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Add 25.4 to April

2010 April 3
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by Eric R.

I was going to bike to the starting point of The Bicycle Wheel store which would have added 10 miles rtp to my totals, but waking up at 7:41 a.m. for a 8:00 a.m. bike ride would not have cut it at all. So I drove and barely made it on time. The ride was fantastic and was able to hit a new speed record of 45.9 mph (obviously going down hill with enough gravity assist).  You can see all the details of my ride here. Again I stopped my Garmin Edge 705 at the mid point and forgot to start it – thus explaining the mileage difference (check the splits tab).  I love the new upgrade Garmin did to their site – check it out.

1,844 miles to go.

A record April?

2010 April 3
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by Eric R.

April started with a bang. Rode almost 40 miles yesterday to have my bike checked for next week’s 168 mile ride and today plan to do about 30 mile group ride and then the plan is to rest all week. The ride was the longest I’ve done so far using regular roads (not the Silver Comet trail with nice 3% max grades). I was able to just take 4 Advils after the ride and didn’t develop any new pains nor aches that my loyal massage chair wasn’t able to handle.  Thank God I had no chills nor fever at the end of the ride. I drank 4 bottles of water during the ride and didn’t feel dehydrated at all.

Took almost 2 months to get over 100 miles in 2010. I bet April will finish with about 400 miles and May should be around the same since I signed up for a 62 (or maybe 100 mile) ride for May 16th and if I finally get to hit a 250 mile bike to work week. Thus June is the target to hit my 1st 1,000 miles out of my 2,000 miles for 2010 goal. I think June should be ripe for a 101 mile trip to Alabama on the Silver Comet Trail. From the time I got the bike end of September until now – total mileage is 431 miles. Thus May will technically could break the initial 1,000 miles.

1,869 miles to go (for 2010).

Upcoming 168 mile MS fundraiser – April 10-11

2010 March 30
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by Eric R.

Atlanta to Athens and back over April 10-11 weekend.  84 miles each way. Am I scared?

Not at all.  Why?

1. Did 42 miles over a 3 hour period. So I can take a recharge break and finish the other 42 miles.

2. Atlanta is at 1,000 feet of altitude. Athens is at 500 ft. No electricity is used going downhill.

3. I called Craig and asked for a battery loaner….. before I signed up for the ride.

Now – a few weeks before the ride, I’ve been getting worried if the extra battery doesn’t make it on time. Craig has reassured me that it will get here on time. He mentioned something sounding like a prototype?  I’m praying for that to work 100% of the time specially on my way back home.

Should I worry?

And yes, – the fundraiser is available here.

Getting back in track

2010 March 25
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by Eric R.

This past weekend I joined my friends at Suwanee Creek bikes and went for a 23 mile ride as shown here.

1,909 miles to go.


Can’t fix Stupid! (my 54 mile scary adventure)

2010 March 7
by Eric R.
Two full marathons in a day?

Two full marathons in a day?

So 2010 has started as a slow cycling year mostly due to the cold weather. This week we finally got a breakthrough with a nice warm weekend and the yearn for a big ride was set in motion.

I got the call Friday evening from my cyclist friend to join him and his family at the Silver Comet for a ride. So I got the bike ready and did a double take on my full face helmet with the magic shine headlight on top and thought- I don’t need that since it is only 2 p.m. and I would not be riding too long. My prior two rides on the Silver Comet took about 2 to 2 1/2 hours and that would  put me safely at the trail end before it got dark….. start some ominous music here ….

Got geared, loaded the SUV and started the 42 mile ride to the trail start. Again – I kept thinking, why would I drive to a place to ride a bike? Why not ride around my town? Well  the Silver Comet Trail is one of the best East Coast bike trails. Built on an abandoned railroad line, it is 61 miles to the Alabama line and then extends another 33 miles into Anniston, Alabama and it is one of my 2010 goals to ride from the Alabama line to the start of the trail (or about 7 Alabama miles + 61 Georgia miles for a total of 68 miles).

Arrived around 3 p.m. and started the ride. The first 4.2 miles I pedaled without the motor – since I forgot to move the battery select switch to the internal battery and it is quite hard to find and select it while riding (note to myself – learn how to do this while riding). First stop was the Floyd Rd trail head where I switched the motor to be ready for takeoff.  I continued to the usual turn around point where my friend was waiting for me.  It took me about an hour to get to our meeting place, the Hiram trail head (mile marker 14.7). I shot the breeze for about 30 minutes (mistake!!!!) and since the trail continuing west was reopened (it was closed September 22 due to the worst Atlanta area flooding in history – same day I got my bike) – I decided to continue north to Dallas – GA. This was my bonehead move of the day.

While riding – I decided I wanted to do a 5o mile ride. My Garmin edge 705 gps started to give me conflicting distance when comparing to the marked milestones on the trail. To avoid a conflict of not reaching 50 mile I decided to go beyond the 25 mile marker to make sure Garmin recorded at least 25 miles. That put me to mile marker  26.53 and subsequently explains my 54 mile ride. I will post the Garmin’s take on my ride later and also the pictures to prove my feat!

It was fast getting dark when my Optibike red light started blinking about 12 miles from the trailhead. I only blinked red for about three seconds. Oh Sh!!!  Within the first two miles on pure muscle power, my thighs started hurting. you know like Charlie horses when you started to push down the pedal. It became obvious – when I had to stop at a crossing and had to put my feet down when I got a jolt of pain and almost ate my bike for dinner – that I wouldn’t make it to my SUV before dark.

Spirit over mind over body – I’m glad at my small group bible study group meeting the night before we discussed how important is for your spirit to take over your mind and your body. It was my time to ask the almighty for a miracle to get me back safe to my car and for the next 10 miles I was chanting my religious mantra non stop. Oh Jesus let me get back to the car!  Hosanna! Hosanna! rapidly became my mantra.

It was right after dark when I finally got to the trail head and put the bike on the rack, While driving home I started to get chills and when I finally made it home I bundled myself in 2 jackets and 4 blankets and crawled into a fetal position in bed.

No advil, no aspirin, no massage.  I only got out of bed to get my bike safely into my garage, ate some dinner, weighted myself at 293.5 and went back to bed. This morning, with my thighs still hurting –  I weighted myself and my home scale showed a semi naked weight of  288.5 lbs (I had my socks on). Glad I’m able to lose some weight while sleeping!

Was it worth it?

Yes – I proved that with two battery packs I will be able to safely do 75 miles each day x 2 for my MS 150 mile ride on April 10-11. If you like to assist my fund raising efforts –  click here.

I also found out that at my current weight I can do about 40 miles with battery assist. Thus making it possible to ride from Anniston, AL to Cedartown, GA about 45 miles – take a break – find a place to recharge the battery and continue for the final 54 miles to the start of the trail – all in a day’s worth.

Will I continue to stupidify myself, you bet!

Check out how stupid my Garmin Edge 705 became… (lap 1 & 2 should be the same exact length)

p.s. 1,932 miles to go

1986 miles to go

2010 February 21
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by Eric R.

Today it was a beautiful day and took a casual ride around my “fake” downtown of Duluth, GA.  How fake is it?  There was never a downtown – it is now being made and looks like the one use in the Back to the Future series from the 80’s including a clock tower…. I’m also started wearing my Garmin 705 heart monitor and you can check my ride here  (might require creation of a free account at Garmin to view the ride).

If the weather permits , I will target 2 rides each weekend and at least once during the week to build up stamina for my 150 mile ride in April.

Butt in Gear for 2010

2010 February 14
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by Eric R.

Trying to get the house in order to begin my 2010  bike season. With a target mileage of 2,000  miles for 2010 (or 3,500 km whichever one is quicker)- I need to start adding miles.   Yesterday – with all the snow on the ground in Alasktlanta I went for baseline VO2 and RMR testing. The plan is to do it again at the end of my year with Optibike at the end of September. The numbers were interesting to say the least. I’ve been able to keep the weight down during the winter with very little biking. The waist is still at the last notch of the belt and the scale at the Sport Factory showed 294 with heavy jeans…

What is RMR and what does it matters? RMR is resting metabolic rate – the amount of calories you burn by just being alive. That for me is 2,448 calories. If I eat less than that I lose weight. Wait!! So if I sleep for 30 days would I lose 25 lbs? (3,500 calories per lb) Not that easy. Check out why. My test results tells me if I only eat 2,000 calories per day I can lose 1 lb per week. I have obviously not done that in a long while.

Here is where the Vo2 max test comes into play. My Vo2 results tell me that I must keep my heart rate at 120-130 bpm for aerobic (fat-burning) exercise and at 150 bpm for my anaerobic threshold. If I hit my cardio peak limit of 162 bpm I will be burning 1,076 calories per hour.  If I exercise 3.5 hours a week I can also lose that same 1 lb per week. Thus the idea with my Optibike rides is to make them long and to work out a sweat every time I hit a hill to increase my cardio endurance. I’m starting this year with a peak rate of 28.3 ml O2/kg/min which is low for my age. The question is – will I be able to increase that to the good (35.8-40.9) or excellent range (41.0-45.3) at the end of my Opti year? The bet is on.

This puts me back to my initial motivational statement. I hate to exercise and I love to eat. That pre-Optibike statement kept my weight stable at 306 lbs for a few years. Now is time to bundle up in layers and start riding again. Today with a high of 47 degrees should be warm enough to go for a ride.

Let’s get my butt in gear for 2010!

Update 2/16/2010 – Went for a 6 mile ride around the block with 3 layers. Layer 1 stayed dry all others were drenched – I guess fleece and a wind breaker doesn’t cut it. It still felt like cycling inside your freezer – but colder while going downhill.  1,994 miles to go.

Bump on the Opti Road

2010 February 3
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by Eric R.

I’ve been unable to post in the past few weeks due to a long trip to visit my father-in-law who just went for his final sunset ride in his adopted hometown of NYC this past Monday. I thank him for the daughter he taught how to ride a bike around Central Park. I’m getting mentally ready to start biking again once we get back to normal – if that is possible – after his burial. May Freddy rest in peace. 🙁

Snow and Travel Snow and Travel…

2010 January 22
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by Jim M.

Well I’ve been inundated with Winter. Its beautiful out but our little street has been socked in. At least when I’ve been in town. So my beautiful Optibike has been waiting. In the meantime I’ve been working on my diet the information from my tests, walking here and there, and taking care of things around the house. Throw in a little rowing on the ergometer (very little) and I’m down a few pounds. I really can’t wait to get back on the bike which I hope will start very soon. Yes I’m a bit of a cold weather wimp but what can you do.


Tested clip ons and night riding*

2010 January 18
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by Eric R.
Eric R testing new night gear

Eric R testing new night gear

Finally Atlanta got over 60 degrees and I was able to test some of my new Christmas gear. I got a Magic Shine night light that I finally installed on my Giro full face bike helmet and tested one of my reflective yellow jacket (alma mater 2)… Now if we can only get the nice weather on the weekend. Is it too much to ask?  The ride tonight about 5 miles. Just a little to warm up and start working toward my April 10-11 big ride (150 miles) and that is another story.

* not on the same ride (yet)