Pretty neat book about Trail Running


So I’ve been doing a lot more running on areas that are not “built up”. So I’ve been reading more into Trail Running. Especially since I have the Brazo’s Bend 50 Miler coming up in April.

I’ve been looking for good books with quality information. Mostly looking for something to tell me what needs to be done, less than “do this or you will fail” kind of reading lol.

activereality_cover

I saw this book last week, gave a it read and thought it was pretty cool. I liked it mostly because it didn’t try to sell me anything or make me do some weird stretch or maneuver that only a 35 year yoga instructor can pull off with dislocating… everything?

I thought it was good enough I even put a link to it, on my side bar, last week.

I was looking at it again today(to give a bit of a positive review) and noticed it was free lol. Darn the luck heh?

Give it a look if you guys are interested. It isn’t cycling oriented or anything, but it does have some cool information and made me look up a few things about specific distance races that I had never heard of before(and they were all in like the worst climates possible sheesh).

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Paying for Weight- “Weighing in on the Discussion”


So I have now been part of, privy to, or read about the famous “buy the lightest gear in existence” conversations.

Now to explain this I’ll tell you what I have heard from both sides. Then I’ll give you my “very well informed” 3 months of cycling experience and the “deep understanding” of the way the Universe works :).

I have read, almost everywhere, that there are many different factors that go into the “increased efficiency” category for riding. The largest or most popular method, that I have read about, to this is to buy lighter gear.

Now, I am a beginning cyclist and won’t even attempt to really “make claims”, but I am a very active person and have been very active for a majority of my life. Completing hikes of over 100 miles, running as a passion, kayaking, and many other hobbies. So with this experience, I would say Yes to “part” of that “Buy Lighter Gear to be a more efficient and faster Cyclist”. The “Lighter” Part, to be specific.

In each of the disciplines above, the ones I have more experience in of course hehe, the lighter the better. The less you have to trudge along with, the easier it is to trudge along.

Now I think a great many people truly and deeply understand this fact- the lighter something is, the easier it is to move- or to make move. What I think(my opinion here) is that people, as usual like to take the shortest route to a goal. With this “easy route” mode stuck in their minds, they lose all control or understanding of anything except the words “Weight” and “Lighter” when thinking of cycling and immediately look at a store shelf, instead of a mirror.  This pursuit of “lighter” isn’t a bad thing, in fact in many cases it can be the best solution. However, I do think that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

With this said, it’s time for the big statement that, I am sure, will make many people downright pissed off.

You need to shave weight off of your big ass before you need to worry about the weight on the bike :).

People will spend 1000$ to save 1 pound of weight for a bicycle component, but they have a Double Bacon Wrapped Deep Fried Three Patty Deep Burger for dinner(on a regular basis).

I don’t even understand how that makes sense inside someone’s head- excepting the above “take the easiest route possible” mentality.

Now I get wanting to have high speed low drag gear, who doesn’t. But if you are reducing the weight of your bike, thinking it will get you “real” gains in your cycling efficiency, I truly think you are going to be a bit disappointed, although you will see a small improvement.

I will continue this from my POV- so I don’t anger anyone lol.

I want to look at the whole picture. From this I mean that (from a weight) point of view, the Bike is not the only thing that has weight! My big Ass just so happens to be on top of this 20 lb steed(least that is what the Felt Website says it weighs lol).

So after about 2-300 miles I began to wonder what would make me a more efficient Cyclist(and that is how this post was conceived lol).

So I sat down and wondered- Being Lighter(that “whole picture” thing above again) would make it easier to move. Being lighter would mean that there is less mass to move, less drag from wind, less downward force to overcome the friction of sitting on it. So if I make the bike lighter that would make it go easier- But how much weight can I really shave off of a 20 lb bike? A few of you may be thinking “A Lot!”. So what is “A Lot” of 20 lbs? 5lbs= 25% decrease! Percentage wise that is huge! I would soar like and eagle and strike like lightening, I’d be so fast!! Umm, I’m not seeing that happen in the real world.

But what if I lost that same 5 lbs? I mean, what if I made ME 5 lbs lighter? Wouldn’t that be just as good? And no lying to yourselves here, who among us couldn’t lose a few extra pounds here and there? What if I decided to lose 20 Lbs? Now, I can currently lose about 25-30 Lbs without going below 12% body(yeah I’m a fatty at the moment and this is one of my goals hehe). And that is just me and everyone is different, but most people could lose a few and not miss them too much.

I’m not going to go into nutrition, or eating habits, or any of that crap right now. But I will say, those who want to lose weight do. Those who don’t, don’t. There is no secret to losing weight. There is hidden myth behind weight loss. If you expend energy and eat in a healthy and balanced style, you will lose weight. If you are never active, eat anything at all at anytime, and never make an attempt to change that- Do you really think you’ll lose weight? Ok, that is all on that- I’m not gonna try and tell you “how” to lose weight. But I am trying to “shed” light (see what I did there?)on the fact that, to weigh less, you actually have to decide you want to change and then figure out how that change works or will work for you. (insert promotional “I’m an Awesome Inspirational Speaker” plug here)

With this in mind- although I can’t lose 20% of my weight nearly as quickly as I can go to my LBS and get some high speed low drag gear that weighs almost nothing, if I did lose that weight, wouldn’t I be stronger for ME instead of doing it “only” to the bike and not worrying about my own weight on top of it? Wouldn’t I be able to cycle even more efficiently if I didn’t have the extra weight dragging not just the bike, but my body down? So instead of worrying about the bike’s efficiency, I just increased mine! Not to mention the increase in my own bodies efficiency for all of the other activities I like and a decrease in the physical stress associated with those activities.

Before you hate, I am not proposing that getting components that are “higher” end is not a good idea. I’m just saying that I think it is purposeless to have the most expensive gear you can mortgage your home for, and still have an extra stone on your gut! I think I should explain. By “higher end” I mean not only lighter gear, but gear that is designed to do it’s function more efficiently. This is sometimes forgotten, because at the same time the manufacturer makes it a better mechanical component, they also make it a “lighter” component. So people see this gear and think only one thing- lighter is the only thing that equals better. 

On this line of thought- I also believe that there are diminishing returns. Both in the weight of the bike and person. A slightly heavier person, with a bit more leg strength(dense leg muscles) may be able to outperform a person that does not have that extra muscle in their legs. But, get too much muscle and you’ve now made your “too much heavier” for that muscle to really give you an upper hand.

So I am saying that there is a point where a specific person’s weight should stabilize for their personal optimum performance. At this point, they could race themselves with two different bikes, set up with entirely opposite end of the spectrum components, and that would be a real test!

I, myself, plan on eventually upgrading things on my bike- drive train and wheels are on that list. And who knows where I will want to try and take myself in the future with cycling. But I will do my best to never attempt to “upgrade” something on the bike without making sure I can use the bike to it’s fullest as it sits(and I have a long way to to with my stock Z7 lol).

I know this is tired subject and there are many schools of thought on it. This is just my take, opinion, 1.4 cents worth, whatever lol.

I hope we all reach our goals and make new ones that are even harder 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

Multiple Sclerosis Quiz


As mentioned before, I am participating in this years Houston to Austin BP MS150.

As being a part of this amazing event was not enough, I have also been privy to multiple emails with intriguing information about MS.

I recently received an email with a simple quiz about MS. This was a huge learning experience for me. This was only 7 questions, but they all havea  huge impact on a person’s life.

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I found this both amazingly eye opening and, at the same time, it created a more sensitive awareness of just what this terrible disease does to people’s lives every day.

Take a moment and look at this today. It is mobile friendly(that’s where I opened it).

This is just a glimpse of what it is like to live with this disease. Thank you for taking the time to take a look at life through their eyes. And thank you for anyone who has donated anything(money or time)  to the MS Cause. With all of our help we can mitigate and someday hopefully cure Multiple Sclerosis.

Thanks for reading Everyone!

If you would like more information about MS, Click Here. You will find information about how this disease works and the treatments currently available. This is a never ending battle and the more we can spread the awareness of this issue, the more help we can get to find a cure!

Please make sure to share and like this post! This way even more people can see what a great cause this is and how many amazing people are involved in this fight!

Blogging Milestone and What it Means to Me


My first "real" award!
My first “real” award!

I am a brand new Blogger. As you can see, I have barely over a handful of posts “in toto”.

This has been a bit of a different journey for me, as I have never really shared my life like this before- or anything that I am doing. We mostly all have Facebook, however, most of my posts on there are from being prompted to, or a special event.

To be able to get on here and drop some information about anything(although most of mine has been about cycling lol) is something new and unfamiliar to me. However, I am feeling more and more comfortable giving good information and my personal opinion about things.

Earlier today I received the “50 Likes” Award(I took a snaggit of it and you’ve already seen it up top hehe). I am extremely proud that so many people have already shown their support in another “new guy” trying to get out here and share what we experience everyday.

I received so much encouragement from you guys, I just can’t believe it.

Thanks again everyone. And yes, there will probably be another one of these at the 100 and more marks. 🙂

Happy Times Everyone and have a Great Day!

Recovery Ride with the Wife- Woot Woot


Wife and I

After the long ride on Saturday(my longest to date), I wanted to get out and put on a few miles at an easy spin! I was able to talk the wife into riding with me as well, using the excuse I didn’t want to “go it alone” in case I was in worse shape than I felt like(which wasn’t to far from the truth).

This was also her first time using the Wahoo RFLKT Cycling PC and Cadence Sensor that I recently installed on her bike(as I have acquired a Garmin 910XT Triathlon Kit).

The day was a bit gloomy, but the temperature was nice and enjoyable.

Cycling looks so cool

She did great for her first time using a Cadence sensor. She also noticed how much easier it was to keep a steady pace when keeping her cadence higher.

We completed a bit under 17 Miles. It sprinkled on us just a bit, but it was nothing to be bothered or worried about.

This was a great ride for recovery for me. With a lower Heart Rate and Easy Spin for my tired Legs. This was a very nice experience.

We did have a bit of a snag when we got home. The Wife forgot to unclip before she stopped, and earned herself a nice cut above her ankle. But all is well. It was just soft tissue damage and we were able to get her upstairs and bandaged with nothing more than a few hops and multiple curse words.

Never fear though! Her bike came through just fine. A rub here and scratch there just adds character right?

Well, that is all for this ride everybody! I plan on getting in a short run tonight, at an easy pace. I will also be dropping my Bike off at the LBS to get it serviced(ooh my first service). So I’ll be on my feet or in the pool for the next couple of days, until I can break the bike out of the LBS haha.

I will also put up a preliminary review on my Garmin 910XT in the next day or so. I really like it and want to share my thoughts 🙂

Good day everyone and thanks for stopping in!

How Time Flies!


Wow, it’s been a few days since my last post, sorry guys and gals. Things have been a whirlwind around here.

I’ll be making some individual posts about activities and such, of the last few days, but I wanted to drop a line about how we perceive our “time” first.

We all have days that drag and drag and seem like they will never be over. These days can make even the five minute wait for a java at our favorite local joint a pain in the you know where!

Then we have days that go so fast, we can’t remember half of what happened in them! We go from being freshly showered in the morning to turning the corner and it being dark outside, and we are so exhausted from “who knows what!” that we barely have the strength to make a  proper meal.

I wonder sometimes what creates this ebb and flow of time?? Is it a personal thing, like mood, or events, or maybe expectations? Or it is something outside of that? Something that clicks at some point during the night or day that makes everything after it seem to go slowly or too fast paced?

I find that my “fast” days usually start a bit more slowly. I wake up, almost early, get my morning coffee going. Get the dogs taken out(third floor apartments should be illegal for this very reason hehe). Then get a nice shower. Maybe even start to check some emails, news, or social media before heading out the door for the daily commute.

For some reason, I feel like this slow start is somewhat like the gathering of snow at the top of a drift. It slowly adds up and multiplies and gathers until, under its own weight, it is released and it plummets down the slope and becomes this monstrously fast… Thing!  With a mind of its own. It follows whatever path it needs to, to release all of that pent up momentum!!

On the other hand, I have felt my slow days start like this too! But I have also felt them start very quickly, usually with me realizing I slept through the alarm. So I’ve got to get up and out as fast as I can! Then, suddenly I am in traffic. So slow that I sometimes even just put my vehicle in park. I can almost hear my body getting older, just sitting there and waiting for the person in front of me to move forward… Just inches! The rest of the day seems to be played out on an old record player with the wrong voltage being sent to it!

Although I realize that perception changes from person to person and from moment to moment, I also realize that there are some things, whether the be psychologically or emotionally charged, or even affected by our surroundings and the change in ambiance around us.

I think this all points to one simple fact: We can’t understand everything around us. This means that we will try to justify or create an understanding of whatever it is that our mind’s latch onto and want to figure out. Sometimes, creating a link to something totally un-related(are you really mad at the coffee shop guy for putting in 3 pumps instead of 4? Or are you really worried about that payment on that shiny new car?).

We all make our own choices based on our own perceptions, based on how we all “want” to perceive the world. It makes me wonder sometimes. The more I create a positive mindset, the happier I feel. The happier I feel, the better I mentally prepare myself for days that I want to really shine or do something great.

So is it this perception that makes me feel time moves more quickly? Am I happy because I want to be, or just because I have placed myself into a position to be happy?

Or is it yet another mystery that my perception won’t tell me the truth about?

Thanks for reading guys and drop me a comment if you like!!