Monday, August 25, 2014

Will it happen

This is the question I keep asking myself. 'Will it actually happen?'  What, you may wonder, am I talking about?  The Fun Ride at the Viva Bike Vegas Ride coming up in less than 3 weeks on September 13.  I keep checking the site, looking for the registration information and for the last 4 weeks or so it has said check back mid August.  Well, we are now into late August and the form still is not there.

I even emailed the event coordinators and their response was the same - it will be there soon and they will even email me a copy of it when it is available. They said there was an issue with the start/finish line and as soon as the new arrangements were confirmed the form would be posted.

I really hope this does happen as we will have the full crew taking part.  Every one of us - all 7, will be riding in the event.  Because of this I think we will ride the 5 mile instead of the 10 mile route. This is something I really want to do - have all of us ride together!  I hope they do get it all straightened out and we can do this ride.

A note posted on the site over the weekend indicates that the finish line for all the rides has been moved to the RTC building in downtown Las Vegas.  The maps have not been updated to reflect this change as yet.

In order for us to all ride I have to get to work on putting some bikes together.  Right now I have the first one about 90% done.  The wheels are trued, the handlebars are adjusted and the brakes are working.  The last piece to work on is the shifting.  Right now it shifts through about half of the gears.  Time, patience and adjustments are needed.  As for the other bikes, unfortunately one is lacking usable sifters as the grip shifters are broken, completely.  Another may have a bent derailieur. Its time to dig in and work on them.

Get on your bikes and ride.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


I am often amazed at what others are able to accomplish.  A great example of this is what Fatty has just finished relating on his blog.  It is his race report from this year's Leadville Trail 100 ( LT100) mountain bike race.  He is a great story teller and mast of multi-post race reports.  His report this year is one of his shorter ones, encompassing only 6 posts, but it is a compelling story of challenge and accomplishment.

One of the parts that got me the most was his genuine pride in the fact that his wife, affectionately known as 'The Hammer' actually beat him this year by 11 seconds. that he got to see her perform at her absolute best and finish with a great time is something that tugs at the heartstrings.  Not to mention the fact that he completed a 100 mile mountain bike race, at altitude, on a single speed bike bike in significantly less than 9 hours. Great job to both the Fatty and The Hammer.

Reading these types of stories gives me hope and optimism that if I work hard and follow through on my training I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to.  Stories like this recharge me and make me want to push myself farther than I have been. These stories are truly an inspiration.

To read Fatty's race report, start here with Part One. Then two, three, four, five and part six.

Oh and stay tuned to his blog as I believe we will soon be treated to a recount of the race from The Hammer's point of view which should be awesome in its own right.

Get on you bikes and ride!!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

90 days in a row

Its hard to believe that I've actually ridden my bike at least a mile every one of the last 90 days.  Besides eating and sleeping, when was the last time you did anything for 90 days in a row?  I know its been a long time for me.

While I haven't been riding very far on any given day, I have been enjoying the ride. Of course this is only the halfway point in my personal challenge. Here are some interesting stats as pulled from DailyMile:

# of rides:     90
Total Distance:     201.95 Miles
Total Time:     16 hours 24 Minutes
Total Calories burned:     24452

From these numbers I calculate the following:
Average pace:     12.31 mph
Average ride length:     2.25 miles
Average ride duration:     10:55

I find it interesting that my average is under 11 minutes per day. That doesn't seem to be very much time out of my day.  Then again this is only measuring the actual moving time on the bike.  I figure a good 11 to 13 minutes additional time per day with changing clothes, pumping tires, waiting for the Garmin to find the satellites, etc. Still not a large amount of time.

All of these statistics will be increasing as I increase the distances ridden per day over the next couple of months to prepare for and participate in the upcoming events like the Viva Bike Vegas Fun Ride and the Pedal to the Medal.

Get on your bikes and ride!!!!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

I've said it before

and I hope I don't say it again, but my track record so far says otherwise.  What, you may wonder, am I talking about? I am starting over.  I am getting back into the swing of things and tracking my calories in order to make progress in the right direction on this weight loss journey towards a healthier me. I have to come clean here, I have lost weight since the first of the year but it has not been fat.  It has been fluid.

I've been hoping for a miracle, I guess.  Hoping that some magic combination of medications from my doctor will shed a significant amount of what I need to lose.  Obviously that is not the case.  I had dropped almost 50 lbs. by increasing my diuretic to the point that my kidneys had started complaining.  We've backed off on that and I gained back almost 20 lbs. in 2 short weeks.  Since then we've changed medications again and I seem to be fairly stable in the weight department and my blood pressure is OK.

One thing that has been out of control lately is my caloric intake.  I've come to realize that I am a bit of a stress eater and the stress levels have been elevated over the last few moths.  That has not helped.  Not tracking any calories hasn't helped either.  I know what I need to do and starting today I am doing it. I've logged into My Fitness Pal for the first time in almost a month and I adjusted my daily net calories down to 1800 per day.  My goal is to stay within this number every day with my net calories. This number is significantly lower than what the guided number per day would be, but I know that their number is a bit on the high side for me.

Along with the tracking of all my calories eaten, I am also planning on increasing the calories burned on my daily bike rides.  Currently I'm averaging between 2 and 2.5 miles per day on my bike and I will be increasing that rather shortly to 5+ miles per day and then a steady increase from there.  I know I can do it, I just have to get out there and put the time in.

To help increase my mileage I am going to get at least 3 of the bikes I recently purchased in riding shape and I will have some riding partners to keep me motivated and riding. Since they won't be getting up with me in the early mornings, I may go to multiple rides per day in order to help them get ready for the ride as well as increase my fitness.

So, you will see more posts from me with more information on my fitness level as well as increased mileage and a few posts on the work to get the bikes in riding order.

and remember we all need to:

Get on your bikes an ride!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I've taken on a project to get the family rolling

Well, I've certainly done it to myself again. See, I have been looking for a bike for my oldest grandson. He's been wanting a mountain bike so I've been watching the list of craig to see what might be available and I'd seen a few decent deals but something kept me from pulling the trigger. Then, yesterday, I saw an ad that said 5 mountain bikes $50. Here is one of the pictures included with the ad:

Now, the ad did say that they were in need of some TLC, but I figured that I could handle the minor issues these bikes might have. On top of that the seller was willing to deliver then for a small fee.  I figured it was worth the gamble so I contacted him to see if they were still available.

He replied that they were and he would be happy to deliver them.  We set up a time on Wednesday (today) and that was it, I thought. When I got home last night, however, there was a text from the seller that he had forgotten a previous engagement he had on Wednesday, would tonight (Tuesday) work? I let him know that it would, indeed work and we set up a time.

He had underestimated how long it would take to get to my house from his, but eventually he arrived and I took all 5 bikes off his hands.  After we had unloaded them he let me know that he does home cleanup and they had been working on a short sale house and as they were cleaning out the yard they found these 5 bikes in the weeds.

Looking at the bikes I see that they are not high end, but not the cheapest either.  They are one or two steps up and they appear complete. Every tire is currently flat but the tires themselves look to be in decent shape.  Over the next few weeks I'm going to see what I can do to get them back on the road so that the grandkids, and my daughter, will be able to ride them since we need to get some miles in before the fun ride on September 13.

Get on your bikes and ride!!!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Decisions made

Going to take the Diamondback into my LBS on Friday to get it serviced.  I weighed the pros and cons of self servicing vs professional servicing taking into account a lack of appropriate tools, a skills and knowledge gap and the fact that with just a little effort I can get my Schwinn rideable, it was a no-brainer. So I'll get in a quick ride tomorrow morning on the Diamondback then transfer my lights and possibly the seat to the Schwinn and take the Diamondback in for service.
I know I am faster on the hybrid than I am on my cruiser.  Exactly how much I don't really know.  I guess I'll find out over the next few days.

I've been looking ahead and there are some interesting rides coming up in the near future that I really need to increase my mileage to get ready for.  The Viva Bike Vegas Fun Ride is a 10 miler that the grandkids (at least 2 of them) will be doing with me.  That's only 6 weeks away.  The Pedal 2 the Medal is 2 weeks after that and I'm eyeing the 25 mile route.

The last ride I am looking at is the Honor Ride for the Ride 2 Recovery.  That is on November 8 and it is a 40 mile ride.  The good news is I have lots of time to prepare for that ride. the bad news is my longest ride over the last 3 months is only 12.5 miles.  I definitely need to start increasing the mileage on a daily and weekly basis.

So, what are your plans for up coming rides?

Even if you aren't doing an organized ride:


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What to do.

I've had my Diamondback Edgewood for over 2 years now. I still like the frame and the awesome wheel set built up fro me by Ray over at ProCyclery last year. What I'm finding, though it that little things are starting to need attention.  I'm beginning to get lots of creaks and moans and funny feelings in my pedals when I turn the cranks. I've tightened the crank arms and that helped with some of the creaking and groaning, but there is still some play in the crank assembly itself. I can take either pedal and move it back and forth about an eighth of an inch.  That doesn't sound like a lot, but I know When I am pedalling up a slight incline, I am putting a tremendous strain on the pedal and therefore on the entire drive train and crank assembly.

This has me worried.  I am loathe to pull apart the crank assembly fearing the loss of bearings and there fore making my bike unrideable. Of course that means I need to take my bike in for service.  The problem I have with this is that my other 2 bikes are not rolling at the moment and the usual turn around at the bike shop is 3 days. Normally a 3 day break wouldn't be a big deal but I am at 74 days in a row of riding for my personal challenge.

As you can see, the dilemma is purely self created in that I created my personal challenge and I am the one who should be servicing my own bike. A secondary issue I'm having with the servicing is a lack of appropriate tools to actually remove the crank arms and the spindle.  Of course this is an issue that I'm sure can be corrected through the wonders of the Internet and online shopping.

As of now, I am still undecided which way to do - do I chance the bike being down for multiple days taking it in for service, or do I order the tools and parts and attempt it myself with the possibility that I may end up taking to the bike shop anyways. Right now I have not made up my mind and I would love your feedback on the matter.

As always

Get on your bikes and ride!!!!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

What does it take to put on a charity ride?

I recently read a ride report from Dave Buckney over at Cycling from fat to fit regarding a ride he had done with his family titles 'BHF Goodwood 2014.' Essentially it is an event where people can sign up and then do laps around the track at Goodwood near Portsmouth in England.  It sounds like it was an absolutely wonderful day of riding with friends and family and enjoying traffic free pedalling.

This got me thinking about the Corporate Challenge Bike Races I've done (read here and here) over at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway complex and how it could be interesting to arrange a similar event here in a cooler part of the year.  That got me wondering what, exactly it takes to organize such an event.  I think it could be fun, there is certainly no shortage of worthy charitable causes that could benefit from such an event.  I can even imagine getting some sponsors on board.

So, my question is a general one to anyone who might have experience putting on a charity cycling event, or any charity event - what does it take to put on this type of an event?

Conversely, if there were an event like this in the Las Vegas area, who would attend?

Please, by all means let me know your thoughts on this whole crazy idea!

And don't forget to Get on your bikes and ride!!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Its my FitBit's Fault!

At least that is what people are claiming when they say they are gaining weight after buying a fitness tracker like the FitBit or Jawbone UP or Nike Fuel.  This is what I read in an article published online at The article is here.


Basically what the article is saying is that some people are experiencing a weight gain after buying one of these trackers and  following the caloric advice on their site.  Essentially they are claiming that by tracking their activity, it is causing them to gain weight.

I'm sorry, I don't agree.  That would be like saying that because I started tracking my driving and how much fuel I'm putting in my car my mileage has decreased.  One has nothing to do with the other.

I think the problem is that people are not viewing what the fitness bands are for correctly.  The true power and purpose of the bands is to help to motivate an individual to move more.  Period.  Now they also try to help by estimating an average calorie burn for said movement, but it is based on statistical averages for "normal" people.  I hate to break it to most significantly overweight people but their bodies and metabolisms are not "normal."  There is a reason they are significantly overweight.

In order for the sites to give any type of estimated calorie burn, they have to go off of what an average burn would be for a person of x height and y weight. Does everyone burn calories at the same rate?  No way.  That would be like saying I have a 4 door mid-sized car so I should get so many MPG without taking into account the size of the engine, type of fuel, style and speed of driving, etc.It just doesn't work.

In the weight loss battle there are many things that can affect your ability to lose weight.  Types of calories you are eating, how "intense" or strenuous your work outs are, are you frequently in stressful situations, do you have a metabolic deficiency of some sort.  All of these will affect your weight loss.

Going back to the car analogy.  Even if I had 2 identical cars that traveled the identical distance, but one started slowly and smoothly, gradually easing up to the speed limit and coasting to a stop when needed.  While the other floored it from every stop, kept the speeds 10 mph over the speed limit and slammed on the brakes for each stop.  Which one would burn more fuel?  The one driving in a more intense manner.

So, by all means use these fitness bands as motivational tools to help you become more active, but don't take their estimated calories burned as gospel, nor necessarily follow their recommended consumption. This would be a place to start, but if you find it ins't helping you to lose weight, then start reducing the calories and increasing the intensity of your activity.

and don't forget - have fun and get on your bikes and ride!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

One third done

Yesterday was Day 60 of my personal biking challenge and I rode my 60th day in a row.  I know for some that isn't a lot, but to me that is proving to myself that I can commit to and follow through on something. Granted my numbers are small compared to some, but I have learned over the last few years not to measure myself against other's accomplishments, but against my own goals.

With that said, let's look at a few of the numbers involved with these 60 days of cycling:

Total Miles:  138.2 miles
Total Time:    11.26 hours
Total Calories burned:   16,807 Calories
Average Ride Distance:  2.3 Miles

As I said, not huge numbers by any stretch of the imagination, but its the consistency and repetition that is key for me.  I hope to start increasing the average ride length through the next 1/3 of the challenge but it will be difficult at first as we are definitely in the hottest part of the year, here int he desert southwest.

I hope everyone is able to get out and enjoy the summertime here in the northern hemisphere and don't forget to...

GET ON YOUR BIKES AND RIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!