Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Apocalyptic bikes

I was reading Bike Snob NYC's blog today and he mentioned that most post-apocalyptic fiction shown no other forms of transportation between motor vehicles (a la Mad Max) and walking or running on foot.  It got me to thinking, what would be the best post apocalyptic form of transportation.  Bicycles come to mind rather quickly.  Imagine, you are being chased by zombies and need to get away, running puts you marginally ahead of them and as we all know zombies never stop or tire so they would soon be back upon you once you stop and rest.  If you had a bike you could be miles away in just a matter of a few minutes and hopefully they would lose your trail.

Let's look at the bike specs in more detail:

What would be required of a bicycle in that type of society?  It would need to be bullet proof (figuratively if not literally), it would need fat tires for handling all types of terrain, those tires would need to be flat proof since the odds of replacing them start getting slim as time passes post apocalypse.  The drive train would need to be low maintenance.  For truly rough or steep terrain one might argue for gears, but the maintenance and failure factors would make this a poor choice. It would need to handle large loads as it would become the defacto "truck" of the times.

WBR's buffalo bike would seem to be a great fit for this world with some slight modification of the tires.  Flats would be intolerable so a solid rubber tire would be best.  Sure it will provide a harsher ride, but the increase in reliability would be well worth it.

So, for my money, a well built, steel fixed gear with solid rubber, oversize tires would be the ideal vehicle in the post-apocalyptic world.  What do you think?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mark your calendars - May 11, 2013

I've been thinking about this for a while and finally talked to my wife about it today.  We are taking this journey towards better health together.  Today I asked her to do our first 5K together.  I am both excited and terrified at this prospect.

The 5K in question is the Las Vegas 5K which is run on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip and passes the iconic "Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas" sign.  Its said to be an easy, flat course.

I'm excited that Michele and I get to actually do this together, but terrified of the fact that right now, with my current fitness level a 5K is out of question.  My goal over the next couple of days is to adapt the Couch to 5K program to our time frame which is 15 weeks.  I will stretch the program out, repeating early weeks to get us to the 5K by the event date of May 11.

I am thinking that we should be able to complete this 5K in under 45 minutes and I'm hoping for under 40 minutes.  Now those of you who are runners are thinking "piece of cake" but you have to remember, right now I couldn't make it to the end in an hour.

I know it will take a lot of work and dedication to get us there but we will make it.  Antone out there want to join us on May 11th???

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

And the cold wind blows...

I want to start this post by mentioning I was born and raised in southern Michigan.  We had winters with cold and snow and I enjoyed them.  It was expected to be cold and you bundled up and got on with life - no big deal.  Then 6 years ago I moved to the desert.  Now I had visited before, at various times of the year and thought I had pretty much experienced all of the "seasons" here.  My first trip here was in December of 1994 and I didn't wear a coat the whole time I was here.  It wasn't unseasonable warm or anything, in fact it was a bit below average, but compared to what we had left it felt wonderful.

You might be asking yourself why am I going on about this?  Well, its because now that I have been here for 6 years, and I have experienced the highs of summer and the lows of winter, I have realized that my body's tolerance for cold has changed.  Add to that the fact that I no longer have cold weather apparel (hey I live in the desert!) and it makes me not want to ride when the temps are below 45 degrees.

Now I know those that are still out there in the Midwest (I'm looking at you Steve, fizzhog) are thinking what a wuss! In my defense I have to say its all relative.  I may not ride when its below 45, but then again I have ridden when its 110.

Now I could invest in a bunch of cold weather riding gear, but I really don't think its that good of an investment.  Sure we are finally coming out of one of the coldest 2 week stretches in the last 20 years, but this weekend its going to be in the 60's.  I just don't see that I would get enough use out of the cold weather gear to make the investment worthwhile.

By now you are wondering if there is really a purpose or a point to this post.  The answer is yes.  The point is that I have not been on the bike but twice so far this year. This is due mainly to the unseasonable cold weather.  This is about to change and for the next few weeks, I have set myself a goal of riding at least 4 days per week.  As long as mother nature cooperates, this is certainly a manageable goal.

Get out there and Ride!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Registered - 2013 Tour De Cure

I've just registered for my first ride of the year - the 2013 Tour De Cure - Las Vegas.  The ride is on April 27th and I've elected to do the 30 mile option being my first big ride of the year.

There are several reasons why I have chosen this ride.  My biggest reason is that my mother and 2 aunts are all living with diabetes and I want to do what I can to stop this horrible disease.  Knowing that these close family members are afflicted adds another strike against myself and makes it that much more likely that I will get, or possibly already have diabetes.  I know my weight and poor diet are huge risk factors as well and that's why I have undertaken this journey to a slimmer and healthier me.

I can't do this alone, though.  I have set myself a goal of $1,000 in fundraising for this cause and have contributed $79 myself towards this goal.  I ask that if you have the means, please donate here at my personal page.  If you are unable to donate, how about riding with me?  The weather in April in Las Vegas is wonderful!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Weekly Update 1/11/13

Trying to be a bit more timely with the weekly updates.  One good thing is that I actually got out and rode twice this last week.  The bad news is that since I've been off work I haven't been as vigilant with my diet, but that should improve.

Here is my FitBit data for the last week:

Steps: 28626  (up 1413)
Miles: 14.25  (up .69)
Calories Eaten: 15668  (down 1384)
Calories burned: 26006  (up 386)
Net: -10338  (up 1770)

Cycling this week: 13 miles
Total 2013:  13 miles

Fortunately the weather is supposed to be improving towards the end of the week and I do hope to get out for more rides.

The good news is that since 12.1, I am down a total of 33 pounds.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Weekly Update 1/4/13

I realized this morning that I never finished and posted last week's weekly update.  I will strive to be more timely in the future.  Anyway, now its time for this week's update..

Here is my FitBit data for the last week:

Steps:  27213 (up 2071)
Miles:  13.54  (up 1.03)
Calories Eaten:  17052  (down 671)
Calories burned:  25620  (down 219)
Net:  -8568  (up 454)

As you can see, this is not bad, but it can be better.  The good news is I did increase my steps, distance and burn.  I'm feeling pretty good about these numbers considering these are the holidays and I am away from my routine.  I'm hoping to pick up my activity and actually get back on the bike in the coming week.

The good news is that since 12.1, I am down a total of 32.8 pounds.