Biking to Live Week 5 Summary

This was a good week of riding. I managed to get all three of my weekday rides in as well as a longer Saturday ride. The shift to my Cannondale R-300 has dramatically helped me improve my speed. Here are the totals for this week: Monday: 11.52 miles, 52:26, 16.1 mph max, and 13.1 mph avg Wednesday: 11.51 miles, 53:35, 18.2 mph max, and 12.8 mph avg (first ride on the Cannondale) Friday: 12.17 miles, 47:05, 18.7 mph max, and 15.5 mph avg Saturday: 25.14 miles, 1 hr 36 min, 20.8 mph max, 15.6 mph avg Even though Wednesday way my first ride on The Crotch Rocket my average speed was still about the same due to taking it easy. I was riding with my brother-in-law who was riding a hybrid and if I hadn’t taken it slow I would have dropped him pretty quick. On Friday and Saturday though you can see a substantial increase in the average speed. I also passed 200 miles this week since starting Biking To Live and this weeks mileage puts me at 241 miles total. I can’t tell you how much better I feel since embarking on this journey. Not only is my biking improving but my health is too. My weight loss has been minimal (less than 5 pounds) but improvements in my blood pressure and heart rate has been dramatic. I had another doctor’s visit this week to follow up on some blood work and my resting heart rate had dropped 3 beats and my blood pressure is normal for the first time in a long time. The doc called...

Ride 18 – Wet and Wild

I slept in a little this morning and took off at about 7:30 AM for my Saturday ride. It had rained yesterday and last night so the roads were wet but not bad. I had to dodge the occasional puddle but nothing major. I went out today just trying to ride a good distance while maintaining a good speed. I wanted to try and average around 15 mph. I also had a basic idea of where I wanted to ride too. Throughout the ride I saw a lot of folks out for their Saturday morning exercise. Bikers, runners, walkers, dogs walking their owners and so on. At one point I saw a group of about 5 women who had been running. They were gathered around one of those orange igloo water coolers getting a drink on the side of the road. Several were in the same shirt. As I continued up the road I saw another group of about 6 women; again in the same shirt. It must have been some kind of organized runners club or something like that. I continued to see several other runners. About two miles after my usual weekday turnaround point I hit a new section of road that is pristine for bike riding. The road has only been in existence for about a year and isn’t well-traveled. It has a bike lane and rides very well. I think I was passed by one car on this section of road. After turning around and making it about halfway back home I hear, “on your left!” I look over my shoulder and it’s a guy...

Ride 17 – I felt a good bike ride coming on & catastrophe was averted

I was up at 5:00 AM when the alarm went off and headed out to the garage to get ready to ride. Once the garage door was open the magnitude of the day hit me. It was overcast (I could see a little filtered moonlight), there was no wind, and the temperature was perfect. And it was quiet. I could hear the crickets and that was it. That was awesome. I just had this sense that I was going to turn in a special ride today. Once I got started and warmed up I started to feel really good. Now that I’m riding the Crotch Rocket (Cannondale R-300), I felt like I was flying. To me it was flying but to a more experienced rider I’m sure it was a crawl. Regardless, I could tell I was making good time. My brother-in-law was not at our meeting spot so I kept on going. As I neared my turnaround point I decided to go ahead and extend the mileage a little by going to the next median turnaround point. Once I turned around I kept mashing it all the way home. Nothing too terribly exciting for this ride. I saw one runner and that was it. I figured there would be more for a Friday. There was little traffic as well which was nice. I wasn’t kidding about a special day for a ride. This was the first day I could really open it up with the Cannondale and I did. Here are today’s numbers: 12.17 miles, 47:05, 18.7 mph max, and 15.5 mph avg. Those are all new records...

Ride 16 – Time for the new (old) bike

The Tank After what seems weeks (it was) I was actually able to take my old bike out for a spin today. It felt like new but it was my trusty Cannondale R-300 that I bought way back in 1994 when I was stationed in Connecticut. I had originally bought it for a trip I did from Connecticut to Ohio and have lugged the bike around ever since. I don’t know how many miles I have on it but it’s a few. Over the last couple of weeks I went over it with a fine tooth comb and only needed to replace the rear rim to get it rolling again. I’ll write up another article that covered the whole process. So, for today’s ride I traded in the Tank (pictured left) and headed out with my long-time friend. I met my brother-in-law at his neighborhood entrance and he says, “Oh…you’re on the crotch rocket.” Indeed I was and now it has a nickname-Crotch Rocket. When I left the house I was skeptical of the wind. It was gusting pretty good but I didn’t want to lose a ride day so I headed out into it. The wind left me alone except for one stretch that headed North West and another that headed West. Crotch Rocket Riding good ‘ole Crotch Rocket was like a dream. It transferred pedal power so much better than The Tank and rolled effortlessly. Without even realizing it I was cruising along at 15+ mph and had to keep holding back or I would drop my brother-in-law who was on a mountain bike. The thing pedaled...

CO2 Inflator Video

I ran across a cool video over on Ride-Strong that shows how an inflator is used to inflate both MTB and road bike tires. Click here to see it. [ad#in-post]

A family that bikes together stays together

I just ran across a great post over on Cycle Pig about a family of four (Dad, Mom, and ten year old twin boys), and the family dog, that will be biking from Alaska to Argentina. When they have completed the trip, the boys will set the Guinness record for the youngest to bike the Pan-American Highway. They will begin their trip in June 2008. Here’s a link to Cycle Pig’s full article:...

Ride 15 – Week 5 Begins

Last night I had to go to bed early. As I mentioned in my summary yesterday, I just felt depleted all day long. I didn’t feel 100% when I got up this morning, and even hit the snooze once, before rolling myself out of bed. Once outside everything seemed ok. I gave the weather a check by walking out of the garage and I started to have second thoughts. The temp was great but there were some dark clouds being blown from West to East by a STIFF wind. On the surface, though, I couldn’t detect any wind at all. I said, “So what” and proceeded to grab my bike. After only getting two days of riding in last week I wasn’t about to forfeit another ride unless the weather was abysmal. Once I started everything seemed to go pretty good. The air had a slight chill to it but it wasn’t bad. Traffic seemed a little light, which was nice, and I saw several runners this morning. It’s always good to see other folks out. I didn’t see any cyclists though. I must have been the only with the guts to get up on a Monday morning at 5:00 am to ride. After feeling not-so-good yesterday I made a conscious decision to not push it too hard this morning. I cruised most of the circuit right around 13 mph. I encountered a little wind on the second half that was coming out of the South but it wasn’t bad. Certainly not bad enough to affect my riding. Once I turned onto the last straightaway towards home I shifted...

Biking to Live Week 4 Summary

This past week was pretty slow and wrought with ups and downs. I only got two days of riding in (mainly due to winds) so my mileage suffered pretty bad. Total mileage for the week was only 22 miles but they were 22 very good miles. I rode very good those two days and was happy with them. My happiness peaked on Saturday when I weighed myself and discovered I had lost some more weight and was finally in the 260s. That didn’t last long though, as I broke my own rule and weighed myself on Sunday. I had gained four pounds. Man, that sucked. To make matters worse, I have felt down all day. I feel like I had ridden a 100 miles in the morning and had bonked about 10 miles into it. I’m dragging big time. After church today I laid down for a short nap and that didn’t help. It’s 8:00 PM right now and I didn’t even feel like making this post but I needed to get it done. I’ve been Biking to Live for a month now and my progress has been good in some areas and average in others. As far as riding it’s been good. My rides have been getting better with speeds increasing and me being able to push it a little more each time. My ultimate goal of weight loss has been average though. I’ve lost a little weight and that’s good. I have a bad habit of the weight just melting away which isn’t how it works. It needs to come off slowly and that’s how it’s working...

Ride 14 – Windy but good

I got to bed very, very late last night mainly due to reading a book but I wanted to ride today. I wasn’t sure how far I would ride but I had to get out. I had only ridden on Wednesday this week so I knew I needed another bike ride. I slept in until 8:00 AM to get a little sleep and then rolled out. It was overcast outside but nice. I rolled out of the driveway not know how I was going to ride. It took a couple of minutes to get across the big intersection coming out of my neighborhood but once I did I was able to settle in pretty good. After a few minutes of riding I checked my speed and I was cruising along at 14+ mph. It didn’t even feel like it. I checked my gearing and I was pushing a bigger gear than I normally do and I was doing so almost effortlessly. It felt good. I’ve noticed over the last couple of rides that I’ve been able to push bigger gears easier. As I turned to the North the wind hit me in full-force. I didn’t even notice a wind before I left or while riding on my first leg of the ride. I tried to make myself as small as possible so that I could cut through the wind. I know, me and as small as possible probably don’t belong in the same sentence. It helped a little but the wind seemed to start to pick up. As I turned West it didn’t affect me as much but before...

Book Review: Heft On Wheels – A field guide to doing a 180

I heard about Heft on Wheels: A Field Guide to Doing a 180 over on Bike Forums and happened to run across it a few weeks at the local Borders bookstore. It’s written by Mike Magnuson and chronicles his physical, emotional, and mental transformation after turning to bicycling. If the cover of this book doesn’t shock you then you need to take a look at it again. When I first saw it I could have sworn I was looking at a picture of myself with the exception of the hairstyle. For those of you that don’t know me that was probably a little too much info and you’ll probably be tramatized for life from the visual alone. When I took the book to the checkout the little old lady behind the counter gave me an odd look when she saw it. I was thinking, “Don’t say anything. Just ring it up.” The book opens with Mike talking about a group ride he was on and where he was attacking the group on a hill. As he topped the hill and began the descent he was hit by a truck and thrown from his bike. After this incident Mike starts the story of his life and how he transformed himself from an overweight smoker and drinker to a bike racer. The book is a very good read. He goes into a lot of detail talking about work, family, his addictions to alcohol and smoking, and the destructive death spiral he was in. Mike was a chain smoker, was getting drunk several nights a week with his students (he was an...
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