April Goal Met and Yearly Goal ….

OK just checking in at the end of April with both my yearly and monthly goal well in hand:

April was a hard fought battle with some good days in the saddle and some not so good day losing both my Mother and a good friend.  My mom’s loss was not a surprise, but instead it was a relief for her to be without pain.  However the loss of Dave Hoyle, was a complete shock and a great loss to Connecticut cycling and cyclist of all ages, but specially our youth.  Dave was the director of the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program, bring competitive cycling of all kinds to the kids in CT.  He was one of the best MEN I have ever know; Genuine concern, true joy for cycling, and a heart of gold.  RIP Dave #RideLikeDave is our new rallying cry, and no one road better!

I am on track to meet my yearly goal at 3500, and met my April goal of 350 with a short afternoon ride outdoors in an otherwise raining spring here in CT.  Outdoor rides here in CT have been few and far between, so Indoor rides have had to continue.  April saw many more Zwift rides than prior month as I was trying to get to level 10 and earn some new scenery on Watopia.  Just about made it last night, but will definitely see the new stuff by the end of Thursday mornings ride.

My goal for May is going back down to 300 as I will not being going to Florida and it looks like another week of rain coming up.  Our rivers and streams are filled and flooding on a massive scale are just around the corner.  Therefore, 300 is a lofty goal, one I will have to push to reach.  Wish me luck!

Yearly Goal Achieved…Again!

Goal 99 percent

Awoke this morning not really wanting to ride after riding last night a Cycling Concepts indoor training session, but saw that I only had 6.56 miles remaining to achieve my yearly goal.  So I road the 7 mile and bam, another one bites the dust…

Yearly Goal Achieved Again

4000 miles is about 1500 more than I have done in my 50’s.  For me it was a good year for Cycling, now onto next year.  Can I get 5000 in?  Maybe!

 

AfterShokz Titanium Bone Conducting Headphones…First Take

AfterShokz Titanium
Mine are GREEN

Just purchased some AfterShokz Titanium Bone Conducting Headphones from Amazon.  I have been wanting something like this for about a year now, because I like music, but in the ear earphones hurt my ears after a while, and I dislike using them while on the road.  Earphones or traditional headphones curb road awareness and safety, so most roadies don’t listen to music while riding.  I use headphones while on the Rail Trails in CT, but not on the road.  AfterShokz do not go in the ear, but use bone conduction to transmit sound. (See a great YouTube review by Milestone Rides HERE)

Pairing with my iPhone was quick and easy, but had to charge it first with a micro USB charger.  Sound was pretty good, and does not bother my ears. I will update the post after riding outside with them, maybe as soon as tomorrow as the weather is suppose to be sunning in the 60’s…NICE!  The unit sits comfortable on the ear, but as Milestone points out, they may interfere with my helmet strap, we shall see.

New Kinetic Smart Control Unit Arrival???…YES!

Will my new Kinetic Smart Control unit arrive today or tomorrow? Hopefully today!

I have had such a hard time connecting the old unit to my PC using TrainerRoad that I have been riding TR on the iPad. Hopefully the new unit will fix the connection issues and allow me to use it with my Garmin 110 as Power. The old unit cannot be seen by Garmin. Keep your fingers crossed 🤞!!!

UPDATE!

Well the new Kinetic Smart Control Unit was at my garage door when I got home after going to the gym and trying out their new Water Massage Unit…Another Story! 

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I unpacked the unit, and it looks exactly like the old one, except it has a sticker denoting it has Ant+…Nice!

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Took the unit to the Pain Cave to replace the old unit.  Why the new one, well it has ant+ and BLE, and the old one would not work with TrainerRoads, my favorite indoor training program for AM rides to TV/Movies.  I also wanted to see if it worked with Garmin Devices as a Power Meter…(NO):(..

Once Installed I had to connect it to the Kinetic App on my iPad and update the firmware, according to the excellent video help from Kinetic, (See Kinetic Support).

The firmware updated nicely, and simply.  I then calibrated the unit also using the Kinetic App, 1st time…a near miracle, as the old unit took an infinite number of trials.  Once calibrated, it was done, onto the PC Apps: TrainerRoad first.  TR worked great, as I did a couple of miles to check to see if the signal dropped, as was the case with the old unit.  It sustained the connection throughout, and seemed much more accurate.

 

Now onto the pinnacle of apps, Zwift.  Since I have Ant+, the new Kinetic Smart Contol unit connect without the use of the Zwift Companion app, or the need to pass the signal through my phone…Awesome!  I road a few miles on Zwift, 3.5 miles to be exact.  It was fun to ride with others, and Zwift always makes me work hard, it’s the competitor in me.  The unit just seemed more responsive  and smoother than the prior unit.  The connection was sustained throughout the test ride.  NICE!

The only negative was that I cannot connect to my Garmin for Power…Bummer.  I wonder why?  Need to ask the question of Kinetic and Garmin. Do they just not support Garmin devices, or is it just the Edge 130. So I tried my Edge 820 and after searching all device it showed up as an Indoor Trainer.

I tested the connection racing on Zwift…Worked like a charm!

To answer the driving question:  “Was it worth the $400 to upgrade?”  Heck Ya!  No dropped connections, Smoother operation, better Erg mode response in Zwift!!! To me, it was a no brainer!  I also do a ton of indoor riding, both winter and bad weather, so a major deal for me.  Love the Rock and Roll, and now I Love the T 6300 Kinetic Smart Control as well!

Win!

Food Diary Impact…

Recently I decided to get back to using MyFitnessPal.com to log my food intake, and it has definitely had an impact on how I feel.  It might be a self-fulfilling prophecy, but it work for me and my disease when other things don’t.  MyFitnessPal.com integrate with Garmin Connect and offers a great Caloric Balance feature:

Caloric Balance Connect

As an Example:  I logged my breakfast and my indoor ride and got a negative number that added 32 calories to my total given.  What I try to do most days is to eat 500 calories less that what my Caloric Goal is: 2700 – 500 = 2200.  If I do that over time, I will loose weight.  Today, I used a lot of calories cleaning the house, giving me a big cushion for a Saturday feast!  Nice!

I got away from using the food log during the summer, but back at it now, and feelin’ good!

FulGaz Cycling App First Take…

So I decided to give FulGaz a try this morning, while watching the Celtics beat the Knicks.  FulGaz first came to my attention when DC Rainmaker (Ray) did a review on the new Kinetic Smart Trainer R1.  He had mentioned it as something that works with the unit, and I was intrigued to see how it worked.  So today I downloaded FulGaz on my iPad and jumped on my Rock And Roll Smart Trainer.

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FulGaz on my iPad and Celtics on the TV.

Setting up the program was surprisingly simple.  When you open the app, it takes you to a start screen:

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Once you click ‘Get Started’, you are sent to the a page for setting up devices.  Amazingly my Kinetic Rock and Roll just showed up on the screen, along with my Wahoo speed and cadence sensors and my Rhythm Heart Rate Monitor.  You just touch the toggle button to turn on the ones you want to use.  img_0014

The next page allows you to pick your ride.  You can either scroll through the whole catalog of video replays available or use the provided categories first.  The categories are:  All, Mike’s Picks, New, Climb-ready, Easy, Favorites, Group Ride, or Hilly.  I chose Easy of course.  From here you can also download the video onto the iPad (iPhone), or stream it.  I chose to Download the video, ‘Bangor to Chroomsport to Donaghadee, a flat coastal ride through some backwater towns.

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Once you touch the ride you are sent to a page that has the video and asks you to ‘Start Riding’.

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Since I had only done about half the ride, prior to ending it, I saved it for later.  When opening up the app the second time, you are offered the choice to ‘Resume Saved Ride’, which I will do while watching the Pats.

While Riding, FulGaz displays the main video in the middle which moves along at the pace you are riding.  It also displays you current stats at the bottom of the screen: Time, Distance, Grade, Watts KCals, Heart Rate, RPM cadence, and MPH both perceived in the video, and actual sensor speed (I really liked the Actual Speed data).

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The scenery was nice, and the Smart Trainer made it feel like I was actually ride the course.  A side note here:  I had actually chosen to try Box Hill before choosing the coastal easy route, but it was too much to just jump right into, starting right off at a 6 percent grade…Ouch!  Really wanted to watch the Celtics game while riding, not ride and have it in the background.  That made it necessary to go with an easy route.

FulGaz was enjoyable and tough all at the same time.  I will most likely try the group ride next to see if riding with other bikes around give you a more competitive feel like Sufferfest and Zwift.  The only drawback I saw was the lack of computer direct program that would allow me to use it on my PC or Mac, and display it on my bigger screen.  I would need an Apple TV to make that happen.

Post ride, FulGaz sent me an email with my ride data as a .fit file for uploading to Garmin. It will also upload the data straight to Strava if you set it up that way in your profile.  I prefer to use my Garmin File that is collected using a Garmin 130.  The email also contained a ride thumbnail to add to your Garmin activity or Strava post.  Pretty nice, I used one of my screenshot shown above instead.

Where will FulGaz fit into my quiver of training apps:  1) TrainerRoad, 2) Zwift/Sufferfest, 3)/4) FulGaz.  The other apps: Rouvy and Kinetic are not on the board for the exception of updating firmware, and calibration of both power meters and smart trainers.

Why is TrainerRoad number 1?  I can do sufferfest or watch videos/TV while using the program, it has a mini display ribbon that fits nicely at the bottom of the screen when watching sports, TV, or movies.  The Data is accurate, and sets a guide for you to ride by.  It also provides a display of where you are in the video when using Sufferfest videos, which is nice to gauge effort over your ride. Training road also provide analytical data, downloads your garmin device, uploads to garmin, and give you functional threshold power using your ride data.  That is why TrainerRoad is number 1 in my quiver of smart trainer apps.

FulGaz is a nice departure when you want to have real life scenery while getting a decent workout using a smart trainer.

 

Spicy Ginger Thai Basil Pesto

A bit of background.  I have planted both sweet basil and Thai basil for quite some time, about 20 years, and have made, with various pestos of a little to no success before.  I harvested my sweet basil a couple of weeks ago and tried to make some pesto then, it was aweful.  I promised my dad some basil and the sweet basil had died, but my Thai basil was abundant a still thriving.  My father and I made a regular pesto with one batch of basil, and it came out good, but I decided to modify the recipe to make it spicy.  Thus the spicy ginger thai basil pesto was born…and came out Fantastic!!!

Ingredients

• 2 cups packed fresh Thai basil leaves

• 3 cloves garlic

• 1/3 cup walnuts

• 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• 1/2 cup vegan grated cheese

  • 1 rough chopped jalapeño
  • 3 pieces of candied ginger

Using a blendtech blender or food processor blend all ingredients slowly at first, and then purée.

Tasted awesome on a sandwich or mixed with hummus on chips. It would also make a great alternative when making pasta or gnocchi.

August Mile Goal…

August 18 Goal

Wow that was close.  By doubling down on the final day I finally met my goal for August.  The morning indoor ride began the day in order to make it possible to meet the goal in the time frame I had left for the afternoon ride…28.3 miles.

As you can see I road the Green Machine north from Simsbury CT to Southwich Mass a whopping 33.14 miles on a wonderful afternoon ride.  Thank good the heat broke and allowed for such a pleasant ride.

 

Yearly goal as of 9-1-18

As you can see from the graphic above, I only have 358.74 Miles to meet my yearly goal of 3500 (Originally it was 2500 miles, then 3000 miles, now 3500).  I want to actually meet it before I raise it this time. So for September I made my goal at 360 miles to meet the yearly goal by October first.  Since I am back at school, it might be more difficult, but doable.

Sept 18 goal start Going to start off September with a ride in RI this morning…Nice!

One more goal in the books…Just keep’em turnin’!

3000 in the books…

2018 Yearly Goal 8-23-18

Back to work, but not after reaching my original yearly goal of 3000 miles last night during the Cycling Concept C-Group Ride.  Was a tough ride for me as my lungs were burning.  I have raised my yearly goal to 3500 miles, and should meet that by the middle of October or so, I will then raise it again, lord willing.

This month I have to get back to eating properly and re-dedicate myself to my weight goals.  I kind of took August off after reaching my mid-term goal.  Need to get back on the scale and start a new, starting today! Veganism here it come!