Monday, 31 December 2012

December Facts And Figures

A great end to a good year.

10 rides
10 hours
126 miles

The next weigh-in is on Friday, I've had a "good" Christmas so I'm not expecting great things.

Happy New Year

Saturday, 29 December 2012

New set of wheels

Loving the new bike!

Comes complete with skinny tyres, I just need to work on my skinny belly.

Merry Christmas and Happy Fitter New Year.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

How low can you go?

Pretty low at the moment!

I've not had a great couple of weeks, bad time of year to be a driving instructor, 6 year anniversary of my dad passing away, dull, boring weather.

Its all taking its toll, which has lead to me being a grumpier git than normal and not the nicest husband or dad.

This in turn has lead to comfort eating, which adds to my woes.
So far this month I've had over 3,000 calories in "snacks" (food eaten between meals).

I felt I was on the way back up till my gout kicked in again which added to the list of reasons not to get out on the bike.

I know if I do go out on the bike that I'll feel loads better.
It will remind me why I'm going to all this effort.

On a positive note, my brother Pete is bringing me a "new" bike after Christmas, and according to him "it's lovely".
I can't wait.
I just hope Hampshire council have got a good budget to repair the roads after I tear them up.

Just writing this has helped me realise how silly my negative thoughts and feelings are. About to hit those roads.

Thanks for reading and your support.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Two tips of the day!!

I thought I would share a couple of tips with you so you can learner my experiences.

Firstly, don't ride into 3 foot high concrete posts that have been there for years. See photo.

Secondly make sure your tyres are fully pumped up.
I just pumped the brother in law's tyres from 30psi to 60psi and it made a massive difference to the overall speed.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

November Facts and Figures

Not a great month.
This is a picture of my rear axle which broke half way into a 30 mile ride. Luckily Kate was happy to come and collect us in the "sag wagon".
Father Christmas is bringing me new bike for Christmas, so I will have to continue cycling gangnam style till then.
I need to keep going out because if I don't I seem to eat more, which is not good when I'm burning less.

8 bike rides
7 hours
91 miles

February 20
March 133
April 110
May 66
June 91
July 165
August 212
September 142

Total 1163
Average/month 116

Goal for December

100 miles, most of it will be done after Christmas on the new toy.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Cycling Gangnam Style

Thanks to Haribo Joe for this excellent description.

Last week the rear axle of my bike broke half way into a 30 mile ride, luckily the wife was happy to rescue us.

I'm still unsure about what to do about my bike so I borrowed my brother in law's bike today so that I could do some exercise.

It is a mountain bike with fat, spongy tyres and full suspension, so every time I pushed down on the pedals the bike bounced up and down, losing loads of energy.

So not only was it really hard work, I felt sea sick.

When Joe saw me I was bouncing around so much he thought I was Psy doing his dance.

It's probably a good mountain bike, but a terrible road/hybrid bike.

When choosing your bike, make saw you know the type of riding you'll be doing and get advice.

It will save you a lot of time, energy and money.

Friday, 9 November 2012

A loss is a loss I suppose...

Just had this months weigh in and only lost 0.5kg.


Start of the year 134kg, now 119kg so I've lost 15kg or 33lbs.
It still moving in the right direction.

It's been too easy to make excuses not to go out cycling and I've felt hungry all the time, a bad combination.

My goal at the start of the year was to lose 12% so my target was 118kg by the end of the year.
The next weigh in is in January and I will be below 118kg.
It doesn't sound like much to lose over 6 weeks but it is Christmas so I'm being realistic.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Lit up like a council house at Xmas

If you're out cycling at night make sure you can be seen.

You've probably notice some cyclists covered in lights, like a council house at Xmas.
So it worked! You noticed them!

Flashing lights work well because the human eye notices movement better than something constant.
But they're not great if there are no street lights as they don't light up your path.

Wearing reflective clothing will help, don't worry about how you look, just make sure you can be seen.

Try it this evening, just notice which cyclists stand out from the crowd and why, and then try to copy them.

Here's a link to a story about Bradley Wiggins getting knocked off his bike by a van. If it can happen to him.....

This is Rule 60 from the Highway Code so you know the legal requirements.

At night your cycle MUST have white front and red rear lights lit. It MUST also be fitted with a red rear reflector (and amber pedal reflectors, if manufactured after 1/10/85). White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen. Flashing lights are permitted but it is recommended that cyclists who are riding in areas without street lighting use a steady front lamp.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

October facts and figures

7 bike rides
9 hours 54 minutes
133 miles

Here's what I've done so far this year.

February 20
March 133
April 110
May 66
June 91
July 165
August 212
September 142

Total 1072 miles
Average/month 119 miles

Goal for November

Beat the monthly average of 119 miles

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Well worth getting up for!

Just been out for a lovely morning ride.
I was thinking about going last night but was also thinking about a nice lie in.
When I woke up it was raining which nearly made up my mind, but 10 minutes later there were blue skies.
Just a quick 9 miles with a short stretch along the coast so some stunning views, and burnt 600 calories, which was nice.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

New Forest Rattler 2012

This was the second organised ride I did this year, an ambitious 47 miles.

New Forest Rattler

It was a great day, really well organised with minimal queuing for registration, toilets etc.

Myself and Joe arrived about 7:30 and it was already pretty busy, you can camp there if you want.
We registered and got our timing chip and route card and some sweets and an energy drink. We did look to get some of the porridge but it wasn't ready so we went without, Luckily we had both had a good breakfast.

There was a bit a queue to actually get started as they send you off in small groups every few minutes, but it helped build the excitement. Thanks to the timing chip your time starts and finishes as you cross the line.

We had read that it was a nice flat course, so were quite surprised by the few hills we encountered very early on, could have done with a few miles to warm up. Overall it is a flat course, but there are a few hills to keep you interested.

The course is very well signposted with both routes, the 47 mile and the 82 miles courses starting off together.

After about 20 miles there is a feed station with water, powder to make up an energy drink, flapjack and bananas. All very well received.

It was a very hot day so I should have taken more water, I started to feel it a bit towards the end. I was also feeling uncomfortable in the saddle but tried to keep going, when I did stop for a break and stretch it made a massive difference, I wish I had listened to my body more.

2 miles from the finish is Blissford Hill a 25% gradient, which is not nice anywhere let alone after 45 miles.
Here's a link to a video of someone else making it up it. Blissford Hill
Joe made it up in one go, I didn't, my foot slipped and I was heading towards a ditch so I bailed out.
To make matters worse there is a photographer half way up.

It is not a race but there are timing standards. We were aiming for Bronze which is between 3 hours 20 and 3 hours 40. We smashed it in a time of 3 hours 38, well chuffed. Joe did have to drag me along for the last quarter.

Next year I would like to go for the Silver time, under 3 hours 20, but Joe is talking about doing the 82 miler!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

BHF Round the Harbours Bike Ride 2012

This is one of the organised bike rides I did this year.

It is a nice 35 mile route around Fareham, Gosport, Southsea and Havant, you can start at any of the four start points.
You have to take the Gosport ferry, and you can choose to take the Hayling Island ferry but I never have, because of the queues. Also the route up Hayling Island isn't suitable for skinny tyres.
It is well organised with toilets etc at the four check points, and there are marshals on motor bikes going round the course if you do have any problems.
Be warned, you do go over Portsdown hill, which is a nice challenge. First year I did the ride, it was a surprise.

It is the third year I've done it.
First year I did some training and finished in 3:33.
Last year I really struggled round in 3:48 thanks to a lack of training.
This year my goal was 3:12, which I missed by 1 minute 21.
Bit gutted but I did have to have my bike fixed which took over 10 minutes.
Next year I will break the 3 hour mark.

Have a look on their website for an event near you and start training for it.
Having something to train for is a great way to push and motivate yourself.
These events are nice ones to start with, a nice relaxed atmosphere and not everyone is wearing lycra.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Only ride of the week!!!!!

Good to get out this morning, gutted that it will probably be the only ride this week due to other commitments.

It is important to make time for your chosen exercise, mine is cycling, which can become difficult to do during the winter months. But I will find time.

Chose something that will fit in with your life style and enjoy reaching those goals.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Easy Sunday afternoon ride

No intervals, no thinking about pr's on Strava segments, just a nice afternoon ride.

It was great to just ride for fun on a lovely sunny evening.

Ended up doing a reasonable time and burnt over 1000 calories, makes up for a few cidres I had for Haribo Joe's birthday.
Kept me in the green on MyFitnessPal app.

Friday, 12 October 2012

1000 miles done

Just gone over the 1000 mile mark since starting this journey back in February this year.
Really pleased with how I've done and looking forward to the rest of the journey.

(doesn't show on Strava because I wasn't using that app at the start of the year)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Wet and wild ride!!

Horrible ride in the rain this evening, and it got dark at the end, but burnt over 700 calories so well worth it after a quick shower.

I knew it was the only chance of getting out this week so gutted that it kept raining.

The route I took is a 4.4 mile loop which I do 2 or 3 times depending upon time.
I need to change it slightly for evening rides because a short stretch is narrow without street lights and is a rat run for cars.
I've set up 2 segments on Strava where I go for it, they both take about 2 minutes. This really gets the heart going.

You want to find a route that will take 40 - 60 minutes.
By choosing a loop that takes 20 minutes means that you can easily do a bit extra on a good day while still having a worthwhile ride.
Record your times and keep trying to beat them.

Start slowly, the stamina will build up and before you know it you'll be enjoying nice long rides while losing loads of weight.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

An apple a day.......

If you eat 100 calories a day more than you burn you will put on about 10 lbs in a year. There about 100 calories in an apple.

Doing exercise is great but sorting out your diet is key.
A cup of coffee with sugar and three chocolate biscuits is about 300 calories. To burn this off you will need to cycle for at least half an hour.

I use an app call MyFitnessPal, which makes calorie counting very easy. It really opened my eyes to how bad some foods are, and has helped me make more informed food choices.

One of the biggest shocks was white bread, each slice is about 100 calories.

Here's an example of how bad bread is.
2 homemade bacon and egg muffins and a cappuccino over 800 calories.
2 eggs, 2 bacon, 2 sausages, baked beans, mushrooms and a cappuccino just over 700 calories. A lot more food but less calories.

Don't worry I don't have this everyday or even every weekend but you need to have treats.

Slimming World and Weightwatchers points systems will give you the same feedback, but the app works best for me.

Find what works for you and use it, the weight will drop off when you make some small changes. Go out cycling couple of times a week and you will be hitting your goals.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Another nice ride yesterday

Nice mid week ride on my own, but still did the 24 mile 100 Acres ride I've done a few times with Haribo Joe. Normally just go for about 10 - 15 miles on my own but not sure if I can do a ride this weekend, so went longer. Really pleased.

Some good times for some early segments but turned into a head wind at the half way mark and with no one to share the work with my times dropped off a bit.

Still burned over 2000 calories which is nice.

Tip: Get yourself a friend to go cycling with and take it in turns to be at the front, when riding close behind someone else, or slip streaming, you use about 30% less energy. Don't hide there all the time, work together and go further.

Cycling Buddy This is a website I saw about on TV where you can find other cyclists and routes in your area.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Get going!

Just do it! Only you're stopping yourself becoming the person you want to be!

I've got to be responsible and tell you to check with your doctor first. Get them to advise you on a sensible weight loss, probably about 1lb a week. Doesn't sound much but it crept on slowly so the best way is to take if off slowly. It's working for me.

I'll talk more about goal setting soon.

Then get yourself a bike. Don't go mad but do spend some money as you will get the bug and start using it loads. Spending between £200 and £500 will get you a good bike, but get some advice.

Try and find a nice flat route, couple of miles is a nice distance to start with. Take it easy to start with, so that you keep going.

Record your time so that you can keep improving. There are loads of apps that do it for you, I've used Sports Tracker, but have changed to Strava just because a few friends use it.

Go for it, keep going and you will love it.

Let me know how you get on.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Extra keen this morning

After a poor week food wise last week needed get out this morning, even though it was raining.
Two quick loops round Stubbington totalling 8.8 miles.
Not best time due to road works but still one PR.

Glad I went as feel so much better and burnt over 700 calories!


Welcome to my blog about my journey from Fat to Thin on a bike. 

I've been struggling with my weight all my life and decided to make a change, and saw cycling as the way forward. The goal is to lose 12% of my body weight in 2012.

Basic Stats at the start of the year

Age : 42
Weight : 134kg
Goal: 118kg by the end of 2012

Every journey starts with single pedal!

 It all started back in February 2012 when I went for my first bike ride with Haribo Joe.

The first ride was from Hill Head up to Fort Nelson on Portsdown Hill, a mere distance of 12.7 miles. I chose this ride because I knew Haribo Joe cycled 16 miles to work a couple of times a week and I wanted to keep him interested.
Total riding time was only 1 hour 22 minutes, but I did need an extra half an hour to recover at the top of Portsdown Hill, so a total journey time of 1 hour 47.

The last time I did the same ride in August I managed to break the hour mark, this was the total time, no collapsing.

Basic stats in October
Age : 43
Weight : 119.5kg
Goal : 115kg by end of 2012

I'm planning to keep you posted with progress, training tips etc and I welcome any comments.