Trouble Down Below

Well, today was Ride 3 of Biking To Live and the ride went fine. As the day has come and gone, though, I’ve started to experience a little bit of discomfort in my nether region. You know. The are of your body that never sees the light of day but can be a serious pain in the…..you get the picture. Anyway, it appears that I have rubbed a spot raw on the inner side of my right leg near my….ahem…business. I’ve put some skin relief lotion on it to try and take care of it because I want to be able to get my Saturday ride in tomorrow. I’m not surprised that something like this has happened since it’s been so long since I’ve drug myself around on a bike. I read an interesting by Ray at Bike Noob entitled I’m Riding In Comfort Now that makes me wonder if my bike shorts have contributed to the problem. My shorts are relatively new and were only used on stationary bikes when I was stationed on my last ship. They’re a pair of Nashbar shorts and look very similar to the ones in Ray’s article above. I may have to look at getting some nicer...

Ride 3 – Crazy Drivers

This morning it wasn’t as hard to get up but it wasn’t easy either. I still feel like I’m not getting enough sleep. I’m going to have to make a commitment to ensure I start getting 7+ hrs of sleep a night. I feel no ill effects from Ride 1 or 2 so I’m ready to get to it. As usual I down a bottle of water before leaving the house. Not sure it’s doing any good but I don’t think it’s bad either. I want to make sure I’m getting enough water. While not nearly as nice as yesterday’s weather today’s isn’t bad. There were some high cirrus clouds filtering the moonlight and the temp was crisp again. Near the middle of the ride I ran into a little bit of ground fog but it didn’t hamper the riding at all. The ride itself went very well. I tried to push it just a little bit harder than Ride 2 but not too hard. That’s important for me. I’m always trying to go gung-ho all the time with regards to sports and it has always plagued me when doing cardiovascular work. It was bad for me because I would attempt to start off much faster and harder than I should instead of doing it slow and steady throughout the entire run. This would cause me to spend myself too early and not get the max benefit from the exercise. I’m trying to be conscious of this in my riding so that I don’t burn out too early in a ride and can maximize the cardio benefits. I want...

Ride 2 – Christmas in April

It was tough to get up this morning. I had good intentions of going to bed early last night but wound up getting only about 5.5 hrs of sleep. Not good. As I lay there I caught myself trying to think of a way to sleep in and ride later. Again, not good. I forced myself to get up, drank a bottle of water, got dressed, and headed to the garage where my steed is housed. In that order. I know, the visual is kinda scary. Starting out my legs felt a little sluggish. Not unexpected since my first ride (Ride 1) in years was only two days old. Once I got the blood flowing, though, the legs started to feel ok. So, I’m riding down the first long stretch of my short 10 mile loop when I realize what a beautiful morning it is. It’s about 5:15 and cool but not cold. Crisp is what I would call it. The sky is clear and there’s an awesome looking early-morning half-moon in the Southwest sky with Jupiter shining brightly not far away. I love the night sky. I’m a bit of an amateur astronomy buff as well. As I approach one of the sub-division entrances along my route a flashing light off to the right catches my eye. I thought, “cool”, another biker out for an early morning ride. As it turns out, it was another biker but he was on a recumbent. As he turned out into the bike lane his backside came into view. He must have had four or five different lights facing the rear. Flashing,...

Day 1 recovery – no problems

Going along with my plan to slowly ease into it, today was a planned rest day.  I feel much better than I expected to with no noticeable effects from the ride yesterday.  I had no soreness whatsoever except for a little in my neck later in the day.    All-in-all not bad.  As I ride more this week I expect it to get worse. I do feel “better” today.  Is it psychological? ...

Ride 1 – Day 1 of Biking To Live

Well, today marked day 1 of Biking To Live. The alarm went off promptly at 5:00 AM. Man is that early. I’m glad I went to bed early the night before. I was surprised at how dark it was outside. Well, I proceeded to get dressed and downed a quick bottle of water before even leaving the bedroom. It was a little more brisk than I anticipated so I went back inside and threw on a long sleeve t-shirt. The ride, for the most part, was uneventful. Because I wasn’t sure how the traffic was going to be I stayed to the sidewalk for the first part of the ride. The sidewalk in this area is frequently used by runners but there were no other dedicated “athletes” out at this time in the morning. Maybe they were smarter and still in bed. I eventually left the side walk and hit the bike path. Surprisingly, I fell into a good rhythm and everything seemed to be going good. About halfway through my route my hands started to cramp up some and I had to shake them out every so often to get the feeling back. It was at this point that I decided I needed new gloves. The ones I had were….I don’t know….at least ten years old. I’ve also decided by this point that I need to get a flashing red light for the rear. There wasn’t much traffic, and I had the bike path, but I just didn’t feel too comfortable riding with it still so dark. I guess I’ll be visiting Nashbar later in the day to...

I begin saving my life tomorrow

With tomorrow being 21-Apr that means I’m on the eve of the day I will begin to save my life through riding my bike. I’m excited but cautious. I’m ready to change but know it will be a long, hard road both on and off the bike. I made final preparations today ensuring my bicycle checked out ok and that I had all my gear (helmet, gloves, water bottle, shoes) prepped and ready to go. I put my bike up on a makeshift work stand I had created using a bicycle trunk carrier and an old Black and Decker Workmate Bench I had. While on the stand I lubed the chain and pedals. Eventually I’m going to have to purchase a quality workstand in order to maintain my chariot of life. My wife has readied for tomorrow by preparing a special detox drink that will help clean me out. After that I’ll be going on a strict diet to help shed these 100 extra pounds I’ve accumulated. Strict may be too harsh a word. Anything I do with regards to my diet is better than what I was doing. Everything seems to be in order so I guess it’s time to turn in and get some sleep. This is another area of my life that will need dramatic improvement. My last few years in the military I became accustomed to surviving on anywhere from 2-4 hours of sleep a night. Sometimes more and sometimes less. You can only imagine what that does to your energy levels. Since leaving the service I’m probably averaging about 5.5 hours of sleep a...

Biking To Live now has its theme

After some tedious searching Biking To Live now has its theme.  I always have a hard time deciding on a theme for a blog because I want it to be just right.  That’s hard to do when you’re using a free theme though.  For Biking To Live I wanted something that wasn’t too dark and not too bright.  I also wanted it to be easy to navigate, soothing to the eyes, and easy for me to add functionality to.  After some careful consideration, I settled on the Notebook theme I found at Skinpress.  I wanted a biking related them but there just weren’t any.  If Biking To Live becomes popular I may have a custom theme commissioned.  I think the Notebook theme is appropriate though since this blog will serve as my journal (journey?) to a new me. Here’s a picture showing some of the functionality of the theme.  Click on it to get a bigger...

I’ve found a route to do my biking

This evening I went for a short drive and found my route for the morning ride.  It’s an eleven mile loop that starts and ends at my garage.  There are bike lanes for 95% of the route which will be nice but one section of the route is on a very busy road.  With the time I’ll be riding, though, I don’t plan on running into much traffic.  Another good thing is that there are sidewalks and streetlights for most of the route as well.  Another handy feature is that there are a couple of opportunities to extend the route for longer rides on the weekend.  It’s like this was made just for me.  Thank you city engineer for taking my future riding into consideration when you constructed this pristine loop. Today is 16-Apr.  I plan on embarking on my journey to the new me on the morning of...

Why ride a bike?

I’m sure you’re asking by now why I’ve decided to ride a bike to help me lose these 100 pounds. For me the reason was simple. Riding a bicycle is the only endurance sport that I’ve ever been any good at. Running is out of the question. Ever since I can remember I’ve always had a difficult time running long distances. It always hurt my calves to run much further than a mile and it still does to this day. In high school the max distance I ran was the 200 meter sprint. My bread-and-butter was the opening leg of the 4×100 meter relay. I was fast out of the blocks and a very good sprinter over short distances. In the off-season we would run long distance just to build endurance and I hated it. Even after joining the military I never became accustomed to it. I attended Officer’s Candidate School (OCS) in the mid-90s and was forced to run long distance. I had to in order to graduate. Not to mention that those Marine Corps drill instructors were very motivating! Man I’ve got some stories! Anyway, I left OCS in the best shape of my life but that quickly deteriorated because of my lack of desire to run. About five years later I had to have surgery on my ankle to remove bone spurs and some floating bone fragments. Needless to say my dreams of becoming a long-distance ultra-marathoner were over. Seriously, that was never a dream of mine! I like swimming but finding the time and resources is difficult. You can’t get much more low-impact that swimming...

Biking To Live – a mission to save a life

By now I’m sure you’ve had a chance to think about the title of the blog.  Biking To Live.  It means what it says.  Biking To Live.  I’ve undertaken a personal challenge to ride my bike in order to live again.  Why?  Because I need to.  Here’s why. If you read my About Me page you’ll think that I’m your average guy with a job and family.  We have a good life and have been very fortunate.  What you can’t tell from my profile is that I have 100 things wrong with me.  Most people have traits others may not like but they are generally hidden and can only be experienced when you spend a great deal of time with them.  Call them idiosyncrasies.  I, on the other hand, wear my problem in public for everyone to see.  Many people have the same problem I do.  Too many.  What’s my problem?  I’m overweight to the tune of 100 pounds. I was always on the “hefty” side growing up and this was kept in check in high school through football.  Since those glory days I’ve gradually built myself up over the last 18 years to my current weight of 280 pounds.  The optimum weight for my height is 180 pounds.  I’ve tried to convince myself for years that it’s just genetics and I’m a stocky guy destined to always be big.  I convinced myself that I had lots of muscle underneath the blubber that was causing me to weigh so much.  It’s true that I did lift a lot of weights when I was younger but I haven’t done so in...
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