Big news: I’m getting in some quality cycling time nowadays. On most weekends, I”m getting away for a few hours to ride the long roads of central NJ. Partly because I want to be on my bike, partly because it’s great exercise to help me lose the excess weight I accumulated, and partly because my wife has been willing to take care of the kids on her own so that I can get some free time. I started riding in late April, but I’ve also been working out at least once at the office fitness center, and I’ve significantly improved my diet. More fruit and vegetables every day, smaller/healthier food portions, and way less junk food snacking.
So far, I’m to announce this week that I’ve lost 5 lbs. since March. Now that I’m working out more often, I expect to see the weight loss continue. My goal is 170 lbs, so I have another 30 lbs. to go. Sounds like a long road ahead, and yes, it is. However, this isn’t a fad. It’s a complete change in my lifestyle to have healthier life. I don’t want temporary improvement. I want a permanent one.
So what does all have to do with being a professional cyclist? Cycling is still my favorite outdoor activity, and I want to do it right. I want to increase my stamina. I want to ride as fast and consistent as other riders. I recently dumped my kickstand, as most riders don’t use one. I thought it was simply to reduce overall weight, but apparently it’s worse than that. Having a kickstand is akin to walking around with a pocket protector. Gosh, that’s embarassing. I don’t want to be the nerd of cyclists.
I also moved to a smaller seat. I’ve used a big, fat cushion of a saddle for eight years, but real riders use a smaller, firmer saddle. Last week, I swapped it out, and used my original Fuji bicycle saddle for a ride last Saturday morning. My behind was so sore, I cut short my ride to 18 miles because I couldn’t take the pain anymore. I also found out my rear wheel was crooked. Tuesday morning, I took my bicycle to the office so I could visit nearby High Gear Cyclery to fix the rear wheel, and pick out a new more comfortable saddle. $75 later, I walked out with a fixed rear wheel and a new saddle. I’ll be trying it out during this coming Saturday’s early morning ride. I hope I’m not in for another morning of pain. The new saddle has more gel and is a bit wider to better support my sit bones.