Archive for August, 2010

Finally making some progress

August 25, 2010 Leave a comment
Current Weight 198 Pounds
Goal: 185 Pounds
Pounds Lost: 15 Pounds
Pounds to go: 13
Finally making some headway. Combination of lots of riding and getting a bit social. Saturday did a group ride which was fairly fast for me and felt great. Really starting to see the difference in how I look but still lots to go. Also trying to reduce, even if so slightly, what I eat and that seems to be working better. This week I am at a conference. WARNING WARNING! These things are evil. Need to keep all the food out of my system. Have been skipping the event meals to get more healthy fixins elsewhere. Won’t be able to weigh myself until I get back. Pre-Conference weight is 198 pounds, I hope it is about 197 or below when I get back home on Friday!
Have a sprint tri coming up on Sept. 4th and feel pretty good about it, this week long trip I hope doesn’t put me too far back. Then home for a week to try and get ready. With it being on a Saturday will do a lot of prep up to Friday, then take Friday mostly off.  I will report back on how things go!
2 hour Group Ride
About 2 hours of other saddle time.
Short 20 min swim
Categories: Uncategorized

I am a human Hovercraft – stuck at 200 pounds

August 18, 2010 Leave a comment
Current Weight 200 Pounds
Goal: 185 Pounds
Pounds Lost: 13 Pounds
Pounds to go: 15

So have been fixing what I would say is my fitness problem. Love jumping on my bike and have even started doing more running of late. But for over 4 weeks I have been stuck at around 200 pounds. Turns out I have been converting my weight from fat to muscle but the weight has remained the same. That is a pretty common problem. Unless you reduce your intake, you are only moving the weight around. You will eventually decline but not at the rate you are hoping. You cannot cheat your body, if weight is not going down then you are eating too much. No other reason really. Still I feel and look better, so why is that a problem? Well for one extra weight is still an indicator for a lot of health problems and over time puts more strain on muscles, joints, the heart etc. so this needs to be resolved. Secondly part of what I have been hoping for is a visual change, and at 5.8 200 pounds is still a lot of flesh to hang on these bones, even though my clothes fit better and I feel better.  The only solution is to take in less and that, as I have said, remains a problem.

Food is yummy, accessible, cheap and actually really hard to track. I will make a two week blitz to see if I can get down to 195, the next major milestone.  Updates coming up.

Things I have done in the last two days.

15k Bike ride on Road bike

20 min run

45 min Mountain Bike ride at lunch

10 min swim

So lots going on in terms of fitness action!!

Categories: Uncategorized

Fit Kit – 2010 Devinci Cameleon 2

August 10, 2010 3 comments

Current Weight: 201 Pounds
Goal: 185 Pounds
Pounds Lost: 12
Pounds to go: 16

When I decided to get fit I thought about what I did a lot as a kid when I really was fit. And one thing I did a lot of was bike. Bike to school, Bike to work, Bike for fun. So I decided that biking was going to be a big part of what I do now. I’m not unique in this, but I think a lot of folks hit the fitness centers, and that never really seems to work. But biking you can incorporate into any schedule and once you have a bike, your paid up. No monthly bills or snotty folks on the treadmill next to you.

In my shed I had two bikes. One is an 80s pretty top of the line steel road race bike, the other an entry level steel Mountain bike. I still use them from time to time but both had deficiencies I wanted to resolve. So it was time to do some shopping.

1st off was the Mountain bike. Last year, after more than 10 years working in Kanata, Canada, I finally discovered that some of the best mountain bike trails in Canada are within a few kilometers. A good overview can be found here. Let’s just say it’s extensive, it can be technical and it’s a blast. Parts of the bike paths are being taken down (along with the trees) for development but the part I really like looks like it’s protected! Within the hour that I have for lunch I can change, do 45 minutes of really hard interesting trail riding, then return to the office, change back and get back to the world of Software.

But my bike was definitely holding me back. It didn’t shift well, it was heavy to lug up some of the hills, if didn’t have front suspension so I seemed to shatter by arms over every little rock. So this spring I started to look for a better mountain bike.

I don’t like to spend a lot money if I don’t need to, but I knew I had to invest a bit. I didn’t do a lot internet research as I didn’t want to get dragged into what seemed like a lot of various views on what is good and what isn’t in Mountain Bike design. If you want to you can spend $5000 or more on a Mountain Bike. I wanted to spend less than $1000.

Now I had been out of biking for about 20 years, in my days the good Canadian bikes were Marinoni, Gardin, Miele etc.  Good to see that Marinoni is still there, but the two I hear about now are Cervelo and Devinci. Cervelo doesn’t have a mountain bike range and is very high end, but Devinci has bikes across the spectrum and seemed well regarded. There are in a number of local dealers here in Ottawa. So I took a look and found this 2010 Devinci Cameleon 2 for a touch under $700 at Kunstadt Sports (who were pretty good for a broad sports shop). Devinci numbers their bikes a bit like BMW, basically the 1 series is cheaper than the 3 and the 4. In a number of Devinci’s lines there are four levels including the cameleon. In choosing my new road bike I was more willing to pay more and pay a lot more attention to compenents and frame, but with a Mountain bike I think more bash, bash, crash, jump etc. so just wanted something that could hold up, look a bit like I knew what I was doing and last for years. So far the Devinci Cameleon 2 has met my expectations. You can get the full specs here I couldn’t see the core differences with the 3 and the 4, the 2 had all the things I wanted so it was the 2 I bought.


My Mountain Bike

My Devinci ready for it's lunch time run


This is what I found:

  1. It’s much lighter, when I can’t just make it up a hill I can carry it without too much trouble. Doesn’t need to be any lighter for me
  2. It shifts well. Shimano makes some pretty crappy low end stuff and awesome high end stuff. The Altus/Acera stuff on this bike seems about middle of the road and works well
  3. It has front suspension. Again not sure where in the RockShox hierarchy this shock fits, and it has a preload knob that doesn’t seem to do much but it works and puts up with a lot of abuse.
  4. It has disk brakes rear and back. Not sure if this is needed, but wow they sure work nice
  5. It looks the part. I don’t like looking like I just came out of Canadian Tire with a $99 special. Devinci has real some cred it seems

The only big problem I have is with the handlebar department….

  1. The handlebars are cramped by the shifters and brake levels, so I have to get a good grip on them when the going gets hairy. Not sure I can resolve this so going to live with it
  2. The handlebar grips themselves slide off all the time. I think I can resolve this

I also added a few things

  1. A pack under the seat to carry tools and flat fix kit
  2. A pump, hitting the rocks seems to always push some air out
  3. Drink holder of course, it gets hot riding the trails
  4. A computer. This isn’t about speed per say, but to know when it’s time to head back and good to know how many kilometers I have ridden daily, weekly and over the season
  5. A rear mud guard. I was coming back covered in dirt which got me a few dirty looks in the office
  6. Clip in pedals.  This one I had to think about. On a real trail you crash, but with regular pedals you also struggle in areas where if you could put a bit more force into the pedals you would be fine. I have used clipin pedals on my road bike for years so was more or less fine with this. Still a bit tentative on the trails but so far a good change. I think folks who are uncomfortable with this approach would be fine, but for me a good upgrade
  7. A bell, in Ottawa you can get charged if you don’t have a bell so didn’t want the hassle. And I have used it from time to time!

Mountain Biking is a great way to get rid of tension. When riding a road bike it’s mostly pedal, pedal, pedal and is a continual and fun physical challenge. But a mountain bike, riden on a proper trail, is a rush and I can bash out my frustrations from the morning office politics And it just feels like you are doing something physical and hard. I have bled more this year in minor scrapes than I have in the last 20 years combined I think!


Good front suspension but handlebars are cramped



Frame is almost beautiful


In the coming weeks I will also blog about a more expensive acquistion, my road bike.

Categories: bicycling, Fit Kit Tags: ,

Time to get updated

August 10, 2010 Leave a comment

I know, it’s been a while. Overall it’s been a great summer, really was able to get fit. Get up most mornings early to put in some time on the bike, swim or bike at lunch etc. And that was the purpose, to get active and that happened. While my weight didn’t come in as low as I had hoped, I did lose 15 pounds from where I had started. I also made being fit part of usual routine and now I can’t wait to get on the bike or swim. But about that weight loss. I have been stuck at about 198-201 for a while now so need to get back on track. Food is my nemesis, I really like to eat and when I am hungry I like to enjoy. Not sure yet how I resolve that! I really want to be 185 soon. So starting all the process over again in a sense except that now I am starting from a much better position. I have beaten the “get active” challenge, now need to challenge that into the “lose weight” challenge, which is larger in every other way.

So let’s begin again. Today I am 201 pounds (gained a bit while on vacation last two weeks). Within the next 100 days I would like to get down to 185. Let’s begin!

I want to start adding real content on the bikes, events and other things that I have done to get to this improvement and as I improve again in the future. So look for that soon as well.

Categories: Update Tags: