Holy cats, Batman what did you search to get to my blog: “i have a sword good for seppuku”
I’m sure you do, just point that thing…uh, err… Oh, now that’s gonna leave a stain… “Hello, 911? I have a problem… Yeah, the nature of my problem is that some dude just committed seppuku on my carpet… Huh, no, you can’t clean that up with with paper towels… Yes, I know you can’t just call 911… Listen lady, some dude just cut his guts out to get to my blog… S-E-P-P-U-K-U, ritual suicide – not septic poo!!! Can you please send somebody? No, I won’t touch anything… Hey, is that flinching thing normal? Thanks…. Man that’s kinda cool lookin’, in a gross way. What? Two hours? Damn.
Oh, now I get it… I forgot about that post. Man that was funny. If you haven’t seen “Emails from an @$$hole”, do give it a look – it’s funny for about 20 minutes but gets a little old.
Oh, and one more: “25.4 mph on a mountain bike”.
Yeah, downhill – with a tailwind… Or you just happen to be riding with Lance Armstrong and he lets you tie a rope around his waist and drags you around to add a little resistance.
I was contacted by a person working for a diet/fitness tracking app called Slim Kicker and asked to review it, good or bad, on my blog. The comment/request appears on my “About the Author” page. Now there are a few things that I don’t like in life, and one of them is watching what I eat. I’ve always tried to outrun my diet even though most professionals in the industry say it can’t be done. One look at the laundry piled upon my washboard abs leaves me with the understanding that they’re right – to an extent. Everything in life, as I see it, comes down to definitions. In the case of my physical appearance, just how much is good enough – the key words to define are “good” and “enough”. In the end I’m pretty happy with my balance – I don’t necessarily eat great, but I eat well and I get to enjoy what I eat.
That notwithstanding, I decided to give the app a try, if for nothing else than to get an idea of where the folks at Slim Kicker think I’m at and maybe get a better understanding of how I eat, because I really haven’t a clue…oh, and to see if the app actually crashes when I enter in my post Tuesday club ride dinner. Yesterday was my first full day with the app which is only available for the iPhone right now. It seems easy enough, you enter in a bunch of information; height, weight, age, activity level – the simple stuff, and it kicks out a profile for you based on what you enter. The app interfaces with a web page where you can change your photo, tweak your profile and view your progress (it’s based on a “level-up” game).
From there I started entering in everything I ate immediately after finishing… Banana, apple, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, burger, burger (I cooked them on the grill Sunday and made two extra for lunch), Coke (just had to see what would happen – I never stop for a Coke on the way home from work) – STOP… Right there I was over my alloted sugar for the day – a banana, an apple and a 16 oz Coke… I knew right then and there, this is not going to be easy. When I entered the Coke, a nice little message popped up on the screen: “There is no place for soda in a healthy diet”… Oh boy, here we go.
I earned points for entering in what I ate and it tabulated that against my overall profile target calorie consumption goal for the day: 3106 calories – and more on that calculation in a minute.
From there, I went home, packed up the bike and headed over to the meeting place for the evening ride. And this is where we start getting into trouble… The exercises listed in Slim Kicker are not set up for someone who already happens to be fit to the point of amazingness like me. Their hardest cycling effort is 17.5 mph and that is listed as “very fast”… That’s recovery pace for me. Last night’s ride averaged out to 21 mph (though 2 other guys came up with 21.5/21.6) – I burned calories at a rate of 56 per mile according to Endomondo (though that admittedly doesn’t take drafting into account). The best Slim Kicker’s got is 50.6 calories per mile… Over ten miles that’s not a big deal – over 230 miles in a week it is.
Now, here’s where the water gets muddy. The 3,106 calories that they give me is supposed to include what I burn daily. If I do the math (and I can) for last week, according to my calculations, my basal caloric intake needs to be around 17,080 for the week, but I burned 8,590 calories between riding and running – I needed to consume 25,670 calories last week. With the Slim Kicker as my guide I’d have consumed 21,742… That’s a little more than a pound less than what I really need.
That notwithstanding, I’m going to stick with the Slim Kicker for a week to see how I do – it’s got some excellent features to it. It calculates my daily needs in terms of calories, carbs, protein, fat, cholesterol, sodium, fiber, and sugar and gives me a nice little graph for each one based on the food I eat/enter so I can actually see where I’m at for daily allowances – and that’s really cool.
So, to finish, for dinner I went to Burger King (aw yeah!) and entered in the following: 1 Whopper, 1 Classic Chicken sammich, Small Onion Rings and (2) 12 oz Cokes (I got a large but only drank half – I think that works out to 16 oz, but whatever). This is how my day ended (have mercy Elisa):
Now, I’m not worried about the sodium – even though I almost doubled what they recommend, I know for a fact that I have to consume that much or I’ll end up deficient – that happened last year and it wasn’t pretty. My sweat ended up tasting like water and my performance went in the tank until I figured out what was wrong and started downing Gatorade like it was going out of style… In addition, every other Tuesday is a big salt day for me because it’s a huge fast food day – I only eat like that once every other week on club ride night. What does have me concerned is the sugar and the carbs… Way too high, and I got a nice little chiding about that from Slim Kicker – something about too much sugar adding to the waist line… I did have a chuckle over it.
There will be more to come on this subject later in the week, as I get into it a little more but for now I can tell you; I wish I’d had this 12 years and 40 pounds ago. Starting out in my lifestyle change this would have saved me a lot of time, effort and trouble in dropping the weight. Slim Kicker would have been a fantastic tool for managing weight loss and fitness. Even now, with my balance figured out quite well on my own, it can be a great tool for fine-tuning my diet.
I’ll post more as new things pop up.
Disclosure: I did not receive anything to review this app. It is a free app available for the iPhone. The person who contacted me did offer to allow me to review their new pay app for free when it comes out early next year but I figured I’d take the initiative and start with the free app first. I have written a few follow-up emails to Sue at Slim Kicker with some suggestions, but was not influenced in any way, shape or form to write a positive review of their product. The opinions expressed in this post are mine alone and were not guided or tinkered with by anyone at Slim Kicker – they didn’t try to influence me either. Her initial request is available on my “About the Author” page as linked above (scroll down to the comments) for anyone to see.
UPDATE: WTF!!! How do you diet people live like this!!! I can see the folks who want to lose weight, but good GOD! It’s lunch time and I’ve just blown through my entire carbs for the day – and it’s Pizza Wednesday. 😀
UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: UNCLE!!! Sodium’s through the roof too – Where’d that come from? Somebody pass the damned Chia seeds already! You ever wonder who looked at a Chia Pet and said, “Damn, I’ll bet those seeds taste GOOD!?
Cut the lunch in half to save on the carbs, but I’m already over on sugar… Two apples and a banana… Really? Rode hungry today – first two miles sucked but my stomach didn’t bother me so much when my legs were protesting the abuse. 😉
Being an exercise junky I tend to run into some painful discomfort from time to time. Whether it’s a sore neck, shoulders or my guns, because I don’t take very many days off during the summer, I can run into a day or two a month where I’m hurting too much to rest comfortably. In fact, prior to cycling and wearing a bite guard at night, I’d run into a couple of days a week that I’d have to deal with back pain that was too unbearable to even sit in a recliner with… The bite guard, I wrote about here and has given me a new lease on life, a level of pain-free enjoyment that was previously impossible. On those uncomfortable days, usually days off when the guns finally get a minute to stop smoking, I reach for – every time. I love Aleve. I love the fact that I can literally feel it the second it kicks in, the pain melt away. It works every time, never fails.
Last night was a rest night. I’ve been going for 13 days in a row and I was finally beat. Long about 5 pm I started tensing up. First my neck, then my shoulders, then my back and legs – it was an all-over kind of hurt. Two Aleve and 20 minutes later and I was smiling.
Aleve isn’t without its problems… One of which I must be accutely aware. It’s very hard on the liver, and as a recovering alcoholic the last thing I want to do is mess with my liver any more (I’ve put that sucker through enough). In the days before my night-time bite guard this meant following the dosing instructions on the bottle. Today I don’t have to worry about that so much as two is all I’ll need for the pain to go away completely.
Sure enough, here I sit at my desk, good to go for tonight’s club ride. Thanks Beyer.
A Note To Motorists, Bureaucrats, Public Planners and Fellow Cyclists…and Jerks
Ladies, gentlemen, cyclists and miscreants,
We road bikers don’t want to be on the road any more than some motorists want us there but they call it a road bike for a reason. I’ve had to deal with being buzzed (where a driver in his/her vehicle purposely tries to get as close to a cyclist as possible without actually hitting them), I’ve been yelled at, heck I’ve even had a 2-liter bottle of soda thrown at me (fortunately the punk kid wasn’t a very good shot – he led my by about 5′ too much, just missing my front wheel at 20 mph – and I was in a bike lane). Beyond that, even following the rules of the road, it’s a dangerous hobby and it certainly is nerve-racking at times.
To stay as safe as I can be I choose very specific routes to ride. Where possible I ride on road-side bike paths – considering that I’ve only got about three miles in my home town that’s not much, and where it isn’t possible I limit myself to roads where the traffic isn’t dense with the exception of one road. Technically it should be one of the more dangerous roads to ride on – Old US-23, the service road to the expressway that stretches from Ohio all the way to the tip of the Michigan mitten (and southward as well). In Livingston and Genesee counties the service drive has a 55 mph speed limit and is highly travelled which means it would normally be off my list of roads to ride on – but it’s got 3′ shoulders. I can travel for miles without ever having to cross the solid white line separating the driving surface from the shoulder. It’s one of the safest roads I’ve ever ridden on, next to Miller road which has a bike path on the section I ride, it’s also the busiest road in Genesee County.
The roads that I have had problems on only have a 6″ shoulder. I’m forced to ride as far right as practicable but on the driving surface, which I gladly do, but that puts me in traffic. Cars are therefore forced to navigate around me, dodging in between oncoming traffic. As their speed is between 35 and 45 mph and mine is between 20 and 25, this can make for difficulties and frayed nerves.
So, to the policy makers and public planners and bureaucrats alike, you want us to be fit and active – to stay out of the medical system as much as possible, yet we are greatly limited in doing this because drivers have a tendency to lose their minds a bit when they see a cyclist on “their road”. Please help us by giving us a shoulder when new roads are built. We don’t even need three feet – two would be great. This gives us (and traffic) a little bit of a safe zone so that vehicles don’t have to cross over the yellow to get around us. We don’t need the dedicated bike lane painting, we don’t need the signs letting us know we’re indeed in a bike lane, we just need a couple of feet so we don’t have to interact with traffic so much.
To the cyclists, please follow the laws of the road. Travel on the proper side of the road (that’s going WITH traffic). I realize you think it’s safer to see the cars coming, but that’s because you are naive and/or ignorant. It’s far more dangerous to ride against traffic – by an order of magnitude. Stop it. Stop at stop lights – they should never be run. I happen to be a proponent of rolling stop signs – but only if I’ll have the right-of-way, or if there is no other traffic present because it’s far faster to get through a stop sign and get out of the way of traffic to do a slow roll rather than unclip, stop for a three-count and get going again…but follow the law and use your head (to avoid accidents, not to field test your helmet). If you’re riding alone or in a group of less than three, don’t ride two-abreast on a busy road please. The rule/law is “as far right as is practicable” – if you’re riding solo, anything left of the first four feet of road is not “as practicable”, it’s self-centered and rude – you’re doing your part to piss vehicle drivers off for the rest of us – please cut it out. Finally, if you cut someone off or almost run a pedestrian over, you’re the jerk, not them – especially the pedestrian (no matter how stupid they are).
As a final note to the bureaucrats… Now that some states have begun limiting or banning mountain biking trails, you will be pushing more and more of us out onto the roads. Call that an unintended consequence, call it whatever you want, but we have a desire to maintain our fitness. Please help us do this by giving us a couple of feet on each side of newly topped roads and new roads so we can, if we follow the law in our state, make it home to kiss our wive’s, husbands, sons and daughters.
Oh, I almost forgot – to the miscreants… You do have a license plate you dope.
Big Daddy Jim.
I entered into a drawing for a new pair of Pearl Izumi Try Fly IV Carbon cycling shoes over at College Tri – and won! Those bad boys are going to look good on the 5200 (and, er, uh…my feet)! Special thanks to College Tri, please give him a look if you get a chance.
Also – and this is with a special wink and a nod to Elisariva (who should be looking to the heavens and rolling her eyes in… Three…two…one) I was asked (and have accepted) to review a new fit/diet tracking app. Now for those who have read more than a couple of posts on this blog, I don’t have an eating problem – I pretty much eat whatever my little heart desires, so this should be funny! I’ll release more info on that as it becomes available. I can assure you, I will be as honest and forthright as humanly possible.
Mrs. BgddyJim was laying with her head rested on my chest the other evening and she remarked that it was funny how slow my heart beats now. I don’t exactly make it a point to check it that regularly but…
Last year my resting heart rate was around 58 and I was quite happy with that. Even with a fairly regular running schedule I’d only ever been able to get to 70 beats per minute (bpm).
After two cups of coffee, and in the middle of work Friday morning, I checked it again… 52.
Here’s the chart of import:
|AGE||Beats Per Minute (BPM)|
|Babies to Age 1||100 – 160|
|Children ages 1-10||60 – 140|
|Children age 10+ and adults||60 – 100|
|Athletes:||40 – 60|
That last one… Athletes: 40 – 60 and I’m smack dab in the middle. I love that!
I once did the math to figure out how many fewer times my heart would beat in a year because I dropped from 70 to 58 bpm… It worked out to 6,307,200. It’s now at 9,460,800 fewer beats per year because I’m even more fit.
Being fit doesn’t guarantee that I’ll live a longer life – there’s even an outside chance that I could die of a heart attack… I know a lot of people point to certain people of fitness who have died early as “evidence” that fitness doesn’t really matter that much. My standard response, of course, is “Yeah, like Jack LaLanne“. I’d rather my odds at 155 lbs with a resting heart rate of 52 than my odds at 195 with a rhr of 70.
Click on the link and listen to the speech… That’s what I’m talking about, baby! WOOHOO!
In all seriousness though, the idea that someone would die early because of fitness, or that one should be content with becoming a blob because a couple of popular runners died sooner than some believe they should have, is preposterous. I would say it is more likely that those folks would have died a lot sooner had they not been fit.
Well, that search question led someone to my blog, “What is more popular, the road or mountain bike”? I’ve never really delved into “which is more popular” because the answers to questions of popularity are usually highly subjective and based on experience.
The question can be answered fairly though, the mountain bike wins hands down – so much so that most people don’t know that the road bike is the more comfortable of the two – but the point can absolutely be argued against legitimately.
Even with the advent cheap shocks, mountain bikes are much less expensive and much more dependable – especially in terms of bent rims, flat tires and such.
Look at it this way, retail on my road bike (and admittedly, it’s high-end) was $2,600. My mountain bike, while a decent bike is only entry-level high-end, but cost less than $400 or consider that I bought both used… $700 for the road bike and $100 for the mountain bike. The mountain bike is far more accessible considering cost.
Beyond that, when you consider the versatility of a mountain bike contrasted with the limits of a road bike, that the mountain bike is more popular only makes sense.
However, the limits of a road bike notwithstanding, from a social standpoint, the popularity of cycling clubs is something to behold – though some of the tailgate parties I’ve seen thrown by mountain bikers are amazing in their own right.
So to recap this fairly (at least IMO), the road bike slightly edges the mountain bike in terms social standing while the mountain bike trounces the road bike in cost, reliability and durability (or just about everything else).
Now, there is one more factor that I didn’t cover because it is a bit vain… So vain, in fact, that I doubt many road bikers would even cop to it (and may even argue against). While mountain bikes are generally reliable, durable and cost-effective, road bikes have a quality that a mountain bike can’t touch: They’re sexy. Fair or not, nothing beats someone in matching kit, helmet and sunglasses… Toned, ripped muscular legs turning the crank as they glide down the road at better than 20 mph… I get more “wow’s”, happy honks, waves and hello’s on my road bike than I have gotten on my mountain bike – we’re talking a 50-1 ratio.
I’ve covered everything I can think of at the moment – if you’ve got anything to add, please feel free.