My Engine Tuning Progress Bar

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Year End Wrap up

Well Hi There!
I bet you thought I had abandoned this blog, eh?
Nope, I just got caught up in my life.
One of the main hinderances to my blogging was an abrupt change after my summer vacation. My assistant at my shop quit the day I got back. With the Alberta economy, up until the end of september it was really hard to replace him and add staff. I hired over 3 people last summer, that came and went as they found "better for them" employment. Now I have a stable helper and I am looking forward to hiring a couple more and growing this next year. That should mean more regular posts here too. I see this as a memoir for myself so adding to it is important to me.
To catch up on my riding let see; in July-I rode 665 klm. Alice and I went down to the Spokane - Cour D'lene area and rode with a bunch of recumbent trikers at a gathering Called "Trikes Only Tour".
We had a great time with the group. Highlights were camping along the way (there and back);

riding a trike (cat trike expedition) along the Hiawatha Trail with a 2 km train tunnel;

The Cour d'lene Trail, we rode most of the paved trail from Mullan Idaho the Plummer on our TE's(some of it was flooded out);
I did my first ever standard century in 1 day (dats me doin a celebration pose with Joel from California - he encouraged me all the way!)
and on the way home we stayed for a couple of nights in Glacier Park and drove the Road to the Sun on our way back to Alberta. Here is a slide show about our Trip:

Later that month I Rode in the Tour D'ALberta -100 km route with 400+ other riders with theEdmonton Touring and Bike club.
Was a hot ride again this year, but I, and alot of others, felt that lunch should have been more substntial and the after ride BBQ Less so. Other than that a great ride!
I rode 210 odd km total for "Bike for Bibles"- Drayton Valley to Rocky Mountain House ; 105 km one day and 105 Back the next - a beautiful hilly ride. Great Support- Rustic accomodations.

But I think that ride is doomed -because with out our group from Godspoke they had only 2 other riders. The organisation is struggling with the ride and those there don't have the vision or man power to make it bloom. Sad, but maybe it has to have a fallow year and sprout again later.

August- I got 222 km in; of which most was our weekly Godspoke Club rides. But Alice and I again rode part of the Thompson High from the Sask Crossing to Thompson resort before the weather changed. Our Good Freinds Ken and Lenore Johnson drove SAG for us and enjoyed the time waiting for us taking Pix and relaxing.

The Big Ride for the month was a 65 km ride around Pigeon Lake starting with an overnight at Barry and Eileens Cabin by the lake.

We had alot of fun that day; riding, eating, laughing, swimming, with a nice boat ride and swim on the middle of the lake that evening using Clarence and Ingrids boat- aww so refreshing!
September, October, November I rode only 210 km combined. Mostly a few commutes and riding on Wednesday nite with the group. October was a riding disaster. Over half of our core riders went to Itay for 4 weeks on a bike tour. (they Had a fantastic time though) Plus real lousy weather and family commitments I rode only 19 km. ARGG!! but I regathered and rode over 60km in November.

December- We completed the years ride with a Christmas party at the Greers with over 30 people out for a Hawian theme - A bit of a laugh, was the potluck where we had over 7 types of Meatball dishes brought. With the change in daylight savings and snow with arctic temps around -30c, Dec was a wash too; but I did get out During the Christmas break for a few km.
Here is a slide show of our rides this past year:

Well I got in just ove 2400 km this year- lost 35 lbs before july (but gained them back since with a net loss of 10lbs this year) I know how to lose it- Count calories and exercise. When I stop counting calories I stop loosing and start to gain. Since 2004 I have lost and gained over 120lbs from 345 as low as 278. I know how to do it; I just got to make it stick!!! Now at 315. net loss=30lb.
This year I will be even more successful and get real close to the 240lb mark and maintain.

May God Bless You and Keep you in 2009!
Talk to you next month: Larry

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Just riding along

If anyone has been reading my blog - I'm sorry that I have not posted for a while, but I have been riding! So far this year I have almost 1100 km past the wheels of my Tour Easy; almost 2/3 of my total km for '07! Plus I have really been disciplined since Xmas and have lost 50 lbs total so far! Was 327 now am 278! I have noticed that as I lose weight I am getting faster on my "bent , too! I started to drive into work with my wife and my T.E. on the back of the van and ride home to Calmar at least twice a week, which really helps burn the calories and add in the kms for the year.
yep that is me letting it all hang out, no photoshopping or sucking it in!

Our bike group Godspoke Cyclists is averaging 27-30 people every Wed. nite! And It don't matter if its raining or not: If its liquid sunshine, we ride shorter and sit in the coffee shop longer!Its great to see so many adults getting off the couch and getting out for some socialization and excercise!
The premise of a social/recreational ride (20kph or alot less) is really meeting a need in our community and I am reading of other groups in towns starting all over N.A. I guess with aging babyboomers and gas prices peple are getting motivated! Plus we are not spandex clad road warriors just plain folk wanting to ride, have fun and some motivation! Most riding clubs host faster, longer rides and are intimidating for newer riders.
We have helped immigrants and lower income families to get bikes, seen relationships heal and people less stressed and isolated new comers to our area find friends! It gives me a warm feeling to know that because this fat guy wanted to get skinnier so many others are getting benefits too!
This past weekend I completed my 4th MS tour!
I finished in the top 200 out of 1700 riders, I definitely was faster this year and Sunday was really windy; many suffered in the fierce head winds coming back from Camrose. alot of people commented on the fairing my bike has and many thought I had an unfair advantage!
I am not a recumbent snob, but my bike is the best bike for me for now, I hope to some day upgrade it to a Aluminum GRR Easy Racer, add a hi racer, a reg hibred or crank forward and in my later years a trike to my riding stable. but I love the TE the more I ride it! So if I have an advantage its that I enjoy my bike right now !

I hope to take a few blogging tips from Vic in Calgary and add some thing each week or ride from here on in, even if its just a pic and line to keep you posted and motivated. I know I need motivation to keep me going, usually after I do the MS tour each year I slack off on the diet and riding thing, but I have a slight KM competion with a good riding buddy and I don't want to lose so i have to try and beat her goal of 3001 km this year so here comes 3050! (nyna, nayn S***y G!)
Between the diet and the riding my Wife, Alice, thinks I am addicted to em; that's all I do or dream, talk about. My response is: "so at least you know what I doing, with whom and where I am and because I will hopefully live longer, I will be around longer to driver you even crazier, dear! Aint Love Grand!"

TTFN Larry
now git out and ride!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Spring Has Sprung?!!

While it was sunny and clear today I have heard (via BROL) that certain riders in Cowtown were again getting another dose of cabin fever as it snowed there this weekend! (sorry Vic!)

I am trying to get motivated to commute home at least a couple of days a week this year from Leduc to Calmar. Yes, I know its only 19km or just over 11 miles but for my weary (fat) bones its takes some motivation. Its my endeavor to finally lose wieght this year consistently. I am taking some points from "Large fella on a bike" blog and his diet. He lost almost 300 lb in 2 years. Check out his story here: be sure to see the slide show its real motivating! I modified the diet somewhat and it seems to be working for me, as I have lost 5 lb in 10 days. it Yahoo! Now to get the excercise part going...

With spring here, sorta, I have been checking out my gear and sorting it out for the types of rides I do: 1-solo training rides up the highway and back, 2-groups rides around Leduc and area with riders of various skill levels, 3- day trips and tours. I wanted a slimmed down version road kit for my solo rides and don't want to pack the kitchen sink (so to speak) I was at MEC agian this weekend and found a great inexpensive, lite mutli-tool The Filzer I Tool Grande

Just what I wanted to reassure myself as I cruise down the hiway. I can now load up my hydration bag with it , some Park glueless patches, some tire levers, a mini Park Crescent wrench, my Brave soldier Crash Pak (sm 1st aid kit), water and zoom!

Well, If I convince myself to ride home tomorrow, I will have ridden over 100km for March - not bad considering the -3 weather hanging around most of the month-
Take care, Ride Safe...Larry

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It still be chilli

Oh when the sun goes down, the temp plummets! We found that out as we rode tonight.
A small group was out tonight basking in the dry streets and almost biking weather. Still a chance to ride with a couple of friends is a great way to burn 1400 calories and think seriously about getting back on track witht the weight loss thingy. I have been getting several comments lateely on how good I look. Kind of puzzling since I am on a bit of a weight loss plateau right now. But IT DOES give me some sparks of motivation. The MS TOUR in June is appproaching fairly fast and has been a great motivator for me in the past. Plus the more I ride the more I remember how much I like my bike. Oh yeah..

I ordered a new Planet Bike Super Spot Stealth rear blinky from Planet Bike this last week and then I stopped at MEC and they had them finally; at $14 instead of the $29 plus shipping I paid from Planet Bike, oh well! You sure cannot beat MEC pricing on alot of bike related gear!
I also Ordered an electolyte replacement drink for Bike Nashbar- Clif Shot - Green Apple- Mmmmm I like!- Powerade had a drink called Atomic Apple that I love but they took it off the market just over a year ago; ever since I have been looking for the Clif Shot drink here in Canada- Nobody sells it so I finally got it on a sale price from Nashbar...just what I have been waiting for - a nice tart drink that is a good balnce of all the goods bits one is supposed to get whiule riding. Try it you might just like it!
I went to a bike prep seminar this past sunday held by the Edmonton Biking and Touring Club. About 30 people showed up. It was a good refresher to have someone show us what to look for in tuning up your bike for the new season. Good Time - one of the long time club riders brought his $10,000 titanum and carbon hand made road bike.It was really nice with some cool engraving in the titanium!
Well its getting late - I hope that it is not too cold this Easter - I would like to ride at least 50km during the break.
Ride safe - Larry aka: the diff

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

First Club Ride

Well it was OFFICIAL tonight. Our Local Recreational Riding Club, GodSpoke Cyclists, had our first '08 Season ride. It was cold and windy but 6 brave souls pedaled around the paths in Leduc and the headed to TIMs to warm up over a cup hot JOE! We rode for 80 min total- half in the dark; but most had lights on, sort of looked like a parade with all the twinkling lights!
We had a great time even with the chilly wind. Its amazing that after being outside you go in for a drink and realize how hot it is indoors after you have gotten used to outside. Everyone was commenting how fresh and brisk they felt after the ride. Its nice to be outside after winter!
So bundle up and get out. You'll feel great for it.
See ya later

Monday, February 18, 2008

Family Day

Sunny, warm weather for several days melted the snow and ice from our local pathways; an email had arrived the day befor announcing a ride, so I loaded up the TE into the van and went into Leduc and met up with a few other adventurous souls.
With the sun shining gloriously we toodled around Leduc bike paths for a couple of hours. We got alot of amused looks as we rode past the new speed skating oval - february - most people are out skating or snowmobling at this time of year and there go 6 nuts on bikes :)
Well crazy or not we had a great time and spent a while in the local coffee shop loosely planning rides for the year. Its was nice to be in the "company of brothers!" (and sisters)

I enjoy riding my Easy Racer Tour Easy!
I rode today, I rode today !!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ahh at Last

I got out for a ride today, man can I tell I have not ridden for almost 2 months!

Today was the first time the weather has co- operated enough to have clear MUPs and warmer temps. Was +1 today and very sunny. Got a chance to wear my headphone wool hat. Was very warm and great sound. I like to listen to Audible books while I ride alone.

I was getting a bit of cabin fever, and cruising the net watching vids of other bent riders enjoyin the weather alot further down south was getting to me.

I can not believe how cycling , especially on my recumbent is so much a part of my life. It is such a turn around from my couch potatoe lifestyle of just a couple of years ago. I almost "crave" to ride. My life is so much richer for it.
Well, I hope to do alot more long distance riding this year. More at least 1 century a month (april to Sept) and a maybe 1 or 2 brevets. I just got to send in my registration for the Alberta randonneers. One randoneer said "Its all about making goals and attempting to persever and achieve them". I am pretty sure I can do a 200k in 13 hrs, no problem; its just the dates of the rides that make it tough.
I'm always striving to loss weight, maybe I will hit the right combo and get down to a reasonable weight and keep it off ; I keep yo-yoing from year to year! Stay tuned I'll try to keep you in touch with some ride reports, reviews and a couple of videos!