My bikes, their stories, and why I love them (the bikes, not the stories…)

Hi Bloggers,

So its summer time, and that’s when I like to pump up the tires and get out on my bike. I live in the city, and there are lots of trails and streets to ride on. There’s a riverside pathway system and lots of dirt trails too. The days are long and often the weather is sunny and dry and that makes for great conditions to get out there and enjoy it.

I have a road bike, but the reality is that I don’t get it out much. I used to ride that a lot more where I lived previously due to nice open roads and little traffic. But this blog is about my mountain bikes, which I really love.

A few years ago, maybe about 5 now, I purchased a Kona Cinder Cone bike. My wife had bought a Kona Blast a year or two before that and that bike is a more basic model but I was impressed with how it rode and felt. I bought this one at a shop in Dawson Creek, BC. I spent about $1200 Canadian on this bike. I remember that I was there on a Saturday morning. I wasn’t even intending on buying a bike that day. I had owned a bike previous to that for almost 20 years, so its not like I upgrade every year or two.

I took the Kona for a test ride, and boy, I was sold on that bike. It was so frikkin’ smooth to ride. The only thing I didn’t like was the seat, which was this hard racing style seat. I can’t understand why a decent bike has to be fitted with a sort of hard seat just to be credible. I exchanged that seat with a gel one. If you are kind of thinking about it, get a gel one. They are super comfy and they come in ergonomic forms that don’t look clunky or whatever but the comfort level is amazing.

I had to mess with things a little bit to keep it working well. It was not changing gears cleanly – making noises and sort of hanging on to one gear and clicking etc. I took it to the bike shop for an unrelated matter and the guy put it on the stand and checked my derailleur alignment. The piece the derailleur is bolted to gets bent out of shape and it needs to be bent back to straight. It rides like a dream now.

Here are some pictures of my Kona:

So back in 1992, I bought a Giant ATX 860. I bought it at Joe’s Cycles in Mt Isa, Queensland, Australia. I had it shipped to Canada when I moved here. Aluminum frame, no front suspension. In those days if you wanted front suspension, you pretty much had to go high end, or substitute a rock shox or something that would set you back half as much again as the value of the bike. I spent $900 on this bike.

I really got a lot of value out of it. I’ve done so many kilometers on this thing. I’ve changed tire styles and treads on it, I put a rack on the back, and some of those handle bar extensions. It’s been a loyal friend of mine. The lack of front suspension, and the brake effectiveness had me thinking about changing up to a better bike, so I did. I figured for as much value as I got out of this bike, I could easily justify a new one.

 

Today’s work out – chest, back, shoulders and a bit of all over…

Today I did this work out: Work out F in my series of A-F workouts.

Here’s what was in it:

Wide grip chin ups

Cable cross over chest flyes

Combination dumbbell lat raise with overhead press

Bent over rows

Power clean to squat to overhead press (prob not the technical name for it but its a combination of power clean to get the bar up then a squat press then bar goes overhead).

23 May 2017

Workout Routines

Today’s workout was all about the arms – biceps and triceps. I did a bit of ab crunch machine in there too. I thought I might like to share a little bit about what I do in the gym. I work out fairly often, I like to go most days but in reality it averages out to about 4 times a week.

Work, family commitments, energy levels, stress, illness, etc. all get in the way of work out time. But the key is consistency. As you get into the habit of exercising regularly, you will feel the want to go. I have been working out for many years. On and off for a few earlier on in life but these days I’ve been consistent for about 9 years.

For the guys who are built like twigs and aren’t getting ahead in the gym, I recommend that you do your homework on what helps to build muscle mass. Check out Stronglifts 5×5. You can find it on FB. We are all different, and I see some guys that just pop with muscles after their first work out after a 5 year layoff. Unfortunately, we aren’t all put together like that. At the other end of the scale is the puffy guy who puts on pounds easy but the wrong kind and doesn’t seem to be able to shake it.

So I’m an ectomorph. Maybe I’m a mesomorph, or at least I’m looking more like one these days. If you are thinking wtf is an ectomorph, its a skinny body type. High metabolism, does not put weight on easy. Don’t hate me for it, but I’ve always been able to eat anything I want, and never ever got fat. But there’s a kind of downside to this. I have to really eat a lot and work hard in the gym to maintain my 205 lbs. One trip away for work where I can’t access the same amount of calories due to eating at (normal) regular meal times and late dinners means that I shed about 5-8 lbs. By normal I mean that I eat all the time, so being constrained to regular lunch and dinner times keeps me hungry, and losing weight. Heaviest I ever got was about 213 lbs and that was recently, but I cant keep it on, and besides, I start looking a little pudgy around the chin at this stage.

So my basic principal – speaking for myself is this: eat a lot, of healthy foods. I pig out a bit on junk but its not the bulk of my diet. Keep it simple. I don’t do protein shakes much these days – they are very expensive, and I can tell you that I have kept the weight on without them. I drink full cream milk, like 3.25% fat. I like to slam two milkshake sized milk drinks a day – I put Quik in there for flavour.

Workouts should be varied. You don’t generally work out the same body part two days in a row. You need to let everything repair, recover, and grow. I have about 6 different work outs that I rotate. I also change them about every 3 months to something a bit different. It keeps it interesting. I used to do the same workout every day, and didn’t listen to my gym buddies, and wasn’t consuming enough food and kept thinking “this isn’t working, I don’t look any different whether I work out or not”. I was so dumb about things back then.

So, here’s the routine. Take it or leave it. Enjoy! Oh, and one last point, if you work out like a girl you will have girly muscles (which are awesome on girls), so you need to gradually increase your weight and challenge yourself to go heavier, but don’t go crazy, I have done some injuries finding the right amount of weight for each of my exercises. You should feel totally ‘spent’ after each workout if you are really going for it.

Workout A  biceps and legs.  Heavy bicep workout.

Dumbbell bicep curls.

Ezy bar curls.

Zane (cross over) curls

Squats

Calf extensions

Workout B chest and shoulders.

Dumbbell bench press.

Shoulder lat raises.

Chest flyes.

Arnold press

Crunch machine

Workout C biceps and triceps. Light bicep workout hi reps.

Preacher curls on bench

Concentration curls

Incline bench curls

Arm extenders for tricep on bench.

Cable triceps

Workout D mix up.

Overhead press

Power cleans

Hi step ups

Lunges

Chainsaws

Workout E mixup.

Hyper extensions

Incline dumbbell chest press

Leg curls

Leg extensions

Dips

Workout F  

Combo lat raises with overhead press dumbbell

Wide grip chin up

Cable cross over chest pulls

Bent over rows

Push ups with feet on bench

Power clean to squat jerks over head

 

 

Working Out in Hot Shorts – A Natural Option for Me!

Hi Bloggers.

Disclaimer, this will be a completely self absorbed post. If you find yourself rolling your eyes or snickering, good for you. If you’re fist pumping and saying ‘right on!’ then you’re my kind of blogger! Lighten up, have some fun, ok?  On with the post… 

Ok, lets talk about a subject near and dear to my heart, and my arse and thighs and everything else – lycra, spandex, tight shorts, long tights etc. So I haven’t worn baggy shorts in the gym for probably the better part of 10 years, and even before that I was probably mostly or occasionally stepping out in some bun hugging shorts.

So in the scale of worldly important issues – global hunger, nuclear arms, radical politics, it probably doesn’t really rate a mention. On a more personal level, and even culturally, it gets a rating of fuck this is really important to me. So, how/why do I find myself here, on WP blogging about tight shorts? Firstly, this, for me is a celebration. Anytime a person finds simple pleasure or joy in something, then I think its worth celebrating. Secondly, this is a kind of rebellion of sorts, my own counterculture stab at convention and in that way its a middle finger to society, in my own way. I’m not out to be disrespectful, I’m just making my own personal choices without having to have permission or whatever.

So my ‘history’ (just lie on the couch, I’m going to ask you about your mother…) is that there is without a doubt, a sexualized component in this for me. From adolescence, I found the material highly arousing. I liked the way it looks, and feels, and honestly I like the attention it gets. There, I said it, unashamedly. Its out there. Lets all take a breath and accept that. But over the years, the intensity of this experience has normalised somewhat and these days, its more about comfort and function, but I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t enjoy the sensual aspects of wearing this kind of thing 😉 . hot shorts 2

So what happens when a guy steps out in a pair of lycra long tights or shorts? Well, here’s the good news: nothing, or almost nothing. Maybe that could be stated as people are generally respectful or don’t care, or for the most part discrete. I find this aspect liberating, because it is ok, really, its ok. I’ve worn this stuff pretty much everywhere from Walmart to the movies, to camping trips, the café, etc etc. Ok, just to be clear, the hot shorts have only made appearances at the gym. My tight shorts choices for outside the gym are more bike short length above the knee type options or long tights. There are a couple of notable exceptions as to where I wouldn’t wear it – that being the workplace, and family bar-b-que.

There might be the odd comment behind my back – I don’t worry about that. Occasionally, normally younger girls (in pairs) will be elbowing each other and talking behind their hands, ok whatever. If I had any real concerns, it was about how would I be treated by other men? Well, again the good news is that for the vast majority of my experiences, and I mean like hundreds of work outs in various gyms in Australia, Canada and the States, guys are content to work out alongside me with no issues. Further, as I have become more comfortable, it really isn’t an issue, and I talk to people at my gym all the time in general conversation. It’s ok.

But there is a kind of ‘dark side’ to this subject. Lycra, for guys gets a lot of shit. You only have to do a search of opinions etc. to realise that there is the opposite of cultural acceptance when it comes to guys in tights. I think that this is in part body image driven, and in part a kind of man-shaming where our body parts are ‘not supposed’ to be displayed.

While I understand the logic, I think its fucking bullshit. Girls get to wear their Lulu’s hugging their arse and vulvas all over the place, including at the gym, office, or wherever. Disclaimer, I’m not complaining about their fashion choice, in fact I love it when girls wear this stuff. Its a total double standard that I think is bullshit. Further, its often the other guys that guffaw over this subject, with generally derogatory/homophobic comments when the subject comes up in general man-talk in groups. I accept that, I don’t think I’m going to sway public opinion with one post here, but that’s ok.

hot shorts 1 (3)

So there’s a kind of a contradiction going on. If you look at all the instances where men in tight gear is ok, and there are plenty of them – generally sporting arenas, but then there is also dance, yoga, cycling, running (anybody been to a fun run or marathon lately, its a spandexathon for men these days). It seems that all this is ok, or should be ok. Millions of people are watching NFL every week and guys have the tightest material hugging their thighs and arse. I think this is fine, but the contradiction is that is ok in some places, but not others….? That’s fine, it is what it is.

So my favourite shorts? The Better Bodies men’s hotpant. Ok, I’m not on commission here. They feel great. Always team these up with a man thong for support. I just love the way they fit my body and kind of keep everything supported but give me total freedom to move about. I wont lie, having an inch of inseam on my thighs feels wickedly nice!  Don’t worry, in the picture below the shorts were washed, you wont finhot shorts 3d any unfortunate stains even if you strain your eyes!