left on walnut

Category: fitness

Biking Vietnam

Our bike trip through Vietnam was booked through Vermont Biking Tours. We flew to Hanoi in mid-December to meet eight other couples. Some folks were in their 40’s. One man, an incredible cyclist, was 78. Most were in their 50’s. Two men in our group served in Vietnam during the war.

Biking started when we arrived in the central region of Vietnam, near the towns of Hue and Hoi An. After a short flight south, we biked through the Mekong Delta. Along the way we saw temples, pagodas, markets. We visited Ho Chi Minh’s house and watched water puppetry. We saw Da Nang and bamboo boats. We saw small temples within rice paddies. We saw thousands and thousands of mopeds and scooters. We visited the heartbreaking Củ Chi tunnels.

My thanks to Cameron for most of these photos. It takes a rider more coordinated than I to snap photos as we pedal along.

Weight, trend data, and the flu

I may not keep a journal, or even post regularly in my blog, but when it comes to weighing myself, I’m religious. Since 2009, I’ve tracked my weight daily on my iPhone, using an app called Weight-Bot. The app displays a trend line.

In 2009, I lost about 20 pounds. I wanted to be a little more confident when I attended my daughter’s college graduation. I worked hard at that weight loss:

In 2010, I gained some of the weight back:

See the dip in January of 2011? That was the flu. As you can see, I got well:

In 2012 I seem to be holding steady:

I have no thoughtful reason for setting my goal weight where I have it. Perhaps I’m at my goal right now. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. I bike and do Pilates and lift weights. Maybe I should change my goal weight. I’ll think about that.

Biking in 2011

This year, I made a goal to bike a lot. At first, my goal was 1,500 miles. I’d biked 1,336 the year before, so 1,500 miles seemed possible. But I got to 1,500 in May so I changed my goal to 2,400 miles, probably because the math was easy. But, I got there in October. Finally, I decided on 3,000 as my goal for the year.

Maybe later I’ll think about my constant readjustment of goals and what that says about me. Mostly, I just want to keep moving.

Here’s how I did:

  1. I rode 3,041 miles this year.
  2. I rode on 155 days.
  3. Average speed was 18.64 miles per hour.
  4. This took 165 hours and 19 minutes.
  5. According to some website, I burned 107,474 calories, based on weight and my estimate that all rides were “moderate” activity. Still, the only weight I lost was when I had the flu for a week last January.
  6. Average distance per ride was 19.6 miles.
  7. The shortest ride was 1.5 miles.
  8. The longest was 53 miles. That was the Pedaling for Kicks group ride in July. Tom rode 67 miles on that ride!
  9. My average heart rate was 135.
  10. My average maximum heart rate was 175.
  11. Accidents: I fell on the long Pedaling for Kicks ride. The hill was steep and I was going so slowly I just sort of tipped over, like that guy on Laugh-In.
  12. Dumbest ride: I rode 20 miles alone out to Dixie Truck Stop. Don’t believe anyone who tells you old Route 66 doesn’t have much traffic.
  13. Second dumbest ride: Riding back from Dixie Truck Stop. Should have called Vicki to come pick me up.
  14. Lots of these miles are spinning miles. They’re the hardest miles of all. I might not spin if it weren’t for my friend Zianne. She teaches at Four Seasons. She’s nice, gives us recovery time, and has good playlists.
  15. Most fun: Riding in Ann Arbor with Liem and Eric and Sarah in early spring was the best. We rode through a park flooded and muddy from spring rains. We careened down a steep grassy hill and I wasn’t too afraid. Then we stopped for hot chocolate.

Altogether, 3,041 miles is enough to pedal from our house to Madison to see our friend Cathy. Then we could ride to Indiana to see my sister and family. Then we’ll head north to Ann Arbor to pick up Sarah and Eric and Liem. Then we’ll all ride to Louisville to give Reva a hug before heading to California to see Katie. I’m sure Katie would come get us a few miles outside of Los Angeles, so we don’t have to bike on the LA freeways. The LA freeways would be dumber than biking to Dixie Truck Stop.

Next year, my goal will be to bike back home.

shower room phone call

The showers at our fitness center are gross. The only good thing is they have two little rooms. A shower stall is in the back. A tiny curtained dressing area with a bench is in the front. I take my underwear to the bench to put on after my shower. Then I return to the locker room to finish getting dressed.

Today in the dressing area next to mine, as I was putting on my underwear and deodorant, a woman called her son’s physics teacher on her cell phone. Apparently Nathan is in AP Physics and she would like the teacher to provide him with extra tutoring. The physics teacher must have agreed, although he or she charges $100 per hour.

“That’s more than a doctor or lawyer!” the mother cried. “Last year, I paid a tutor $45 an hour!”

Finally the mother agreed to the $100 per hour price.

To Nate’s teacher, I’d like to say, “Way to stick to your price!” If Nate tests out of some college physics, they’ll have saved thousands in tuition.

To all teachers, I’d like to remind you of your worth. If $100 per hour is more than a doctor or lawyer (really? is it?), well then, so be it.

To all the people who use cell phones in public places, I’d like to express my appreciation. You make my day much more interesting than it deserves to be.