Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 472-Weigh-in Day: 278lbs

Start Weight: 365.4
Last Week’s Weight: 279.4
Current Weight: 278lbs
This Week’s Weight Loss: 1.4lbs
Total Weight Loss: 87.4lbs
To Go: 68lbs
Miles Biked this Week: 33.59
Total Miles Biked: 2589.52
Miles to Go: 4910.48

GEOGRAPHY (Where I'd be on the map having started at my house in Salt Lake City, Utah, heading for Tokyo):
Pacific Ocean (1868 miles off the west coast. I am heading for the Hawaiian Islands which is 2650 miles from San Diego)

Weekly Bike/Workout Totals
Monday: 5.30 miles
Tuesday: 5.92 miles
Wednesday: 7.8 miles
Thursday: 14.57 miles
Friday: REST
Saturday: REST

Sorry for the late post this week. I did weigh in on Saturday, but was in the middle of a youth activity weekend and didn’t have much time to do anything but focus.

I did lose a little weight, so I am happy that I am continually moving down. I think I could have made it a 2-pound week, but my bike seat post kept slipping. I believe the problem was a bike post problem which I could fix until today. Otherwise I could have been on my bike for an additional 2 days this week. Oh well, I’ll get in a good ride this week!

A couple of things that happened this week is that I went to Lagoon, a local amusement park, and was able to ride the Wild Mouse. Last year at this time I got kicked off the ride because I was just to large. This year, I fit! What a fun feeling! I also rode most of the rides that my daughter went on, including about 7 times on the bumper cars. Last year I don’t know if I rode anything with her because I was just too big. This year I felt 20 years younger and had a fun time riding the rides with her!

I have gone down another notch on my belt and notice that my pants are getting bagging again.

I ended up letting my videographer in Japan go. Things were getting a little shady in my opinion and I didn’t feel good about how the rate I was originally quoted began to rise. Things finally got to a point that I just told the fellow that maybe we can work in the future together, but I needed to find a more reliable source that I can count on. So now I am quickly looking for another videographer. Give me a holler if you know of any. ;)

This week I am planning going on a 80-mile ride. It will be fairly flat, but it will be a good endurance ride. I am going to ride from my house to my mother’s house in Alpine, Utah, and then back again. It will be a fun ride and I have wanted to do this for quite some time. This won’t be a long uninterrupted ride. I’ll be traveling through the valley on 9th East, and the through Draper around the point of the mountain and then into Alpine.

I will plan on leaving at 5am on Saturday, so if you want to come, please join me! I think the ride will take about 6-7 hours. We’ll see.

Anyway, 2 months from tomorrow we’ll be flying off to Japan for our adventure. I think I am getting more excited now than scared. How often do we get to have an adventure like this in our lives!

I’ll be in touch on Saturday.

Happy Pedals!


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.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day 458-Weigh-in Day: 285.6lbs

Start Weight: 365.4
Last Week’s Weight: 280.6
Current Weight: 285.6
This Week’s Weight Loss: +5lbs
Total Weight Loss: 79.8lbs
To Go: 75.2lbs
Miles Biked this Week: 72.32
Total Miles Biked: 2480.54
Miles to Go: 5019.46

GEOGRAPHY (Where I'd be on the map having started at my house in Salt Lake City, Utah, heading for Tokyo):
Pacific Ocean (1760 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: REST
Wednesday: 10.12 miles (bike)
Thursday: 9.51 miles (bike)
Friday: REST
Saturday: 52.69 (bike)

About a month ago I signed up for a 52-mile bike race out in the Rush Valley/Tooele area. For all of you non-locals, that is about an hour west of Salt Lake City…out in the desert. I’ve really been looking forward to it and signed up for the race as a way to really kick-start my longer riding for the year.

Well, the race was supposed to start this morning at 6:30am so I was up around 4am getting ready. I happen to check my email before leaving and noticed that the bike race organizer had refunded my money and announced that due to low numbers, they were cancelling the race. I was bummed for a moment, but that wasn’t going to affect whether I was going out or not. The race to me wasn’t about trying to win, it was about finishing 52 miles!

My faithful wife and daughter came with me to be my cheerleaders. So my wife would follow me grabbing footage with our GoPro and her iPhone.

When we pulled up to the Stockton, Utah LDS Church, the beginning point of the race, not a soul was around. There was a lady sitting in a truck out in front of the church. I figured it was one of the race organizers.

I jumped out of our van, pulled my bike out of the back, grabbed my essentials and started riding out of the parking lot. I stopped to chat with the lady named Helen, to see what was going on. She confirmed the race had been cancelled. They wondered if the economy or something had affected the attendance. She told me that only 2 people signed up. I guess I was one of them!

Anyway, they invited us to the lunch at noon at the finish line and I told her we would be there. Then I took off up the first part of the course, which was uphill. It got my heart pumping and I was breathing hard. Then once up the hill a ways, the course began about a 5-mile descent. I was hauling butt and thinking I could take advantage of this descent by putting it in high gear and pedaling hard.

The race course starts in Stockton, Utah, heads up the hill a ways and then turns into Tooele City. Then the course takes you into Grantsville down Main Street. By then I was at the 17-mile marker and called my wife to let her know where I was. She and my daughter had gone in another direction to go look at some Ostriches.

We met up at the next leg of the ride where they shared a little food with me and I downed some Gatorade. This is where the ride started to get really hard. The next 15-20 miles was a nice uphill ride. The grades for the hills were about 3-6%. It was a very good way to train, and get a taste of some long hill riding. After a while on the hills, your legs just seem to go numb, and pretty soon despite the pain being there, you just keep peddling through it. At one point my quads were burning big time to the point where I was actually feeling some serious pain. I had forgotten to take some Ibuprofen earlier and so I quickly took some. That made all the difference!

One of my favorite parts of the day was hearing my little girl yelling out the window as she and my wife would pass me back and forth. She’d yell, “Yeah Daddy!” I was really grateful that they came along to give me a morale boost.

At the 37-mile mark I could feel my butt getting tired, and one of my toes in my right shoe was in pain. I think my compression sock was tightening up on it and making it hurt. I tried to stretch it while riding, but just plowed through it. Before I knew it, I was passing the starting line as the race course is a big loop. But the ride didn’t end there. It was still up a 6% grade hill and down the road another 4 miles to the finish line. I was so grateful to get up over the hills. I was literally praying and thanking God for helping me make Then, the next thing I knew, I could see the finish line…finally the end! 52 miles! It took me 5 hours and 10 minutes. I would say an hour of that time was pit stops, resting and eating.

This next part’s cool…

The organization that was sponsoring the race the local Tooele Masonic Lodge…still held a BBQ at the finish line. They were the local Masonic Lodge and, and some very friendly people. So here I am, the only cyclist, pulling into the parking lot, to a race that was cancelled. Yet, I could say that I was the first one over the finish line! Ha ha. This may be the only bike race in which I will ever come in first place! Ha ha. Well, the good people at the lodge took good care of us, feeding us and giving us some good conversation. I felt bad that their race, which was also to benefit a local children’s charity, hadn’t had the success they had hoped for. We all ate and enjoyed the BBQ though. Now, here’s the kicker, they went ahead and presented me with the First Place prize for the race! I guess that’s what one gets for showing up! It really made me happy and was the cherry on top of the whole experience today! When we came to the race this morning, I hauled my bike inside our van. But when we left to go home after the race, I took home a vehicle bike rack, which was the prize they gave me! I don’t have to haul my bike around inside my van anymore.

I have to thank Sean, Helen, and some other very nice people at the Tooele Masonic Lodge for their hospitality and generous prize. They all made me feel special today, even though I was the only guy that came out to do the course! Again, I guess “just showing” up can make a big difference!

Well, I’m a little tired after this adventure out in the high desert of Tooele County. It was a good experience and we took a lot of great footage and pictures.

So here I am thinking during today’s ride… “Okay, I’ve got to not only bike the distance I did today, but then bike up a mountain for 2-3 hours, and then hike that mountain when I’m in Japan!” It seems a little impossible, but 16 months ago, biking 52 miles seemed impossible too! I remember 16 months ago that biking 2.5 miles seemed so far!

Happy June!


The good people at the Tooele Masonic Lodge present me with the First Place prize at their bike race! But I was the only biker that showed up to the race!

The Route I rode today. 52 miles!!