Tag Archives: Fitness

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!

Santa Rosa Beach, here I come!

The gauntlet has been set!

Beginning April 3, I’ll be setting off via bicycle from Santa Rosa, FL and traveling back home to The Villages, FL by April 7. The route is 417 miles, and will take me thru Panama City, Port St. Joe, around Apalachee Bay, thru the hills of Tallahassee, into Manatee Springs before entering familiar ground in Ocala and back home.

You can check out the entire route here,

or see it split into day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4, day 5.

I’ll have my wife, dog and an extra bike following me with supplies. More to come on the logistics and such!

POL training, Round 1

For the numbers during the first 3 weeks, go over to the POL training goal page.

After 3 weeks, the numbers aren’t lying. My heart rate zones are falling (quite a bit actually). I expect this to slow drastically over the next period, which is why I will be cancelling the third 3-week cycle and adding a stage-like ride to the first week of April. More on that to come.

As for the polarized training, I feel like I need to disclose that my heart rate zones were almost 4 months old when I started this, so they were probably lower when I began tracking. In any case, I have no doubt that this type of training is excellent for serious cyclists.

The only thing missing from my training is the distances. The first week I only rode 35 miles of below aerobic threshold (AeT). The miles increased in week 2 to 75.3 miles, and around 58 miles the final week. I’d expect the 75 miles to be around the mileage I need to be putting in, and I found myself bored with AeT training fairly quickly, hence the drop in mileage.

AnT training was difficult, very difficult. Four minutes is FOREVER when you’re laying the hammer down, no matter how slow you go. I found it challenging to keep a pace that raises my heart rate to 180 for 4 minutes. As my intervals progressed, I could feel my legs protesting and it became even more difficult to keep my heart rate up.

I added a twist to AnT training in weeks 2 and 3. First, a group of 3 thru the hills of South Ocala. The 2 other riders I was with are very strong and wanted a fast pace. Nothing crazy, but these hills are quite steep, but short (Floridians don’t meander up hills with their roads, they just go straight up). So I took these hills as my intervals. The pace became too fast for me, and I had to drop, not once, but twice. I felt bad, but only a little since they had to wait once on the go and the other time at a traffic light. Next time, it’ll be better.

The next week, whilst on a group ride, I forced myself to pull at a pace that was my AnT, which some of the guys in the group absolutely loved, since my pace is usually slower than most of the group’s pulling pace. The only problem is, trying to stay in the back after said pull. There were 6 riders on this one, so I had longer breaks than the hills ride, but I also managed by forcing myself to stay in front until there was a break given by a light. My intervals were longer on this ride as a result, probably not a bad thing. Quite fun if I do say so.

In any case, my heart’s getting better, so are my legs. That’s what it’s all about.

Anaerobic training

Yesterday was technically the first day I had gone out and done interval training (I’m sure I’d done it inadvertently in the past).

02.18.2015 AnT HR

Just by eyeballing the graph, I picked up on a few things. First, except the first interval, I ran into stopping points during my long sprints (stop lights and round-a-bouts), which sort of messes up the interval by lowering my HR down at least 10 bpm. I’m pretty sure the only way to fix this is to head out into the country where there aren’t any stops…anywhere. That’ll happen next week.

Second, my last 2 intervals were lower than the first 2. The reason being…I got tired. Really tired. It was difficult to force my legs to push down any more than is represented in the graph purely because my legs are weak. They have endurance capabilities, but any of this sprinting and my power weans. If this workout works, this should happen less or stop happening altogether in future AnT rides.

I had a really long cool down which, I must say, was a most welcome end to this ride. It felt amazing to be able to sprint for so long, even if I wasn’t all-out sprinting as in short distances. The downside to this type of training is the end, my lungs hurt, my legs felt like jello. The cool down allowed some blood to help repair the damage done as well as allowed my breathing and heart rate to slow, which is comforting to say the least.

All in all, I like this type of ride. It’s only down fall is that it isn’t long enough to really quench my thirst for time on the bicycle. I knew this would be the case, so I did this ride first this week so as to make my AeT rides and extra rides do the quenching.

More to come!

The first of many very slow recovery rides

Today, I completed my first strict recovery ride. Strict in that my eyes are on my heart rate at pretty much all “hard” segments of my ride. The aim is to keep my heart rate below 153 at all times, so no real effort really – almost pure slow spinning.

I have to say, I actually feel great right now, just 2 hours after the ride. But, I can see myself getting bored with these rides fairly quickly due to the fact that I’m not focusing on riding so much (because it’s slow), so I am forced to look around…at The Villages. All the trees, grass, flowers and people so pristine in their unnatural habitat. Palm trees aren’t supposed to be here, but there they are. And this neighborhood looks exactly like the ones before it. So boring.

The one hilarious thing that happened on the ride occurred outside a church as one of the services had to have ended with all the cars exiting onto the road I was riding. All the drivers noticed me on the road as I made eye contact with two that strolled on out. I needed to turn left and saw an opening between the 2nd and 3rd drivers. As I made eye contact with the 3rd driver, I flung out my left arm, signaling I was changing lanes to get to the left turn lane. I had plenty of room and made the switch just before the traffic signal in front of me turned red.

As he comes to a stop next to me, he yells something incomprehensible in my direction. I was feeling cheeky and yelled clearly back to him, “Looks like church failed you!” The man just stared at me for a second, probably realizing the truth to my statement as well as all of the other open windows of vehicles next to us. I added, “Yes, I’m talking to you,” pointing at the dumb-founded man. He quickly averted his gaze and sat in silence until the light turned green then sped off.

This isn’t a blog about religion or anything, but I’ve found a lot of these retired people to be just like this man. Christian on Sunday for 1-2 hours, then a bastard the rest. Makes for crappy society and even crappier cycling. It’s jerks like this who are road-ragers and get people killed, including helpless cyclists.

My last words on this episode – if you’re Christian, BE Christian. If you’re Jewish, BE Jewish. If you’re Buddhist, BE Buddhist. Don’t make it just a label, make it you.

On and off the bike.

In any case, the ride went well other than this SNAFU. I’ll be looking forward to my interval training for sure.

Training begets…training?

It’s been another long while since I’ve posted so I’ll sum up what’s been going on for a while.

First, I’m lazy when it comes to posting pics of me now for some reason. Part of that may be because the weight loss is slowing drastically now that all the ‘easy’ weight is gone. Rest assured, I’ll get one up sooner or later.

Second, I’ve been lazy posting here, and that’s going to stop. More accountability for me, more entertainment for the masses!

Third, my training is really messed up right now. I’ve been trying to pin this down ever since early January, and I’m not really sure where to go except down. Down in intensity (heart rate), up in mileage. “Why?” you ask.

Something’s gotta give

My heart rate has been ridiculously high for a while now. I attribute some of it to what I now call “road anxiety.” I’m nervous on the roads around where I live, since my last near-fatal run-in with a senile motorist. The population around here soars with ‘snowbirds’ escaping the snow-mess of New England and with them comes their inattentiveness and slow reflexes. Remember, these are old Americans we’re talking about. They do nothing except ruin walks with golf clubs, watch Fox News and bitch about the weather (no matter how perfect it may be).

In any case, my heart rate is visibly higher whilst riding in The Villages. As soon as I leave, it’ll drop 10-20 bpm regardless of intensity. But, believe it or not, it’s still high.

As I attempt to bring my speed to 19 mph on a windless day, I find my heart rate climbing to 180 frequently, with my sprints bringing it near 200. For those not familiar with heart rates, this is not normal. Give me a hill, and my speed will stay at 12-15 mph depending on the grade, but my heart rate will be climbing quickly as well.

This kind of physiology leads me to basically be doing interval training any time I need to work (winds, hills, sprints). I will gasp for air like no one’s business if I go really hard and will hit the wall pretty damn hard if I do it for a long time.

So, with some concerned looks on my cousin’s face a while back, he’s taken an interest in how I train and led me to a blog, which is definitely worth a peek.

Click to see Joe Friel’s blog

If you’d like to see his specific review of a training study, go here.

Starting next week, I’ll begin a modified schedule of POL training and letting you all know how it goes. I’ll probably be traveling slow as molasses at the North Pole, but if it’s going to make me a stronger cyclist, it’s got to be worth it.

The overall aim is to lower my heart rate zones (153/160/169/179/184/191)* and maximum heart rate (204) drastically, which in turn will help me more easily lose weight as well as get the ‘ol ticker healthier. As a result of these, my resting heart rate should drop as well (currently 62).

*Heart rate zones based on Joe Friel’s model.

So here’s the plan:

  • Week 1 – 1 AnT (interval or anaerobic threshold) training, 2 AeT (below aerobic threshold) trainings
  • Week 2 – see Week 1
  • Week 3 – 1 AnT<AeT training, 2 AeT trainings
    • AnT<AeT meaning 1 training session with more AeT than AnT

AnT training will consist of 4×4 minutes intervals with 3 minute recoveries.

AeT training will aim to keep my heart rate below 153 for the entire session.

I’ll start doing heart rate analyses after each 3-week training period and aim to do 3 of these cycles (9 weeks).

My resting heart rate will be measured at least 3 hours after my workout and very little acitivty (I’ll most likely end up doing these just before bed). Heart rate zones will be measured on the last day of the 3rd week, using Joe Friel’s model. They won’t be perfect just because this is the first routine training I’ve done since getting back on the saddle, but it’s as close to perfect as I can get.

Follow my progress here!

Wish me luck!

Work really does get in the way of cycling…

Looking at my last post, I realized it’s been since January 4 since I gave any update as to what I’ve been up to these days. In short, work and cycling. Some staffing changes at my new job has me working 4 days/week (12+ hr shifts each) and man is it a bitch. Still, I get on the bike every chance I get. So, let’s talk about those times.

Bike Fit!

My bike shop set me up on a trainer for over 2 hrs to get my bike fit in the best possible way. It was interesting and a little difficult since I was at the tail-end of a cold at the time. Moved my saddle up and back, cleats out and back, shorter stem with a 7º slope and now a 0.5 inch drop from saddle to handlebars. All in all, my body’s still getting used to it in little ways (mostly muscle soreness), but the overall feel is much better!

Another accident

I believe there’s some people that really shouldn’t drive. Most of them live here, in America’s most friendly retirement community – The Villages. Sarcasm aside, some of these people pose a real threat to public safety. People here are active for their age (mostly 55+, but I’d say the average age is at least 65). There are people running, walking, cycling, even mobile elliptical bikes are abound.

And let me preface this story with this one fact about my cycling whilst anywhere cars can go – I am super careful. My eyes never look away from the road, but are constantly scanning the landscape for people who would kill me. I wear bright colors on my jersey and tend to have flashing lights on my bike – both front and back (unless in group rides, then it’s just the tail light).

But nevertheless, as I come up on a T-intersection in which I have the right-of-way and very little vision of the cars intersecting, someone in a sedan, not paying attention, came to a California “stop” and rolled into the intersection, leaving me approximately 15 feet to stop before nature quickly resolved our “take up the same space conundrum” with death and mutilation. I did my best, leaned back on the bike and did my best not to lock up my wheels. My bike began to fishtail and I was quickly turned around on my bike and thrown backwards onto the pavement.


My poor Giro Aeon took one for Team Joel. I’ll keep you in storage simply because you’re the first helmet I’ve had to retire.

Giro, you saved my life. My head flung backwards to catch up with my body and slammed hard into the asphalt. I slid for about 10 yards, while watching the driver of the car peel out to the side of me, throwing dust in my direction. Another person, gone from the scene. On-lookers ran to my aid, most of them in disbelief at what they had just witnessed. I had missed the car by less than 5 feet, due to the fact that the driver just took off and left room for me to hit the pavement instead of her car (Before the females scream foul-play, witnesses saw 2 women in the front seat). I’m not even sure she knew someone almost ran into her car at 25 mph.

My bike is luckily OK. I am still recovering from minor whiplash, but I’m still able to work and ride. Longer stents of the latter start to hurt, but at least that’s the worst of it.


Above – my poor quick-release! Right – My new pedals, smudged and illegible ULTEGRA.


Road Anxiety?

After this fun incident, my cousin had made a trip down from Seattle to visit his mother, just 3 hours away. With a bike stored in her house, we set our “play date” to get some coastal mileage.

He’s a very strong cyclist, to say the least. He’s been riding since he was young and hasn’t missed a day of it since. He set the tempo before we even began pedaling by basically saying that he’d pull first, enough to warm up, then I could pull at the pace I’d be comfortable with over a 30-50 mile route. Almost immediately, I noticed something was different. I was cycling just as I’d been used to, but it felt like my chest was going to explode.

Turned out, my heart rate was pretty much 180+ the entire ride, maxing out at 204! YIKES! Looking back at the numbers, it’s no wonder I bonked hard on the first ride. He pulled me home over the last 10 miles or so and my heart was still pounding out 185-190 bpm.

Not really knowing what was going on, we went on another ride the next day, with the intention of keeping a close eye on my heart rate and trying to keep it down. It was better, but still not great. Every time I pulled my heart rate easily got up to 180 and we weren’t really trying to keep a high pace.


West Palm Beach – Taken from South Lake Trail at the Royal Park Bridge.



The nameless Propel at West Palm Beach.

In any case, both rides were OK. I bonked for the first time since my near heat-stroke, which sucks, but it’s good to know I’ve improved my nutrition and hydration that much. They were both tough rides – lots of tall bridges, 1 flat (with no pump!), and a TON of wind. I felt like I was back in Kansas, suffering through the spring time monsoon-strength winds.

Nevertheless, it was great to see yet another higher skilled cyclist in action to learn from and improve with. He gave me some great training advice to try to bring down my resting heart rate as well as my threshold.

In retrospect, having just finished a couple of really tough rides, I was probably really anxious in the saddle. 2 accidents in 2 months? That’s bad! So, I think I’ll chalk it up to road anxiety, which has calmed down substantially. My heart rate tonight, after a pretty quick 15 km, only got up to 182 bpm.

All you need is time

Now if I could only get more time for the bike, I’d be happier. I even told my boss, “If you ever want to gauge my mood, just ask how many miles I’ve ridden this week. They are directly correlated.”


My cousin’s 1990’s Trek in front with cage pedals. He rode this thing with what seemed was reckless abandon, but was actually the result of years of 5-ing it up.


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!

Group Rides and More!

The thing about cycling

I’ve encountered two types of cyclists so far. The first group is an awkward group. They tend to keep to themselves, ride by themselves and have no real drive to get out and do cycling things (mainly sit at the local bike shop and chat bikes) with other cyclists. This group is probably either really into the solo endurance rides or are really socially awkward.

The second group is the the group group. Just the opposite of the first group, they are drawn toward the group rides and interacting with every person who might even just vaguely mention they’d like to get into cycling.

Yes, these are extremes and most people don’t fall right into these groups. We pretty much have some of the traits of either group on different aspects of our cycling lives. I can claim that I am socially awkward at times. I’ve been so anti-social for the last 5 years, I forgot how to act in crowds. But, I’m getting there. I also have a tendency to only want to talk about my rides and my bike with other people, regardless of their interest in the subject. But, let’s face it, cycling is greater than any other sport out there – something for everyone.

Meet the Santos Group

I bring this up to explain the group I’ve been riding with lately and the 4 main players I’ve been trying to attach my bike to in order to improve my own riding as well as contribute more to the group.

First, there’s the enthusiast with a patience level beyond most people in this world. He’s excited all the time, so long as he’s on his steed, which he loves more than most things in his life (bar his wife and kids, I’m sure). He’s willing to talk about cycling on any level to pretty much anyone. He’ll make sure people show up to the rides and be the first to joke about wussing out if you’re not there. I’ve spent some time with this guy on the bigger rides as well as the smaller rides, and I’m beginning to see his skill level at its true potential. For the most part, he makes sure people are included and that no one drops. But get him in a smaller group and his power and speed are evident. I saw this for the first time the other day and was really impressed. Not that there’s many hills to climb around here, but he can hit those hills pretty hard. He races as well, and that’s something that I may or may not be interested in. Rest assured, he’ll be the first person I go to in order to make the first step.

Second, there’s the encyclopedia with a skill in the saddle that makes you feel like a kid with training wheels. This guy pulls at a steady pace of 25 mph and doesn’t sweat until mile 10. He’s quiet, but if you engage him, he’ll tell you everything he knows, which is a LOT. This guy’s life is all about the bike. He rides centuries every week and still has time to get in another 100+ miles in 3 or 4 more rides. I try every once in a while to sit behind him in the group, just to see how he handles erratic and steady paces. He’s also a crazy sprinter, so if he goes, I try to go after him. Even after all those miles in the week, he can still lay down the hammer pretty hard.

Third, we meet the numbers guy who also happens to be an amazing multi-tasker. He rides in our groups on his tri-bike and can also pull like a monster. He can pretty much tell you everything you need to know about optimal cadence, power, position, pace and nutrition. He’s part of the reason I felt my century ride was easier than expected (along with the first guy). He’s a multi-tasker in that he knows what’s happening on his Garmin, as well as everyone’s else’s, even if you don’t have one. He’s taught me the most about riding in a group and I enjoy riding with him the most due to the fact that if he feels you losing juice, he’ll go ahead and pull without even being asked. Then, he’ll tell you (in a very cool way) where you went wrong and how to get better. He’s that guy on your shoulder telling you “you can do it!”

Last, there’s the other guys. Not to belittle them in any way – these guys are just as important to the group as the three above (as well as me). Right now, I’m a part of the other guys. We don’t necessarily contribute anything spectacular to the group, be we contribute in our own ways, whatever that might be. As of late, since I’m riding less due to my work schedule, my energy levels are pretty high and I try to help people who’ve dropped catch back up without the main group losing pace. I’m also trying to increase my pull potential, since I find that really one hell of a blast. I actually only recently got to experience this (at least on a good level) and can’t get enough of it.

And there it is – we had 14 people in our group the week before Christmas. It was a blast! The more I ride with them, the more I love it! Every chance I get, I’ll make the time to drive 30 minutes to meet them for a spin.

Steed #2

I’m still coming up with a name for her, but it’s going to be something fancy. She’s light, she’s got a sexy geometry and an even sexier profile. She’s….my Giant Propel!

Let me just say this – carbon is ridiculous. My aluminum frame Schwinn was a great bike, don’t ever think otherwise. But this frame is responsive like nobody’s business – and light to boot! For the first ride, I felt like I was kicking her all over the road. Second was a little better but still out of sorts. It’s been about 4 rides now and she’s feeling more normal with each pedal.

I would also like to say just this, she’s fast! My acceleration is quite ridiculous compared to what it was on the Schwinn and I’m fairly certain my speed is increasing quite substantially with each ride (I’ll talk more about this in a minute).

All in all, I couldn’t be happier with this gal. She’s a right fine steed, indeed.

There’s also a thing about phone apps

I use my iPhone 5 for tracking my miles and used to for speed as well. I gave up on that a while ago as some of you might recall. But, with my introduction into group rides, I’ve had the fortune of comparing numbers with people using Garmin’s. The differences are quite amazing.

Ride #1  -17 miles

  • Garmin speed – 21.1 mph
  • iPhone speed – 18.9 mph

Ride #2 – 18 miles

  • Garmin speed – 21.3 mph
  • iPhone speed – 19.1 mph

I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the iPhone’s GPS calculating the distances. My phone’s distance were always out of whack, but the time is the same (I sure hope Apple has mastered time measurement). But I’m inclined to believe the Garmin based purely on the fact that it uses a speedometer (duh).

In short – use a Garmin. As soon as I am able, one’s getting installed on my stem.

Accidents happen…

December 18 was a scary day. I set out early that day to go on a 65+ mile ride in and around The Villages and Belleview. I took familiar routes with safe shoulders (albeit on some faster roads, but nothing out of the ordinary for me). The ride was going well…really well. My steed was silent and fast and I could feel my energy levels rising as the ride progressed. It was shaping up to be a great day.

As I was reaching my half-way mark, something didn’t sound right. I heard a car coming, but not like I normally do. I sounded more direct than off to my left. I could tell it wasn’t going fast, but I still recognized that it’s a very heavy object and should probably move to the side. Before I could react, a sharp pain struck the left of my backside. I was sent hurtling toward the guard rail. It was all I could do to keep my bike steady and myself upright when out of no where, it felt like I dropped about 6 inches. A jostling like I hadn’t felt since my trials days ran thru my body.


Trying to see the vehicle or its driver, I quickly came to a stop realizing my tires were rapidly deflating after being pinched in that huge drop. Turns out that drop was a drainage grate with long slits in it that I fell into and forced myself out of. It also turns out that the driver wouldn’t be stopping to check on his/her potential human road kill.

Well, that was fun…A call to the Florida State Highway Patrol yielded no fruitful hopes of finding the person responsible as I saw basically nothing except that I was struck by a maroon minivan. My left wrist screamed at me in protest to its trials and tribulations and my shoulders ached under the agony of anxiety. It was over, but it still hurt.

My steed seemed to be alright. Although its rear wheel looked twisted up badly, an observation confirmed by the bike mechanics at my shop. So, now came the choice: new wheels, or get the new bike I’d just recently entered the market for?

I’d like you all to meet the 2014 Giant Propel!


2014 bike of the year – Giant Propel!

Sooner or later we’ll get some new wheels on this bike and transfer the current ones to the Schwinn. But, I must say, I love this bike. More on that to come.

Happy Christmas to me!