Friday, February 10, 2006

Cycling Again!

Ok, so I used to be a fair-weather cyclist. That is, I started riding again, but only in nice weather and only in the daylight. I started back up again last year in late spring and rode through the summer until September. After that, I kind of tweaked my back again and only rode in a couple more times in September and October before calling it a year. I thought that would be it until after April or so of this year, when it was light enough for me to ride to and from work.

I thought wrong.

I've been wanting to ride the bike, and get back to losing weight. I had gotten up to 260 last year before I started riding. I'd dropped down to around 238-240 by the time I stopped, and promptly worked my way back up to 250 as of a couple of weeks ago. Something needed to be done, so something I did - I started riding again 2 weeks ago. Tomas dragged me out in the early morning to ride into work and stop for Breakfast on the Bridges, which is a monthly thing put on by the local bike commuting advocacy group "SHIFT to Bikes!". We then went to the "I Share the Road" rally put on by the City of Portland. Somone even caught Tomas and I in this picture. (I'm the guy in the back in the center of the photo wearing the gray rain jacket. Tomas is to my right, wearing a proper reflective yellow rain jacket. Another picture with us is here, where you see our backs (I have a blue crate mounted to the back of my bike).

So, I took a couple rides to and fro in the rain, starting exactly 2 weeks ago. I rode 3 days last week, and 4 days this week. Last week was cold and rain, this week was cold and dry, though the last day or so added high winds to the mix, and the temperature is warming up. It may be nearly 60 degrees when I ride home tonight. I'm borrowing the rain gear I'm using, and Tomas gave me a light for my bike (a REAL light, to see rather than be seen).

So, in 14 days I've ridden 168 miles at an average speed of 10.4 mph. That's a total of 16 hours and 20 minutes in the saddle, at an average of one hour and one minute per trip.

Not bad, for a guy who's over 34% bodyfat.

The real question is: can I meet my riding goals for the year? I plan to do a couple of Centurys (a century, for you non-cyclists, is a 100-mile ride) this year, and those plus the training rides plus my commute should allow me to rack up about 6,500 miles on the bike this year.

Ooh-Rah! (as the USMC says)
Us former Navy guys would say "Sierra Hotel".

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