The Chris-is-sick-and-tired-of-going-to-the-gym-everyday-and-needs-a-new-way-to-burn-the-calories-necessary-to-continue-eating-anything-he-wants-and-stay-thin cause. Also known around the house as "Biking for Hunger... (my own)" and "Free Breakfast (calorie-wise that is)".
It is a cause near and dear to my heart since I was not blessed with a naturally high metabolism. I was at my heaviest in the Internap days when I realized I had to do some sort of workout (either gym or running) pretty much every day to stay thin if I didn't want to severly restrict my caloric intake. After 8+ years of regular workouts I can honestly say I hate the gym. I go because I must, but I hate every minute of it.
So, how might I change up my workout and avoid the gym at least some of the time? Take one part Seattle Magazine (Jan 2010) 55 Best Breakfasts issue and add to that...a bicycle.
Now, I have had an on-and-off again relationship with the bicycle during my lifetime. Avid cycler until the age of 16 when I lost my heart to the automobile. It wasn't until almost 15 years later that I took up cycling again, but only for a year or so because of work. Happened again 5 years after that, but work continued to impede and at the time I never really thought of trying the bicycle for commuting because I don't really like biking in the rain or the dark (a given for any true Seattle bike commuter).
Today's catalyst was Amazon's move to South Lake Union and Michael's decision he would start commuting there from our place on Alki on fair weather days. I didn't know if he would follow through, but he did and I was duly impressed. So, I decided to pull my 1996 REI Novara out of storage, get it tuned up and see if I could fall back in "like" with the bike.
I have always liked cycling better if there is some destination point involved. Doesn't have to be much...a small cafe will do, but it does have to be a place to stop and chill. Well, when I was re-reading that best breakfasts issue of Seattle Magazine I thought it was the perfect opportunity. Have many different cycling destinations; test out Seattle's best breakfasts; don't worry about the calorie intake; and still (hopefully) have workout calories to spare. Extend a breakfast ride to 2 total hours at avg 15mph should I get about 1600 calories. If I don't go over 800 calories for breakfast (this could be very difficult) I still have 800 workout calories left. Though, let's just say if today's Coastal Kitchen calorie count is any indication, I might have to do 3-hour rides to have workout calories left over :) (I am sure it was the spicy hashbrowns which pushed the gingerbread waffle, eggs and bacon waaaay over the limit). Even if I do end up eating up all my biking calories with breakfast, at least I'm getting it calorie-free.
Here is a preview of what I will be sampling over the next few weeks and months:
- Portage Bay Cafe - Best Northwest-style Pancakes ✓
- Coastal Kitchen - Best Waffle ✓
- Table 219 - Best Grand Slam
- Geraldine's Counter - Best Northwest Spin on French Toast
- Spring Hill - Best Gluten-free Breakfast (cheese grits and bone-in ham steak)
- The Bay Cafe - Best Chicken-fried Steak
...and the list goes on. Check out my location check-ins on Facebook and Twitter as I progress through the above as well as the many others on the list. I should probably also keep posting my weight to keep me honest about my calorie intake: 155lb (on 5'11" frame) as of 5/24/2010 :).