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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Seth Margolies Update

Well, as promised, I'm keeping track of Seth Margolies. Seth is a cyclist who is currently living my dream. He's riding a coast to coast tour. Seth and I have one other thing in common, other than being cyclists, he also had bariatric surgery.

Here is Seth, in his own words:

It is every child’s dream to be sponsored by a major company to do an athletic endeavor. For a child that grew up obese it is even more of a pipe dream. Exactly three and a half years ago, I was nearly four hundred pounds. Most doctors did not think I would live into my forties do to co morbidities associated with my disease. It was then I decided to undergo gastric bypass surgery. It was then that I decided to completely change my lifestyle and adopt a life that incorporated fitness. Fitness to me means of sound mind and body.

Within a year after surgery, I was biking in centuries and training for marathons. Since my surgery day, I have completed four marathons and five centuries. I figured that if I, a former four hundred pound man can do these events then the least people can do to adopt a healthy life style is the recommended thirty minutes a day. It was then that I decided to ride across America in order to get the word out. MetRx, Pure Protein and Worldwide Sports Nutrition believed in the idea and me and thus the MetRx Get Fit America Ride was born and a child’s dream was fulfilled. It takes courage for these companies who have some of the finest athletes in the world endorsing their product to believe in me and for that I thank them.

In this blog I will try to relay my experience to you as best I can in order that you may get a sense of what it is like to ride across America. It is easy to train on a bike trainer and in Southern California on the road where the weather is perfect but it is a whole different experience going over mountains and through deserts with cars, heavy winds and inner tubes popping. So a little prayer goes a long way

As a little background, I must tell you that the last time I went across the country, I was in a pickup truck. I went to different states and cities to eat the delicacies in each. You see it was right before surgery and I wanted to say goodbye to all the foods I loved. I also wanted to follow Bruce Springsteen on tour. So in Philidelphia I had cheesesteaks, New York, cheesecake, Chicago deep dish pizza and so it went. Exactly three and a half years later I am on a Specialized Roubaix biking across America.

March 24th- Things were hectic. I need to be in San Francisco to drop my dogs off in my apartment there. I was having a dog sitter stay. I got up early to catch a flight to Los Angeles to get my gear and pack the car for the trip. I was nervous. I never had undertaken a 3200 mile bike trip. The day before I got a call from Dean Karnazes. Dean is an ultra marathoner who just finished running fifty marathons in fifty states in fifty consecutive days. He is the husband of my dentist and called to give me encouragement. He told me that there were going to be some real low days and to expect them. But by the end of this I will be in the best shape of my life and accomplish a great endeavor. It was kind of him to call and help. So as I was packing his words were resonating. In the middle of packing I noticed that the bike store did not put my cassette back on my wheels and so I was about to cross America with no gears. I ran to the shop and had them find my cassette and fix it.Of course it ate up my pack time so I threw my clothes in a bag, my bikes on the roof and set off to La Jolla California with my crew chief Laprell Nelson.

March 25th- The launch was set for 10 am. I got there early because the local media was there and I did an interview for KUSI. You can see the piece on KUSI.com and I think it is on dig.com and youtube too. It’s a nice spot. I started at the hospital where my surgeon, Alan Wittgrove performs. They arranged to have some friends come out and say goodbye. It was a touching send off. Now all week I was worried how I would get from La Jolla to Pine Valley. A friend of mine got me directions and so I was riding all through downtown San Diego and neighboring areas to get there. I was on such an adrenanline rush that I did not have time o think about the climb over the mountains to get out of SD I just rode. I rode 66 miles that day to an elevation of 4800 feet and burned 3800 KCAL according to my Polar Computer/ Heart Rate monitor. I drank five 23oz bottles of water on the road and ended up at Japital Valley Road. I was 4:50 in the saddle that day

March 26- I got up early and had Laprell drop me back off at the spot we left off Japital Valley Road. I then did a quick eight miles back to the motel and packed the car. We then set off to go to El Centro nearly eighty miles away. The temperature was thirty seven degrees in the morning and by the time I got to the Yuha desert it was nearly ninety. It was crazy riding. I went down the I 8 at nearly 45 miles an hour with heavy winds. It blew me like I was a wrapper in the wind. I was scared but still had such a rush from the last few days I could not think about it. I took a spill off the bike and scraped my kneee and elbow. I was now bloodied, burned, and aching and felt like a biker. I popped two rear inner tubes, was 5:32 in the saddle burned 2463 KCAL that day

March 27th- Still on rush I set out to ride from El Centro to Blythe California. It was terribly windy and I was getting messages from people that Southern California was having terrible windstorms. Like I did not know. I went through the sand dunes near Glamis. It was crazy. At the end of the day I found sand in places of my body I never knew I would find sand. It literally was like the Sahara. Nothing but sand. I did 90.6 miles and burned 2513 KCAL. I had five bottles of water on the bike and four off. I quit around 6pm when it started to rain.

March 28th- We took the morning off to wait for my riding gear from Met RX. It did not come. So we set off around 11am, just when it gets good and hot to ride into Arizona. We rode from Blythe to Salom Arizona. It was tough because all I could think about for the 5:33 minutes in the saddle was how much my derriere hurt. I never knew how much I loved that part of my body til I started this. I did 71 miles and burned 2660 KCAL

3/29- We rode from Salome to Wittman AZ I was 5:51 in the saddle. It was tough I was on a gradual incline for nearly forty miles and my quads were aching. All that was going through my mind was when was this going to end. I also thought about what Dean said about lowpoints. OY. I would climb and think that I just went ten miles look at the odometer to realize it was just a half. It was a long day. ENDLESS. But I did burn 3152 KCAL and lost three toenails that night. Isn’t this fun?

3-30- The goal was simple. Wittman to Phoenix. It was thirty-seven miles and I had a little press junket to do at three. I got there early but no press showed up. So I got on the bike and did another twenty to Tempe. 2300 KCAL burned and 4:36 ride time in the saddle.

3-31- I took off to service the bikes and wait for my gear from Met Rx. It came via San Francisco. My friend Andy was kind enough to Fed Ex it to me. The riding clothes are great and I am proud to wear the MetRX logo. I went to a bad movie Premonition in the afternoon and walked around the Tempe Art Festival.

4-1-I started out of Tempe to Mesa. I went six miles when my cable to my front derailer broke. I had to go back to Tempe. I was not going back to the shop that I went to. I got a bad vibe. So I went to Tempe Bicycle store and waited two hours for them to open. Again I walked around the arts fair. I bought a pair of sandals from a guy who makes them in San Antonio Texas. His name was Dave Piper and he was a marathoner. I told him what I was doing and he vowed to make me a pair of blue leather sandals to match my blue MetRX bike shirt. The bike store opened and this gentleman Hubert got me on the road in no time. He did not even charge me. A very cool guy. People have been so nice when they hear what we are doing. I finally started riding at 12:30 and did 50 miles to Superior AZ. 2279 KCAL burned 4:21 in the saddle

4-2 I started to climb the mountain out of Superior. I knew the elevation was going to 5000 ft and I went through the Queens Creeks Tunnel. Semis, cars and several speeding Ferarris were going through. There was no room for me to ride and I got very scared and jittery. I popped two tubes and after five miles told Laprell to pack it in. I lost my confidence and without it I could either go into a semi or over the mountain. We went to the next town and got some cheap rooms. I took a nap had some lunch and told Laprell that we are going back up the mountain. He was great. Every turnout he waited for me and encouraged me to keep going. We climbed the mountain and better yet sped down the mountain. My confidence was back. I lost some mileage but there are good days and bad days. This was a good day. I composed myself and got back in the saddle. I did not beat myself up for only doing 30 miles. They were a very tough thirty miles on a highway over a mountain. I am proud of myself. I faced my fear and moved on
Seth Margolies- 2007 Personal Corespondence

Think of Seth and his journey, as you go through your day. He's doing this tour for several reasons and not the least of which is to demonstrate the change in paradigm he has personally achieved. If you would like to know more about Seth and his background, here is a link to his story.

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