Baleaf Men’s Thermal Cycling Tights

Winter is coming, and it’s going to be brutal in Bakersfield. People in the mid-west don’t believe that California is capable of getting cold, but trust me, it can get pretty chilly in Bakersfield. That’s the main reason I stop riding my bicycle for exercise when it starts to get cold in October.

I can handle a little bit of cold weather, but not on my bare skin. When I ride the bike, I try to wear tight fitting clothes. The only bicycle clothes I have are bicycle bib shorts, I never bought the pants because I could never afford them. I prefer to buy my bike clothes online because they are much cheaper than at the bike store. You can shop at the bike store, but they are going to jack up the prices and you won’t be able to try them on. Bike Nashbar is usually reasonable, but their prices are still a bit out of my price range right now. I bought my bib shorts from them only because they were on sale. I went back to their website for the bib pants, or even just a regular pair of bicycle pants, but they were too expensive for me right now.

My next option was Amazon. I searched for bicycle pants and found Baleaf Men’s Thermal Cycling Tights Size XL for only $20. The shipping was free if I bought $35 worth of stuff, but I didn’t have that much to spend, so I paid the $5 shipping.

These pants have a few features that I was hoping for. They are tight enough for the bicycle and they have fleece inside to keep my legs warm while I’m on the bicycle. They also have a drawstring which will come in handy when I start to lose some weight from going to the gym 4 days a week. They also have pockets, not that I really need them since I keep everything in my gym bag. I don’t like to keep things in my pockets on the bike because I’m afraid they will fall out. These pockets have zippers so there’s no chance of anything falling out. The pockets are good for those times I’m just riding the bike to the mall or to Michael’s because I will have a place for my wallet, phone and keys.

This makes me so happy because I really like exercising, but I hate that I can’t exercise when it’s too cold outside. Now I have a reason to keep going to the gym this and every winter.

Update: Well, so much for this idea. Unfortunately, my calves and thighs are way too big. These pants were so tight that there was no possible way I could put them on without the seams bursting lol. It would be a shame to waste $25 on a pair of pants I would probably end up having to throw away because the seams kept coming apart. So I sent them back. I have awhile before it starts getting too cold, and I have a pair of sweats that I can just wear to the gym for now.

EyePet with Camera and Secret Agent Clank

Secret Agent ClankMy Amazon order finally came today with the EyePet with camera and Secret Agent Clank. Unfortunately, the camera did not work with my PSP. I read every word on the box and I read every word in the description on Amazon, and no where did it say anything about compatibility with the PSP 2000. It did say that it was not compatible with the PSP Go, but that was it.

I went back to Amazon and it shows that if you buy the EyePet game with a PSP 3000 it would cost such and such amount of money, so that right there tells me that it is probably only compatible with the 3000, which I do not have. That really sucks because I was really looking forward to having that camera. I’m not willing to upgrade just for the camera, because if I’m going to upgrade, I’m getting a PS Vita.

So I went to my orders on Amazon and requested a refund. They paid for the UPS shipping label to send it back to them and I will get refunded when they receive the product.

I was more than thrilled that I had Secret Agent Clank to play with. I got my shoes on with “The Spark” from SparkPeople and rode on the bicycle while playing Secret Agent Clank for 40 minutes. The only reason I stopped was because my butt was numb lol. I looked at the time on the bicycle computer and was like oh cool, 40 minutes. Done and done! I didn’t even miss a beat while on the bicycle either. I kept riding the same speed as usual, maybe even faster. It was fun, but I had to get off the bike.

So far my experiment worked. If I play a video game on my PSP while riding my bicycle on the bike trainer, I will not even notice time flying by. I could probably ride the bike for a couple of hours without ever noticing that I’m actually exercising lol. Although, that won’t happen with my ergo bike seat. I’ll need to buy a beach cruiser seat for comfort. Perhaps if I had something more comfortable to sit on, I might be on there for 2 or 3 hours. Hey, it could happen.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and you know I will be on that bicycle for at least 40 – 60 minutes before and after dinner. I really hope The Spark has a good warranty, because that thing will be smoking by the end of the day.

New PSP Games

Castlevania EyePet Jak & Daxter Secret Agent Clank

I’ve been having fun riding the bicycle in the patio with my new bicycle trainer. I’ve been listening to music with my Dell DJ, but it gets boring just sitting there in the same room looking at the same thing, which is a door and a bunch of junk lol. If the patio were cleaned up and there were furniture to look at then it might be more pleasant, but I’m sure I’d get bored of looking at that too.

Yesterday when I was riding on the bicycle, I decided I would bring out my PSP and play a new game that I recently bought at a pawn shop that was closing. I rode the bicycle for 36 minutes while playing and it seemed like time flew by. I would have kept going past 36 minutes if it weren’t for the fact that my butt became numb because of the way I was sitting. I have an Ergo bicycle seat, so I really should be holding on to the handlebars to stay upright. Playing with the PSP kind of moved me in an awkward position, so my butt became numb lol. I’m going to buy a new seat next time I go to Target. They have the beach cruiser seats which is probably more comfortable anyway.

I have a page on my website for all of my PSP games. These 4 games in particular are EyePet, which I bought specifically because I wanted the camera lol. I know it’s stupid because I have a good camera on my cell phone, and I have a good video camera that takes pictures, so why would I need a camera on my PSP? Well, considering it’s only $13 and it comes with a game, I thought it was worth the price, and I want to buy all of the accessories and games that I can before they stop selling them.

I bought Secret Agent Clank because I love the Ratchet and Clank games. I have one of them and I loved it, but I haven’t played it in such a long time that I have no idea what I’m doing. I bought Jak and Daxter because I love the Daxter game that came with my PSP. I have always wanted to play this one. Castlevania is a game I’ve wanted to play for a long time. It’s not the same as the other cool PSP games like the Daxter and Clank games, it’s like a side-scroller you would see with Nintendo and Sega games. I actually love side-scroller games.

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This is a PSP Real View V-Screen Depth Enhancer. It acts as a case for your PSP, and when you open it, you can pull down a magnifying glass that makes your game bigger, and it is supposed to add 3D to your 2D game. I watched a YouTube video to see how it works, but the reviews weren’t so great. I bought it anyway because like I said about the camera, I want to buy all the accessories and games that I can before they stop selling them. I want to experience everything I can before I can’t anymore.

I had something similar to this for my Game Boy, but it wasn’t a case, it just slid over the top of the game boy and you could see a bigger screen, it also had a light. It didn’t turn my 2D game into a 3D game, but from what the video reviews said on YouTube, neither does this lol. I really don’t care too much about that. It was only $5.29 with free shipping. You can’t beat that.

I have more games in my PSP Games Wishlist on Amazon. Of course, Sony Online Entertainment stopped making new games for the PSP because they are focusing more on the PS Vita which has a smaller game stick rather than a UMD Universal Media Disc. So much for it being universal. They also have downloadable games in the Playstation Store that I can buy, but unfortunately my new WiFi Cable Modem uses a specific security that my PSP cannot connect to, so that has totally screwed up my ability to ever connect to my WiFi again. No more browsing the PlayStation store for games and no more browsing websites, not that I needed to, and no more using Skype.

These games and the Real View V-Screen Depth Enhancer will arrive either this Friday or Saturday, or in the middle of next week. I really look forward to the Jak and Daxter game. I have so many games now, but I haven’t finished all of them because I get bored with them. Maybe I will put it on my bucket list to actually finish a game that I started to get some kind of closure on each game. That would be nice lol.

The Spark of Fire Under My Ass

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This new gadget that lives on the laces of my left shoe has really lit a fire under my ass. Now I know why it’s called The Spark. Every day since I’ve had it, I’ve been walking to the store and walking longer distances when walking the dog, and I’ve been riding my bicycle on my trainer in the patio. The first couple of times it was all I could do to stay on it without dying from the pain in my thighs, but since I’ve had the Spark, I’ve been using it for as long as I can. Yesterday I only got off of it because my show was coming on. Today I woke up early specifically so I could spend as much time on the bike as I could. I was only on it for 36 minutes, but I’m working my way up to a longer ride.

The goal they gave me for steps is 6000. The first day I barely made it to the goal, the 2nd day was basically the same, but the 3rd day, well, that you can see in the image above. Of course, that’s not all from walking, most of that was from the bicycle. You see, it doesn’t just log my cycling, it considers my pedaling to be steps. My nutritionist wanted me to walk 10,000 steps per day, well, here you go.

Sometimes I buy something and feel real good about my purchase, while other times I feel like I have made a huge mistake and regret it. I am so happy that I found this because it got me off my butt and made me think about how much time am I going to spend walking today, and how much time I’m going to ride the bike today.

IMAG0747SparkPeople also sent me a workout DVD called Total Body Sculpting with Coach Nicole. The exercises look pretty good. I haven’t started using the DVD yet, but I plan on soon. I want to buy the weights first. They have workouts that are beginners, intermediate and advanced. They also give you a week planner so you aren’t doing the same exact workout every time. The SparkPeople website even has these workouts available in the list of exercises so I know what to log. All I have to do is watch the video and then when I finish, log it with the exact amount of time I did it and I get the calorie credits. Cool, eh?

So I feel so much more motivation than I did before. If I ever get to the point where this DVD isn’t working, I mean when it becomes too easy and I plateau, then I will have to buy another one that is a bit more advanced. I will also have to step up my cardio as well. Perhaps I could do the 2 hour bike ride and then 2 hours of exercise DVD. Hmmmm… I better not count my chickens before they hatch lol. We will see how it goes, yes?

So… until then…

The Spark Activity Tracker

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Diet and exercise are very important to me. Since I have Scoliosis, I prefer cycling over any other form of cardio exercise that might hurt my back. I have a mountain bike on a bicycle trainer in our patio and I have a bicycle computer connected to the back wheel. I also use the Noom app on my Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ tablet to log my diet and exercise.

The Noom app added a new feature that allows you to connect your Google Fit account so it can copy all of the cardio information from your Google Fit tracker. I didn’t have a Google Fit tracker, so I went looking for one, however they are very expensive. I went looking for an alternative and found The Spark Activity Tracker from Spark People for only $29.95. It attaches to your shoe or your belt or wherever you want to attach it. It logs your steps and all of your cardio from walking, jogging, running, cycling, elliptical and even when you are just working or shopping. It comes with a USB Wireless Sync Point that allows The Spark to sync when you are in range of your computer where it is plugged in. Once it syncs up with your SparkPeople account, you can then see your progress. It shows daily steps, activity minutes, calories burned and distance covered.

imageUnfortunately The Spark doesn’t connect to the Noom app, but I will be able to use the information from SparkPeople to log my activity to Noom. Perhaps this will be more accurate since it is much newer than my bicycle computer. If The Spark is permanently attached to my shoe, I will never forget it, and the battery will last for a year, so no worries about having to keep it charged. I can also edit the steps in the Noom app so they are the same as in the SparkPeople website.

What I was not expecting was to receive a SparkPeople Exercise DVD that will give me complete weekly workouts for beginners, intermediate and advanced. I am considering buying some weights to go with these workouts. I watched a few of them and they aren’t bad either. I don’t have a lot of space in my bedroom, but I might have just enough to do these workouts.

I was curious to see if The Spark would know the difference between walking and riding my bicycle, and it knew exactly what I was doing because it logged 22 minutes on the bike as “Cycling”. Although, the 2nd day I used it, it logged it as general exercise. I had to reclassify it, and that also affected my steps on the SparkPeople website and app, which gave me more steps. A little strange that I had to do that, but that’s fine.

It’s also interesting how The Spark works. You tap it 5 times and it will show lights to show you how you are doing. If it only has 1 light on the top, you haven’t done anything yet, if it shows half, then you know you’ve still got a ways to go. If all the lights come on, and they blink, then you still have a few minutes of exercise to go. You know you’re finished when all the lights glow and they don’t blink. That’s when you can sigh and say I’m done! And if you meet your goal for the day, the week or the month, you get a trophy. The image at the top of this paragraph is my first trophy which says I met my goal of 6000 steps. I got the same trophy on my 2nd day using it. The trophies are a fun way to encourage you to meet all of your goals. Although, you don’t get an actual trophy, but if you do all of the work and eat right, you get a flat tummy, and isn’t that worth all the trophies in the world?

I was motivated by the Noom and SparkPeople apps, and I was motivated by my bicycle and the bicycle trainer, but even though I had all of those things, I wasn’t 100% motivated. I do feel that this Spark will light a spark under my ass and get me back to work so I can lose this weight. I hope it does.

Spinning

spinning

Oh boy, this bicycle trainer has got me spinning… A sad pathetic attempt at humor lol.

Spinning 11 12 2014

So here I am today compared to yesterday. Yesterday and every other day that I used my bicycle trainer for exercise, I only used 1 gear and I had the unit resistance roller on 1 twist. Well, that’s not going to help me get the exercise that I need to lose weight. If I want to get a good workout, I need to mix it up a bit, so I twisted it 2 more times and started using my gears.

The last post I talked about not being able to use my gears because I installed my bicycle on the trainer wrong because it wasn’t connecting to the wheel since it couldn’t reach the nut, so I put a new nut on there from the front wheel. Now that it is stable on the trainer, I can use my gears.

Yesterday I rode for 14 minutes and rode about 3 miles or so, but because my work out was low intensity, I only burned 187 calories. Today I rode the same amount of time and the same amount of miles, but I switched my gears and rode a bit faster or slower depending on the gear I was on. I considered my workout medium intensity today, and that was 262 calories burned according to the Noom app.

This is what I did. I have 15 speeds on my bicycle. The right gear has 1 – 5 and the left one just has an indicator which is thick with an H to thin with a L, which I assume is high and low. I’ve never really been a gear person. Anyway, what I did was I put the left one all the way to the H, then I started out with 1 which is basically easy, like down hill. Then I switched to 3 which seemed to be like going straight on level ground, then 6 which seems to feel like going uphill. So I would start out 1, go to 3, go to 6, go to 3, go to 1 and so on for 15 minutes.

I honestly have no clue what the hell I’m doing lol. I watched a spinning video last night on YouTube and OMG that guy was doing a warm up for 5 or 6 minutes and that was basically my workout today. That was all I could do. I’m just not in very good shape. When I got off the bicycle, I had to go take a shower because I was drenched in sweat, and I felt nauseous.

Sure, 14 minutes is not a lot of time, but I have to work my way up. When I first started riding my bicycle on the bike trail I think in 2010, I could only ride 1 mile and I was dead lol. I worked my way up to 2 miles, then worked my way up to 5 miles, which actually took me to the bike trail, but I couldn’t actually get on the bike trail because I was too tired and sore. I would have to take a 15 minute break just to heal my legs up so I could ride back home. Eventually over time I was riding my bike 22 miles every day on the bike trail and would come home and wouldn’t be sore or anything. That’s how it has to be with this bike trainer. I will start out slow, but eventually I will get to the same point that I was with riding the bike on the bike trail, but since I’m at home, perhaps I could just do half of the ride in the morning, then the other half in the afternoon. I think that is doable, but I have to work up to that point.

So this is a great start and I will keep working on it.

Ascent Fluid Trainer

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My Ascent Fluid Trainer from Nashbar arrived via UPS on October 29. Setting it up was a breeze and my bicycle looks really nice on it, but there is a huge downside, and that’s the noise it makes. Holy crap that thing is loud. It’s not really that bad if I have music playing in my ears, but everyone else can hear it. You get used to it after a while.

I installed my bicycle computer on the back wheel and reset my computer so it can start over from scratch. I rode on it for a few minutes and burned a total of 19 calories lol. But let me tell you that this trainer is so good that my thighs were on fire. I had to stop and start again, again and again and OMG.

It was definitely worth the money that I paid. I was hoping this could be something that I could do in 30 to 60 minute intervals throughout the day, like after every meal or something. I was hoping to clear a space in the dining room for it, but that’s totally out of the question because of how loud this thing is. I wanted to put it in my bedroom because I can watch TV in there while I’m on it, but I don’t think that will happen any time soon. If I had a 10 speed then that would be one thing, but I’m not bringing my mountain bike in the bedroom because I still need to use it to go to the grocery store every now and then, and it’s too much of a hassle to walk it through the kitchen and hallway and through 4 doorways. If it’s not a permanent fixture, then it’s not going to work out. If by chance I do find one, then that would be awesome and I will try it.

One thing that I didn’t realize about this thing is that when I switch gears, my back wheel moves and hits the right side of the resistance unit roller. I did that and found it was especially difficult to ride, so I got off and looked and saw a bunch of black dust on the ground. I was grinding the rubber off my wheel. Oops! Well, so much for changing gears. I read that you are supposed to position the wheel on the back of the trainer so it provides you with the resistance you need, then switch gears on the bicycle to make it easy or hard. Well, that’s not going to work with my bicycle lol.

IMAG0728The next time I rode my bike on the trainer, I noticed that as I was riding, the bike would move and the wheel would slide on the roller and it would grind the end of the roller as if I had switched gears, but I hadn’t. I would get off and move it back into position, but it would do it again and I didn’t know why. I then thought that perhaps it was because where it screws onto the axle, it didn’t have anything to hold on to. There is an Axle Support Cup that wasn’t able to grip onto anything. The right side has the nut in the Axle Support Cup, but it wasn’t able to grip the nut on the left side. I was having a difficult time thinking of how I was going to fix this if I didn’t have a 2nd nut to screw on to the left axle. My partner suggested that since my front wheel doesn’t move, why not take one of the nuts from the front, and use it on the back, so that’s what I did and it worked. Maybe I can switch gears now.

I’m glad he suggested that, because I could have continued to ride the bike without that nut on there and with my luck, I could have broken either the axle, or the trainer itself, and perhaps I would end up having an accident and end up breaking a bone. Wouldn’t that be just my luck? That’s all I need lol.

Anyway, I hope to get a lot of use out of this thing because I need a lot of exercise. If anything new happens or I get new information I will blog about it.

Nashbar.com / Fluid Trainers / Ascent Fluid Trainer