Monday, April 24, 2017

Pushing hard, getting stronger...

Out with 3 Rivers Velo Sport on Saturday
Not a bad day on Saturday!

We're heading to the end of April. The Great Allegheny Passage Ride is a little over three weeks away, and the Tour de Cure in Detroit is just 40 days away.

Indiana has a great deal of wind in the Spring, and this Spring is no exception, Rides have been windy! However, I am taking the wind in stride - knowing that these windy rides are building strength as I prepare for my ride schedule.

Last week, I posted that I joined 3 Rivers Velo Sport (3RVS) is the local bicycling club. On May 1, 3RVS begins the 2017 National Bike Challenge. In order to participate, I need to track my rides on Strava. Strava is an app that keeps track of mileage, but also notes when you pause so you get your actual ride time, The challenge I face with Strava is when I bike alone, I listen to music on earbuds. My phone simply does not have enough battery power to listen to music on Pandora AND keep track of the GPS functions of Stava. May have to look into an inexpensive MP3 player...

Anyhow, I had two rides on Saturday. One was 20 miles with 3RVS, the second was 40 miles on my own, Here are the links to my performance:

https://www.strava.com/activities/953374580

https://www.strava.com/activities/953626785


This is going to be a good week. Tuesday night will be a ride with 3RVS; on Saturday, I will need to split up my long ride into two segments due to work and service commitments with my Boy Scout Troop.

Finally, thanks for reading my blog. On June 3 - I am riding in the American Diabetes Association Detroit Tour De Cure Century Ride. I only need 60 more dollars to reach my fundraising goal. Please consider making a contribution, even if it's just a few dollars. Here's the link to my fundraising page:

http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR/?px=13157476&pg=personal&fr_id=11730

Again, thanks for following me as I prepare for a great summer!

Shawn


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Pushing to improve...joined 3 Rivers Velo Sport!

Carroll High School Ride
Kreager Park Ride


One of my cycling goals for 2016 is to ride in the Ride Across Indiana (RAIN Ride). The RAIN Ride is on July 15, 2017, and is a one day, 160 mile ride across the state of Indiana. The ride begins at 7 a.m. in Terre Haute and ends in Richmond. You have 14 hours to officially complete the ride.

Obviously, I will need to put many miles on the bike to prepare. Leading up to RAIN, I am riding the Great Allegheny Passage in May, The Tour de Detroit Century Ride and the Logansport 2 Rivers on 2 Wheels Century Rides in June, and RAIN in July. In addition to miles, since RAIN is a large ride (almost 1,300 riders finished last year), I need to learn how to ride in groups.

3 Rivers Velo Sport (3RVS) is the local bicycle club. I went to their first Tuesday night ride of the year at Kreager Park and rode on a C/D group ride. According to a C pace is 16/17 MPH, and a D pace is 14/15 MPH.

We rode 29 miles. Indiana can be windy, with winds generally from the west. Going out, no problems. Going back, I am thankful for the riders who "tucked the rookie in :-)" and let me do some drafting in order for me to finish in one piece. My average speed was 13.11 MPH, so I guess if you round up...I'm a D rider! :-)

I was so impressed with the conversations, the friendly people, etc. that I decided to join the club.

On Saturday, there was another organized ride. Again, very impressed with how friendly everyone was. The A/B group went out first, then the C/D group (including me). After a few miles, when it was apparent that I was struggling to keep up with the group, a few riders dropped back and rode with me. Saturday was a very windy day (more on that in a minute). We did a 21 mile ride and I was thankful for their help (especially with the headwinds).

After we got back to Carroll High School, I headed back out on the bike to put some more miles in. I rode out to Columbia City and back for a 34 mile ride. To give you an idea about the wind, here are some of my splits:

Mile 15: 7:02
Mile 16: 6:48
Mile 17: 7:11
Mile 18: 5:01
Mile 19: 4:53
Mile 20: 3:11

You get the idea!

Overall, this was a great training week. I rode 107 miles this week - and feel very good about riding the Great Allegheny Passage next month.

Finally, on this Easter Sunday, my sincere wishes for a Happy Easter...and beyond!

Shawn







Sunday, April 9, 2017

Has Spring finally arrived? (I hope so!)




















It's been a couple of weeks since I updated my blog. As you can see, I've been out and about :-)

Last weekend (April 1) I was in Chicago for the Higher Learning Commission Annual Conference. The Higher Learning Commission accredits colleges and universities in 19 states in the United States. On Friday, I attended peer reviewer training, and Sunday - Tuesday were general sessions of the conference...which meant I was free to ride on Saturday.

I took my bike with me to the conference, since I enjoy riding my bike, and went off on Saturday for a 41 mile ride. Obviously, I stopped by Wrigley Field, but also rode on the Lakefront trail, and went north and rode on the campuses of Loyola and Northwestern universities.





















As you can see from the pictures, it was a sunny day, and IT WAS NOT WINDY! It was a little brisk (in the 50's,), but I was dressed for it and enjoyed the ride.

Yesterday I went out on 50 mile ride. I decided to head south from Fort Wayne to Decatur, IN. I did that to take advantage of winds from the south. I rode to Decatur into the wind, and then took advantage of the tailwind back from Fort Wayne. It was a beautiful day yesterday as well; with temperatures in the 60's. It was good to bike in shorts!

My rides were:

March 27 - 10 miles
March 29 - 11 miles (on exercise bike - extreme heart rate interval)
April 1 - 41 miles

April 4 - 11 miles (on exercise bike - extreme heart rate interval)
April 6 - 14 miles
April 8 - 50 miles

I'm looking forward to riding this week. I'm going to go on my first group ride with some members of 3 Rivers Velo Sport on Tuesday. While I like riding solo, I need to work on my speed, riding in pace lines, etc. I also plan to go on a 55 mile ride on Saturday as I work toward riding the Great Allegheny Passage May 18 - 20, and the American Diabetes Association Metro Detroit Tour de Cure Century Ride in June. Speaking of the Metro Detroit Tour de Cure...

The Metro Detroit Tour de Cure Century Ride is a fundraiser. I'm trying to raise $200 for the American Diabetes Association. I'm 55% of the way to reaching my goal, and I would greatly appreciate your help. Even five dollars will move me closer to reaching my goal. Please consider donating. Here's the link:

http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR/?px=13157476&pg=personal&fr_id=11730

Thanks for continuing to read my blog! Have a great week!

Shawn

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spring has arrived!





Yes, Spring has arrived - and it's about time!

Overall, it was a good week to ride. I rode four times last week. Two of those rides were outside, and two were at Planet Fitness, including my weekly interval workout. Yesterday was my first long outdoor ride, as you can see above.

I did an out and back from my house in Fort Wayne to Columbia City. Columbia City is west of Fort Wayne. Usually when I do an out and back to Columbia City, I know that since the prevailing winds are usually are from the west, I'll have tailwinds coming home. Well...that was not the case yesterday. The winds were 15 - 20 MPH from the east yesterday. So while that meant smooth riding on the way to Columbia City, it was challenging on the way back. Oh, did I mention that for most of the way back, it rained? I'm glad I packed a windbreaker to wear on the way back, because I needed it for sure. When I got back, my hands were cold (I wore cycling gloves with the fingers exposed), and my feet were wet, but other than that I felt good. No soreness this morning either, which is a good sign.

Next weekend I'll get to do some riding in Chicago. I'm going to be in Chicago for a professional conference from Thursday evening until Tuesday, and I plan to take my bike. I enjoy riding the lakefront trail in Chicago, and plan to have a nice long ride on it on Saturday. I'll also get to visit with my niece and nephew, along with their two adorable children while I'm there.

I'll close my blog entry today with a request. On June 3, I'm riding the Metro Detroit Tour deCure Century Ride for the American Diabetes Association. My goal is to raise $200, and right now, I'm at 45% of my goal. If you can, please make a donation. Here's the link to my fundraising page: http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR/?px=13157476&pg=personal&fr_id=11730

Have a great week - and I'll update my blog from the Windy City next week!

Shawn

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Welcome my son..welcome...to the machine...

83 miles of biking this week, and 73 miles of it...was on this...the machine! :-)

Included on my exercise bike rides was a 35 mile ride on Friday. We had another week of Indiana March Weather, which included snow, sleet, and freezing rain. However, I am cautiously optimistic that I'll get to do some riding outside this week. To ensure that I do some outside riding, I just invested in a pair of shoe covers which should arrive the coming week. I plan to do a 40 mile ride on Saturday and there is rain in the forecast. We'll try out the shoe covers if the weather forecast holds up; I want to start "going long" outside. My Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) ride is a little over eight weeks away. I feel pretty good that if I "had to" I could complete the ride now, but I want to complete the ride in comfort - and more importantly, have a good base for the summer riding season. When I rode in Lorie's Lakeside Century in September 2016, my average speed as 13.13 MPH. I'd like to significantly improve on that this summer!

It is also helping my training that my weight is going down. I weighed in this morning at 228.4. In 11 weeks, I've lost 19.6 pounds...and I've hit my first goal weight. My first goal weight was 231 pounds on May 14, the week I'm going to ride the GAP (week 19 of my diet). This goal is based on losing a pound a week in 2017. I met my first goal eight weeks ahead of schedule. The next goal weight is 214 pounds on week 36 (September 10). That's the week of Lorie's Lakeside Century. When I get my weight down, I'll be flying on the bike!

As we go into April, I plan to investigate the local bicycle club, Three Rivers Velo Sport. I want to push myself, and riding with others is a good way to do that. Their group rides begin in April.

Hopefully when I update the blog next week, there will be more outdoor rides than rides "on the machine" as we enter into Spring! Thanks for taking time to read my blog!

Shawn

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Just another week in March...in Indiana


OK, so the picture has nothing to do with Indiana. This is a picture from the Sailsbury Viaduct, taken when I rode solo from DC to Pittsburgh last year. In just a little over two months, I'll be back on the Great Allegheny Passage once again!

It's March in Indiana, so as a result, the weather is in a state of flux. Between, winds, work, and a cold Saturday, all of my rides were at Planet Fitness last week. I did ride 67 miles on the exercise bike, including 30 on Saturday. The Saturday ride on the exercise bike wasn't as dreary as I thought, mainly due to watching two NCAA basketball games on the big screen while biking, while the Pandora Iron Maiden station was playing on my smartphone! With more cold and snow (yes snow) in the forecast for the coming week, it looks like Planet Fitness is in the future for a few more days.

In an effort to get ready for my long rides this summer, I'm starting speed training as well. I've done two speed workouts on the exercise bike in the past two weeks. When I rode my century last year, I averaged 13.13 MPH. Want to get that up to about 15 MPH for the coming year.

Oh, this week is Spring Break! I'm looking forward to a week off of work!

Finally...
I put on 0.4 pounds last week.

I should celebrate losing 14.8 pounds this year, but I need to be more disciplined about my eating... :-)

Until next week...

Shawn



Sunday, March 5, 2017

Spring Bike Tune-up, chilly rides, and other ramblings


Last week, I dropped off my bike at Summit City Bicycles and Fitness for the Spring Tune-Up. When I dropped it off, the mechanic told me that many things were worn out. Let's just say I'm glad I dropped it off during the pre-spring sale :-)

  • New Shift Cables
  • New Brake Cables
  • New Brake Pads
  • New Freewheel
  • New Chain
  • New Front Derralier
  • New Rear Derrailer
  • New Pedals and Clips
  • And new nuts for my water bottle to replace the ones I stripped and had a bungee cord holding together.
In essence,  other than the rims, tires, and frames, I have a reconditioned bike...and it rides great! 😊

The past week was a chilly week in Fort Wayne. Snow flurries, windy, etc. While I rode three days at Planet Fitness on the exercise bike, I wanted to take my bike out a ride. So on Saturday I bundled up (From toes to head: Wool Socks, compression sleeves, long underwear bottoms, biking shorts, three long shirts including a 50/50 wool/cotton shirt, a scarf, hat, and winter gloves!)

 When I left on Saturday, the temperature was 30 degrees, and with the wind, it felt like 20. I also had tailwinds at my back on my out and back ride, which meant it was a little chilly coming back. Despite that, I went out and had my long ride of 2017!

Things are looking good for getting my mileage base up for this summer. My Great Allegheny Passage ride is just a little over nine weeks away, and after that I'll be gearing up to ride the RAIN Ride (Ride Across Indiana) in July. So there's going to be a good deal of riding in the future - and hopefully warmer weather too!

And on a final note...


Down 15.2 pounds since the beginning of the year!

Thanks for reading my blog - comments are welcome!

Shawn