Catching Up: I am a day behind, mostly due to the fact that where I was there was no internet at all. The last couple days have been long and hot. Now the mid-west has fully hit. Today it hit 104 degrees (sorry I work in Fahrenheit) but I had a little bit of a tailwind which was nice. I am deep into Iowa now. Tomorrow I get to Des Moines and a host house for the evening. That might involve air conditioning. Thank goodness for small favours. Last night I got lost trying to find my campground. I got lost enough that this male actually stopped and asked somebody for directions. My wife just about fell over reading that. Asking for directions is not my strong point. But no internet, and a body that was tired and badly overheated demanded a humility that I normally would not have made use of.
Iowa is hilly. If your assumption is that there are few hills, ride a few of the gravel roads here and they will avail you of that belief. Today I hit one hill on a gravel road that achieved a whopping 22% grade. Needless to say the trailer and the bike were not happy and started slipping. I needed to walk the beast up. They always tell me that I need to practice walking with my bike for Leadville so I am being obedient! In the midst of that heat this afternoon I relented from the gravel and took to the interstate for a short while. Even trucks moved over for me. One man on a back gravel road stopped and handed me an ice cold water from his cooler. Oh my, that tasted incredible. Small favours are a gift, they truly are. Next time you see someone in that situation a bottle of COLD water makes the world shine brighter. Then in the town of Pella Iowa (yes Pella windows are manufactured in Pella, go figure) I found a McDonalds near the end of the day. I drank five large unsweet teas and filled up the bottles with ice and tea for the last 40 minutes to the campground. I love, love, love unsweet tea. Chris and Jodi promised to send me directions, so if you are reading!
Thought For the Day: OK, a few years ago I went to my Dr about my weight. I weighed in about what I do now. He took my blood pressure (116/74 very very good) and my resting heart rate (can go as low as 45) and asked me about my activity life. I said, I cycle about 10 hours a week and do exercises, eat fairly healthy (90% rule) yet my weight does not change that much. He said (my Dr. is an armchair philosopher); ‘face it Mark, you are just a fit fat man.’ Many year later now and that is the truth. Let me tell you the basics people will tell you about losing weight. Make the calories in less than the calories out, maintain that over time and you will lose weight. True, and for most of the population that is the very essence of getting in shape and losing weight. But those calculations have never worked for me. A couple years ago my nutritionist JH told me, Mark, face it you just need a ton less food than the average human. So, take this trip and I’ll explain the numbers. I am averaging about eight hours a day on the bike. At a conservative calculation (Strava is very conservative) I burn app. 600 calories per hour (that is very very conservative) so each day I am burning 4800-5000 calories. Then you add in my BMR (basal metabolic rate of say a conservative 1800) and the real world says I have between 6600 and 7000 calories a day to make up. I am averaging app. 2500 in each day.
Here is where it gets fun. My body doesn’t believe those numbers. In the first two weeks running a caloric deficit of between 4000 and 4500 calories a day, I have lost absolutely zero pounds. I was down seven after a long ride and then in the rest day I put seven back on. Seven pounds gained in a day! Come on now that is a body that is serious about maintaining it’s style. The fat may be shifting over into muscle (my legs are tired and the calves are tightening up) but the weight doesn’t shift. All this to say, be careful when you look at someone and presume all the standard categories are what is in effect. I got my weight seriously down a couple years ago but I had to stick to an app. 1200 calorie a day diet for that to come about. I did that for 6-12 months. I literally laugh at people who tell me I need to eat more and kick my metabolism in. It is kicked in people; and I am ready for the zombie apocalypse, or living in an igloo for six months of winter! Or, I am ready for one of the longest, highest altitude mountain bike races in North America that demands a diesel engine that runs on little fuel. Hey, I have that one!