Monday, October 28, 2013

Bike: MS donations needed

As I've mentioned before I am going to be challenging myself in less than 2 weeks by riding in the Bike:MS Las Vegas Challenge.  I will ride 30 miles both Saturday and Sunday, November 9 & 10.  Unfortunately I have yet to reach my modest fundraising goal of $250 for the event.

If you can, please donate towards this fight against MS.  $5, $10 - it all adds up.

Thank you.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Why I ride

Lately I’ve been thinking about why I like to ride my bike.  Its tough to put into words the reasons, but I will endeavor to do just that.

  1. I ride because I can.  This may seem like a simple statement but it embodies so much of the feeling of empowerment that riding gives me.  Here I am riding along under my own power yet going faster than I ever thought I could on my own.  Its exhilarating and refreshing.
  2.  I ride because it's fun.  It takes me back to when we were kids and riding around with no plan or purpose except to enjoy the fact that we are riding.  It’s a physical act that once mastered gives a sense of accomplishment and wonder and look what I can do feeling.
  3.  I ride because its healthy.  Too much of modern life involves sedentary tasks, at least for me.  My job involves sitting in front of a computer screen for a large part of my work day.  Many of my leisure activities involves sitting and watching, whether its TV, video games, or working on my computer at home.  Any activity which I enjoy that gets me moving is all good!
  4.  It can be a social activity.  Not only can I talk to others about the activity, but I can also participate in this activity with others for a shared common experience.
  5. See number 2 again!
  6.  I ride to help others.  Through organized rides and fundraising I help to raise funds for worthy causes. Whether its fighting Cancer, MS, or Diabetes doing something fun to help raise money to fight these things is worthwhile.
Riding is freedom and movement and using our bodies to get somewhere under our own power.  Its good for the environment and good for ourselves.  If we do it enough and aren't careful it might actually make us healthier as well.

Get On Your Bikes and RIDE!!!!!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bike: MS Update

My next event of the year is the BIKE: MS Las Vegas Challenge coming up in just over 3 weeks on November 9th & 10th.  My goal is to complete the 30 mile ride on each of the days.  This is definitely going to be a challenge in the mileage department.

Now, unlike the Tour De Cure last April, there won't be such steep hills to climb, but there will be climbing. Its more the steady, long grade variety instead of the steep sharp climbs that did me in when combined with the heat that day.

I am planning on putting in a good deal of riding leading up to the event.  I haven't been doing as much as I had planned, but I will be doing a lot.

What's also not up to level I had planned is my fundraising for the event.  I had hoped to have met the goal of $250 by now, but have not.  Please, if you have an extra $5, $10, $20 or more, donate it to help support the fight against this terrible disease HERE.

Thank you.

Get On Your Bikes And RIDE!!!!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rules of Cycling

I've been following several other blogs for a few years now and one that's stuck with me is Fizzhog's.  One of his pages list's Fizz's Rules of Cycling.  These just ring so true to me that I am sharing them here:

Fizz's Rules of Cycling

1.  It never gets easier, you just go faster  (taken from Greg Lemond who took it from Andy Hampsten)
2.  For every climb, there is a descent… and vice-versa
3.  If you keep your tires pumped at proper pressure you eliminate chances of flatting by 60%
4.  If you are going to flat, it will be at the point farthest from where you started your ride
5.  Hydrating before you ride is as important as hydrating during
6.  Wave to all fellow cyclists, whether they wave back or not
7.  When riding an “Out & Back” route, if you have a headwind on your “Out” it will shift and you will invariably have a headwind on your “Back”
8.  Someone somewhere is suffering more
9.  Those days where you really don’t feel like riding are the days you must absolutely ride
10.  Your Garmin will never fail except on the rides where you need it the most
11.  Always refill your water bottles if you have the chance
12.  Always take more nutrition than you think you will need
13.  Shift more than you think you need to
14.  Someone is always slower than you and someone is always faster than you
15.  Never leave for a ride of more than 8 miles without money on you
16. You will always recover

Eat well.

Get on your bikes and ride!!!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

It takes balance

Most everything in life takes balance.  Whether its riding a bike, work, family, walking - everything is more enjoyable and works out much better if its in balance.

Weight loss and getting healthy takes balance as well.  I'm guilty of trying to make a single change and hoping that it will balance things out, but I know it won't.

For the last few months I've quit focusing on what I've been eating and focused almost exclusively on riding my bike. While this is certainly enjoyable, and it has led to increased fitness on the bike, it has not led to any significant weight loss.  Eating just as many (if not more calories) than one burns in a day will at best maintain your current weight and at worst allow you to gain weight.

Fortunately for me I haven't gained any more weight over the last few months, but I certainly haven't lost either.  I know I have to work on the other side of the equation and reduce my caloric intake in order to see my weight reduced.  Its time to do just that again.

I'm starting to log my food into MyFitnessPal again.  I'm still using my FitBit to track my daily activity as well.  With the longer rides I've been doing in the mornings its easier for me to hit basic goals of 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day.  now I just need to limit my calories to 2,200 or so and I should start to see a loss of 2 to 3 lbs per week.

Balance.  Life is so much better with it than without it.

Eat Better.

Get on your bikes and ride!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall is definitely here

it was only 59 degrees this morning as I headed out for my ride.  Now for most of the country that would be considered a nice warm morning.  For Las Vegas that is on the cool side and a sure indication that fall is definitely here.  Of course looking at the forecast for the week, this is the warmest low temp for the week.  If the weather prognosticators are to be believed, Thursday morning could be in the low 40's.

It took a bit of time to get in the groove this morning and I'm not sure if it was so much the cooler temps as the fact that I'd only ridden 20 miles so far in October.  Fortunately I increased that total significantly by getting in a nice 12.4 miles this morning.

As I've mentioned before I have registered for the Bike: MS Las Vegas Challenge event next month.  Please contribute to help fight this disease here.

Get on your bikes and ride!!!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

No issues

What a difference a day makes.  Also, how dependent can we be on technology?

As I detailed at the end of yesterday's post, I had some issues yesterday morning with gadgets that I usually depend on.  It got me to thinking about how dependent we can become on gadgets and on measuring ourselves.

The one gadget that stopped me from riding yesterday was my headlight.  Its not that I need it to see as I'm riding because admittedly it sheds very little usable light for that purpose.  No, the real use of my headlight is safety.  Namely to greatly increase my visibility to the bleary eyed motorists in the wee hours of the pre-dawn.  Could I have ridden yesterday without my headlight?  Sure I could have, but I feel that it would have decreased my safety to an unreasonable level.  Now if I didn't have to share the streets with 2 ton vehicles, then I would have ridden without my headlight, no problem.

The other piece of equipment that failed me yesterday was my Garmin.  I suspect the grand kids may have been playing with it and that is why the battery was dead.  Regardless, the question becomes, if there is no Garmin data, and thus no Strava record, did the ride occur?  I say yes, but it occurs differently.  Now I don't obsess over my pace and split times, ma speed, etc. while I am riding.  I normally just do what feels right at the moment with a thought to the distance I am riding, but I do depend on the Garmin record for "housekeeping" in terms of recording month to date and year to date progress, etc.

I sort of prided myself on having a complete record of my rides for the past 3+ years and now it is incomplete as I rode without my Garmin yesterday.  Have I ridden before without it?  Sure, but I wasn't under a self-imposed challenge to meet a mileage goal at the time. Did I worry about trying to record those non-Garmin recorded rides?  Usually, no, but sometimes yes.  What I'm getting at is that sometimes we can become too wrapped up in the details and the minutiae of a task and forget the important points - we are having fun and riding our bikes.

With that said - have fun and get on your bike and ride!!!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September review and October Goals

The month of September was awesome.  While I didn't hit my mileage goal of 240 miles for the month having only ridden 160 miles, I'm OK with that. There were other, more important goals that were met.

My dad and I rode Viva Bike Vegas 2013 together which was awesome.  We also got in some other, quality rides after the big ride while they were visiting.  As he said, its too bad we don't live closer so that we can ride together more.

Besides a quick ride around Long Lake with my dad and my brother in 2011 when we were up at my brother's cabin, this was the first chance we had to ride together in over 30 years.  30+ years ago we had ridden in several Bike-A-Thons for the March of Dimes, the last a 100 miler.  Funny how we never "trained" for those rides, but just did them as a matter of course.  They were easy since we were riding everywhere back then.

So, while I didn't make my mileage goal for September, I've decided to set a new one for October,increasing the mileage for the month.  Leaving room for missed days and with hoping to get in longer rides leading up to the Bike MS back to back 30 milers, my goal is 300 miles for October.

Decided to start off strong and I was planning on putting in at least 12 miles this morning, but it seemed the fates had other plans for me and I decided to listen to them.  I woke up about 10 minutes before the alarm was set to go off and my stomach was having issues.  After attending to that I got dressed and headed downstairs.

I got ready, put air in the tires and turned on my Garmin.  I grabbed my helmet, turned on the lights and was waiting for my Garmin to Sync with the satellites.  I looked at it to check the progress and noticed it was off.  I thought maybe I hadn't turned it on so I tried again.  Nope it turned right off.  For some reason the battery was dead.  I always download and charge it every time I use it so this was a mystery to me.

I still had my Fitbit so I could time the ride, I just wouldn't have the file to upload to the various sites.  So I started the timer and set off.  The first couple of laps went well with nothing remarkable happening. On the third lap I noticed my front light getting dimmer and dimmer and within a half mile it was out.  Now with the crazy inattentive drivers and the early morning I knew it wasn't safe to ride without a light for visibility.  I headed in when I got back to the house, found the new package of batteries an changed them out.  I turned the light on and it was nice and bright.

The strangest thing happened then.  I turned my bike around and prepared to head out to put in some more miles and my light turned itself off.  No matter what I tried, it refused to turn back on.  SO I recognized the fact that someone or something didn't want me to ride this morning and put my bike away and came into the house, calling it a day.

So, to summarize, my October riding has started with a mere 3 miles today.

Hope you can get on your bikes and ride!