You’re still still here?

This is one of me favorite days of the entire year! It is “proof” day! I can’t believe I have had Katrina this long, it seems like only yesterday I was just toying with the idea of buying a bike. This last year has been one of vast growth for me. The first year I had Katrina I did what, 60 miles? This last year I hit 1k miles! I learned that I can push myself harder than I thought I could. I learned that I have more power over my choices than I ever wanted to admit. I learned that I have terrible grammar and spelling(well I knew that one already). The most important thing I have learned though, is that I can love myself. I can admit, I am not perfect at it, but I can look at myself in the mirror and not hate the person staring back.

I get a lot of people who write me and tell me how much of an inspiration I have been. I do enjoy getting those messages, but I encourage people to realize something: True inspiration has to come from within! When I took that first step forward, I felt “inspired” by some postings online, but I quickly realized that was a fading feeling. In the end I have had to find the inspiration in my own works(sounds coincided I am sure). I look back on some of those first “goals” that I hit, 1 mile, 5 miles, 20 miles, ect, and even some of my smaller ones like weighing in every week(even if I don’t want to)! After I think/read about it, I am inspired! It makes me want to push further and harder. I hope those of you who read this, get that first shot of inspiration and then learn to be inspired by your own accomplishments! Even the smallest victory is STILL a victory!

I could write out a lengthy post but I am going to end it here. I have to go finish packing up the house for our upcoming move.

Here is to another year, and inspiring myself to new heights!

Another Year on Katrina
Another Year on Katrina
I am sexy and I know it!
I am sexy and I know it!

Keep On Rolling,

Big Boned Biker


Product Review: Shimano FC-M410 Crank Set

Shimano FC-M410 Alivio 8-Speed Square Taper Crank Set (170mm, 22/32/42, Black)

So I had this bad boy installed on Katrina a week or so ago, and I wanted to talk a bit about it!

Every one keeps asking me, why would I install this? For those that aren’t aware a 22 tooth gives very little power but lets you keep “spinning” up those tough hills. When I am asked my first response is “I am fat and those hills are nothing but a bunch of fat shamers!” This always bring about a chuckle, and while it seems silly it is true. Sometimes those hills are tough, add-on to it a kid(and soon to be 2 kids) riding in back, my panniers which get loaded with stuff, and it makes for a nice cocktail of gravitational forces! My hope with this new gearing is that I can keep my cadence up while hitting those BBBEH. So here is a review of Katrina’s boob job…

Here is my review:

Price: Felt like this was a great price( use this link, it helps me keep on rolling! ), it gave me the gearing without breaking the bank.

Easy of Install: I wouldn’t know, I didn’t install it. However, according to my LBS it was very straight forward.

Positives: Pedaling feels smooth, I kept the crank length the same so not much changed on that end. Price as mentioned before was a good deal, and I feel like this crank set will hold up nicely to my riding style.

Negative: It did take some re-adjustment of the derailleurs to get it to shift properly. At first I ran into an issue where the gears were “slipping” but my LBS had it fixed quickly. I still have one issue where it is slow to shift from my mid-range gear to the lower/higher on the front end. I think with a bit of tweaking I should be able to get this fixed.

Overall thoughts: This is a great crank set for people who need it! While it isn’t high up on the Shimano lineup, it still falls into the mid range. If you need to climb some big hills, pull gear, tour, drag kids around ect, this could be the crank set for you! If you find that you’re often on your top end and wanting more “power” from your bike, this is NOT the crank for you. You will go slower, but it lets you keep on going.

I hope you enjoyed this review, if you have your own thoughts on this great crank set feel free to leave comments!


Does this look familiar _____________________________________________________________?

It is a plateau, when your weight loss seems to stall out and you just kinda sit there for awhile. I have been going through one for a bit though still relativity loosing, my losses amount to an average of .8 a week. Sick and tired of it, but I know what causes it. I just didn’t have the fight in me. I have been pretty emotionally drained lately, with the new baby, upcoming move, and a waaaaaay to long winter. I just lost the fire for awhile.

Two weeks ago I got sick, and it was ugly. I was in bed for about 2 ½ days which also meant I wasn’t eating much. That weeks weigh in was one of my best in awhile a 4.6 pound loss! I can’t really count it though right? It came from being sick, and I know it won’t last. Going into the next week I was pretty sure I was going to have a gain. I realized though, I don’t HAVE to have a gain. What a novel idea eh? I could still have a loss, but it means I would need to knuckle down.

I hit the gym for 6 hours a day everyday, eating nothing but carrots and beef jerky! Fine, I didn’t do that, but I can imagine I did right? I actually didn’t make it to the gym at all, but I did find time to do some activity at home. It is amazing the little things that you can do, that add up to big things. I decided to write out a list of things I can do at home, that may not seem like much by themselves.

Push-ups(ten at a time, done 10 times through out the day)
Laundry lunge(taking the laundry basket and making BIG steps with it around the house a few times)
Stairs(up and down the stairs 5x in a row spread, continue throughout the day)
Toddler lifts(picking up my son from the ground and swinging him up into the air, and back down again..go until you think he might puke)
Clean the floor(take a sponge and wash the floor by hand)
Be a horse(have my toddler ride me around the house while I get some exercise in)
Packing(moving boxes as you pack)

This isn’t an all inclusive list, but just some ideas. The nice part about this list is that I can do them on days I can’t get to the gym. Also, my son loves doing some of them with me, though he tends to more mock me as I try for the push-ups. Activity is all around us if we choose to find it.

Lecture over, moving right along…

I got to ride Katrina the other day!!!!!! It was a very short 4 mile ride, I took her back to the bike shop to get a few adjustments done. I can’t remember if I mentioned it or not, but I had a new crankset installed. For those that wish to know it is a 22/32/42 from a 28/38/48. In human speak it means less “power” but easier to spin, useful on those BBBEH(big bad biker eating hills). As many of you know, I hate driving my car, hate hate hate it. So when I have a fully loaded trailer with me, this will make those hills manageable. It also means I loose some of my “top end speed”, but a brick ain’t made to go fast right? I plan to put up a review on it next month when I get to try it out a bit more..

I am still trying to raise money for my bike tour(you can donate here), though with the upcoming move and my wife’s new job, I may have to put it off one more year. I will still be trying to get a short weekend tour in though, and it will be awesome none the less!

In a final note here, as I am sure this seems more like a jumbled mess than a blog post, I have some awesome news. As of last week I, the Big Boned Biker, am no longer Morbidly Obese…yup I just be severely Obese(or still fat to the layperson). I didn’t even notice it until I went to enter in my weight for my BMI chart that I keep, kind of a cool feeling. I should also add I was able to pull out a loss this week, taking me over the 50# hump. I don’t remember the last time I was this small, and onederland seems so much closer now. My yearly photo is coming up in 7 days, and I can’t wait to see the side by side! I even found a pair of my old pants, I think a 58” waist!

40pounds This photo is for my Weight Watchers leader..this was at about 40# loss 🙂

Forgive me if I don’t post much in the interim, but with this move I will be a bit lacking in the time area. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear about some of the exercises you are finding to do around the house/office, please share in the comment section!

Keep on rolling,

Big Boned Biker


After the day I had yesterday, I feel vindicated. I looked in the face of a “failure” and showed it that I AM THE BOSS. What am I talking about? Well for the best answer we need to look back to a dark and sad day ( ). It is a day I have not forgotten about, and one that I never wanted to repeat.

Here we are though, the date was 03-06-2014, and I found myself at Chestnut Mountain Ski Resort. This was the same place that it happened last year, and I was already feeling worried as we drove up to the resort. What if they don’t fit? Can I deal with this kind of stress? I had a small gain last week, if they don’t fit will I end up with another one? I told myself that I have lost over 100# since the last time I tried to ski, my cankles surly must have gone down, right?

The air was crisp as I walked into the lodge, I was tempted to just go try on the boots before I even got ready. I made myself get ready though, I wanted to think positive! I would go in with my head held high, and proclaim for all that I, the BIG BONED BIKER, has arrived. However, after changing into my snow gear(thanks to my BIL for loaning me some snow pants as mine are 4 sizes to large), I could feel the butterflies turning into a feeding frenzy. As I traversed the short distance between the lodge and the rental area, I thought about turning around and not even trying. I could simply call my wife and wait for her to come rescue me again. No, I needed to do this, I needed to face my fear of disappointment. As I paid my money I still asked about getting a refund, the nice lady behind the counter suggested I go try the boots first. Good advice, but I wanted to stay positive and said “nah, I am sure they will fit”. It was a bold face lie! I knew they wouldn’t fit, after all I am a fatty, so I should just already know that it would be a fail.

Sweat glistened on my face, as I walked up to the rental counter. I swallowed hard and gave the man my shoe size. He promptly hands me some boots and I go sit down. This is it, the moment of truth, will this be act 2 of my tragic story? I loosened up the straps as far as they could go, and took a deep breath. I knew what was coming, so why put it off. With a loud battle cry, I dove my foot into the nemesis before me! Well maybe not a loud battle cry, but a silent plea to heaven for some help.

It didn’t fit, I couldn’t get my foot in the boot. I sat back down, tears(manly tears of course) began to form around my eyes. I was defeated, 175# lost, and I still couldn’t go skiing. I looked down, at the boot, still half way on my foot, and noticed the strap was closed. WHAT? Could this really be the only obstacle standing between me and the frosty cold breeze that I would feel as I soared down the slopes! I quickly undo the strap, standing up and feel it, a gentle “thump”. My foot was in the boot, I go down to strap it in and it tightened. Well last time I did eventually get this far, but it was with extreme pain. This time however, the boots could tell who was in charge! No pain, and what is more, I had to tighten them some more when I went out side.

So, there you have it, proof that this entire journey is paying off. I quickly found my snow legs and was able to ski for about 6 hours that day. I did some greens and blue routes(so east and medium), and even tried some smaller jumps.

Big Boned Biker being epic and skiing
Big Boned Biker being epic and skiing

Big Boned Biker Skiing!
Big Boned Biker Skiing!

Another amazing part of all this is that I get to cross off another thing from my freedom list!


Here is a video I tried to take while skiing down one of the hills..

Remember, your dreams are just points in your life you haven’t gotten to yet. I was so discouraged when I couldn’t go the last time, I knew that I couldn’t let it happen again. It was a dream and I made it a reality. Go and make your dreams a reality! You got this!

Sunset on a wonderful day of skiing
Sunset on a wonderful day of skiing

This is the Big Boned SKIER,

Keep on Rolling!


So life has been keeping me busy, and is throwing some big changes at my family.

1. Birth of second son
2. New Job for my Wife
3. New job is 2 states away
4. See 1-3

My youngest son has been proving to be a handful, in a rather literal sense. My oldest was sleeping through the night on his on by this point, but his brother doesn’t want to follow suit. So we are having to hold him while sleeping on the couch in the living room(taking turns every other night right now). This is leaving me very tired throughout the day, making working out much tougher. I used the word “tougher” with some apprehension, but decided that it was the best way to describe it! After 30 min I feel drained to the core. I came close to passing out the other day after 20 min of using the gym bike. I am sure that would have been a funny sight though, as I was clipped in with my bike shoes.

Not only is my body exhausted, my mind is as well. Sleep deprivation doesn’t do good things to you when you want to loose weight! I am drinking a 80:20 ratio of soda/coffee to water, which doesn’t help your body keep things moving. I find myself faced with choices and my mind is screaming “just pick the easy choice already!”. I have tracked every meal I have eaten, but I have had to track a few things I wish I didn’t need to.

Lets take both of those things going on and add a dash of upset! My wife has been offered an amazing new job, but it is 2 states away! So, we have spent the last week or so trying to find a place to live! With a family of 4 and 2 small dogs it isn’t an easy task! One of the most annoying parts was dealing with realtors that NEVER CALLED YOU BACK! We mainly used the Zillow app, but tried a few others as well. The other annoying part, scammers! We saw about 3 “perfect” places, amazing stats, amazing locations, amazing price….and they all turned out to be scammers. Here is how they work(in hopes you can avoid the home scammers as well).

They take a house for sale, copy the photos and information and re-list it on craigslist, zillow, and others as being for rent. You contact them and they say something like “hey I am not in the area right now but go ahead, look in the windows! You do that, and say “I LOVE IT”, they tell you that they will send you the keys to go look in it, but need some money from you first “to make sure we get the key back”. You send the money, and never hear back! Another variation is they send you a fake lease and you send in your information and security deposit…and never hear from them again.

So we lined up 4 real places to see, 2 apts and 2 houses. We pack up the family at 5:30am and hit the road for a day of fun, adventure, and amazing places! HA! Ok, the ride out wasn’t bad, full of excitement about what we were going to see. The first place was one we were really wanting, a 3 bedroom 2 bath townhouse. We arrive and find it is at a huge apt. complex, but that’s fine, lets just see the place. We meet with the manager who first tells us about rules/deposits, which are pretty straightforward except for the following: $200 non refundable pet fee plus $100 refundable pet fee PER PET! We have 2 dogs, so $600 in extra fees, on top of rent and security deposit. Ok, lets just go see the place, we can deal with this later.

As we pull up to the place we realize this isn’t going to work, walking inside the place is TINY. The manager turns to us and tells us “most people say this place is to small, so I doubt it will work for you”. Maybe, in the future, when someone says they are a family of 4 with 2 dogs, tell them that it is a small place before they drive 5 hours to see it? Needless to say, that would not be the future home of the Big Boned Biker.

So we drive out to go see the next place, and our moods are starting to go downhill. The next place was a 2 bedroom 2 bath, but suppose to be “open and roomy”. As we meet with the landlord she lets us know the fees, much more reasonable and not per pet. This perks us up a bit, maybe this one will work out. As we follow her out to the unit things go south quickly. The building is a 3 story building, and the unit, as I am sure you already guessed, is on the 3rd floor. Ok, lets get into the elevator and take…what do you mean there is no elevator? While I enjoy nice work out, 3 flights of steps with 2 dogs and 2 kids does not a happy memory make. We decide to see the place anyways, after all we already are there, and it too disappoints. The kids room would lead right out onto a third story balcony, or into a bathroom. Scratch this one off the list!

We get a text before we leave, it is from the next house on the list, “Hey the power got turned out in the house. I can’t meet you till after dark, but feel free to go take a look.” He sends us the code to get into it, and we drive out. Not feeling very positive about this place after the first two were such flops. As we pull up to the slightly run down 3 bedroom 2 bath house our hopes are not raised. As my wife and I go inside to explore we are left with a feeling of “meh”. No central air, no basement, no dishwasher, and the second “bath” is a shower stall and a toilet in the garage. Yes, in the garage, and not a “finished” garage, just a regular garage. The back yard is a nice size but has an old ragged fence that I am sure a mouse might knock down. On the plus side, bigger, has a 3 ¾ season porch, wood fireplace, and quite neighborhood. It is at least a contender, considering we only have one other place to view.

So as we head to house number four, our stress level is through the roof. As you can imagine we have two little boys in back not enjoying the trip very much, and happy to let us know about it. The final house is a 3 bedroom 1 bath place, and it is being completely remodeled ! WOW OH WOW! It is beautiful, hard wood floors, central air, brand new dishwasher, laundry room! The back yard is big and fenced in, with a sturdy fence! There is a lovely wood deck and while the place lacks a garage, it has a big shed for storage. Ok, so the place is rather small, but we COULD make it work, and the price was one of the cheapest we have seen. As we head out to the car, we both quickly agree this will be our new home, the new home of the Big Boned Biker!

I admittedly get hold of the listing agent, “WE WANT THIS PLACE! Lets get the ball rolling!”, I was excited to say the least. However, as often seems to happen, there was a catch…the owner is looking to flip the house. What does that mean? Well he may sell it while your living in it and you have to move(but he might give you 1k for helping him sell it). With the thought of having to go through this all over again, we told him that perhaps this won’t work out after all. So with a sad, stressed, tired, and exhausted heart, I hang up the phone.

So what are we going to do? Where are we going to live? We have to move in 30 days, and we can’t afford to keep driving out to see places. At that time the landlord from the house we saw before gets hold of me. He wants to know how we liked the place and if it would work? I let him know it “might work”, but really both my wife and I, felt it was to high priced. However we arrange to meet him at his office to at least talk with him about the place.

I go into meet with him, my wife stays in the car with the kids, we don’t see a point in her even coming in because we aren’t getting this place. I sit down to meet with the landlord, a nice looking guy and friendly. I tell him about myself/family, and explain what we didn’t like about the place. I ask him “would you be willing to drop the price to X?” not really expecting it to happen. While he doesn’t give me x, he says he thinks he could do Y instead. Ok, I am perked up a bit, Y isn’t to bad a price! Ok, but what about the dogs? No extra, not even an extra security deposit. We talk for a bit more and I take an application, with a promise to let him know what we decide in the morning.

We had already got some advice from a helpful source(thanks mom and a dad!), so we head to the hotel. What should we do? Should we keep looking? Take it? Try and get him to lower the price more? Take the other houses? Play Blackjack? Drive Ms. Daisy? So many options! UGH!

In the end we make a choice, if we ended up not finding a house, thus having to stay in one of those apts, we would be pissed, very pissed. As you have likely gathered at this point, we are taking the house. It might be run down, but so am I, it just needs some TLC(so do I). It is also only a rental, so in a few years we can leave and maybe find a house of our very own. It will WORK, and in the end that is all that matters.

So now that the stress is all gone, I feel better..yes that was a bold face lie. My eating on the trip was not the best, some of which was in direct relation to the stress. From pizza and taco bell to fries and mozzarella sticks, it ran the gauntlet! However, they were not all regrettable choices, just most of them. I actually thought I made a good choice that following morning for breakfast, but it ended up costing me half of my daily points! That lunch I made an amazing choice, a nice chopped salad(no cheese,eggs or croutons) with a balsamic vinaigrette, and a portabella mushroom roll-up(with a herb flavored flat bread roll) with a bit of balsamic dressing. YUM YUM YUM! It was amazingly good, and amazingly unsatisfying. This lead me to eating some of my wife’s meal, and using up all but 4 of my daily points.

We stop at a wayside to feed Lil BBB 2, and I go in and grab a coffee…and a pretzel. This leaves me 5 points in the hole for the day. It also left me feeling very sick and I was not able to even eat dinner tonight. This trip was not filled with positive choices, but at the same point, I have taken accountability for every bite I made! I also did my best to drink more water today, and got in about 3 glasses.

So, still stressed, still tired, and still not making the best choices..I am though: Happy(we have some new adventures ahead of us!), Healthy(I may not have made the best choices, but I stayed accountable to them), Loved(I know that no matter what, we 4 have each other and that is ALL that matters).

On a side note, thank you to every one who has been letting me know that you are reading this blog, it is nice to know that my journey is helping you on yours!

Keep On Rolling,

Big Boned Biker

BTW I am on facebook as well