Well April’s come in with a Bang…

or more honestly a snowstorm…

couple of rides – all short, some cut off because I’ve got the shits and didn’t dare ride any longer, and todays because it was snowing horizontally, and I was fucking perishing!!






Month 8 Update

Month 8 – 23rd February 2012 to 22nd March 2012

Starting Weight 288.9lb –  Closing  weight 278.4lb – Weight loss of 10.5lb

Starting BMI 38.3  – Closing BMI 36.9 – BMI drop of 1.4 points

Exercise Stats

21 days featured a ride on the bike, for a total of 32h45min,

Average speed 14.8 mph

Miles Rode 483.57 (only 105.30 of which being indoor miles)

Calories Burned 32,306 ( or the equivalent of  9.23lb of fat! – Once again, I’ve been eating some of the calories back.   I’ve also amended the calorie burn figures using a couple of handy power calculation plugins in Sportstrack3, which take the existing speed, incline and HR data from the Garmin, add in weather details (i.e. wind speed and direction) and muscle efficiency data factor and come up with a power output.   This it then used to provide a more accurate calorie information – one that is substantially lower than the figures calculated by the garmin – hence the greatly reduced burn figure this month.

Did well on the riding front, good mileage, if a little less than the prior month – the cold took it’s toll early doors,  but since then I’ve been able to stay mainly on the road and off the trainer, hence the reduced average speed.   And – I finally cracked the 20 stone mark.   Next goal – 17 stone – or 238lb for the former colonials 107.5kg for the continentals.

If you want to Get better at Riding Hills…

… Ride hills.   So I did – I looked around outside, and spotted the biggest hill on the horizon.   Then rode to it.     And it was hilly, all the way,

Mmmmm Spikey...

Just a little further than my normal ride, but half as much climbing again as the “normal” loop.    All things considered I managed reasonably well – rode all the way  – didn’t have to get off and push anywhere, and had enough “in the tank” to actually ride over the top of the hills, rather than “up to the top” and then stop and spend the next 5 minutes gasping like a freshly caught haddock!    Can’t say I enjoyed every minute – some of the ride was damned hard work, but I was very pleased at how well I’d managed, and hopefully, I’ll be able to slot this into the ride rota at least once a week.

Ride stats here for the sadistic people who want to see just how hard my heart was trying to escape my chest…


TTS 3.9 – Finally, Something Right

Yep – it actually looks like Tacx’s outsourced programmers have extracted their collective digits and fixed a problem, without creating another one.

Today, I managed three separate rides, one a steady state ride from the VR DVD “Argus Tour 2010” – where I did a simple 6 miles of the route, pausing occasionally, deliberately stopping the wheel, and seeing if the regular “Lost Connection with Brake” message came up.    Nope.    Woo-Hooo!!!!  Details of the ride on Garmin Connect Here.

Second Ride was one of the Ergo Rides – very strange, you follow a pro-rider or two, and the trainer gives you a resistance level that matches the power ratings that the pro’s SRM system recorded on the ride.   Of course, for them it’s a nice gentle recovery spin, and for me, it would have been murder.   So – there’s the option to “turn down” the wattage. I rode this demo at 60% intensity of what the Schleck Brothers did.     Now – to be honest, I’d NEVER been able to run one of these ERGO videos without an almost instant crash.   The entire 6 minute worked flawlessly, and I’m actually looking forward to trying some of the other ergo video’s when I get rid of this cold!  Anyway – ride details via GC are here.

The Third ride was another VR DVD ride – a simple descent of the Gerlos pass, from the Grossglockner DVD.  This was a cracker of a warmdown – as I mentioned above, I’m actually full of cold – and I just enjoyed the fact that the machine was stable, and I made it all the way down the hill.     No crashes, no snags, no hiccups, just get on and ride.    Like it should have been 4 months ago when I bought it, but it hasn’t been until today!   Again, details from this ride are on GC here.

All the rides were exported as .HRM files, and quickly converted via SportsTracks3 and a couple of Plugins into Garmin compatible .TCX files, for export into Garmin Connect – I have standardised on GC for the simple reason that my last 3-4 years worth of rides are in there, so I don’t really want to abandon it…


Month 7 Summary

Month 7 – 23rd January 2012 to 22nd February 2012

Starting Weight 296.6lb –  Closing  weight 288.9lb – Weight loss of 7.7lb

Starting BMI 39.3  – Closing BMI 38.3 – BMI drop of 1.0 points

Exercise Stats

21 days spent on the bike, for a total of 34h26min,

Average speed 15.8 mph

Miles Rode 543.3 (254.5 of which being indoor miles)

Calories Burned 43,306 ( or the equivalent of  12.37lb of fat! – I have to admit though, as the mileage and duration have increased, I’ve also been eating some of the calories back.   I’ve also been looking into the calorie burn figures, and tbh, the Garmin is pretty much hopelessly optimistic.   I’m currently investigating a couple of strategies, which involve calorie burn calculations via power metering – though I’m also sorely tempted to simplify things and just book half what the Garmin says…)

Did well on the riding front, good mileage, albeit lots of it on the trainer, rather than the road – hence the high average speed again – though I do seem now to have standardised my road ride on a 24-25 mile circuit, rather than the former 15 mile loop.   Still not under 20-Stone though, but currently fighting my way through a head cold, and hopeing it doesn’t get any worse – if it’s above the neck, then it’s safe to train, otherwise, I’m off the road/rollers for the duration!!!

Catch Up Time

Okay – haven’t had time to keep everything on here up to date – I’ve had two rides, that have been great in the riding, but frankly there was little to say other than – yep, 25 miles, dry, cool, and burned a whole bunch of calories.   ride reports here and here.

And then to today…  a bit of a mixed one. I’ve pretty much sussed out a circular ride route, thats maybe 25 miles around, with my home in the centre of the loop. So – I can pretty much go out from the centre, pick up the loop, ride around back to where I joined the loop, then dive back home to the centre. Think of it as a kind of self-devised “ring-road” around my house. It’s a great way of planning a ride, you can take it in either direction, and start it on whichever section means that you’ll have a tailwind for the bits you want.

Anyway – todays weather wasn’t looking all that pleasant, but I decided to go for it anyway. Mainly as tomorrow I’m going to a concert, and the venue is all standing – my knee is fine for riding, but to combine riding and standing around for 4 hours afterwards, and a couple of miles of walking to and from the venue would be a recipe for disaster. Soo – get out and ride then. My normal approach to the loop has been to leave the hardest bits of climbing to the last 10 miles of the 25, partly to ensure that I was thoroughly warmed up ready for them, and partly because if I faded out a bit, I could snip the end of the loop off. Today, I decided to pretty much front load all the climbing into the first 10 miles – a long enough ride to warm up, and then into the uphill sessions. After 5 miles or so, it started spitting with rain – not enough to bother with the waterproof, and it stopped before I’d have got the jacket on anyway. I was actually enjoying the ride so much, I couldn’t have cared if it’f have been coming down in stair-rods, tbh – it was just one of those days when the legs are just churning. This continued right up to getting home.

Sadly, getting home was a bit earlier than I was hoping for. Riding along, I noticed that my front wheel was moving a little from side to side. Pulled over, and found that one of the spokes had come undone, and the nipple had dropped into the rim. The wheels are the “first generation” Fulcrum Racing 5’s – maybe 4 years old, and the front wheel’s a 18 spoke radial job. So – one spoke loose, and the wheel gets a little “floppy”. So – I gentled the bike back home, pulled the tyre and rimtape, then shook the wheel until I got the nipple back out of the rim cavity. A dab of non-setting threadlock on the spoke, and re-fitted the nipple. 5 minutes of tweaking in the wheel-building jig and it’s as good as new. A quick look at the rim’s wear indicators though tells me that I guess this winter will be the death of these rims. I doubt that I’ll be able to source the rims for a rebuild at a sensible price either. I can’t complain though – they may only have done maybe 10,000 miles, but in their defence, for maybe 9,000 of those, they’ve had a rider that was well over 300lb’s on them. The fact that they’re still round and true pretty much say’s they’re a good wheel…

Anyway – that’s todays ride report – all things considered a bit of a curates egg… good in parts

Ride report here