In June 2011 I turned 50. Since I am getting older, I feel that I should slow down and enjoy my bike rides more. So I will being doing more solo riding and touring that will give me the time to just ride and enjoy.

The purpose of this blog is to share my ride 'events', insights and experiences with others.

Enjoy my blog and hopefully you will get something out of it that will benefit your own riding.

Monday, January 14, 2013

ProForm Repair Update

Well, I was hoping that having a different company responsible for the maintenance and them using a different company for the actual repair might speed up getting my ProForm Tour De France trainer repaired sooner than the manufacturer.  I really should have know better since Universal Technical Services (UTS), ProForm and Ifit are all owned by Icon Fitness.

So the rundown so far:

Jan 1, 2013          TDF stuck in 20% incline
                                Incline calibration shows = results show a bad Trans Max value = 0

Jan 2, 2013          Called Icon extended warranty service
                                LAPD Engineering will be the company taking care of repair.
They will call and schedule an appointment.
                                Shipping sensor wire to me via standard USPS. 
                                Will take approximately a week for it to arrive.

Jan 3, 2013        Received notice that sensor wire was shipped

Jan 5, 2013          Received call from technician assigned to do the repair.  Explained what was going on.
                                He said he would ordered more parts.

Jan 7, 2013        Received notice that parts were ordered (lift motor and power board)

Jan 8, 2013        Received notice that parts were shipped
                                Received sensor wire and Teflon grease

Jan 10, 2013        Received lift motor (did not open box, thought it was both lift motor and power board)
                                Sent  notice to LAPD Engineering that parts arrived

Jan 11, 2013        Received power board

Jan 14, 2013        Left VM at LAPD Engineering stating that I had not heard from them yet.

Jan 14, 2013        Received call from Technician, repair scheduled for Jan. 23rd.  (Next available date)

So currently it appears that I will have a functioning trainer only 3 weeks after I first notified UTS of the problem.

The service plan that I purchased is the "Premier Warranty".  Their website says unmatched customer service.  Not sure any other company would want to have service levels that match their poor service.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Proform Tour De France Indoor Trainer (Exercise Bike)

I got my TDF in October 2011, it was ordered in July 2011, but took 3 months to actually get it.  The bike was a little flaky at first, then the controller (control panel) stopped associating with the wireless.  I was sent a new controller, got it installed and everything worked well until March 2012.  The lift motor, controls the incline/decline, went out leaving the bike in a 20% decline.  The resistance was that of 20% decline as well, so there was no using it as there was basically no resistance.

They replaced the lift motor and sensing wire.  This did not fix it, so they replaced the console (second time).  Technician still could not get it to work, a third console was sent and a replacement power board.  Still not working and now we are into May 2012.  Fourth repair attempt by the technician was to replace the entire wiring harness from the console to the main unit, a second power board and a second lift motor was sent.

Technician could not get the lift motor out as the holding bolt was stripped.  My son actually got it removed for them.  Had to wait for a new bolt to arrive.  By the time it arrived, got technician rescheduled an actually got the unit repaired it was mid June 2012.  This was now great outdoor riding weather so I was not interested in using at this time.  So the next time I actually get on the bike is October 2012.

The great thing about the TDF is the interface with  The website allows you to create your own routes with a google map interface, so when you do the ride it will simulate the hills.  You can also download other available maps, like some sections of the actual TDF route.  As I say this is a great feature, but it is the same as the bike, it is great when it works. upgraded their website at the end of November 2012.  Since that time they have not been able to restore my previous workouts or previously created routes.  New routes that I create and some of the downloaded routes fail to load on to the bike.

On January 1st, I was doing my first ride on the new year when my TDF broke down again.  It is now stuck in a 20% incline, the good thing is that the resistance is not affected.  It would be impossible to ride a 20% incline all the time.  So right now I am stuck with a bike sitting at a 20% incline that I have to manually adjust the resistance on.  Icon Fitness has ordered and sent me a wire, once it arrives I get to call the Technician and wait for them to come out and repair it.

I have really not had the use of the TDF as much as I would like.  It is a great bike when it works.  But the customer service from Icon Fitness is poor at best.  You tell them the issue, they guess at the parts you will need and ship them.  Once the parts arrive you call the service technician out, wait two weeks for the appointment date to find out they did not send what was needed.

I have the 1st generation TDF.  I have heard the 2nd Generation TDF is much better, and I see a 3rd generation model is due out this spring.  The 3rd Gen model has drop handlebars with standard controllers for shifting and a 7 inch touch screen.

Sorry for the rant, but I just had to get this off my chest.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year and New resolutions

Well it is 2013, don't know what happened to the Mayans but I am glad to be here.

As stated before I crashed on my bike on November 8, 2012.  Because of the crash I had become sedentary.  Hard to do exercises when your left wrist, right knee and right elbow all hurt.  This has had an effect on my health as well.  On December 10, 2012 I weighed 267.9 pounds, the heaviest I have ever been!

On December 21st I had my annual physical, the results were not good.  High cholesterol and other things that are common for someone with obese weight.  Don't really want to list the details, but I was actually shocked at some of the results. So this has made up my mind that I need to change my lifestyle.

I had been cutting back on snacks and such since Dec. 10th, but after the results from the physical I decided that I needed to do more.  On Dec. 27th I started using LoseIt (again), I was down to 256.6 by then, as of today I am down to 251.4.   16 pounds lost in under a month.

LoseIt is great, it has great tools and helps me to stay on track.  The friends that I have made on the site give me the encouragement that I need to help me stay on track and stick with the lifestyle change.

I have been riding my ProForm Tour De France (TDF) indoor trainer.  It allows me to ride when the weather is bad.  I has also allowed me to get back on the bike sooner, since my accident, than I would otherwise would have been able.  See my coming post  for information on the TDF indoor trainer.

I am also looking at health and fitness programs.  Currently viewing Lifelong Health: Achieving Optimum Well-Being at Any Age (The Great Courses).  I am also starting to use David Nordmark's Animal Stretching (Animal Kingdom

So my health resolution for the new year is:

  1. Eat an appropriate diet (volume wise) that is more natural (less refined foods).
  2. Exercise more (not just cycling).  This will include core exercises, stretching and what is called 'body weight resistance' exercises (no gym and no equipment)
  3. Do more cycling training so that I will be a better rider this summer.
  4. Goal weight of 180 by end of September 2013