care of this when I wasn’t...

Cranks, Nuts, and a Tshirt

This mornings ride was very low key because I can’t ride my road bike right now (see below) and because I’m taking it easy until my body readjusts to riding again. I took the hybrid out for a short three mile loop. I’ll ride the hybrid for a few more days until I get the Allez back from the shop. Why I Have A Crank Problem Yesterday you may remember that I had a problem with left crank arm again where it wants to come off during my rides. I’ve replaced both bolts that hold it on to no avail. Yesterday, while heading to Lowes (a local home improvement store) to get some Blue Loctite, I stopped into a local bike shop to talk to a mechanic about my crank problems (no jokes please). It turns out that I’m missing the compression nut that screws into the left-side of the crank arm. The mechanic says that without that nut I’ll never be able to keep the crank arm on. Here’s a diagram of what I’m talking about. The compression nut is part #5. This particular shop would have had to order me a nut (no, my nickname isn’t Juan Pelota) because they don’t sale Specialized bikes. I left there and headed over to the shop that carries Specialized bikes to pick up the nut which was only $5. Today I’m going to take my bike back to shop #1 to have them overhaul my bottom bracket and put the nut on. Just so you know, that nut requires a special tool (TL-FC16 in the figure above). It looks like...
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