Monday, November 24, 2008

Begining to ride - again!

November - December 2008
I was unsure at how other cyclist would think about riding with someone on an electrical assisted bike - at the time I got it I was so slow that I did not think it matter because I never expected to ride with anyone else. Because it helped me and made me feel a bit safer I continue to ride - I could still only manage 6, 7, 8 to 10 miles rides at first even with the Bionx, but they began to get faster. I would do the ride but finish faster. I was riding the same distances getting home and being totally exhausted. I usually set the assist level to One or sometimes Two because I did want to get stronger - sometimes on long flats I would turn it off. I would do one of my routes and get home park the trike in the garage and go inside, then I would make myself shower before I sat down because I knew once I sat down I was not get up for a while. Then I would eat a little something - remember I am still eating the way I learned from Jenny so I was careful with what and how much I ate - did I mention portion control yet - learning this really help me - I did not have a scale so I could not tell how I was doing but I was trying. Then I would recline in my recliner - with my meal I would have take some pain killer which were given to me by my doctor because of my attempts to exercises and how much pain I was in at the beginning. Then I would rub Mineral Ice on my knees because they would be sore and it helped and then I would fall asleep for several hours. And this was from a 8 to 10 mile ride - I hated that is was so short a ride but I was so pleased that I could ride again and I would feel real good when I woke up. My knees would hurt but my legs did not hurt just got a little stiff of a day. The weather limited how much I was able to ride but I rode when I could. Gradually I began to get better. A number of years ago before before health interfered with me riding to be honest I allowed job and relations issuses interfere with my riding before my health did but once the health issues came up I had pretty much stopped and when the did gang up on me I could not ride for quite a while - When I live in and around New Orleans I was a active member of the Crecent City Cyclist. I really enjoyed that group and miss them now.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Bionx System

The Bionx systems it not just a motor you put on a bike and it will run you around. It is a true electrical assist. It has a computer and will only applies power to the rear wheel while one is pedaling the bike. It senses the amount of torque one applies to the wheel through the petals and compares it to the speed one is traveling and then applies additional power to the wheel motor, when the bike reaches the speed to program wants the bike to be moving based on the torque on the wheel the motor applies less and less power until it is not doing anything.
The Bionx has a speed limiter and reduces it assist at 19.5 mph and stops completely at 20 mph. The system is configurable. It can add as much as 350 watts of power to the wheel motor. Most people of any reasonable fitness can produce about 300 watts of power on a bicycle and can sustain about 200 watts output for a long time depending on their level of fitness. The Bionx has four levels of assist. Level One adds up to 35% of additional power to what the cyclist is applying to the pedals. If the cyclist is applying 100 watts of power to the bike the Bionx would add up to 35 additional watts. The important point here is 'up to' - the assist does not just add 35 more watts but based on the torque applied by the cycles the Bionx will add just enough to move the bike at the speed the Bionx thinks it should be moving based on the torque on the wheel. Therefore the amount of assist is constantly changing based on the speed of the bike, the torque applied to the wheel and the assist level set at the console by the cyclist. As I said before there are four levels of assist and they all work the some way except they apply more or less assist base on the level. Level Two adds up to 75% assist, level Three adds up to 150% assist and level Four adds up to 300% assist.
The Bionx has another feature that is especially useful to trikes. When the keyed brake is applied the Bionx switched to generation mode. This turn the motor into a generator and recharges the battery but also slows down the bike acting as a brake - since all tadpole styles trikes I have seen do not have a rear brake this it very useful when descending because there is no brake induced steering which can occur during descents when using the front brakes.
This system is expensive and adds 15 pounds to the bike but it lets me climb hill faster than 2 mph and that help me keep up with others cyclist.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Bionic Turtle

I will do almost anything to be able to ride. My second ride I went back to the same bike trail but a different section - I thought it was a paved section but I was wrong. This section was worse than the first, it was mostly railroad ballast size stones and it was over grown and very hard to ride on. I was however determine and managed to ride about 6 miles - it took me 4 hours but I did it.
I was beginning to believe that I was just going to be very very slow but as long as I could ride it would be OK. While researching trikes before I bought the Tour I ran across something I had never heard of - Electrical Assisted Bicycle - with my current experiences to date I began to think that is it would work on the trike it might let me ride faster and longer distances also I felt at the time I would always be riding alone because I could not image riding with others when I was riding so slowly. With some of my health issues I also thought it might be sort of a safety thing - giving me the ability to get back from a ride if I got sick out there. ( It has gotten me out of trouble three times so far, twice when I got sick and one when my chain broke)
After some research I ordered a Bionx 350PL system with a 20" wheel. It took me a good deal of work to figure out how to mount the battery but I did and everything seemed to work just fine. I rode it around my neighborhood a little but it was dark and I did not have a light on the trike - then the weather turn bad and it was several days before I could ride.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hello Turtle

After researching it on the web I ordered a TerraTrike Tour. When it arrived and was un-boxed my first impression of it was 'Its so small' it just looked to little for me to sit on. When I lady who I once dated and is now a friend saw it she said it looked like a Turtle - the trike has been Turtle ever since. My first ride on it turned out to be less than great - I did not have it adjusted correctly for me - I thought I did but I did not and I had taken it to a bike trail that I thought was paved only to find out it was a hard packed stone. The trike handled the trial OK but the trail made the trike slower than it could be on a paved surface and sense I did not know any better I just thought trikes were slower. IF I remember correctly I manages to ride it about 5 miles which I was also disappointed in but in hind sight I should have been pleased with because I could ride. Even with all this I did enjoy myself.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Good bye Jenny

I weighted 390.0 pounds. I was still going to Jenny Craig and following the program but it was not working and I was tired of the food and how much it cost so I stopped going in. The interesting thing was that even through I decided to stop using their food and driving ot the center I still was trying eat the way I have learned to - I spent a good deal of time finding food I could get or make that fit the program but that I could buy from regular stores - it took some time but I did it and it got better as time went by. I found that even through I did not want to go to the center I was staying on the program. I did not have a scale so I could not weight but just tried to eat properly. I am not sure where the idea came form but somehow during this time I got the idea of trying to get a trike.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dark times

I weighted 390.2 now and I tried to ride my Haro Extreme mountain bike. I only rode it about 25 yards when the rear tire blew out. I blamed my weight and even through I am sure that did not help the real problem was that the tires were at least 10 years old and had just gone bad. I could tell even by my very short ride that I was not going to be able to ride this bike either. I bought new tires for it and up them on then I hung it back up and there it has stayed. At this point I gave up on being able to ride again and it was a very dark time for me.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mid October

At this time I was down to 394.4. I was walking pretty well now and want to start riding my bikes. However I was in for a rude and unexpected experience. I got both of them down from where they were hanging in my grange. After I have gone over them cleaned and adjusted them I tried to ride my Vanguard LWB recumbent bicycle. I had no where near the stamina to ride it and I could not balance the bike. I got to a place several blocks from my home and had to stop. I could barely stand up and had to get to a street sign and pull myself up on it and just stand there with the bike still between my legs. I stood there in the middle of the road - I was at a center island - with traffic passing me on both side as I stood there distrot - I was so frustrated and angry - I want to ride so badly. I eventually walked home and hung the Vanguard back up and left it there. I hurt so much - I just wanted to ride.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Next weight in

This weight in was a bit better I weighted 396.2 a 2.2 pound lose. I was up to walking 20 plus minutes in the morning and afternoon which accounted for .6 miles each walk. I was now getting just under 6000 steps per day now. Jenny wanted me to do 10,000 per day but I was not able to do so yet.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My forth trip to the Center

My forth weight in was 398.6 pounds - I lost .4 pounds. My pedometer came in and I wore it. I found to my surprise that I usually took about 750 steps or less most days. This was a lot less than I imagined - guess that is why the pedometer is necessary. I asked for permission at work to be allowed to take walks during my morning and afternoon breaks. I began walking for about 10 minutes in the morning and afternoon. That turned out to be about 3000 steps per day.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My third visit to Jenny

I weighted in at 399.0 a two pound lose - I was pleased but again they told me not to expect more than about one pound a week. But it was nice to weight less than 400 pounds again. By this time I was finding some of their food I could eat and enjoy but I could only call a few of them as good the rest I ate were just OK most of the items I tried were poor to uneatable. At this time they wanted me to start to exercise. I bought a pedometer and wore it a couple of day to get an idea of how much I normally walked.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Second weight in

This was my second weight in and it was a bit less impressive - I weighted 401.0 meaning I lost .2 pounds. This was hard but I was assured this is not unusual. I tried very hard to follow the saying they use - Progress not Perfection. Even though I had followed the program faithfully I was expecting a little better progress but I persisted and continued. They pointed out to me that in two weeks I have lost 9 pounds which is pretty good.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My first wieght in.

On the forth I had my first weigh in - I got pretty impressive results for me at least. I weighted 401.2 a lost of 8.8 pounds. They told me not expect such a lose every week but it was nice. The programs was a little difficult in the beginning and I found most of the food to be not very good. But I was sticking to it and learnig a good bit.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Through an online dating service I meet a nice lady named Sherry - it did not work out for us but one thing did happen. Sherry had recently lost a good bit of weight by joining Jenny Craig. I had never meet anyone who had actually used one of those programs and it was interesting to hear her experiences. I also found out the they worked with men - for some reason I assume the name of TV ads that it was just for women. At any rate on Aug. 30th 2008 I met with the ladies at the Jenny Craig center near me. I liked the program and it did help me. I weighted in at 410 pounds. This was a start for me. For the first time I am losing weight because I want to for me. I do not look at as a diet but as a new and different way to live and eat.

First post

This is the first post to my blog - I am new to this but think it will be good for me to have a place to write down my thoughts, feelings and experiences. The next set of blogs will be from rides I have done and posted about of some of the cycling websites. Also I will add blogs about my fitness and weight lose progress.