So as a way to get back in shape and stay there I joined the Bucks County Y and found an awesome piece of equipment – the Expresso Bike.
This stationary bike puts the boring ones to shame. Complete with a big screen monitor the rider is actively steering the bike on the screen and controlling the speed. It’s hooked up to the Web and tracks all the rider’s vitals.
It syncs up with lots of health apps including Strava which is awesome. I think this bike is going to make going to the gym so much more fun.
So it’s in the single digits outside with negative wind chills. So clearly I’m not going out to ride.
But I need to exercise. I tried the fitness videos. Man I’m not coordinated off my bike. So I decided to try Zwift.
It’s a computer program that you use in conjunction with a bike trainer. It is a virtual world where people from all over the World ride together.
The companion app on my Google Pixel makes it even more imersive.
It ties in nicely with Strava a social network for cyclists (and runners).
Image Credit: Image captured from the live stream broadcast.
What a race. The Tour de France has been an annual tour since 1903. Plagued in the past with doping the tour is one helluva cycling event. Not an excuse for cheating, via doping, but I can see why some racers feel they need the edge (cough… Lance Armstrong).
This year I’ve watched the tour straight through and loved every moment.
This year’s race was exciting. There were controversy and unfortunately lots of crashes.
First off, the Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish saga plagued the whole tour. Did Sagan intentionally elbow Cavendish? Or was it innocent? Regardless, both Sagan and Cavendish went home early. Sagan disqualified and Cavendish with a broken collar bone.
Second, the yellow jersey didn’t stay with Chris Froome the whole race and that made for some exciting battles. Though, Froome still won the tour/yellow jersey overall; he didn’t win even one stage! That doesn’t happen often.
Third, some great new riders emerged on the Tour this year.
Taylor Phinney, from the Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team, added lots of humor to the race with his video blogging and press interviews.
With Peter Sagan out, two sprinters came into their own. Marcel Kittel seemed like a shoe-in for the overall green jersey and winning five stages, but with a fall late in the tour in the mountains, Kittel had to abandon, and a new star was born in the form of Michael Matthews from Team Sunweb. The Aussie ended up in Green in Paris.
Overall, the tour was great to watch. I was finally able to find a sport that I enjoy watching and participating. I didn’t know it was possible, but I even picked up some pointers from watching the pros. The Tour also put my riding into perspective. That riding can get a lot more gruelling than what I do on a regular basis. Seeing this has helped me power through and become a better cyclist.
Caption: Tour de France Stage 11 – Screenshot from NBCSports Feed
So I’ve been cycling as much as possible lately. Ever since my primary doctor said I need to lose 30 lbs and 6 by my next visit (3 months from my last appointment), I’ve been enjoying getting out and riding. Surprising it’s relaxing. Well, not relaxing in the physical sense, because it’s not. It’s relaxing to the mind. Just me and the open road.
I’ve also been watching the Tour de France religiously everyday. I’ve done my best to watch how the pros cycle and see if I can pick up any tips. Either way it’s fun to watch a sport that you love done by pros. Another thing I’m doing on a regular basis is listen to podcasts and YouTube shows about cycling. Here are some of the best that I found:
So I’m back on the bike. It’s been 2 years since I’ve seriously rode. I have to admit it wasn’t for any particular reason other than being lazy and life getting busy. What got me back in the cycling game was a talk with my primary doctor about my Type 2 Diabetes. My A1C isn’t where it needs to be and I’m about 30 lbs over weight. My doctor wants to see 5-8 lbs off in 3 months. So It’s time to eat better, exercise on the bike and with my personal trainer and get my health in order. No more excuses.
So far it’s going pretty well. Been out 3 times since starting. Only doing 15 mins for now, it’s what I can fit in. But, I hope to work my way up to a hour.
I’m probably not going to blog all the time about my cycling, but with WordPress 4.8 there is a new audio widget that I’m using to record quick audio notes almost every day. So check back often.
Saturday I was honored to be able to participate in the 25th Annual Tour de Cure, Philly edition. The event took place at Temple University’s Ambler campus and the turnout was fantastic.
Originally I was aiming to do the longer 35 mile ride, which would go from Ambler to Doylestown and back. But since I didn’t get any training in this year, I opted for the 12 mile ride. And though I finished 2nd, after a rider bolted around me at the last minute, it was a challenging course (the rider and I had a fun little competition going). The 12 mile ride took us around Ambler and it definitely wasn’t flat.