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After several months of slacking and off the bicycle, diet running amuck, I decided I was done with all that. Time to get serious about altering my habits. This all came about as I began noticing favorite clothes were fitting tighter and my fitness was waning, even on walks to the beach. About a week before Halloween weekend I called myself to account and a plan was hatched. Drop my weight back to my target, which would get my BMI back to low or below 25 and get back to cycling.

This plan calls for dumping a lot of useless calories that are enablers of more useless calories. Yep, evening wine, cheese, crackers, chips and salsa. Into the bin. Well, just a full stop. I know from past experience that just diet won’t do all I’m after to get done in any reasonable time. A diet alone will not nudge my habits away from where I’ve drifted back to where I want to be. Hope to be. To that end, I decided to cut into my screen time. TV to bedtime is said to be bad for sleep, so I set aside an hour before bed to read.

Now, cycling. I want to get back to riding as my usual route, yet 100 km route I was doing more often. I am going to work on speed, power and climbing. I’ll be taking aim on a 100 mile day for 2023.

The idea is to attempt to drop ten kilograms which if I can boost my FTP with riding, could see me hit 3 watts per kilogram. That won’t be too bad for a 70 year old guy I figure.

My routine is to initially ride my old usual workout ride out to the park at Ortega and Antonio, back around Dana Point harbor and home. Once I’m feeling OK with that I’ll add the Antonio hill and some of the rollers north toward Santa Margarita. Once I can get to there and back, I’ll stretch to the old 100 km route to Olympiad. I figure initially I’ll be able to manage a longer ride at least once a week. And slowly add repeats until the longer distance is the usual, then add the next longer route. The eventual hundred mile day will take the greater part of eight hours. Though I’d like to have enough speed by then to best that. We shall see.

Anyway, this was the plan I began late October and will run into 2023. Now a month in, I’m down a bit more than 2kg. My resting heart rate is dropping back to mid 40’s, but I think that is more due to finally shedding the dregs of colds than any great fitness strides. At about five weeks in now, I find it a little easier to ignore sweets, though a stray small serving of corn chips still can grab my attention. I’m not into full on riding hard mode yet nor riding every day, but I have managed one 100km day after an 85km effort followed by a rest day then a 75 km day. More climbing has been added, though I’ve not ventured back to the steep stuff quite yet.

I anticipate locking up my weight loss goal by March. By March I should be in a good position to pull off an unsupported hundred mile ride. A thing I have not managed since my racing days. And back then I would have been riding with team members this would be a lifetime first solo effort.

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