Sunday, May 30, 2010

Adventure with Lisa and Ayla

Yesterday, the alarm clock sounded at 3am. I woke to find that the Lightning storm had knocked out three power poles just down the road from my house, and I had no electricity. Fumbling around in the dark, I found my headlamp and rushed to get dressed. I already had all my gear prepared and ready the night before; Today was to be a big day.

PJ showed up around 3:30 and we loaded everything in her minivan, my bike, gear and Anka. This would be Anka's first long car ride. My puppy only half woke up as I put her into her kennel for the trip, and she was soon asleep again. Of course, shortly after we got underway, a peculiar aroma began to seep forward from the kennel. We pulled over and cleaned out her kennel, and wiped off her paws (I always carry a supply of puppy wipes for just an occasion). I think we were only back on the highway for 10 minutes when, the now familiar aroma assaulted our senses again.

Another half hour or so down the road we began hearing a scraping sound. Stopped the van to look, and sure enough the rear tire had blown out and we were driving on the rim. After a half hour of crawling around in the mud, we were once again on our way. We had planned on meeting Lisa and Ayla at 6am in Regina, though now we had lost a half hour and had no hope of making up the time driving with the toy-sized spare tire.

Approaching Regina 35 minutes late, we saw Ayla and Lisa's support vehicle for their Across Canada For Your Heart tour. Waving frantically, the driver must have thought we were nuts, but he stopped anyway. PJ got out and explained who we were and soon Ayla and Lisa rode up on their bicycles.

Introductions all around and we were on our way.

I did look very out of place. The girls were so trim and sleek on their new road bikes, and there I was twice their size on my big old yard sale mountain bike.

We rode together for 57km until lunch time, stopping occasionally to rest and chat. I would like to thank Lisa and Ayla for allowing me to join them on their cross Canada adventure, and hope that more people come out to ride with them and show their support for a very worthy cause.

Visit their web site at

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Dietary Regime

This post is added as information only. I am not a medical professional, and nothing posted on theis site should be taken as advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner.

As a teenager, many of my friends got into sports and began to develop larger muscles from all the physical activity, but my muscles stayed small and refused to grow. In fact, the more I tried to get them to grow, the more they atrophied. At the time, I tried several different muscle building and body building programs and always with the same result - small muscles and weak bones. So, left behind by my peer group, I basically bypassed the sports scene and entered the work force.

A few months ago, I realized that over the years my health had deteriorated so much that I had extremely little muscle and a lot of fat. With no energy and very little motivation, I found it difficult to even spend time with my children. It was difficult to get out of a state of depression, but I was missing out on too much, so I began looking on the internet to find any information that might help. To my surprise, I found several web sites that were dedicated to helping people with Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. One of the suggestions was a change in diet, which recommended a diet high in protein and fresh vegetables. I immediately implemented this dietary change and began to eat all the protein foods that I could find, cutting out added sugars and most processed carbohydrates. There was an immediate change. My energy levels immediately increased, and along with it, my motivation. It worked so well that I decided to add even more protein to my diet and found a powdered protein supplement made from soy. The results were remarkable. From mid April 2010 to mid May 2010 I lost a full pant size and around15kg. Mot only did the fat start disappearing, but my muscles began to grow, and I am now able to spend time outdoors with my children. I was so happy with my transformation that I just wanted to tell someone, and decided that the best way to do that was to cycle across Saskatchewan, shouting it from the rooftops (well from the internet anyway).

So far, I have found that certain supplements help a great deal in building muscle and keeping me in shape. I like to start my day with a B vitamin complex, tribulus, ginseng, and soy protein supplement. The a half hour later I consume another serving of the soy protein supplement, wait a half hour then head out on my morning ride. During my ride, I stop every hour and take an amino acid supplement and keep well hydrated. Then after my ride, I take another serving of protein. The best part is that even with all this exercise, my muscles are actually growing and getting stronger. Since my teenage years, I have known that the body needs protein to build muscle, but I think that I was just not consuming enough. Now, I try to consume twice the recommended amount for body building programs, and it is working great. During the rest of the day, my diet consists of various protein sources and fresh vegetables.

As for hydration during my training rides, I have tried several of the sports drinks designed for maximum hydration, etc, etc. Some may actually work better than others, but I have found that they did very little for me, except to slow my progress and limit my energy. My personal preference is to drink fruit juices with no added sugars. Fruit juice, with no added sugar, does not make me thirsty, keeps me well hydrated, and seems to stabilize my energy. As a side benefit, the fruit juice is less expensive than the sport drinks.

Even though this diet has worked wonders for me, I am always experimenting and improving on it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Where Is Samuel Now?

PJ has designed a nifty little map that will show my current location during my trip, which she will update daily during my ride. This map is posted near the top of the column to the right.

I would like to give a huge thanks to PJ for her tireless efforts and help in this Alpha 1 Adventure...For Life awareness campaign. Without her this entire campaign would fall to pieces.

Monday, May 24, 2010



Today was my first 130km ride!

The ride took me 6 hours and 42 minutes, an overall average of 19.4km/hr. I did stop a few times to walk a few steps to change muscle usage. My moving time was 6hr & 7min, which works out to a moving average of 21.3km/hr. I was cycling at an angle into the wind on the return trip, so I was going quite a bit slower, which dropped my average considerably. But the upside is, I have gotten strong enough to pedal into the wind for a few hours. I think I am ready to attempt the first stage of my Alpha 1 Adventure, which is to cycle across Saskatchewan. I plan on following Highway 16, from border to border. Whether I go east or west depends on the wind. I would like to make my attempt during low winds, or perhaps even a tail wind if possible, but I will work with the weather either way.

Here is a map of Yorkton, Saskatchewan.

Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency

I found a very nice blurb about Liver Affected Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and I thought it would be nice to post it here:

Alpha-1 is the 3rd most common serious genetic disorder in the world (behind Down Syndrome and Cystic Fibrosis) and can result in life-threatening liver disease in children and adults or in lung disease in adults. It affects the liver and can lead to liver failure at any time in life. It is the leading genetic cause of liver transplantation in children. Currently, the only cure for the liver disease of Alpha-1 is a liver transplant.

A special thank-you to Jen and her Alpha Girls from whom I snagged this quote.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Too much wind?

It is incredibly windy out there today, too windy for Samuel to go out riding, so it is another day of cross training for him. He usually doesn't mind the wind, especially when it is blowing his way :D, but today the wind is blowing across the highway and it is gusting to 85 km/h, and that's just not safe.

While surfing the web today I came across the blog of 2 girls who are cycling across the country raising money for The Heart and Stroke Foundation. (Across Canada For Your Heart) I hope they are able to stay out of this wind.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cross Training

Today was another rainy day and so I thought I would jot down a few of the cross training exercises that I am using.

Of course squats, leg extensions and leg curls are always helpful. But I also pay attention to muscles that get sore while riding, like my neck and shoulders. Shoulders, and traps are another area that seem to tire and get sore on long rides, so shoulder press, seated rows and flies are important exercises. To balance this I like to do several push-ups at different angles. Starting with angled push-ups with my feet high on the back of a chair. Then change angles and have my feet on the seat of the chair, then move my feet to the floor for regular push-ups. Lastly I put my feet on the floor and do push-ups between two chairs, which works the lower portion of the pectorals.

Naturally, it is always a good idea to hop on the stationary bicycle for a short ride, just an hour or two.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quill Lakes

Quill Lakes is about a 90km ride (one way), but it was a nice day to take the trip today. I have only been training for about a month, and now I can easily make 100km rides. I think I am ready to tackle the province.

Quill Lakes is a International Bird Reserve. There are many different migratory foul species here. It is a great place. I am looking forward to seeing many more of these types of areas across the province.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wind and Canine Challenges

My training seems to revolve heavily around the wind strength and direction. I am still not strong enough to ride into a 20km headwind and go very far. So on strong wind days (which we seem to have a lot of here in Saskatchewan) I like to ride on roads perpendicular to the wind. At first glance I thought this was a good strategy, but I live in a very rural environment and unfortunately a lot of farms around here have loose dogs. Now I love dogs! I have a few dogs myself. But all of my dogs are trained and/or controllable, and supervised. But I am really starting to be disgruntled at the farmers who allow their dogs to chase, and in some instances bite people on public roads. I have been chased and bit far too many times, and I am sure others have too.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Our First Sponsor

I’m so excited! I just got our first official sponsor. I went into Staples to make some copies of my sponsorship proposal and I started to tell them about Samuel and his trip. The Store Manager gave me a $25 gift card which I immediately used to make the copies.

If there is anyone out there who would be interested in helping us raise funds for this cause, we would be very grateful for the help. I would be happy to send out all of the information you would need to start gathering sponsors.

Here is a quick summary of our awareness/fundraising campaign. We are calling it - “Samuel Carey’s Alpha 1 Adventure … For Life”. Starting Monday, I will begin canvassing local businesses. Our fundraising goal is $10,000, which will be donated to Alpha 1 Canada.

Samuel Carey’s Alpha 1 Adventure … For Life Sponsorship Facts

Goal: To help raise awareness of the rare genetic disorder Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (A1AD)

Who: Samuel Carey, a 39 year old Saskatchewan resident who has Liver Disease caused by A1AD.

What: Samuel will be traveling across the province, and later the country, by self propelled means, to raise awareness of A1AD.

Why: To support the organization (Alpha 1 Canada) who taught him how to manage his lifestyle and extend his lifespan. Also to raise awareness of A1AD for those who do not even know that they have it.

Where: The first stage of Samuel’s tour will see him cycling the 700 km across the province from Lloydminster to the Manitoba border, following Hwy # 16.

When: The first stage is tentatively scheduled to begin in early June.

During his ride, Samuel Carey will be accepting donations on behalf of Alpha 1 Canada.

Alpha 1 Canada is a registered charitable organization and tax receipts will be issued.

For more information about A1AD and Alpha 1 Canada, please visit their website at

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Covering Some Distance

Samuel headed out yesterday with the intent of just going for a nice easy ride, but the wind was in his favour, so ended up going 75 kilometres, all the way to and around Yorkton. I had considered going with him, but I’m glad I didn’t, I never would have made it :)

Today Samuel and I rode to Foam Lake and back (49 km round trip), but Samuel had to keep the pace nice and slow so I could keep up with him. He is out again right now, getting a second workout. At this pace, he will be ready for his cross provincial ride in no time.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


This day marks the furthest that I have cycled in my training so far. A few kilometres past Saltcoats and I hit the 100km mark.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Whitesand Park

There are lots of interesting places to cycle to in eastern Saskatchewan. Here are some pictures near Whitesand Park.

Monday, May 10, 2010

More Wind And Rain

We have had a fair amount of rain lately, which has been interfering with our training. Even my basement flooded from all the rain. We have been keeping up with cross training and cycling between the clouds. Here is a picture of PJ heading into the sunset.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Joining Samuel On His Trip

Samuel Carey has invited me to join him on his bicycle trip across the province. He has also invited me to join him here on this blog. I have started training with him and together we are working towards the goal of bicycling across Saskatchewan and raising awareness of his genetic disorder.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spring Training

High winds and uncooperative weather has been slowing my training. On inclement days, I cross train by resistance training, and still do a bit of cycling on the stationary bike. These two pictures were taken yesterday. It was a bit of a surprise to wake up to so much snow on the ground in May.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Few More Pictures of my Jack Russell Terrier

To Bicycle Across Saskatchewan

In recent months I found a website (Alpha 1 Canada) that has shown me how to manage my genetic disorder, and now I have found a great deal of energy and a noticeable increase in health and vigor. So I am planning a bicycle trip across my home province of Saskatchewan to help raise awareness of Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency.

I still have a great deal of physical training to accomplish before I will be ready to make the trip.