Monday, May 21, 2012

Bike to Work Day

me and Mayor Betsy Price
Last Friday was bike to work day.   As followers of this blog know, I try to cycle commute one or two times a week.   Friday is usually a fitness rest day for me, but I felt obligated to ride to work.  Mainly it was to be able to answer “yes” to anyone who asked if I rode to work on this national day of cycling observance. 

I took a detour on the way to work to go the Intermodal Transpiration Center for the City of Fort Worth and The T’s festivities for Bike to Work Day.     The City of Fort Worth has made a major investment into the cycling as a means of transportation.  Fort Worth has bike routes, bike lanes and awesome cycling trails along the Trinity River.  In addition, The T is very bicycle friendly with their buses.    I feel it is my obligation as a cyclist in Tarrant County to lead by example and utilize these amenities.   I take credit for the full bike rack at work this past Friday.

The highlight of the event was to have a short visit with Mayor Betsy Price.  I am privileged to have worked with her we she was the Tax Assessor/Collector for Tarrant County.  Even in that role, she promoted cycling.   This was not my first ride to work day with her, but first with Mayor Price.

The Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex has a long way to go to be a cycling friendly area, but Fort Worth, with Betsy’s leadership, is on its way.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Tamara and Carol
I have yet to figure out how to do Mother’s Day.  Carol does an excellent reminder to make sure I send flowers to my mother.  From there; I am lost.   This is late because it was difficult to put into words what I wanted to relate.   Oddly, I chose few words

I am lucky to watch Carol and Tamara in their new roles as mother and grandmother.   As fast as life seems to move, it is hard to believe that it was five years ago this month that Tamara got married.   Over three years ago,  Aedan showed up.  16 months ago, Nolan made his grand entrance.
I play a very small part in the process of these two young boys’ lives.  They are blessed to have these two wonderful women in their lives. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Calories  © 2007 Firstbeat Technologies

My weight loss has been a slow and steady process this year.  I have not done anything special expect count calories.  I am down over 50 pounds since I started on this journey.  Making it to my ideal weight of 185 seems realistic now.

One of the most frustrating things about weight loss is my plan is probably exercise driven. During this past year, my fitness level has increased greatly.  When you throw in my weight loss, I now burn so fewer calories when I exercise.

About this time last year, my weight loss plateaued.  Per the calorie counter application, I should have been losing weight.  I went out and got a heart rate monitor that calculated calories.  I discovered my calorie counter was over crediting my exercise by almost 30%.  Once I made this adjustment, my weight loss began again.

I again plateaued this year.  It seems to happen at the beginning of cycling season.   I assumed it was because the heart rate monitor was not controlling for cycling instead of running.  I would trim about 10% off what it read.  My new Garmin Edge has a calorie burned calculator built into it.  It is much more sophisticated.  Besides your age, weight, weight of the bike, you load in your Firstbeat Technologies Ltd. Activity Level.   It turns out I should have been trimming my heart rate data for my road riding by 30%. I am off the plateau again. 

185 pounds here I come. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Active in the Lodge

Never underestimate your impact on youth when you interact with them.  I always tell the story of an Assistant Scoutmaster that yelled at me when I was a first year scout when I thought I was trying to be helpful and washing a Dutch Oven with soap and water.   The lesson I took from that incident is not that soap is not how you clean a Dutch Oven (well actually I did), but the more important lesson I learned is that when you are dealing with Scouts always put in context what they are doing before you get angry.

A scout is Trustworthy, so to say that I never yelled at the boys of little Troop 5 would be one heck of a lie.  However, my voice will raise when the boys impact a health and safety issue.   Teenage boys tend to push the health and safety because they have no fear.   I have seen boys leap across 100 foot drops, play with copperhead snakes, and create their own boat to drift out onto a large lake.   I will not even go into the stupidity with fire.

This is relevant because this past weekend, Little Troop 5 reemerged as participants in the Order of the Arrow lodge.  As scoutmaster, I lost a two generations of boys in the troop because one adult in the Lodge made a bunch of candidates go home because of some strange interpretation of national policy five years ago.   Voices were raised over something that had nothing to do with health and safety.  That one adult caused a break in the chain of a long tradition of Troop 5 having active participants in the lodge.  This participation manifested itself through ceremonies, chapters, tribe and lodge positions.  Little Troop 5 has had five youth vigils while I was scoutmaster.

Over the years, my boys have been asked how big our Troop is because of the level of active youth in the lodge.  They are always surprised we are not a super troop.

This past weekend, the orange hats of Troop 5 were again seen and made an impact through service and ceremonies.  Congratulations to our new Arrowmen and Brotherhood members.

Maybe we can learn a lesson from this one adult, just as I did from one so many years ago.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Business Travel

This probably does not come as a shock to those that do it all the time, but business travel is not nearly as exciting as most people think.   I have friends in sales and other jobs that travel much more than I do or ever will, but in the last year of my job, I have traveled more than the rest of my career combined.

I am a slave to my routine and business travel has really thrown me out of that routine.  I assume it would become a part of a new routine, but I rather it not.    When you have spent the majority of career being able to be home every night, when which is not the case, much more planning is involved.

On a plus side, you do get views like this.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Muenster 2012

This past weekend was the Muenster Germanfest Metric Century.   This is one of my favorite charity rides.
It is a little bit of a drive to Muenster, but they compensate that by starting the ride at 11 am.   Besides a well-supported ride, there is always a visit to Fischer’s Meat Market and the actual Germanfest.   It ends up being a long day, but always worth the trip.

This was the first ride I used my Garmin Edge 500.  My cycle computer had failed and I have been using the GPS on my phone to track history.  Besides not being able to read it I was riding, it also seems to have a large impact on my data usage.   I decided to break down and get the GPS. 
To be frank, it is freaking cycling geek cool.  Here is my ride report from Muenster.  I hope that as continue to gather this type data, it will help improve my training and performance.  In the short run, it is just flat out nifty.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Internet Content Provider

I hope you all keep clicking the ads in my blog.  I am now officially a paid internet content provider.  It is not a bunch of money, but I always look and see if anyone has clicked.  Because of that, I also look at the statistics on how many times the blog has been read.  I am quite amazed at the volume of people that actually read  the blog.

As I stated a few posts backs, this little bit of money keeps me motivated to keep the blog fresh.   In addition, I seem to have a small cadre of followers.   So please keep reading and clicking, I will keep updating.