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Yearly Archives: 2015

Getting the Stable Ready for the Winter

Yesterday was a busy day for working on the bikes.  I started off with my 3700 so I can ride in the muck with my buddy Mike without sweating whether I get it immaculately clean once every few rides.

First, this is might piss off some of the purists, and I am perfectly okay with that…  My ’08 Trek came with a 25.4 mm handlebar but I didn’t like the bar or the original stem.  I had to buy a new bar and stem for it shortly after I bought the bike because they moved away from the 25.4 and went with the oversized 31.8 mm bars (same with road bike bars, incidentally).

Now, I also didn’t like the stem and handlebar on my 5200 or the handlebar and stem on my ’13 Rockhopper.  There was a lot of not likin’ going on, basically.  Got that so far?

So here’s how this shook out…  First, I upgraded my Venge’s handlebar and stem to something outrageously expensive and awesome ($450 for the bar and new stem – and I saved all of about 50 grams… chuckle).  Then I took the stem off of my 3700 mountain bike (a NICE road stem) and put that on my 5200 with the old handlebar from my Venge.  Then I took the old stem from the Venge and put that on my Rockhopper, but the bar on the Rockhopper, ironically, was a 25.4 so I took the Bontrager handlebar off of the 3700 and put that on the Specialized Rockhopper with the Specialized stem.

Now, I wasn’t planning on riding the 3700 much so I put the original stem back on the bike with the Specialized handlebar, the stem had quite a rise so it would be good for visitors.  Got it?

Well, now you’re up to date till Friday morning.

My buddy Mike likes to muck it out now and again and my 3700 is in fantastic shape.  Mike’s got an old rust bucket mount, so I figured why not ride my old one too, so he would feel out of place.

I took the original stem from my Rockhopper that I had out in my workshop and put that on the Trek:

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Done.  Maybe five or ten minutes.  Now I’ve got a good mud bike to abuse.

While I was at it, I figured why not get my 5200 ready for paint.

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That’s my Cannondale in the foreground, we’ll get to that in a minute.

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I marked the seat post so I can put it back right when I get my bike back, then commenced to stripping everything down.

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That last bottle cage is more than a little stuck so I figured I’d leave that for the pros.  The frame is already at the shop.

That left me with a problem though.  I’m not going to put the Venge on a trainer so that meant cleaning up the Cannondale.  I took the 9 sp. cassette off the wheel, put the old spacer and 7 sp. cassette on, tilted the handlebar to get the angle I wanted and set the saddle to my prerequisite 36-3/8″ and all I have to do is switch out the pedals.  I’m good to go.

To wrap this minor saga up, today I’ll be taking every single component apart and cleaning them as good as can be for the age of the parts. It’ll be at least a month before I get the Trek back, but I may as well get that done while I have time.

Also up for today, snow showers and 20 to 25 miles on that old mountain bike. I’ve been sick for a few days now and I’m stir crazy. I gotta ride.

The Case for the Multiple Day Cycling Tour: Why Every Cyclist Should Try It Once. With Friends

This year was my first for attempting multiple day cycling tours.  I did two this year, technically.  A two-day in Kentucky at the Horsey Hundred and the four-day DALMAC (Lansing to Mackinaw), one in the early summer and the four-day in the late summer.  They were, without a doubt, worth every penny and the effort and I can’t wait for next year where I’ll do the same two plus I’ll add a third with two separate events back to back – the One Day Ride Across Michigan and the Assenmacher 100 Pre-Ride (two days, 250 miles).

My cycling followed a progression.  I started off on a mountain bike, four days a week, then five and six.  Then came the road bikes.  I went from 100 miles to 200 miles being a decent week over two years.  Last year, 22o miles was a decent week.  This year, 250 with the exception of one week – Labor Day weekend.  446 glorious miles – 385 in just four days.

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I have always ridden most days of the week but only rarely would I ride two hard days in a row.  By “hard”, I mean north of 19 mph average over a distance greater than 30 miles each day.  Say I had a century on Sunday.  I would absolutely ride on Saturday but it would be at an easy, slow pace over a short distance.  Maybe 20 or 25 miles at a leisurely pace around 17-18 mph so I could save up for the big ride.

With most of the group above, our goal for DALMAC was four days, 380 miles, and an average pace north of 20 mph for the whole tour.  We were only a few tenths short of that when all was said and done and we managed a 21.7 mph pace on the last, shortest day (72 miles).

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The first Day’s 106 miles were pretty rough but only because we had to ride through a gnarly thunderstorm (or three).  The worst, thankfully, came just five miles before lunchtime so we sat and ate through most of it.  With temps in the low 90’s the rain was actually quite welcome and the only time I was cold through the whole day was when we sat down to eat.  The second day was misty and quite a bit cooler (see the photo above).  Humorously, I tried out one of those $30 plastic rain jackets because it was just a wee bit too cool for me, in the mid 60’s.  Sadly, it wasn’t closer to freezing in that jacket.  I will never use that stupid jacket again.  I was sweating so much that I had to wring out my gloves to keep a grip in the drops.  In fact, when I pulled that jacket out at the first stop, a couple of my buddies laughed and recommended against it.  I should have heeded that advice.  The second day, with 106 more miles in, we finished just under 20 mph for the day and I finished with two other friends in a breakaway that succeeded.

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The third day finally brought a break in the wet riding conditions.  The temperatures were quite nice, upper 70’s but under cloud cover for the first half of the day.  My wife and I had everyone over for coffee the evening before and we tamped down an insurrection, the notion of shortening the third day’s route.  Eventually we settled on doing the whole ride because, after all, damn the pace, we were out there to ride our bikes with our friends and it only made sense to get in every mile.  In the end, we finished only slightly under the 20 mph target pace.

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That third day was my toughest.  While the second day had the most climbing, technically, it was only a gradual climb.  Most of the time we couldn’t even tell we were ascending because the grade was so mild.  Not so on day three.  There were plenty of steep climbs to be dealt with.  Add to that, I was getting tired.  A century is an excellent feat of fitness.  A century in the 5 hour range, even more so.  Three in a row is a grind.

My wife and I had our friends over again that evening.  After I ate my first dinner in the cafeteria, I headed back to the camper and cooked steaks for my wife and kids.  I cooked enough that I needed some help from the boys to finish them off.  I also spent an hour cleaning the grime off of my bike and trying to get the shifting squared away (the road grit was having a profound affect on the derailleurs, especially the rear).

The fourth day, much to my amazement, was really fast.  We only had 72 miles to go, through the most beautiful scenery of the entire ride.

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We finished the day strong, the last 20 miles covered in about 48 minutes (we averaged around 25 mph) and it hurt.  I was dangling at the back for much of that last bit.  My legs were absolutely smoked and a rarity on a shorter ride like that, I just wanted to be done.

Then came the last mile.  The veterans brought us rookies up front and let us lead the group home to the finish:

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That’s Ron on the outside and Eli (just 15 years old at the time).

I have ridden thousands of miles with my friends, in that last photo the guy in the orange is my buddy Mike, with whom I have logged more miles than with anyone else, including my wife.  My wife and two daughters were at the finish to cheer us in.  I am rarely emotional finishing a run or a ride anymore, I’ve done enough of them that it’s not that big a deal…  I got a little misty after my first half-marathon, after my first metric century on a bike and after my second full century (my wife or wife and daughters were at all three – in fact, my wife was pregnant with my oldest daughter at the half marathon).  For the finish of DALMAC I was definitely wellin’ up.  My daughters gave me huge hugs and my wife a big, sloppy kiss and it was good.

My wife, my best friend, sacrificed her whole four-day weekend tending to me, lugging the camper around so I could have a nice, dry bed to sleep in.  My kids sacrificed two days of their weekend to travel with us.  My cycling friends helped pull me home and made the ride an experience not to be missed.  There is something special about a group of people sharing a grueling effort like.  Every ride with my friends after that, there’s been something different, better.  We’re closer, laugh just a little more, we have many more stories to laugh about while we’re on a normal weekend 70 miler.

I can’t promise you as profound an experience as I enjoyed on your multi-day event but as good as it was, the benefits are worth chancing it.  Find a good group, train hard, and ride that ride with a smile.

Ride hard my friends.

Fit Recovery’s Fourth Anniversary

Hard to believe, four years of friendships, laughs, good times, noodle salad, and occasionally pissing someone off.

To those of you who have stuck around, thank you and forgive me if I come off brash at times.  I’m truly working on fixing that, no blowing smoke – I know it’s a flaw.

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Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 4 years ago!
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!
 2,160 posts
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 234 Posts on Recovery
26,420 Miles
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2,665 Burgers Burned
Thank you, and ride hard my friends.
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A guide to interventions and a realistic look at cutting a loved one off, for their own good.

Intervention Do’s and Don’t – http://wp.me/p51OwE-cye

If you’re in that unenviable position of watching an addict or alcoholic wreak havoc in your life, read the post above.

And good luck.  You’ll need it.  We drunks spend a lot of effort to avoid reality because ours generally sucks. 

That said, one way or another we have to accept truly being done.  No more excuses, no more trying to be clever.

Drinking a Glass of Red Wine Reported to have same affect as Hour in Gym: Drunks World Over Celebrate!

From the Anals of Idiocy…

It is being reported that having a glass of red wine is just as good as going to the gym.  For an entire hour.  If you haven’t heard it on CNN, FOX, MSNDC or read it online, click here or here.  In that second link, the title is “Science Proves a Drinking Wine is Better than Going to the Gym” [emphasis added by me].  In the first, the headline is simply that a glass of red wine is “the equivalent” to an hour at the gym.

Now, if you heard or read a report like that and thought, “Awesome!  I have to stop by the liquor store on the way home!” God help you.  We can place your mug shot in the dictionary next to the word gullible.  If, on the other hand, you thought, “What?  That sounds a little fishy.  I’ll check it out.”  Good for you.

Now, here’s an abject lesson in how news works and why.

Here’s a quote pulled from the second link:

Before you start rejoicing and run out of the house to replenish your wine supply, this doesn’t mean that you can strawpedo a bottle of wine each night. This only works with one glass a day – three glasses don’t count as a three hour gym session – so the key is moderation.

Got that?  The key is moderation.  Good, because we wouldn’t want people driving home $#!+ faced from the local watering hole because they had to get their exercise in, right?

Now let’s go to the Huffington Post, a (somewhat) respected news outlet that caters to astoundingly gullible leftists:

Though, let’s be straight here – this is all in moderation, it only applies to red wine and the university’s study was carried out on rats, not humans.

Okay, so moderation is the key.  This is from the write-up on the study.  The headline is “Resveratrol may be natural exercise performance enhancer”:

Principal investigator Jason Dyck and his team found out in lab experiments that high doses of the natural compound resveratrol improved physical performance, heart function and muscle strength in lab models.  [Emphasis mine]

Now, if you’re a knee-jerker, you’re thinking wine must have “high doses” of resveratrol.  Oh, no.  Don’t be silly.  Not in the amounts you’d need to make a difference in one stupid glass of wine.  This is from the next paragraph:

We immediately saw the potential for this and thought that we identified ‘improved exercise performance in a pill.

Get it?  A pill.  They’re talking about one of those saw palmetto pills where they take the equivalent of 45 trees and cram that into a tiny pill.

Now, because I’m a thorough fellow, let’s not stop there.  Let’s go the University of Alberta’s website to see what Dr. Jason Dyck thinks about the notion that a glass of wine is the equivalent of, or better than an hour at the gym, as reported…

Red wine is no excuse not to hit the gym, period. The study, which was published in the Journal of Physiology and later appeared in Science Daily in 2012, demonstrated that a natural compound, resveratrol, which is found in some fruits, nuts (and yes, in red wine), enhances exercise training and performance. The study does not advocate avoiding exercise; instead, Dyck says, “I think resveratrol could help patient populations who want to exercise but who are physically incapable. Resveratrol could mimic exercise for them or improve the benefits of the modest amount of exercise that they can do.”

Principal investigator Jason Dyck and his team found in lab experiments that high doses of the natural compound resveratrol improved physical performance, heart function and muscle strength in lab models [rats – they did the study on rats].

The point, ladies and gentlemen, is that many people walked away from the reports that a glass of wine is as good as, or even better that an hour at the gym.  They’re walking around out there and they just know that a glass of wine is just as good as an hour at the gym because they heard it (or read it) in the news, and they’re completely and entirely wrong.  If this were the case, my uncle Guido* wouldn’t have weighed 250 pounds…

Let’s go one step further even, just for fun.  I wonder just how much resveratrol one needs to have a decent impact on one’s life – and better yet, how much is in a glass of wine!  Ooh, this should be fun.  It’s also going to get bumpy.  Now, one thing I should state here, in the event you missed it:  I think you’d have to be one hell of a fool to honestly believe that a glass of red wine gives one the same benefit as going to the gym for an hour, so I didn’t bother trying to discredit what I found because the original notion itself is so silly to begin with.  That said, according to one report I found a liter of wine contains 12.6 mg of resveratrol.  Let’s figure a large glass has 1/4 of that:  3.15-ish mg.  You have one school that says the daily dose in a human would have to top 500 mg (again, remember my saw palmetto pill reference at the beginning of the post?).  I’ll give you a second to do the math if you haven’t already said, “oh, poop”…  There’s another camp that says that’s too high though, they suggest as much as ten times too high.  They suggest 1.74 mg per kg per day should be sufficient.  Let’s see, for me, I’m 77 kg…  Folks, that’s 134 mg or a little more than 38 glasses of wine a day – you’d end up a full-blown drunk inside six months, drinking like that… I doubt genetics wouldn’t even matter after that level of drunkenness.  Oh, and one final little tidbit to gnaw on…  Resveratrol is found in grape seeds and skin.  This is why red wine works and white doesn’t (the skins play a bigger part in the manufacture of reds)…  I don’t need to write another word about this, do I?  Dude, just eat the grapes…  You’ll actually be eating the skins, where all of the good stuff is.

Let’s stick with wine for a few more seconds though, just to prove how off the reporting on this really is.  Basically, you’re looking at 11 bottles of red wine a day, if we go with the low side figure**, to get your 1 hour workout.  Okay, 125 calories in five ounces, times 5 because a bottle is 25.4 ounces, times 11 bottles (and one mean hangover):  That’s 6,875 calories, give or take.  To get your one hour in the gym’s worth of resveratrol, you would have to lift weights 27-1/2 hours a day to burn all of the calories that you consumed drinking that wine.  But remember, it’s all about moderation.  For those who initially believed the reports, that a glass of wine is worth an hour in the gym, there are only 24 hours in a day.

Now, if you’re a thinking person, you know where this goes next.  This is just a stupid filler piece on a glass of red wine!  Sadly, this shoddy reporting is quite widespread, worldwide and about much larger issues than a ridiculous glass of red wine.

* I don’t actually have an Uncle Guido, I changed his name for this post, but I do have a veritable plethora of Italian Uncles and they all drink red wine and they are all overweight.

** I went with the low-end figure because if we went with the high-end, the amounts used in the actual study, you’re looking at more than 100 bottles of wine a day, and that’s stupid on a whole new level.

Oh, by the way, yes.  I do know it should be annals of idiocy.  That wasn’t a mistake.

UPDATE:  My goodness, I forgot the why!  If you’re wondering why something so wrong can be disseminated as fact, sadly I don’t have a good answer for you.  Truly, how could something so wrong be written and uttered on TV?  Ignorance is bliss.  I would love to meet the idiot who passed the tidbit to the info-babe who read it on the air.  It’s truly astounding, at least to me, that someone in a real news organization could read something so off the wall and not come to the natural conclusion, that the notion a person could drink some wine and have that be as good as an hour in the gym, is more than a little fishy…  It’s simply disturbing.

 

New Study Shows Eating Lettuce is Three TIMES Worse for the Environment than Eating Bacon.

As often happens with the hippification of science, a new way of looking at the actual impact on the environment, per calorie, claims a vegetarian diet is worse for the environment than chicken or pork.

This new information is bound to ruffle the feathers of many flat-earth foodies, which makes it all the more enjoyable for me to share with you.

I once belonged to a Unitarian Church that was ministered by a fine pastor.  He remarried my wife and I in an amazingly beautiful and short ceremony.  Shortly after his retirement we (I was on the board, so when I say “we”, I mean we) brought in a new minister from California who had familial ties to some of the elders in the congregation.

She transformed the church from a God-centric place of worship to a church of Liberal orthodoxy.  The topic of her first Father’s Day sermon centered on, and I’m not joking here, how fathers should refrain from physically beating their children.  It was a downhill spiral to a crash and burn from there.

The minister booted my wife, who had devoted her church time to the children’s Sunday school and brought in a new woman to minister to our children.  The way this was done absolutely broke my wife’s heart.  The new children’s church minister had pink, green and blue hair, wore low cut tank shirts that highlighted the tattoos adorning her breasts and to top that, she was a dolt.  Of course, I was some form of bigot for protesting.

One of the final sermons I listened to before leaving the church centered on the environment and how we should do well to build a compost pile in our back yard.  Ah, the joys of letting stuff decompose in our back yard.  I digress… 

Somehow the compost pile became a cause du jour for the environmental hippies and is thought of as “better” for the environment that sending the refuse to a landfill.  The reality of that nonsense is really quite humorous.  See, landfills burn the methane given off during decomposition, often to produce electricity.  We all know methane is known to be a greenhouse gas, and burning methane is about 90% better for the environment than allowing it to escape.  So how could building one’s own personal methane factory in their back yard be good for the environment?

Simply put, it isn’t.  The environmental movement has little to do with rational thought though.  It’s more about feel.

It appears to be vegetarianism and it’s angry sister, veganism may fall under the same umbrella.  I can assure you, my friends, this will be a topic I study with great joy in my heart.

Please pass the bacon, for the environment.

The Best, Muckiest, Awesomest Way I Know to Spend a Sunday Morning…

Once a cyclist accepts that they, along with their bike, will be covered head to toe, stem to stern in mud, if we’re in the proper frame of mind, the mess ceases to matter and getting gnarly becomes a game.

Add to that proper frame of mind several friends and it can get downright sloppy in a hurry.

Add to that, the fact that all of the cyclists in attendance are roadies mountain bikes on muddy roads, and it becomes comical.

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The weather, other than the ridiculous amount of water on the roads, was perfect.  I wore an ultra-thin pair of tights just to keep the mud off my legs.  Upper body was just a thin tech base layer and a lightweight long-sleeved jersey.  No foot covers needed.  It was almost sixty and overcast when we left.

Saturday the roads were a little wet.  Not bad but not all that good either.  Yesterday was all mud all of the time… and Adam and Diane were on their mountain bike tandem.  Funny thing about tandems…  1-2/3 the weight of a normal bike, the wind resistance of one bike, and two sets of legs.

Adam and Diane absolutely hammered us into the substantial wind.  So, being roadies, what do we do when we’ve got a superior wheel that we’re struggling to hang with?

We draft.  Drafting on wet paved roads sucks.  Drafting on wet dirt roads is comical.

All we have to do is make sure we don’t take the spray in the chain and drivetrain…

So we stacked up behind Diane and Adam and got dirty.  And we laughed.

It is said that the average person eats, accidentally, 1 pound of dirt in their lifetime.  Give or take.  A muddy ride on a dirt road will feel like you ate half of that in ten miles.  We went 27.

Truthfully, once I made peace with the fact that it would take an extra ten minutes to clean my bike, my usual cycling smile returned to my face.  And my dirt consumption doubled.  Year over year, I’d have to estimate after yesterday that my dirt consumption is up around 482% because the nastier I got, the bigger my smile got.

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This is what I’m dealing with today:

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Coming up tomorrow, how to clean a seriously pooched mountain bike.

I ended up the week with an exceptional (at least for me and in December) 153 miles.  While many of those miles occurred on the trainer, more than half were on the road and for the middle of December, that’s simply awesome.  Alas, this too shall pass.  Next week we’re looking at a serious cool down and a return to normal temperatures.  Sure was fun while it lasted though.

The cure for everything that sucks.  Including chicken legs. An Addendum

Yesterday’s 24 mile ride was just shy of exactly what the doctor ordered…  Well, if a doctor had ordered a bike ride, anyway.  Actually, Dra. Martha Castro would have ordered that, without doubt.  I can call that good.

That said, by the time we hit the home stretch, with a glorious tailwind, I was absolutely bummed that we were done.  24 miles is sweet, don’t get me wrong, but even in December, I like a bit longer.

Mrs. Bgddy got home from her board meeting shortly after 1 and asked if I wanted to ride.  Perfect!

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I opted for the Trek over the Venge.  After all, I really do like riding that bike and surely wouldn’t be too big a disadvantage, riding with my wife…

She kicked my ass in a few sections of that ride.  We ended up pulling in almost a half-mile an hour faster than my ride with Mike just five hours earlier, and on the Trek.

Now a bit of commentary. It is often said that it’s all about the engine, that the bike isn’t all that important. This sounds awesome and tough but it is absolutely not true. This isn’t to say one can’t make up the difference with a little more want to but I was darn near hurling on my top tube trying to keep up with my wife, while my earlier ride on the Venge was easy and fun.

First, the frame isn’t all that big a deal. The wheels on the other hand, an entirely different story. Components aren’t all that big a deal, but they’re not nothing either.

Now, fair enough, it was my second ride of the day so I may have been a little tired but facts is facts folks, my wife was on her good bike and I was on my rain bike and I had stretches where I had no choice but take her draft to keep up…

On another note, I won’t lie. It was kinda sexy struggling a little bit to keep up. My wife is getting good, whether she knows it or not.

It was 40 miles for the day. And that was even better.

Today, it’s sloppy outside so we’re on the mountain bikes.

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Pick your medicine, they all work the same. Some just work faster than others depending on personal preference. If, however, you find two-wheeled medication doesn’t suit you, rinse and repeat until such a time as it does. It’s you, not the bike.

It also might help to think more like a kid and less like an old stick in the mud. Thinking younger won’t hurt you. I promise.

My Cure For: Anger, Depression, Being Overweight, Writer’s Block, Politics, Stinkin’ Thinkin’ in General… and Chicken Legs.

I had a meeting this morning and I did some good.  I helped people and it was good.  I came home and gave my wife a kiss and sat down to write a post while my wife got ready for a finance meeting (she’s the chairman of the board for a major treatment center).  I’ve got politics on the brain and with that usually comes a fair bit of angst.  I hate what has become a 24/7/365 political campaign.  One thing Canada does get right, or hey, the UK for that matter, is their political season.  From the reports I’ve read, it lasts a few months.  We’re going on a year and we still have 11 months to go.  It’s flippin’ ridiculous – but it does benefit the politicians.  With everyone angry, it’s easier to take more power and siphon away our freedom.  You’d never want to let a crisis go to waste, right Rahm?  Hey, how’s that going for you by the way?  I digress…

I was stumped.  Politics is great, but it’s mostly bullshit and deception.  And no matter what you believe, you’re probably going to piss at least 40% of the population off…  Unless you don’t really say anything, just regurgitate a bunch of pap.

Then my buddy Mike called.  He wanted to ride and with my wife indisposed (and me working from home today, with a fairly easy schedule), all it took was a look outside at the sunshine.  He and I would be joined by Diane but I had to get ready pretty quick.

I was ready and out the door with two minutes to spare.  It was sunny but fairly windy.  I like sunny, windy not so much.  And, as if I’d won two-thirds of the lotto, it wasn’t freezing.  Not even close actually.  It was, dare I say, nice.  I rolled out, heading toward Mike’s house to meet them.  Spinning an extra easy 18 mph with the wind at my back and to the right I had a smile on my face.  Half a mile down the road I saw Mike, by himself.  Turned out Diane had something come up for work and had to skip the ride.  It was just Mike and I.  I turned around when traffic clear and took up a spot behind him and to the right.  Within 30 feet I knew the first half of the ride was going to be ugly.  On the other hand, and I am so absolutely grateful for this, my buddy Mike are on exactly the same page:  “Dude, who cares?  It’s December 11th and we’re riding outside, on the good bikes.  Who cares if we’re not 20 mph into a ridiculous headwind?”  We kept it between 15 and 16, just spinning easy and catching up on the going’s on of our small cycling world.  New pedals and cleats, new bibs and bikes…  You know, all of that earthly stuff that makes work worth the effort.

We pushed on, having a grand old time cruising into the unrelenting wind.  Not too warm, not too cold.  Just a couple of guys rolling down the road with no cares in the world other than that huge s#!+ hauler coming towards us in the other lane…  The one that almost blew us off the other side of the road (honest to God, I got hit with such a wall of wind it actually took my breath away – we dropped 3 mph instantly).  We were a little more than twelve miles out when we decided to turn around.  We went from 15 mph to 22, with less effort.

The hard work done, it was time for the good part.

We blew down the road, a construction crew looked up and waved as we rolled past them at 24 mph.  The rest of the ride was a wonderful blur of easy speed and awesomeness.  It was slow, only a 17 mph average when we were done, but it was good.  All of a sudden, everything is back in perspective and I’m okay with it.

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The cure for everything that sucks.  Including chicken legs.

 

How I Watch My Weight at the Office, and Save $7.00 a Day Doing It. And a Bonus: Exposing the Wrap.

I’m a big fan of Subway this year (though their ex-spokesman needs to meet the business end of a baseball bat, repeatedly).  Normally, by now, I’m packing on the holiday season pounds, using another hole in my belt and wondering how long it’s going to take to drop the weight come spring time.  Not this year.  This year I’ve been eating my lunch at Subway, quite religiously.  Now, because I’m such an active fella, that six-inch sub is for the birds, I go with the full 12.  That’s 840 calories, plus 240 for a PowerAde, plus a couple of hundred for some chips…  Call it 1,100.  My daily allowance is around 2,800.  I have an apple and a banana for breakfast, so that’s another 200 calories.  So far, that’s 1,300 for the day and that leaves 1,500 for dinner.

In the past, my lunch was a lot less, um… responsible.  I would consume upwards of 1,700 calories for lunch so by the time I got to dinner, I’d either have to eat light (which I never did) or suffer the consequences.  400 calories a day adds up after a while (that’s a pound every eight or nine days – figure 15 weeks for winter, and you’re looking at 12-15 extra pounds to come off).

So anyway, I’m all Subway Italian BMT all of the time.  I love ’em, but the meal (with the drink) costs $10.  A month ago (or so), I had my wife pick up all of the ingredients at the grocery store.  American cheese (white), ham, salami, pepperoni, spinach, green peppers, cucumbers and a few jalapeno for a little flavor.  Then, some real mayonnaise and I’m set.  I can build my own sub for about $3.  It was missing something though.  My subs are cold while the Subway version is nicely toasted.

So I picked up a toaster oven at the local appliance store.  $30.  I’ll have that paid off in savings in a little more than a week by my math.  Better still, my subs aren’t 12 inches anymore, closer to eight, and I’m drinking water instead of PowerAde – and I’m completely skipping the chips.  So now, I’m at closer to 800 calories for lunch instead of 1,300 – and this makes sense, in the middle of eating season.  But let’s not stop there…  While we’re at it, let’s really look at what’s in my sub…  A simple Google search will turn up the calories in virtually anything:

3 slices of salami at 41 calories each.
2 slices of Black Forest Ham at 60 calories each.
1-1/2 slices of white American cheese at 110 calories each.
1 Aunt Millie’s Super Sub Bun:  220 calories
4 slices cucumber, green pepper, lettuce and jalapeño peppers:  100 calories
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise at 94 calories each.

822 calories (man, they sure do add up in a hurry!).  Now, I think when we lay everything out like this, it becomes clear why weight comes off when we drop the bread, right?  Simply stated, bread can be looked at as wasted calories.  Not by me, of course, but by some.  That said, I decided to look into the calories in a flour tortilla… maybe turn that sub into a wrap and save some calories, right?  A large tortilla has more than double the calories of the sub bun.  467…  So, if you’re looking to save calories, maybe stick with a sub bun over a wrap.  This is one of those things that just doesn’t seem right, I mean how could a whole, entire sub bun be half the calories of a tortilla wrap?  I know what’s coming next, too.  “Well I eat the spinach wraps, so I save a bunch of calories there!  Wrong.  You save about 48 calories over the flour version, that’s it.  But hey, if you feel better, that’s what really important.

Finally, what’s important to me is that I get to eat well, all the while avoiding having to stuff my chubby ass into my Lycra shorts come springtime.  For that, I am grateful.