Sunday, May 14, 2017

GAP Week is FINALLY HERE!


I've been waiting for this week for a long time. On Tuesday night I will head to Waterloo, IN, put my bike on the Amtrak Capitol Limited, and take an overnight trip to Cumberland, MD. After a pre-ride on the C&O Towpath on Wednesday, I am riding with family and friends on a 150 mile ride from Cumberland, MD to Pittsburgh, where we will finish at Point State Park.

I am so excited to go!

This week was a great week of riding. I rode 152 miles this week, including an 82 mile ride on Saturday. My ride on Saturday was awesome. I averaged 12.2 MPH on the ride. To compare, I rode 73 miles the previous week, and only averaged 11.6 MPH. So I'm picking up speed and endurance.

I'm also getting better on the group rides as well on Tuesdays. I did a good deal of pulling the D group on our Kreager Park Ride. I averaged 13.1 MPH on the Tuesday rides.

In three weeks I am going to ride in the Tour de Cure ride for the American Diabetes Association in Detroit. I planned to ride the Century, but after reviewing the recommended speeds for the Century (15 MPH), I decided to drop to the 64 mile ride. The recommended MPH for this ride is 12 MPH, which is well within my ability. I'm hoping to get in with a good group and have a great ride.

I will take lots of pictures while riding the GAP! Thanks for following my blog!

Shawn

Sunday, May 7, 2017

2017 weight loss...21.4 pounds!

Weight loss chart from January 1 to  May 7
One of my fitness goals for 2017 is to lose weight. I started the year at 248 pounds. I keep a chart in the bathroom where I track my weight; Sunday morning is my weigh-in day. My goal for 2017 is to be less than 200 pounds. That's an average of about a pound a week. Along the way, I have intermediate goals set up as well.

One of my intermediate goals is to be at 231 pounds on May 14. I selected that day because that is the week I am leaving to ride the Great Allegheny Passage. I'm hoping of course, that the less I weigh, the easier the biking will be.

This week, I weighted in at 226.6! So far, so good!My next intermediate goal is to hit 214 pounds on September 10, which is the week I plan to ride in Lorie's Lakeside Century. Summer will hopefully bring more miles on the bike, which means (hopefully) more pounds shed!





I've mentioned in previous blog postings that I joined 3 Rivers Velo Sport, which is the local bike club in Fort Wayne. I love riding on the Tuesday night rides. Although the rides have been a bit chilly and windy (welcome to Indiana), I've enjoyed riding with other people and learning how to ride in a paceline. The challenges I have is that I'm still working on riding in the wind, and while my fellow riders have road bikes, I ride on a hybrid. My bike is heavier...therefore more work, especially while riding into the wind.

Speaking of rides, after commencement ceremonies at the University of Saint Francis on Saturday, I went on a long Saturday night ride. I had originally planned to ride long on Friday, but we had nasty rain and winds on Thursday and Friday morning. I don't mind riding in weather, but high winds AND rain is a bit much. Although it was a bit windy, I put in my long ride of the year - 73.2 miles: https://www.strava.com/activities/974344436/overview 

I'm also excited to report that I have reached my goal of raising $200 for the American Diabetes Association for the Detroit Tour deCure ride in June. Very excited for that ride, and to be helping out a great cause! Looking forward to my first century of the year! Although I've reached my goal, you can still donate to a great cause; here's the link: http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR/?px=1315747

Thanks for reading my blog. I'm amazed at the number of people who want to keep up on the adventures of a 50+ year old who is trying to lose weight!

Shawn





Sunday, April 30, 2017

April Showers brings...


The Great Allegheny Passage is on my mind :-)

In a little over two weeks I'll be in Cumberland, MD to ride the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP). This will be my 3rd GAP ride. In 2015, I rode the GAP with a Boy Scout Troop, and last summer, I rode from Washington DC to Pittsburgh on a 6 day solo bike packing trip. I'm looking forward to riding the GAP with two of my brothers, one of my old college friends, and some new friends I look forward to meeting.

In good old Indiana, we've had a good deal of rain. I had outdoor rides on Monday and Tuesday, with a rain shortened ride on Wednesday, and three hours on the exercise bike on Saturday. The weather looks better for the coming week. I plan to go on a 65-70 mile ride Friday morning as I continue to prepare for my upcoming century ride in June.

Until next week...

Shawn

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