Monday, November 23, 2009

Pain and suffering and... the Fortius

Yup. My legs and my bum. On the Fortius.

Ok guys, I must come clean with all of you. I have let myself gain a wee bit... ok, way more than a wee bit, of girth around my midsection. Ehm... how do I say this in plain English? Well, I... errr... hmmm... Ok, ok.

I. Am. Fat.

There. I said it - it is out in the open and I can no longer avoid it. Funny, I had promised myself that I would never allow this to happen after working my rear end off to get into what was probably the best shape of my life about 18 months ago... but c'est la vie. No use crying over all that pasta, cheese, red wine, deserts, etc... well, you get the picture.

But all is well in Powerful Pete's land of cycling nirvana. I now have fantastic equipment, am enthusiastic about riding again (mainly due to my riding with a fun group of guys on the weekends - something that I had rarely done in the last few years), and have read about people like the gentleman on the 100poundsago blog (check it out, well worth it), who has done a fantastic job getting himself thin and fit.

Exactly. Yes. Absolutely.

The moment has come to kick it up a notch. Watch what I eat (within reason, I am still Italian, you know). Exercise regularly. You see, it has finally dawned on me that leading a sedentary lifestyle, eating too much and riding only on the weekends will not keep me fit and trim. My expanding waistline might have told me the same thing, had I been paying attention, but again, no use crying over what has come and gone...

So, I have started doing the logical bits diet-wise. And have set up the dreaded torture machine.

That would be the Tacx Fortius (click to see a corny Tacx marketing video, but it gets the point across... I am, by the way, far more handsome and have way less hair than the guy in their video). Which now graces our living room (the joys of living in small European apartments... and it thrills my wife too as an added bonus).

What is a Fortius? It's like a regular trainer, but it hooks up to your computer, with an electric motor that replicates, in real time, the resistance of uphills and the speed of downhills of a set course that you 'watch' on your screen while sweating like a fiend and (at least in my case) making strange guttural noises that make your eldest daughter giggle (don't ask how I know this). Not like riding outside, but it sure beats staring at a wall with a little bit of paper on your stem indicating the number of minutes in the next 52X17 interval set...

So this was the inaugural night. I plan to post each and every training session from today on, as a way to keep myself honest (and use potential internet humiliation as a motivational tool).

So, this evening was the last section of the Milano-San Remo DVD. Not trying to kill myself (still sore from yesterday's ride in the real world) but the resistance works well, I would lie if I said I didn't finish the session a bit tired. The overall stats are:
  1. Total distance: 33.9 km
  2. Time: 1:20:39
  3. Average speed: 25.2 kph
  4. Average rpm: 82
Ok, enough for today. Over and out, time for bed (feeling hungry... must resist...)


  1. I.Am.Fat.Too! Nice torture device you have:)

  2. Bravo! I'm glad you have the motivation of internet humiliation...let's hope you keep training. Otherwise, the bike MUST leave my living room!

  3. Uh-oh. Now I am in big trouble...

  4. The Rome-vs-Pittsburgh challenge is on!
    I have the Fortius with Tour of Flanders or pick a course. The challenge of course is not where we are now but, where we end up!

    I'm having a problem with my server but, when it's up (3-4 hours) have your wife check out my living room with the trainer- You will be the greatest husband ever

  5. I have tried and tried to get "into" my trainer and just cant do it. I would rather suffer in the cold, snow and rain than be chained to that thing. Bravo to you for putting in kilometers on that thing. Out of curiosity, since you are much more experienced rider, what is a decent average speed out on the road?

    Uh oh....the wife is in on this now...and if thats not motivation I dont know what is.

  6. The parameters I think should be:
    Avg Watts
    Avg HR
    Max watts
    Distance(I'll convert mine to KM)
    What do you think?

  7. LOL Dave. I have not connected to the net yet... how does one do that? Given the need to calibrate, not sure the watts make much sense at this point...

    100pounds, I am with you on this - the reason to purchase the Fortius was to get around the tremendous boredom of indoor trainer work.

  8. Pete,
    I'am not that tech sazzy or competitive to be able to race head to head though I know you can do it. I was thinking more along the lines of we both race the same course i.e. Olympus or Atlantis the same night and share numbers the next day.
    Put a post up of what you ride and I'll ride the same course you do. Sound good?

    Gene- The fortius gets very addicting

  9. Pete, I'm not that savvy. Pick a course to ride from Atlantis Or Olympia. I'll ride the same one and we'll compare numbers.
    Sound good?
    email me at with the course

  10. Pretty cool set up you have. Me? I'm staring at a garage wall with iPod set to stun. It works for me.

    I try to commute as much as possible and keep the "torture rack" sessions to a minimum.

    Cool blog you have here.

  11. Thanks for visiting Dan!

    Ok Dave, you are on. Let me get over my sore throat and em you over the next couple of days to get this started.