Bike Ride 26 – New Bicycle Route & Fitness Program

Today is the day I started my new bicycling fitness plan. I haven’t posted my plan yet because I’m still writing that article. Needless to say, I took inspiration from my own goals article and developed a cycling plan that will help me accomplish 1,600 miles of bike riding before the end of 2008. But that’s another post. Today was day 1 and it started at 5:00 AM as all my weekday rides do. I was up, dressed, and outside pretty quick this morning. I was motivated to start my new plan. The temp was fine this morning but it was a tad humid. The sky was very clear with just a sliver of moon in the East. Just to the right of the moon was the constellation Orion. Unmistakable when you know what to look for. I got off at about 5:15. I noticed in the first mile or so that I felt really uncomfortable. I think I’m still trying to acclimatize to being back on the bike after my 1.5 month layoff. My hands felt very uncomfortable and soon my shoulders were a little sore. I felt better about three-quarters of the way through the ride (about 9 miles) which was good. It should only get better from here on out. My overall ride was just fine. Because I’m basically starting over again, I intentionally didn’t push it at all. I wanted to say in Zone 1/2 (I’ll be talking about training zones in a future article) so I intentionally kept my pace no higher than 14 mph. This made for a pretty easy ride that wasn’t...

Can You Beat My Score?

I saw this game over on Bike Jax and took the challenge. I beat Bike Jax by 13.9 meters. My score is in the screenshot to the right. Give it a try and post your score. My High Score Here’s the link to the game:...

Setting Goals for Improved Bicycle Riding

Do you know where you’re going with your bicycle riding? Do you know what your current mileage is and how much you’re planning to ride this year? Do you have a target weight? How do you plan each bike ride you do? Do you roll out of the driveway knowing what the plan is for that ride or do you decide when your tires hit the pavement? Are you planning on riding in an upcoming charity event or race? If so, what’s your finish expectations? In short, do you have a goal, or goals, to accomplish what you want to do on your bicycle? If not, you dramatically increase your chances of failing or not performing as well as you wanted to. Why do we have goals? We set goals in order to achieve something important. Goals are our recognition of a problem, or opportunity, and serve as a target for us to focus on. Without goals we risk wandering aimlessly in our bicycle riding. Setting goals requires that we establish our baseline and determine where we want to be in the future. Setting goals puts the proverbial carrot out in front and keeps us moving towards the completion of that goal. A goal properly set is halfway reached. -Abraham Lincoln Defining your goals There are several factors that must be taken into account when you want to define your goals. Where are you now? You have to have a starting point which means you need to make an assessment of your current situation. If you’re looking to lose weight you need your current weight. If you’re looking to...

Contest over at Fat Cyclist

Fat Cyclist Forever Tattoo I discovered Fat Cyclist about a week ago and have really enjoyed reading some of the great stuff over there. Today Fatty announced a cool little contest where you enter to win some DZNuts Chamois Cream, a DZNuts tshirt, or a DZNuts flexfit cap. Also on the list of prizes is a box of Jelly Belly Sports Beans. What do you have to do? Help design a tattoo for one of his friends named Kenny. If you can photoshop something that’s great. If not, just describe what you think might be a good bicycling tattoo. The full list of prizes and rules is available in the post here. My submission is to the right and was accompanied with the following text: “There I was…rolling down the trail when I come across two dudes taking pictures of themselves in their form fitting hot pants. The guy pictured below had some weird lookin’ jailhouse tat that said, “Fat Cyclist Forever” written across a red heart decorated with roses. I’m guessing the flames represented burning desire for this Fat Cyclist dude. I don’t know who Fat Cyclist is. Maybe it was his Daddy in the big house. What really did it for me, though, was what he was yelling. He’s standing there trying to pull off his best Arnold impression yelling, “Take a picture of DZNuts!” Realizing there were two of them and one of me, I quickly snapped this pic and took off before I became another tragic victim of tough love.” There you have it. Good...

Batten down the hatches; Fay’s coming!

Tropical Storm Fay path courtesy of Weather.com Well, I had hoped we would avoid the worst of this storm but it looks like that won’t be the case. This thing has taken one of the screwiest paths up through Florida and looks to hit Jacksonville right in the grill. They’ve already canceled school for the kids for the next two days. I’ll be going to work tomorrow. Alas, it looks like I won’t be riding tomorrow. If I did, I might end up like this guy. He’s let the whole extreme sports thing to go his head and affect his judgment. What an...

Ride 25: New beginnings on the bicycle

After my open letter yesterday, today started my new beginning – I was going to start riding again today. It’s been about a month and a half since my crash back on Ride 23 and the effects of that debacle are long gone. I didn’t have high expectations today and just wanted to get the ride/mileage in. That said, I went to bed at 10…and didn’t fall to sleep until 12. Go figure. The alarm went off at 5:00 AM and I hit the snooze. A couple minutes later I rolled out of bed and got ready. I was worried about it raining this morning because we had had a light rain most of the night. When I opened the garage door it wasn’t raining but it was overcast. The roads were wet and looked slick. All of this, combined with my recollection of the crash, didn’t give me a warm fuzzy but I was determined to ride. Throughout the ride I did get sprinkled on here and there but nothing major. I took all the turns slowly in fear of my bike coming out from under me. I wasn’t going to let the fact that I had new tires on get the best of me. I got out of my neighborhood and onto my main straightaway without any problems. I could tell pretty quickly that I hadn’t ridden in 6 weeks. My hands, legs, and rear-end became uncomfortable way too fast. It was from non-use and I was paying for my laziness. Do you remember that great golf movie Tin Cup? Remember that scene where Tin Cup and...

An Open Letter to Biking To Live Readers (both of you)

To My Readers, I owe you an apology. Back on April 12, 2008, I made this post. It explained why I was overweight, what I was going go do about it, and why I chose to blog about it. I realized (with some help from a couple of readers (Pete and Arlyn), as of yesterday, that I had unequivocally failed to do what I had set out to do in that post. Why you ask? Well, there are several reasons. Sure, I burned my hand here and I crashed pretty bad back on Ride 23 but I’m over those injuries and should be riding again. The only reason that matters, though, is that I have become lazy and lost focus of what this blog, and my mission, was about. Over the last week, instead of tending to my own health and fitness by riding, I tried to turn my blog into something it isn’t – a news site for bicycling. I’m sorry. So, where does this leave me? I’m returning to what I started this blog about. Me and my fight to improve my health through riding a bike. I’ll return to posting about my rides but I don’t want the blog to turn into a boring training diary. I’ll post on other cycling subjects from time-to-time as well as my life as it relates to cycling (i.e. bike shop visits, local cycling events, opinions, etc.). I’ll also try and post some informative articles in weight loss and fitness. I think if I return to these core areas I can not only revive Biking To Live but also revive...

Blake Caldwell of Garmin-Chipotle Wins Stage 2 of the Tour of Utah

What is it with this team? Jason Donald takes Stage 1 and Blake Caldwell, also of Garmin-Chipotle, comes back today to take Stage 2 of the 2008 Tour of Utah. With the stage win, Blake takes the GC lead. Tour of Utah Stage 2 Profile Stage 2 of the Tour of Utah found the peleton starting in Ogden, UT and traveling 85 miles to Salt Lake City. Sounds easy right? Wrong! Between the start and finish were three climbs totaling 10,585 feet. The last climb occurred at mile 68 with the remainder down hill to the finish. All the information I’ve read says the action was fast and furious on the entire stage with breaks starting early, getting caught, and more attacks after that. 60 mph descents were commonplace with several crashes forcing riders out of the race. There were 12 riders who did not finish. Unfortunately, it looks like Scott Nydam (BMC Pro Cycling) was one of the casualties when he went down hard and breaking a collar bone. Caldwell and Lill made it over the last climb first with a 20-second advantage over an eleven man chase group. With only a 15-mile descent to Salt Lake City and the finish line you would think the group of eleven riders would have no problem catching the two leaders. That wasn’t the case though. There seemed to be a lot of confusion in the chase group nobody willing to pull them together to work as a cohesive unit until it was too late. That cost them and enabled Caldwell and Lill to open the gap back up to one...

Sportsmanship in the Tour of Utah Peleton

Everyday we see stories in the sporting world that just just don’t pass the moral or sportsmanship litmus test. Incidents like doping (TdF, Olympics, Baseball), gambling (NBA referees), and recruiting violations (NCAA) to name just a few. I think anyone would be hard pressed to find a sport that hasn’t been tarnished in some form, or fashion, over the last decade. What does this have to do with the 2008 Tour of Utah? Read on. A short way into the start of the Stage 1, an attack took place that saw several riders get away. Working together, this group managed to build a lead of more than seven minutes over the peleton. As could be expected, the peleton formed up and gave chase to try and reel in the breakaway before the finish. Here’s where it gets interesting. With about 50 miles left in the stage, and their time gap down to around three minutes, the breakaway group somehow managed to get themselves off the race route (either by their own error or a race officials – I’m not sure). Regardless, the breakaway group continued in the wrong direction for over a mile before realizing the mistake and turning around. By this time, though, the peleton had already passed them and was heading towards the finish. The peleton, after realizing what had happened, pulled up to wait for the breakaway. That’s right, over 100 riders pulled to the side of the road to allow the breakaway group to pass them. Once the breakaway caught up, and built up the three minute time advantage they had had before deviating from...

Tour of Utah – Stage 1 Won by Jason Donald of Garmin-Chipotle

Click to Enlarge The Tour of Utah kicked off today with Stage 1 that started and finished in Nelphi City Park. This opening stage was 102 miles in length and contained 4,800 feet of climbing. There were four intermediate sprints at miles 40, 72, and 87. With only one climb counting towards the King of the Mountains competition, riders will have had to work hard to collect maximum points as I expected these early KOM points to be hotly contested. The early report is that Jason Donald of Garmin-Chipotle is the winner of Stage 1 of the Tour of Utah. He apparently found his way into an early breakaway group and managed to take the stage victory by distancing himself with 400 meters to go. Along with the early GC lead, Jason has also taken the lead in the King of the Mountains race. The final results of Stage 1 are out. Here’s the top ten: 1. Jason Donald (Garmin-Chipotle) 4:07:09.04 2. Sheldon Denny (The Fan Sports Network) + 0:00:00.7 3. Bradley White (Team SuccessfulLiving.com) + 0:00:01.8 4. Ricardo Escuela (Team SuccessfulLiving.com) +0:00:19.7 5. Jonnie Clarke (Toyota-United) +0:00:20.0 6. Frank Pipp (Team Health Net) +0:00:20.1 7. Ryan Anderson (Land Rover-Orbea) +0:00:20.1 8. Alessandro Bazzana (Team SuccessfulLiving.com) +0:00:20.2 9. Bryson Perry (American R.A.D.D.) +0:00:20.2 10. Michael Grabinger (Team SuccessfulLiving.com) +0:00:20.3 Other Notables: 14. Fred Rodriguez (Rock Racing) +00:00:20.4 25. Oscar Sevilla (Rock Racing) +00:00:21.4 61. Tyler Hamilton (Rock Racing) +00:00:22.0 112. Danny Pate (Garmin-Chipotle) +00:00:22.9 Two riders did not finish. They are: Logan Hunn (Land Rover-Orbea) Kevin Rowe (Team Bobs-Bicycles.com) The full Stage 1 results can be found over on...
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