New Year Goals: It’s all about Cycling

Photo by kamshots. It’s been way too long since the days that I rode dozens and dozens of miles through the backroads of Long Island, so in my new year’s resolutions, I’ve decided to make cycling a central focus of getting back into shape.

First, I love cycling. A lot more than lifting weights or running. Second, I need something that gets me outdoors away from this cursed computer. With pilates and weights, I’m still a bit too close to the daily excitement of being a web entrepreneur. Must… get… away…

But I need something to keep me in daily shape, so I used a new tool called Bikely to create three routes around Palm Bay. I’ll be creating more around Melbourne, West Melbourne, and other areas of Brevard. If you want to join me on a route, just contact me and we’ll do it together. I’m not doing crazy speed training or anything, but I’m also not going to be just coasting all day either. Come to ride and have fun.

One good thing is that I’ve lived in Brevard county my whole life, on and off, so I really know a lot of little jaunts around town. Driving a cab for a year didn’t hurt, either. But, I’m still learning, so I’m looking forward to meeting folks who know some secret bike paths.

A third big reason I’m focusing on biking is because I have a goal this year of biking around Lake Okeechobee. I wanted to do it last fall, but I began to realize how out of shape I was, and I wanted to be sure that my first big bike ride in fifteen years would be a whopping success. I was inspired by Peter Jensen, another Brevardian, who did it in 2004. He was kind enough to chat with me by phone last year and had nothing but positive and encouraging words. You can see Peter’s pictures from his bike ride here, including an amazing shot of a helicopter landing on a truck.

The Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (known as LOST) goes for about 110 miles around Lake Okeechobee, the largest lake in Florida and one with an incredible history. Most people do it in two days since they want to have time to take pictures and enjoy the scenery. One side of the lake can get very windy and slow progress and not all of it is yet paved. Also, since September 11, they no longer allow you to cross the dams, so you have to get off the trail for a few miles at each dam and come back around. More great pictures here.

Ideally, I’ll start at the north end of the lake, stay in Clewiston, and bike around the east side the next morning. When I do it this year, I’ll post about it here, with pictures.

To prepare, I’m going to be doing at least one group trip with Space Coast Freewheelers per month (maybe more), along with a more daily regimen locally.

Of course, I’ll also be altering my diet significantly, starting first by returning to my water-only diet. I’ll also be getting some tips from my friends and raw diet experts Alan and Jean LeStourgeon, consulting with my brother Chad who is running in the ING Miami Marathon this month, and also my friend Dietrich Browne, who runs half-marathons on a regular basis.

For strength-training, I’ll be doing Pilates, every other day, using the book The Complete Book of Pilates for Men: The Lifetime Plan for Strength, Power & Peak Performance which I bought last year. You may not know, but Pilates is very difficult and was originally created in the 1920’s by a German guy (Joseph H. Pilates) who was considered to be one of the best trainers and toughest guys in America. Sometime, when you browse through the exercise DVD’s, you might get the impression that it is a low-impact yoga-like exercise for women. It’s actually much tougher than lifting weights.

Having said that, I’ll still be doing traditional weight-training (full-body) one day per week. I still think resistance training from weights is very helpful and can be an excellent complement to help prevent injuries and focus on muscles that you may not be hitting in other exercices (like Pilates) due to poor form when you are first learning. I know and have a lot of experience with weight training compared to Pilates, so I’ll use that to help increase muscle mass in key areas (arms, chest, and back, mostly).

I’ll be tracking my fitness progress and reporting results daily at my Traineo profile if you want to follow along - or better yet, sign up at Traineo yourself (free) and let’s both encourage each other!

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I am so glad that you mention Pilates in this context. Most people don’t realize that he started out training boxers, soldiers, and police officers. Not a wussy workout at all!

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