walking around in tap shoes and pyjamas since 2010 - my cycling log (opens in new window)

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Today's weight: 175.6.
Resting Pulse: 65
Yesterday's Calorie Count: 1988

Not bad.

Here's a graph of my weight since 6 July:

As you can see, it tends to dip way down, then uptick a bit, then drop again (like a bouncy ball descending on a long straightaway, perhaps?).

I think the effect has something to do with water.  Specifically, the biggest drops, if I'm not mistaken, each correlate with the day after a long, sweaty ride.  Over the next couple of days, as my body hangs on to extra water in an effort to recoup its hydration level, my weight swings up a bit, then back down.

This week, I haven't broken 20 miles in one day.  Because of the heat, I've been a little more conservative about distance than usual.  I'm also about an hour short of my riding goal of 3.5 hours, so I might go get some time in on the bike before the temperature gets too far off the chain.

I'm really happy that I'm able to ride in this stuff at all, this year.  Last year, I couldn't have -- at least, not any real intensity.

A lot of that, of course, is simply having my asthma pretty much under control.  While it's true that hot, humid days definitely impact my ability to climb and to ride hard, the fact that I can ride at all in those conditions is pretty great.  Likewise, some of the gain is simply adaptation.  You ride enough, and your body adapts.  About eighteen months ago, a twenty-five mile day was a pretty big achievement, and not something I would do back-to-back.  Now, twenty-five miles seems like nothing.

I think the best part about this whole adaptation thing is that it has greatly expanded my geographic freedom.  A destination twelve miles away isn't one for which I need to plan all week.  Most of my there-and-back-again commutes net fifteen to twenty miles, and that's pretty cool.  Going out to 'just ride around' for an hour or so, I traverse between twelve and twenty miles.

Fitness gains are sneaky.  You don't notice the things you do every day, until you have some breakthrough moment like knocking out a roughly eight mile ride, uphill most of the way, in 24 minutes.  Then you look at how things have been going lately and you think, "Huh, that's pretty cool."  And then you think, "Wow, if I'm twice as fit this year as I was last year, imagine what I might be able to do next year!"  And then you start having grandiose visions of riding across New Zealand on a tandem with your newly-minted spouse.  Heh-heh.

I hope to keep riding for the rest of my life.  There have been times that I've been frustrated by my health, and especially by how slowly some of the gains have come along -- but even slowly, they've come.

Even though I'm still heavier than I'd like to be, I'm pretty sure I'm healthier now than I have ever been, period.

I owe a great deal of that to my bikes -- but on top of great health, they give me fun, freedom, relaxation, challenge...

Makes it kinda hard to understand why there aren't more of us out there, now that I think of it :)


  1. "Fitness gains are sneaky." I recently noticed something similar, while hiking on a snowy mountain that I had been on a few years back. It was much easier, much less short of breath this time around. I wonder if adaptation to hiking at altitude is a result of improved aerobic fitness?

  2. It wouldn't surprise me at all if it is. Aerobic fitness gains result, in part, from your body learning to use oxygen with greater efficiency (and doing things like increasing red blood cell counts and so forth).

    Many of the difficulties in hiking at altitude are related to the difference in oxygen levels, so I think it makes sense that a significant improvement in overall aerobic fitness should make hiking at altitude easier, as well.

    That's a neat thing to think about. I hadn't really extrapolated my thoughts on fitness to that degree. Well, we'll be out in the high desert in August -- I guess I'll get to test my theory then! :D