My frame has a crack in it. Yes, the DeRosa, the new (to me) frame has a crack on the hinge where the seat stay and chain stay meet. Clearly this doesn’t make me happy, but I talked with the folks at Rubber Soul, who originally sold the bike, and they are going to take a look at it for me. I can’t find any information about the warranty period for DeRosa’s, and having never gone through this I’m a bit saddened and quite bummed. Ideally, I can get this welded or fixed, or warrantied, but because I’m a worst-case scenario type of guy, I can see this moving me to either a.) find someone to tig-weld the aluminum crack, or b.) purchase a new frame.

Now of course, there’s always better gear out there, and the real kicker for my purchase was the component group (Campy Carbon 10’s), but having to plump down another chunk of money right after buying my wife a new bike presents me with hesitation. However, because this is my mode of transportation 3+ days a week to work, plus weekend rides, I’m kinda stuck. We JUST paid off the newegg credit card, and are down to a very low amount of consumer debt, and going back into debt, or tightening things up with another big purchse just isn’t what I want to do. /sigh

So tomorrow I’ll be bringing the bike around to Rich at Rubber Soul to take a look at it and assess what our options are moving forward. No riding this weekend for me, which may be good since the shoes still feel a bit tight with the whole toe situation (broken/jammed), but we will be looking for shoes for Lacy, as well as shorts, a jersey, gloves, shades and a helmet. I guess now that I think about it, we are pretty much going to be spending money on bike stuff anyways, just not on ME πŸ˜‰ I’ll write more when I know more.

Well it’s been awhile since my last post, so I wanted to give everyone a quick update. Well, maybe not quick, but an update nonetheless. September-March, very little bike riding, and I gained another 20 lbs. Got a sweet case of Bronchitis, and my doctor noted the weight gain, causing me to get angry (how dare he!). So, back on the bike I went.

Lacy and I bought a house out at Harlan Ranch which changed our schedules, and my commute. After getting settled in, I started back on the bike, and since 3/30/09 (doctor’s visit for Bronchitis), I’ve lost 15 lbs. I weigh in tomorrow, and I’m hoping to be under 240. Right now, my current schedule is Tues-Thurs ride into work (10 miles), and then Wednesday night riding with friends casually (14ish miles) and then, if I’m up to it, riding Thursday with a B.S.P. group (Bunch of Skinny People). Went out 2 weeks ago with them, and we averaged 25 mph. /huffandpuff

Couple this with weekend rides, and I’m well on the way back to getting in shape. This past weekend, @MikeFast and I tore it up from Shaw/Academy up Snowman to Humphrey’s and back. Met a really cool old dude, Bob, who kicked our butts out of the hills, but we eventually caught him on the flats. One thing about bikers, they’re generally great people.

Lastly, I did upgrade my bike situation, and now am on a DeRosa Planet Aluminum/Carbon with Full Campy Carbon Record 10’s with Campy Neutron wheels. I reckon it’s about 3 lbs lighter than the previous bike, and I have already broken the old speed record on it. I feels comfortable! This is a pic from the ride this weekend, taken at Snowman.

With that said, it’s good to be back! Look for some more blogging coming out of here. I plan on starting a personal one as well. One of my big to-do’s is to become more active in writing, and since I do not have any paying gigs at the moment, I might as well write for the sake or writing, right? πŸ™‚ Thanks for looking.

Well it wasn’t pretty, both figuratively and literally, but it is done! 100 miles (actually 100.80)! I’d have to say that the ride itself really tested me, as physically I was having a bad ride, was freezing most of the ride (95% was in the fog), mentally strained at certain parts, and just all around a very long time on the bike. However, this was nice because I got to do some real praying, like God, please give me just a little sun to thaw my legs! πŸ˜‰ I finished around 4:30, which put me about 7-7 1/2 hours on the bike. Β Average speed between 13 and 14.5. I broke my new top speed on the way back from the Lighthouse at 40.0 MPH. The cool thing is, this was exactly when I went over the picture area south of Cambria.

It was truly an awesome time, and I’m glad I finished. I’ve taken this entire week off from everything, both to recoup and to soak in what happened. However, now it’s back on the bike for more training. I plan on riding through the winter, and hopefully get to a comfortable place in regards to endurance training. I really want to try and complete some of the 200-mile rides next year in the California Triple Crown (5 to be exact), but we’ll have to see how the training goes in the next 4 months. They start in February, and that’s coming up pretty quick.

Other than my physical tiredness throughout the ride, and inability to find a good rhythm, I was pleased with the ride. I felt my calorie and electrolyte intake was good, in fact, I have a feeling I may have over-hydrated at the beginning, thus giving me a bunk start to the day. There are pictures up on my facebook, and I’ll try and post some here too. You can visit my facebook here:Β http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=798934376&ref=profile.Β 

I’ll make sure to stop in here occasionally and update on how the training is going, and hopefully to show off a new bike come Spring πŸ™‚ Thanks for keeping up with me, and thank you for your support. It was really great to see my friends and family come beside me in this and provide support. I can’t wait until next years ride, and have already started prepping goals for what I want to do (100-mile Hilly, here I come!).

-Aaron

Well I weighed in this morning at 236. If you’ve been following me weight you will have noticed the big ________. I’m fed up, so it’s time to kick start the metabolism. Lacy and I are starting the Master Cleanse on Sunday, and I will be doing it for 5-10 days, depending on how it fits with riding long distances. The good news is the lemonade you actually has ~110 calories, so I’ll be able to use that instead of the bars I eat on the Saturday rides.Β 

Speaking of rides I rode 54 miles on Saturday. We were down in Porterville for a few days, so I took the opportunity and rode to Visalia and back. Pretty good ride, although I bonked at the end. This was probably due to the heat (it was around 35340-6352243 degrees I think), but after a nice pool party session and nap, I was very refreshed.Β 

Next weekend I’ll be up at Hume Lake playing with Brent Lamb for a Father/Son conference. First, although it has nothing to do with riding (I may haul the bike up for rides around the lake), I’m super pumped to be playing with a guy that has gold records. I know that my time has passed for full-time music, but I’m really excited to ween as much as I can from him regarding song writing. Plus this works out well for our Christmas plans (hush hush).

I’m still riding to work every day, and am still in love with riding. Even though I’m not losing numbers, I know I’m leaning out, I just want to get down under 200 to start, and it’s taking too long! πŸ˜‰ Next week should be a challenge, and I’ll make sure to post on Sunday what my starting weight is. Hooray new stra-tee-ger-ee!

Well it’s time for another update again. Ughhh. This weekend instead of riding I joined my co-workers and represented Forward Advantage at the 2008 Mudd Volleyball Tournament for the March of Dimes. We had a blast, made it to the quarterfinals, and definitely plan on going at it again next year. However, I’m sad to report no weight loss… Still at 237. I’m starting to wonder why the heck I’m not losing any weight. I mean, my diet is good (for the most part), I’m exercising 20x more than I have been the past six months, and heck, I’m going to be dominating a 100-mile ride in 5 weeks. It’s just mind boggling I guess… This bear is slightly upset.

On Wednesday I decided it would be a good idea to run home instead of ride. Let me tell you how my body felt after a 3.2 Mile run/walk. Yeah I was sore the rest of the week. This kind of aids in my frustration, because I’m trying new things and I get no results!

I guess my resolve is going to be to beat the crap out of my body this week. Maybe self mutilation is the answer right? πŸ˜‰ So if any of you feel like riding after work for ~2-3 hours, let me know. I’ll be leaving my work at 4:30 and probably returning between 7 and 8. That’s all for now, I need to get back to work. My break is up!

Until next week,

Frustrated Bear

Plateauing is never good, regardless of what you are doing. For me, my mileage and stamina is increasing, but I find myself plateauing weight wise. I had a wonderful ride this weekend. Ben, Sara, Toni, and Kjirsten went up to Prather, over to Humphrey’s, up Snowman, back to Humphrey’s, to the Store, and then home. All in all it was around 58 miles for me, with a TON of vertical climbing. I was super pumped to get through all the climbing, and was rewarded during my cold bath afterwards with a nice quad cramp.

I’ve been messing with my food intake, and I’m getting pretty comfortable at understanding what my body needs for the longer rides. I already knew I was a sweater (no not the garment), but really dialing in my calories/sodium/potassium intake has been a HUGE boost. I’ve found I need between 3-400 calories, and salt salt salt. I talked with a rider at Humphrey’s who goes to the Well, and he recommended some electrolyte capsules. Apparently they give you the same “refill” as Gatorade, but without the large amount of liquid. I may check these out and see if they work for me.

As for the weight thing, I think I’m going to take a closer look at my diet. I’ve been trying to stick with the Men’s Health Belly Off Diet, but apparently I’ve been eating too much during dinner, or not doing enough exercise. This week I’m going to focus on both; more exercise and less food. So if you see me this week, and I’m grumpy, you’ll know why πŸ˜‰

All in all, here’s what we have. Weight is 237, this past week I rode 106 Miles. My goal for this week is to ride 150-160 miles. That’s Tue-Thurs Store runs with a 60-70 Mile ride on Saturday. If all goes well, I’ll accomplish this AND drop some weight. Until next time, cheers!

-Bear

Well it’s been a busy past couple of weeks, so here’s the dish for you peeps that still check this out. Still around 235, weight-wise, but still getting thinner, so that’s excellent. I’ve had a rough past couple of weekends (riding wise). Last weekend we spent the night at Lacy’s parent’s house, to watch the dog and house, and when I came out that morning to drive home and get on the bike, her car was gone. Turns out it was towed for a 3rd offense of parking overnight without a pass (they live in a gated neighborhood). Not only did I have to pay $240 to get the car out, when the guy was placing my car in their warehouse, he backed it up into the car behind it, jacking the bumper on the car. To add to that, on the way home the check engine light came on in and now both headlights don’t work. That was all before 8AM by the way…

This week has been better though, as you can imagine it would be hard to top that sort of *fun*. Work has been good, I will officially be employed for a year on Friday (yay review!), and this weekend we should get in a great ride. I’m thinking of dominating Prather. I rode to the store after work on Monday, and had a fun time with the afternoon winds. Since when does Fresno have wind? I guess I’m just a city boy now and never get out there. My plan for the next few weeks is to ride to the store or do some laps in Woodward on Mon/Tues/Wed and then just bike to work on Thursday. I’ve been taking a break on Friday’s so as to be rested for the big Saturday rides, and that seems to be working out well. Or at least I’ll find out, barring another ridiculous series of events.

I’m really excited about where I am in training. I think I’m definitely ahead of where I was last year, and because I have no choice but to ride, it’s really helping me focus on things. The past couple of days I’ve been trying to stay above 20 MPH the entire way in and back, and yesterday I achieved that, even hitting 26 on the flats, and I held it!

I’ve also been working and tweaking the diet. I’ve been doing the same diet for the past 4 weeks now, and it seems to work out pretty well. Basically I have oatmeal and a piece of fruit for breakfast, tuna sandwich and almonds for lunch, and a healthy dinner. Lately it’s been chicken, tri-tip, pasta, or a combination of the three.

The next update should be coming Sunday, so if one isn’t up, feel free to haggle with me. Until then, this bear is off to get ready for work! Thanks for all of your positive comments, and I’ll be seeing you soon!

It’s been too long, and I apologize for the delay. These past few weeks have been CRAZY with interesting things aside from riding. Lacy and I are looking at getting into a house so 2 weeks ago my spare time was dedicated to loan officer hunting, getting pre-approved and everything else. Then this past week was our anniversary, and anniversary day (yes, they are separate occasions). All in all, here is a quick synopsis of what has gone on.

Climbed Friant Road to the casino for the first time 2 weeks ago (yay). I followed that up by climbing the first hill of Sky Harbour. If you don’t know what this is, picture a road that peaks at 14% grade. I shortly followed this up with throwing up at the top (lol). It seems to be the trend that when I find something that kicks my butt, I throw up at the top. That and I really haven’t found where my 6-7 is, on the whole 1-10 scale. I just go to 11. Yes, this one goes to 11.

Yesterday we did the backside to Humphrey’s via Snowman. It was a first for me again, and was a lot of climbing, at least more than I’m used to. It was roughly 34 miles, and I achieved a few new things. The first was a new top speed of 38.6. I think every person I rode with hit a new top speed (46,45, and 31ish I think? Sara?). That was fun, and I’m looking forward to breaking 40 real soon. Anyways, on the way back I decided to try and break it again, and got up to 36 when all of the sudden I felt a sharp pain on my right quad. I looked down to find a nice non-friendly wasp munching on my leg. Now those of you that know what 36 MPH feels like understand how long it takes to stop from that speed. By the time I was done and flicked him off, he had given me about 4-5 bites. This bear was not happy. I didn’t even get any honey!

All in all the weeks have been ok. I had borrowed my father-in-laws car to take care of the house hunting stuff, but this was a very good excuse for me not to get on the bike and ride, so I gave it back last night. No excuses anymore, I’m riding.

My weight has been interesting. Last week when I weighed in I was at 239.2 Thursday I was at 236.8. This morning I was at 235 even . I attribute this to the new diet Dave Akina and I are doing, the Men’s Health Belly-Off Challenge. It’s basically a diet/workout routine to lose the gut. I wanted to try it, and I got him on board, so in 7 more weeks I should be in REALLY good shape for the ride. My plan is to ride hard on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and work out Sunday Tuesday Friday with my normal hard ride Saturday. I didn’t get 3 workouts in this past week, but my diet was solid. And it’s actually not TOO bad. I mean, it could be a lot worse.

All in all, I’m loving the bike riding, and I want to do more and more. Hopefully my riding will continue into the fall after the Lighthouse ride, and next year I may do some more centuries or even some races. Now races not in the sense of dominating, but races in the sense of competing and completing. It would be cool to say I’m actually “Cat #”. πŸ™‚ Until next time, thanks for reading up and I hope everyone’s having a great summer!

Cheers

Last Weigh In: 235.6

New Weigh In: 233.8

Loss: 1.8 lbs.

Well, I was a little peeved about this weeks weigh in, but I think one of the factors was not having my morning constitutional before the weigh in process. I tried, I really did. My wife was tempting me with whole wheat waffles with strawberries, and well, the timing just didn’t work out. I feel good, but was a little sore this morning. I’m hoping that my weigh in next week will be better, but I guess I’m still down over 16 lbs in 4 weeks, so that’s not too bad. Until next time, get out and ride, come find the bear!

Saturday Ride: 54.4 Miles

Total for the Week: 73.6 Miles

Total Miles: 149.2

“He came in with 2 young cubs and just cleaned up.” Said one innocent bystander. “We weren’t sure what he wanted, but thankfully he was eating light.”

The event happened just after 10:00 AM at Humphrey’s Station, about 24 miles northeast of Fresno, CA. When the bear burst through the doors, Wanda, one of the waitresses at the diner, feared for the worst.

“He came in panting, and there was a slight drool on his mouth. We didn’t know if he was rabid or just crazed, but I can guarantee if my husband was here he woulda reached for his gun.”

Luckily the people were left unharmed, as the bear apparently only wanted some country potatoes and ham. His cubs got themselves some toast and a blueberry muffin.

“The cubs looked happy with their food, especially the young one with the blueberry muffin” said Wanda. “We had just toasted it too!”

If you see this bear please be careful. He is known to be very thirsty and hungry when attacking these establishments, so if there is food or drink to be had, move away slowly from it and let him have his due.