Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Basement Bike Experiment 2010 - Day 58

Wow - another 3 day gap. I really need to start getting consistent and stringing together some days or this is never going to work.

At least the rest resulted in a fast pace tonight.

Time: 1:04:15

Distance: 17.42 miles

Avg. speed: 16.2 mph

Maximum speed: 18.2 mph

Music: The Courteeners - Falcon

Relevant lyric: "I'd rather entertain disdain"

Miles to March 2010 goal: 16.01

Days to March 2010 goal: 1


Cumulative Experiment stats:

Time: 24:19:41

Distance: 344.11 miles

Avg. speed: 14.14 mph


No Gullet Report. In fact, the Gullet Report was a stupid idea. I am nowhere near organized enough to pull off something like that. I'll just promise to eat less crap instead.

I'm out-

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Basement Bike Experiment 2010 - Day 54

Its been a while since I rode on consecutive days, and the difference between today and yesterday was quite evident. The pace was still quick, but I honestly don't know if I had another 7+ miles in me like I did last night. Simply put, I was starting to force it, and that's never a good thing. Reason prevailed, and I stopped once I hit "respectable" status. Again, a clear sign that I am getting away from the "all or nothing" mentality and using some common sense.

Time: 1:00:20

Distance: 15.5 miles

Avg. speed: 15.3 mph

Max. speed: 23.0 mph

Music: The Killers - Live From The Royal Albert Hall

Relevant lyric: ". . . decades disappear like sinking ships, but we persevere . . ."

Miles to March 2010 goal: 33.43

Days to March 2010 goal: 5


Cumulative Experiment stats:

Time: 23:15:26

Distance: 326.69 miles

Avg. speed: 14.05 mph


This marks the first time my average speed has crept over 14 mph, so obviously I am getting faster as I go along. Thank you, Dr. Science. As far as a measurable stat goes, that one is pretty key when it comes to cycling.

Again, no Gullet Report, because even though it's after 3 PM, I haven't eaten anything yet, and since I'm diabetic, I should go go eat something before I fall over.

I'm out-

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Basement Bike Experiment 2010 - Day 53

Barenaked Ladies said it best - "it's been one week since I . . ."

Speaking of Barenaked Ladies, their new album "All in Good Time" is very good, and I highly recommend it.

But I digress . . .

I knew there would be some off days with my vacation and work travel over the last week, but I was really hoping to sneak in a ride or two. Alas, it wasn't to be, and even though I'm a little bummed out, it isn't the kind of thing that would have derailed previous efforts. Before now, it would have been a total momentum killer, and the Experiment would have been over. Not anymore. Shrug it off and get back on, and that's what I did tonight. It's all about realistic goals and expectations, and I have managed to keep those in perspective.

Time: 1:28:52

Distance: 22.68 miles

Avg. speed: 15.3 mph

Max. speed: 19.7 mph

Music: Barenaked Ladies - All in Good Time and Barenaked Ladies - Barenaked Ladies Are Me

Relevant lyric: "I'm a walking advertisement for everything I never meant to be"

Miles to March 2010 goal: 48.93

Days to March 2010 goal: 6

To take 8 days off and be able to jump and crank out a pretty fast 22+ miles is astounding to me, and it solidifies my feeling that I am turning the corner on being physically fit again.


Cumulative Experiment stats:

Time: 22:15:06

Distance: 311.19 miles

Avg. speed: 13.98 mph


No Gullet Report report right now - I haven't had dinner yet. And in case I don't come back and edit this post, I will disclose that I stopped at Wendy's and had a spicy chicken sandwich and chili (instead of fries - it's all about choices) for lunch, with a Dr. Pepper, because who doesn't love a Dr. Pepper every now and then?

An added bonus - I thought I had 86+ miles to go to reach goal, but it was only 71+. Nice. That takes a little of the pressure off.

I'm out-

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Basement Bike Experiment 2010 - Day 44

Last night took a lot out of me, but I think the worst of my illness is over. I managed some good distance at a respectable albeit slower pace, and I was able to do it without coughing up a lung membrane or something. Nice.

Time: 1:03:49

Distance: 15.28 miles

Avg. speed: 14.3 mph

Max speed: 22.6 mph

Music: Greg Laswell - Take A Bow

Relevant lyric: ". . . go ahead and take everything . . ."

Miles to March 2010 goal: 71.61

Days to March 2010 goal: 15


Cumulative Experiment stats:

Time: 20:46:14

Distance: 288.51 miles

Avg. speed: 13.89 mph



8 AM coffee

12 PM general tso's chicken, fried rice, Coke

7 PM 20 oz Gatorade G2 (during ride)

8 PM corned beef on rye, iced tea

The next ride should put me over 300 miles. It would be cool to hit goal this weekend because I travel for work next week, but that's not too realistic. I'll give it a shot though - I continue to amaze myself during these last few weeks.

I'm out-

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Basement Bike Experiment 2010 - Day 43

My cold has rendered me useless for the last 3 days, but I am an idiot, so tonight I got on the bike and hammered out miles like a fool.

I would have been happy with 10 miles at any pace, but once I got started, sheer stubborn stupidity took over and I started cranking.

Time: 57:15

Distance: 15.04 miles

Avg. speed: 15.7 mph

Max. speed: 18.4 mph

Music: Howard Jones - Best of Howard Jones

Relevant lyric: "This is an answer to every question, this is a place to begin."

Miles to March 2010 goal: 86.89

Days to March 2010 goal: 16


Cumulative Experiment stats:

Time: 19:42:25

Distance: 273.23 miles

Avg. speed: 13.86 mph



8:00 AM coffee

11:45 AM BBQ chicken salad, iced tea

3:00 PM Diet Vernors

5:30 PM 20 oz Gatorade G2 (during ride)

7:30 PM pizza, bread sticks, & beer

All evil food and beverage will be posted in red to call attention my failures.

It's halfway through the month and I am almost 20 miles ahead of pace to make the goal of 210 miles for the month, and that's with rampant sickness. Not too shabby.

I'm out-

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Basement Bike Experiment 2010 - Day 41

Today was miserable. My sinus issues have developed into a cold, and I struggled to barely make it as far as I did. But dammit - I rode, a good sign that this is developing into a commitment instead of a hope that it continues.

Time: 48:57

Distance: 11.32 miles

Avg. speed: 13.8 mph

Max. speed: 27.3 mph

Music: We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls

Miles to March 2010 goal: 101.93

Days to March 2010 goal: 18


Cumulative Experiment stats:

Time: 18:45:10

Distance: 258.19 miles

Avg. speed: 13.77 mph


No Gullet Report today. As bad as I feel, I won't eat much anyway.


I'm out-

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Basement Bike Experiment 2010 - Day 39

Two days in a row? Yes. You know how I can tell? My knees feel like they took a pipe like Nancy Kerrigan. Damn you, Jeff Gillooly.

Other than that, today was a great day. The ride was good, the Gullet Report contains no embarassing items, the new music I listened to in the saddle was one of the best albums I've ever heard, and the scale yielded favorable results.

Time: 59:18

Distance: 15.13 miles

Avg. speed: 15.3 mph

Max. speed: 18.5 mph

Music: The Courteeners - Falcon

Relevant lyric: "I think it's time for me . . . to take over the world"

Miles to March 2010 goal: 113.25

Days to March 2010 goal: 20


Cumulative Experiment stats:

Time: 17:56:13

Distance: 246.87 miles

Avg. speed: 13.76 mph



9 AM coffee

1:30 PM footlong Veggie Delite, iced tea

4:30 PM 32 oz Gatorade G2 (during ride)

6:00 PM coffee, steak, scrambled eggs, hash browns, wheat toast

And finally, the results from the new badass high-tech scale. Remember, the old scale had me 4 pounds lighter than the new one, but it did register a 4 pound loss, and dammit, I'm keeping them.

Previous weight: 226.4 lbs

Current weight: 222.4 pounds

Cumulative weight loss: 8 pounds

I'll take 8 pounds in 39 days, because I think it will ultimately be sustainable.

To quote Ice Cube - today was a good day.

I'm out-

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Basement Bike Experiment 2010 - Day 38

Sunday, I wrote that I need to string more consecutive days together and get off the every other day schedule I've worked myself into. And then I took 2 days off. No excuses - just stating the obvious - but I really do need to get my shit together. I think the daily journals for the Gullet Report will help pull all of this together.

And then tonight I screwed up my bike computer and it measured everything in kilometers. I lack focus. I lack discipline. I need Mr. Miyagi.

Time: 1:16:34

Distance: 18.29 miles

Avg. speed: 14.29 mph

Max. speed: 14.4 mph

Music: Nine Inch Nails - And All That Could Have Been

Relevant lyric: "Hey pig . . . yeah you"

Miles to March 2010 goal: 128.38

Days to March 2010 goal: 21


Cumulative Experiment stats:

Time: 16:56:55

Miles: 231.74 miles

Avg. speed: 13.67 mph


Other than that, I got nothin'.

I'm out-

The Basement Bike Experiment 2010 - Introducing "The Gullet Report"

The Basement Bike Experiment 2010 is going great, at least the actual bike riding part anyway. However, despite my best intentions, I can’t get on track with the other half of the weight loss equation – my diet.

Essentially, I eat a lot of crappy food and drink a lot of crappy beverage. Fast food, sodas (although I have managed to curtail the beast called Mt. Dew by a respectable margin), ice cream, carbs, enriched flour, gas station hot dogs, high fructose corn syrup – you name it. If it’s been blacklisted by some publication somewhere, I eat it.

I am flabbergasted (great word) that I can just flip an internal switch and start cranking out miles, but I can’t reel in my obviously poor dietary choices. So, in the time-honored method of Thoreau and Emerson, I took to time to ponder the situation, and I arrived at a rather stark and simple solution: accountability.

What is it I’m doing with the bike that I’m not doing with the refrigerator? After every ride, I proudly post the results on this blog, whereas after every snack or meal, there is at least some part of it, if not all of it that I wish I didn’t eat. I tout my successes, but I hide my failures. I’m a hypocrite!

The whole reason I decided to publicize the bike progress on this blog was accountability. Good or bad, the world (or at least the handful of people who actually read it) will know how long I rode and how far I went. What they won’t know is that I ate a #6 from Wendy’s and a pint of ice cream when I got off the bike.

Before all this, I was just a fat bastard. Now, I’m a fat bastard who can ride 20 miles pretty fast on his bike. It’s a vicious (albeit tasty) circle. I have no idea how many calories I take in, or even how many I burn during a ride, so who the hell knows if I am burning more than I am consuming?

So, today I announce a new feature to the Experiment called “The Gullet Report”, a daily recap of everything I shoved into my pie hole that day. At the risk of making my blog entries look like a screen shot of CNN, it must be done.

Do I want to admit a trip to the vending machine for a cherry-cheese Danish? Followed by a bucket sized mocha caramel from Biggby Coffee? Hell no. So, if I know I have to fess up later, the likelihood of doing so is greatly diminished or perhaps even eliminated entirely. Vain, yet effective.

I have managed to lose a few pounds, and I did buy new pants a size smaller and took some in to my tailor to get taken in, so this isn’t all for naught. But, it should be a lot more given the physical effort I’ve put in so far. After I turned 40, I vowed to lose 40 pounds by my next birthday in December, and as I have proven, physical exercise alone is not enough.

The Gullet Report will debut tomorrow, because I have already eaten too much crap today that I didn’t write down. I will keep a detailed journal of everything I eat and drink, and you can cheer me or jeer me as you see fit.

I’m out-

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Basement Bike Experiment 2010 - Day 35

First, a clarification from the post of Day 33. I originally thought Karen had a morning appointment and that I would ride in the morning while she was gone. Well, she didn't, so I didn't, and there it is.

And now, Day 35. I am pleased about tonight's ride for 2 reasons: the distance, and more importantly, the time. I must be improving, because I am getting better at maintaining a higher average speed for farther and farther distances.

Time: 1:18:39

Distance: 20.11 miles

Avg. speed: 15.3 mph

Max. speed: 19.3 mph

Music: Thompson Twins - Into the Gap (Deluxe Edition)

Relevant lyric: " . . . no rest for the wicked, and we're all too scared to stop . . ."

Miles to March 2010 goal: 146.67

Days to March 2010 goal: 24


Cumulative Experiment stats:

Time: 15:40:21

Distance: 213.45 miles

Avg. speed: 13.62 mph


I have crossed the 200 mile threshold, and my ass is finally used to sitting in that tiny seat. That's no joke - it is seriously a quite painful process and I am beyond relieved that it's over. It's bad enough to be a motivation to keep riding so I don't have to do it again.

I have been operating on just about an every other day schedule, so the next step is to string some consecutive days together. I've done this the right way so far by keeping early expectations realistic, and I'm happy with the steady progression tactic I've used.

I'm out-

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Basement Bike Experiment 2010 - Day 33

There was a time where the last thing I would do on a Friday night is exercise, especially on a gorgeous day/night after a cold, snowy February. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and I am not going to kick 40's ass sitting on a bar stool.

So, after a sensible dinner of flank steak and salad, I jumped on to see what I could muster, because I haven't ridden right after a meal yet in this Experiment. I've always eaten after the ride. Suffice it to say, it worked out well. Nice distance, nice pace - nice ride.

Time: 59:43

Distance: 15.06 miles

Avg. speed: 15.1 mph

Max. speed: 25.6 mph

Music: Editors - In This Light and On This Evening and We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls

Relevant lyric: "right foot, followed by a left foot"

Miles to March 2010 goal: 166.78

Days to March 2010 goal: 26


Cumulative Experiment stats:

Time: 14:21:42

Distance: 193.34 miles

Avg. speed: 13.45 mph


I am less than 7 miles away from 200 thus far, and while that is very cool, I am more focused on the monthly goal. If I make that, the total mileage numbers will take care of themselves.

Now I get to see how my recovery time is improving, because my next ride is less than 10 hours away. Say good night, Alice.

I'm out-

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Basement Bike Experiment 2010 - Day 31

Awesome ride tonight! I should have stuck it out a couple more miles to get the big number, but it was time for dinner, and my beloved Vancouver Canucks are on TV tonight against the despised Detroit Redwings.

Even an hour+ into the ride, I wasn't breathing hard and my legs were just starting to get a little sore. I've felt that my progress had flattened out a little bit, so hopefully that is a good sign. The goal was a little longer ride and a little slower pace, and it worked out well.

Time: 1:17:18

Distance: 18.08 miles

Avg. speed: 14.0 mph

Max. speed: 16.9 mph

Music: Tool - 10,000 Days

Relevant lyric: ". . . no obvious physical trauma, vitals are stable . . ."

Miles to March 2010 goal: 181.84

Days to March 2010 goal: 28


Cumulative Experiment stats:

Time: 13:21:59

Distance: 178.28 miles

Avg. speed: 13.33 mph


The bike is getting noisy, so some maintenance is in order for this weekend. The chain just needs a little lubricant, is all. Ain't no thang.

I'm out-

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Basement Bike Experiment 2010 - Day 29

Back in the saddle after a 4 day hiatus. No excuses - I let life get in the way and didn't manage this project the right way. I managed to make it almost 4 weeks before I lost the handle for a few days, but 4 day breaks just can't happen. It's a momentum killer, and now I have ground to make up.

The only "plus" was that some fresh legs allowed me to tear off a rather quick ride, but I need to further and longer to meet the goal for March (more on that below).

Time: 37:30

Miles: 10.08 miles

Avg. speed: 16.1 mph

Max. speed: 23.4 mph

Music: Ministry - The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste

Relevant lyric: "it kicks you in the face and sucks you dry"


Cumulative Experiment stats:

Time: 12:04:41

Miles: 160.20 miles

Avg. speed: 13.26 mph


The goal for March is 210 miles. That's 60 miles more than February and only 3 more days to do it, so I have some long rides ahead of me. It's like that Jerry Reed song from Smokey & The Bandit - "We've got a long way to go, and a short time to get there . . ."

Perhaps if Jackie Gleason was behind me saying "sumbitch", it would be a little easier.

I'm out-