Tuesday, May 9, 2017

March and April Fitness Stats

March move goal medal.April move goal medal.March was a pretty regular months with our regular regiment of daily exercise on our recumbent stationary bike. We haven’t taken our real bikes out a single time, but I did a 20 minute workout on an elliptical machine to get a one time medal that Apple Watch gives out for several common types of workouts. I do hate elliptical. I just don’t find the machine pleasant at all. Never did.

I also hit a 500 daily move goals on March 24th. The medal is awarded for 500 total move goals — they don’t have to be consecutive. Here are the overall stats for March:
MertricUnitsPer DayMaxTotal
Walkingstesps3,3857,654104,938
Active Energycalories54175716,761
Cyclingmiles7.7812.30241.30
Excerciseminutes44631,382
Walkingmiles1.593.5549.16

One time medal for doing a workout on elliptical.500 days of hitting a move goal.April was quite a bit different from our usual months. First 10 days of the month we spent in Costa Rica. At first I was planning to visit a gym on daily basis to hit my goals, but on the very first day we discovered a daily water aerobics class that would usually last for about 30 minutes — exactly what I needed. In fact I remember that such classes occur pretty much on all such vacations, but we never paid any attention. Here we participated daily.

I also tried doing a swimming workout to get another one of those one time medals that I mentioned above, but swimming is hard. I barely eeked out a 15 minute swim and haven’t attempted it again. I just need more practice to keep myself from standing up from time to time to take a break. Later on when we got home I came to a realization that out of all possible activities I have never gotten this type of medal for something as trivial as running.

My crazy run stats.End of April.So I went for a 15 minute run. I had a profound experience — running is HARD. I guess the muscles that get worked on a recumbent bike do not help at all while running. I was intentionally moving at a slow pace. I did finish my run having my heart peak out at 170 BPM at one point — which is very high and very unusual for me, 184 being my advisable max. I averaged out 164 BPM for the whole run. My muscles were incredibly soar for the next 2 days. As I said — profound.

Also as I mentioned earlier we have placed an order for Peloton Bike right after our return from vacation, but more on Peloton in a future post. By buying the bike we also got early access to Peloton iOS app that has all of the classes available that we could stream to our TV via AirPlay and Apple TV. So we took a 2 week break from our spinning and concentrated on core training — stretching, arms and leg workout, lower back and abdomen. We even did some Yoga.

Here are my April statistics:
MertricUnitsPer DayMaxTotal
Walkingstesps6,06813,648182,051
Active Energycalories52774315,817
Cyclingmiles7.8513.90133.39
Excerciseminutes42661,259
Walkingmiles2.706.1981.05

On April 28th we got our Peloton Bike delivered. What a difference it is compared to our previous machine. So far we are enjoying it quite a bit, but we’ll have to wait a couple of month for a final verdict.

March stats.April stats.My weight is holding steady. I was at 167 lbs at my last check and my current move streak is at 330 days.

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

January and February Fitness

Activity app medals.One of the days.When I posted my year-end fitness stats back in December I had to use three different applications to extract and tabulate the data from HealthKit. And that’s not counting Excel to calculate averages and max values. It took a lot of effort.

But soon after the year started I wanted to install an app for my dad that would let him view his stats in a better way than HealthKit presents it in. And while doing it I got an ad for another similar app which I did not see before even though I did search for these things. It turned out to be perfect.

The app is called HealthView and is a great dashboard for HealthKit data. Even though the app is a little buggy — sometimes it takes too long to update and loads the data from a wrong date or crashes — it still lets you view your stats in a good, beautiful, clear way after a few restarts or reloads.

HealthView dashboard. Day view.HealthView dashboard. Month view.My move (the number of days I achieved my calorie goal on) streak is currently at 278 days. Here are my numbers from the first two months of this year. January is first table, February is second.
MertricUnitsPer DayMaxTotal
Walkingstesps3,68410,093114,228
Active Energycalories52382516,233
Cyclingmiles6.829.90211.40
Excerciseminutes45921,395
Walkingmiles1.785.0755.32

MertricUnitsPer DayMaxTotal
Walkingstesps3,55711,68799,604
Active Energycalories5811,27216,276
Cyclingmiles8.6824.88243.09
Excerciseminutes491271,363
Walkingmiles1.705.7347.68

HealthView metric drill down. Month view.Activity app. Filling in the circles.At this point we do the most of the work on a stationary bike. We did put a real bicycle on a trainer in the begging of the year and it was a lot more pleasant. However it was sadly producing way too much vibration and living in the apartment we just didn’t feel at ease working out in this way. We’re thinking of investing in a much more high quality stationary bike than our current one.
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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Cannondale SuperSix EVO 105

2017 Cannondale SuperSix EVO 105.After spending more than 6 months on stationary bike spinning pedals every single day and after putting our real Cannondale Synapse on a trainer we thought that we’re ready to get back on a pair of real bicycles. As I said we’ve already had one very good cycling machine from a couple of years back, so we needed to expand our current road bike collection by one more unit.

Shimano breaks.I did some research and with my mind made up we visited our favorite local bike store. The owner — Allen — was in and he is our favorite guy to work with. I had my heart set on 2017 Cannondale SuperSix EVO 105 racing road bike. And what do you know — they had the exact model in my size handing on display. I took it for a spin around the block and I knew I wanted it.

Shimano components.For future reference I want to attach some pricing information — as it turned out to be useful this time around. The MSRP on this particular bicycle was $2,199 without pedals until very recently when Cannodale dropped it to $1,999 several weeks ago. Allen sold it to us for $1,700 with pedals included. Essentially this is aluminum price territory of CAAD12.

Clip-in side of the pedal.So as it becomes clear from all of the above SuperSix is top of the line carbon frame from Cannondale’s racing line fitted with Shimano 105 componentry. It’s as stiff as CAAD12, but does absorb more shock from the road. Our Cannondale Synapse was more of an endurance bike and we had it refitted and adjusted for Alёna free of charge by our shop.

Platform.As for the pedals — I went for something similar that I had before. This particular pedal has a clip-in mechanism on one side and a platform for any other shoe on the other. Since I haven’t ridden on a bike with cleats in a long time I wanted to have this option. Now we just have to stick with this and put some serious miles on these bikes.

Some stickers removed. Work in progress.

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Fitness Year End Update

Activity app medals.My current streak.During the past year I have taken up a rudiment of daily exercise in order to stay more fit. As we get older it gets harder to keep our weight in a good range without some effort. That combined with a sitting job is asking for something to be done.

The hardest part is getting motivated to stick with something from day to day without finding excuses of being too tired or too lazy and so on and on to skip a day. For me Apple Watch has played a role of a huge motivator. If I miss a day I miss out on weekly, monthly and other “medals” that Activity app hands out.

Activity calendar. Exercise, activity, standing.Exercise log.And so I have been doing at least 30 minutes of exercise starting from the 1st of May without a fail and meeting my calorie daily goal every single day. For me I needed two things to be able to stick with it. First is getting calories burned with a path of least resistance — stationary cycling machine at home.

And to make those minutes fly by a game of HearthStone on iPad — TV doesn’t occupy the mind enough and minutes drag on. HearthStone makes the minutes fly by while you are thinking of the strategy for your next move against another human being on the other end.

Some statistics for the data that I have tracked — at first I wasn’t recording everything, but I’ve been trying to keep everything logged for the last 6 months or so:
ActivityUnitsDate RangePer DayMaxTotal
Walkingstespsyear to date3,72620,6301,362,737
Active Energycaloriessince May 1st468965114,653
Cyclingmilespast 6 months6.9415.281,208
Excerciseminutespast 6 months46.091408,411
Walkingmilesyear to date1.859.54677

Weight loss — from 176 lb to 165 lb at 5′ 11″:
Weight Chart
Some other observations: Activity app is a killer feature of Apple Watch for me. I could easily give all other niceties up if I could track the fitness data with some smaller device like a thin bracelet or a ring in order for me to be able to wear my mechanical watches.

I also have just received a trainer designed for a real bicycle in order to make sure I’m working the right muscles as opposed to our current stationary bike in which one sits in an unnatural position. I haven’t had a chance to test it out yet. I plan to do it in the next couple of days.
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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5

Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5.After 4 weeks of waiting and almost a year long break I’m back on a bicycle. However everything worked out in an unexpected way as it often does.

Shimano 105 shifters.This time around I place an order for Cannondale CAAD9-4. Same bike as I had before, only instead of getting Shimano 105 components I decided to go with SRAM Rival. The problem was that our LBS didn’t have this particular bike in stock. They placed an order to Cannondale and Cannondale folks were dragging their feet.

Shimano 105 derailleurs, FSA Gossamer BB30 Compact crank.This past Wednesday Sasha asked if I wanted to stop by the store, see if he’ll pick anything out. The owner wasn’t supposed to be there on Wednesday, but there he was. He explained to me that Cannondale was expecting to ship the bikes next week and that he would’ve called me if anything changed, but I told him that I’m here with a friend to show him around.

Cannondale logo on the frame, Control Tech handlebar.We went to look at bikes and I suggested Alex test drives a CAAD9 bike and a Synapse. CAAD9 is a great crit bike and is great for racing, or anything else for that matter, but since we’re not really planning to race an endurance bike could be a better choice, and Synapse is exactly that. Synapse comes in alloy and carbon.

Prologo Kappa Pas saddle.Sasha ended up liking Synapse more. We were told that it was a 2009 (last year) carbon model with Shimano 105 stuff. The price tag was $1400, which is a bit crazy, knowing that 2010 model goes for $2150. When Alex agreed to buy it, the owner started checking books and discovered that they, as he eloquently put it, fucked up. The bike was aluminum alloy, not carbon.

Shimano RS10 wheels and hubs.Allen (the owner) apologized for the screw up and said to correct the situation he’s going to give him a very good price — $1100 for aluminum and if he still wants carbon he’ll give him 2010 model for $1550, which is off the hook. I started feeling that my $1500 for $1800 wasn’t as great of a deal compared to this one — although it still was a hell of a deal, judging by the info on the forums.

Carbon frame, carbon fork. BPA-Free Camelbak Podium bottle.Alex took a bike for a test drive and Allen said to me that since I was his customer it would not be right if he wouldn’t offer me the same deal. After a short test drive it didn’t take long for me to change my mind. Although CAAD9 is an awesome bike I figured that for me endurance bike probably makes more sense than a crit bike, since I’m not really all that great of a cyclist at this point. Plus this way I could pick up my new bike right away, instead of waiting. Alex did the same.

Shimano A520 SPD pedals.We picked them up on Friday. I put a little bit over 40 miles up to this point on my bike and I like it a lot. First day I wasn’t sure about my switch, but now I’m just happy to be riding again. We picked up a bunch of other gear which was given to us at a great price as well. I said this before, and I will say this again — THE BEST customer service and shopping experience, only at Sheepshead Cycle Shop. Allen is great to do business with, and I’m one of many very satisfied customers.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thule Bike Rack Arrives

Thule 990 Doubletrack Platform Hitch Bike Rack.Our Thule Doubletrack bike rack was delivered yesterday. The box was huge and pretty heavy. It did contain the rack and all the accessories that I ordered inside.

The box that Thule rack came in.Putting it together involved 6 nuts and bolts and the whole process didn’t take more then 15 minutes. The final construction is very sturdy for the most part.

At this point I haven’t been able to fit it onto the car, but I’m starting to wonder whether this construction will fit into the trunk if the need arises. The central pole with hooks does go down, but it still is big.

Bike rack attached to the L-shaped adapter that goes into our hitch.The locking anti-rattle bottle is great. It solves both of the worries that I had about an L-shaped adapter for our hitch. It actually does remove all the rattle by replacing a simple pin with a massive nut and bolt, which also has a lock fitted onto it.

Buttons are replaced with Thule locks.The only complain that I have so far is that the hook mounts on the central pole could be more sturdy. The plastic mounts do not seem like they can take a lot of beating, so hopefully it’s not going to be a weak spot of what seems to be a great setup.

I also replaced the buttons with Thule locks and used a locking bolt to attach the rack to the hitch.
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cannondale CAAD9-5

Cannondale CAAD9-5, Shimano 105.Today we picked up my new road bike — Cannondale CAAD9-5, all Shimano 105 componentry.

Rear part of the frame.We spent a bit less than 2 hours in the shop where they were fine tuning the bike for me, giving me some more training with using shoes with cleats and so on. I have to say that the shop is getting the highest rating there is from me for their service. The owner of the shop, Allen, is absolutely great.

Cannondale logo on the head tube.Cannondale logo on the head tube.

Shimano SPD clipless pedals.Shimano SPD clipless pedals.

Shimano 105 shifters.Shimano 105 shifters.

These bikes are still made in USA.These bikes are still made in USA.

Shimano WH-RS-10 rims, hubs and spokes.Shimano WH-RS-10 rims, hubs and spokes.

San Marco Ponza Power saddle and Cannondale C2 Carbon-wrapped seat post.San Marco Ponza Power saddle and Cannondale C2 Carbon-wrapped seat post.

Shimano 105 derailleurs, cogs and crank.Shimano 105 derailleurs, cogs and crank.

Cannondale CAAD9 Optimo frame in 54cm size.Cannondale CAAD9 Optimo frame in 54cm size.

When the bike is direct sun light you start seeing metal flakes in the black paint.When the bike is direct sun light you start seeing metal flakes in the black paint.
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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Another Route

Yesterday we cycled along our usual route with an addition of a new path on the Rockaways. The Rockaways is a very good place for cylcing as the roads are in a good condition, the traffic is very low and traffic lights are a few. Our trail length for yesterday was 17.5 miles and for the first time our average speed has exceeded 10 mph.

On the negative side of things I keep getting pretty sever pain in my elbows. The problem seems to be the fact that the fit of the bike is not right for me. I keep having to reach too far to the handlebars which forces my to keep my arms extended and elbows locked.

I keep thinking of getting a bike for myself for these and other reasons, but I’m not really looking forward to spending more money on one. If we keep doing this and the pain does go away however, we will buy another one. I really like Cannondale CAAD9-5. Specialized Allez is another alternative, but I’m leaning towards Cannondale.
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Cycling

On one of the bridges along the Belt Pkwy bike route.This weekend we invited Alex to go cycling with us and spent about 3 hours on Saturday and 1.5 hours on Sunday. We covered over 20 miles on our Saturday Rockaway trip and 10 miles on a very windy Sunday ride along Belt Pkwy.

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Specialized Sequoia

Specialized Sequoia road bike.Our cycling adventure continues. It became clear that the first bike we bought for Alena needed to be replaced. We wanted something in the similar class of what Brian landed me.

Brian gave me a few pointers in respect to what to look for — Shimano componens, preferable 105 or higher. Aluminum frame, carbon fiber fork. The frame should be around 56cm — which pretty much excludes all feminine bikes.

Specialized logo.I ended up doing a lot of reading and researching. First we started looking for used bikes on eBay and Craigslist — nothing decent was showing up. Then I decided to get a no-name bike from an online source. After that I thought that we’d rather pay more money for a bike from a company that stands behind their product. And the smartest decision of all was to actually avoid buying online and just got to a local shop.

Specialized Sequoia.And exactly that we did yesterday after work. We happen to be lucky to have a cycling store 5 minutes away from us with a great reputation which people come to visit from all parts of NYC. And after our experience there we know why.

Shimano Tiagra rear derailleur.After my research online I decided that Cannondale CAAD9 5 would be our choice. A lot of great reviews, even though it was a bit more than we wanted to spend originally. The local store of ours also quoted us the lowest price out of all the stores I called in the area — $1225.

When we got to the store though the store owner suggested a different brand — Specialized. The reason was that we needed to get a rather large frame for Alena’s legs, but that would make the reach (distance to the handle bars) too big. This particular frame actually had a shorter top tube length.

Shimano Sora brake and shift levers.He spent over an hour with us showing us different models and letting Alena try them. The one he recommended was very comfortable for her. After that he took a bunch of measurements on some special machine to make sure it’d be just right for our pickup the day after.

The only thing that I wasn’t sure about was the components. They were still Shimano parts, but not 105, but a step or 2 lower that that — Tiagra and Sora. They also did have the same exact frame with 105 components, but it was over $300 more and the owner was pretty damn sure that I don’t need to spend that money. He said that it was my decision, but he was sure that the cheaper version was perfect for Alena and there was absolutely no reason for us spend more money.

Rear wheel.We were convinced — Specialized Sequoia is what we went with. It cost us $769.

Today we came back and he had the bike ready, fitted for Alena. He took it outside and made Alena ride it 6 or 7 times back and forth making small adjustments, making sure it was perfect. Even if we could find this bike cheaper somewhere online the service that was provided to us was just invaluable. I can’t remember having such a satisfying experience buying anything.

Specialized logo.We bought a couple of other accessories — helmets, some padded shorts, bells and went out for a ride on the bicycle path near Belt Pkwy. We had an awesome time. Lots of fun and enjoyment, even though the weather was horribly cold.

If it wouldn’t be for our first cheap bike buy and Brian landing me a great bike — we would never have a clue how much a good bike means. I’m very thankful for all the help Brian has provided.
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Saturday, January 24, 2009

First Cycling

Today can be considered as our first cycling run. The first actual one was about 2 weeks ago, but we didn’t get far as we were more getting a feel for the bikes than anything else.

Us in our cycling gear.Today we actually proceeded to follow ocean side bicycle path all the way to Floyd Bennett Field from our home. If iPhone’s RunKeeper is to be trusted it’s about 7 miles. The whole trip took us and hour and 20 minutes or so. We were taking it rather slow and we probably suck by any real cycling specifications. )

I have to say that the bike that Brian has landed to me and the one we bought for Alena is like day and night. Brian’s bike is easy to get up to speed and maintain speed. Gear switching is also effortless. None of this is true about the other one. We switched several times though, so each one of us got to ride a good bike.

The weather is cold, but once it gets warmer we hope to do this more often. We also need to try to get Alena a better bike.
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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Alёna’s Bicycle

Randor "Dirty Dancing" Lady's bike.About a year ago we rented out a storage cage in the basement of our building with a main objective of storing bicycles in it. We’ve never got around to actually getting the bikes in 2008 thought. Continue Reading
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