June 30, 2010

Yesterday I went for a ride to test my new tires on the tarmac. I knew they are fast (as I said here) but I wanted to see how fast they really are. I went for a ride to Acatari, about 20 kilometers with two climbs. The tires are very fast, my average speed was 27 km/h and the maximum speed was just above 60 km/h.
Before the last climb I saw two bikers folowed by a yellow car with a LIVESTRONG logo on the trunk. I think this is what you can call riding with style :)

June 29, 2010

Group training

Group rides are FUN. It is a pleasant way to do some training rides.
It also helps you to learn different skills like how to follow a rider closely and safely, how to expend less energy. You can go very fast with the help of a friend if you take turns in front. I went for a ride on Sunday with a friend and my average speed was 29,4 km/h (on 40 km) and we didn't even go with full speed :)
(picture from gzcycle.com)
Another benefit is that you can go out with friends and have a great time.

June 24, 2010

Bike love

More bike love pics here.

June 22, 2010

MMM 2010 - Medieval Mud Marathon 2010

Saturday was race day. It was a very hard race so it was a big satisfaction to finish it.
I had some bad luck before the race but I was glad that I could get there. It was raining a lot before the race  so I had to buy some new tires. I bought a pair of Race Kings (2.2) which are not exactly good for mud but they are better than my old tires. When I was changing the tires the tube from my back tire had a hole. I had two spare tubes but both had holes. :(


I wanted to go to Tarnaveni and from there go to Medias the next day but it started raining and I had a flat tire. My father came after me and took me home :)


Saturday morning I bough some tubes after I got my race number and I fixed my tire. My bad luck didn't end there, I left my bottle in the car so I had to buy a new bottle.


It was very hot when the race started and a thunderstorm was coming :)


I started the race on the back of the pack but the first kilometers were in the city so I passed at least 100 people. Then on the first climb we got muddy. The mud was so bad that even if I pushed the bike it stuck to the tires and the tires were getting blocked so I had to carry the bike on my back. When I got to some grassy roads I cleaned the bike and got on it. In the forest I tried to push the bike on the leaves so the tires could spin. I had to clean the bike a few times and I was getting tired of pushing. When I finally got to the climb on the field where the road was on grass I was very happy that I could ride on the bike. People were amazed that I was still on the bike because it was a hard climb but I was just happy that I could finally stay on the bike. The mud wasn't so bad after the first climb, there were some nice road on grass and some roads  in some villages and I really liked my tires, they were great on grass and country roads and even on light mud. The Race King is a very fast tires and it gets clean very fast in light mud. But on heavy mud it's not good so I felt down in a muddy corner :(


At about the half of the race some small muscle cramps were starting to bother me so until the end of the race I had to stay focused to avoid some serious cramps. I had to clean the bike a few times but the mud wasn't so bad and I could go fast. At the last checkpoint were we could get some food and water I had some serious cramps but after a short rest and a lot of glucose I could attack the last climb. The last climb was another pushbike section but it wasn't so muddy so I only had to fight my muscle cramps. I finish the race about 10 minutes before the thunderstorm started :)


Stats(these are not exact because I carried the bike a lot):
    - time: 3:54:29
    - distance: 48,7 km
    - average speed: 12,4 km/h
    - max speed: 49 km/h
   - actual time: 4:24
   - average heart rate: 176 bpm
   - max heart rate: 201 bpm

It was a very hard race, the hardest so far but I was very happy when I crossed the finish line. I will be back with more pics.

June 18, 2010

New tires

I bought a pair of Continental Race King tires for the race tomorrow.
They say that the track is wet, but there are a lot of country roads, some roads on grass and even some paved roads in the race so I hope I've made the right choice. I will test them today on some bad paved road when I will go home to Tarnaveni.

June 17, 2010

Summer salads

I love summer because there are a lot of fresh vegetables at the market. This week I made two kind of salads, one with a yogurt dressing and one with lime juice.
I use the yogurt dressing for every salad that doesn't involve fish. For example in this salad I had some left over grilled chicken. You can use every vegetable you like, I chopped up some cabbage, cucumbers, carrots,  tomatoes and onions. I like to make my own dressings, I usually use one big cup of yogurt and some herbs and spices like parsley, oregano, basil and salt (maybe some paprika for color). I chopped up a few leaves of mint to but I didn't really like it.

I like to make my own croutons also. I toast the bread and cut it up in small cubes. It has a really good taste when you rub some garlic on the bread before you cut it up.

The fish salads are easier to make because you just chop up the veggies, put the fish on top and squeeze some lime juice on it. Then throw on some croutons and some herbs (basil, parsley) and enjoy :)

June 16, 2010

This is what keeps me from going crazy :D

What keep you sane in this fast moving world filled with stress?
This is my medicine, about an hour of riding relaxes me. No mater how tired or stressed I am it always helps. Exercise in general has been shown to decrease anxiety and stress levels, and bicycling is a fun way to exercise. Another benefit in stress reduction is that it keeps you out of traffic jams :D

Any regular exercise can reduce stress and depression and improve well being and self esteem. Cycling outdoors is also a good way to be one with nature and to feel the breath of the earth. It takes one’s mind out of everyday-life stress and rejuvenates his soul.

Other health benefits of cycling:
1. Promotes a Healthy Heart
2. Improves Blood Chemistry, including HDL, “good” cholesterol”
3. Lowers Blood Pressure.
4. Decreases Risk of Cancer.
5. Builds Stronger Bones.
6. Reduces the Chance of Diabetes
7. Promotes Greater Muscle Strength.
8. Reduces Stress.
9. Decreases Chronic Pain (arthritis, back pain, and more)
10. Improves digestion, lung function and joint flexibility

I was inspired by experienceplus.com and adultbicycling.com.

June 15, 2010

Preparing for the Medieval Marathon from Medias

This weekend I'm going racing to the Medieval Marathon from Medias (also known as MMM).
The 2009 edition was my first marathon. It was a very nice race, the view was beautiful and the weather was great. I wasn't going so well because I didn't have enough training but I've finished in 32th position in my age group (crossing the finish line as a knight :D)
I like this race because it is close to my hometown and it was my first marathon. Last year was very hot and I got a little dehydrated and I had some bad muscle cramps too but this year I'm feeling more confident, I have more experience and more training. It looks like this year the track will be a little wet.

My goal is a top ten finish :) I think It will be hard because it is a very famous race and there are already more than 300 people who have already payed the fee, this is a first in this country, and they are expecting about 400 racers :)
You can find all he pics I have from last year here.

June 14, 2010

I love all you can find scrambled eggs

Usually Saturdays I make scrambled eggs for breakfast. I put everything I can find in the fridge (that fits) in the pan and pour the eggs on it. I like the summer because I can make some really good salads for the eggs. This is my breakfast from last Saturday:
In the scrambled eggs I've put:
 - sausages
 - tomatoes
 - garlic
 - green onions
 - green chili
 - black olives
 - cheese
 - salt, pepper and paprika
 - some wine
 - eggs
 - chopped parsley leaves on top

The salad:
 - green onions
 - tomatoes
 - cucumbers
 - white radish
 - salt and vinegar
 - chopped basil on top

June 13, 2010

How many calories is your diet?

A regular person who exercises a bit every day consumes about 2,000 calories.
As I always said keeping your weight or loosing some weight is just a simple math problem. If the result of the difference of how many calories you eat and how many calories you burn is negative you loose weight, if it is positive you gain weight and if it is close to zero you maintain your current weight. But, there is always a but, for example if you reduce the intake of your calories drastically your body reacts and reduces the calorie consumption.

Some athletes have a very high calorie diet, for example Michael Phelps has a 12,000 Calorie Diet!

June 12, 2010

It's on!

Even the F1 drivers like football:

June 11, 2010

Elderflower juice recipe

Yesterday I made the Elderflower juice :)
As I promissed in this post here is the recipe for 5 liters of juice:
- 5 liter of water
- 10-12 elder flowers
- 4 lemons

You have to wash the flowers, cut the lemons in thin slices and let tis mixture in a cool place for about 2-3 days. After that you have to filter it. You need about 800 grams of sugar and some vinegar. About 2-3 table spoons of sugar you need to caramelize (only until it gets a little color) then you need to add about 2 table spoons of vinegar. The rest of the sugar you have to melt with the juice (it help if you use some heat). You mix all this (juice, sugar, caramelized sugar) together and you put it in bottles in the fridge.

There is another recipe (that doesn't involve cooking) that I want to try soon :)

June 10, 2010

South Africa 2010

Tomorrow is the big day :D


June 9, 2010

How to boost your metabolism?

Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that happen in living organisms to maintain life. These processes allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments.
A fast metabolism is critical to burning fat and managing body weight. While some dieters use diet pills to speed up their metabolisms, the risks and side effects of these drugs make them risky. You can use some safe and natural methods to speed up your metabolism.

The best way to jump-start your metabolism is to exercise. Exercise will reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass. By increasing lean muscle mass, metabolism will increase and aid in the weight-loss process. Muscle tissue uses more calories than fat tissue because it has a higher metabolic rate. Aerobic exercise, like walking, swimming or cycling, has the added bonus of speeding up your metabolism for 4 to 8 hours after you stop exercising. Additional calories will be burned off long after you stop exercising.

Weight lifting, resistance or strength training, does not speed up your metabolism, but it does burn fat and increase your lean muscle mass which increases your resting metabolic rate. A combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training is best for optimal fat burning and metabolism boosting. Exercise in the morning and you will reap the benefits of a faster metabolism throughout the day, or exercise in short 10 or 15-minute bursts every couple of hours to keep your metabolism pumping. Exercise any time you can fit it into your day and you will burn that fat away. By exercising just a little more than usual you can speed up your metabolism and use up stored fat in the process.

Eat breakfast! Breakfast is essential. Your body has been deprived of food throughout the night, therefore your metabolism has slowed. If the cells do not receive sufficient nutrients they will begin to function less efficiently on smaller amounts, and they will actually store more fat to use during these times of nutritional deprivation. Eat six small meals a day to keep your body's fuel supply consistent and keep your metabolism revved up. Avoid eating late at night because your metabolism naturally slows down in the afternoon and evening, so eat a hearty breakfast. Consistency is important because your body metabolism adapts to your current weight. If you have been dieting or skipping meals your body's metabolism slows down to compensate for the lack of nutrients. When lean people overeat their metabolism speeds up and when obese people diet their metabolism slows down. The key is a balance of exercise and diet.

Don't starve. Dropping your calorie intake below 1,000 calories a day will signal to your body that you are in starvation mode, and will slow down your metabolism.

Keep Hydrated. Inadequate water intake can slow your metabolism. Water is responsible for several metabolic processes, including digestion, waste management and temperature regulation. The Mayo Clinic recommends drinking 2 liters of water daily. You can fight hunger as well as raise your metabolism by drinking a glass before each meal. To provide an extra boost, make sure your water is ice cold. Your body burns extra calories heating it up to room temperature.

Coffee. Whether you realize it or not, you might already be waking up to an effective natural metabolism booster. The caffeine naturally present in coffee raises metabolism and can improve fat oxidation. Drinking a cup before exercise can also improve alertness and help fight fatigue. I saw some guys drinking energy drinks (with caffeine) before their workout.

Eating protein-rich foods like low-fat dairy products, lean meat and skinless chicken is found to increase metabolism. Include fish, dark green vegetables and foods high in fiber to your meals. There is evidence to show that foods rich in protein increase the burning of calories by about 25%. Consume foods that contain antioxidants for speeding up your metabolism. For instance, green tea will raise metabolism better than coffee due to its high antioxidant content.

The temperature of your body environment affects your metabolism. If it is very cold or very hot, the rate of metabolism is found to go up by about 20%. You can manipulate that temperature. You can either chill out or have a sauna to raise your metabolism.

Keep yourself active and moving throughout the day. When you increase your physical activity, your muscle increases and, consequently, the metabolic rate also goes up. Aerobic exercises coupled with resistance training and exercises are very useful in this regard. If you have a job that requires you to sit at the desk for long hours, find ways to incorporate some physical activity and movement that takes you away from the desk, even for short durations, as often as possible.

By increasing the heart rate, you can raise your metabolism rate. Adding spices, especially chili or green pepper, to your food will most likely do that. It is believed that spices speed-up the metabolism by about 50%. But you have to develop considerable tolerance for the spicy condiments if you do not already have it.

I was inspired by consumeraffairs.comlivestrong.comabout.com & www.squidoo.com.

June 8, 2010

Elderflower juice

Sunday was a beautiful day, my muscles were a little swore after the Transfagarasan but I went for a ride. I wanted to make elderflower juice so I was searching for a tree. I didn't want to get the flowers from a tree that was near a road so I was going to the Terebici. There was a  lot of mud in the forest so I turned around and I chose the paved road and then some roads in the fields. You can find the route here.
I've found this tree in the middle of the filed and i got some flowers :)
The view was beautiful
This is how it looks like, I will write about the recipe soon

PS: There is good evidence that juice and syrup derived from elderberries may improve flu-like symptoms :)

June 7, 2010

Transfagarasan

Saturday I woke up at about 4:30 in the morning to climb the Transfagarasan again :D
The weather was fine so I didn't put on my winter clothes.
As we climbed higher the fog got thicker, then it started raining a bit. We were very happy when we saw the snow.
The snow got bigger and bigger as we were getting near the top.
The last few kilometers I have sprinted because I wasn't tired and my pulse was very low on the climb (we were climbing very slow).
Stats:
    - time: 3:06:40 (with stops 3:51)
    - distance: 35,25 km
    - average speed: 11,3 km/h
    - max speed 37,9 km/h

After everybody got to the peak we went through the tunnel to the other side. The view was... i can't describe it with words:
We had a short lunch and a hot tea and we started the descent. The road was wet but we got down very fast (about 45 minutes).

Stats:
    - time: 4:24:08 (with stops 3:51)
    - distance: 72,50 km
    - average speed: 16,3 km/h
    - max speed 61,8 km/h

It was a great day and I hope I will climb this beautiful mountain many more time.

You can find all the pics here.

June 6, 2010

Cool wedding

There are a lot of cool ideas for weddings, but what about a biker wedding?
Some people have already done it, for example this couple from Sao Paulo. Another great idea is to use a rickshaw instead of a car.

June 5, 2010

June 4, 2010

New record

Yesterday I went for a ride to Acatari and the wind was just perfect so I got a new high speed record for this year:
It was just a short ride because tomorrow I'm going to climb the Transfagarasan :D

June 3, 2010

My garden

Sunday I made some angry noodles so I had to kill some of my plants. This is how my garden looks like:

June 2, 2010

A ride to Praid

This weekend I went to Praid to a friend's birthday. The road was good and the ride was pretty nice. On the way there I was delayed by a bit of rain and I had to get off the road once because a truck was passing a truck :(
Stats:
    - time: 2:23:44 (with a stop 2:30)
    - distance: 68,22 km
    - average speed: 28,4 km/h
    - max speed 60,2 km/h

On the way back I was faster, mainly because the vertical climb was smaller. You can find the route here.

Stats:
    - time: 2:17:00
    - distance: 65,25 km
    - average speed: 28,5 km/h
    - max speed 56,9 km/h

June 1, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to all the kids!

Inside man

A great movie with a great story:

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