Contact Biking To Live

I realized today that I hand’t setup my Contact Me page yet so I took a few minutes to do that this morning.  Just navigate over to the Contact Me page, fill out the simple form, and click submit.  I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Why get in touch with me?  Who knows, maybe you just want to say Hi, or that you find my blog cool, or me cool, or that you have a stinky dog too.  Maybe you’d just like to offer me some good advice, words of encouragement, or perhaps you would like to sponsor my blog.  Whatever the reason, don’t hesitate to drop me a...

Biking To Live has a pain in the rear

No, it’s not my wife. I noticed it yesterday and today’s ride didn’t help. I think it’s my saddle. I had taken the saddle off that came with the Schwinn and put my old Cannondale Vetta saddle on and have been riding with it. I think it’s too narrow for my wide load. In an effort to find out if that’s the case, I visited the local Trek shop to have my sit bones measured. I went to the Trek shop for two reasons. First, I had never been in there and wanted to check it out, and two, it was right around the corner from where my youngest does ballet so before picking her up I thought I would check out the store. The store was nice and the bikes (Trek, Cervelo, Lemond) they had were nice. Upon arriving I asked where the road saddles were. I was escorted to the ‘road’ section of the store and shown a display of exactly 3 styles of saddles. All by the same manufacturer. I was like, “this is it?” Come on. After looking at the display I went back to the guy and told him I needed help getting fit for the right width saddle. Something measured in inches, not millimeters. I didn’t say that but that’s how I felt after thinking how much bigger I am now than when I bought my Cannondale 15 years ago. The guy said he was new and couldn’t do it. He’d have to get the manager. I say ok and wait. The manager comes out and looks like he just came back from...

Ride 9 – Week 3 of Biking To Live

I can’t believe I’m already starting Week 3 of Biking To Live. It seems just like yesterday that I was dragging myself out for that first ride but now I’m on Ride 9 and everything seems to be going good. The weather this morning was nice. It was partly cloudy but warmer than it has been. It was actually warm enough to be able to ride in short sleeves with no problem. It felt good. Starting out my legs felt heavy. I think I was feeling the effects of the 29 mile ride on the Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail back on Ride 8. After riding for about 10 minutes, though, they started to feel good. In fact, it was about this time I noticed that my speed was about 1.5-2 mph more than usual. That surprised me a little bit. It felt good but I didn’t want to push too hard because I didn’t want to falter in No Man’s Land. Besides, I was lengthening today’s ride just a little to push the morning ride to 11 miles. I decided to go ahead and ride how I felt. It turns out it was a good decision. Even though I lengthened the ride slightly, I managed to turn in my best average speed yet for a morning ride. Here are today’s numbers: 11.18 miles, 49:02, 16 mph max, and 13.6 mph average. I wasn’t expecting this good of a ride today. I’m not complaining though! I’m hoping it’s a sign of my strength...

Biking to Live Week 2 Summary

And so ends week 2 of Biking to Live. It was a great week. I got four rides in and two of them were with somebody else. I rode distances I haven’t ridden in over 15 years and rode new trails. It was a really good week. Here’s a recap of the rides this week. Ride 5 – Week 2 of Biking To Live Begins Ride 6 – Note to Self Ride 7 – A Ride for Two Ride 8 – Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail The total mileage for this week is 61.38 miles which is an increase of 13.01 miles over last week. Almost half of those miles came from Ride 8 on Saturday. I’m very happy with those numbers at this stage of my riding. Other great blogging articles I’ve seen this week: Got Wind at KC Bike Commuting Map Your Rides Online at Cycle Pig Which Type of Pedal at Bike Noob Next weeks goals: Increase my weekday morning ride up to 11 miles per ride. Start tracking my food intake.  I plan on using a free online tracker at Fit Day. That concludes this week.  Like I said, it was a great week and I feel like I’m making...

Ride 8 – Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail

What a great day! I had the pleasure of riding with a newfound friend from Bike Forums on a ride I’d never done before. Brian (Jaxgtr on Bike Forums) picked me up promptly at 8:00 AM and we took the 20 minute drive to the trailhead. The Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail is an old converted railway line that runs from Jacksonville to Baldwin, FL. The Jacksonville trailhead (Imeson Road Trailhead) is only five miles from downtown. The path itself has been paved with asphalt and is approximately 12 feet wide which gives plenty of room to ride side-by-side or in groups. About 95% of the trail is covered by a canopy of trees which has you riding in the shade for most of the trip. For the most part the trail is flat but there are a couple of areas that are slightly uphill and will get the heart rate up if you push it. Along the route there are benches and pull-offs if you need to take a break or just want to sit and enjoy nature. There are bathrooms located about 5 miles from the Jacksonville trail head and some port-a-potties at the Baldwin trail head. A couple of miles before the Baldwin trail head there’s an old converted train station that looked like it had a water fountain. You’d would probably be smart to bring two water bottles like we did. The round-trip distance is right at 29 miles. When Brian and I arrived at the Jacksonville trail head the parking area was already quite full. There were a few folks milling about the parking area but it...

Ride 7 – A Ride For Two

I feel good when the alarm goes off this morning. I intentionally went to bed early last night to ensure I got some sleep. I’m sure putting in a 13-hour day at work on Wednesday helped too! Anyway, it’s about 5:10 AM, I’m getting dressed and my cell phone goes off. It scares the daylights out of me! I was not expecting that thing to ring at 5:10. I answer it and it’s my brother-in-law. He wants to ride with me today. Awesome. I had extended the invitation to him a week ago not knowing if he would be down with riding this early. Turns out he is. He’ll meet me at the entrance to his neighborhood which is about a half-mile away. Unlike Ride 6, I prepared last night and had everything set out and ready to go. Doing so really made it a no-brainer to get ready this morning and I felt much better today heading out. In addition to laying out my clothes last night, I spent some time adjusting my front and rear derailers and installing my new rear light. I took my laptop to the garage and watched the derailer videos from Bicycle Tutor while adjusting them. Those videos are great. Thanks Alex! As I approach the rendezvous point I see my brother-in-law a ways off. He’s wearing a bright orange Harley Davidson shirt that I can see very well-even at night! He’s riding a Gary Fisher hybrid, wearing tennis shoes, board shorts, and the aforementioned Harley shirt. I’m decked out in my bike gear. I bet we make a pair to the passing...

Ride 6 – Note to self

As usual for my ride days, the alarm is blaring at 5:00 AM. For some reason, though, I’m very disorganized this morning and take forever to get myself ready and out the door. It must have been because I was sleeping like a baby and was disoriented when I woke up. Somehow I doubt that. I couldn’t find my socks. I rummage through several drawers to find them. I get to the garage and notice it’s cold so I go back inside to get a long sleeve shirt. I go back out the the garage and realize my computer is sitting on my desk where I copied down the stats from Ride 5. So, I head back inside to get the computer and head back to the garage. Now, try and picture me going in and out. Every time I open the door to the garage the house alarm system goes, “DING, DONG.” I’m sure my wife didn’t appreciate that. Not to mention the kids, the two cats, and the dog. I don’t actually get pedaling until about 5:20 which has me a little upset. Note to self – set out my gear the night before so that I’m ready to go when I get up. First thing I notice once I open the garage door is that it is much colder than it has been since starting Bike To Live. It’s probably in the low 50’s. I know you Northern boys/girls are saying, “You panzy! 50’s isn’t cold!” Well, when you’ve become accustomed to lows in the mid-60’s, it’s quite a shock to the system when it’s 15...

Ride 5 – Week 2 of Biking To Live Begins

Well, with the alarm clock going off at 5:00 AM this morning, I’ve officially started week two of Biking To Live. It feels good. It feels very good. I haven’t been this jazzed about working out in a long time. Is it because I’m losing weight? No. In fact, I’m not even sure I’ve lost any yet. Weigh-in isn’t until Thursday. Is it because of the potential of weight loss? Sure. I think what has gotten more more excited than anything, though, is returning to a sport that I’ve always loved. Did I mention it feels good? I didn’t know what to expect this morning. The weather channel the night before was calling for 80% showers. When I rolled out of the garage it was partly cloudy and a little warmer than it’s been. Probably in the high 60s F. I pedaled out of the driveway and headed down the street for Ride 5. Trying to improve a little bit over last week, I consciously tried to push myself a little harder. It didn’t seem to be a problem and it felt good. My legs weren’t even sluggish after my first week of good exercise in a few years. I pushed it pretty good and felt like I turned in a half-way decent workout for a 100 pound overweight slob. I also rode just a bit further than I did last week so that I can push my weekly mileage up above 50. All told, it was a good ride. As I pulled into my neighborhood I did get sprinkled on a little but that’s it. The rain held...

Biking To Live Week 1 Summary

With Sunday, Apr 27, upon us the first week of Biking To Live is in the history books. Overall it’s been a great week. I did four rides this week: Ride 1 – Day 1 of Biking To Live Ride 2 – Christmas in April Ride 3 – Crazy Drivers Ride 4 – Saturday biking starts the weekend off right Here’s the numbers breakdown for each of these rides: Ride 1: 10.83 miles, 53 minutes, 12.26 mph average speed Ride 2: 10.2 miles, 48 minutes, 12.75 mph average speed Ride 3: 9.86 miles ,47 minutes, 12.4 mph average speed Ride 4: 17.48 miles, 1 hr 19 minutes, 13.2 mph average speed Total For Week: 48.37 miles, 3.78 hrs, 12.65 mph average speed For my first week back into an exercise program and cycling in a very, very long time I’m more than happy with those numbers. I didn’t push myself overly hard to achieve them and they give me targets to shoot for next week. The rides themselves were very good and they’ve left me feeling better about myself than I did last week. It’s amazing what a little exercise will do for you. I suffered my first injury, Trouble Down Below, but a switch to another pair of shorts seems to have alleviated the problem. I discovered some great folks over at Bike Forums. You should check them out if you are new or coming back to cycling after a long layoff. Lots of great information.  Another website that’s helped me this week is Bike Noob.  It caters to the biking newbie and has some great articles by...

Ride 4 – Saturday biking starts the weekend off right

While I usually sleep in on Saturdays, I made a commitment to myself to carry my riding into Saturdays as well. That means I turned in early on Friday and got up early today to ride. While I didn’t get up as early as I do on weekdays (5:00 AM), I did get up at 7:00 AM and was on the road by 7:15. I don’t think I’ve gotten up that early on a Saturday since my days in the military. Since I’ve set out on my mission, Biking To Live, this is the first day/ride that I’ve ridden my route in daylight. Also, since it was daylight, I was able to ride the bike lane for most of the ride. Once my light comes in I’ll be able to do this for my early morning weekday rides as well. When I set out I had no idea how far I would ride today. I only knew I wanted to put in a longer distance today. But I didn’t want to overdo it since I was technically still only in my first week back in the saddle. I followed my normal route until I reached the point where I would turn to loop back towards home. Upon reaching this point I continued on not knowing where I was going. It felt good. I knew that up ahead there were some office parks that are common in this part of town. I thought I would explore a couple of these not only to see what companies had offices in them but also to add mileage to my ride. If you’ve...
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