Seattle Cycling: Providing GPS accurate trail maps, technical reviews of rides, and capturing the beauty of Seattle to inspire others to live to ride.

Frostbite Time Trail – Carnation 2013

The Hagens Berman / Society Consulting amateur racing team had a good early season turn-out for the Frostbite Time Trial in Carnation, Washington. This race kicks off the WSBA racing season in the Pacific Northwest!

This Carnation to Fall City course is on familiar roads (course map)– from Carnation down Rt 203, a quick whip through the Fall City traffic circle to Rt 202 and then back into the valley farm roads for a 12.6 mile dog leg. FootWorks Cycles had super planning and organization so it was easy to show up and enjoy our cloudy, cool, misting race course.

Joe Fitzgerald, a new 4/5 squad member, was kind enough to set up a tent in prime territory directly across from the start line. He must have camped out the night before to get that sweet spot. Thanks Joe! This was a great base for warming-up although early season reunions & equipment chit-chat was a bit disruptive. We also renewed conversation of a HB-SC logo’d tent as we can now predict consistent critical mass for races.

Roads were wet but not splashy and the light rain didn’t slow us down. The first half course is straight & fast after one bump and the back leg is even quicker with a slight decline but more technical turns. Just after Fall City the Junior State Champ passed me and I hated him the rest of the race. I never let that green & white jersey out of my sight and I think the not-too-distant whirring of my disc was bugging him too. A couple of the return farm road turns were easy to overpower, especially with the wet surface, and visions of Cancellara’s TT fall made my heart squeeze in a couple extra beats. The final 1km triggered a good sprint but riders were abruptly presented a sharp uphill finish. Looking uphill through TT tunnel-vision with a rain-splashed visor is a funny thing to do. Always glad to finish!

Joe and Billy Trask did a great job landing in the middle of results. It was Joe’s first TT as a returning racer and I think it was Billy’s first so their results are a great sign of some impressive racing to come this season!

Foot Works Cycles put on an excellent race! The Hagens Berman / Society Consulting team result are posted below!

Cat 1/2
Ian Baldwin #12 28:27

Cat 3
Keith Otani #11 28:58

Cat 4/5
Joe Fitgerald #11 30:52
Billy Trask #19 31:54

Masters 35-49
Mark Rogers #10 30:09

Gen 2 Proform Tour De France RETURNED

Review Submitted to Proform

My Review I Submitted to
I’m an avid cyclist / mountain bike rider. I kept seeing the ProForm Tour De France commercial and finally was motivated enough to buy the bike. It took 3-weeks to receive and during that time I almost canceled my order TWICE, I kept finding bad reviews of this bike online, but unfortunately I received the bike. Upon assembly and 1st ride, I new I wouldn’t be happy with the bike! Think more than twice about ordering this bike…

Gen 2 – Proform Tour De France Bike – Return Reason #2

Defective HR Sensor – Proform Tour De France Bike – Return Reason #1

Proform Tour De France Bike Gen 2 Assembly

Price Paid: $1199 – Don’t spend a penny more! Demand FREE return shipping.

Redeem Promotion Code for 10% Discount: PFSAVE10

Bottomline: I would not recommend this bike to my friends/family. I returned my own bike! Dealing with customer service is a pain, VERY limited hours of operation, and VERY limited staff for answering calls. It was not uncommon for me to wait 45+ on hold to talk to someone! I’m going to continue looking for an alternative bike trainer!

Return Reason #2 for ProForm TDF Bike

I am returning my ProForm Tour De France Indoor Cycling Trainer due to a Wobbly Handlebar. The wiring that controls the display is extremely friable and is dangerously positioned in spot of significant motion… a set up for pending failure of the device! The functionality of the bike is highly dependent on the computer module that can quickly be rendered useless if you use the bike enough. In two weeks of riding, the handlebars didn’t seem to become appreciably looser, but with time I imagine this wobble will worsen. It was already to an extent of annoyance when trying to replicate hill climbing on the bike.

If you missed Reason #1, the primary reason I’m returning the Tour De France bike is the defective Heart Rate Sensor. You can catch my movie and write-up about the Non-Functioning “Polar Compatible” Proform Trainer.

If you have already bought a ProForm TDF Bike, you better hope you purchased the extended warranty! I’m taking advantage of their return policy so I don’t have to deal with this headache in the future. I was on hold for over 45 minutes trying to complete the return. With such a long wait time they either have lots of complaints/returns or very few people taking calls.

ProForm TDF – Defective HR Sensor

I’ve had the ProForm Tour de France Indoor Cycle Trainer for over two weeks now. Despite using three different Polar Heart Rate Straps, the “Polar Compatible” bike failed to pick-up an accurate heart rate! This movie details the problem, showing that despite constant Speed, Cadence, and Watts the heart rate fluctuated significantly. I am a healthy male with documented Normal Sinus Rhythm, so no aberrant rhythms (Atrial Fibrillation/Flutter or others are effecting the function of the sensor).

I’m in the process of make a video documentary of all the reasons for why I will be returning my ProForm Tour de France Indoor Cycling Trainer. Watch for more…

Proform Tour De France Indoor Cycling

Watching all of the commercials about the Proform TDF Indoor Cycling Trainer, got me excited about the combination of Google Maps to indoor training. I’m a tech fan that wants things to work well like my iPhone and I was very hopeful for the Proform Tour De France Bike.

Before placing my order I had found only a few third party reviews of the indoor bike and most seemed overwhelmingly negative. After placing my order, I came close to canceling the order twice because of my hesitation with this bike. Running at a retail price of $1299 it wasn’t cheap! But well reviewed, solid indoor trainers like CycleOps 400 and LeMound Revmaster Pro all ran $300-1500 more. I’m a believer in you pay for what you get… but the techie inspired Google Maps Trainer won out.

Above is my video diary of the unboxing of the Proform Tour De France Indoor Cycling Trainer. The most challenging part of the assembly was the integration of the headset (handlebars) to the frame due to the manufacture’s warning about wire fraying. As you can tell this was a bit challenging and required two people to safely set-up. The incline/decline of the bike with adjusted resistance works well out of the box.

My goal is to have several good rides and to test out and write a full review of this Proform Tour De France Indoor Cycling Trainer.

P90X & Zone Diet – Day 1

We woke this morning to a nice surprise, two black coolers at our front door! Hungry and ready to eat, we delayed breakfast until after our first P90X workout. Grueling through the workout trying to do as many reps as possible, I found myself dreaming about this mornings breakfast.

What a way to start !!!

Week 1 Classic Workout Schedule
– Day 1: Chest & Back, Ab Ripper X
– Day 2: Plyometrics
– Day 3: Shoulders & Arms, Ab Ripper X
– Day 4: Yoga X
– Day 5: Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X
– Day 6: Kenpo X
– Day 7: Stretch X

Today’s Zone Diet (Chef By Request)
– Breakfast: Peach Oatmeal & Yogurt
– Lunch: Cashew Chicken Salad w/ Sesame Dressing
– Snack: Spinach Dip w/ Crackers & Vegetables
– Dinner: Cinnamon Roast Pork Loin w/ roasted Plums
– Snack: Zone Bar

P90X – Starting Stats

Wife:  128.8lbs, 26.5% body fat

Abdomen 19, Axilla 13, Bicep 11, Calf 16, Chest 14, Subscapular 14, Suprailium 15, Thigh 30, Tricep 21

Husband: 172.4lbs, 20.1% body fat (Ironman Scale)

Fat-O-Meter Skin Calliper

Abdomen 38, Axilla 18, Bicep 15, Calf 8, Chest 16, Subscapular 19, Suprailium 16, Thigh 18, Tricep 11

P90X Fitness Test

Resting Heart Rate:  63

Pull-Ups: 6

Push-Ups: 16

Toe Touch:  +1 inch

Wall Squat:  1-min, 45-sec

Bicep Curl:  17  (20lbs)

In&Outs:  20

Heart Rate Maximizer:  158, 116 (1-min), 107 (2-min), 98 (3-min), 94 (4-min)

P90X & Chef by Request

After 4-years of medical school and 4-years of residency, my physical form has slow degraded. I want to change and get back into shape! Over the next 90-days my wife and I will embark on a challenge to remodel our health.

We will eat zone healthy! The Zone Diet is a 40:30:30 balance of Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat. Thankfully in Seattle we have a meal delivery service called Chef by Request. My wife will be on the 1500 calorie diet and I will be on the 1800 calorie diet. This is a caloric restriction from the estimate requirement, but we will supplement with a Muscle Milk, Myoplex or other protein shake from time to time. I am concerned by the recent Consumer Reports article stating that many protein shakes are contaminated with arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. This is very concerning… and thus we will not use these products daily.

We will workout with extreme intensity! The P90X home workout program has seen a lot of success over the last several years with several individual success stories all over the web (search Google, YouTube, etc.). We hope our workout will burn the physical transformation we are trying to obtain.

By combining the Chef by Request Zone Diet and the P90X extreme home workout, we hope to remodel our bodies

Issaquah Valley Loop as partnered with MapMyRide to bring all Seattle Cycling maps to our website. The Issauqah Valley Loop is the first route we will review.

This is a short easy ride… more comments to follow.

B.iCycle iPhone App Review

The iPhone has a class of apps dedicated to the outdoor sports GPS tracking. One of these GPS cyclometer’s called B.iCycle caught my attention. I must say I had high hopes for this app and was hopeful that I could use it for this website.

Excited to test out my new iPhone app, I’ve attempted to ride Lake Sammamish three times using B.iCycle. Each and every time the application failed to capture the route! At first I wasn’t quite sure why. It seemed to record 0.7 miles on one ride and 7.6 miles on another. Then finally on the third attempt, after a phone call I realized that the app crashed.

So I went to the B.iCycle website and found the following support statement:

What happens if I collect a call or close the app during a trip? Will it run in the background? Will data be collected?

When another app is loaded (e.g. the mail, phone or text messaging app) the iPhone OS will terminate the currently running app. There is no way to circumvent that. In that case B.iCycle stores all the current data. When the app is launched again (will happen automatically after you finish a phone call that you received while our app was running) you will find all the data that was already there when it was closed by the OS. We cannot collect GPS data while the app is not running, e.g. during a phone call or while you write a text message. The only thing we can do is to make sure you do not lose any data and give you the option to resume the trip by pressing “Start” after B.iCycle has been relaunched.

So technically, B.iCycle didn’t “crash”… rather the iPhone “closed” the app when a call or text message was received. The result was I lost my GPS recording. I guess one of the solutions is slam on the breaks when I receive a phone call and then press “resume” to continue recording. But I find this completely unacceptable.

It won’t be until the Apple iPhone allows multiple apps to run at the same time. See B.iCycle must run and record data regardless of the other unavoidable interruptions. To do so would require the app to run in the background while the user could deal with a phone call and still continue riding.

I hope that future development of B.iCycle and the iPhone & iPod will allow for uninterrupted recording of GPS data. That will be the only solution to this problem… until then I’ll be trying to find another acceptable GPS device/program. One possibility is the Garmin 705 Edge, but I’m not a fan of buying another GPS receiver when I already have one.