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Archive for April, 2009

Well, not in so many words.  But still.

Thing is, I’ve broken two spokes on my rear wheels in the past six weeks.  One was on my road bike, 6 weeks ago, and the other on my mountain bike on Monday. I also broke another spoke on my road bike toward the end of last summer.  When I inquired what I could do to prevent further spokes from breaking, my bike shop owner, whom I know pretty well, made a circular motion around his waist with his hands.  He also suggested that we could build some stronger wheels, but apparently watching my calories would be a bit cheaper.

I weigh 210 now, and I got as low as 198 last summer.  So more riding, less eating, should save me money on spokes over the long haul.

Oh, and just so you know, my bike shop owner was just joking.  My self-esteem is mostly still intact.  Now to find more time to ride.

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Bought a trainer

It may seem a bit counter-intuitive to buy a trainer in spring, but I’ve come to the conclusion that if I’m going to be better on the bike, then I need to spend more time on the bike. With my responsibilities of being a full-time job and being a husband and father-of-three-boys, it’s really hard to get as much riding as I would like. I’ve been borrowing a friend’s trainer for a couple of weeks, and I’ve ridden it a few times. I set it up in my family room (conveniently just off the garage) and watch TV while riding it. Unfortunately the best time for me to ride the trainer is at 5 in the morning, so that presents the challenge of actually waking up. However, once I’m on the trainer, it is generally fairly easy to wake up in a matter of minutes. To keep from getting too bored, I’ve been watching the first season for Heroes streamed via Netflix on my Xbox 360. I generally ride for about 30 minutes, but I would like to start riding for longer. That also means getting up a bit earlier as well, so we’ll have to see how that goes.  I’m also still going to the gym on my lunch break during the day, so riding the trainer is not replacing my normal weight/cardio workouts at the gym.  On the days that I have ridden the trainer at home, I’ve done weights at the gym (upper body only).  Once I get into a more regular routine with the trainer, the gym routine may change slightly.

I wound up buying a new Minoura Mag M50 on ebay (pictured).  It is the newer model to the one I’ve been borrowing from my friend.  I’ve found the one I’ve been using to be relatively quiet for a magnetic trainer, so I’m hoping the newer model works just the same.  It should arrive later this week, so I’ll be sure to give a review in the future.

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Athens Trail Ride

resting in front of a sign on the Athens Trail

resting in front of a sign on the Athens Trail

Today was my first trail ride of the season.  I started at Grover Center and rode through campus to the Bike Path.  I then took the Bike Path to Sells Park (about 2.8 miles).  I decided to take the Rockhouse Trail to the Athens Trail, down to East State Street, back to the Bike Path, and back to Campus.  There were several places that I had to get off and walk on the Rockhouse Trail.  I’m needing to ride a lot more to get my lungs in a bit better shape.  While I’ve been doing interval training at the gym, I still got really, really winded on a few of the hills.   Also, with the spring rains, a few places on Rockhouse were quite boggy.  Next time I may just stick to the Athens Trail, unless we’ve had dry, sunny weather for a good solid week or more.

I also got a nice flat on the ridge just past the Rockhouse/Athens Trail intersection.  I must have landed a nice thorn, as air was spewing out of my tire.  I also apparently broke a spoke.  Thanks to my Eagle Scout tendencies, I had a spare tube and a pump, so I fixed the tube in about ten minutes.  I’ve had quite a bit of practice changing flats in the last few months, so I’ve got the routine down.

The entire ride was about 12 miles round trip, with about seven miles on pavement.  I thought I would try the route to see if I could get over the the trails on my lunch break and back in an hour.  With the flat and my walking, it turned out to be two hours.  I guess that gives me something to work for.  Next time I’ll try the Athens Trail and loop back to Sells Park via one of the bailout trails.  That would make the ride shorter, but perhaps make it easier to get back under 60 minutes.

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Urban Velo has created a good list of Steel Road Bikes.

The list appears to be fairly comprehensive, and folks are adding additional suggestions.  If steel is your thing, check out the list of bikes.

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Today’s workout

This morning I did a half-hour spin on the trainer while watching Heroes on Netflix. I mixed it up a little with a couple of fast sprints, but nothing too crazy. It’s only the second time I’ve used a trainer, and it’s kind of odd having to pedal for 30 minutes straight. It’s a pretty decent workout. Seeing how it’s tough to get as many miles on the bike as I want to, the trainer may be the best approach for getting my legs in shape for the longer rides.

I also spent 30 minutes this afternoon on the eliptical trainer at the gym. I tend to enjoy doing the interval mode, as it simulates hills to a certain degree. The work and recovery helps to really get my heart rate going.

Current weight: 211

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Today I did an upper body routine with mostly free weights.  Since cycling season is upon us, I will likely forgo a leg routine for some time. Most likely my legs will get plenty of work on the bike.  I did the same upper body routine last week, and it seems to fit nicely in within my 30 minute window.  Here’s the routine:

Dumbbell bench press 3 sets of 10

Dumbbell rows:  3 sets of 10

Seated dumbbell military press: 3 sets of 10

Incline dumbbell flyes: 3 sets of 10

Lat Pulldown: 3 sets of 10

Dumbbell curls: 3 sets of 10

Tricep push-downs: 3 sets of 10

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