Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Inspiration

Every now and then you come across a story that is remarkable and inspiring.


I came across an older story today of a man named Scott Cutshall. who in 2005 tipped the scales at 501 lbs and was limited to watching people outside through his window. I think most of us would consider Scott to be just another obese person of America, which he was, although the article explains that he was relatively large from early childhood and his continuous food binges only escalated the problem.

Looking out his window one day Scott saw a cyclist ride by and then looked for the cyclist every day after that. Aside from Doctor warnings about imminent death and the ability to lose the weight on his own, Scott became obsessed with cycling; he couldn't even ride a bike because of his weight though. Scott spent countless hours researching bikes and finally found someone to make him a custom bike that would support his weight without the frame cracking under this weight. 

Once Scott got his custom made bike, he rode one mile a day until over the course of 2 years we was riding over a hundred miles a day. His family even moved across country to support his new cycling health and habit.

Scott went from over 500 lbs to 180 lbs in two years of cycling. A truly amazing story and one worth reading (Link below).

I Lost 320 Pounds Riding a Bike!

Scott Cutshall also has a daily blog, not all about cycling though. A lot of content is about music and other stuff. It's an enjoyable read with a lot of laughter sprinkled throughout.

Large Fella on a Bike

Good job Scott, very remarkable!

[EDIT]
This story is inspirational to me because like Scott struggled with weight and eating for years when he knew he needed to get healthy, I as well have struggled with quitting smoking to become healthy. For 20 years I wanted to smoke; I liked it. Then for 5 years I wanted to quit and failed the few times I tried. This time, like Scott, I know it's the right time, am fully committed, and have found an obsession in cycling to get my health back and lose/control my weight.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's been a wet week!

What happened to the drought?

It's been raining on and off all week! Monday night I went out on my trail bike to ride the trails here at Timberlane and the storms from last week had wrecked every trail I tried to go down. No kidding, every trail I had to turn around because of down tree's.

When I finally gave up and came out of the woods, I ran into a couple of young kids and we went back in and lifted/pushed about 10 tree's off of the main trail in just a 1 1/2 miles in. We then an into another guy, more my age, who was in there with his three kids, two were probably 4-6 years old and the third an infant. He was back there with a hack saw and a hand saw. I grabbed his extra saw and cut up a few smaller tree's and we made some new paths around the bigger ones. So yea, that ride turned into a workout, and the trail is still a mess for many more miles.

Tonight I did some interval training on my 14 mile loop. I'm striving for the 25 mph mark but my max on flat land is 22.7 mph. I don't feel bad though as I haven't been riding for long and 25 mph isn't too far off.

For those who don't know what interval training is, it's basically going all out reaching your max heart beats per minute (HBP) and maintaining that HBP for a certain amount of time, than easy cruising at a lower HBP for recovery' repeat 4 to 8 times. My average speed is around 17 mph, so in intervals I am reaching and sustaining the 22+ mph for 2:30 minutes then I cycle easy for about 5 minutes at 15 mph; repeating 5 times right now.

SPEAKING OF HEARTBEATS!!!
I am lucky to be in the medical field! Before I quit smoking I often monitored my heartbeat of which it was always 90-96 beats per minute. Yesterday I measured it after 7 weeks of not smoking and I am now down to 60-65 beats per minute!!! I may live after all!

Oh and a funny story from tonight...
As I was riding down FM1960, about 6 miles from returning home, I heard the dreaded pffffffffffffffffffffffffft! I thought, oh crap, I got a flat! I wasn't happy mostly because it was about a mile walk to get into an area with some light (it was dark). My bike light is of such intensity that I have to be rolling before I turn it on as it requires moving air for cooling or it will burn-up and die. Anyways, crap, I stopped quickly and felt both of my tires and they were hard as rocks. I was like WTF?! So I turned my bike around to shine the light where I had been and see what I ran over...guess what...it was a dang snake..lol. It wasn't big, but I guess it didn't really appreciate being ran over. I guess I had assumed it was a small twig and just went over it. Poor snake :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Good ride today!

Weather made us bikers take a break this week. Tuesday night we had huge winds and storms that took a lot of tree's down and made the roads more than unfriendly for those of us on two skinny wheels.  By Thursday everything was pretty well cleaned up but then I found my self working later than usual and ended up scrapping Thursday and Friday rides I had planned.

Luckily, my friend and boss (at GE Healthcare), Tony called me Thursday and we planned a 20 mile ride for Saturday morning. However, by Friday he had convinced me to go longer. Me, not wanting to let an old man kick my butt, opened my big mouth and said let's do your 34 mile loop after he suggested it. Believe me though, he can do much farther than that.

So, today I woke up about 4 am and laid in bed until 4:45 am when I just couldn't take it anymore. I got up, had some Cheerio's and some coffee, then jumped in the shower. About 6 am I pinged Tony to see if he was ready ahead of our 7 am start time; and alas, he was. I hurried over and we got a 6:30 start.

Just at 7 miles in Tony got a flat which he got fixed relatively quickly, but then the tube at the stem was poking out the tire and riding behind him I could see the lump every time it came to the top of the rotation. So then we had to deflate the tire and fix the tube; finally we got on our way. During all this the The Woodlands cycling club passed us up; I'd say about 40 riders in all.

I told Tony I wanted to stay around 15-18 Mph, but I found that most of the trip we were cruising between 18-20 Mph and then the hills just kept on coming. At mile 30 we were closing in on his house but Flintridge Drive is nothing but about 2-3 miles of rolling hills. At about 31.5 miles I totally gassed out on those dang hills. I slowly made it back to the house limping along at about 15 mph.

It was an awesome ride though. It was great to ride with Tony and having a ride partner is so much more interesting and fun. Tony really pushed me with his pace, but it showed me what I can do and that only after a short time of being back in the saddle. Thanks Tony.

Here's our route this morning:
Click for bigger image

Thursday, June 14, 2012

6 Weeks smoke free!

Today is my 42nd day without them nasty-azz death sticks! I have now started Phase II of the Nicoderm patches dropping from 20mg of nicotine to 14mg.

I don't know if I really need the patches or not, but last time I tried to quit I didn't follow the full plan and failed, so this time I'm going to use them to the end. So, only four more weeks to go before I am done with the patches and cigarettes forever.

Stats from QuitNet.com
42 days, 1 hour, 47 minutes and 11 seconds smoke free.
841 cigarettes not smoked.
$167.58 and 6 days, 10 hours of your life saved.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

First 20!

Last night I finally got my first 20 mile ride. It felt comfortable, I switched gears a lot less and I counted off cadence in my head. It was pretty smooth.

Time: 1 HR 18 Minutes
Avg Speed: 15.5
Max Speed: 23.8
Click for bigger image.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fitness and Cycling

I have discovered that cycling and fitness go hand in hand. After yesterday's ride, my second on the new road bike, I woke up this morning with a stiff neck down to between the shoulder blades. When cycling, just holding your head up is a chore for an unseasoned rider. 10 miles into yesterday's ride, my left hand started to go numb and I could feel a little bit of strain in my neck. I just changed positions every few minutes after until I got home. It wasn't until this morning I felt the damage.

My wife is into fitness and copied off a section of one of her books that covers7 core exercises for cyclists and then an additional 5 exercises for post-ride. She had told me about them before but I really didn't take it to heart then; I AM NOW!

Additionally, today we visited the half-price book store and I found an old copy of "The Lance Armstrong Performance Program: Seven Weeks to the Perfect Ride".

It not only covers exercises for the cyclist, but includes training cycles developed by his coach Chris Carmichael and Lance. The training cycles I have found online in various places, but many of the terms are usually abbreviated and the methods not clear. This book will definitely help me understand more of the training "lingo".

If anyone has an abundance of money they just feel like getting rid of and want to buy me something nice, I really need a cadence and heart monitor computer for my road bike. I have a basic Cateye CC-MC100-W Micro-Wireless I am using right now, but it does not keep cadence count or monitor heart rates. I really need a Cateye CC-TR300TW Triple Wireless Cadence and Heart Rate Bicycle Computer. Believe it or not I think the price is on the lower end of the spectrum, but Cateye products seem to be the most sought out by cyclists other than pro-cyclists. They can afford a bit more. I think I'm pretty much tapped on spending (I'm sure my wife thinks so too!).



I want to give a big shout out to my wife who just gave me an awesome massage as well. I think I'll be ready to ride tomorrow for sure. Also, a big shout to her for being supportive and letting me spend a small fortune on my new bikes and accessories. I love you and thank you!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Had to go to Kroger's...


... to get a prescription. Fun ride.



Find more Bike Ride in Spring, TX

Friday, June 8, 2012

Great first ride!

Got fitted today for my new bike; went pretty quick. Decided to take it out for a test run tonight since it stopped raining. Took a few miles to get comfortable since it has been so long, but I had no big issues. Had to un-clip a few times which is always scary in the beginning; nothing like falling over cause you can't get your feet off the pedals. Anyways, everything went fine, un-clipping, clipping, just like the old days; felt familiar.

I knocked out a 13 mile ride in a little under an hour. I could still feel my lungs burning after around 10 miles from the 25 years of smoking. But I'll take small bites and work up my endurance and my pace.


Order's are coming in!

My plethora of order's are starting to come in. I've received my shoes, cleats, headlamp and my pedals. Still a lot more stuff coming though.



I get fitted tonight, can't wait to get the new ride!

Shit Cyclists Say: Part II

As promised here is part 2. This one talks about bodily functions at times so may not be appropriate for work environments. ENJOY!


"I used to be a tire!"

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Shit Cyclists Say: Part 1

This video is hilarious. There is some swearing in it, but not vulgar. I'll post Part II tomorrow which is just as funny. I think I pee a little every time I watch this.

Morning ride

Went on a quick 4.27 mile ride this morning after dropping my daughter off at school.


(Click the link to go on a 3D tour with Google Earth!)

Google Earth Tour

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My new bikes

On 6/5/2012 I took ownership of a 2012 Cannondale Trail SL 29'ER 4. While at the lower end of the Cannondale model and price range, let me tell you, this bike is AWESOME! I took it out with my Kingwood gang last night for the first time and was a total beast on it. When I stood up to crank, the output of my legs went directly to the rear wheel. The drive train is great for lower end components. For a sub $1000 bike, it really puts out with no questions asked. I out sprinted everyone last night.

Of course along with a new bike and riding at night, I had to crash it as well. We were trying to dodge a jogger (who wasn't listening) and I decided to go off trail into a grassy area. Well, the grassy area had a ditch a few inches wide I didn't see due to the grass cover and when that front wheel planted, I flew about 8 feet over the handle bars. A little bit of road rash was to be had, but picking rocks out my leg sucked.


On Friday (06/08/12) I take delivery of my Cannondale CAAD10 5 105 road bike. First I have to wait for my Shimano 105 pedals and shoes for the fitting. I can't wait! I'll tell you more about that bike after I get fitted!

BTW, those are my bikes in the image above.

Greeting!

Hi everyone! Welcome to my blog.

Here you (friends and family) can read about my progress in preparing for next years Houston's MS150 and any pit stops I may make along the way.