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 If you know what life is worth, you will look for yours on earth…

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Be A Refuge

Bikkhu Bodhi: Going for Refuge & Taking the Precepts

Major milestones don’t come as frequently after 18 years of meditation practice, but this month provided a big one in my burgeoning role as a teacher: my first time having the honor of offering the Three Refuges and the Five Precepts.

Taking the Refuges & Precepts is the most fundamental Buddhist ceremony, and is frequently offered at meditation retreats.

The Three Refuges are a public statement of confidence in the historical Buddha as a regular human who came to a profound and useful understanding of how the human mind works; the Dhamma, or teachings he gave based on that understanding; and the Sangha, the community of like-minded practitioners. It’s helpful for meditators to relate to these vows as more descriptive of how one feels and where they are currently at in their practice, »more

Up-To-Date Fitness Charts

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This is a sticky post. It’s probably not my most recent posting; if you’re looking for that, simply scroll down to the next entry.

I pinned this post to the top of my cycling blog because the following charts are automatically updated after every bike ride (both outdoors and on the indoor trainer). So you can easily find this entry, which always shows my up-to-date Fitness numbers.

By “Fitness”, I’m specifically referring to my Chronic Training Load (or CTL), which is an exponentially weighted average of my Training Stress (TSS) over the preceding six weeks. You can learn more in this video, this web page, or this book.

So without further ado, here are my up-to-the-minute Fitness charts.

The first chart depicts my Fitness level over the current calendar year. Any red dots that appear re »more

Heart of Glass

Ready to die on that hill

Last we heard from our hero, he was looking forward to an “almost normal” year. That lasted all of four days.

On January 5th I did a Step Test: the first of three rides that comprise my usual functional threshold power (FTP) testing regime, to determine my baseline fitness level. These are vomit-inducing long-duration maximum intensity efforts. If you’re doing it correctly, you should feel like you’re dying. This one went “well”, producing a respectable FTP of 218 Watts.

However, that part about dying? That was just a leetle hyperbolic. I finished that workout with two kinds of chest pain: sharp, painful contractions on my left side that went away after 24 hours, and a dull ache in the center of my chest that remained for a few days.

Having experienced heart palpitations around this t »more

2022-04-18

First Team Decaf group ride of 2022 Ready to die on that hill Buddies on the PMC group ride 2022 Tour of Watopia Fineview overlook

Pedal to the Medal

Garmin Rally XC200 power meter pedals

Measuring power is the gold standard of performance management on the bike. I’ve waited years for the industry to provide a pedal-based power meter that is accurate, uses mountain bike-style SPD cleats, is reasonably easy to use, and “affordable”.

In 2018 I bought a Wahoo Kickr Core indoor trainer, which allowed me to finally measure my power output over the winter. But when I took the bike off the trainer for the summer, I had to give up measuring power, and go back to estimating power (and thus fitness and fatigue) indirectly based on heart rate data.

However, after over a decade of waiting, last month I opened my wallet and acquired a set of Garmin Rally XC200 power meter pedals. Here’s some background and insight into how it’s been for me so far…

Why pedal-based? These days, you »more

Metrics of Success

Fun and exciting approaches to study the metric system

Say an alien civilization conquered Earth and forced us to use their measurements, outlawing familiar units like the mile, degree, pound, and gallon. Imagine how disruptive that would be!

Akshually, not very disruptive at all, based on my experience. This year I decided it was finally time to drop those long-outdated “imperial” units and resolved to go full-time 100% metric only.

Why? Well, as an international sport, cycling and bicycles are primarily metric in nature. In any field where measurements matter, metric is used… even in the United States. By law, metric became the preferred measurement system in the U.S. back in 1975, and we’ve had sixty years to get used to the idea of using modern, standardized, universally-recognized units. Our quaint idiosyncratic measurements have becom »more

Pittsburgh currently:

Mostly Cloudy 25°C wind SSW 26 g 42 km/h
Air Quality Moderate (56)


Site news:

Site News: Dreamwidth move
Replaced article feed and links to reflect moving my blogs to Dreamwidth from Russia-based LiveJournal.
Posted Sat Mar 12th 2022