The Early Morning Sweat

As promised, I returned to riding this morning with my trusty new headlight. Waiting until 6 AM to get up made for a pretty good nights sleep. It wasn’t pitch dark outside since sunrise was at 6:30 but it was humid. I’m talking sticky-bun humid. Crazy. The stats for today’s ride aren’t huge but it was my first day back in the saddle after a long layoff. The numbers are over in the DailyMile widget. Here’s the workout on DailyMile. Nascar Drivers in Training As I predicted, traffic was very light for the first 35 minutes or so with no problem areas until I got about a quarter mile from home. That’s when I lost the bike lane and have to carve my space out of one of the two lanes going in the direction I am. It’s not bad but traffic by 6:45 is starting to build and folks here like to pretend they’re training for Nascar. If folks would simply drive the speed limit it wouldn’t be bad at all. I know I’m asking too much. Lots of folks out exercising Before I went to Dallas for 18 months, I got up at 5 AM to ride. I’d see a few dedicated people out at that time in the morning but not many. With me rolling out of the garage at around 6:10 this morning I saw many, many more people out getting the early morning sweat on. I saw no less than two dozen runners and a couple of cyclists. One guy passed me on on his tri bike. No ‘good morning’ or ‘on your left’....

In For Review: Cateye HL-EL450 Bicycle Headlight

As I eluded to in my post yesterday, I needed to get a new bicycle headlight so I headed to the a local shop to see what they had in stock. The selection wasn’t great but I did find a Cateye HL-EL450 that would fit my handlbars and give me some light out front. Cateye HL-EL450 Headlight Specifications 400+ Candlepower Three modes: Hi/Low/Flashing Water resistant to 50 meters 360 degree ring to allow side visibility Rotatable up to 90 degrees left or right Available in Silver or Black Includes 3 AAA batteries Though the Cateye HL-EL450 is water resistant up to 50 meters, Cateye makes a point to say the headlight isn’t intended for diving. While I didn’t plan on taking it on my next Jacques Cousteau undersea adventure it is nice to know it should survive these Florida rainstorms if I get caught out in the rain. Below you can see some additional pictures. In picture one note the red switch lock that has to be depressed to turn the light on or off and in picture three you can get a good view of the 360 degree ring for side visibility. After I’ve used it a few times I’ll post more detailed review covering use and impressions. Get the Cateye HL-EL450 at...

The Ride That Almost Was

Over the weekend I made final preparations so I could starting riding again. I had to make sure my bike was in proper working order (tires pumped up, chain lubed, brakes weren’t rubbing the rims, cyclocomputer worked), my seat bag was fully stocked (CO2, spare tube, multi-tool, patch kit, tire irons), and that I knew where all my cycling clothes were. Surprisingly, everything seemed to be good to go. Even my rear flasher was working good. Everything seemed set. As I mentioned before, I’m planning on riding in the morning again because of heavy traffic in the evenings and because in the evenings I should be spending the time with the family. Besides, the temperature is much better early in the day. I had my alarm set for 5:00 am and got a good nights sleep. I was so close… The alarm went off at 5 and I’ll admit I was a little groggy even though I slept good. Looking outside though, I was really dismayed to see how dark it was. Sure, it should be dark, but it instantly reminded me that I don’t have a front light anymore. The one I had on my old Cannondale doesn’t fit the bars on my new bike and I didn’t think to pick up a new one. With no front light, and it being really dark, I opted to not ride this morning due to safety. [pullquote] Another super advantage of waiting until 6 is that I get to sleep longer. How awesome is that?[/pullquote] Now I’ve got two options. I can either get a light and continue getting up...

Out of Exile

Greetings faithful blog readers. You may have noticed that it’s been well over two months since my last post (except for the 2010 Tour de France Contests post). In other words, I’ve neglected my blog, my riding, my readers, and so on. I’ve been busy though. The ‘E’ word…Excuses Most of you knew that I was moving back to Florida at the end of May. That was only the start of the journey as the last two months have been a whirlwind of events. I’m not going to bore you with the details but some of the highlights include: Driving from Texas to Florida. Starting back at my old job. Moving into a new place. Getting re-acclimated with living with the family again. Living apart for 18 months tends to make it strange. Getting our oldest graduated from high school and the associated drama. Spending time with the family. Enjoying saltwater fishing again. You wouldn’t believe the fish story from this weekend. And we didn’t even land the fish! Two significant medical emergencies. One in my wife’s family and one in mine. Thankfully both family members are doing much better. While a few of the excuses above are very good, a few are a stretch. But who wouldn’t be happy about kicking one of the kids out of the house? Just kidding. Seriously though, the past two months have been a whirlwind of activity and has really taken a toll on us. Some days it felt good just to be able to sit down. But I think we’ve turned a corner and I’m ready to start riding again. Even...

2010 Tour de France Contests

My post on the 2009 Tour de France contests has been getting SLAMMED the past few days so I thought I should put up a current 2010 list. If you know of others please feel free to add them to the comments. Cadillac Lead the Pack Sweepstakes Cateye Predict the Stage Winners Contest – daily winners! Performance Bicycle Tour de France 2010 Giveaway VeloReviews Predict the Podium Map My Ride / Aquaphor Le Tour Challenge Active.com Trivia contest – daily winners! Trek Dream Bigger Giveaway Total Cyclist Tour De France Giveaway – daily winners! Pro Bike Kit Tour de France Competition Road ID TdF Giveaway Photo courtesy of Joe...

Last Weekend of Riding in Dallas

With this past weekend being my last weekend in Dallas I wanted to get a good ride in on Saturday. One of the first rides I did here was a complete loop of White Rock Lake, plus the trail north, with one of my readers Cliff. I wanted to do the same ride again to basically close out my riding time here in Dallas. Saturday morning broke very nice with sun and no clouds. I took off from the house at about 9:00 AM and made my way down to where I access the lake or trail. Instead of heading straight to the lake I hit the northbound trail first to really mix things up. It was awesome! I hadn’t ridden this section of the trail (past the tennis courts) in a long time and on an early Saturday morning it was great. There was some water puddles and mud due to train the previous night that got both me and the bike pretty grimy but it was still good. I made it up to the turn-around point, took a short water break and watched some kids play soccer, then took off again. [pullquote]By the time I hit the lake the wind was gusting to 30 mph.[/pullquote] As I headed back towards the lake I could feel the wind starting to build. And build it did. There was a reason the lake was covered with sail boats. I just dealt with it and kept on turning the pedals and enjoying the ride. All said and done I rode 30.28 miles on Saturday morning in 2 hours and 19 minutes....

DailyMile Virtual Training Group

Over the last few weeks (and continuing into next week) I’m adding base miles so that I can get time in the saddle and get accustomed to riding long again. Upon my return to Florida, and after settling in, I plan on starting to train for a century again using the same 10-week plan I used last year. I probably wouldn’t need to go through this plan again except I spent so long without a bike over the winter that I think I need to. Plus I saw great improvements in my endurance and weight while I was doing it last summer so why not do it again? This time around though I’d like to try and do this virtually with other participants. Don’t get me wrong, being able to ride with a partner or group is awesome but not many of us have partners/groups that could make time available to ride with someone either just starting out to ride or doing some specific training – like training for your first century. For instance, if the century training plan calls for 4×8 intervals on Tuesday, what are the chances of you finding someone locally who is doing the same thing? Probably not very good. That’s the way it was with me last year and why I ended up doing all my training alone. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. Why Not? You’ve heard me mention in my last few posts that I’m now using DailyMile to track my rides. It’s a free training log like many others where it lets you define routes, enter workouts, and write...

I Forgot My Anniversary…Again

This Monday London Cyclist posted a list of the Top 50 Cycling Blogs for 2010. I was totally shocked to see Biking To Live on that list. I’m very honored to have my blog included because there are some heavy-hitters on there – BikeSnobNYC, Fat Cyclist, Bike 198, Cycling Tips, and many others. To even be mentioned around those other blogs is awesome. Two Year Anniversary The timing is kinda cool too. Because I’ve been wrapped up with many other things (working on finding employment back in Florida), getting my mom moved to Arkansas, and various other things, I totally missed the Biking To Live two-year anniversary back on April 10 (the important anniversary I remember is my wedding date but I’ve forgotten that one too….once…long story). Can’t believe it’s been two years. More remarkable is that I can’t believe folks are still reading this blog after two years! And that’s where I’m kinda leading this post. My readers. I appreciate you so much because if you weren’t here actively supporting me by leaving comments, helping others, or offering advice I’m not sure I’d still be blogging today. [pullquote]I certainly wouldn’t be on the list above without you.[/pullquote] I created this blog to help me but I’ve attempted to grow it so that it can help others as well. Especially those that are weight-challenged, like me, or those who are just starting out in this great sport of cycling. A couple of weeks ago I received an email from one of my readers who was looking to start riding. We talked about bicycles and stuff but it was a...

82 Miles On The Bike This Week

Boy it felt great to get off my big butt and start riding again this week. I started last Tuesday just by riding from the house I’m staying at down to White Rock Lake and back. Total round trip is about 16.5 miles and I have several options to easily lengthen that distance. Since I’m only going to be in Dallas for two more weeks I’ll continue this route and probably lengthen it to 20 miles so I can build up some more base miles before starting in on my training plan. A Windy, Wet Ride Today Today’s ride was interesting in that even though the weather stunk (wind, rain, chili, mist, road grime, etc.) I decided that I needed the miles and that I wasn’t going to get skinnier by sitting at home. Sure, I could have ridden the trainer but the weather wasn’t that bad. A long sleeve jersey instead of short and I was good to go. I thought about wearing a rain jacket but decided against it. I took my normal route down to the lake and got sprinkled on a few times but nothing serious. It had rained pretty good overnight so the roads were wet and grimy. I could see the dirt/grime building up on the bike but didn’t worry about it too much. Nothing a quick cleaning won’t fix when I return home. Down at the lake there weren’t many people. That’s to say that there weren’t many dedicated people like myself. Or stupid people like me. Take your pick. I did see 2 or 3 other cyclists and quite a few...

I’m Going Home

Well, after spending 15 months working in Dallas, Tx while my family was in Florida, I can now officially say that I’m going home. This has been in the works for about three months but it wasn’t until today that I received an offer for employment that’s going to take me back to Florida and my family. I’d like to thank all my readers who have lent their support and words of encouragement over these past 15 months. It meant a lot. I’ll miss the cycling here in Dallas because I really enjoyed my time riding around White Rock Lake. It’s a jewel in this city and I don’t think enough people realize that. One thing I won’t miss is the hills. I know they’re an important part of cycling, and they helped in my training last year, but I can’t say that I’ll miss them that much. I’ll have to really turn up my flatland workouts in Florida in order to get even a portion of the training benefits that the hills provided me here. I’ll deal with it though. Over the next two weeks I’ll continue to ride here in Dallas. I’m sure I’ll miss a few days in the saddle before I leave and upon my return to Florida but the training will continue in my old stomping grounds. In fact, look for a post from me next week where we’ll discuss the idea of a virtual cycling group to train for a century ride. Again, thanks for everything. Cliff, we’ll need to make plans to get your trainer back to you at some point before...
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