From the Desk of the Big Boned Biker:
Still going strong here! I haven’t posted in awhile, life has gotten in the way, and maybe a touch of laziness. I have been doing great with my workouts; consistently on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. I have found my time lifting at the gym almost as relaxing as well as fulfilling as riding my bike. It helps me focus and really centers my mind. Here are a few pictures from the gym, though they might not be the most “flattering” I am still proud of them.
I have also been training for my up coming ride with Le Tour De Shore! Day one will be the toughest day as it will be a bit over 60 miles, though I was able to do 60 last month it was still a struggle to complete it. I really need to work on my food intake, as I think I bonked at the end(ran out of “fuel”).
The ride started out well, it was a cooler day and I wore some gym pants and a light jacket. I wish it had been a touch warmer as I felt a bit overheated wearing the coat. I did try taking it off a few times but the wind from riding made it a bit to cold still. I had originally planned to ride to Michiana MI. but decided the night before to ride to La Porte instead. It looked like a nice easy ride, mainly on calm country roads, in other words some of my favorite riding.
I took off around mid morning and quickly made my way down the Prairie Duneland trail that runs near my house. That took me to Chesterton, and even though a couple people have shown me a route around the downtown, I couldn’t remember it for the life of me. I HATE riding through the busy intersection that is there, and I am pretty sure the cars behind me hate it too. I continued along the roads, I knew them pretty well as it is the same route I take to get to the campground. When I reached the point where I normally turn left, I continued straight. This was my first break, and about 20 miles in!
I was feeling strong and had only about another 10 miles to go before I turned around. Piece of cake! I take off and am riding along with a big grin on my face. There is something about being on a bike to make you feel alive! Wait, what was that up ahead? Ahh @#$@ a hill. Yeah, I didn’t know about the hills on this route! I ended up having to walk up one of them and this was waiting for me at the top.
So apparently I wasn’t the only one who felt this way! Despite the hills though I enjoyed the country scenery. I even stopped for a couple of pictures, or at least that is what I told myself the reason for stopping was.
Now my wife and I have a deal of sorts, when I go riding she wont come get me. If I got myself somewhere, I can get myself back. Now this isn’t serious, and it is more of a joke than anything, but it is a mentality that helps me push through some tough spots. This ride though, she had said that if I needed a ride she would come and get me. As I pulled into La Porte, I stopped for another couple of photos.
I was half way, I was tired, I was drained, I was feeling like quitting. I called her up, and told her how I felt. Those hills had wiped me out, and there wasn’t even that many of them. I also was getting over a bad cold and would go into minute long coughing fits, which didn’t help the matter. I told her though that I wasn’t 100% sure I was ready to give up, and decided to rest for about a half hour before heading home.
One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four. I counted a cadence in my head as I cycled slowly along the road. Through a bit of luck I took a wrong turn and ended up missing a couple of the hills, but I still was feeling like I was running on fumes. When I made it back to where the campground turn was though, I knew I could make it home. I called my wife and said to cancel the red alert, I would be biking home today! 4 miles later I was on the side of the road coughing, sore, tired, and wishing I hadn’t made that call. One positive note though, I did figure out the alternative way to go, so i was able to skip the busy area!Still, all the way home, about every couple of miles I was having to stop to rest my legs. I was finished. I couldn’t go one bit more. I stopped on the side of the trail, sat down and felt like crying. How could I have let myself get this far our of shape! I had done harder rides with ease in the past, even at heavier weights! The ride to Dodgeville was a tougher ride and I don’t think I could do that right now. However, I gathered my strength and pushed on. I just kept pushing myself, on pedal stroke at a time. I eventually made it home and I remember saying out loud “I f’ing made it”. It was a hair over 60 miles, but it felt like I had ridden a century.
I learned for my June ride that, I can make it if I push myself(at least I won’t be riding alone hopefully) and that I really need to get my food intake figured out. The power bars I brought just weren’t enough fuel for my body. I further learned that, when you do a big ride on Tuesday, make sure Wednesday isn’t leg day! Ouch!
Keep on Rolling,
Big Boned Biker
What a week, some good some bad, but what a week.
I changed some tires for my dad on his old Murry Mt. Bike, but I didn’t notice that the ones I ordered were white wall. They also ended up being a bit larger than what he had on orignally, but with a bit of wrenching with the brakes I was able to get them to work. I wasn’t sure what my dad would think of the white walls, but he was thrilled! In fact, it made his old bike almost look like new, and with a slightly less knobby tread it was smooth sailing.
I noticed that Katrina has been running a bit sluggish, so after I examined her I noted that my back tire as out of true. So I took her in on this past Friday to see the “doctor” at the LBS. The said it would be done Sat. afternoon, however it wasn’t until late Monday that I got the call to pick her up. Turns out the rim wasn’t out of true. The adjusted my brakes out a bit, and I think that helped clear up the issue.
So on Wednesday I decided to give Katrina a good bathing/lubing, as the road grit was building up. What I discovered while doing this though was that I had worn through my back wheel. Needless to say I was not a happy camper, but was glad to know that I didn’t have to take it to my LBS to fix. I ended up finding some nice tires on amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004JKIUD6/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1), and while I had some 700×32’s on before I decided to go with 700×28’s. I am hoping that with the smaller diameter tire I will be able to pick up some speed, as well as being able to run a higher psi.
So today they were due to arrive, but since they were coming UPS I knew it would be late in the afternoon. Which, would be a good thing because we had our ultrasound today! I am happy to announce that our newest member of the family will be a boy! Though I was positive it would be a girl, I am very happy with another boy. So after we picked up my son from his aunts house, we went to wal-mart for a few things. When I got home at about 4:30 I was expecting my tires to be here, but they were not. They ended up not coming till about 7pm, and as soon as my son went down to bed I went to install them.
Installing them seemed pretty straight forward, after all I had done my dads tires earlier in the week. I had already removed the old tires/tubes from the rims, so I was able to skip that step. After aligning the valve with the valve hole it was a simple matter of setting the beads on the tire. Simple at least for the front tire, with the stock rim. The back tire was another beast all together, and it ended up taking me 30min of fighting, sweating, and swearing to get that tire on! In the end though I did prevail and after installing them on Katrina I went for a ride. I did not notice the size difference as much as I had hoped I would. However, when I went to take a turn, the agility of the tire really showed itself! I only went around the block quickly, and will be able to offer a better review after a longer ride.
Weight watchers wise, it was an ok week. Saturday I went completely overboard on some food choices, but still remained within my weekly/activity points. Despite my better efforts I only ended up loosing about a half pound. Which is better than a gain, but I consider that a maintain. I think I let some personal things going on affect my food choices. It reminds me that no matter how well I feel I am doing, I can easily slip back to my old habits if I let my guard down. Those of us on this type of journey have to take it all one bite at a time….
Keep on rolling,