My Writings. My Thoughts.

Frustrated… So what do I do now?

// February 2nd, 2010 // Comments Off on Frustrated… So what do I do now? // Bloging, Diet, Riding

It has been covered in recent articles, and it is something that I do encounter nearly inall my rides – the bike is slow on flat terrain. Sure, it is an All Mountain bike and not a Trail bike, but still, the bike was design to be your everyday ride and not just an All Mountain. Add to that the fact that I am a big guy and the geometry of the bike is very good for me… and you can see why did I get this bike. Currently my riding style is Trail more then anything else. The winter has its contribution as well. When it rains and when there is mud out there I prefer to ride in Park Hayarkon for about 25km – 20km. When riding in the park everything just seems so slow. I cannot get more then around 20km per hour.

With 14Kg that were already lost (in 8 weeks), an XT crank, XT cassette, and an XTR chain, I thought I should be getting some more speed. I know that the 2.35 tire does not role fast, and that a 2.2 or a 2.0 tire would be faster, but it seems odd to me to use these tires on an All Mountain bike.

The psychology of things simply drives me nuts. Losing a significant amount of weight had to improve something with my ride, right? Or am I just too linear on this? Maybe it just takes its time, maybe I had a really awful riding day… everything is possible. What is clear is that I had been frustrated all day long, instead of being happy about the things I managed to achieve.

50 Days

// January 18th, 2010 // Comments Off on 50 Days // Bloging, Diet, Family

It was a coincident that on the 50th day of my diet we have celebrated my daughter’s third birthday. The change I am going through is significant. I feel much better, energized, not tired, and sharp. My new way of life just makes it better for everyone.

My daughter is a little princess that can make her daddy do anything for her. I am feeling as I am not only doing the right thing for myself, but most importantly for my daughter and for my wife. This feeling is just… great! I am allowing myself to feel good about myself, and this did not happen in a long long time now. It is like I am able to shape my life in a different way all together.

I was traveling this week, it was hard, but I managed to keep myself on course. It was not easy to go into a Starbucks and ask for green tea…

50 days have now passed. I am looking forward for the next major milestone!

6 weeks had passed – 11.2kg/24.6lbs are gone

// January 11th, 2010 // Comments Off on 6 weeks had passed – 11.2kg/24.6lbs are gone // Bloging, Diet, Family, Riding

I must admit that I did not imagine that within the first 6 weeks of my diet I would break the barrier of shedding off my first 10kg. In the last two weeks I felt I lost a lot of weight but I did not know how much. On Saturday I was happy to discover I lost another 3.2kg/7lbs. There is no doubt in my mind that shedding this much weight had and immediate impact over my quality of life. I feel much more energetic. I must say that riding my bike has a lot to it and the improvement with my overall shape is well appreciated.

I am abroad this week and this is the biggest test I currently have with regards to my diet. I must fine a routine that will fit me even when I am away from home.

I am already waiting to get back home. My daughter’s birthday is next week turning to be 3 years old and I cannot wait for that!

Grounded

// January 2nd, 2010 // Comments Off on Grounded // Bloging, Family, Riding

I had to bring my bike to the shop for repairs for the second time this week. I have a weird problem that shows itself after about 20km – you simply cannot turn the pedals (crank) any more. The symptoms appear when pedaling gets more and more difficult (on the same gear shift, riding the same terrain, etc.) until at a certain point you cannot pedal anymore. When this happens gears are not being shifted.

I had already been to the bike shop on Wednesday with the same problem… and they did not find anything. Yesterday, after I was nearly thrown off the bike because of this, I decided to bring the bike back to the shop for repairs. At least this had happened near the end of my ride, so I felt I accomplished my goal riding this Friday.

It is odd to wake up in the morning to a beautiful sunny day in the middle of the winter, and not being able to ride. Instead of riding I used the time to go with the wife and kid to the port of Tel-Aviv where we enjoyed spending some quality time together.

I hope to get my bikeback  as fast as I can. Next Saturday I will be on a plane to New York on a business trip for a week…

A month had gone by

// December 31st, 2009 // Comments Off on A month had gone by // Bloging, Diet

It has been more then a month now since I have decided to change my way of life. From a personal perspective this time of the year greatly helps. It is the end of the year and I haven’t traveled for work in the past five weeks. Next week I am home as well. This had allowed me to build a routine that better fit my needs as well as to spend valuable time with the wife and kid.

8kg/17.6 lbs were lost in the first four weeks of my diet and I have moved from a 15x to a 14x weight (in Kgs). My rides are longer and I feel much more confident on the bike. I like planning a route and more importantly to fully execute it in the outdoors.

My biggest test would be when traveling again, keeping my diet abroad. I know I would need to exercise while away from home, and although I hate walking, it seems the only logical solution to the problem due to the gym availability at the hotels I stay in.

I feel a lot better with myself, more energetic. At last I am putting efforts in enhancing my quality of life and I am extremely happy about this!

Two more weeks went by. Lost 2.2 kg/4.8lbs more

// December 27th, 2009 // Comments Off on Two more weeks went by. Lost 2.2 kg/4.8lbs more // Bloging, Diet

2.2kg/4.8lbs less. And why am I disappointed that much? I know that there is no logical explanation to why did I lose that much now and why did I lose that much then. But I wanted to drop more weight. I wanted to be able to say that I already lost more than 10kg in total. All I can say now I broke the 15xkg marker and my weight is around the 14x kg marker.

Loosing 8kg/17.6lbs in four weeks is not bad at all. I just need to keep at it.

Connected

// December 21st, 2009 // Comments Off on Connected // Bloging, Riding

The one thing I have replaced with the Enduro is the pedals. Instead of the nothing you get with the bike, I got Crank Brothers Mallet 2 pedals. Why should I mess around with cleats when I have only 4 months of experience riding bikes? – The answer is simple. My knees.

See, since I am a big guy my legs are placed on the pedals in an angle and not strait. My right leg has the worst angle where my heel sometimes touches the chain guard. This had a direct effect over the pain I feel in my knees after a ride. So what would be an appropriate solution? Cleats! Force the leg to be placed strait on the pedal.

Today it was the first time I rode my bike with the new pedals. I have tried to get my shoes connected with the cleats in the driveway but failed. It took me a kilometer and a half until I got the left shoe to get connected. Suddenly I heard a click… and that was that. Only two kilometers after I managed to get the right shoe connected as well. I could feel the difference immediately, although my right leg still wanted to shift right, but the shoe had prevented that.

The use of cleats forced the legs to be placed strait on the pedals lowering the pressure on the knees. I was not stressed from the fact I was connected to the bike. Only on one part of the ride I got nervous. The part where I have a stoplight and I am to stop. For some reason I could not disconnect at first, but after taking a deep breath I disconnected… finally.

I hope that in time and with the fact my muscles should get stronger (as they all say and write about), and with the use of cleats, most of my knee pain would vanish.

My Diet, Day 20

// December 18th, 2009 // Comments Off on My Diet, Day 20 // Diet

Tomorrow I will be completing three weeks of diet. I must admit it, I though it would be harder. The one thing I find hard, still, is when I am away from home and need to eat. In some places I can find what I need and to keep with my strict attitude. In some places I need to adjust a bit. It does not mean I divert from the cause, it just means I may eat some things I would usually not include with my food (more oil for example, etc.). This weekend I am away with my wife on a SPA resort. Luckily I am able to maintain my diet here.

This week I did not ride. It was a miserable combination of being sick part of the week, and of rain…lots of rain. It seems when I am back I will be able to ride. It simply burns in my veins…

My new ride – Specialized EnduroSL Comp 2010

// December 14th, 2009 // Comments Off on My new ride – Specialized EnduroSL Comp 2010 // Information

On Friday I traded my Gary Fisher Big Sur 09’ with a brand new Specialized EnduroSL Comp 2010.

I have learned many different things about myself and about cycling in the course of the last three and a half months. Simply put, I love this sport.

The problem I had is that I went through a frustrating and expensive process to put me on the right bike. See, I had 4 bikes during this short time period. From a Trek 4300 2010, to a Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo 09’, to a Gary Fisher Big Sur 09’, and finally to a Specialized Enduro SL Comp 2010. The whole thing could have been easier on me if I had a clue about cycling when I went to buy my first bike, or the understanding that an uber Clyde like me must check few basic things in a bike just to consider them to be fit. My experience could have been different if the bike store I first entered would have fitted me on the right bike instead of selling me a Trek 4300 (the front fork was for show only). And instead of trying to squeeze me for more cash trying to fit me on other bikes that cannot fir me (the Gary Fishers are very aggressive on the geometry of the bike) would have give me a good advise on which actual bikes I should get. Now I understand they do not have a clue about Clydes and what should or should not work for them.

Uber Clydes like me should look for a bike designed for Freeride, Downhill and/or All Mountain ride. Some key parameters to look for are:

  • A strong frame that can sustain abuse
  • Relaxed geometry
  • A 160mm front fork
  • Strong rims with good spokes to carry the weight

The Specialized Enduro has it all. Once I have finished the test ride I fell for it (I tested few bikes that day). It was the first bike I rode which immediately felt right. I could finally feel the front fork is doing its job (Rock Shox Lyrik 1600mm), and that the rear shock (Fox RP2) is effective even when a heavy guy like me sits on the bike.

On Saturday I rode 24km with the bike. I still need to adjust it here and there, but overall it was a great ride. I cannot wait until I get the bike out the next time (the weather here is tricky these days).

I truly hope that ‘small’ people like me would learn from my experience, and the hassle of being hassled would be saved for them.

Lost 5.8kg/12.7lbs in two weeks

// December 13th, 2009 // Comments Off on Lost 5.8kg/12.7lbs in two weeks // Diet

Loosing weight gives you a great feeling of accomplishment. This morning I decided to see how much weight did I loose in the past two weeks since I have started my diet – 5.8kg/12.7lbs. I was amazed. I did not expect this to be as much as it turned out to be. I am very happy, and it gave me a huge push going forward.