31 July 2008

Changing For The Better

I wanted to take a minute to talk a bit about what I've been doing to try to better myself physically and mentally. Those of you who read this pretty regularly know that Bluenoser and I have been sort of battling it out in a challenge based on the book The Lean Look. The premise of the book is to try to make people understand that they do not want to be thin, they want to be lean. The thing about being thin is this, it just means that you have little fat, usually. The problem with this is that while someone might look thin, they may have no real level of fitness, no lean muscle. That, my friends, in the most layman term of explanation I could possibly give for the book. What it does is it breaks up your training into three phases of twelve weeks. That's not to say you do it for twelve weeks and POOF! your done. The twelve weeks is the initial stages. It emphasizes not only exercise, broken up into cardio and strength training intervals, but also eating properly. That means eating right, not starvation or ridiculous diets. It pushes vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and so on. It's a bit of a lifestyle change, but in my mind it is well worth it.
On top of this, I have been getting a lot more exercise in general. I've been going above and beyond, really, and liking it. Instead of doing strength workouts and stopping I've been adding one hundred sit-ups on top of my workouts. When riding intervals for my cardio I've been adding about an hour long ride after my intervals, AND coming back in to do one hundred sit-ups. It hurts like hell sometimes, but I totally love the pain right now.
Doing this has also, sort of, forced me to eat better. I mean, if I'm going to break my butt everyday I'm going to do it for positive change, not just to break even in my fitness. I'm going to eat foods that will aid me in my leaning process and help me to have energy to do the work I need to build power and, in turn, build muscle. I've cut the crap out, and got crap for it. I wound up damn near in an argument with someone at work over why I wouldn't go for wings. I tried to explain even cutting from twelve to six is still bad. They're the fattiest part of the chicken, deep fried in fat, covered in a sauce based in fat served with carbs deep fried in fat. While part of it is cutting back, it's also cutting crap!
Finally, I was having back and leg pain. Being really into the idea of holistic solutions to health problems when able and when appropriate I have also started going to a Chiropractor regularly. If you are in the Lake County Ohio area, may I suggest Dr Brian Morris DC. He and his wife have a practice on the Painesville Township/Mentor border on Mentor Avenue. I've been going since just before the start of the challenge with Bluenoser, and I have to say I'm already noticing a difference. The leg pain I was getting pain in the Vaste Externe region of my legs (the muscle on the outer side of the leg right above the knee). I have not had the pain since I've been getting adjusted. Likewise, my breathing has improved to the point where I have not needed my inhaler. Mind you, I'm only trying to say that I have made a myriad of positive changes and, like anything else, positive change results in positive experiences.
So, without boring you further, the moral of the story, kids, is this: Nothing in life comes easy. Often, in fact, that which is worth anything is a fight to the finish to get. Finally, there was an amazing lecture given by an amazing man by the Name of Randy Pausch. Randy was an amazing man who recently went home to be his All Mighty Father after a bout with Pancreatic cancer. He is inspiring, I encourage you to look into his moving lecture. Randy was quoted as saying something that stuck me so profoundly, and it tied in so well to trying to better yourself as an athlete as well as a person. He said "The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people." Think about that the next time you "hit the wall" on a ride.

30 July 2008

Weekly Roundup July 30

The Lean Look challenge is seemingly turning out to be a success, so far. I have to say, I’m quite happy how I feel, more great days than not, sometimes sore, sometimes like someone beat the hell out of me but always good. Bluenoser is also doing well, he broke 190! Way to go BN. Not much else to report, so with that my dear friends, I give you… The Weekly Roundup!

Bluenoser: Well, Bluenoser is the logical start again, and what better way than to start with his Tale Of The Tape Two. That’s right, Bluenoser chimes in with his weigh in and measurements. Congrats on that sub 190 weigh, I’m right behind you!

Let’s Rock…: Yeahdog chares her recent discovery of an article about Trail Lust. A trail along the Lake Superior shoreline called Superior Hiking Trail. This just leads me to two questions: 1) How close is it to ChrisMac, and 2) can you take a mountain bike on the bad boy? Guess I’ll have to read more to find out.

Cozy Beehive: This week Ron took on the daunting task of being Tagged With Additional Questions. He had some great answers to the questions posed by The Fat Cyclist, but the favorite that stuck out in my mind? The geek in me loved “I respect (Colnagos) name, their ISO…” That’s right folks, one of his favorite parts of Colnago is their ISO. Nice!

Fat Cyclist: I’m going to end this quickly with a question posed by Fatty. Simply, Why Do You Climb? He talks about his cycling, what drives him, and why he abuses himself the way he does. The blog culminates in an answer to his question, and in a profound way. Good luck figuring out what to do about Leadville, here’s hoping the shoulder is 100% for you Fatty!

So stop reading until tomorrow and get out and go for a ride, OK? As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

29 July 2008

Mountain Bike Observations: Why Mountain Bikes Suck! *And The Weekly Lean Look Update

God Bless long titles! They make anyone who might want to Digg this really have to work for it! OK, so I'll start with the Lean Look Challenge weight info, followed by why mountain bikes suck. I knew it wouldn't be pretty after the Saturday night beers and burgers at the loge at the ball game. I told myself I would allow for a slight slip on Saturday, but I'm afraid my slip was like falling down a full flight of stairs. Last week was 193.8, this week might have been sub 190 had I not partaken of the Saturday evening feast. Friday I was at 190.8 and I was psyched! I don't follow over the weekend so come Monday I was sickened by a dead even 192. The only saving grace is in the measurement process I noticed something. Apparently all of the hard work IS actually working! Measurements came out to 16" Neck, 37" Waist for a 21% Body Fat! So my body fat measurements have gone from 25%, to 23%, to 21%, so I guess that's cool, right?
Enough of that,now: mountain bikes suck! Yeah, you heard me right, mountain bikes suck! Why do I say that you ask? I'm glad you did, I'll tell you. So I was riding with Kyle Friday, I think I mentioned that yesterday, and we were riding trails in the Metro Parks. We had just come back from riding some roads, and were tooling around trails when I almost went over the top of my bars. This is where you, once again, ask "why?" and once again I'm happy to oblige with an answer. However, I'll first give you a hint as to why and let you try to guess. OK? Good, I was not trying to stop, no? OK, Nor was I going down a particularly steep hill. Give up? The headset on the bike had rattled loose and the thrusted forward with me leaning forward on them, causing my to bottom out my chest on them. Yeah, Lesson 836b: Apparently it's ALWAYS a good idea to check all bolts and screws before you ride. Did I mention I never got the manual with a bike and being a guy NEVER check thing like bolts and screws. Needles to say, it hurt and I felt like a jackass! Second time riding with kyle, first time I go over and become wrapped in the bike while virtually at a complete stop, and now this. The super cool part about this was I saw a Park Ranger truck at the trail head with a bike rack, and the rack was open sans bike, also I he passed a while back when when I stopped for Kyle on a hill, so I knew he couldn't be too far ahead. He was riding a cool Fuji Police Issue bike, for the record, and it was pretty slick. So, for the record, if anyone knows the Lake Metropark Officer who is Badge 22, tell him thanks for having the allen key in his kit Friday night! Tightened the bad boy up just in time for it to be too dark to continue any serious riding and left for the night. Oh well, at least I got back to the car OK, and I guessed I learned a valuable lesson, right? I wonder what else is loose?!
Well that's about it for now, until tomorrow!

28 July 2008

The Reason I LOVE Vanity Plates

OK, business first. The Lean Look Challenge status. Since I am doing measuring and weighing Monday mornings, The weight and measurements for the Lean Look challenge with Bluenoser will be updated on Tuesday.
Incase you live in a box (Tour de France spoiler) Carlos Sastrewon the tour by 58 seconds over (whom I said would win) Cadel Evans, and Bernhard Kohl came in 1:13 behind Cadel in third. This caused me to BOMB my Versus/Kenda fantasy standings and I wound up at a useless 7357. Suck! I guess they had, like, 20,000 plus people so it certainly could be worse.
Now for our feature presentation.
Friday night I was bombing through the streets on the mountain bike. I was out with my buddy riding some park trails and decided to ride into Willoughby to stop at Spin, if only I had remembered that they are closed on Friday. Anyway, as I'm crossing a main five lane four-way intersection. So I was about dead center of the four-way when I heard an engine, started to turn to look behind me, and before I could was grazed by a rearview mirror. I yelled at the woman, "Hey!", to which she looked in her mirror and popped me off. This pissed me off, to say the least. I quickly dropped Kyle, who I was riding with, and took chase after the tan Toyota. I kept on top of her pretty well. As I was coming down the road a woman saw a car pass and cut me off into the opposite lane. Must've been stupid old lady night or something. Anyway, she got into a parking lot and I dropped it and went back for Kyle. The cool thing about it was that she had a vanity plate, DORT W. I sat there in front of Spin gawking at a gaggle of bikes, pride of bikes, a LOT of bikes. I got sad thinking how much I want to sell my Allez and get the 2009 Allez. It's sweet looking, I'll try to get a picture and post it. Digressing. So I sat in front of the shop mad as hell and debating calling the cops on her knowing that her car was in a funeral home parking lot and that she was inside the funeral home. I didn't have the heart to do it though.
Saturday was pretty useless in the training sense. I knew I wouldn't get to do anything cycling or workout related due to parties and a ball game at night. In the beloved words of the great philosopher Dave Matthews, "I eat too much, I drink too much, I want too much, too much." Yeah, so I had ball park food, and a few beers (in fairness it was Miller Lite, so I'm using the term beer VERY lightly). So, I'm not looking forward to the Monday morning weigh and measure. Although, Sunday was good and I got my core workout stuff accomplished for the Lean Look Challenge. We'll have to see what happens with the weighing and measurements to see if that had an effect. So, until tomorrow...

25 July 2008

Sourcing A Bran Muffin

Son of a... Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a bran muffin?! Seriously. It's like I was asking for the Arc of the Covenant. The full story goes a bit like this:
So as you know if you read this, Bluenoser and I are keeping one another honest on the Lean Look program. We're both trying like hell to lose some weight, and both doing extremely well I must say. One of the breakfast choices is a bran muffin, this is where I admit I am one of those sick freaks that loves bran muffins. With all of that said I set out to find myself a bran muffin, without having to go on an hour drive to Trader Joe's or Whole Paycheck Market just to get a bran muffin. So I gave myself fifteen minutes to find this and still get to work when I wanted to at 8:00. I never hit the door until about 8:20. That's right folks, about thirty-five minutes trying to find a muffin. Thirty-five minutes, and that was just Monday! Did about twenty more on Wednesday, and still no muffin. I actually went so far as to try the following:
Panera, Arabica Coffee House, Seekers Coffee House, Dunkin' Donuts, three grocers, Starbucks, and Great Harvest Bread Company. That's right, out of ten places I couldn't find one freakin' bran muffin. I did, however, find a tiny local bakery... Not local to me, however. Could this ever end!? The answer is yes. One of the girls that I work with, our administrative Goddess (The office would likely collapse without her there, and she keeps me grounded often when I get in those moods. You know the mood where you feel as though you want to draw blood from someone?), lives near said bakery. They don't actually HAVE bran muffins, but the baker makes an awesome bran muffin and was willing to make a batch for me on an order basis. So, the bottom line is Wednesday I was able to order four bran muffins from them, yesterday they got the stuff in to make them, and this morning it's bran muffin time! Wow! I can't wait to get in and grab one of those babies! As Elaine would say, "Top of the muffin to ya!"
OK, as far as the Lean Look update. Had to swap the Wednesday ride due to severe thunderstorms. Did the core workout Wednesday and rode Thursday. Thursday was a cold one, and the arthritis in the knees felt it. I couldn't get my legs to work right. They were great while it was warm, but the intervals killed me. Can't wait for it to get back out of the sixties and back into the eighties, I guess I got used to riding in the heat. While I don't know exact measurements, as I am staying strict to just measuring on Monday mornings. I don't want to become crazy obsessed over this. But, I do measure every morning, same time, same way. Today's weigh was 190.8. Incase you're Bluenoser, or if you just care, that's weight loss on ten of eleven days of the weight loss challenge. The only day I was up was one pound on Saturday. Well, that's that for now. Have a great weekend, I'm off to try to make some money, cut out early and ride. Here's hoping you have good riding this weekend.

24 July 2008

I Do This For I Know Not The Power That Fatty Has

I decided to go at the tagging that Elden posted over at his blog FatCyclist. I have decide to do this for a myriad of reasons, all of which I will briefly explain. First, I am horribly afraid of getting leprosy. I realize no one has got leprosy in, virtually, forever but you never know. Second, and related to the first, I do not know Elden personally, and thus do not know what powers he has. Third, I am a bit lazy and very much into the idea of “phoning it in” today. I have had, what I would consider, a sub par day so this is the way to half-ass my way through the rest of it. Fourth, and final is this. I really dug a couple of the questions, and wanted to answer them.

If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be? 
I honestly don’t know. I think I would want a Serotta. One of the riding buddies, previously mentioned in post form, has a Serotta and raves about it. I had the opportunity to ride a Ti Serotta with full carbon, and SRAM (Red, I think?! Might not have been red… don’t know). Anyway, It felt great! I think that would be it.

Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you’re not working toward getting it, why not? 
OK… No, N/A, I guess? I am no where near ready for a bike of this caliber. I’m just being honest in saying that. I’m getting better, faster, and more consistent everyday. Eventually a dream bike may be in my garage.

If you had to choose one — and only one — bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why? 
I couldn’t and wouldn’t. I’m sure I must have adult ADD and there is no way I could do one route forever without one day taking the bike in front of a bus.

What kind of sick person would force another person to ride one and only one bike ride to do for the rest of her / his life? 
Apparently Elden Nelson. www.fatcyclist.com ?!

Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrowminded? 
I ride both because, again, I’m sure I must have adult ADD. Too much of the same thing makes me bored and tired. OOH! Did I share the story about my bike and…

Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent.
 I think that hell is hot, humid and you are forced to ride recumbents.

Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss? 
I have answered this before. I believe the only reason to run is to elude somebody with a knife who is chasing you.

Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why? 
I will take this opportunity to pilfer Eldens answer, and he will like it. Or he won’t, but I’m still going to do it. I would claim to give up ice cream, but would sneak it when nobody was around.

What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not? Also, answer it.
 What is one of your most achievable cycling goals? Right now, for me, to ride a century. I need to get past my doubt, I’m getting there…

You’re riding your bike in the wilderness (if you’re a roadie, you’re on a road, but otherwise the surroundings are quite wilderness-like) and you see a bear. The bear sees you. What do you do?
 I would Pray, and a lot, and really quick. I would then pray some more, likely I would then try to outrun the bear to no avail and be mauled to death.

Now, tag three biking bloggers. List them below. I am guessing you guys will risk leprosy if you don't answer. Also I want ideas of good rides from John.

23 July 2008

Weekly Roundup July 23

The Lean Look challenge keeps chugging along. I have to say, I’m quite happy how I feel so far. Sometimes I feel great, sometimes sore, sometimes like someone beat me with a bat! But always good. Bluenoser seems to be doing well also. Not much else to report, so with that my dear friends, I give you… The Weekly Roundup!

Bluenoser: I’m starting with BN once again this week because he and I are in a friendly battle for fitness. He also is Catching Up on his road race, Al’s Road Race, with coverage that shames Bobke. Also make sure you check out more recent posts to keep up on our fitness challenge.

Cozy Beehive: Just because I’m still gah over engineering, Ron shares a quick explanation of the Progression Of Steel Bikes. Comparing the steel of the vintage `72 Schwinn Paramount to the Waterford made three decades later. Honestly, Ron, I can’t get enough of this stuff.

Bike Munky: I just really enjoyed reading about Munky and his missus riding some Mountains, Real Mountains. Looks like it was a great time, complete with gorgeous pictures. By the way, Munky, helmet strap chins don’t count as chins…

Fat Cyclist: Fatty has a “million dollar idea”, none other than The Bike Limiter. I have to say, I could totally use one of these. I’m that guy who is all about doing things when I shouldn’t because even though I was told not to I know better. Kudos Fatty. If you figure it out, I’ll take three.

Harp Rider: Finally congrats to Harp who, once again, gained another sponsor, Honey Stinger. He got his fair share of Honey & Gear. I feel like I have to try this stuff. He’s been raving about it. Congratulations Brandon!

Well for now, try not to get too caught up in the dope fest that is Tour yet again this year, I’ve almost forgotten it is on. Get out and go for a ride, OK? As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

22 July 2008

Careful What You Wish: Part II

Back in May, the fourteenth I believe, I wrote an article called Careful What You Wish. It was about how I feel as though I ride superbly when I'm totally honked off. This is a bit different.
Lately I've been thinking to myself; "Hmmm, you know what? It would be awful nice if the park system would work on the trails a bit. I can't because they'd arrest my (butt), but they allow MTB riding so I shouldn't complain. I really do wish they would work on the trails though." The trails were getting pretty rutted and gnarly, as they are multipurpose. People walk, bike, and ride equine on them. I have a sneaking suspicion that the horses may have something to do with it. Yeah... they "worked on the trails." Read that as they dropped a metric sh__-ton of sand on them, and leveled it with a bulldozer. The problem was twofold.
First off: It's sand. Sand sucks. Sand is wicked difficult to ride on. You really can't turn, on account your tire digs in and gets burried.
Second: Sand is messy as hell. My bottles were COVERED with fine grains of sand after getting through with the extremely short amount of trail I made it through. I had to find a public bathroom in the area to wash my bottles off before I drank. Yeah, it was that bad and I'm that much of a prima-donna. Problem?
So, I went back today figuring it might be better after a week, a few good rains, and some time to pack down. It was like a giant wet sandbox with HUGE erosion problems. I guess this means it's time to find new trails. Definitely won't be so close though.
As far as the weight loss goes. One week into the thing here we go. *eat your heart out Bluenoser ;-)
193.8 pounds (down 4.5-damn those two beers on Sat)
15 neck (down an inch)
37 waist (down two inches)
23% Body Fat (down 2%)

21 July 2008

Strength And Fitness

I haven't weighed or measured yet, as it is actually Sunday evening and I am writing for Monday morning. I will try to update during the day Monday but I cannot promise. Feel free to read that as you're likely to not see the update until Tuesday, but it might just happen. I can say that the last time I weighed myself way Friday morning and I was 192.8 and down two inches in the waist and one in the neck measurement, so we'll see if I maintained it over the weekend. I did fall into the "two beers" trap on Saturday night after getting caught up in an unexpected, yet unbelievably cool, party. It was a crazy good time and some crazy gourmet food, of which I couldn't bring myself to enjoy. I totally didn't want to blow it. I did, however, have two Sierra Nevada brews, I just couldn't pass 'em up. Hey, the have jerseys so that makes it OK, right? I'm trying to support a company that is into cyclists? Regardless, it was a ton of fun.
Friday I got out on the bike and pounded out the interval like nothing, and got a bonus ride in on top of it. I just took my time, about fifteen MPH tooling around the hills. It was awesome! Was about 90ºf outside, and, like, 80% humidity but it was a great time. Enjoyed a gorgeous sunset, saw a deer, a black rat snake, and lots of great winding hilly country road. There was a bonus 35MPH hill, admittedly I rode the breaks a bit as it is a very tight road and fairly busy, but the breeze I got from it was a welcome cooling. I managed a quarter mile two hundred foot, or so, climb without blinking. I know it's not much, but it's the first time I haven't felt like my lungs or legs were going to give out so I felt giddy like a school girl. The excitement comes from the fact that I finally feel as though I am noticing improvement in my fitness, strength, and endurance. My overall riding is just totally different from where I was last year. Heck there's a noticeable change from where I was about 6 weeks ago. If I could keep up like this, I think I'd likely try a century early next summer, just so I could say I did it. Who knows, maybe I'll have my first race at 35 in 2010, wouldn't that be interesting.
Anyway, I'll have more tomorrow. Meanwhile check out Bluenoser too, and see what he's up to in our little fitness challenge. He sort of called me out over the weekend, but that's OK. I'll get him back (wink, nudge). Talk to you again tomorrow.

18 July 2008

Feeling Good, No Riding Today

OK, so as to not get Bluenoser all in a huff I'll explain right after I say: I didn't get the ride in today. With that said, I instead did a second day of the core workout instead. I just know that I'm never going to get rides in on Tuesday and Thursday because of my schedule, and I know I can Monday, Wednesday, and Friday... SO, I switched up the schedule. Bluenoser might just be in trouble, too! I started Monday at 198.3 and was really pissed by that. Tuesday I weighed at 197.2, Wednesday 195.2, Thursday 193.8, finally today 192.8 for a total loss of 5.5 pounds since Monday, and you know what? I feel great! I really feel as though what I'm putting in my body is just making me feel good, and is giving me energy that I wouldn't ordinarily have. I have to thank my friend to the north for putting me up to this, and keeping on me about it.
Check back in tomorrow, and odds are Ill have something really witty to say. I'll definitely try and get another post up over the weekend for you guys though. For now, get out and get a ride in... I know I will after work!

17 July 2008

Weekly Roundup July 17

I have to apologize for skipping yesterday but since I’ve started The Lean Look that took precedence. My initial thoughts are thus: So far so good! Incase you don’t know, So Far So Good is doing this alongside me, and ironically we are very much at the same point. With that my dear friends, I give you… The Weekly Roundup!

Bluenoser: I’m starting with BN this week because he and I are in a friendly battle for fitness. 16/07/08 is BN checking in with his stats. You can read my first entry and keep up on our fitness between our two blogs. Bare minimum I will be keeping up my info. I may also post some of Bluenosers if he desires. Good luck my brother from another mother to the north!

Cyclone Cross: Well, I posted about how I Think I Want To Move To Portland, so apparently Gary over at Cyclone Cross felt the urge to call me out and crush my dreams. Apparently there are Problems In Portland, and the grass may not be greener on the other side. It seems as though, by accounts in the news, that not everybody is happy with the boom in cycling.

Travels With A Tin Donkey: I laughed when I checked up on Sprocket Boys blog. Even though it is ten days out now, I thought it funny after doing hill intervals yesterday. Everybody’s Doing It was a perfect read after my hill intervals yesterday. I can’t wait for your next installment, Sprocket Boy, I hope all is well.

Bike Munky: Highway Munky apparently had some pain of his own. According to Munky he had a heck of a ride to work that left him shouting “In So Much Pain Now!”. He had what he had hoped would be a thirty mile ride into work turn into a forty mile ride, which would have been OK if he hadn’t done, what sounded like, a bonk on the way. Glad to hear that you’re OK, and that God was on your side at the busy road. Here’s hoping for a few more gentle rides in the near future.

Fat Cyclist: Finally just as a really quick reminder: you can get your New Fat Cyclist Jerseys: Pre-order This Week ONLY. I have to admit, while I really want one I am afraid to order one with my whole weight loss and such. Don’t let that stop you from getting yours!

Well for now, try not to get too caught up in the Tour yet again this week, I’ve been kind of careless at keeping up with it. Get out and go for a ride, OK? As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

15 July 2008

So Far So Good... I think

Sorry for the delay posting today, crazy day. Add to this, I feel as though someone kicked my ass. There I said it. Between lifting a few days ago and starting the core workout portion of The Lean Look, I feel like someone beat me. I'm actually really into the food I had the last two days, and it's getting better as it's getting healthier. I took the examples from the book and picked and chose.
Yesterday: Breakfast (this was lame) - I grabbed a ClifBar on the way out the door. Lunch - I had a small salad with a a fat-free dressing and a half of a turkey sandwich. Dinner - (questionable but sort of in the book) a taco with beans & rice.
Today: Breakfast - Ditto on the ClifBar (I need to wake earlier to allow for a proper breakfast... Tomorrow). Lunch - a small portion of meatloaf (organic 92/8 beef, homemade) with broccoli. Dinner - A 92/8 burger patty with mushrooms and onions, cucumber salad (made with fat-free sour cream), and a ginormous salad with vinegar, sea salt, pepper, sunflower seeds, and roasted soy nuts.
I think Bluenoser would approve. Also, I am eight ounces down on the scale this morning over Monday Morning. We'll see how it goes. Off for the cardio portion. Ciao for now.
[21:12 update]
First, and most importantly, I DID really sit down at 21:12 to type this. Only after staring at it for a minute did I realize, and then chuckle, at the Rush reference. This is going to make the most sense to Bluenoser, but I urge the rest of you to keep reading. My pain is might be your comedy gold. I usually get on the bike and ride. You know what I mean, right? Pedal, remain consistent, good cadence, try and keep it in the upper teens for an average. What I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, used to is intervals. That said imagine my surprise when I did day one of intervals... and botched it. I was supposed to do this:
5 min: Warm up
30 sec; Pound it
1 min: Active Recovery
30 sec; Pound it
1 min: Active Recovery
30 sec; Pound it
1 min: Active Recovery
30 sec; Pound it
5 min: Cool down
What in fact wound up happening, because I am an idiot and didn't propperly read instructions, was the following:
5 min: Warm up
30 sec; Pound it
1 min: Active Recovery
30 sec; Pound it
1 min: Active Recovery
30 sec; Pound it
1 min: Active Recovery
30 sec; Pound it
1 min: Active Recovery
30 sec; Pound it
1 min: Active Recovery
30 sec; Pound it
5 min: Cool down
20 min: (Or so) just riding around asking myself what in the hell I was thinking. So imagine my surprise when I got home and found out I went over by two reps. I suppose better that, than...
Time to drop a couple of Advil and drink a gallon or so of water.

14 July 2008

Cycling Phun Phake News: Tour de France Doping Scandal Edition

Paris, France
Cycling Phun News Service

The Tour de France is apparently in an atrocious downhill slide of sorts after the chaos that ensued this weekend. As you’ve probably heard already Liquigas rider Manuel Beltran was met by French police, or Le Police for our French readers. A Liquigas Cycling team spokesman released the following statement:

"Manuel Beltran has tested positive once already for EPO and will not continue in the Tour due to this testing, however the rest of the team will continue the race. If he tests positive again, we will ask him where he got the banned substance from, and if he won’t talk we will result to tactics up to, but not including, water boarding to find out the information we desire to find out."

While this news has come as a total shock slightly more shocking news this morning as Tour Director, Christian Prudhomme was seen being escorted from an all-you-can-eat crêpe bar at his French hotel just before the start of this mornings tenth stage. It is still unsure what will happen to the Tour after this unbelievable event, but throughout this amazing glitch this mornings stage has gone off as planned and seemingly without a hitch. A spokesman for the Tour has stated:

“Look, it’s really quite simple. OK, so it’s not really that simple. I mean, it all started with the Landis doping allegations, then one by one they started looking into peoples past. After that they started looking at riders close friends, the friends of close friends, some people who were acquaintances of riders, a few people who had similar names to riders, people who riders may have mentioned by name-whether first or last name, and… OK, I guess it got a bit out of control. But the bottom line is this. Now that Bayer Aspirin is the ONLY legally sanctioned drug by the Tour, there had to be some casualties… some consequences, or so they tell me. If it were up to me I would at least reinstitute the use of Aspercream. Wait, where exactly was I going with that?”

At that point the spokesman left the stage almost in tears.
Stay tuned to Cycling Phun. We will have more details of this as they become available.

11 July 2008

I Think I Want To Move To Portland

So it's reasons like this (which I saw linked on Cyclone Cross) that make me wish I lived in Portland. That and the fact that I'm still extremely "gah" over Sweetpea Bikes That said I am getting used to traffic, and wonder when I'll man up and figure out the perfect way to commute to work. A guaranteed twenty miles per day... For now, enjoy this.

10 July 2008

Weekly Roundup July 10

This week I’ve decided a couple of things. First, I’ve decided I NEED to start reading The Lean Look. Second, I’ve decided I need to get back into some exercising and flexibility work. Finally, I’ve concluded that once you add work and such to these, I need to keep this weeks Roundup short, sweet, to the point, and full of substance. With that my dear friends, I give you… The Weekly Roundup!

Harp Rides: I’m starting with Harp this week because I could appreciate his mood: Foul. The weather has SUCKED here. Inches of rain (plural) in an hour, puddles hanging out for days… It just sucks. On top of the fact it is just not possible to ride in fifteen inches (not a huge exaggeration, either) of rain and lightning, but I swear I have seasonal effective disorder. Brandon, it’s just GOT to get nicer, right?

Bike Munky: Munky returns with his explanation of his daily work ride. He decided he’d try taking the normal work ride and work on Stretching It Out. He upped his work commuter to 23 miles. He updated the distance and thought process, as well as updating his Secret Commute Bike Racing Club standings. I think this kind of thing might just work to guilting me into riding to work.

Fat Cyclist: Finally I want to take a minute to touch base on Fatcyclist. Fatty posted THEE most awesome, and addictive, game EVER in My Assessment After 3 Days Of The Tour: Awesome. Let me assure you, this post has almost NOTHING to do with the tour, and everything to do with his 14-year-old son’s awesome game called “Fat Cyclist’s Rolling Adventure”. It’s excellent, but clear you calendar for the day if you plan to try it. Also, Fatty debuted his new and improved jerseys for 2009! That’s right, the 2009 jersey’s are available to pre-order next week ONLY! The week of July 14 – July 20.. The new jerseys could be seen at Special Dark: 2009 Fat Cyclist Jersey Unveiled, and you can catch all of the details on how, when, where, and why there.

Well for now, try not to get too caught up in the Tour yet again this week, that should be hard. Get out and go for a ride, OK? As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

09 July 2008

I Got To Watch The Tour de France Stage 4 Time Trials

WOW! That's the only word that come to mind, wow! I can't believe how annoyed I can be by Bob Roll. I know I sound like I'm just bitching about Bob Roll, but seriously. I've also come to a few other conclusions.
1) I've decided I totally want a time trial helmet!Seriously, I do. I don't want it to be a TT rider, I just want one so I could look like more of a dork when I ride.
2) I want wheel discs.Again, I don't see them as practical or anything for the riding I do, but I always wanted the Skyway Discs when I was riding dirt track BMX back in the day... I guess it's just a carryover.
3) I HATE aerobars.I don't even kind of get them. I mean, I get the point, I just don't like them.
4) Bob Roll annoys me.This, I feel, just cannot be said enough.
5) I was way more into the finale of Hell's Kitchen than the Tour tonight. THAT is the God's honest truth! I was extremely excited to see (spoiler deleted) win the quarter million dollar job at Gordon Ramsay's new restaurant.
OK, so I guess that's about it. Hopefully I will have awesome news in the coming days. I'll likely drop a late Weekly Roundup tomorrow. So, until then!

08 July 2008

I've Decided What I Want To Do For A Living!

So lately I've been kind of down, which might have something to do with my lack of weight-loss. We've all been there, I have a ton of stuff going on in my head, feelings of inadequacy, questions about what I'm doing with my life and career, you get the picture, right? I came to one conclusion today, though, that has me feeling a bit better. I've decided what I want to do for a living! I want to drive the team car! That''s right, I want to be the crazy guy driving the team car in races. It just looks like it would be way fun. Seriously think of how cool it could be. I love driving, I love cycling, I love watching cycling, I love talk radio. So here's what I figure. I turn on talk radio and make everyone else in the car pay attention to what's going on. I then proceed by watching the race just enough to enjoy it and not crash into a racer... well, any of MY racers anyway (wink, nudge). I would constantly drive around in a bad as heck car, brimming with sweet bikes, and parts. I'd get to meet sweet riders, and travel the world, and too boot? I'd get paid for it. It's the perfect job. Now I just need to find a team to hire me, and one that doesn't care if I'm a slacker.
As a "by the way", I haven't jumped into the reading of the book... I'm going to do it soon, even if it kills me! Bluenoser said he'll regress in his fitness, er, progress to join me in my journey through the book. Anyone else in?

07 July 2008

I Hate Rocks

File under: I need to find somewhere else to ride. I got a lot of sweet riding in this weekend. That, combined with me watching the Tour de France and family stuff from the holiday weekend and this is the first chance I have to write. First two stages had some great last minute sprints that resulted in wins for Valverde and Hushovd incase you didn't catch `em. On top of that, we got to hear Bob Roll horribly mispronounce Tour de France as "Tour deee France." I'll just never get sick of Bobke destroying the French language.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Today I went on a utility ride to have the mountain bike looked at. Thanks to the guys at Spin (the LBS) for taking good care of me and not letting me pay. I think I need to stop in with some beers or something. Digressing, so I left and had a ride about one third trail and two thirds surface ahead of me. The problem is the trails I was riding suck! Ya see, the trail is a double track (kind of like a fire road) which would be awesome. However this double track is crushed, and I use the term crushed very loosely, rock. It was fine crush stone, but they must have repaved it or something and now its rocks that are anywhere from the size of a golf ball to almost the size of my fist. It really sucks. The upside of the day was that I got to wear my brand spanking new Pearl Izumi Slice Versa Short which I have to admit I love. But shortly after buying them PI released the P.R.O. Versa which I would've likely plunked down the extra $25 for. Eh, whatever... They were comfortable as hell. I totally loved riding in these things. I liked them, dare I say, more than the Specialized lycra I'm used to. The chamois seemed a lot more comfortable on my bottom. You all know the golden rule, right? A comfy bottom is a happy bottom.
On the up side of things yesterdays ride was pretty excellent. I got out on the road bike again, and it was a blast. I am quickly getting used to riding on the road in fairly heavy, and fast, traffic. So I guess that's a positive. I felt really good, the legs felt strong, the hills came fairly easy, and I was just hammering. It was nice. I rocked out the Limar helmet, which I also decided I like, I like it a lot. It seems lighter than the Specialized brain bucket, though it seems a wee bit wider. Also, doesn't sit nearly as high.
I guess all in all the weekend was good. Oh, right, one more thing. The Lean Look. First off will someone, anyone, please drop the fifteen bones and get the book and work through it with me... please? Also, I have yet to get through the book. I think on, OK so I know for a fact I'm on, page three of the book. With that said I will start the program... eventually. Mainly once I get the book read. Which I have a very strong feeling will NOT be this week.

04 July 2008

Six Random Things: Tag I'm It... #&$%!

Well, I would probably just ignore something like this, but I got hit TWICE! really? A big "curse you" to Yeahdog and Judi. I love ya guys, but blogosphere spam, really?! Who does that? OK, OK, if I have to...

Six Random Things About Me:

1) Big toe is smaller than my second toe.
2) I swear like a truck driver far more often than I should.
3) I love hot sauce on darn near everything.
3) I generally only make it half way through any book I start.
4) I'm a talk radio addict.
5) My favorite holiday is July Fourth mainly because I love fireworks.
6) I've only ever been to Florida, New York (upstate), Pennsylvania, Arizona, Illinois, and the furthest outside of the country was Ontario.

So, now I guess I have to throw five people under the bus... I'm sorry, but
Bluenoser, Harp, Ron, Munky, Gary, & Sprocketboy please play along do this.

The rules:
Link to the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog.
Write six random things about yourself.
Tag six people at the end of your post.
Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

03 July 2008

Me And My Jimi Multi Media Case

That's right, if you want something done right, do it yourself. Not really, the truth of the matter is that I wanted to personally do a write up for the Multi Media Case, so I gave one to Gary over at CycloneCross but didn't ask for a review. I have to admit, though, I really hope he is enjoying the Multi Media Case and would love to welcome Gary to comment on his thoughts as well (hint) if he would like to or has the time to. Likewise Dave got a Game Shell, but they were so close I didn't think a write up on that was necessary. With that said I give you the last post in the "Week Of Jimi!" (Duhn duhn duhhhhh)
OK, so I am going to assume that the Media Case (Gary) and the Game Shell (Dave) have served their needs well for their respective owners. What I will say with far more assurance is that I have tested the living hell out of the both, and this is what I found. They seem like they could stand up through some serious abuse. While I was not willing to stomp on them or purposely try to break them they seem sturdy and the silicone inserts add a nice shock protection. The one thing I was willing to do was water test them. I took both in the shower (that's right guys, I was naked with them, not really but did it creep you out?) and they both fared pretty well in the shower. I would undoubtedly take a couple of SD cards or the like in a jersey pocket in the rain and not worry. They even floated well, and didn't take on water. I suppose if I boated I'd feel fine of it were on my key chain and the keys went over I'd still be cool. However, when I put the Multi Media underwater I noticed something, something I couldn't duplicate in the game case, it took on some light water. Light, but enough to freak me out if I fall into a lake and it gets submerged underwater. Best I could tell is this; if you look at the Multi Media Case with the silicone insert removed, you find the silicone plugs the holes in the case, and the silicone has holes for the SD cards as well. I think the water seeps into the holes in the case and under the silicone coming out directly where the hole for the HD card is, see this picture-click to pop bigger:The Game case does not have the holes in the silicone and I feel that is the difference. Personally, I don't think I'd ever want my cards underwater in anything.
The bottom line here is this: I would totally carry my extra cards in the case no matter what the weather looks like, and I wouldn't worry one bit about them. On the other hand, I wouldn't recommend that you swim with this thing in your pants. Although if you do, you probably deserve to have your digital media toasted... I just don't think it's EVER a good idea.
Thanks Mike (at Mr Smith Inc) for the goodies! I really appreciate you getting me, and the readers, some really cool stuff!
Readers, if you didn't get one, keep on the lookout, I have some more Jimi stuff to give away in the near future, I just need to decide how I'm going to do it. So keep on the lookout!
Im going to take Friday off for the Independence Day Holiday but I will, no doubt, have something to say Saturday after the first stage of the Tour de France. See you then, and (if you live in the States) Happy Fourth!!

02 July 2008

Weekly Roundup July 2

So many jimis this week, and so little time. I promise I will wrap up the jimi reviews tomorrow with a review of the jimi media case. This week is sort of all over the place, but it’s really quite fun overall. I do want to address one comment before I forget and give you an idea of where I am at for “The Lean Look”. Bluenoser asked if I’m going to post measurements and such, the answer is quite simple… I’m on, exactly, page three of the book. If your interested in doing it with me go buy the book and let me know. I’ll wait for you. I have so much work I don’t know when I’m going to bang through the first read of the book, but I am still shooting for next week. With that, I’m going to make the explanations short, sweet and to the point, and with that my dear friends, I give you… The Weekly Roundup!

50K Loop NS: Recently I asked Bluenoser about The Name, and in this post he gives the full answer. The truth of the matter is there are a bunch of theories, but I don’t think there is a 100% final answer on where Bluenoser comes from. Thanks for the research and explanation Bluenoser! Catch ya in the “interweb” soon, eh?

Bunny Hop Rockstar: My boy John, from the LBS (Spin Bike Shop) was lucky enough to be one of fourteen bike fitters at the 2009 Specialized Press Launch. Not only was he there fitting media, but he got an amazing write-up on Wired.com. Way to go John, congratulations!

Cozy Beehive: Ron, in his usual engineering inspired bike blog, points out a Zipp b2 Handlebar Failure. The blog post could stand on its own, but you have to check out the comments, which are coming in left and right.

Bike Munky: Bike Munky is concerned with Getting There. He was cut off into the stinging nettles, but it did get him a couple days away from work. Sorry for the crash, good to hear about the time off. Oh, and congratulations on reaching a new high in you level of fitness! I’ll be right behind you.

Fat Cyclist: Many of you may know, or not, but Fatty is largely looked upon by the cycling industry as a whole. This week he lends his amazing advice to the ASO in his Open Letter To ASO As They Make Final Preparations For The 2008 Tour de France. I have to warn you though, I was laughing so hard at work I almost spit out my lunch. Riot Fatty.

Miles And Madness: Finally Judi leaves us with a touching post. I’ve seen this before, but get misty eyed every time I see A Fathers Love. Watch it, enjoy it, and kiss your father or kids. Class act post Judi!

Well for now, try not to get so caught up in the Tour this weekend that you forget to go on a ride, OK? As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

01 July 2008

Stephen's Review Of The Jimi

Stephen also won one of the jimi wallets. Here is what Stephen had to say on the jimi:

We occasionally do a Sunday "bakery ride" with our group. Last week the baker said to one of the guys "Looks like it's a bit warmer out there than the last time you stopped", as he was wringing out the sweat-soaked bills he had just been handed. I smiled as I removed my dry dollars from my jimi wallet and got thumbs up from the baker.

I had expected the jimi to be more flexible, like the silicone iPod covers. It works fine in a jersey pocket, but not so good in my back pocket. It holds my license, a debit card, and plenty of bills. I wish I could fit my cell phone, a Raz'r, as I still need to use a "zip-loc" bag to keep it dry.

Overall, I'd grade it a solid "B". It holds plenty, keeps stuff dry, and it's easier to open than a "zip-loc". I'll use it for riding, but probably not for everyday.

I just found another item that fits well in my jimi. I added a couple of "band-aids and antiseptic swabs, they take up no space, and now I've got a mini "first-aid" kit. It's only good for a few scrapes, but it would have come in handy last fall when one of our guys went down on some loose cinder seal.

Stephen, I love that my dough is nice and dry. When I stopped carrying a wallet on rides, I tucked cash and license in the leg of my shorts, I thought it was more secure than an elastic jersey pocket. It was also nasty with sweat. I'm actually really glad that it is hard, I think silicone would be annoying from the "sticky" standpoint. As I said yesterday, I still have to baggie my Razr as well. I love mine for everyday, although I've always kept my wallet in my front pocket so I never had the problem with keeping it in my back pocket. Finally, I too threw two Band-Aids and an alcohol wipe in mine, love the idea. I agree, only for the most minor of injuries, but helpful none the less. Enjoy your jimi Stephen!