Category Archives: Updates

Regression bringing on progression

Since you’ve been gone

It has been a great time since I’ve been on here, posting or reading anything. In retrospect, shame on me.

A quick recap – after my grandfather died, I stopped blogging due to time restraints. After much discussion, my wife and I plunged into the world of travel nursing. We moved from Central Florida to Santa Fe, NM. I picked up a night shift job and my wife works insane hours. That about covers the highlights. I bring these things up mostly because they’ve been a source of negative or positive forces in my life.

I’ve come to realize the blog is a source of accountability. Since stopping, I’ve decreased the amount of hours on the bike, even whilst still in Florida. That stops today.

Travel nursing, while very changeable from day to day, has been a great experience so far. The jobs themselves lend me to make excuses though. I use night shift and the fact that time with my wife is now a valuable commodity as cop-outs to riding. This also stops today.

I mention Santa Fe because I’ve also used it as a reason not to ride. This is a legitimate reason actually, given it ranks pretty high in bicycle accidents involving autos per capita in the US. But I’ve found a way around this (and the cold months incoming) – a smart trainer! So this excuse also ends today.

The Changes

Here’s a more comprehensive list of the changes going on and a very quick explanation of each.

  1. Incoming baby – due late March, excited as hell!
  2. Moving every 3-6 months – travel nursing! Lends to a lot of variety in scenery, probably prolonging time to burnout!
  3. Santa Fe, NM – elevation 7200 ft. The lack of oxygen is noticeable still, but far less so than 3 months ago. I’ll be headed to Colorado Springs, CO next, elevation 6000 ft.
  4. Along with #3 – hills! I got my ass kicked by the road to Ski Santa Fe three times. I’m done losing to hills. Florida was a great place to start riding again, but the Rockies is where I’ll be able to improve a hell of a lot more (so long as I stick to it).
  5. Smart trainer – Purchased an Elite Turbo Muin to play along on Zwift as well as use training simulations to get off the roads as well as have some simulated fun.
  6. Extra weight – I’m back up to 190 lbs., about 12 lbs. added since I last posted. Part diet, part lack of time on the bike. Somewhat to blame for Ski Santa Fe making me its bitch.
  7. Hyperthyroidism – I mentioned this before, and I’ve been neglecting it since moving. Once in Colorado and health coverage kicks in, I’m putting an end to this. I’ve noticed huge fluctuations in heart rate, even with medication, on and off the bike.
  8. New goals – more on this later.

There it is. All the things that will affect me in positive ways. Yes, the thyroid and weight I’m taking as positives. Anyone who has ever seriously tried to lose weight will tell you, it comes off quickly at the start. I’ll use this as motivation. The thyroid, well…control is control. Once I slap this into its place, I’ll feel better about having done so (not to mention just feeling better because it’s under control).

Action plan

At the suggestion of my cousin, I bought Joe Friel’s The Cyclist’s Training Bible a while back. I skimmed thru it a few times and onto the shelves it went. Since getting my butt kicked on the hills, I picked it up again and found some motivation. The result: my action plan to become a better cyclist.

The basics of the plan: 2 weeks prep, 10 weeks of base, 20 weeks of build, then alternating weeks of base/build/recovery.

To those of you unfamiliar with Joe Friel and/or this terminology, I’ll explain later with a more in-depth explanation. To those who are familiar, you may be asking, why is this so much different than his plan?

Plain and simple – I don’t race. By shortening the build period and then giving myself a regular rotation of base, build, and recovery weeks, I’m preventing training burnout while attempting to maintain a fitness level with which I’m comfortable. This part may change…it’s too early to tell.

When I’ll start is still debatable. I’m still trying to iron out our move to Colorado. Rest assured, you’ll read about it.


I think goals are important for anyone and for anything. At first, I cycled so I could get in shape and lose weight. Not that this has changed, I think anyone who rides seriously wants to stay in shape or improve on their current fitness, but it is less of a priority and more of a side-goal to bigger ones.

As you can see from the menu bar, I have a goals menu. It’s going to change. The current ones there won’t go away. Monthly goals will take on the shape of my action plan, with random other ones peppered in there. Big-uns are still on the to-do list, but new ones will definitely be added. Also, a re-prioritization is in order.

  1. English century – complete
  2. Big hill (most likely Pike’s Peak)
  3. Cross-state
  4. Everest (more on this in a later post if you’ve never heard of it)
  5. Cross-country

And there you have it. Ill be making a more concrete schedule for my big hill ride in the coming weeks, but it will be in the next 3 months or so.

To all the readers out there, good to see you again! Thanks for coming back!

My recent absence

The thing about life is that it ends

I don’t know how many people read this, and it’s not important. This is for me more than any readers.

My ride across Florida was interrupted due to a death in the family. I’m not particularly sad, it was a good death and well-deserved. I know that sounds callous, but suffice it to say I know he’s happy with his life and his death.

In any case, the week became about being with family, attempting to find solace in those close. It was rough, but it was still good. Family and friends from Colorado came, and the community that has formed around my parents here in Florida is astounding. In the end, I spent a lot of time with my family and away from the bike and blog.

Also, life is a bitch

The other news is that I have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. A condition in which the thyroid (basically the organ that controls everything either actively or passively) excretes far too much thyroid hormones creating a semi-adrenaline state of mind and body.  For those who know me, my “asshole-like” attitude can be explained partially by this, the other part is pure Joel.

For the people who know me thru the blog, this translates into my excessively high heart rate and extreme fatigue, especially in the early days of this blog. For now, the only treatment I am receiving is a Beta-blocker called Inderal. It simply lowers my heart rate and blood pressure. To give you a taste of the discrepancies, my average heart rate on any given ride pre-Inderal was anywhere between 155 and 170. Post-Inderal average heart rates are around 135. Still too early to tell how my max heart rate is affected, but I’ll post more about that later.

Future testing and treatment will take place over the next week, so I’ll let you all know how it goes.


I’m not sure how or when I’ll be able to do the cross-state trip now. It’s extremely hot in the summer here and therefore not very safe to ride long distances. Perhaps the fam will take a road trip to Colorado this summer and I’ll do it there. Although I’d have to plan for time to cope with elevation changes…so we’ll see.


2014 for the Round Cycler

I’ll make this short so you’re not bored like the last post.

New Beginning

I started cycling again on July 6, 2014 after leading a mostly sedentary life over the previous 8 years. At 5’8″, I used to weigh 219 lbs. I would lose my breath tying my shoes, walking up stairs or even just lifting something not-so-heavy. It was time for a change, for sure. Out came the Schwinn! Mix in some motivation and some amazing support from the Mrs. and other family and friends and six months later, I’m down to 183 lbs and I feel amazing!

I’ve grown addicted to everything cycling for the second time in my life. Having experienced what happens when you lose sight of the great things attached with it, I’m never letting go. These first 6 months were tough, but I loved every mile in the saddle.

My cycling itself has made improvements by leaps and bounds. My first ride, I couldn’t ride more than 3 miles. Now, I’m riding over 100 miles every week and even gone on my first metric centuries as well as an English century! My speed has increased from a steady 15 mph to now pushing 20-21 mph! SO MUCH FUN!

The blog

While I probably overdid the blog in the beginning, it has its place in the grand scheme of things. I am trying to set goals that I can actually achieve (which is turning out to be difficult with 2 people gone from my work schedule and having to work more), but I’m getting into the range of goals that are appropriate. It keeps me honest. Plus, everyone gets to see me topless, which I know wasn’t great at first, but I’m coming along now.

All in all a pretty darn good year. Thank Florida for having warm winters (even though it does get chilly down here in the morning every once in a while).



Thanks for reading!

New comparison photos

These are super late – Taken on November 24…sorry for the delay!


Since December 2

It’s been a little bit since I’ve posted, so I thought I might do a good summary post to ensure my loyal readers that I am not deceased.

Rule of V’s

First things first, I’ve been reviving my lost connection with the sport…no, not sport…life of cycling. If you’re a cyclist, you know. If you’re not a cyclist, why are you here? If it’s to see someone else transform their life, fine. But go do your own transformation. We are all on this planet to improve ourselves to see the most perfect version of what we believe is our true self.

Some people buy into capitalism and seek the almighty dollar. Others seek spirituality thru God, Allah, Christ, Krishna, Buddha and the likes as a means to become more perfect. There’s everything in between as well; family, friends, cars, computers, gaming, sports.

But I’ve learned something profound about myself over the last week. I’ve learned that I seek perfection thru V. No, not V for Vendetta; not the female you-know-what; not the letter. V as the Velominati would keep it. V is the Roman numeral for 5. Rule 5 – Harden the fuck up. VV or Rule 10 – It never gets easier, you just go faster.


Crappy iPhone shot of “The Way of the Cycling Disciple: The Rules” Click on the pic to buy – trust me, it won’t disappoint!


As of late, I’ve been slacking. Once I completed the century, and even a bit before, I had been taking it easy on myself. And while easy rides have their place in a cyclist’s routine, they should never be the only element, nor the element that is most common. All it took was reading The Book once and my whole attitude has changed.

Too tired to ride after work? Cyclist’s work days don’t end at 5, they begin at V. Too cold out? Put on some warmers and make sure you get a headwind to start your ride. Rain? We welcome the new challenge that riding on slick tarmac brings.

This used to be my attitude back in college. I even got a dose when I began this blog. But for whatever reason, my V-Bank refused withdrawals. Now, it’s open for business.

Follow up?

All that being said – I feel like I need to explain my blog to those familiar with Merckx’s Disciples (no, that’s not Eddy Merckx above, but He definitely had moments like the one pictured in his career). I am here to catalog my road to fitness. I take pictures of myself and compare them to older ones, and do the same with data on my rides. This blog is in no way an attempt to brag about my comings and goings in cycling. I know I suck. I will not always suck tho. When it seems like I’m bragging or attempting to Talk It Up (Rule 81).

One side effect that I knew might come along with trying to be fit, is a cycling addiction. No, addiction isn’t the right word, that makes it sound negative. Let’s call it a cycling love affair (Rule #11 – Family does not come first. The bike does).

Rules As They Apply To This Blog

From now on, I will be posting on these rules for many reasons. First, they reinforce what I already know but sometimes need reminding about cycling. Some of the rules are completely hilarious to me. Nevertheless, I will explain them in some sort of way that pertains to my cycling. Be prepared for hilarity as well as some learning points.

What I’ve Been up to

I’m supposed to be writing about my experiences, and this is one of them, although I clearly didn’t say much about the book other than I read it. Suffice it to say, this book awakened the love affair I have with the sport. So, that’s what I’ve been doing – I’ve been having a love affair with my bike and cycling. Sick? Hell no. HTFU and get on yours.

2,000 miles!

I didn’t even realize it when it happened, but I passed 2,000 miles cycled since July 6!

Thanks for reading about it!

Some updates on the century ride…

I updated the century page with more of the logistics. Click to visit the page!


As I wrote 2 ‘how to’s’ on the century, I think I’ll be adding a third – dealing with the jitters.

5 days to go…

I’m starting to get excited and nervous. I keep on saying things along the lines of, “I can’t believe I couldn’t ride 5 miles at once only 4 months ago.” The excitement of completing my my first century is starting to hit me.

Looking back to my metric century, I was nervous, but I sort of knew I would make it. However, I was naive as to what would result emotionally once I hit the 100 km mark. Having gone thru that ordeal, now I am feeling the intensity of the excitement rise, waiting for that high once I reach 100 miles.

Can’t wait!

Goals update

I’ve never taken the chance to use posts to update people on my goals progress so, here it is!

October 2014

The link above shows what kind of a month October was for me. Four of seven goals completed…yuck! In retrospect, the 150 miles/week goal is just too much now that my job is in full swing and I am absolutely unable to ride 3 days a week (13-18 hour shifts is a bitch). Still, 3 for 6 on my weekly distance goals wasn’t bad considering I had yet more work done on my bike and the new job. I’ll be cutting down the mileage goal for the upcoming months.

November 2014

125 miles/week, English century and a 19 mph weekly average. Should be pretty fun trying the last two. Remember the links above are in the Goals menu if you feel like keeping up with progress and such.

The English century ride I’ll be going on is featured here. That page will be updated with highlights and other goodies about the ride once it’s completed.

the future of goals

I’ve been trying to come up with a format for these goals that will continue to push me to improve. In all honesty, I think the goals I set will probably be setting me up to fail at the start (my first speed goal is 19 mph, and I’ve been only sometimes getting above 19 mph on my rides, whereas most of my rides are just above 18 mph). But, I think that failing these goals might be better for me than just making up some easy to obtain one (look back to August and September 2014).

Yes, I was able to pedal out 150 miles/week, but those were exceptional weeks aided by unexceptional work weeks. Now that the former is less likely due to the latter being extinct, it will be impossible to ride 150 miles/week until I get my speed up (making rides shorter) and my endurance increases (making longer rides possible). So, until possibly Spring, I’ll be keeping my distance goals around the 125 mark and looking to improve on speed and weight loss (hard to do since I have no scale).

It should be an interesting Winter. I’m fortunate to be in Florida, where I don’t have to worry myself with cold weather conditions too often and definitely don’t need to worry about snow. Here’s to a productive and eventful winter on the bike!


I forgot to mention this last week – but I’ve reached 1,00o views!

Thanks for coming to read stuffs!