Friday, May 19, 2006

43:47; 34 mph max; 11.1 mph avg; 8.1 m trip

I had to put some effort into this evening's ride.

I had a belly full of Negra Modelo and chili colorado (with tomatilla.... mmmmm), and by a half hour into it, I found it necessary to tap into some motivation reserves I don't normally need to tap.

I also got off to a late start (7:42 pm) and found myself literally in the dark before the trip ended. That meant taking off my sunglasses and getting lake bugs in my eyes.

And my brakes rather suddenly started making a rough noise I haven't yet identified. They still worked, so my best guess is that some kind of debris is involved. I'll have to get to the bottom of that in the morning.

My heart monitor reports a Calorie rate of 5 kcal/60 min. That's higher than usual, but I never really understand all that stuff anyway. I just keep collecting data.

If nothing else, saving all this heart monitor data to the PC and reviewing all the charts does give me some information about myself. I can, at the least, maintain a realistic idea of how often I exercise, how hard, and for how long (at least when I don't accidentally delete an exercise session in the attempt of getting it uploaded.... grrrrrr).

Last few times I've stepped on the scale, I've weighed in at 231 and just now at 230. I honestly can't recall the last time I weighed in at 230, beyond it having been a span of years. I stopped looking at the scale when I got/stayed up over 255. It was just too depressing.

My best bud seemingly never tires of pointing out that there's no point in weighing in. He insists that weight and fitness aren't really meaningfully related. So I guess I'll spew my thoughts on the matter one good time.

My understanding of weight loss and fitness pretty much matches up with information in this article, which states:

The good news is that you don’t have to reach your ideal weight to lower your risk of developing obesity-related medical problems.
  • Losing even 10% of your total body weight can significantly lower your risk.
  • If you weigh 250 pounds and lose 10% of your total body weight, losing those 25 pounds can have a meaningful positive effect on your health.
  • Losing 10% of your total body weight is a good goal to start with. You can always continue and lose more weight once you have reached your initial goal.

I look better already. I feel better. People notice and comment that I look better.

I've even started looking in the mirror again, which I'd stopped doing for a very long time.

I'm Trekking Bob (a title I only use in the blog, BTW), and I just don't see how carrying all that extra weight can do anything but hold me back from my adventures.

So cheers to 230. That's a damn fine number in my book.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

57:11 time; 10.9 trip; 11.3 mph avg; 30.3 mph max

I love riding the hills out here.

Good thing, because my neighborhood is riddled with twisting slopes (and blasted speed bumps!), and I have to start out pedaling uphill to even exit the driveway.

I haven't made the commute to the office by bicycle yet in 2006, due in no small part to this massive job we've been working that has the office filled to the brim with boxes of sensitive documents. No room remains for the bike. :/

My time, average speed, etc. should stand out against those of my neighborhood rides because the commute is approximately 11 essentially flat miles.

After Hurricane Katrina, it took me just under 50 minutes to make it from the front door of my home to my office door. That was months ago.

I now seem to be in better cycling condition, and I've become accustomed to how the Trek 7300 rides (whereas it was only 9 days old when the hurricane hit). I weigh considerably less, and I've been working with the heart monitor, and my cycling seems to require less effort.

Hills that I found quite challenging several months ago can now be tackled with exertion but relative ease, in low gear without rising from the seat even briefly.

I'm at a loss as to the meaning and relevance of most of the information in the heart monitor charts. But I'm able to make out enough to tweak my rides and feel the difference.

staying in radio contact while cycling

I recently posted the following to the Jackson Metro Cyclists email list:

Any good tips on ways to stay in radio contact with a companion cyclist?

My cycling partner and I have reached a point at which this seems increasingly wise, because we regularly ride out into "the sticks" between Florence and Byram. Yesterday we lost one another sufficiently that he had to cycle home and call my cell while I backtracked a few miles to see if he'd come to some mischief.

I received several friendly replies, from which I gleaned the following nuggets:

  • Motorola Talkabouts

  • take a ham radio license test and get a handheld FM ham radio transceiver

  • Rino(r)520 and Rino 530: 2-way radio and GPS

  • Any of the better walkie-talkies

  • Motorola has a radio that is supposed to work around 5 miles

  • a less powerful FSR band radio has a 2 mile range, sometimes less indense cover or mountians

Sunday, May 14, 2006

bike route maps

Here are a few maps of where we often cycle for general fitness & pleasure around here.


Went riding with my periodic riding partner Gruesome Groff yesterday afternoon. We actually lost one another for the first time in a very long while, and more thoroughly than we have in years.

It wasn't my longest ride of the year (11.5 trip; 56:29 time; 22.4 mph max; 12.2 avg), although it may have been his. He rides a Moab mountain bike, so the fifteen-plus-mile rides are a real challenge for him in comparison with the relative ease with which I scoot around on my hybrid.

It's not that he's not in good shape. We're just differently equipped and train differently.

I was holding back for pretty much the entire ride, and he was blowing full steam trying to keep up while taking several breaks. At one point, he took a break I didn't expect, and I found myself ahead of him in some traffic. I took a right turn to get out of the way of a speeding motorcycle, and that's the last GG and I saw of each other.

Each made efforts to wait at what seemed like logical enough resting spots, but logical thought based on incomplete information doesn't always work out (as I know quite well from poker).

He finally decided to boogie back to his place to get to his cell phone and call me, while I opted to backtrack a few miles and examine a likely route to make sure he wasn't lying about in a ditch.

We both lived to ride another day, but we're looking into some options for staying in radio contact during rides.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

52:13 time; 10.1 m; 11.6 avg; 33.8 mph max

Had to take 3 consecutive days off from cycling this week. Even though I did bicycle during hurricane Katrina, my gut told me that if I got out in some of the mess this week, it would get me.

Plus, I had a wobble in my wheels on the Trek, which put it in the shop for a quick tweak, and a wicked allergy attack that set me back a bit.

Today I got back to it with just under an hour's ride. Kept my heart rate up as usual, and didn't even stop for the 2 calls I had to take from the office on my cell (although my hr did drop as low as 157 during the 2nd call).

Big news for the day is that I weighed in at 232 lbs! Damn right.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

20 lbs. lost - 300 miles traveled - first over-15-mile trip of season

I've been riding with the heart monitor lately, almost every day. Very educational, and I feel completely certain it's improved my cycling.

I strap it on, fire it up, go for the ride, then upload the data from the session into my PC microphone (of all things). It makes pretty graphs and charts.

During the ride itself, I check my heart rate (hr) regularly, some times tweaking my riding behavior based on the readings.

I've been getting in some very vigorous workouts. I continue the healthier diet, as well.

And I've managed to continue my weight loss. I'm down a total of over 20 lbs. now!

I've put my new Trek bike over the 300-mile mark and made my first 0ver-15-mile ride of the season already going out for a 2nd ride a few hours later (only to discover I'd somehow picked up a wobble in my wheels bad enough to encourage an abort).

The pollen counts here are killing me, though, and I'm missing a few days due to allergies. Bleh.

Got the bike into the shop to fix that wobble while I was ill. I look forward to putting it to the test, but not today. I've lost too much sleep due to the allergy problems and the meds I took to get 'em under control.