Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Century To Nowhere

This morning The Fat Cyclist threw down a 100 miles to nowhere century challenge to benefit the Livestrong Challenge. Basically, it entails riding 100 miles on your trainer on a day in April. As I read his post my mind immediately started doing some calculations about what it would take to complete a century on a trainer and how on earth I could have the determination to ride on that trainer for so long. Here’s what I came up with.

How long would this be?
Since I usually average between 16 to 17 MPH when I ride on the trainer to complete 100 miles it would take 6 hours of riding. Yuck, to date my personal best on a trainer ride has been 1:20 just because I couldn’t stand the sheer boredom of it. I think it could be possible to do this if I took a break after every hour so essentially it would be like doing 6 trainer rides rather that one massive trainer marathon.

What would the advantages be of the century to nowhere?
No stop lights, stop signs, or traffic to deal with
No hills to endure
No waiting in line to use a bathroom
No searching for a bathroom
No water bottle refill negotiations at convenience stores
No dogs to chase you (that is unless my dog decides to attack me)
No need to wear a helmet (I very rarely crash while on my trainer)
No need to worry about being dropped by your buddies
No need for sunscreen
No need to check the weather forecast before the ride

What are the disadvantages?
Doing a trainer ride is mind numbingly boring for an hour and this would be times 6!
No coasting
No drafting
No scenery or picture taking of cows etc
No hills to descend

List of things to prepare
8 water bottles (I couldn’t reuse them because it’s a tradition at our house to throw your water bottle to the side once you have emptied them just like the pros – you should try it, very refreshing)
2 mini tubes of chamois butter (This is the single most essential item of the day)
3 towels
4 bottles of Gatorade
3 bananas
3 power bars
2 gels
3 tacos from the local taco truck (post ride recovery meal)
1 carton of chocolate milk (post ride recovery drink)

2 movies 3:00 (possibly Tommy Boy and Happy Gilmore)
2 episodes of Gilmore Girls 1:30
4 episode of The Office 1:30

So, I’ve got a plan now the only thing I need is the determination. The debate is on. Should I or could I really do this?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Action Wipes Review

When Jenny and I brought our first born son home I was petrified because I knew nothing about babies. I remember thinking to myself “What if I were to drop him because he’s so wiggly and What if he breaks, he’s so tiny”. I remember that first day when we realized that he had a dirty diaper I thought to myself “oh no, here we go”. That first diaper change took both of us holding down body parts and wiping like there was no tomorrow for what seemed like hours. I’m sure it was only 3 or 4 minutes but when it was all said and done he had a clean diaper but we sure did have a huge pile of used wipes in front of us.

It’s amazing how you learn and adapt though. By the end of 10 years of changing diapers I could change a really dirty diaper in the dark, with my eyes half closed and still only use one wipe. After so many years of diaper changes I don’t have many fond memories of changing diapers but also I don’t have many bad memories either. The one thing I still can’t get out of my head after all of those years is the smell of wipes and what that relates to. Anytime I smell a wipe I think of one thing and that’s a ripe diaper.

You’re probably thinking to yourself what the heck does this have to do with cycling? Believe it or not there’s actually a connection here.

Recently, Martha Van Inwegen of Action Wipes sent me some of her Action Wipes and asked me to give them a try. Action Wipes are a larger, reusable and tougher version of a baby wipe and they smell a whole lot better. When I opened them up and took a whiff there was no correlation to dirty diapers for me so I was all in for giving them a try.

Last Thursday when I made my maiden voyage with my new bike I had a limited time to get some riding in. I took off at 2 knowing I had to be home to take my youngest daughter to piano lessons at 5. Because I knew I was going to try out the Action Wipes I was able to stay out until the last second before I had to do my Dad duties. As I arrived home from my ride I put my gear away and pulled out the Action Wipes to give them a go. When I opened up the package I was a little over powered by the smell because it’s a mixture of Tea Tree and Eucalyptus. That’s really not my favorite smell but it wasn’t your run of the mill baby wipe smell either so I was good with it. I was also a little skeptical about wiping my face down with this wipe because of the strong smell but I had made my mind up that I was going to give it a try so I did just that. At first, it was pretty strong but man did this wipe do the trick. I was able to clean up with one wipe because they are very large and the smell of the wipe went away really fast. I really couldn’t smell any scent after a minute. So off I went to take my daughter to piano and I actually felt pretty darn good. When she was finished we rushed off to a choir concert of hers for the rest of the evening.

Here’s the kicker. Jenny was willing to sit by me the entire evening without the slightest pained look on her face. They must have really worked. I was sold on them. So, the bottom line is do Action Wipes replace a good shower? Absolutely not, because nothing is as good as a nice hot shower after a ride. But, if you’re in a rush for time, need to pick up some things at the store after a ride, want to get a bite to eat before heading home, or need to clean up after your bike commute and before work Action Wipes are the way to go.

I’m going to keep a packet of these around from now on. Also, if you’re a bike commuter I’m sure these will look way cooler sitting at your desk than a large container of baby wipes.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Maiden Voyage

In the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off Ferris's best friend Cameron lived in a house that had a glass garage which showcased a classic car which only had a couple hundred miles on it.
Cameron's dad babied this car by polishing it, cleaning it, gazing at it and I'm sure showing it off to everyone who came over to the house. That was until Ferris talked Cameron into taking his fathers car out only for a "short" drive. Then hilarity ensued.

Last week I felt a lot like Careron's dad and how he handled his car. If you recall I recently got the mother of all bikes for my birthday. That was a week ago Thursday. Ever since then it has either rained or I've had other obligations to take care of so I have had to resort to just gazing my this shiny new bike and telling other people about it at nauseam. Seriously, every time it has quit raining I have run home and by the time I could get my cycling gear on another monsoon would start. It was enough to make a grown man cry.

Well, yesterday I was able to work from home and as I stared out the window it was clear. Hour after hour the rain stayed away. Could this be the day that I finally got to take my new bike out for a spin? The rain continued to hold off throughout the day and it became increasingly harder to concentrate so at 2 I shut my laptop and headed out for a quick ride.

I can sum up my thoughts on this bike with one word. Thatsonefastsmoothsweetbike! I definitely felt like Ferris Bueller out on the town doing some joy riding on the sweetest bike around. I had so much fun on my ride I didn't want to come back but the kids needed a ride to piano lessons so alas I had to come home. I still have some tweaking to do to dial the proper fit in but that's the fun part. So if you're around the area and you see a guy that looks like he just can't quit grinning there's a good chance it's me. In fact, it will probably look like this.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Water Bottle Refills

When Jenny and I head out for cycling adventures we both take two bike
bottles with us. After a couple of hours our bike bottles become bone
dry which for a cyclist could spell disaster or an even worse four
letter word. B-O-N-K.

To remedy this situation we've found a great solution that has always
worked in getting our bike bottles refilled with water. The convenience
store. Now you're probably saying to yourself, whatever Mike I'm sure
the local 7-11 would be more than happy to sell you a drink. I'm not
talking about buying a drink in this case but getting some water for
free. After all, free is my favorite price.

Here are the specific steps to get water at a convenience store
1. Park your bike outside the convenience store where the cashier can
see it.
2. Take your helmet off but make sure you have a good case of helmet
hair before you enter the store.
3. Take your bike bottles in the store and with the most polite manners
you can muster ask "Do you mind if I fill up my bottles with some water"
4. Proceed to the soda fountain
5. Find the water lever located on one of the sodas
6. Press down on the lever and fill up your bottles
7. Thank the cashier for the water as you exit the store
8. Ride away with a smile on your face

Of course, I've purchased Gatorades from these stores from time to time
but most of the time all I want is some water. We have never been
turned down before but once on a century I found a soda fountain that
didn't have a water lever. That was disastrous because I actually had
to buy a drink. I got over it though.

So the next time you're out for a ride and running low on water give
this a try. With a good case of helmet hair and some manners it should
work like a charm.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Power of Planning

As a cyclist you learn really quickly that it’s important to remain hydrated. This entails forcing fluids into your system at a rate that would even make a fish uncomfortable. At first I had a hard time drinking while I rode but now it’s become almost second nature. As a "byproduct" of the hydration habit that cyclists pick up I think that you’ll agree with me that you also pick up a keen sense spotting public restrooms and gauging just how often they need to be visited.

I swear in the years since I’ve gotten back into cycling I can now spot a port-o-potty in vacant construction sites from a mile away. Here is an example of these skills that have paid off on long journeys while on a bike.

This new ability got me thinking about a ride that Jenny and I took years ago. It was early on a Saturday morning and we rode from our house on the Centennial Trail over to Snohomish which is the end of the trail. At the end of the trail there is a gym with an attached snack bar which also has a restroom in it (check out my skills). Since it was early they weren’t open yet so the restroom wasn’t accessible.

Jenny and I were resting on the benches outside of the gym before we headed back to our house. While we were sitting there a lady dressed in full cycling attire with a bike on her car drove up, got out and ran toward us. Her eyes were wide open and she had a look of panic on her face. When she got to us she urgently asked if the gym had a restroom. We answered yes but they weren’t open yet. She then looked around for any other open stores but it was just too early. She ran up and down the street a little ways in hopes she would find an open restroom but no luck. Finally, she ran over to us again and said “I drank a lot of water on the way over here and now I’ve REALLY GOT TO GO!!!” She apologized and ran behind the gym to take care of her problem.

Jenny and I quickly got up and headed down the trail so we wouldn’t have to be there when she got back. This was probably good for all of us. Luckily, we were fast enough that she didn’t pass us on the trail. All in all, it made for a really good laugh on the way home.

Moral of the story, if you’re going to be a cyclist you need to keep track of restrooms and have a plan or you may end up behind a building with fellow cyclist giggling at you.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Super Easy Meal Solution

Let me paint a scene that might be familiar to you. It’s 5:30 in the evening and you just got home from work. The family is looking weak from hunger and everyone is staring at you like you’re supposed to fix this situation. You quickly try to solve this crisis by saying “Hey I could whip up some (insert the one thing that you know how to make here) for dinner. How does that sound?” Your proposed solution insights a round of eye rolls and a chorus of groans from the crowd. Does this sound familiar to you? If so I’ve got a great solution for you.

Today, I’ve going to give you a recipe to add to your repertoire that is super quick and easy to make and is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.

Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly

Now before you exit this page in disgust please give me a second to explain myself. A while back someone told me about Grilled PB&J and thought I’d give it a try. Since I have a reputation of trying out recipes gone bad on my family I decided to try this one out on myself first. To my surprise I really liked them. Of course it helped that I’m already fond of PB&Js. In fact, I think they are just about the perfect food but in the words of Emeril this recipe kicks up the common PB&J a few notches. BAM!!!

The first time I unveiled this recipe on my family I got a lot of turned up noses and groans from them. Since I knew how utterly good they were I made it mandatory that they at least give them a try. They all loved it, even Jenny!

The other good thing about this recipe is it’s so simple to make you can get everyone who is eating to make a majority of their own. Here’s how it works.

Peanut Butter
Jelly or Honey
Sliced Bread
Margarine or Butter

The first thing you do is make your traditional PB&J. Since even kids know how to make these you can put the whole family to work at this point.

Even 14 year olds know how to make PB&Js

The insides will be warmed up when you’re finished so try to go a little lighter on the PB&J than you normally would if you weren’t grilling them. If you prefer yours to run down your arms while you’re eating then I would suggest to make the PB&J thicker.

Now that you have your PB&J built the outsides need have a light layer of margarine spread on them. This is the same technique as used in making grilled cheese sandwiches. The way I do this is butter one of the sides then place the sandwich butter side down on the skillet and butter the other side. By doing this it eliminates a lot of mess.

Not sure how this picture got turned sideways but you get the picture

The next step is to cook your PB&J on an electric fry pan or skillet or what ever you have at 350 degrees. Cook until golden brown on both sides. I’ve never timed it before but to get them to be golden brown it probably takes 2 minutes on each side.

Now you’re ready to eat.

He likes to have the PB&J slide down his arms for some reason

So the next time you’re in a pinch for something to make for dinner or just want to make a heck of a good PB&J give this a try. Once you’ve had a grilled PB&J you’ll be a changed person.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Most Excellent Birthday

Can you remember the best birthday in you life? Was it when you turned 16 and got your license, was it when you turned 21 and you really thought you were an adult, or maybe it was when you turned 5 and you got your first skateboard.

Today was the best birthday I’ve had in a long time and quite possibly the best birthday ever. Let me give you the run down.

Today I did what I’ve wanted to do on my birthday for the last 16 years of being a working stiff. I took the day off of work. Working for “The Man” really is quite a bummer on your birthday so I just decided to just skip it altogether. Truthfully, that really felt good.

Since it was my birthday Jenny let me sleep in. I was feeling really out of control so I didn’t roll out of bed until 6:45. There was just no stopping me. I know that is still insanely early but it was almost a 3 hour sleep in over a day in which I work. When I got up from my super extended slumber I wandered down stairs and this is the first thing that I saw.

Holy Cow!!!! What to my wondering eyes did appear it was a black balloon holding up the holy grail of bicycles. Not only was it a new bike to add to my collection which is now proudly up to 3 but it was a 2008 Trek Madone 5.5 Pro.

I seriously couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face for the rest of the day. In fact, I’m still smiling and if this condition doesn’t change by morning I might need to see a doctor. So why am I still darn giddy? This bike is so stinking light that the helium balloon attached to it almost lifted it off of the ground. It’s also so fast that you have to register this bike with the local police station. You have to do this because if a radar gun is shot at this bike it will have to be recalibrated that is if the radar gun is even usable after that. It’s just that light and fast.

Here’s the amazing thing. Jenny got it for me and I didn’t even have to beg, plead, cry or make impracticable/impossible promises to get it.

It rained like crazy today so I wasn’t able to take it out but you can bet I’ll be out for a ride at the first sight of dry weather. I will always have fond memories of when I turned 16 and got my license on my birthday but this anniversary of my “29th” birthday has now taken over as the reining champion.

P.S. Jenny has made in into the finals for a story writing contest but she needs your help getting out of third place. Here’s what you can do. Go to http://becausemomsaidso.blogspot.com/2009/03/have-travel-will-story-finalists-i-have.html

Navigate down the page a couple of inches and in the right hand side bar there is a voting box that looks like the picture below. All you have to do is click on the Nudist & Lofts radio button and click on the vote button. It’s as easy as that.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dating My Daughter Application

This week my daughter turns 16 which in our family means she can start dating. She already has a date lined up for her birthday. To say the least this makes me a little nervous. To help with this dating process LizzyLou forwarded me the following application. I think it's a great idea but in my opinion it could be a worded a little stronger. What do you think?


NOTE: This application will be incomplete and rejected unless
accompanied by a complete financial statement, job history, lineage,
and current medical report from your doctor.

NAME_____________________________________ DATE OF BIRTH_____________
HEIGHT___________ WEIGHT____________ IQ__________ GPA_____________

SOCIAL SECURITY #_________________
DRIVERS LICENSE #________________

BOY SCOUT RANK AND BADGES________________________________________

HOME ADDRESS______________________ CITY/STATE___________ ZIP______

Do you have parents? ___Yes ___No
Is one male and the other female? ___Yes ___No
If No, explain: ____________________________________________________
Number of years they have been married __________________________________

If less than your age, explain___________________________________________


A. Do you own or have access to a van? __Yes __No
B. A truck with oversized tires? __Yes __No

C. A waterbed? __Yes __No

D. A pickup with a mattress in the back? __Yes __No

E. A tattoo? __Yes __No

F. Do you have an earring, nose ring, __Yes __No

pierced tongue, pierced cheek or a belly button ring?



In 50 words or less, what does "LATE" mean to you?


In 50 words or less, what does "DON'T TOUCH MY DAUGHTER" mean to you?


In 50 words or less, what does "ABSTINENCE" mean to you?


Church you attend ___________________________________________________

How often you attend ________________________________________________

When would be the best time to interview your:

Father? _____________
Mother? _____________

Pastor? _____________


Answer by filling in the blank. Please answer freely, all answers are confidential.

A: If I were shot, the last place I would want shot would be:

B: If I were beaten, the last bone I would want broken is my:

C: A woman's place is in the:

D: The one thing I hope this application does not ask me about is:

E. What do you want to do IF you grow up? ___________________________

F. When I meet a girl, the thing I always notice about her first is:

F. What is the current going rate of a hotel room? __________________


Applicant's Signature (that means sign your name, moron!)

___________________ ________________________________

Mother's Signature Father's Signature

___________________ ________________________________
Pastor/Priest/Bishop State Representative/Congressman

Thank you for your interest, and it had better be genuine and
non-sexual. Please allow four to six years for processing.

You will be contacted in writing if you are approved. Please do not try to call, Text or attempt to contact my daughter on Facebook (since you probably can't, and it would cause you injury). If your application is rejected, you will be notified by two gentleman wearing white ties carrying violin cases. (you might watch your back)

California Adventure

The finalists have been announced for a contest Jenny entered Have Travel Will Story. She made it to the top 4. Go to this site and vote for her story. She wants to win. Hers is the Nudists and Lofts story about our Honeymoon.
As Jenny mentioned when she guest posted for me I was out of town for the weekend so I wasn’t able to post on Saturday like I had promised. Congratulations to LizzyLou on being the big winner. I was in California visiting a relative in the hospital so I’m thinking that qualifies as a decent excuse. I grew up in California so it’s nice to visit every now and then. It’s been over 5 years since I’ve been back so I was surprised at some of the things I saw. I thought I’d share with you some of the "interesting" sights. Here they are in no particular order.

Umbrella bags
As my dad and I approached the hospital this what we saw as we walked through the front door.

Umbrella Bags? I know California is really progressive but is this really necessary? What ever happened to shaking the water off of your umbrella before you enter a building? What cracked me up even more was there were instructions on how a stick person was using these genius devices. Check this out, how cool is this?

Bike riding classes
They had a brochure at the hospital of available classes that you could take. This is a picture of the front cover. I’ve been working on increasing my pedal cadence lately but maybe my training emphasis is all wrong. It looks I wouldn’t even need to pedal after taking one of these classes. I wish I could have fit one of these classes in during my stay.

The Grateful Head
I spotted this card at my parent’s house and when I asked my dad about it he told me this is where he gets his hair cut. Man, that’s groovy. My parents live in the Bay Area which is the birthplace of the Grateful Dead so I guess it only makes sense that one would get their hair cut at the Grateful Head. I wonder if I wore a tie die shirt in to get my hair cut if I would get a discount? I’ll have to give it a shot on my next visit.

Green Hills
One of the cool things about the Bay Area is during the winter nice thick green grass grows on the hills. This reminded me that as a kid we would drive by these hills and see cows grazing on all of the green grass. Most of the time the hills were pretty steep so my dad told me that California has a special breed of cows that have one set of legs that are shorter than the other. This made it possible for them to stand on a slanted hillside and graze all day long. It took me years to figure out he was pulling my leg on that one. I think he scarred me for life.

Vasectomy Group Appointment
The same booklet that offered the non pedaling bike classes also offered Vasectomy Group Appointments. Honestly, I can’t imagine how this would be a good thing even if they gave you a group discount. I’ll pass.

Drivers Ed in Mini Coopers
Finally, as we were driving back to the airport we got behind a Drivers Ed car and as I looked at the car closer I noticed that it was a Mini Cooper. How cool is that. I’ve always wanted to drive a Mini Cooper around but never really wanted to own one. The next time I visit I should probably enroll in Drivers Ed. Maybe I’ll just audit the class so I don’t have to take the test.

Visiting California has always been an adventure for me and this time was no exception. I’m not really ready to move back because I love where I live so I guess for now it will just have to remain a nice place to visit.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Way to go Lizzylou!

Hi, Jenny here. Mike is unable to post for a few days and has asked me to stand in for him.

Lizzylou was the big winner for the week of Friday March 6 to Friday March 13. She lost a whopping 1.79% last week. AWESOME. In fact everybody did great! Of the reports received, nobody gained any weight this week.

Success for all.

Now, the rest of us realize that when there is a biggest loser there has to be lesser losers. All of you~ Please join Mike and I by going to Lizzylou's Livestrong page and donating $5-15.00 to cancer research. You choose the amount depending on how badly you feel about getting beat.

The Official Weightloss Throwdown will be taking a break this week as it is Mike's 29th? birthday. (He's actually considering changing that number to 39 this year which might or might not be actual.) He's doesn't think weightloss will happen for him this week. You see, I have big plans. (Well okay Mike requested big plans but when it's your birthday you get to make requests!)

Eggrolls and Worlds Best Cake. I'm
also trying to find a perfect gift but when he see's the best cake in the world it won't really matter because he won't notice anything else.

He may still lose weight anyway since we also have plans for "The best bike ride of the year so far" on his birthday. Oh how I hope for sun that day. My toes couldn't take another cold wet one. We're planning on an awesome 67 mile route through Granite Falls and Monroe that we rode last time we were training for the STP. (please pray for sun)

It's a very big week at our house.

Mike turns 29 on Thursday. You should all commemorate this day with a bike ride. Then come here and tell Mike all about it. What a great present that would be. Please be sure to make many comments that day. He needs at least 29 comments in honor of his BIG day. He also needs much trash talk in recognition of the aging process. You know, things like natural blond highlights speckling his head.

It is also our oldest daughters 16th birthday on Friday as well as the day of her first date. Any thoughts on how we should deal with this situation? Our friend has every boy who takes one of his daughters out on a date sign their own bullet. That's an idea...

Watch my blog this week, too. I plan on posting a step by step recipe for making Mike's Eggrolls. I will probably make them on Wednesday since I will be riding my bike (Kleetus) all day on Thursday. I think I'll also ask The Fat Cyclist if I can do the same with the best cake in the world.

Your assignments this week:
Donate to Lizzylous Livestrong Page
Continue with your amazing weight loss
Make a plethora of comments on this blog on Thursday
(write a birthday ballad?)
Try Mike's Eggrolls from the recipe I will be posting on my blog
Share creative ways to recognize our daughters escort Friday night

That should keep you busy for a little while. After that get on your bike and let the good times roll.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Big Day

Today marks the end of the weight loss throw down. For me it wasn’t a great eating week but I was able to do a lot of riding to make up for it. All in all I was able to log 74 of miles on the bike this week.

So now for the big announcement. I was able to lose 0.59% of my total body weight this week.  If you can't remember the calculation it's your total body weight divided by the weight you lost.  ie.  1/168 = .0059

Now it’s your turn to really give me a beat down on the challenge. How did your week go? Feel free to leave a comment or send an email to mikeonhisbike1@gmail.com with your percent loss or gain for the week. Gloating is also encouraged if you had a good week. No need to include your weight unless you really feel compelled to.  If your week didn't go as planned you can also just report a scratch for the week.  No reason to feel bad.

It’s been a fun week. I hope you found this competition helpful in reaching your goals. I’ll post the winner of the challenge tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Salute to Chip Seal

The other day as we rode on Chuckanut Dr I noticed that most of the roads were covered in chip seal 

If you haven’t done much cycling you are probably asking yourself what the heck is chip seal.  I don’t blame you.  Chip seal isn’t something that comes up in your normal everyday conversation unless you’re a cyclist.  If you’re among cyclists you’re liable to hear things like “That chip seal made me feel like I was riding in sand all day”, or “I curse the day chip seal was invented.”  

So what exactly is chip seal you ask?  It’s a cheap way to pave a road that leaves the final surface very rough and not friendly for cyclists.  Here’s the better description if you’re really curious.  Also, if you take close look at the background photo of my blog you’ll see a prime example of chip seal.  As I rode on this terrible surface the other day I tried to think of some good things about chip seal.  To be honest I couldn’t think of any at the moment but since then I’ve come up with some.  Here’s my positive spin on the dreaded chip seal.  

It gives you a better workout.  Runners run in sand for a better workout. Cyclists ride on chip seal.  No need for a head wind.  

It tests the structural integrity of your bike.  If you’re ever curious if all the components are securely fastened on your bike take a couple hour ride on some chip seal.  It’s sure to knock things off of your bike.  

Chip seal increases your bike handling skills.  If you’re like me you’ve found that if you ride on the white line on the side of the road it’s smother and thus faster and a lot slipperier.  By riding on this thin white line for miles it increases your bike handling skills.  

Chip seal encourages alertness.  Another tactic I use while riding on chip seal is to ride in one of the ruts of the lane that car tires make.  This is obviously a smoother portion of the lane because it’s worn down.  Of course I only ride there when cars aren’t around.  Because I’m riding in the middle of the road it forces me to be on the alert for cars so I can move over as they approach.  Most of the time I’m successful at this.

Finally, chip seal keeps me from going too fast thus keeping my bike under control.  This really isn’t my favorite thing about chip seal but you could say it’s a positive.  

So next time you’re out on a rural road and you come across some chip seal try to remain on the positive side and enjoy yourself.

Friday is the big day for the weight loss challenge report out.  I’ll post my results first thing in the morning.  Feel free to either send me an email or post a comment with your results.  It’s been a fun week in that regard because it’s forced me to train harder than normal and eat a little more rabbit food.  

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Chuckanut Ride

A couple of weeks ago Jenny and I rode over to get a hot chocolate and while we were hanging out we talked to a fellow cyclist who told us that he mainly rode his bike north of where we live and really talked it up. Right then we decided that the next place that we needed to explore on our bikes was Chuckanut Dr. I did a little research and couldn’t figure out where the name Chuckanut came from but I’m thinking it either came from someone who has a heck of a sense of humor or a local indian tribe.

Last year through an incentive program at the company where I work I got a Garmin Edge 305 so when we decided to try out a new route I did my planning on www.mapitpronto.com. This is a free site where you can plan out a bike route just by clicking along a map. Once you’re finished you can download the route as a course into your Garmin. My Garmin doesn’t show you street maps but it does show you a line of your route and where you are on that line. This works well enough to follow along while trying out a new route and you never have to pull out a street map. I really love that feature. I’ve never been much of a fan of pulling out maps on a ride but we’ve been know to do that far too often in the past.

The route was actually very nice with plenty of hills and very few cars. Once we passed the half way point we rode onto Chuckanut Drive which follows the Puget Sound shoreline and looks out at the San Juan Islands for 10 miles or so. For the record you can also see Canada from here as well.  I hate to be outdone by the Alaskans who can see Russia from their back window so as far as you know all Washingtonians can see Canada from their front window.  The sights were so nice on the route it was hard to concentrate on the road. Here are a couple of the pictures that we snapped.

Before we got back to the car we road passed a house with a white fence which isn’t all that uncommon but take a look at what the fence was made out of. This is my kind of fence.

Next time we ride up north we are definitely going to take this route again. It was a good one.

Weight Loss Throw Down Update
We have some additional contestants for the weigh loss throw down and they promise to put up some stiff competition. They are Linda and Larry. Both of them have assured me that they will be winning come Friday so they are very determined. Welcome to the throw down!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Let The Games Begin

Today marks the beginning of the Great Weight Loss Challenge  

And the contestants are:

In this corner, hailing from the state of Utah, an avid cyclist who has competed in the LOTOJA multiple times and will be competing again this year.  It’s Rob.  Rob’s plan for this week’s competition is to use the Prof. Harold Hill think system to think his way to thinness.  Good luck with that one Rob.

And in this corner, from the state of Pennsylvania, a super bike commuter during the week and distance cyclist on the weekends all while holding down a job as a librarian.  It’s Lizzylou.    Lizzylou’s grand plan for the competition is multifaceted.  Here are the steps.  Step 1: Buy a scales. Step 2: Delete Papa Johns from speed dial. Step 3: Drink water, not coke.  Step 4: Cut off all of her hair (She’s sure it adds at least half a pound).    With a plan like that the competition should be scared.

And in this corner, originating from the state of Idaho but now residing in Washington, another avid cyclist and super mom (no capes) is Jenny-Jenny.   Jenny’s plan includes drinking as many spinach smoothies as possible in order to scare the pounds off of her body.  I’d be nervous if I were her pounds.

And finally, in this corner, from the state of Washington, recently a very bored indoor bike trainer rider with aspirations of one day riding outdoors is Mike J.  Mike’s plan is two fold.  1.  Eat Less   2. Move around more.  He might even resort to eating rabbit food in his quest for this title.

On your marks, Get set, Go……..

I’d like to thank everyone who is participating in this challenge.  The winner will receive a $5 gift card to Starbucks.  Since there is one on almost every street corner you should be able to ride your bike there to redeem your winnings.  I’ve never had coffee there before but their hot chocolate is incredible. 

For those of you who don’t win we will also be donating to LizzyLou’s Livestrong page

You just can’t go wrong with this contest.  

If you’re reading this and still want to be part of the action there’s still time.  Just leave a comment or email me at mikeonhisbike1@gmail.com

On another note, Jenny and I are going for a ride on a new route today.  We’re going to ride up north on Chuckanut Drive.  We've never ridden there before but this route boasts some great views like this one of the San Juan Islands.  I’ll let you know next week how the ride went.  

Enjoy your week of loss and get ready to lose to me.  I will be triumphant.  

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Double Century Carrying Donuts

So, today at work I was the recipient of an all day meeting notice. Since I knew I was going to be sequestered all day in a conference room I came prepared with a gynormus 44 oz glass in order to remain hydrated, my laptop, and a turkey sandwich. I had everything I would need in order to survive.

I showed up a little early to get a good seat and settle in for the duration. A minute or two after I sat down in walked into the room a fellow team mate carrying two large boxes full of donuts. I quickly did some math and figured out that there were 24 donuts for the 12 of us. Oh yeah, 2 donuts a piece.

Once the boxes were opened and the smells filled the room a person showed on each of my shoulders. On the left shoulder was Fat Boy Mike and on the right was Fit, Trim and Fast Mike. Boy did they have a compelling debate. Here were some of the highlights.

Fat Boy Mike
- Come on man, be a team player and eat your two donuts you sissy
- What if the donuts don’t all get eaten? Don’t you remember your mother telling you if you didn’t eat your food that kids in 3rd world countries would starve?
- Oh man, can’t you smell those maple bars? Those smell awesome. You better get one before they’re gone.

Fit, Trim and Fast Mike
- Dude, do you really want to carry those donuts with you ALL the way from Seattle to Portland when you ride the STP in July. All 204 miles. Think about it!

It is now after lunch and Fit, Trim and Fast Mike is winning the argument. I’m going to be incredibily fast come July.

We’ll see how I’m holding up at 3 this afternoon.

Update: It's now 3 and no donuts eaten yet. The outlook is looking good because they've gone stale

Monday, March 2, 2009

Weight Loss Throw Down Invitation

Since the beginning of the year I've occasionally posted about the
weekly weight loss challenge that Jenny and I have. Recently I've
received some interest from others that would like to join in on the
challenge. I thought about this for at least half a second and decided
that if you're interested in participating you're on.

Let the weight loss challenge throw down begin.

I guess some official rules are in order. Here's what I've come up
with so far.

The initial challenge will last one week and will start Friday morning
March 6th and end Friday morning March 13th.

Here's the process, you weigh yourself on the morning of March 6th and
document your weight. If you're like me you'll actually need to write
it down somewhere so you don't forget the number in the space of a week.

During the week
You do what ever you do to lose weight.

Here are some ideas.
Eat lots of green food such as salad or anything else a rabbit would eat
Go for tons of bike rides
Eat more rabbit food
Talk all the trash you want on my blog to discourage all other
competitors into giving up and eating their weight in chocolate and
fried food
Drink so much water you consider moving your desk closer to the bathroom
at work
Go for more bike rides
Finally eat more rabbit food

On Friday morning weigh yourself to determine your weight loss or gain
for the week.

The final weigh in will be based on percent of weight loss in relation
to your total weight. So for instance last week I weighed 170 lbs and I
lost 1 pound. So my weight loss percent would have been calculated as 1
divided by 170 which equals -.588%

I'm not an engineer so correct my math if I'm wrong. I've been known to
miscalculate things before such as my age.

Once you've figured out your weight loss percent post a comment on my
blog some time during the day on Friday or if you're not comfortable
with going public with your information you can send me an email at

I'll give you all day Friday to send in your reports then on Saturday
I'll announce the BIG winner.

What will I win you say? Well, this contest has two forms of winning.
If you win the weight loss challenge for the week you will receive a
REALLY BIG Prize that I haven't figured out yet. Suffice it to say it
will be in the neighborhood of a $5 gift card unless someone else wants
to donate a prize before then. But wait there's more. In addition, if
you are not the weight loss king/queen of the week you will be required
(have the privilege) to donate to LizzyLou's Livestrong page
to benefit cancer research. Your donation should be somewhere in the range of $5 - $15 depending on how badly you feel you got beat.

If you would like to be part of the throw down either send me an email
or leave a comment to this post and I'll officially log you in as a
contestant. Also, feel free to send this to others who might be
interested in the big challenge.

This should be fun. Let the games, trash talking, and weight loss