Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cross Training??

OK, I have to admit I have been a little remiss about my riding.  Only little bits here and there so far.  Last night I did a little cross training, if you can call it that.  My wife and I started dance lessons.  Wow, dancing uses muscles I didn't know I had.  Have to get to the gym to be more ready for both cycling and dancing!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tour de Cure Update

Thank you to my brother for making a nice donation!!  Now I have $136 towards my $400+ goal.

Thanks!  Chris


I did get in a little cycling yesterday.  The new shorts helped with the pain in the bum.  Though I think I need to ride some place less hilly than my neighborhood.  I realize one of the problems with the comfort bike is that you can't really stand in the saddle when climbing a hill to get that extra power.  That almost seems harder than a regular road or mountain bike, hmmm.  But definitely better gearing.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mercian Vincitore Touring Bike

Here are some pics of my Mercian Vincitore Touring bike.  Will ride my comfort bike for now, but plan to ride this bike again after losing a chunk of the weight I need to lose.  Take a look at the intricate hand cut lugs that are a hallmark of the Vincitore.  This bike was built in 1980.

Check out their current website, they still make the Vincitore among other models, but it is still the most artistic.  Mercian Bicycles website

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Green Bicycle Lubricants

I have been trying to be more sustainable or "green" in my life.  We have have replacing light bulbs with LED, eating organic and buying more natural products.  I even use a natural deodorant, which I believe really does work better than the Speed Stick I was using.  I clean and lube my guns with a food based, non-toxic and biodegradable lube as well.  So, I was thinking, there must be "green" bicycle lubes, right?

Well that was easy!  Just took a look at in their cycling section.  I found a number of "green" bio-degradable lubricants, grease, and cleaners.  I used to use Pedros when I was cycling in the past and see they have a full lineup of lubes, bio grease, and degreasers.

If anyone has a recommendation for a line of green bicycle lubes, I would be interested in hearing about them.

Thanks - Chris

Monday, February 18, 2013

Biking Shorts

Since the seat on my bike is a pain in the ass despite being pretty cushy, I went to Performance Bike today and purchased a pair of bike shorts on sale.  They even had a pair big enough to fit my big ass.  There was a time when I said I would never buy shorts with gel in them, however that is what I got for maximum comfort.  I have been told if you use gel, you never get used to riding and always have to use the gel to be comfortable.  We'll see, though since I am losing weight, I can always go for the regular chamois/foam like I used to use.  And fear not those who will be riding behind me, for I purchased some cargo shorts on sale at Fred Meyer to go over the Lycra bike shorts.  Trust me, no body wants to see my ass in Lycra!!  And the best part, the shorts were a size smaller than I normally where.  I am going to assume its because I am smaller and not because they run smaller. ;)   

Also, we a have been trying to get my eight year old daughter to ride her bike.  She is afraid she is going to fall and get hurt.  Decided to get some training wheels to get her on the bike and hopefully lose her fear, so we can take them off again.  I would like to ride with her as well as Jennifer (my wife).


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tour de Cure: Support the American Diabetes Association

I have signed up for Tour de Cure which supports the American Diabetes Association.  Both my dad and brother have type 2 Diabetes.  Please support the American Diabetes Association to help find a cure.

The ride takes place on May 11th and has multiple lengths.  I have only committed to the the shorter 15 mile route, but if my fitness level builds enough by then, I may go for the 25 mile route.  Regardless of the length, it is a good cause.

My goal is low at $400, but would love to exceed the goal.  If you would like to make a donation, please follow this link to credit the donation to my fundraising efforts:


Friday, February 15, 2013

My "Comfort" Bike

OK, a little experiment as this will be my first post sent from my phone. Hope the pictures attach well, we'll see...

Here is my bike, a Globe "Comfort" bike which I believe is made by Specialized if I remember correctly. Its the type of bike i would have mad fin of back in the day. Gives a nice cushy ride. Took it out a little bit. More stress on my knees than I expected. May need to adjust the seat height. Even with all the padding my ass still hurt, but I know you get used to that. The one thing I don't like is that there are no clips for the pedals. May get some SPD pedals in the future. I have Look pedals on my touring bike, but never liked slipping on the plastic cleats. Would love to hear pedal/shoe recommendations.

Anyway, it will suit my purposes well for now.


Join the Club

Renewed my (long since lapsed) membership in the Cascade Bicycle Club today.  The club organizes many events and rides in the Seattle area.  Another step in the process...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day!

Don't forget to do something special for your sweetheart today!  So far, I made a quick breakfast for my wife and gave her a card, some Godiva chocolate covered caramels (her favorite) and season 3 of Downton Abbey on Blu-ray.  I will also be taking her out to dinner on Saturday, followed by a play at the ACT Theater in Seattle.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Some background...

Personal Background
Currently I work in the investment industry as an equity research analyst.  I am also working on my MBA, but took the current quarter off as I needed a break.  Yes, I know I am a little old for an MBA student, but I enjoy it.  I enjoy shooting guns and participate in NRA High Power Rifle competitive shooting events, though I can't say I am very competitive.  I have been married for 20 years and have three kids.  The oldest is off to college as a freshman at Montana Tech, studying petroleum engineering.

Bicycling background
I had and rode bikes as a kid (who didn't?), but I purchased my first real bicycle when I was in college (1990).  A friend of mine had been on the Jr. US Cycling team and was working at a bicycle shop, so we purchased the parts separately and he put it together.  Since he had been into bicycle racing, it had to be an Italian racing bike, so I purchased a Ciocc frame made out of Columbus Chromor, which was not the lightest weight tubing, but because I had a small frame it was still fairly light.  We outfitted it with Campagnolo Athena components.  At the time, I knew nothing about bikes or bike components, but quickly came to appreciate the better brands.  A year or two later, I purchased a Bridgestone MB-3 mountain bike, which I still have today.

My road bike and I saw many miles, which included the MS 150 bike ride in WA state, the Seattle to Portland (STP) ride sponsored by the Cascade Bicycle Club, The Chilly Hilly ride also sponsored by the Cascade Bicycle Club, and numerous other rides.  My mountain bike also saw many a trail around Western Washington.  Not sure which I liked better, though it seemed to change depending on my mood.

While in college, I worked for the Boy Scouts of America at the Puget Sound Scout Shop.  My dad worked for the Boy Scouts as a professional scouter for 40 years and I was considering that as a career.  When I turned 21, I combined two joys in my life, Boy Scouts and Bicycling by starting a bicycling Explorer Post.  I took small group of young men out on the weekends for some fun bicycling adventure both on the road and on the trail.  My then future wife would even drive support on occasion for longer rides.  It was a lot of fun.

I took the five year plan for college, but was married between my fourth and fifth years.  My oldest son was born a few months after I graduated.  Within a couple years I had gained some weight and rode less frequently.  The explorer post dwindled and died with membership.  We really had one core group of kids who eventually graduated and we never really added to the group.  The last year I rode more regularly, I sold my racing bike and bought a used Mercian Vincitore touring bicycle.  This was a much more comfortable bike to ride, without the aggressive handling which helped for a while.  I still have this classic bike,which I recently found out can be quite valuable.  I purchased a trailer to pull my son while I was on rides, but he DID NOT like that.  Only took a couple times of him screaming all the way to put and end to that experiment.  I have done a little riding since as I have gained weight and am fairly out of shape.

So, reiterating my first post, I plan to get back on the bike to lose weight and get in better shape.

Why blog?  I am hoping that sharing my adventures will help keep me on track and make me more accountable.  We'll see..

Carpe Diem!!

The Fine Print: I reserve the right to exaggerate and/or have selective memory regarding all past events. ;)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Getting Started...

Hi, I'm Chris.  I am a man in my early forties with a successful career in the investment industry.  I have been married to my lovely wife for 20 years and we have three kids, the oldest of which is off for his first year of college in Montana.  I live a comfortable life in the suburbs of Seattle.  Like so many people in the US, I need to lose a few pound.  OK, maybe I need to lose a few more than a few...   I was in shape when I was in college, but with marriage, kids, and career, it kind of slipped away over time.

In the past couple of years I have taken up some various shooting sports.  While these events primarily involve a stationary position to shoot, the positions vary and I find myself sore after these events.  I have been wanting to lose weight and get in shape to make these events more enjoyable.  I also  have been thinking quite a bit about my desire to travel and see different parts of the world.  I would like to get into better shape, so I will have the energy and stamina to explore these places.  I don't want to be limited by my level of fitness.  I want to be able walk a few miles around London and Paris, a castle in Germany, along the Great Wall of China, or any other place my travels might take me and my family.

I have tried various diets and had my stints at the gym, but have only ever lost a few pounds here and there only to gain it back.  Over the last few months I have been trying to eat better and have managed to lose 17 pounds, which is about where I usually get stuck and fall of the bandwagon.  The weight has been stagnant for a while.  I gained a few pounds over the holidays and have managed to lose them again.  I need to add some exercise to the mix to keep it going with the weight loss and to start building my level of fitness.  When I was younger, enjoyed bicycling.  Bicycling is easier on the joints than running and I know I enjoy it.  I purchased a "comfort" bike a few years ago that is collecting dust, but should provide a great way to get back into cycling.  The comfort bike has suspension to smooth out the ride and a soft comfy saddle and grips to minimize the pains of riding.

I am exploring a few charity bicycle rides in the Seattle area to give myself a goal, something to work towards.  My wife says she will ride with me too.  She does work out every week and would like to start running, but she said she would ride to be with me.  Isn't that sweet?

The Goals:  1.) Lose weight 75 lbs. +
                    2.) Get in better shape

The Means:  1.) Eating Better
                     2.) Bicycling and other exercises

Let the journey begin....


The Fine Print: I reserve the right to exaggerate and/or have selective memory regarding all past events. ;)