This year, my goal was to drop 25# over the Summer. I've learned for me that I need to improve both diet and exercise to meet this sort of goal. Doing one of the other never seems to yield much result. The problem? I hate gyms. In fact, hate may not be a strong enough word to adequately cover the vitriol I feel toward the dank, windowless caves of pain and suffering.
So, what to do? Every since I was young, I've always loved bicycles. The freedom. The adrenaline rush. And the self-reliance. All appeal to me. Oh, and you burn calories and build fitness. I stopped riding for quite a while post-college. But in 2006 I picked it back up after purchasing a Giant OCR3 road bike. That got some upgrades, and then I built up a single-speed 29er mountain bike. Over the past 2-3 years, my cycling had tapered off for a lot of reasons. This year, at the urging of my buddy Josh, I signed up to ride the Komen Ride for the Cure. I knew that many experts say charity rides are the perfect way to set goals. And it's worked for me. The ride is this weekend and I've tripled my fundraising goal, and also decided to double my mileage.
This past weekend, as I was on the return loop of a 43 mile ride, I started thinking of the milestones I've hit this year:
- Broke the 20 mile barrier. And then the 30. And the 40. And the 50. This weekend, if all goes well, I'll break the 60.
- Wore out a set of tires. Just flat rode them until there wasn't enough left to protect the tube. Cool.
- Overcome my aversion to hills. I went out on Saturday looking to get in some time in the hills. And, I stayed on the big ring in the front. This is huge for me.
- Stopped talking myself out of rides due to the potential for poor weather. I rolled out Saturday knowing full well of the 90% chance of thunderstorms. And, I paid for it with 10 miles in some of the hardest rain I've ever seen.
- Bought my first carbon frame. It arrived today and it's going to be SWEET. Thanks to eBay and a guy who wanted a dedicated triathalon bike, I now have a Giant Defy Advanced. More coming soon on this.
- Dumped my triple chainring front crankset. Nothing says "old fat guy" like a triple.
- Purchased my first pair of bib shorts. Turns out they really are as comfortable as everyone says. Go figure.