November 13, 2011

Week 1- A Good Start and OMG it is like high school all over again!

The Good News:

Total time: 3 hours 48 minutes
Total distance: 80 km
Weight loss: +1.4 lb (WTF!)
$ spent to date to upgrade my $99 bike: $189

Week 1: A Start
Okay- I won't lie: that was hard. But it felt really good to finish the week. I did all 6 days this week and matched the program for the most part. The only part I altered was the cadence (rotations per minute) on the "easy spin" days. I was supposed to be doing 85-92 RPM and I found that I couldn't maintain that for long so I was working at 72-78 RPM. One legged training- well, see below- was... challenging... on many fronts.

This is not an easy program despite being designed for the "beginner and overweight cyclist". This description matches me in both aspects but I think what was really meant was that it was designed for an overweight cyclist not just an overweight person. This, I think, is an important distinction. As a point of reference: at 92-100 RPM I am at literal risk of my pants catching fire and not because I am telling lies.

At the beginning of the week I read over my schedule and paused on what was listed for Saturday: "Warm up 10 min. After WU alternate 20-60 sec with 1 leg off the pedal and up on a chair. Get a total of 5min of 1leg training on each leg. Alternate legs as you feel. Cool down 10 min. 30 min total."

Um, 1 legged pedaling, right. Have you ever pedaled with one leg? I have. A lot. And it sucks. In high school I had my mother's old 10 speed which could be kindly described as a finicky beast. We'll call this one HIgh School Bike (HSB). You didn't dare change gears- even though it was stuck on the hardest one- or even think about pedaling backwards because even a gentle shift or backwards rotation would cause the chain to leap off and tangle in the pedals. I have more than one scar on my knees as a result. And, oh yeah, the left side pedal and/or whole pedal assembly fell off regularly. Usually when I was already late coming home and pedaling like a fiend to not miss curfew. Don't even get me started on the brakes.

My father fixed the pedals by welding the pedal assembly back to the gear bracket... as well as spot welding the pedal in place too. Well everything stayed firmly in place after that but FYI: pedals are MEANT to rotate. HSB was hard enough to ride without having to ride one legged ALL OF THE TIME in a hard gear! Shortly after the repair job HSB was run over by a garbage truck. I choose to think that the universe was trying to help me out.

That was my last bike until I spent $99 to buy this one. My bike is now code named B99.

So anticipating my one legged training this week I endeavoured to buy some pedals with clips and matching shoes. (Real cyclist have those you know.) The universe, again on my side, helped me out by making both items the last ones in stock, on sale and in my size! WOOT WOOT universe! These are certainly not my best looking shoes but they will do.

Pop Quiz: can anyone spot what is wrong with this picture? (Hint: look at the pedals.)

Some technical difficulties ensued in removing the the VERY well oxidized pedals off B99. (Understatement.) With Herculean effort the right one was finally removed but the left is still proving stubborn. And Scott did this trying to force the issue. In our house, it really isn't a proper project unless Scott gets to christen it with his blood. Ouch!

Summary to this point: Universe helping, Scott is bleeding, the right-hand clipped pedal installed, left-hand normal pedal can not be removed. And I still needed to do my 30 minute 1 legged workout. Yeah, you guessed it... it was like high school all over again.

Anyone have a spot welder I can borrow?

Footnotes: (pun intended)

This was too funny to not include. I am confident there is a both a lawyer AND an engineer joke within this picture about how many tools it takes to remove a pedal. But for the sake of my marriage I am going to just leave you with the picture.

How very Helen Bonham Carter of me, non?

Week 2- I needed to think of a way to make this harder (NOT!) so I am heading to Calgary this week for business. Travel, eating out and exercise in a hotel- Oh Dear! This will give B99 a week to think about her behaviour and her reluctance to give up the left pedal. Hopefully I have this figured out before next Saturday's 1 legged training.

I'll keep you posted.


  1. You do realize that on bycycles, one pedal is threaded backwards(the left one)!
    Surely an engineer would know the reason for a left hand thread?

  2. Huh?! Really?

    I CAN understand why, if someone isn't pulling my leg. I don't want to make my husband bleed for no good reason.

  3. Now that its extra tight, your husband ought to have a fun time getting back apart.
    If you dont believe me, maybe a lawyer should do a little more research?

    The tool picture is funny. But an engineer and a lawyer that couldn't figure out a left hand thread is even better!