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Spring has sprung for WMB blogger Clive Chapman

| Blog, What Mountain Bike | 01/03/2011 09:00am

It’s March 1 and that’s spring in my book. I’m now preparing to be totally confused as to how to dress on my early morning commutes to work. Tracky bottoms or shorts? Waterproof socks or no waterproof socks? Full gloves or mitts? I don’t remember this choice paralysis when I was a kid. To misquote a song, all we did was, “Got on our bikes and rode!” But the weather will settle down, as will my choice of biking clobber. Eventually.

The weight loss has kick started again; I’m now 1lb short of a 7 stones loss. This is entirely due to my mega food management, that’s business-speak for not being a pig and watching what I eat! Basically, I’ve returned to what I did at the beginning of this program. I pedal to work, do my work while drinking plenty of water, pedal home, and then have a proper cooked dinner. It sounds harsh but it works for me. I’ve no doubt experts will be saying that’s not what to do.

As I’ve read quite a bit on the subject now, I’d tend to agree with them on the face of it. But even if I have the smallest calorific intake during a working day I don’t lose the weight. I guess the human factor, ie everyone’s different, holds true for weight loss too.

The heart medication I take has to be kept up unfortunately, which did come as a disappointment at my scan last week. The enlarged heart wall needs to be supported by the drugs, probably forever according to the specialist I saw. But my BP is normal, as is my cholesterol and my resting heart rate is 50bpm, which as the specialist said is quite remarkable for an old, fat bloke who pedals a bit.

The bike commuting is going well. I’m now totally in the groove and have a good few routes, using both my road bike, the Giant Defy 2 on the er, road, and my rigid MTB – a Specialized Rockhopper – along the canal and NCR5. I tend to pedal one type of bike over one route until I’m terminally bored, then swap bikes and crack on again on a different route until boredom sets in again.

With the rugby season drawing closer to an end, my Marin East Peak will be getting its tyres dirty more often at the weekend. There are still the bridleways of Worcestershire to explore. I didn’t quite fit that in last year, but this year will see me do it for definite! It’s always the most two-wheeled fun I have, as much as I enjoy the road bike and MTB commuter.

I hope this year carries on as it’s started, with more weight loss and enjoyable pedalling; the weight loss and biking more than make up for spartan food regime. I’m looking forward to being able to adjust what I eat to maintain a sensible weight rather than lose it. I’m not sure how far away that is yet, but I’m looking to be doing that by the end of the year.

As always, you can follow my daily travails over on


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