Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Fading Away

I have lost ten pounds since I started training for the Alyn Hospital Ride. I've lost five pounds just in the last five weeks. Not that I'm trying. The pounds are just coming off.

In an average hour of training I burn about 765 calories. In a century ride, I burn about 6,000 calories. You can eat 25 four-ounce orders of french fries and still not consume 6,000 calories.

Since I'm training about 8 to 12 hours a week, I just can't eat enough to maintain my weight. In general, I'm not a huge eater and MHW is a very health conscious cook. Very low fat, very low in complex carbs.

I've started eating pancakes twice a week, and a three egg omelete one morning. I've even taken to eating a bag of potato chips after training. Doesn't help.

In endurance biking, it is very good to be very thin so that's fine as far as it goes. My concern is that I am getting too thin and will not have the energy to ride hard for five straight days.

Perhaps I will make some inroads during a three day Yom Tov.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


I'm Hurting

The fall that I took last Sunday during the NYC Century is turning out to be much worse than I expected.

After a full week, my left arm is still killing me. I haven't been on a bike or a spin bike since the ride (that has more to do with a business trip and Rosh Hashanah than the injury) yet the arm is no better than it was last Monday. All I've managed to do is upset my stomach with massive quantities of Advil. I stopped taking the Advil on Rosh Hashanah; my stomach is recovering but not my arm.

I will call the doctor on Monday. It's annoying that I have to go to my regular doctor in order to get a referral to an orthopedic but that's life as we know it today.

The injury will not stop me from riding (I am doing another century next Sunday) but will most certainly be a major drag. Maybe I can get a cortisone shot from the ortho.

Monday, September 13, 2004


The Second Century

Yesterday I rode my second 100 + mile ride.

This one was the NYC Century. For some reason, it seems that people can't measure well because this ride, like the last one, was 110 miles, not 100 (and it turned into 115 because of an error that on of my riding mates made; more about that below). However, since the weather was ideal and I felt very strong the extra mileage was no big deal.

Unlike last time, when I rode alone, I was in a group of 8 colleagues from my firm (including my boss and our primary outside counsel). The other seven have riden together many times but this was my first time with them. I was easily able to hold my own with this testosterone laden group. This may augur well for my bonus.

For the most part, it was a fun ride. We started in the north of Central Park, went down Fifth Avenue and Broadway until we reached the Brooklyn Bridge. We rode almost 50 miles in Brooklyn (including Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope and the wonderful Prospect Park) until we reached the second rest stop. Until then, everything was flat and easy. All that changed in Queens.

But first, I took a nasty tumble on the bike path adjacent to the Belt Parkway. Part of the path was being fixed and we had to go on this tiny off road path. I fell in an area that was wet. I landed flush on my arm, just below the clavicle. I'm lucky I didn't break anything. It's still killing me (at least when the Advil wears off).

Queens was extremely hilly and challenging and we went through some lovely neighborhoods and lots of parks. One of the guys started cramping up in Flushing Park but was able to continue. We made it to the rest stop in Astoria Park, the 75 mile mark.

At that point it was either 7 miles back to Central Park or 31 through the Bronx. As my boss said, "If we weren't so macho, we would go back now". In this group, no one would dare suggest cutting short a century ride.

The ride over the Tri Boro Bridge into the Bronx was treacherous and nasty. We had to carry our bikes up and down three flights of stairs then go through an extremely narrow ramp. Brutal.

The ride in the Bronx also stunk. We had to stop for countless traffic lights and stop signs. We were weaving in and out of resdential streets. I don't understand why they needed that since we could easily have cut that stuff out and still made 100 miles.

We were only 8 miles from Central Park when one of our riders mistook an old street marker for a new one. He took us deep into Riverdale which added an extra 5 brutally hilly miles to our ride. Even though I felt strong I could have done without that.

We got back to Central Park, picked up our tee shirts and water bottles and made our way back to our cars.

I was famished and wiped. When I got home, I started eating anything that wasn't tied down. I had a huge dinner (unusual for me, especially on a Sunday evening) and went to bed at 9 p.m.

I woke up this morning with my arm killing me but otherwise fine. I have ridden over 300 miles in the past three weeks. This week will be a very soft week because of Rosh Hashanah but I have my third and final Century in Westchester on the day after Yom Kippur.

I am very ready for my ride in Israel.

Friday, September 03, 2004



On Wednesday evening I rode with MHW and my two younger kids. We went for a leisurely ride in Hewlett Bay Park. I offered my younger son the use of my old Schwinn Circuit road bike. He looked at me as if I were nuts.

"Dad, if I used a road bike my friends would think I was a total nerd."

I told him the road bike would be 50% easier, and much faster, to ride than his piece of junk hybrid. It didn't matter. He hopped on the hybrid and off we went.

Youth IS wasted on the young.

Thursday, September 02, 2004


Bike Ride Sefirah

It occurred to me today that there are 50 days left to my bike ride in Israel.

A good time to take stock.

Sunday's century certainly gave me a good perspective on where I'm 'holding'. Although the last 18 miles were very rough, I was able to complete 110 miles in brutal weather conditions. The truth is, the first 75 miles were pretty easy and, until the 85 mile mark, I never really felt uncomfortable.

I am also encouraged by the fact that I felt fine on Monday morning. I wasn't unduly sore anywhere.

I was very mature (for me) and actually allowed myself two complete days off from biking (although I did do some core strength work on Tuesday). But, when I went out to Point Lookout on Wednesday morning I was amazingly sluggish. I was so tired this morning, I couldn't even get up early and ended up doing an hour on the spin bike instead of riding outdoors. I would worry about the sluggishness except that I don't expect weather conditions in Israel to be anywhere near as bad as Sunday's were (93 degrees and high humidity) and the daily ride is about 65 miles, not 110.

I lost a couple of pounds on Sunday and my weight is down to 138. I wouldn't mind getting it down another three pounds, to 135, before the ride.

My morning shiur starts on Tuesday so I will no longer be able to ride outside except for Sundays. That is too bad because (having built up my strength through the spin bike) I would rather ride a real bike as much as possible.

I am very happy with my bike. It did well on Sunday. The one issue I have is with my front gears. I have Shimano Integras on the back and they are smooth as silk but the gears in the front are a little sluggish.

On Sunday morning I am getting together in Central Park with a bunch of Metro area riders who will be doing the Israel Ride. I look forward to meeting many of them for the first time.

All in all, I'm feeling good about the ride. I am ridiculously excited about going back to eretz Yisrael and about seeing my older daughter who is studying in Seminary.

50 days and counting.

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