Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Now I remember...

..why I hate running.

I ran in Valley Forge Park again after work today. My legs are SORE! I didn't think I'd be in this much pain again after having run that distance before. Turns out I was wrong. Maybe I hurt because I ran hard yesterday too. Who knows. I'm gonna take a few days off and try it again. I know my fiance wants to try it with me.

I do still enjoy running more than I used to, and if I want to run a half marathon, I'll need to continue training for it. Wish me luck.

PS... I miss my bike.

Monday, November 23, 2009

New personal best run

I decided to go run again because I have today off... I went to Valley Forge Park and ran around the entire thing. I even ran around the Arch. Mostly because I didn't know where the path went next. I made it 5.56 miles in an hour flat. Not too shabby. I wouldn't say that I hit a wall, but I definitely hit a "staircase." I just had to keep saying to myself, "She did 5 times what I'm trying to do right now. Just pick 'em up, and put 'em down." And I did.



Yesterday my wonderful and beautiful fiance ran her first marathon. I am inspired. I'm by no means a runner. In fact, I'm barely a jogger. At heart I'm a cyclist, but I can't allow my love for one sport hold me back from accomplishing something great for myself. Now, I'm not saying that I'm going to go run a marathon. I'd love to do that. Some day. But not soon. I would however, like to train for a half marathon. For a guy like me, that's still a huge deal. The farthest I've ever run in my life was 5 miles. I did that only because I was forced to during a SWAT Team training while I did my internship with a police department.

My fiance is an inspiration. She's changed my life in incredible ways and I love her for it. I've been trying to get out and run lately, mostly because I'm trying to lose more weight. I've gained a little since the century. I don't have the clothes to ride in cold weather, and I don't have the money to buy those clothes. I've got a trainer, but I'd much rather be outside. So running it is. Since I started running a few weeks ago, the farthest I've gone was about 3.8 miles. That's far for me. It's over a 5k. That's pretty sweet... but if I'm able to run that at 240 pounds, what can I do at 200? My new goal is 199 by our wedding day, June 12th.

I'm trying to find a weight loss support group online, but I haven't had any luck yet. If anybody knows of any, or would like to start one with me, let me know.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

City to Shore


On Saturday October 3rd, my fiance, Brother, friend, and I rode 102 miles from Cherry Hill, NJ to Ocean City, NJ. To thank all of you who read this blog, I wanted to give you the "play-by-play" so to speak...

We woke up on Saturday at 4:30 to get ready. By the time we'd had breakfast, loaded up the cars, and picked up my friend, it was 5:35. Our ride time was at 6:30, so we were running slightly later than I had anticipated, but it was only supposed to take 50 minutes to get there. Close to two and a half hours later, we finally got on our bikes. We'd totally missed the start time for century cyclists (which we were a part of) so we joined up with the group that was rolling out as we were rolling in. It turned to be the teams group. As you can see from the pictures, we fit in pretty well.

My brother and I were so amped up to get the ride started we started blowing past people which meant we were leaving my friend and fiance behind. WHOOPS! We realized the mistake and slowed down for them. Apparently at 8:00 in the morning, the Elicker boys don't need any warm up time. The next thing we knew, we saw a sign for the first rest stop. We'd been riding for an hour and had gone 20 miles and didn't even realize it! Since none of us had hardly touched our water bottles and nobody was hungry, we just skipped the first rest stop.

The second rest stop came up quickly. At that point, I was starving. We stopped for the "lunch stop" around 9:30. I'm not even sure that qualifies as brunch on a normal day, but since we were up at 4:30, we ate. I had a PB&J, nutrigrain bar, and a chicken sandwich! Talk about fueling. That was the last time until dinner that I ate anything other than energy bars and gels.

Once we got back on the road, we went strong as a group, sticking together pretty well. At around mile 45, we started the Century loop. It closed at 11:00. Despite being late to the start point, we made it there by 10:30 and got on. I decided to do what cyclists refer to as a "pace line." For those of you who don't know what that is, you put one person in the front of the line and everybody else drafts off of them making it a lot easier on the people in the back of the line so they don't have to work so hard. I was pacing really well and had a good cadence (rotation per minute of your feet) at a decent speed of around 17mph. I had my fiance, brother, and friend riding right behind me, and as I continually looked back to check on them, I noticed a longer and longer line of riders catching onto the line. It was really cool. I almost felt like I was in the Tour de France. haha.

So about 8 miles of pacing later, I felt a pop. No, not a flat tire... a broken spoke. The nipple of the spoke, actually, which is the part that connects it to the rim of the wheel. Crap. Again, for you non-riders, this isn't something you can fix on the side of the road without tools and spare parts. The four of us stopped and watched our pace-line go flying past us. We stood on the side of the road waiting for a repair truck or SAG (support and gear) wagon to come along. 20 minutes later, my brother rode up to the next rest stop, which ended up being 3 miles away, to try to get someone to call a SAG wagon out for me. He called my cell to let me know they were coming, so I sent my friend and fiance up the road to the rest stop to wait. I figured if the SAG came, I'd just be picked up and brough to the rest stop to get my bike fixed. Instead, a repair truck came first. He stopped and fixed my wheel in about 15 minutes. So 45 minutes after the broken spoke, I was back on the road. I was also the last person on the century loop. THE LAST PERSON. I tore off at about 25mph for the next three miles and got to the rest stopped, filled my water bottles, and got back on the road with my friends. I felt terrible for making everyone stop for so long, so I tried to pace everyone out again, but everyone was tired and our muscles were tight so we had to go slower than I think most of us wanted to, but such is life.

The rest of the ride was mostly uneventful until the end. We got hit with a little bit of rain after we got through the rest of the century loop, but nothing too bad. We skipped another rest stop so we wouldn't get tight again, and then just kept pedaling. Once we got closer to the bridges leading into Ocean City, the wind really kicked up. We probably had gusts of about 20 mph. Unfortunately, these bridges were the only two hills on the entire ride... and they're big. My fiance and friend told my brother and I to go ahead of them and just get them done, so we did. We stopped and waited at the end of the second bridge and waited for them. Once they both caught up, we started off again, together, for the ride through Ocean City. As we were about to make our last turn we saw Mom and Steve (my step-dad) who had been there for an hour or more taking pictures.

After crossing the finish line, we went to grab some food, collect our prizes, and then met up with Mom and Steve so we could walk to the cars and drive back to Cape May, where we have a beach house. We got down there, grabbed some showers, and then got to relax! Mom made us chili for dinner and brought some beer for everyone. We each had a few drinks and plenty of dinner. Later in the evening, after sitting around talking for a while, we went to bed at around 10:00.

It was quite a long day, but we made the 102 mile ride in 6 hours and 15 minutes with an average speed of 16mph. It was fantastic. Next year, I hope to make the 75 mile ride each way. I'm glad to have completed my first century with three of my best friends in the whole world and I hope that they all continue to share the passion of cycling with me.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Sunday Sunday!!!

Today I wanted to fit in a decent ride before the Eagles game was on at 1. I went with my brother and my buddy who are doing the City to Shore with us in TWO WEEKS! I wanted to redo the ride I missed because of the broken spoke yesterday. We went out with a mission. I felt GREAT. My bike finally felt right, and I was excited to ride. We got to the hill that my spoke broke on last time, and I had a little apprehension about going up it for some reason. I made it to the top, then got to go down the hills... my reward. We ended up crossing over a street we'd already done, so I suggested we do it again, because it was a decent up hill ride and I knew there was another way to go down.

BOY WAS THERE! We shot down like bats outta hell. It was fantastic. I love going fast. But I had to climb that same hill again, where my spoke broke. I considered it exposure therapy. I'm not afraid anymore. haha. We found an arrow for the Iron Tour we did a few months ago, and started following them. We found about 7 arrows in the same intersection. I just picked a direction and the others followed. We climbed a MASSIVE hill only to go down the other side on a steep hill that ended in a 90 degree turn, so there was no speed... our breaks almost didn't hold it was so steep.

Once we got down the hill, we ended up right where we got lost, at the 7 arrow intersection. We took the only direction that we didn't know, and found ourselves on a very familiar road... about 2 miles from home, so we ended our ride at 20 miles. Good ride, lots of climbing, low average speed.

Time: 1 hour, 23 minutes, 1sec
Distance: 10.12 miles
Av Speed: 14.5
Max Speed: 40.4

Saturday, September 19, 2009

3 in 1

Because I haven't had much time to post lately, I'm going to make one really long one that includes three separate thoughts! COOL!

So I just moved in with my brother about two weeks ago. We haven't had much time to ride together because I am super busy, but we're trying. We had gotten out to do a quick 30 minute, 10 mile ride. We averaged over 18mph. It was absolutely insane. I was in a bad mood that day for some reason and decided I wanted to pull the whole time. He had just gotten back from the gym so it worked out fine. I think I want to make that my new time trial route. It's a little shorter than the last one, but I can get a lot of speed on it.

Last weekend I went to my fiance's house and did a "50 Mile" ride as a benefit for the local library. We signed up, 20 bucks a head, and it was great! The ride itself was beautiful and fairly well marked, but there were probably only 20 riders out there. So, essentially we paid for a marked route, a water bottle, and a sandwich at the start/stop point. It was nice to get out and ride with her again, though. It was a very relaxed ride and we got to spend some quality time together doing something we both enjoy, which was really the whole point.
Stats from that ride:
Time: 3 hours, 46 minutes, 50secs
Distance: 57.54 miles
Average Speed: 15.2mph
Max Speed: 46.3mph

Today, I went for a ride with my brother and his neighbor. I'm getting over a cold, but I want to get some miles in because the city to shore is in two weeks! We started out and things were going great. They had decided they wanted to show me a different route that they'd taken before that has a lot of down hills... my favorite. Of course, to get to ride down hill, you have to ride up hill for a while. That was fine, because I appreciate the pay off. At the top of one of the last hills, MY SPOKE POPPED! I had to call my dad to pick me up, waited for 30-40 minutes until he got there, and then I took my bike to the LBS (local bike shop) to get fixed. Phoenix Cycles is the best. They fixed some of the gearing problems I've been having FOR NOTHING! They also fixed the spoke for 10 bucks. Can't beat the price. I was about to put my bike in for a $45 tune up just to get the gearing problems fixed. I think he even lubed my chain up for me.

Anyway, I only got about 6-7 miles in today because of the spoke. I'm hoping to give it a shot again tomorrow before football. I want to get at least 30. We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


So for all my loyal fans... which I'm pretty sure consists of my fiance, my dad, and maybe a handful of other people... I'm updating. FINALLY.

I haven't updated for a few reasons. Originally, it was because I went on vacation. When I came home, I started apartment hunting. I was really exciting, packing, and planning, and then became depressed when I realized that I couldn't afford the apartment I wanted... you know, because of the whole grad school thing. Anyway, I am moving in with my brother this weekend which is going to open up a whole new world of cycling for me. I'll get to find routes to all sorts of different places. We got to explore last weekend and got totally lost. We ended up turning a 15 mile ride into a 30 mile ride that took us about two hours to complete.

I haven't updated my weight in a while, but it hasn't changed much to be honest. I started eating poorly and drinking too much again. SHOCKER. But since school started up, work started up, and my internship started up, I've stopped with the hard-core boozing. I think that when I live with my brother, I'll probably drink less too. This is a good thing.

So, my mileage is up at 1477.8, which means I've got ABOUT another 500 miles to go... so outside of the century, I'll need to complete about 400 miles in training. I'm not overly confident that I'll make my weight goal, but never say never.

I'll try to update more.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Great achievement, Great disappointment

Today started out like any other... I went to work, I came home, and I did homework. I decided to get out for a ride before dinner and figured, why not try my good 'ol TT route. Remember, I just put a new chain on my bike... having never done this before. I had no idea if I had it right or not, so I was a little worried I'd get stranded again.

Anyway, went out, felt good, didn't quite meet my average speed for the first section, so I figured I'd try to make up for it on the climb and the highway sections. When I got to the end of the highway section, I was right on time. I knew I had to pick up the pace a little to beat my last time. When I was about 6 minutes from home, I was about 6 minutes from my best time. OH NO! SPEED UP! I ended up stopped at a stop light for a few minutes while an ambulance went by with 3 minutes to get home before my time ran out. I wasn't too far away, but there are some pretty tight turns on the way home, so I knew I'd have to push it. Hard. When all was said and done, I beat my best TT time by about 3 seconds, but still only managed a 17.9mph average! DISAPPOINTING! I wanted 18mph in the worst way.... next time. That's my goal before the end of summer.

Time: 52 minutes, 44secs
Distance: 15.80 miles
Avg Speed: 17.9mph
Max Speed: 33.8mph

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Can't catch a break...

I cannot seem to catch a break this week with cycling. It's like the god of bicycles has it in for me or something. Yesterday, the spoke on my back wheel breaks. Today? TODAY my chain broke. I was starting a hill 2 miles from my house and my foot dropped mid circle causing me to fall, catching myself with my groin on my saddle. Awesome. I looked back and saw my chain dragging behind me. Awesomer.

I'm about to head over to Performance to see if I can get it replaced for free. If I can, that's sweet. If not, oh well. What can I do? I can't ride the bike without a chain!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bad start, good finish

Today I took off work because my fiance didn't have class. The plan was to do a 30 mile ride in the early afternoon and then study/do homework. About 3 blocks into the ride, one of the spokes on my rear wheel broke. CRAP!

I took my bike over to Performance and they told me they could fix it for about $15, but they couldn't do it until Wednesday. I figured, that sucks, because I can't ride today or tomorrow, but if I can get it on Wednesday, at least I'll have my bike for vacation to the beach. WRONG! They handed me the slip and it said 8/12/09. NEXT WEDNESDAY. That wasn't going to work for me... but I didn't have any option at the time. I got home, complained to the fiance, and she told me to call other shops to see what I could find out. I called the shop up near my brother's place, they told me to bring it in and they would do it while I wait. So much for waiting a week and a half. I went back to performance, picked up my bike, drove over to Phoenix Cycles and waited while the guy fixed my spoke and did a little tune up... for $10!

I got home, had lunch, and we went for our ride. We did about 22 miles because of the delay and it was so much fun! it was kind of like a date... we stopped and took pictures every so often, looked around at all the farms and really took in the beautiful weather. I really enjoy doing one of my favorite activities with my favorite person in the world... it makes it that much more special for me.

I lied

I lied yesterday. I went for a bike ride after all. The rain let up and I got to go out for a short 45 minute ride to take a break from my homework. I tried to hit as many hills as I could while staying close to home so if it started raining I could get home quick. It wasn't the best ride, I took it easy, but it was something... and I got out of the house.

I'm a little disappointed with my weight loss this week. I thought I was lower. I guess that trip the Victory Brewery wasn't such a great idea afterall.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Today is pretty miserable. It started raining early in the morning and hasn't really stopped all day. It's not supposed to stop until LATE tonight. So, I've spent my whole day sitting on my sofa with my laptop working on graduate school work. This is the first day in a long time that I had the time to ride and haven't gone out. It's pretty sad. I want to get on my bike.

What I learned from this experience is that despite how much I ride, and how many times I climb some miserably long and steep hills, I still LOVE cycling. This is a good sign.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


The weekend has been going very well so far in both cycling and weight loss. Yesterday, my fiance and I went for a 44 mile ride from Valley Forge Park past the Art Museum in Philadelphia along the Schuylkill River Trail. It was a nice slow pace because she'd just ran a half marathon the day before. She loves pain. She's also a great motivator... I certainly wasn't allowed to complain during THAT ride. We took about 3 hours to do it, and got caught in the rain about 4 miles from the car. If my back tire hadn't flatted, we'd have been back in the car and almost home before the rain really started coming down. Oh well.

Today my friend and I went for a short 17 miler with a few nasty hills. One of the hills in Valley Forge Park was pretty steep. I stood for most of it, but stayed right on his wheel. The second hill was probably a mile long, but not quite as steep as the first hill. It was equally as miserable though. I wanted to quit, but wouldn't let myself. I finished it and had to wait at the top. We made it a quick spin back home and now I'm here!

Before the ride today, I'd gone to Performance Bike with my friend to buy my new pedals because they were supposed to be 20% off. They didn't have any in store, so I ended up getting some new tubes (since I've blown two in the last week) and a saddle bag to store my tubes and tools in. I'm tired of having bulging pockets on my jersey. When I got home, I placed the order for Speedplay Zero Stainless pedals. I can't wait for them to get here. To avoid paying the shipping cost, I shipped them to the store, but they're not supposed to get there until August 22nd! AUGH! I want them now!

Today's ride:
Time: 1 hour, 12 minutes, 10secs
Distance: 17.34 miles
Avg Speed: 14.4mph
Max Speed: 33.3mph

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I DID IT!!!!

237 today!!! I'm going to get my new pedals on Friday and then do a 50 miler with my fiance to break them in! WOOOOOOOO!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

TT Route

I've officially stopped calling my hour loop, the hour loop. It was henceforth be called my Time-Trial Route. Today, I shaved another 15 seconds off my time and went up .1mph. EXCITING! Nothing eventful happened on the ride. I wasn't almost killed, I didn't almost get eaten by a dog, and my tubes stayed inside my tires. I did sweat out about 3 pounds, though, even after drinking both of my water bottles. Muggy.

Time: 52 minutes, 47secs
Distance: 15.77 miles
Avg Speed: 17.9mph
Max Speed: 34.4mph

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I've begun putting more effort into my fund raising for the City to Shore ride more recently. For those of you who don't know me personally, I have had a goatee on my chin for the last 5 years (since high school) with a few extremely rare exceptions. Over the weekend I finally made the decision to shave it off (with tons of encouragement from my fiance). But, I wasn't shaving it just to shave it. I was shaving it to help me with my fund raising. The idea was that if I looked different, people would comment or ask about it, and that could start a dialog. I made up a quick paragraph explaining why I shaved, and asked for a $5 donation for noticing. Of course, everybody is welcome to give more money if they want. I've handed out about 10 or so at this point which isn't too bad. If I get half of those people to donate, I'll be happy.

Yesterday, while at work, I was asked by somebody if I knew anyone with MS. After all, that's what the ride is for, right? A reasonable question, but I had to say "no." I feel bad asking for money when I don't have a person in mind that I'm hoping to benefit from the funds I'm working to raise. Today, while sitting in class, I zoned out and started thinking about WHY I'm trying to raise money to help fight this disease. Maybe I don't know anybody with MS personally, but that doesn't mean the cause isn't important to me. So next time somebody asks me why I'm raising money for MS, here's the answer I'll give them.

Last summer, I made a commitment to myself to train and ride in the MS150 City to Shore ride because my Step Dad asked me to ride it with him. Although my step dad was unable to participate, I accomplished my goal and rode 75 miles from Cherry Hill, NJ to Ocean City, NJ in 5:30 at an average speed of 15mph on a Trek Hybrid bike. It was fantastic despite the dreary weather. I made a commitment almost immediately to ride again the following summer. This summer. My fiance told me about 10 minutes after I crossed the finish line last year that she wanted to ride it with me next time. This motivated me again. So, why do I ride? I ride because this ride specifically changed the course of my life. Last summer I drank too much, I ate too much, and other than training for cycling, I did very little physical activity. Now, I'm trying to lose the weight that I regained last summer and through the winter because of my excessive eating and drinking habits. I've lost over 30 pounds total since I started and I'm riding better than I ever expected to. I've gotten closer to my brother, my friend, and my fiance. All of this because of one day last summer that got me hooked on this wonderful sport.

Thank you National MS Society for saving my life. I will try to continue to participate in at least one MS150 ride every year for as long as I am able.

For anybody who reads my blog, if you wish to donate on my behalf, you can follow this link and donate for me. I appreciate your comments in the past on my blog, and I appreciate all of your support. If you are unable to donate, I hope that you at least find motivation from me to get out and ride. It's healthy, fun, and a great bonding activity for friends and family. Start pedaling.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dear Driver

Dear Driver,

First, I want to thank you for only coming really really close to killing me today, and not actually running me over. I understand that some drivers, like yourself, have a feeling of entitlement and may not have consideration that your giant green SUV could easily kill me on my 20 pound bike.

Second, as somebody who works with autistic children on a regular basis, I understand that not everybody picks up on non-verbal cues as easily as others. Let me explain the ones that I gave to you today before you completely and blatantly cut me off. But, before I do, I want to let you know that I am an extremely conscientious cyclist and understand that cyclist can be irritating to drivers at times when we inhibit your ability to make a turn or you get "stuck" behind us. Anyway, here are the cues you missed today.

While riding down the road at 25mph, I saw you on the other side of the road, facing me, with your left turn signal on. I knew that your intention was to make a left hand turn (see, I pick up on non-verbal signals). I looked behind me to see if there was a line of cars. My thinking is that if there is a line of cars, I do not need to change anything I'm doing, because you will not cross a line of cars to make your turn. If there was no line of cars, I COULD decide to change what I am doing so that you don't have to wait one extra second to make your turn. In this case, the line of cars behind me was ending, and by the time they passed you, I would be the only thing between you and your turn. Here's the non-verbal cue: When I'm already going 25 miles an hour, and stand up to get across the intersection faster, that is not your cue to make your turn. That means, I'm doing what I can to get across faster so you have time to make your turn before the next line of cars comes. NOW, since you didn't understand that and tried to run me down, I had to slam my breaks on and slow down about 15mph and skidding my back wheel to avoid getting killed.

Here's the second cue you missed. When I put my hand in the air after almost getting hit by you and your giant motor vehicle, that isn't me saying hello. Please don't wave at me. That only makes me angry. My hand gesture (what you miss-interpreted as a friendly hello) meant one of the following; "What the fuck!" "Are you a complete idiot?" or "You're a fucking moron!" Your equally old friend noticed, but her reaction was almost equally as ridiculous. It is not appropriate to put your hand in the air the same way I did when your friend almost killed me. A more appropriate hand gesture would be palm out as if to say, "SORRY! I know I fucked up!"

Now, maybe it wasn't the non-verbals that confused you. Maybe it was the sense of entitlement you have as an auto-mobile operator that lead you to the decision to cut me off and almost hit me broad side. I'll explain something to you, but I'll only say this once, so read carefully... Cyclist have the same right to the road as drivers. WHAT? I KNOW RIGHT? CRAZY! Have you ever seen those signs that say, "Share the road" with a picture of a car and a bicycle on it? That's what that sign means. If you don't understand how to share, you could ask your great grand-children to teach you. They teach that in preschool nowadays.

Anyway, thanks again for not killing me. Next time, look out for cyclists. If not for our safety, for the safety of your car. I'm a large man, and you don't want a BBoB sized dent in your door.


Jinxed it

240 this morning. I definitely jinxed it with my comments yesterday. Shit.

Edit: I weighed myself later in the morning and found that I had gotten down to 239.5. Looks like I made it by the skin of my teeth... just a few more pounds until I can buy my new speedplay pedals!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


This weekend was a great weekend to ride. I haven't posted in a while, so I'll fill you in on what's been going on. I had to get new tires because my old ones were squaring off. I ended up buying Hutchinson Fusion 2 Kevlar tires. They've got blue sidewalls so they match my bike. They're also pretty fast and I like them a lot. The only downside to them, was that they are extremely difficult to get on, but worth it.

Friday I want to the beach with my fiance. I was hesitant to take a day off of riding because I hadn't lost much weight during the week. I love her a lot, though, so we went and enjoyed ourselves for the day. We got home, showered, and went to a local fair. It was a fun day, but not conducive to my cycling goals or my weight loss... we had dinner out.

On Saturday, I went for two bike rides. My first ride was about 22 miles with my brother, friend, and my brother's neighbor. My friend said that he wanted to climb what we refer to as "the wall." Now, to be clear, it is NOT "the wall" that most people know of in Manayunk. This "wall" is harder and longer. I was told it goes up about 380 feet in 8/10 of a mile. I'm not sure of the percentage grade, but I know it was REALLY hard. I made it about 2/3 of the way up, then had to get off my bike and walk for a little bit because I felt like I was going to throw up. It was terrible. The ride got a little better towards the end, though. Later in the evening, I went for a ride with my fiance. We took a nice half hour ride, just 8 miles, but it was nice to get back on the bike with her. We went on a path so no cars, and because it was so late, not many people. Our only problem was the bugs. Gross. The big news from this short ride, was that it put me over 1000 miles for the summer! ALRIGHT! I want to get to 2000 by the end of the year.

So today, Sunday, I woke up and weighed 240lbs. I'm going to jinx myself, I know, but after today's ride, I am assuming I will see 230-something in the morning tomorrow. When we set out today, same group as yesterday, I assumed we were going to do a 20-25 mile ride. I wanted to go do the fast hill again where I got up to 49.1mph a week or two ago, so we did. We had to work for it, though. When I got there, I was sort of spent, so I couldn't kick as hard to get my speed up. I only ended up going 48.4mph. Oh well. We finished that hill and then talked about what we wanted to do. My brother's neighbor asked if we could do 30 miles, so that's what we set out to do. We stopped at a convenience store for water and then went toward a local bike path. By the time we got home, we'd racked up over 40 miles! Great, ride though. I'm hoping it helps with the weight loss plateau I've had this week. Here are my stats for today:

Time: 2 hours, 27 minutes, 27secs
Distance: 40.95 miles
Avg Speed: 16.6mph
Max Speed: 48.4mph

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I can't explain the feeling I have inside me right now. I just came back from my "hour loop." Setting out for the ride, I knew I had a best time of about 54:30 on the loop and wanted to better my time. I did not realize I would completely blow it away. Today is one of the hottest/muggiest days of the summer that I've ridden the loop in. Significantly hotter than the day I rode my best time on the loop. I don't know why, or how, but I felt fantastic throughout the whole ride and finished in almost 53 minutes flat, averaging 17.8mph on a hilly course. Easily my best ride all summer. Hopefully this is only the beginning of big improvements.

I was asked twice today why I ride my bike so much. I told both people that it's fun for me, but I didn't quite have a GOOD answer. You can have fun doing lots of things, cooking, playing video games, watching TV, and (I'm not sure how this can be) shopping. I've been thinking about it. What's fun about cycling? Here's my answer. I like to go fast. I like the freedom I have while I'm on my bike. There is solace in riding alone, going through farmland that you didn't know existed in your neighborhood, finding new ways around town, exploring. Cycling has also brought me closer to some of the most significant people in my life. The love of my life (my fiance). My brother. My best friend from high school. All three of those people will play significant roles in my wedding... some for more obvious reasons than others. This sport has changed my life. One of the most interesting things that I still can't figure out is... I hate endurance sports. I'm fat. How can I enjoy the suffering I endure while riding? Who cares? It's fun.

Ride Stats:
Time: 53 minutes, 3secs
Distance: 15.79 miles
Avg Speed: 17.8mph
Max Speed: 35.6mph

Sunday, July 19, 2009

50 mile weekend

This weekend was a little rough on the diet, but I've managed to maintain my 242 weight through to this morning. My hope is that I can lose a little bit by the morning, but if not, I'll survive. My dad's band had a gig that I went to, had two beers and a burger for dinner. Saturday night was better, but I went out for drinks with my fiance and a buddy. My fiance ordered nachos that I helped with, and I had two beers (one more than I should have, but the first one just wasn't very good). I rode on Saturday and Sunday. The ride totals are below:

Time: 1 hour, 51 minutes, 7secs
Distance: 28.46 miles
Avg Speed: 15.3mph
Max Speed: 36.8mph

Time: 1 hour, 27 minutes, 55secs
Distance: 22.58 miles
Avg Speed: 15.4mph
Max Speed: 34.6mph

Thursday, July 16, 2009

10 pounds. 10 days.

The title says it all. In 10 days, I've lost 10 pounds. CRAZY! I feel like I should be on the biggest loser. People have been telling me all day I'm going too fast. Maybe I am, but I'm eating healthy and working out hard. I'm not starving myself, and I'm not doing workouts that are too intense. I feel like I'm doing this in a very healthy way. Maybe this time is it for me. I hope I can get down to 215 by the City to Shore ride. If I make it before then, I'll set a new goal based on how much time I've got left before the ride.

For those of you who are reading this and are wondering, HOW am I doing it? I started at 252lbs. I started using fitday.com to manage my calories. I aim for 1700 to 2000 calories a day and work out every day I can during the week, for at least 50 minutes. When I go out for my short bike rides, I make it a point to try to beat my previous time. It keeps me motivated, and it makes me work harder. I'm 6'1" tall, and despite the height, I've probably got another 50lbs to be REALLY healthy, but I'm happy to lose another 30 or so and try to maintain and lose slowly from there.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Improvements Continue

After losing 6 pounds in week 1, I've been focusing on improving my cycling as well. Today, I did my hour loop for the fourth time, and have improved my time yet again. I set out today thinking that I was going to have a lot of trouble. Half way through I felt as if I might even bonk. Fortunately, I had just taken a gel and started feeling much better at the end of my big climb. I got myself up to speed on the highway and when I got off, I checked the clock, and saw that I had 8 minutes to get home before my best time. Boy did that motivate me. I went significantly faster on all of the roads that I normally rest on and went real hard until the end. I even got a new personal best average on the hills. Check below to compare, but here are my stats for today:

Time: 54 minutes, 33secs
Distance: 15.81 miles
Avg Speed: 17.4mph
Max Speed: 35.2mph

Monday, July 13, 2009


My brother told me about a route he's taken around his neck of the woods where he got himself over 42 miles an hour down this one big hill. This is extremely fast for him. He told me we should do it some time together to see how fast I can get. With my heavier weight, I can typically bomb down hills way faster than he can. Today, while at work, I couldn't stop thinking about the hill. I wanted to find it, and ride it. Fast.

I got home and changed, grabbed my bike and a pack of shot blocks, water bottles, tube, and my "bike bag." My bike bag is a Ziploc bag with my tire levers, tube patches, chapstick, and I normally throw my drivers license in there. Anyway, I was off. I took a huge downhill on the way there, realizing I was going to suffer on the way home trying to climb that hill. Oh well, I wanted the speed. So I made my way over to this hill my brother told me about. OH GOOD LORD is it steep. I didn't realize it was coming, because there is a slight uphill before it, then over the top and down you go. Had I known it was coming, I would have charged over the little hump before it and tried for a faster speed, but as it was, I was a little bit scared. Once I realized I was on the hill, I went to the biggest gear I have, and pushed. I spun out completely. My pedaling couldn't do anything for me, I just had to hold on and enjoy the ride. When I got to the bottom, I checked my speed, and it was 49.1mph. WHOA! Coming home, I didn't suffer up the big hill as much as I'd thought I would. Must say something for my overall fitness level. I'd ridden that hill once before, but this time was much easier, and I wasn't being pulled at all.

So, after all of that, I'm pretty proud of my ride. There were quite a few uphill moments, and my average speed reflects that a little bit. I didn't push as hard as I could have, but I pushed hard enough. Here are the stats:

Time: 1 hour, 16 minutes, 25secs
Distance: 19.58 miles
Avg Speed: 15.3mph
Max Speed: 49.1mph

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Let's Roll!

I spent all weekend with my fiance, but had no time to ride. I had a friend in town who I haven't seen in MONTHS and went downtown for Saturday night to spend the night at the fiance's apartment. Overall good weekend, but zero miles. Until today. I left my fiance's apartment tonight at around 5:30 to get home for a ride before it got dark. It had to be short, so I figured, do the hour loop again. And I did.

I hadn't eaten a meal since 2:00, and since then, had a little bit of food, but not much. I was worried I wouldn't have the energy to ride this route as fast as I had last time, so I brought a Gu Gel in hopes that I would be able to use it half way through the ride and not bonk. I didn't. Without a lengthy explanation of my ride, here are the stats:

Time: 54 minutes, 53secs
Distance: 15.84 miles
Avg Speed: 17.3mph
Max Speed: 32.7mph

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Continued success

Since starting my weight loss on Monday, I've lost 4.5lbs. I was 248 this morning. That's what I weighed on May 25th, but that's the lowest I've been since then. Terrible. I am well on my way for calorie consumption today, and I got a short bike ride in. On Monday I did an hour long ride... 1:01. Today I decided to motivate myself and take the same exact route, but do it faster. I accomplished that goal, and am extremely proud of myself.

Here's a recap of the ride. I made it through the first 5 miles at 19.1mph average. I was MOVING. I went down a few hills after that while catching my breath. I was using Clif Shot Bloks for fuel, they seemed to work. I took 2 every 15 minutes or so throughout the ride. I had to climb a hill that is a shallow incline, but is also extremely long (by my standards). I was climbing at about 10mph, then I finished the hill and hopped onto the highway. When I pulled out, I saw another cyclist about 30 yards behind me. I made it a point to try to drop him, and drop him I did. By the time I turned off, he was totally off my radar.

Ride Stats compared to my first ride on this route...
First time (I made a wrong turn at one point)
Time: 1 hour, 01 minutes, 23secs
Distance: 16.19 miles
Avg Speed: 15.8mph
Max Speed: 32.9mph

Second time
Time: 56 minutes, 14secs
Distance: 15.83 miles
Avg Speed: 16.9mph
Max Speed: 35.5mph

Monday, July 6, 2009

Day 1, Part 2: So far so good

Today has gone extremely well so far. I started the day off with some steak for breakfast. YUM! I had some more of the same steak for lunch along with some pineapple, strawberries, and half an apple (it wasn't that good). When I got home from work I had a Clif bar to fuel a little bit before my ride. I went out for a short 16 miler. My intention was to get lost. I was successful for about a mile or two. Oh well. I brought a bottle of Gatorade (one scoop of powder) and some GU Chomps. They were pretty good. I took 4 at about minute 20 and then two more about 20 minutes down the road, and two more another 10 minutes after that. I felt great after the first four. I was extremely tired after averaging 18mph in the first 15 minutes. I was hurting.

Anyway, I am proud of myself so far today. The plan for the evening is to get the grill going and put some chicken on and hope it lasts for dinner tonight, and lunch and dinner tomorrow. Keep checking back. I'll try to update more frequently.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Spill Your Guts

Today, I came to a realization. I'm still fat. I hit 250lbs on April 13th, 3 months after I started trying... I lost 20lbs. How much weight have I lost since then? ZERO POUNDS. I went for a ride with my brother and his neighbor today. We went 20 miles and had a decent average. I KNOW that I have powerful legs. I can push hard. The problem is that with my weight where it is, hills kill me. I noticed myself getting left behind on the hills. I feel like I'm in decent shape (not good shape), but I continually got left behind on hills that were bigger than little rollers. Standing helps, but it wears me out.

So here's the deal. When my weight loss declined was around the time I posted about not needing fitday.com anymore. HAH! What a crock. I need some accountability. What happened is, I started focusing on riding more than weight loss. I'm riding because I want to lose weight. I've got a year before my wedding, no big deal. I can lose weight slowly and try to keep it off until the wedding, but I want to make the end of my season easier than it is now. SO. What's the point? The point is, I'm going to be measuring my food and entering it into fitday again. It helped me. I'm also going to have to make it a point to work out every day I can. Currently, it's too hard to work out on the nights that I have school because I'll work too late to get a workout in before class. That means that I'm going to have to work out the rest of the days.

So here it is folks. Tomorrow will be my official weigh in for the next step in weight loss. I want another 20 pounds in the next two months, minimum.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July Weekend

This weekend I plan on riding my face off, so to speak. Yesterday I did a ride with my brother and friend, we put in 21.5 miles at a decent clip. It was an interesting route. We tried to get lost but ended up finding ourselves back on a road we had already taken! Crap! So we re-did the route a little bit before turning off early to do a shallow climb.

Today, I'll be going over to the Schulykill River Trail to do a ride with my brother and fiance. I'm hoping for a decent average. Last time I did this ride with my brother, we bonked because of our 35 mile ride the day before.

Tomorrow, I'm going to my brothers place for another ride with him and one of his neighbors. We met him when we did the Iron Tour. I hope he's on our level and I don't get dropped. He looks like he knows what he's doing.

Yesterday I went to Performance Bike to grab another water bottle. I wanted another large bottle for the summer because it's hot, and I drink a lot. While there, I decided I'd grab some gels. I've never used one before, but I want to try them out. I got a GU energy gel (Orange Burst) and a Clif SHOT (Razz). I'll let you know what I think.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

78 Mile Weekend

This past weekend my fiance was out of town, so I stayed with my brother. We went on a bike ride both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday we started with the Iron Tour 35 mile route. We were doing fine, starting to get tired, and running out of water, but fine. Towards the end, my brother's front shifter cable popped off, so we had to stop to fix that. I'm still not sure if it's functioning fully, but we got it back on and it works.

Today, we went down to the Schuylkill River Trail. We rode there from his house. About 6-7 miles into the ride, and while we were on the trail, we were passed by a guy going approximately our speed, so I asked if we could grab his tire. He pulled us for a few miles at a speed of 20-22mph. It was intense, but really fun. My brother dropped off, so I told the guy we were gonna slow down and he could enjoy the rest of his ride in peace (haha). I started feeling a little bit tired, so I pulled out my Clif bar and tried to eat it. I tore the package open, had two bites, and then I hit a bump. SHIT. There goes my only fuel source. We went 22 miles from the house and then turned around. The guy we tagged along with caught up to us on the way back and passed us.

My knee was bothering me a little bit so our speed suffered on the way home. We averaged 16.2mph on a 42 mile ride. Not too shabby for having just done a 35/36 mile hill ride the day before.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A New First

After nearly 600 miles of cycling, today was the first day I was caught out in the rain... and it happened at the worst possible time. I was planning on doing a 20 something mile ride on mostly flat roads, with the occasional roller. At about mile 7, I pulled over to put my sunglasses in my pocket because it was getting dark (at 2:30) and assess the weather situation. I checked a nearby flag and saw no wind. Figuring I'd have some time to finish the ride, I started off again. I got about a mil down the road when I felt the first raindrop hit my nose. Shit.

I turned it around right after going through the busiest intersection of my whole ride. Luckily the light was still green so I just pushed on through. Let me tell you, there is nothing like a little rain to get you motivated to go fast. I was hustling back home, hoping the rain wouldn't pick up too much. It didn't get too bad, but the roads were a little slick when I got home. The ride was fun because I had a lot of motivation to get home, but I still had some close calls. I was nearly hit three times, cut off 5 times, almost run off the road once, and some bitch pulled out in front of me while staring me down! At least I'm home safe and I got another 16 miles under my belt and broke the 600 mile mark for the season.

Ride Stats:
Time: 59mins 03secs
Distance: 16.42 miles
Average Speed: 16.7mph
Max Speed: 36.6mph

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Iron Tour

Today was the French Creek Iron Tour. I went with my brother, friend, and fiance. We did the 50 mile loop. It was a lot of fun, but much more difficult than I had anticipated.

Last night we all stayed at my brother's place because he lives about a half mile from the start point. We woke up at 7am and rode over at around 7:45 to start. I volunteered to ride the free t-shirts back to the house before we started. We started out great, the ride was fun, but the roads were wet. There were A LOT of hills. Somebody at the end said they counted 22. ugh. I must have burned a lot of calories, though.

When we got our cue sheets in our e-mails, I laughed when I saw they had a rest stop every 10 miles. Apparently they knew what they were doing. Unfortunately, however, the rest stops SUCKED. There were lines for everything. Right as we left one of the water stops, they announced that they were out of water. ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS POUR WATER!

Overall a good day, a good ride. We're gonna go get beer now. I know, I know, counterproductive...but we earned it.

Ride stats are on the right.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Iron Tour Approaching!

This past weekend was supposed to be a training weekend for me, but I didn't end up getting to ride as much as I wanted to. I had to dog-sit for my dad starting Saturday afternoon. Since his dog can't be alone for very long, my rides had to be short. I did 25ish miles on Saturday, and then I woke up at 5 on Sunday. I got my fiance up at 7:00 to start a ride at 7:30. We put in about 16 miles.

Unfortunately, because of Graduate School, I can't ride on Monday or Wednesday. Tuesday nights are also hard to ride because I play ultimate fribee on Tuesday's. That leaves Thursday through Sunday to ride. Fortunately, however, the Iron Tour is on Sunday this coming weekend. I will be riding as many miles as I can on Thursday and Friday, then do a short ride on Saturday before the ride... about 10 miles.

Sunday is ride day. 50 miles. I'm really excited to be doing this with my fiance, my friend, and my brother. All four of us are taking on the 50 mile ride on new(ish) bikes. I spent an hour or so yesterday cleaning my fiance's bike. Hopefully it stays clean enough for the ride!

Also, we may be getting sponsored for the City to Shore ride. I'll keep you updated as things progress...

Sunday, May 31, 2009

It has been a loooong time!

I've got to catch you all up on my cycling life!

I've been getting a lot of riding in lately, which is great, but I've neglected my blog. That's unfortunate, but I'm ok with it. Recently, my brother asked me to go look at bikes with him, and last week, he finally bought one! He's riding a 2009 Fuji Roubaix. He got a great deal at Performance also. We've been on a few rides together. Two this weekend! On Saturday, while my fiance was working, my brother, friend, and I went for a 30 mile ride and hit a MONSTER hill on the way back. It was brutal, but I told myself at the beginning of it if I got off my bike, the hill didn't count. I wanted it to count. Easily the worst hill I've ridden yet.

A week ago last week was when I first started riding. My fiance pointed out to me that last summer on memorial day weekend, my step dad asked me if I wanted to do the City to Shore ride. I said yes, started training, and here I am... a cyclist. I don't think I would have called myself that a year ago, or even six months ago, but I do today. I love the sport and I know it's going to get me healthy. Better yet, I'm getting pretty good at it!

Today I went for a ride with my brother and fiance. We went to the bike path and put in a little over 25 flat miles in just under an hour and a half. We did it at an average speed of 17.4mph (a personal best). I also a met a guy on the ride. I didn't get his name, but that's ok. If I see him again, I'll recognize him. Going out was a nice easy ride, averaging about 18mph. We turned around and got stuck with a strong headwind. After our 30 miles on hills yesterday, my brother and I were struggling a little bit. My fiance on the other hand was fresh and pushing us hard core. I'm proud of her.

We decided, all four of us, to do the Iron Tour ride on June 14th. We signed up for the 50 miler. I'll keep you updated on how that goes.

Today's ride:
Time: 1:27'17
Distance: 25.32 miles
Average: 17.4mph
Max: 24.9mph

Monday, May 18, 2009

Large Fella On A Bike

I saw a post on the bicycling.com's discussion board and it contained a link to an article about a man who lost weight riding a bike. I thought it was very interesting and inspirational for guys like me who need to lose weight, and have chosen to ride a bike as our primary form of exercise. He has a blog too. Check him out.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Personal Best

I went for a ride today and made a personal best speed, 19.1 miles at 16mph. YES! There were a few hills, 2 really bad ones. Although, I remember riding one of those hills last summer and thinking it was much easier this time. I took some Clif Shot Blocks before the second bad hill, but they didn't kick in until after the hill was done. I'll have to learn to manage my food intake better. Overall a very good ride.

City to Shore Team

I started looking around online this week for a City to Shore team to join. I wanted to see if I could find a group of people to train with so I'm not going solo all the time, and to push me a little bit. Unfortunately, I'm not finding anybody to join up with yet. Hopefully that turns around soon. If you read my blog and know of a team/are on a team, let me know! I'd be interested in checking the group out.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I went for a ride today. Unfortunately, it didn't quite turn out the way I'd imagined. I left my house, climbed up my driveway and the hill on the street, then started my descent down a nice sized hill. I decided to shift so I could get my speed up. To my surprise, when I shifted back, I broke the damn front shifter! So I hopped off the bike to try to see what I'd done, and couldn't figure it out. I decided to ride over to Performance because it was only a few miles away. I ended up keeping my cadence way up because I couldn't shift. When I got there, my buddy Scott who did the fitting for me, looked at it and said I'd broken it for sure, probably over shifted. Damn. My fault. I figured I'd have to pay out the ass for a new shifter. Turns out the Performance guarantee covers stupid mistakes too! I got a brand new Shimano 105 shifter, an upgrade from my Tiagra for FREE. SO now my bike looks a little funny with two different shifters, but the bike shifts very well and I am pleased that I purchased at Performance.

When I got back out on the rode, I looked up and saw some angry skies, so I just rode home. About a mile away from the house it started to rain, so I was sorta happy my shifter had broken and I hadn't been 10 miles from home on the 20 mile ride that I'd planned on doing.

I'll look forward to the next time I get to go out and get a good ride in.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Quad County

Today, I rode in the Quad County Metric Ride with my buddy. It started off a little rough because we hadn't warmed up and the first five miles was full of some nasty hills. It got better, though. I worked on developing my pedaling and climbing skills. With the new fit, I felt much better in the saddle, although I still have some shoulder soreness. I'm pretty sure I'll have to strengthen my core to avoid putting so much pressure on my arms. Overall, the ride went well. The second half was mostly down hill, so it was easy and allowed us to go fast... which I like. I topped out at 37.2mph! I think that's the fastest I've ever gone.

In order to follow the bike route, we had to follow small arrows that were painted on the road. We didn't have any trouble for the most part, we even had a lot of time where we didn't see other riders. Unfortunately, at the end, we made a turn off the course because it didn't look like we could go straight, and there was no arrow to be seen. Little did we know, that we had to cross the street to find the arrow that told us to go straight. We rode a few miles the wrong way before turning around. Oh well. It's not the first time we've done that together.

The rest stops were really good. I got to try some Clif Bar Gel Blocks which taste awesome, but I'm not sure if they helped much with the energy levels. I had a few and then felt like I was going to bonk a few more miles down the road on a climb; my quad started to twitch. When we rolled into the start/stop we went over to get some more water and have the free lunch, pasta salad and cheese burgers. yum.

Here are our totals:
Time: 3hrs 21mins
Distance: 49.19
Average Speed: 14.6mph
Max Speed: 37.2mph

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bike Fit

I went to Performance today to get fitted on my bike again. This experience was so much different than the first time I had it done. The fitting probably took between 20 and 30 minutes once we got started. When he was asking me to pedal, he was looking at different things and was continually explaining to me what he was looking at and why. He checked my knee angle, foot position, asked where I was feeling pressure on my seat. I actually felt like he gave a crap. He ended up raising my seat up about 2 inches and explained that he was trying to open the gap between my arms and my legs to enable me to breath more and stuff.

I also asked him to check out my pedals/shoes because they were squeaking. He looked at them after making me pedal a little more and then told me I wasn't pedaling in a full rotation. He said to pedal up ONLY. When I did that, both of my feet popped out of the pedals! When that happened, he asked me if that had ever happened before. I said no, and his response was, "then you've never pedaled up before huh?" I thought I had. Oh well, I know what it feels like now. He tightened the pedals and that alone made a world of difference. I'm really looking forward to getting out this weekend and riding. I almost don't care if it rains.

OH! The best part of getting fitted today? The guy gave my bike a quick tune up and DID NOT CHARGE ME A DIME FOR ANYTHING! I felt like I owed him something for the work and the education I got today, so I gave him 5 bucks and told him to get a beer, on me. He thanked me, we shot the shit for a little while, and then I rode home. It was so smooth and comfortable. I wish I hadn't had to come home!

If you're ever in need of some mechanical help on your bike, go to my local Performance and ask for Scott. He rocks.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I convinced my buddy to sign up for the ride. I wanted to take the week I have off from school to really get into training, but I can't because this weather is TERRIBLE. I'm taking my bike to get refitted and tuned up tomorrow so I'm ready for the ride as best I can be. I'm hoping that the weather holds out on Saturday at least until the ride is over. I'll let you know my results.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Quad County Metric

My fiance convinced me to sign up for the Quad County Metric Ride in Montgomery County. I signed up for the 68 mile ride, and am freaking out about it. I'm trying to convince my buddy to sign up with me if he's available. If he's going, we'll probably do the 45 mile loop, but if I go solo, I'm gonna try for the 68. I figured, if I'm going to do a century ride in October, I should try to complete a metric century first. I've ridden longer before, but this course has hills. After last weekends ride, I'm hoping I can hang on long enough to get to the descents.

What have I gotten myself into?

Holy hills!

Today after a counseling session, I drove home the same way I'd ridden this weekend. I did not realize it at the time, but I rode over a mile completely up hill and the ascent was a little more than 400 feet. Rough route. After seeing the hill, I'm extremely proud of what I accomplished.

I'm thinking about registering for a road ride on May 9th. I'll keep you updated.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Nice weather... FINALLY

So I haven't posted in a while. I've been real busy with Easter and homework and... other things. Anyway, I went for a ride yesterday. It was 70 degrees and beautiful outside. The winds were smacking me in the face, but it didn't matter. I decided to ride to my dads house, and then to my brothers house totaling 18 miles. I then wanted to take a different route back. Bad idea. I ended up climbing 3 HUGE hills, and then bonked. I got most of the way home, but I had to call for my mom to come get me. My quads were twitching like it was their job, I was almost out of water, and was completely out of food. I ended up with 29 miles. Not too bad, but that was easily the hardest ride of the season.

I'll be going out for another ride today. I'm gonna ride to see my fiance at work and then grab lunch with the bro. I'll tack a few extra miles on after lunch so I can get my bike to his place to hang out until my fiance's done at work. Should be a good afternoon. I'm looking forward to it. I think I'll probably take the long way to lunch.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I found out this weekend that our ultimate frisbee games were picking up again starting last week. I was invited to go play tonight at 6, but turned it down because I wanted to get a bike ride in. Today was my only real day off in the evening, and it's also supposed to be the only nice day all week. I took my bike over to the river path and started out with about a 20 minute spin to warm up. Once I got warm, I started doing some intervals that Bicycling Magazine recommended for somebody who is training for a century ride (me). It was 3 eight minute intervals, each followed up by a six minute recovery. During the interval, you were to be doing about 90-95rpm and a 7-8/10 effort. After the first 6 minutes in each interval, I was dying, but I kept at it and figured, if I'm exhausted, my 7-8/10 effort is still the same even if I'm slowing down... because my current 10 is maybe my former 8.

Anyway, I went the same distance I normally do with my goal being to cut some time off and average over 15mph. On the way home, I saw a guy wearing a bright yellow jersey way ahead of me on the path. I decided, I've got about 3.5 miles left before I'm finished. I'm going to catch that guy. I got myself up to about 21-22mph and rode until I got close to him, then I kicked it into high gear because I could see my turn off approaching. I passed him, and then slowed down because my legs were shot. We talked for about 200 yards and then I pulled off. Great ride.

Here are my stats:
Time: 1:35:46
Distance: 25.53 miles
Avg Speed: 16.0mph
Max Speed: 24.5mph

Friday, March 27, 2009

3 Rides, 1 Day

Today, I went on 3 rides. I started off by myself, went for 50 minutes and then got in my car and picked up my fiance at the train station. She came with me for my second ride. We went for an hour together. We came home, and I went for my third ride with my buddy. We went for about 25 minutes and I was SHOT.

Time: 2 hours, 14 minutes
Distance: 31.86 miles
Avg Speed: 13.83mph
Max Speed: 27.9 (25.2 on flat)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Turns out, my meeting got out at around 5:30, I made it up to the bike path and got about half an hour in. I rode down around the river and started feeling something hitting me and then heard some *tink* sounds as things hit my helmet and my jacket. I thought at first, is it raining? No... is something falling from the trees? No... there are swarms of gnats! GROSS. I rode a mile and a half through these swarms of gnats. It was gross... then I had to turn around and ride through them again.

On the way back, I stopped at a sign to see where the path I was on went because there were some ways I'd never gone before. As I was standing there, two guys passed me. I figured, I'm running out of light, I should probably head back to my car. I turned and started riding. I figured, lets make a game of this... I'm gonna catch those guys before I have to turn off. Once I got around a turn, I started pushing and got my cadence up to 90rpm and going about 18mph. I wasn't making up much distance on the two guys. I turned it up a bit and started going about 20mph, and started gaining slowly. By the time my turn off came, I was right behind them... I even had about 30 yards to slow down before I turned off. Decent ride.

Here are the stats:
Time: 32:29
Distance: 7.87 miles
Avg Speed: 14.5
Max Speed: 22.2

Rollercoaster Day

Today, I got a text from a friend of mine from college saying he donated money for my City to Shore ride. When I got home, I checked my e-mail to see how much he had donated. Turns out, Mr. Money Bags gave me $100! I was so thrilled I had to call him to say thanks instead of sending out a generic e-mail. Thanks, Kev.

Even though it's only 50 degrees out today, it feels so warm and I want to go ride. Unfortunately, I have to be at a meeting tonight at 5:00. The sun sets at 7:20. The path I ride is at least 45 minutes from my office. The meeting is an hour long. By the time I get to the path, it will be too dark to ride. I'm bummed. Tomorrow I have class and won't be done until 7:15. Again, too late to ride. Friday I've got a good shot at a ride, but I want to get one in today so badly! I called the office to see if I could skip the meeting or do my part on the phone with the director. She asked why, I told her honestly, and then she said no. I told her I'm showing up in my spandex. She seemed excited. haha. I hope the meeting gets out early so I can rush up to the path and maybe got half an hour or so in. I'm wearing my spandex and bringing my bike with me. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Trend

I noticed a trend in my weight loss. For the last few weeks I've been up and down. My biggest gain was made during vacation, I came home, was very strict on myself, and lost a lot, and then last week I gained again because I ate dinner out every night during the week. Sad, but true. I simply need to focus myself on eating like a normal person again. It's only Tuesday, but I ate dinner at home last night and tonight. Tonight I ate more than I should have and I'm sure my weight will suffer a little bit this week as a result, but I want to maintain a normal lifestyle. I like to eat, I like to drink. I can do them both in moderation, or treat myself every once in a while, but I still need to find the balance.

I do attribute my weight loss thus far to being very strict and tracking my calories. I stopped doing that a few weeks ago because I felt like I could estimate my calories at this point in time. I've been successful in that, but I'm eating too much. I am realizing that I have a lot of time to lose the weight that I want to lose. I'm going to set my goal officially... 215 by the time I ride my century in October. I've got plenty of time.

It's starting to get warmer so I can get outside and ride which is great. I hope that helps me lose some weight as well... but the thing I need to change the most? Eat more veggies!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

First Ride with my Fiance

Today, my fiance and I went for a bike ride. We loaded our bikes onto the car, packed water and food, and took the bikes over to the Schuylkill River Trail, and then took off on our first ride. We went down to the end of the path, right before it turns into gravel. We didn't want to risk going on the gravel and didn't want to take the other option, the road. So, we turned around and rode back. Good thing we'd made that decision. We ended up riding into the wind for most of the way back. We practiced drafting a little bit so we didn't both have to cut the wind on our own. It was a lot of fun. I can't wait to do it again.

Here are the stats:
Time: 1:46:29
Distance: 25.53 miles
Avg Speed: 14.4mph
Max Speed: 23.6mph

Monday, March 16, 2009


I made my goal of losing all of the weight I gained on vacation, with an extra pound to throw in there for good measure. I WIN VACATION!

I've also been able to get out and ride a few days recently which is great. The fiance and I are planning to go for a ride on Sunday. Hopefully the weather is better than it's calling for right now. They're saying 50. That's a little cold. I'm hoping for a 55-60... but I think we'll probably go regardless. It'll be our first ride together, and that's exciting! I'll get to show off a little bit. ;-)

Friday, March 13, 2009

New Shoes and Good Decisions

Today after I finished my paperwork for work, I went to Performance Bike and picked myself up a pair of Shimano R076 road shoes, water bottles for the fiance and myself, and some socks.

I got home, looked up how to install my cleats into the shoes on youtube, practiced clipping in and out a little bit while holding onto my couch and watching TV, and then got changed. I took my new shoes and my new bike for a ride, and it was great. The best part? My mom had asked me to come out drinking with her work friends after she got off work today. I went for a bike ride instead. I turned down free beer. I'm proud of myself.

OH, and guess what else! I weighed myself this morning; 250.5. That's 8 pounds in 5 days. I guess all that weight I'd gained on vacation was mostly water. Whatever, I'm not complaining, I'm still almost under 250. I hope I can keep the weight off for the whole weekend!

Monday, March 9, 2009


OH NO!!!

I guess that's what a free vacation with delicious food and lots of alcohol gets me... a 5.5lb weight gain. The way I see it, if I can gain it that fast, I can lose it that fast. I've learned my lesson.

Weight goal: 253 by 3/16.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Back From Vacation

My dad took the family (including my fiance) to Florida for a 5 day trip to celebrate his birthday. We ate at fantastic restaurants, went to Disney, Universal, and Sea World. My fiance was good... she didn't drink more than one drink a night, she got up every morning to work out, and she controlled herself at meals. Me? What do you think? I drank and ate my face off, and had no inspiration to get up in the morning to work out. When we had time in the afternoon to work out, I preferred to sit in the hot tub with my fiance. I mean, it's vacation, right?

When I got home today, it was SO much nicer outside than I had anticipated. When we left home, there was 6 inches of snow on the ground. In Florida, it was mid-70's to low-80's the whole time we were there with no rain. I was aching to ride my new bike. After catching up on my e-mails, I checked the tire pressure in the new bike, and took it out for it's first outside ride. Although I didn't go very far, it was something, and it felt great.

I came back from the ride, before dinner, and before my shower, and I got on the scale. Things aren't looking very good.

I've come to realize that most of my posts here are about my failures, so I'm going to try to change how I view my accomplishments and forget about my failures (or try not to fail, haha). I need to get strict on myself real fast. I'll try to remember to post my weight tomorrow morning and then I'll set a goal for weight loss... hopefully I can get back to where I was before vacation by the end of the week.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Week Without Training

This last week I have been so busy with school work and wedding stuff I didn't have much time to get on the trainer. Unfortunately, when I did get time, I had a really bad head cold and didn't see any point in getting on the bike because I knew I wouldn't push myself very hard to make it worth it.

I had lost down to 254 before the weekend, but drank Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Sunday I made bad choices, obviously. My dad's birthday was Sunday, so we had a big dinner and I had a glass of scotch with pops. On Friday, I checked out a reception hall with the fiance and we went out to dinner. My only chance to eat well was on Saturday. Overall I had done pretty well, but the alcohol gets me every time. I'm working on it. But as it is... another pound down. I'll keep working on it.

Today, I'm sick with that stomach virus that's been going around. I'll probably lose weight because it's hard to keep anything in my stomach. I'm also really nervous to eat or drink anything more than ginger ale, gatorade, and saltines. Maybe I'll venture into other foods later today... like soup! mmm...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Today, it was 60 degrees outside, so I HAD to take a ride. I am sick with a head cold, but it didn't matter. I couldn't resist the temptation to get my bike off the trainer and take it out for the first time in months. I only did 20 minutes because my nose was running and my head was pounding, but it was so nice to get back outside! I have to admit, at first it felt funny riding on a bike that wasn't stabilized by a trainer, but I got used to it again in the first few blocks, and then it was a breeze. I miss riding outside.

Unfortunately, it's supposed to snow this weekend. What's that about?

Monday, February 9, 2009

They don't call it a battle for nothing

This week went so well... until the weekend. I drank far more than I should have and ate far more than I should have and worked out far less than I should have. Lethal combination. There are excuses, but who wants to hear those? They're not worth my time to write them down, and certainly not your time to read them... so here's some motivation:

When I got back from my fiance's on Sunday night, I was energized (probably from all the food I'd eaten), so I decided to get on the trainer and go. I pulled Biggest Loser up on the internet and set my laptop up in front of my bike so I could watch. I hooked up my speakers from my desktop so I could hear it better instead of straining like I normally do to understand anything that's being said from these tiny laptop speakers. My trainer is loud. Anyway. I watched the entire episode 4. All 84 minutes of it. From my saddle. I got off the bike at around 11pm, then I had to shower and get into bed so I could get up this morning. But here's the motivating part. The Biggest Loser has a way of motivating me normally, but once particular part of this episode really got to me. There's a guy who was allowed to leave the ranch and go visit his wife and kids so he could witness the birth of his fourth child. He had to leave his family and come back to the ranch, but before he could, he had to explain to his kids why he was leaving. Obviously, the guy was losing weight so he could be a better husband and father. Although I am not yet married and do not have kids, I need to solve this weight problem before it gets out of control. I want to be here for my soon-to-be wife. I want to be here for my future kids. I want to be able to play with them, be active, and teach them everything I know.

...I want to teach my kids how to ride a bike so they don't ever look like I do right now.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

10 pounds down... 60+ to go.

I finally lost my first 10 pounds. It feels great. I'm a little disappointed that it took me 3 weeks. I know that's healthy, but I thought I might be able to do it faster... and had I not slipped so many times, I probably could have. I actually weighed myself on Saturday and I was at 259.0 which was a big deal, but the next day was Super Bowl Sunday, so I gained a pound. I'm not too upset about that, though. I set my goal as 260 by Monday the 2nd, and that's what I did.

I'm starting to slack a little bit on my fitday.com account. I don't keep as close a record of how many calories I'm eating, but I kind of know now what I've put into my body and about how many calories that is. Hopefully I can keep on track and keep losing weight.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A week done well.... mostly

So I'd argue that I didn't lose much weight because I am experiencing what The Biggest Loser calls "The Week 2 Plateau." In reality, I had a rough Saturday which influenced by weight on Monday. I drank more than I wanted to, and I hate fried food. No excuses. I goofed on the diet.

On the brighter side, I found a website that has podcasts that I can spin to regularly. They have 5 videos with music and directions. They really help with the workout, and they force me to focus and therefore, I'm less bored and can go longer. I'm pretty psyched about them, and like most of them. The website is thesufferfest.com if you want to check them out for yourself.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Weekend + Eating Well = eeeeeeuuuuughhhh

Weekends are easily the worst time to try to stick to an eating plan of any sort. I do best when I have a schedule, but when the weekend came around, I stopped going along with my eating schedule. I didn't even keep track of my calorie intake today, because I woke up late, ate a very early lunch, then had 1 snack before the Eagles game. During the game I had 2 beers (one at the start of each half), then had dinner. As a side note, boo Cardinals.

This afternoon, my fiance and I made it official and signed up for the Bike MS City to Shore 2009. We signed up for the 100 mile ride. Now we've got 9 months to get ready for it... LETS RIDE!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

By the start of the first weekend

I've been doing very well so far and have lost almost 5 pounds. My eating has been pretty consistent; falling between 2000 and 2500 calories... typically about 2300. I'm also spinning on the indoor trainer for at least 30 minutes, but yesterday I went for 45 minutes because my butt is starting to feel better sitting in the saddle for a longer period of time.

My fiance and I went to Performance Bike yesterday to pick up our brand new bikes. We had a credit on my membership card so we got a few accessories too. We ended up coming home with our bikes, a hand pump, a floor pump, 4 tubes, 4 water bottle cages, 3 tire levers, and a helmet... and it only cost me 30 bucks for all of the accessories.

What's left is a pair of shoes for me and some clothes... guess I need to save some money. I'm excited for it to get warm outside so we can go out and ride our new bikes!

Food is going to be a little more difficult this weekend because I'm waking up later in the afternoon so my eating schedule is a little bit thrown off. I also want to have a few beers during the Eagles game, but I wouldn't mind having one tonight too. I'm going to limit myself to 3 per week, but I'll have to budget out some calories for the beer.


Monday, January 12, 2009

First day of the program...

Today went VERY well. I didn't work today because my client canceled our appointment, so I took advantage of the time and tried to fine tune my eating schedule. I woke up and had a 2 servings of egg beaters, two slices of toast with peanut butter, and a cup of yogurt. I was surprisingly full. I used the rest of the morning to do a little research, then made a protein shake which was DELICIOUS. I was shocked at how good it tasted. I didn't add any sugar to it at all, and added some protein powder that, in milk, is disgusting. When I was done with the shake, I hopped on the bike and did a half hour spin. I could have done more, probably, but the TV show I was watching went to commercial and I realized how bored I was... and my butt hurt. I ate very well for the rest of the day and ended within my calorie goal of 2000-2500 calories.

When I weighed myself this morning, I was a little disappointed to see 269.5lbs, even though I expected it to be there, I'm also disgusted at how far I let myself go. I'm very fortunate to have such a loving and supporting fiance. She doesn't mind listening to my list of food, how many calories I'm eating, and how much I'm exercising. She encourages me every step. I hope the rest of the week goes this well.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Training Starts

I found out over the weekend that my mom and step-dad are both very interested in getting healthy and losing weight as well. So today, my step-dad and I went out to get a resistance trainer, even though my bike isn't ready. We decided to hook up the old Trek I rode the City to Shore ride last summer so we could all ride on it.

Tonight, after dinner, I set up the Trek on the resistance trainer and went for a 30 minute spin. It was nice. I got sweaty and felt like I burned off some calories. I also tried to eat pretty well today, but tomorrow the real plan begins. I'm stoked.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I got a phone call on Friday saying our bikes weren't going to be arriving for pick-up until Monday or Tuesday. Bummer. I was hoping we could pick them up today so we could look at some trainers. I really have the itch to get on my new bike and just ride... even if it is inside.

Today, my fiance went grocery shopping with me which was a big help. I decided that I was going to cook my food for lunch on Sunday and keep it in the refrigerator, then pack it the night before work. I also am planning out my whole day of eating ahead of time so I know when I'll be able to eat. That's always been part of my problem. I just "feel" hungry, then grab some food... I think I'm actually just bored. I view eating as more of a pleasurable experience than a necessity most of the time. I guess what I'm saying is that I want to eat for purpose from now on, not for pleasure.

We got lots of chicken, fruits, and veggies. I want to find some protein powder so I can make a healthy snack that I can have at work. I don't get a break to eat a snack from 9:00am until 1:30pm. That's too long to go without food. I'm not usually feeling too hungry by the time I get to eat lunch, but it catches up with me later in the day. I'm hoping to stay on top of the feelings of hunger instead of letting them creep up on me and attack later in the evening when my body doesn't have the time to burn calories anymore. I'm also planning on working out after work every day (except maybe Thursday... I have two night classes that night).

I'm gonna weigh myself in on Monday mornings before work and then post it on the side bar with the date. Hopefully that number slowly gets smaller and smaller. I will really enjoy seeing my progress every week. I'm gonna kick the food and exercise program into high gear on Monday. I can't wait.

The Beginning

I'm 6'1" and I weight 270lbs. How'd I let that happen.... again? Growing up, I was never skinny. I weighed over 300lbs in high school. I got myself down to 207 at my lightest by joining the wrestling team in my junior year. I kept my weight down around 215-225 for the longest time. I felt great about myself. I went off to college and I was very aware of what I ate and made sure to work out frequently. When I turned 21 at the beginning of my junior year in college, the drinking began. It started slowly. I didn't like beer, so I stuck to hard liquor, but that didn't last long. Once the beer began, the empty calories starting pouring into my body once again. I also stopped going to the gym. Two big mistakes. Before I knew it, I had ballooned up to 250lbs.

The summer after I graduated from college, my step-dad mentioned to me that we should do the BikeMS City to Shore ride. He got me excited to work out again. He had two hybrid bikes, and he let me barrow one to train on. I started that summer and lost a little bit of weight, but I knew I was getting healthier. My friend and I started training together for the ride. It was wonderful. I hadn't been on a bike in YEARS, probably since middle school. When I first started, I was so afraid to get on the bike because I was afraid I would blow the tires out due to my weight. I didn't. My friend and I started riding a few times a week and rode a path from Valley Forge to Manayunk on occasion, which was straight and flat; ideal for a big boy. By the end of the summer, I had started working, and had less time to ride, but my friend and I still did short rides after work before it got dark. I had a hard time finding time to ride on the weekends because I wanted to visit my girlfriend. We don't get to see each other much, because we're both in graduate school and we live an hour train ride apart.

When the BikeMS City to Shore ride came, I felt prepared. Unfortunately, due to health complications, my step-dad could not make the 75 mile trip with us, but my mom and him, and my beautiful girlfriend met us at the end of the five and a half hour ride. Once the ride was over, I had nothing to train for anymore, so I stopped riding, and started drinking again... more heavily and frequently than I had. My girlfriend told me recently that I traded my bike in for beer, and when I thought about it, she was right. I rationalized it by saying it was too cold to ride, and my friend who did the ride with me and I share a passion for good beer. We drink together. It's a bonding thing... something to do.

My girlfriend told me after the BikeMS City to Shore ride that she wanted to do it with us next year. I was so excited. She knows exactly how to motivate me. I love playing sports with her. It's exciting and it's great for our relationship, and my health. She's already in great shape and I'm sure I look like quite a load standing next to her. Last weekend, we went to Performance Bike and both of us bought brand new bikes. She's going to be riding a K2 Mach 1.0 and I'll be on a K2 Mod 3.0. We got great deals and decided we would train to do the century ride in the BikeMS City to Shore 2009 bike ride.

I want to use this blog to track my/our progress in training and in my weight loss. This isn't a New Years Resolution. Nobody follows through with that crap. This is serious. I'm out of shape, overweight, and a little scared that I'm going to get seriously sick some day and leave (as of January 5th, 2009) my new fiance without a man to take care of her. I'm going to use fitday.com to track my food intake as regularly and accurately as I can, and update here with any interesting information about my journey with weight loss and training, hopefully motivating others to get active and get healthy.