Saturday, June 8, 2013

Day 465-Weigh-in Day: 279.4lbs

Start Weight: 365.4
Last Week’s Weight: 285.6
Current Weight: 279.4
This Week’s Weight Loss: 6.2lbs
Total Weight Loss: 86lbs
To Go: 69.4lbs
Miles Biked this Week: 75.39
Total Miles Biked: 2555.93
Miles to Go: 4944.07.46

GEOGRAPHY (Where I'd be on the map having started at my house in Salt Lake City, Utah, heading for Tokyo):
Pacific Ocean (1835 miles off the west coast. I am heading for the Hawaiian Islands which is 2650 miles from San Diego)

Weekly Bike/Workout Totals
Monday: REST
Tuesday: 9.23 miles
Wednesday: 14.86 miles
Thursday: 9.51 miles
Friday: 11.21 miles
Saturday: 29.50 miles

Today was a magnificent milestone for me. I did a good 15-mile ride up Emigration Canyon. It’s a good bikers-canyon that takes you up about 2000 feet in elevation to the Little Dell Summit. 3 friends and I left around 5:30am this morning from my house. Within 5 minutes of my house I was huffin’ and puffin’ up a hill in my neighborhood thinking wow this is going to be a long morning. However, within a few minutes it seemed like I got in the groove. From my house up to the Little Dell Summit is literally one big long climb. The entire trip this morning was almost 30 miles, which isn’t much, but it’s a lot when you’re climbing.

The ride up the canyon was beautiful, and the temps were perfect. I got a good pace going and was happy with the timing of everything. Before I knew it, we’d hit the top of the canyon per se, before a few switchbacks start up out of the canyon. Last year when driving this route in my car I could not believe that there were crazy bikers that were actually climbing these hills and making it to the top!

This year, as I turned the corner to begin these big monsters (in my book) I thought I’d just get a taste for how it feels to ride them, then turn around. I wasn't thinking seriously about going to the top. I think some of the inclines were 7-9% grade. I didn’t think I’d go too far, but somehow my legs kept pushing me up. I couldn’t believe it!  Two of the 3 friends had to turn around earlier in the ride so my friend Chris and I were climbing the hill together. I kept thinking, okay, shall I just turn around now and we’ll finish this climb next week? So I asked Chris what we should do. He said, “This is your ride Don, you decide.” I was hoping he’d say, “let’s turn around.” ;) Anyway, I thought okay, let’s keep climbing. And so we did.

I might mention that along the canyon there were many other bikers that passed us. Some were young Whipper Snappers, and others were older. As they’d pass, I could sense that I wasn’t too far behind their ability. If I’m climbing up this canyon carrying an extra 70lbs, what can I do when I’m lighter? So, I was pumped to see myself out doing this stuff that the “big guys” do, and I actually started to feel like I could be part of the club some day…soon!

Well, back to the hill climb. Chris and I kept peddling and climbing, and rounding the few switchbacks there are. On the last lap per say where it’s a straight shot for the top, it started to get a lot steeper. I almost wanted to stop and take a breather but I was too close. I just dug a little deeper and put a little more umph into it and got to the top. There at the top were about 5-6 other bikers all looking nice and skinny. I can’t describe the feeling I had as I reached the summit myself, and again, felt like I could become part of this club; that I have it in me.

It was a fantastic feeling to get to the “top” and then I realized that I had just done this canyon and these hills that last year I couldn’t have even imagined! Indescribable! I am grateful for my good friend Chris who came to the top with me. I think it’s good to have a friend there to help motivate and get you focused outside of yourself. Chris and I took pictures and then began the descent down.

On the way down these hills, feeling and hearing the rush of wind fly past my ears, I prayed to God and thanked him for helping me get to where I was! Then I had this amazing feeling come to me that I HAD DONE IT! That now I had the right to enjoy this downhill rush like I’d seen other bikers do as I was coming up the canyon. Finally it was my turn. I actually started to get a little teary-eyed as I buzzed down the canyon, thinking about this accomplishment and what lies ahead. Mount Fuji is going to be the perfect challenge for me. My wife says that after today, she actually thinks I have what it will take to bike to and up Fuji. Before now, she worried.

My eating was perfect this week, and the weight came off quick. One day I weighed in at 274lbs. Usually 3-4 days after a big ride, I’ll see a big dip in my weight because my body finally flushes out all the liquid and inflammation from the aftermath of the ride. Then it gains back what it needs.

I have finally hit the 270s! I have noticed that by eating only food that I prepare, as opposed to eating out (albeit healthy food), that when I make my own food and stick to it, I get the results I need.

A few weeks back, when I gained weight, you can see that I had had 3 free days in a row. It really makes a difference. But this week. I ate out 2 times, chicken fajita and beans, and then a double chopped chicken salad at Subway. Both times eating out were yesterday because we were out of town. The food does make a difference!

So this week, I will continue to ride, and plan my next ride. I think I want to do Emigration again, but this time head down the other side of the summit to East Canyon where there is more climbing and miles to do. I also want to bike to Alpine, then maybe Provo, and back. That would be a good 60-70 miles round trip.

Again, today has been a great accomplishment for me. I started to see myself capable of doing the things I want to do. I am getting to where I want to go. It is exciting and humbling.

Have a wonderful week of Bi Cycling!  

Above Emigration Canyon...almost to the top.

Good friend Chris made the trek with me.

At the Little Dell Summit. I can't believe what I just did!!

I want a shirt like Chris' that isn't tight!

This morning's ride.


  1. Awesome, Don! Absolutely AWESOME!
    That really is great. The first climb is always the hardest.
    Psychologically, it hurts when climbing because often you're not doing much more than walking pace (trust me, I know), but even at low speeds, it is excellent for working on your pedaling form - Try to move your legs in complete circles: At the top of the pedal stroke, imagine you're trying to push over a small log. At the bottom of the pedal stroke, imagine you're trying to scrape dog poo off your shoe.
    You'll then begin to notice strength gains in your hamstrings, as well as your quads.
    And above all, soak up those downhills! They make it all worth it!
    Excellent job!

    1. Good Advice Travis. I will try that out. I finally ordered my clip in shoes and they are waiting to be picked up. I also got my pedals. I am anxious to work on riding with cleats now. Looking forward to the next big ride.


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