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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Mrs Stormcrowe is home!

That's right, she's out of the hospital! WOOHOO! She's still on antibiotics, but oral now. The Mrs is truly feeling much better. Thanks to everyone for the kind wirds and encouragement directed her way! She'll probably guest blog tomorrow, but she's still a bit pooped.

Mrs Stormcrowe Update, Still in the hospital.

The Mrs is doing pretty well, and is feeling a lot better! She want's out, that's a good sign! By the way, the sign I've added at the top of my blog is not a hack tool. It displays my info to me and your info ONLY to you! It doesn't record or display any of your information to anybody else, it's just a cool bloggers toy is all. The Mrs and I truly appreciate the support and encouragement from al of you, and by the way, when she's released, I may just videorecord the great event! Hopefully, she'll be home by Monday, and SURPRISE!, She'll come home to a clean Apartment! Well, just a quick update for all of you and I'm off to bed! God bless, all!

Friday, April 28, 2006

A Mrs Stormcrowe Update and an update on Lotoja plans

Well, an update on Mrs Stormcrowe, then I have to get cracking! She had a bronchioscopy today, and they got a look at the lesions and mass. They did decide to do a biopsy. We are now waiting on Biopsy results. Mrs Stormcrowe is doing much better as far as pain goes. The pneumonia is being beat back very well by the antibiotics. Blood O2 saturation is back up to 95%, so lung volume is coming back nicely as well as gas exchange. She is off supplementary oxygen and they suspended cardiac monitoring. Now all we need to hear is the News that the mass and lesions are benign vs malignant.

Lotoja 2007

Plans for Lotoja 2007 are unchanged as of yet, barring disaster. I still plan to race it. Mrs Stormcrowe is backing that 110%, Lord love her.

I'd like to thank everybody for their kind words, either on my blogs or by email. They are most appreciated, by both of us! Well, I have to get back to the hospital after dinner, so I had better get cracking. I had to turn in some of the Mrs schoolwork so I figured I'd grab some dinner and post an update. Have a great one, all of you and ride safe! Keep Spinning

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The 400 pound mile

The 400 pound mile

Tyler is back in the saddle again and on the ball! Be sure to visit him and encourage him in his quest to be thinner and in better shape!

Mrs Stormcrowe is hospitalized

My wife, Mrs Stormcrowe is currently hospitalized. She collapsed tuesday afternoon at home with severe chest pain. All cardiac tests are good, but the found a series of lesions in her lungs and a large mass in the upper right lung. She didn't tell me about the mass til today even though she knew it was there. Actually, her doctor told me about it and she confirmed it. She didn't want me upset before finals. Spinner Saturday is suspended this week, folks, as I have too much on my plate, so save your miles for me and I'll graph them next week. Til then, I'll post an update as soon as I can.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Spinner Graphs for the week!

Well, here they are! Al Maviva is WAY out in front of the rest of us with his 120 mile ride on Saturday! I'm duly impressed, Al! That little ride pushed him well over 200 (Actually, he hit 273 miles!) for the week! Then in order it's Big Mike: 169.2, Jill: 130, UncaDan: 97. Great job all of you! Outstanding! By thenway, we're just short of 4000 miles for the month as a group.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Spinner Saturday April 22 Edition

Training Program for Lotoja

By the end of Summer, this year, I plan to be able to ride a century. Next Summer's goal is double century. By June this year, my game plan is to consistently ride a century on a weekly schedule, every weekend. Right now, my personal best is 76 miles. Through the week, as time is available, I'll be doing uphill intervals, Caloi, here you can help me out with a training plan to do this. The biggest hill I have here as far as length is a 300 foot rise at 3%, or a 150 foot rise at 15.5%. Which will be the better training hill? The 15.5%'r is out in the county with a 14 mile ride to get there, by the way. I think I should be tracking HR, by the way, to improve aerobic threshold. Everyones feeling on that? I am new to race training. What I've been doing is basically endurance training, where I don't spin fast, but I spin a long time on the bike. I need to hold an average of around 20 mph or better to be competitive and thus far, I'm averaging around 16 or so. There is definitely room for improvement.

I intend to race Lotoja, by the way, rather than recreational ride it. That sounds more appealing to the competitive .....ahem.....person in my head! I don't actually care if I come in dead last, but I'll finish inside the time window. I saw Caloi's comment, by the way, in the last Spinner Saturday post to train for wind, Thanks, Caloi! I appreciate the tip. I'm open to any others you may have as well! It's your backyard after all!

Spinner Saturday

Well, as to my spinner miles this week, miles are way down, as of right now, I have a total of 46 miles in this week. I am in the Semester Crunch, and have to prep for finals. I also received some training tips from Mags over at Langkjøring! Feel free to drop by there to check out his bid to become the best athelete he can be. Now this is just my usual reminder, turn in your Spinner Saturday Miles so I can get them entered into the database. If you want to join the Spinner Saturday crowd, just let me know in my comments, and post your miles. It's free and a great training tool to build your aerobic base for endurance. You kind of compete with each other, but mostly compete with yourself for improvement. There is a fabulous prize as well for winning the contest with yourself! Health!

Some other great sites to visit, Fritz over at Cycle-liscious, Big Mike in Oz, Uncle Dan's Space, Jill, up in Alaska, The Immortal Fat Cyclist, for the best cycling humor and fake news you've ever read, and Kelly, aka MochaMomma, for the adventures of a teacher and literacy coach/ Grad Student! Let's also not forget Caloi Rider, over at the Uphill Battle, riding out in Idaho, being chased by Potato trucks!

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Misconceptions of Bariatric Surgery!

Hceck out this Thread, if you want to see some of what people in the cycling community believe about Bariatric Surgery. This is a cycling forum. I realize these folk mean well, but they've been listening to the scare stories in the news, it seems!

PS, Scroll down to see the video you are hearing about now!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Why Cycling?

What is this attraction I have to a contraption made up of tubing, with two wheels made basically of tensioned wire and an alloy hoop? I suppose, first and foremost, it's probably responsible for a large part of the progress I've made in the last 13 months. A bit over a year ago, I was basically just about dead! I had reached the end of what my body could handle, physically at least. Due to a metabolic disorder called Empty Sella Syndrome, I had gained a truly amazing amount of weight and was to the point that I required supplementary oxygen to function. If you've been following my blog, this will be old information if you started reading me when I started. The link above is to a medical article on Kallman's Syndrome, a symptomatic offshoot of Empty Sella. This may help you understand a bit more. I warn you, though, the writing style is, shall we say, a bit obtuse!

The Photos are from my first multimile ride last year and from when I did my short weekend tour in March

At the peak

At my peak weight, I had blown up to 581 pounds, and was literally unable to walk more than 50 feet without crushing chest pain and shortness of breath. I had to use a wheelchair to go any further. I underwent bariatric surgery to alleviate the weighht problem, which has been successful. I am now down to 241 pounds 13 months later. That's right, 241, I weighed today! There were risks to the surgery, but I was trading a life in hell for a chance. That officially gives me a 340 pound weight loss in 13 months and a fraction!

Why Cycling?

This brings me to the point of this article, why cycling? Well, that's both a simple and complex question. The simple part, first, I guess. My knees had so much damage from my weight that it plain hurt to walk! Imagine if you will, weighing 500 pounds and having your knees popping and grating every time you took a step. Imagine having your knees feel like there was sand in the joint grinding away each time you walked. Kind of hard to do, right? That's why I resumed cycling, aside from the fact that cycling also burns more calories than walking. It's low impact, and doesn't stress the knees so much if you have a good fit on your bike. I'm not saying it was easy to get started either. First, I had to figure out how to carry oxygen safely. My provider, Lincare provided me with a backpack sleeve to use while riding. This turned out to be just what I needed.

When I resumed cycling, after a 25 year absence, it was like an old friend came to stay, I rediscovered my passion for it. My family thinks I'm a tad bit fanatical, but my returning health tells me that while I may be a fanatic, this is a good thing. I am now 340 pounds lighter, as I said, off the oxygen completely, off the cardiac and blood pressure medicine, and feeling pretty good. It has required a commitment to very hard work to get as far as I have, and it isn't easy! If you have an obesity problem, believe me I know how it feels, been there done that and got the size 8X T-Shirts to prove it. The problem can be beat though, with a commitment to changing your lifestyle. Diets don't really work, for the most part, long term.

When you diet and cut the calories too far, your body goes into famine mode and starts conserving fat. You start burning protein instead, and this isn't really a good thing. Keep the protein intake to about 1 gram per kilo (2.2 pounds) body mass to prevent this, and keep the fluid intake high! Without enough calories and water, the fat burning machine in your body doesn't work properly.

When you exercise, like on a long ride, follow these guidelines:

* Drink about every ten minutes, whether you are thirsty or not
* Consume about 300 calories (kcals)/ hr to prevent the "Bonk" (This is when your blood sugars drop and you start feeling really crappy, and often you can't even think straight

Carry some Gatorade or other sport drink to keep your electrolytes balanced. You need sodium and potassium for proper muscle and heart action.

How do I Burn the Fat?

The Answer is actually quite simple! Increase your activity, there's a whole world out there for you to experience. Don't waste your life sitting in front of the TV eating junk! Here is a site to help you plan your riding sessions:

The Bicycle Speed and Power Calculator

Too technical? Try this one!:

WVDA Physical Activity Calculator

The bottom line is that for me, cycling has truly helped me get much thinner. I would likely have gotten here anyway after the surgery, but I wouldn't be as strong and I wouldn't have had as much fun! Each gain in endurance and new mileage milestone has given me a sense of both wonder and accomplishment. The feeling of triumph after my first tour this year was just incredible. All I can say is get on your bike and ride! The rewards are unimagineable

Monday, April 17, 2006

I got tagged by MochaMomma!

I was tagged for a Meme by Kelly over at Mocha's place!

Here it is, six weird facts:
1) When I ride, one of the songs in my shuffle is a mix I set up myself of Kiss' "Psycho Circus" and Wagners "Ride of the Valkyrie" from the Ring Operas!

2) My favorite gun is my AK-47!

3)A very weird, but good fact is that in the last 13 months I have lost enough weight to make three of you, I've gone from 581 to 241 pounds!

4)I don't have any tattos, but I know a guy who had a barber pole tattooed on a portion of his anatomy! Very strange guy, by the way!

5)My clothing style on recreation favors spandex™ and lycra™!

6) A short ride to me is if it's less than 25 miles on the bike!

I tag Sister Celtic, Gorilla on a bike, Peg, and Carolyn

I was supposed to stealth tag you, but I couldn't figure out a way to do it!

Spinner Saturday Graphs

Well, the miles are in and we all had a great week! Congratulations to Yelme for his increase in miles. Way to go Wally! Same goes to Psycho for the big increase this week. Our April miles as a group are going great, we're at 2996.4 miles! This is a definate high mileage point for the month since The Spinner started. This keepsa up we may be mistaken for something other than weekend warriors. Click the Title to go to my MSN blog to see the graphs, Blogger won't let me upload pics today!$#@! ^%$&

Update: I got the graphs loaded this morning, Blogger cooperated!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!

Gelukkige Pasen

Joyeuses Pâques

Fröhliche Ostern

Ευτυχές Πάσχα

Pasqua Felice

Счастливый Easter


행복한 부활절

Easter Feliz

Friday, April 14, 2006

Spinner Saturday

Spinner Saturday
Just a quick Spinner Saturday post here. I got 57 miles in this week. I'm in the end semester crunch now with 3 weeks to finals, so I am kinda buried with school at the moment!

Lotoja planning for 2007
We need to set up an organized training plan to prep for the Lotoja, those of us who are riding it. Chime in here or by email with your miles, if you haven't already! Well, have a great Easter, I'll see everyone Monday!

Added Training Categories
Hill Climbing
Aerobic Threshold
Spin Cadence Training

Any other suggestions are welcome

Typical Indiana Good Friday Weather...Tornados!

Well, we had an interesting night tonight! Huge hail and high winds all around us! Tornado warnings and the tornado sirens were going off. As you've seen, I drive a Lumina Van, and it has a 12 square foot windshield, so I moved the van to the parking garage on Wabash Landing. This is a SECURE parking garage, designed to withstand wind speeds of 400 mph, and even an earthquake. Betcha didn't know that Lafayette, Indiana is an earthquake zone, by the way, we have a subfault running right under town connecting with the New Madrid Fault, so that's why the seismic standard!

Well, the largest hail was just to our north, with BASEBALL sized hail. There were a total of 5 funnel cloud sightings around us as well! The images aren't of the storms to hit here, they are stock footage from weatherstock.com. This is the type of storms we had, however

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I am proud of MrsStormcrowe!

The Road to McDonalds
This morning, MrsStormcrowe went for a nice ride! We rode over to Mickey Dee's for coffee this morning. I have her trike in good running order thanks to Hodson's Bay. It needed chains and a bit of frame tweaking to get the rear wheels in alignment, one of the problems associated with a virtual antique trike. They went through and checked out the 3 spd hub as well, and the trike is riding really well! Well, to the ride...........

The Mrs held a pace of 7 MPH. She was zipping right along, for the equipment she was riding! The Mrs held a cadence of 140, riding it in low gear! Lance Armstrong, look out, because once she builds a good aerobic base and gets comfortable with the trike, she's going to be a terror! I want to see what she's going to do with the Greenspeed clone I'm in the planning stages of building for her. The only low point was the lady who blew the Stop sign at the mall and nearly ran the Mrs over. Everybody, let's welcome the Mrs back to the wonderful world of cycling!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

An Announcement and a Challenge to the Spinner Crowd!

I have a proposal for the Spinner Saturday crowd. I plan on doing the Lotoja in 2007. For those of you that have never seen their site, it's a pretty tough race. 200+ miles in a day, regardless of weather. This race is NOT for the faint of heart! The course is a road race from Logan, Utah to Jackson, Wyoming.

My proposal is this.........
We need the Spinner Saturday crowd well represented with riders for the Lotoja. We have about 18 months to train for this event, so do you think a bunch of recreational type weekend warriors can sufficiently train and commit to finish this race? This is my challenge to the Spinner Saturday crowd, ride the 2007 Lotoja with me. I'm already working on my hills, we have a couple of good nasty hills here for me to run repetitive climb training on. I'm not asking for a lifetime commitment here, and 18 months is plenty of time to both train for and work out time off issues and travel arrangements for those of us who live a long way away from the start and finish line, like I do! If you want to do this, chime in! If not, no worries! I won't think any less of you!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Spinner Saturday Graphs, April 10

Well, here they are, the Spinner Graphs for the week. I am still having problems uploading photos to Blogspot, so they are on my MSN site. We're looking good this week, that's for sure! Al's miles are down a bit but is tremendously improving on his road racing. This week was primarily a race week for him, so miles were down, but intensity was way up. Keep at it, Al!

As you on Friday, I hit my personal best ever one day mileage total, 76 miles! It seems I am a roadie after all! My best riding seems to involve pavement and traffic. I love riding trails, don't get me wrong, but what gets my blood pumping and heart thumping is a good long ride between towns! The sight of a road bike, loaded for touring or stripped down for racing gets me wanting to ride myself!

Groups Total Miles
Here it is, the second week of April, and the Spinner Groups annual miles total is pretty impressive! We've ridden 8097.41 miles as a group. Good job folks!
Weekly average:578.39 miles projected to 52 weeks: 300760.1 miles projected for the year at our current average rate of miles! Now, we're coming into Spring/Summer/Fall riding season, which is peak for most of us, (Unless you are a year round rider, like some of us on the board here), and I won't be surprised if as a group we top 40,000 miles or more!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

A Sunday Morning Ride

I had a nice little 15 miler this morning. I rode while my beloved spouse did the laundry, CAD that I am!

Start point: Levee Laundry, West Lafayette
End Point: Levee Laundry
Route:State Street, to Grant, to Stadium, to the Cattrail Trail to Walmart, West Lafayette. Picked up the NW Greenbelt, to Soldier home road, Back up Cumberland to Yeager to Northwestern to Purdue Campus and then back to the levee!

Here's a link to the West Lafayette Trail system map, by the way! Check them out if you are in the area or if you want a nice ride and you aren't too far away!~ They are paved and out of traffic, and child safe, with benches and pavilions strategically located, especially along the NW Greenbelt! The Cattail, by the way is a great no traffic route if you cycle to go shopping as well! West Lafayette is truly a cycle friendly city, with lots of support from the City Government! Here's a Gmaps pedometer image of my approximate route. Blogger isn't cooperating with picture uploads tonight, so if you want to see the ride map, go to my MSN Space, it's there!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Spinner Saturday, April 8

Here it is, yet another Spinner Saturday, My miles for the week are 156. Let's hear your miles!

As usual, if you want to join up in the Spinner Saturday Database, it's easy as.......well, falling off a bicycle! Just post into my comments your miles or email them to me and I'll slip you in! There is no cost to this and you havea lot to gain, namely your health! Have a great one all of you and the graphs go up Monday.

By the way, yesterday, I set a personal best ride! I made a 76 mile loop! Here'sd the map of the ride

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Hodson's Bay Sale this Weekend!

The LBS I deal with, Hodson's Bay Company is having a HUGE sal this weekend, starts tomorrow! From Friday through Sunday, everything in the store is on sale. This post is promarily for my local readers, but Hodson's Bay also has a website and can ship anywhere in the US and Canada! One of the really tasty bikes they have is a sweet Redline SS Commuter! If you live around Lafayette or West Lafayette, check out the sale! Tell them I sent ya!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Spinner Graphs for April 1

Good morning all. Here are the graphs for the first Spinner Saturday in April. As you can see the mileage range is quite wide with the following standing. A little housekeeping is in order as well! First, I'd like to welcome Psycho Cyclist and Shawn Kielty to the Spinner Saturday, so let's make them feel welcome!

My name seems to have fallen off the graph due to the vagaries of open office. As I add people, the graphing program sometimes drops the name on a column. If your name disappears, remember who you are between and you'll see your data is still there!

Place Standing for Miles
1.Al Maviva- 195 miles
2.Big Mike 159 miles
3.Arctic Jill 119.7 miles
4.Uncle Dan 116 miles
5.ShawnK 85.1 miles
6.Psycho 70 miles
7.Tom Stormcrowe 52 miles
8.Gorilla 50 miles
9.Yelme 35 miles
10.Caloi Rider 30 miles
11.DanonBike 13.1
12.Tayfur Yagci 3 miles
13.Pernicious 0 miles reported
14.TimD 0 miles reported
By the way, we've already put a group total of 928 miles on the board this week!
Miles include March 26 miles to April 1 miles.


It's getting on time for the PHAT-K to resume as well, so a quick review of how that works.
Course length: 1000 meters or .62 mile.
Type: Crit! It's a short loop, and you measure it out
Start type: Rolling
Essentially, if you've never ridden a spring, you pedal mash as fast as you can through the course. You are competing against yourself and the clock. Never mind what the others times are, the goal here is to improve YOUR times one after the other! There isn't really any comparison between your time and the other guys, because some of us ride mountain bikes, some of us ride roadies, or Track bikes, or in my case, a light tour/commuter with fat tires! Basically, there's no common ground for comparison other then percentage of improvement. I ran my first PHAT-K of the year this weekend and turned a time of 109.22 seconds, which was significant improvement over my time last time I ran the PHAT-K on a bike! That time was 155.35 seconds! This was a 46 second decrease in time over the winter! I think my fitness must have taken a SLIGHT turn for the better........ ya think? I guess it's just easier to make some speed if you are lighter in weight!

I weighed in yesterday, and the weight loss has continued, albeit much slower. I really don't have a huge amount of fat left to lose now! My last weigh in put me at 259, and this one was 254. I an getting to the point I've had to add holes to the belt I bought less than a month ago! I was using our home scale and I checked it against the hospital scale yesterday, and the home scale was reflecting 10 pounds less weight than the hospital scale, so previous statements placing my weight at 249 were inaccurate, it was 259! Sorry, it was a MALPH of the scale!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Spinner Saturday for April 1!

First off, Erica:
I'd like to remind everyone that Erica is competing in the Lavaman this weekend and we need to support her efforts! GO, ERICA GO! if you click Erica's name, it'll take you to the Lavaman site, and the Go Erica Go takes you to her blog. Do drop by and wish her well for her race tomorrow!

Tayfur Yagci:
Our rider from Istanbul was slated for his first distance ride this weekend, but bike trouble knocked him out of the race. Sorry to hear that Tayfur, but it does happen. You'll have more training time for your next try anyway!

April 1: Walmart Bicycle Partnering Agreement
In honor of April the first, I am officially announcing that a big box store that starts with W and ends with Mart is picking up a new line of bicycles by entering into a partnership with Rivendell Bicycles diametric opposite, Mordor Cycle works. The new Walmart line, a semirigid mountainbike called the Orc, has a new concept in bicycle frames, with tubestock being recycled from the used PVC plumbing from old mobile homes and the handlebars recycled from Electrical conduit from the same source. Walmart management says this is an effort to help reduce the clutter in older trailer parks. In addition, Walmart and Mordor Cycles is conducting research into developing a full suspension mountain bike with suspension components recycled from old cars on blocks in the same trailer parks.
Mandatory disclaimer: This post in no way reflects the products and policies of Walmart

Spinner report:
Ok, on to business! Looks like we're doing great on miles this week! I have yet to figure out though, whether Al Maviva LIVES on his bike! He turned in 195 miles this week, great job, Al! I'm still waiting on a few peoples data, but will be posting the charts on Monday as usual. Let's get our miles posted in those of that haven't!

If you want to join Spinner Saturday, it's as easy as falling off of a log! Just post in to my comments you want to join. An alternative method is to email me at gunsel2001(at)yahoo(dot)com and say hey Tom, I wanna join up! There isn't any prize for joining but for one! Your health and fitness!

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