My Progress

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A tale of two bikes

Reading the various bike forums there is an eternal debate that rages between the people who ride upright bikes and the people who ride recumbents.  Both sides are well entrenched and in some discussions have devolved into trench warfare akin to Verdun in World War I.

Being the odd one out in that I ride and enjoy both types of bikes I decided to settle the debate at least in my mind.

Last Monday, I took my Specialized Allez out for a good hard perceived effort.  As it was my early morning ride before work, my time was limited so I kept my course short and over well known routes. 

Please note, I was using a very subjective measurement in my perceived exertion, without a power meter, it's difficult to quantify the actual workload.

Here is what I and the Allez turned in for the morning.

An 18.5 mph average over 16.3 miles.  A fairly respectable average for me on the upright.  I wasn't slacking during the ride and kept the workload fairly high to maintain a solid, "perceived exertion" level.  I did catch a break on a couple of stop lights that were green on the route.

The next day, I took my recumbent out for the same course.  My recumbent is a Bacchetta Carbon Aero II.  I already know it's a fast bike as I've turned some great times on it.  I went out over the same course I had done on the Allez with the goal of maintaining the same perceived exertion level as I did the previous morning.

This is what I and the CA2.0 turned in.

The CA2.0 had me riding at the same level at a 19.7 mph average over the same 16.3 miles.  I did not however catch the same breaks at the stop lights as I had the previous morning.  And not being one of "those damned cyclists" who run red lights, I had to stop and wait, then get going from a dead stop.  Had I caught the lights, the difference would have been even greater.

I think at least for me, the results speak for themselves.  The recumbent with the much better aerodynamic position definitely yields benefits.  Your results however, may vary.

Monday, April 27, 2015

This short ride brought to you by Challenge latex tubes!

So I did some tinkering on my bike the other day as I wasn't riding due to getting a cortisone shot in my right elbow.

I'd previously discovered a nice site regarding rolling resistance and bike tires.  And in my never ending quest to go farther and faster while being fatter and lazier I'd made the decision last summer to move over to the Continental GP4000SII tires for their low rolling resistance.  I'd also decided to run latex tubes as that makes them even faster.

What I didn't count on though was no one in the area or at the big bike expo that is always Wichita Falls and Hotter than Hell carrying latex tubes.

Fast forward a couple of months and wandering around Lawrence KS for the Octoginta I discovered a shop selling off their latex tubes, I managed to snag two Vittoria's and one Challenge tube and went home with latex tubes to feed my need for speed.  And then they proceeded to sit in a drawer for the next several months as I promptly forgot about them.

Rediscovering them the other week, I finally put them in my bike.  God was looking out for me however as I put a Vittoria in the front wheel and the Challenge tube in my rear wheel.

Tires pumped up, bike prepped, several days off the bike, light wind and I was ready to fly.

Got out of the subdivision, hit the main road, lit up the big ring and brought the CA2.0 up to cruising speed of 25 or so and then KABOOM!  The Challenge latex tube chose that moment to depart from this world.  And in the process chose to vent it's frustration by attacking my drivetrain.

At 25+ mph coming to a stop was less than entertaining.  Not having a tube in the equation meant that I was running on a thin sidewall of my nice Conti GP4KSII and my rim.  This fact made me a little less than happy.

It took some time with a dremel tool and my Spyderco diamond sharpening stones to work out all the burrs and jagged bits on my rim.  The tire might not be a total loss as I can boot it and let my wife use it for an indoor trainer tire as she recovers from rotator cuff surgery, (she's really thrilled!).

So one cheap Challenge latex tube cost me a new Continental Grand Prix SII, (on sale at Performance for $OUCH, a couple of lightweight butyl tubes, (screw latex), and courtesy of Ebay, a new to me Hed Ardennes SL rear wheel for really cheap, (for what it is).

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Well that was a bit boring..

I finally got out for a ride, my second this year.  I was glad to be back on the bike and all excited to see what data I got out of my Dexcom G4 Platinum, (yes, product plug) during the ride..

Yawn, talk about boring!  I started off at about 141 mg/dl, (a little high due to having a banana 30 minutes prior).  I finished around 92 mg/dl after an almost 2 1/2 hour ride.

The little bump in the middle is where I stopped and had a Natures Bakery blueberry fig bar worth 20 grams of carbohydrates.  The ski ramp at the end is a protein smoothie loaded with fruit and protein powder.

I honestly see a steeper decline on my blood sugar when I am working out on the weight pile than I did for this ride, which to me is interesting.  While I'm not going to switch exclusively to pushing around heavy weights, I'll probably incorporate some form of weight training into my regular routine.

As to the ride?  It was a good one considering I'd been off the bike for a while due to dinging up my wrist, it's kind of hard to ride when you can't squeeze a brake lever. 

I did find out that my wrist is in no way 100%, yes I could squeeze the brake lever, no I wasn't real happy doing it.  The vibration on rough roads definitely irritate the damage.  Also my right elbow is currently being plagued by tennis elbow, (and I don't play tennis).  This is a problem as my water bottles on my recumbent are on my seat bag right behind my shoulders, this requires me to reach over my shoulder, behind my back, grab the bottle and pull, not fun at all with my elbow inflamed.  Guess I am going to have to ride with my Camelbak bladder for awhile.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Good The Bad and the just plain Ugly

I've got about two weeks in on the Dexcom G4 Platinum and I'm learning some interesting things with it.

From what I am looking at on the Dexcom Studio software my body seems to be behaving more and more like a true type one diabetic.  I eat carbohydrates and my blood sugar goes up and doesn't come down without injecting insulin.

With careful monitoring, good diet and using insulin I get good results.  I can keep my blood sugar right where it needs to be, between 130 and 80 mg/dl.

Some days my pancreas decides to play nice, some days it doesn't.  Usually it waits till I decide it's not going to behave and hit the Lantus or Apidra insulin and then it decides to kick in.  These times lead to the bad. 

And depending on what I eat, things can get real ugly real quick.  Cinnamon rolls for Sunday breakfast are now definitely off the list cause these lead to the just plain ugly.

Unfortunately due to screwing up my arm, I've not been able to get any data while on a good bike ride.  The walking I've been doing seems to be almost as good as insulin.  It tends to drop my blood sugar into the normal range.

In short, just like doctors have said for years, eat right, exercise more.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Well so much for my #1 goal..

It's not even half way through January yet and I almost blew up my #1 goal for this year..

No major injuries or illness..

Fortunately it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Lesson learned, hang onto those 35# plates when picking them up.  Other lesson learned, when picking up heavy objects, don't leave various body parts directly in the impact zone.

Fortunately according to the glow in the dark radiologist at the local emergency room, nothing was  broken.  Just bruised all the heck and sore as anything. The doctor was worried about Compartment Syndrome but that seems to be a bit of a non issue currently.

Unfortunately it looks like this is going to keep me off the bike for awhile, at least until I get the full use of my hand back.

The other important bit of information that I learned was that my bones are stronger than my floor.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

We are Seven of Dave, you will be assimilated


I've acquired another piece of hardware courtesy of my endocrinologist.

Add this to my Darth Vader mask I wear for the sleep apnea and I am rapidly becoming Borg.

From the fun tonight..

Hey!  Who "defurred" my belly, it's supposed to be cold for the next couple of days and I needed that fur.

This thing looks like it's going to hurt!

We are now Borg..

What I ended up with is a cool piece of gear, a Dexcom G4 Platinum Continuous Glucose Monitor, (CGM), it's going to be interesting to get a continuous glucose reading.  It's also going to mean no cheating on what I eat.  No going, "hmm, I rode this morning, I've got the calorie budget for a donut, or wow, a snickers bar sounds real good right about now.

I'm also real curious just what the glucose profile looks like on a long hard ride.  This just might make for some interesting data to dig through.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 Goals and plans

A new year means a time to reassess last year and set some new goals for the new year.

Last year saw me riding more miles than in the previous three years which was good.

2015 goals

For the bike
  • No injuries or major illness
  • No major crashes
  • 6500 miles for the year
  • Sub 5 hour century during Tour De Cure in June
  • Double century completed
  • March through October a century a month
  • Riding with the local C & B groups instead of either chasing them or them chasing me
  • Defending my Strava KOMs and earning 10 more
  • More time on the tandem with my wife
  • Muenster Metric on the tandem with my wife with an added goal of busting 55 mph on "THE HILL"
For my diabetes
  • A1C down below 7
  • 100% use of CGM when it shows up
  • Controlling my binge eating when I have a low blood sugar event
  • Weight down to below 190 pounds consistently
For my kids
  • Getting them comfortable and sure on the bike in traffic
  • Getting them faster and more confident on their abilities
  • Local beginners group rides for them
  • At least three "T-Shirt" rides for them

Thursday, January 1, 2015

I'd hoped to start the new year off with a ride, but...

I'd hoped to get some miles in early this year. However the weather has other plans.
Even the dog agrees it's not fit to be outside.
That is a 70 some odd pound Ridgeback curled up under that blanket who has decided it's a perfect day for sleeping in.