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  • bioniccyclist 8:10 pm on July 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    Good news times two today. 

    Good news on two fronts today: Let me first congratulate my fellow Norwegian and fellow Cervelo rider, Thor Hushovd, on an amazing victory in le Tour de France today! His strength and tactics were beyond comparison. The victory put him in the green jersey and in seventh overall. Where was Cavendish? Pfffftt, who cares!
    Also, I`ve been struggling with an old skiing injury for the last 10 days or so. I had a disc prolapse many years ago. Every now and then it gives me trouble for a few days. This time it lasted a little longer than normal so I went to the doctor on Friday last week. She gave me some really strong pain pills that made me feel real loopy, but at least pain free. Because of all the medicines I`m on after my heart surgery, I can only take a few select kinds of pain pills. Unfortunately they work so well that I cannot drive while on them so I couldn`t take any today. After more than a week with pain anyway I decided to try a chiropractor for the very first time in my life (!). Amazing! The results that is. Not only did he fix the disc problem less than 10 minutes after I met him, but he loosened up a lot of stiffness I`ve been experiencing after the surgeons broke my chest bone. I feel so much better now. I might have to go back once or twice, but for now I feel good enough to get back on the bike again. I`ve not been able to get on it for the last 10 days.
    SO, two Cervelo riding Norwegians achieved some great results today:-)

    • Kim 9:54 am on July 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I have been trying to get you to go to a chiropractor for months now. You should have listened to me in the first place!!!!

  • bioniccyclist 10:13 pm on May 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    My Tour de Fire 

    The ride last Saturday was full of ups and downs. Literally and figuratively. I signed up a few weeks ago for the 38 mile ride. The options were 20 miles, 38 miles, 60 miles, 74 miles, and 100 miles. I figured 38 would be relatively easy. I was wrong!

    I`m not sure about you, but I tend to estimate how challenging something will be before I actually do it. As for the 38 mile TDF, I knew the terrain and I knew what it meant to be in a group race. Races like this aren`t races where you compete to win, but rather participate in in order to complete for some sort of self gratification and sometimes to raise funds for a good cause. TDF is an annual event, raising money for the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation. In other words, cyclists who sign up for races like this will normally ride at a moderate speed. Riding in a group normally makes it easier to keep a steady pace as you will almost always be able to benefit from being behind someone. I was planning on drafting as much as possible and should therefore be able to ride with less effort than when I`ve been on solo rides. I did a 42 mile solo ride a couple of weeks ago with no big issues. 38 miles in a group should be no big deal. Did I mention I was wrong?

    I drove to the start area early in the morning. My scheduled start time was 7:30 AM. I drove where the route was so I saw the terrain. It sure seemed a lot hillier than I remembered! 7:30AM exactly and we were sent off. I started in the back of the field that consisted of 100-150 riders, young, old, men, women, small, big. A diverse group indeed. After a mile or so, the field had stretched out more than I expected. A fast group took off in the front and a slower group remained in the back. I felt that the slower group was a little too slow and that if I decided to stay with them, I would take too long getting through the 38 miles. From Boulder Beach up towards Calville Bay, the terrain is like a roller coaster. Up and down, mostly up. It`s practically never flat. I climbed and I climbed and soon found myself in no mans land, in between the fast group and the slow group. It was windy. I was riding against the wind up hill for 11 miles where the first rest stop was. I felt pretty good, but I was going slow. By the time I left the rest stop I had already taken an hour. Not good. At least the turnaround should be only 8 more miles up the road. Since I had climbed so much already and since I was riding against the wind, it should be a lot easier gong back again. I didn`t happen to mention I was wrong, did I?

    After the rest stop it kept going up and up, the wind turned too. I was no longer riding directly against the wind, but diagonally against the wind. This made it tougher to keep the balance and I was going even slower. Riders kept passing me at an alarming rate. They were going much faster than me. I was past by a guy who was in his 60s on a 30 year old bike. He was pedaling along wearing sneakers. I did manage to stay with him for a while, but had to see him get away from me after a few miles. It was pretty discouraging to see that so many cyclists were in so much better form than me. I kept repeating to myself that I had only been in training for 7 weeks (I went on my first training ride on March 13, 2010), but it didn`t really make me feel any better.

    Before last Saturday, I predicted that I was going to be able to complete the race in around 2 1/2 hours. I based that on my rides the few weeks before TDF. I was nowhere close to the average speed I needed for that to happen. Around Calville Bay my computer showed 17 miles. I was going up a long hill that made my legs feel like they would fall off any minute. Pain, pain, and more pain. I had to focus big time in order to stay on the bike. Others were passing me as they were chatting to their buddies. Rub it in folks! At least the rest stop and the turnaround should be right over that hill. But, no! I bit my teeth together and realized that there was no rest stop there. My computer could be a little off I guessed. More hills of the upward kind and more pain, and more wind. I passed 19 miles, then 20 miles. Where on earth was the friggin rest stop?! As I struggled to maintain my cadence at more than 5 strokes per minute and as that skinny woman passed me for the fifth time (for some reason she always passed me uphill and I her downhill. I guess her75lbs vs my 210lbs was a little unfair both up and down) I started thinking that perhaps there was no official turnaround point? There hadn`t been a sign at the 11 mile stop despite the fact that it was the turnaround point for the 20 mile route. I was getting ready to turn around. I had as a matter of fact been ready for that for at least 5 miles. Then my wife and father-in-law came towards me in their car. They stopped. I asked them if there was a rest stop further up. “Yupp, a mile or so up the road”. I could do one more mile. It ended up being 3 more miles.

    The official distance to the turnaround rest stop was 21.5 miles. My computer showed close to 23 miles. I hadn`t exactly been keeping a straight line up  Mont Ventoux. Since the routes had had to change due to road work in the area, the organizers had had to change the location of the turnarounds and thereby the length of the rides a little. At the rest stop I hung out with my family for a while and grabbed some food and drinks before I headed back. The ride back was indeed as predicted quite a bit easier, but since I had used up so much energy on the way up, it was still tough. In actual time on the bike, it took me 3 hours and 55 minutes to complete the 46 miles (according to my computer). Total time with stops, 4 hours and 35 minutes. Embarrassing numbers, but I have learned a lot from this.

    I know now that I need to focus on riding faster up hill. I need to ride longer rides. I need to lose more weight. If I feel I`m on schedule to complete my goal in September? I think so, but I have a lot of work ahead of me and you know where you can read about the progress.

    Don`t change the channel

    THE Bionic Cyclist

  • bioniccyclist 8:38 pm on April 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    How are YOU doin`? 

    It`s almost May and it`s been a while since I`ve said anything of importance. Some might say I`ve never said anything important in here, but I beg to differ. Between the lines and sometimes above them you will find sophisticated thoughts and clever ideas…if you just look. (You should try! Let me know what you find…I`m still looking)

    On March 13, I wrote this:(https://bioniccyclist.wordpress.com/2010/03/13/its-time-to-start/)

    “Whichever way you slice it, the time to prepare, the time to train for my “tour” is now! I figure my max distance right now is around 20 miles. I need to double that by mid April. May first, I plan to do “tour de fire”, a local bike ride that offers several distances ranging from 20 to 100 mils. I figure I should be good for the 38 miles or perhaps even the 60 mile by then. I will give myself a couple of weeks before I make that decision. By mid April I need to have dropped at least 5lbs as well. Now it`s online, so I just have to do it, right?”

    It`s a little past mid-April. In other words, it`s time for a status check!

    Max distance in March :20 miles. Max distance  April 23: 42 miles. Check! Weight loss: ~7lbs. Check!

    Tour de Fire distance: (signed up for) 38 miles. More or less…check!

    I`d be bold and say that I`m en route, but there`s a long ways to Rome (is that even a saying?) There is at least a long ways to 200 miles in one day. Fortunately September 18 is still 4 1/2 months away too. But, the weather is heating up. The training will be tougher because of that, but hopefully also better in some ways. At least the sun will melt the pounds off, right?

    I have no idea what i`m doing really. I have a little experience from back in the days, but that only means that I`ve done some of this before. if I did it the right way then and if I`m doing anything right now, who knows? Those who do know will probably get a good laugh when they read about my training strategy. The only educated suggestion that I have listened to came in the form of one sentence from a personal cyclist trainer at the store I bought my bike. He suggested that I start out by going on short yet frequent rides. That way I`ll get my body used to cycling without completely giving it a shock. Well, in the shape I was (still am probably), looking at a bike gave my body a shock. So..too late for that, but I do believe the suggestion made sense to me. I did after all take it to heart. I have gone on a lot of short rides. 10-12 miles, sometimes as much as 20.

    I have up until now chosen rides with a lot of climbing and I have focused on cadence as opposed to speed. This part has been my own idea. hardly a revolutionary training philosophy, but it seems to be working. I haven`t run empty yet and I feel stronger and stronger on the climbs. After the Tour de Fire, I plan on changing my approach a little. I will focus a little more on speed. Not that I need to be the fastest guy on the block (which shouldn`t be too hard anyway. There`s pretty much retired old folks living on my block), but by going faster one also spends less time in the seat, which is muy importante when one plans to do a triple metric century in one day!

    So far I`ve been averaging 20-22km/h on my rides. I need to be at 25km or so on 25miles+ miles rides by the middle of June. ( are you confused by me mixing metric and US values yet?) Back in the days (I know I say that a lot) I was able to average 28-32km/h on 25 mile rides. That was then.Like I wrote in March “Now it`s online, so I just have to do it, right?”

    Don`t change the channel

    THE Bionic Cyclist

  • bioniccyclist 4:22 pm on April 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    THE Bionic Cyclist, recycled. 

    With lots of new readers, I figured I would recycle some of the older posts. here`s the very first one, recycled (very green of me)

    So..I`m blogging now. Wow! Never thought I would do that. I`m not even sure why I am doing it. Maybe a little bit because my wife thought it would be a good idea. We both saw “Julie and Julia” and were intrigued. Or was it “Julia and Julie”?

    Anyway, my story is as follows. It will hopefully explain why I`m doing this (“this” as in what I will blog about, not “this” as in why I`m blogging).

    As a young teenager I was told that I had a heart murmur. One of my valves was leaking and I would need surgery some time in a distant future. “When you are 60-70 years old” my doctor told me. Looking through old  files the doc saw that the valve problem had been detected earlier, when I was five and a half years old. At that time, however, I underwent surgery, not heart related. Since surgery at that age was rather serious, the doctors focused on what was at hand. The heart valve discovery was noted, but not followed up on until it was rediscovered 8-10 years later.

    As a young boy I never noticed my heart condition. I actually feel a little guilty about even calling it that. Heart conditions are for people with gray hair and wheezing breaths, right? I was relatively active in sports. I played soccer, competed in motocross and rode a road bike. I was in pretty good shape. By the time I got to my twenties I  had a full time job and wasn`t as active anymore. I gained some weight and generally became a lazy butt.

    In January of 1993, I was having lunch with a friend and colleague. I`m not sure who suggested it first, but we agreed that signing up for a really long bike race would be a good idea. None of us even owned a bike, so naturally that was a great idea! I guess we were both in a what-the-heck-let`s-do-something-crazy-and-impulsive mood. We decided to go for it! We bought bikes a few days later.

    Trondheim-Oslo (In Norway. Now you know where I`m from and why I write with an “accent”) was at least at that time the longest one-day bike race in the world. 540km/335miles in one day. Perfect for two ambitious untrained young whippersnappers! Especially since we bought our bikes just about 5 months before the race.

    You (as if I already have anyone but the few I have given the link to reading this already) might wonder what this has to do with why I`m blogging. I`m just going on about something that happened back when I was young. Well, hang in there. I`ll get to it. I promise.

    Just to be sure I wanted to run the whole thing by my doctor before I started exercising like a madman. “No, you cannot do that” was his reaction. He recommended I see a cardiologist for a second opinion though. I did. “Yes, you can do that…but you have to be careful” was his reaction. Much better. Then, it was time to turn the switch to “madman”.

    My friend and I both completed the race and vowed never to do it again. 365 days later I completed the same race for the second time. Since that day at the lunch table when e decided to be “cyclists”. I was bitten. I jumped on the bike 5-6 times per week for several years.

    This is now 16 years ago. I moved to the US in 1997. I have not been on a bike for exercising purposes since then. I`m married now and have lived a lazy couch potato life for a loooong time. “Not enough time for exercising”. Isn`t that a good enough excuse? After I became Mr Lazy I gradually started feeling my age and then some. I gained about 50lbs, felt tired and exhausted all the time, but still managed to blame it on my age, weight gain, lack of..well..moving! and so on. In March of 2009 I went to my doctor to have him check on a cough that I hadn`t been able to shake off after a cold I had several weeks ago. The cold was gone, but I was still coughing. Yeah, and while he was at it he might as well help me make an appointment with a cardiologist also. Just for a check up. I hadn`t had one of those in seven years or so. My wife insisted I`d do that. It was the least I could do to make her happy at least. Big deal. Big deal indeed! “You have a loud murmur and need to see a cardiologist ASAP. You might need surgery soon”, were his words. Oops!

    It turned out he was right. It actually turned out that my cough was caused by my “flappy” heart valve, or “aortic valve stenosis” as the cardiologist called it. Dozens of doctor visits and too many tests to count later, I had my heart valve and heart root replacement surgery on September 18, 2009.

    The recovery process went smoothly. I might or might not revisit that experience later. Depending on the readers feedback! (yeah, right…)

    I now have a mechanical heart valve, which means that I tick. Stand within a few feet of me in a relatively quiet room and you can hear it! It also means that I am part machine! Amazing and very cool, right?

    About 8-10 weeks after my surgery I felt almost like normal. As a part of the recovery process I was walking daily. I actually felt great! I realized that the fatigue and tiredness I had blamed on my age and other factors had been at least to some extent been caused by my defective valve. With a new valve I don`t have to be careful about pushing myself physically anymore. I have to be careful about falling since I am on blood-thinning medications, but my heart should be tough enough to take a sprint or….a bike ride!

    I miss my cycling days and desperately want to get back in shape. I have decided to go for it, again. My goal is to complete 200 miles on a bike in one day before the one-year anniversary of my heart surgery. The first hurdle I have to pass is getting a bike. Unfortunately, I got spoiled riding one of those expensive bikes back in the days of Trondheim-Oslo. Getting approval from my better half to purchase a bike worth more than her wedding ring (yeah, it`s gonna be SO much easier when she reads this. Oy!) might be a little tricky. But, we`ll see. I still have plenty of time. Maybe I`ll be rich from blogging…or maybe we`ll win the lotto? Maybe it`ll rain dollar bills tomorrow morning?

    Reading through the last paragraphs I realize that my story, despite it being extremely interesting, might mot explain why I`m blogging. I guess it`s just the cool thing to do nowadays. I don`t need any better reasons. At least I can`t think of any.

    So, you. You know, the one who received the link to this from either myself or my wife, please follow me as I struggle with my wife to buy a bike, with myself as I get up in the morning to exercise, with……well..I can`t think of anything else that I might have to struggle with. Maybe it will be a walk in the park? I know one thing for sure though, it will be blogged. Right here! Don`t change the channel.

    THE BionicCyclist

  • bioniccyclist 9:42 pm on April 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    An open invitation. 

    No matter how you look at it, September 18, 2010 will be an important date for me. As I have repeated probably too many times already, it will mark the one-year anniversary of my open heart surgery. It will also be the day that I spend a two-digit amount of hours on a bicycle seat. I will bike 200 miles. If that isn`t enough, it`s also Lance Armstrong`s birthday.

    Some people have asked me what race I`m riding in September. As a matter of fact, it`s not an organized race at all. I`m going on my own. Or maybe I`m not!

    Consider this an open invitation to join me. If you know me or just happen to read my blog occasionally, it would be my pleasure to spend September 18 with you. It will happen on a Saturday. It will be on roads that go through some beautiful landscape in Southern Nevada, close to, but not too close to Las Vegas. We will ride through the valley of Fire and we will see Lake Mead for mile after mile. Sounds interesting? Too long? If you`d like to join me for the entire 200 miles, that would be awesome. If you`d like to tag a long for a little less than that or even for a lot less than that, that would be awesome too! Even if you`d like to visit and not cycle at all, that would also be great.

    If you think this sounds like something you`d like to do, take the plunge, send me an email: thebioniccyclist@gmail.com

    Don`t change the channel

    THE Bionic Cyclist

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