Laughing Right Out Loud

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What a Ride! - HOT100 Review

I completed my first century ride today! I attempted a century ride back in May, but fell short due to lack of daylight, finishing with just 86.5 miles. Today I rode the 20th Annual 102-mile Heart Of Tennessee century, in and around Murfreesboro. My riding partner, Steve, told me a couple of weeks ago that he planned to ride this event and I wasn't sure if I was going to or not. This past Sunday, I decided to go for it. I have ridden several 50+ mile rides without rest stops and such, so I figured the 102 mile ride was completely possible.
Every morning before work, Steve and I ride about 22 miles. I know that is not a long distance, but we always take one of our several very hilly routes. Turns out all these mornings that I push myself to get up those hills has conditioned me very well to power through a ride such as today's. The HOT100 rolls through the old Civil War grounds of Rutherford and Cannon county. The scenery was absolutely beautiful and, in some cases, breathtaking.
There were two "significfant" climbs of over 500 foot gain and another with about a 400 foot gain. Outside of that, the day was full of rollers and lots of twists and turns. On each of the larger hills, and also some of the shorter ones, we passed folks who had climbed off their bikes to walk up the hill, and even several who had pulled over and called in the SAG wagon to come pick them up and take them back to the starting point. Each time I was able to power past these folks, I got another shot of adrenaline. Just 7 months ago, I had not ridden a bike in over 20 years. Plus, I was carrying 110 extra pounds of fat and something like this was completely unfathomable. Completing this century today was a very big accomplishment for me and I even teared up a little at mile 98 when it hit me that I was about to finish. Not to sound dramatic, but I truly feel that cycling has saved my life. I believe that my change in blood pressure, cholesterol level, etc and overall general health has moved me out of the high heart disease risk factor category and added years to my life.
I am planning another century in 3 weeks and a metric century (62 miles) before that. I look forward to sharing more success stories like this.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Finest Days are Behind Me!

Six months ago, I bought at 8-year old Fuji Finest to help me lose weight and get in better health. Since, then I have ridden over 2,000 miles and lost a total of 110 pounds. Recall, this was all without diet pills, shots, etc. Just lots and lots of hills and miles and eating right. I'm where I want to be with respect to weight and have been trying to "maintain" for the last several weeks. I've still got to figure out how to quit losing though (I guess that's a good problem to have). To commemorate my accomplishments, I indulgently went out today and bought a new bike. My new Fuji CCR2 full carbon bike with 105/Ultegra components is totally awesome! I can't wait for my next 2,000 miles!

And to show that it's "not all about me", I also got Felicia a new Masi Alare. This is her first true road bike. She asked if I would help her along her journey. I'm really surprised she had to ask if I would be willing to ride more. Kinda rhetorical don't you think?