Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Weekly Wednesday Update #10

Goal Update
Nothing special this week, well until today. I did a simple brick workout (4 miles bike followed by 1 mile run, rinse and repeat 3x) where I set a new mile PR (5:45) and 5K PR (18:14) with my Garmin watch. Not a bad hump day. Looking forward to getting my bike trainer in the next week (shipping from Canada - should be here Monday) to start logging those miles!

Weekly update
Miles Swam: 0 [0]
Miles Run: 19.94 [213.2]
Tacos Ate: 15 [198]
Miles Biked: 62.17 [463.25]

Things I worked on

Late last week I got my Z-Carve put together enough to get an Etsy order out the door. Luckily/surprisingly/maybe I am getting good at this, I did not have to do much calibration from the calculated values for my new belts to get within ~0.5mm repeatability over 300mm!
Custom Wood Sign for Etsy Customer
After cutting out the piece, I spent a lot of time putting together my Z-Carve control box. Instead of me yapping, I’ll show you the proof in the pictures.
Z-Carve Control Board Shell

Z- Carve Control board with Main Electronics

Z-Carve control board in a functional state
I still have to add some of the extra features that caused the re-build of the box, but it is fully functional at this time! The features I will add are the wiring of the push buttons, the status LEDs, and then relay control of the various circuits (spindle, vacuum, enclosure lights). I will be wrapping that up this weekend and then moving my Z-carve bench down approximately 4 inches to give the proper clearance in the Z-direction and enable some expansion.

That Z axis (vertical) clearance though... Damn it Zach.
Favorite Podcast of the Week

I started reading Mr. Money Mustache blog about a year ago. Pete ‘retired’ at around 30 years old and has lived with his wife and kid without holding a real job for the past 12 years, spending only $25-27k per year! His approach has many similarities to minimalism, with the basic goal of simplifying your life and optimizing for what you really want. Really interesting blog and podcast, this podcast will give you a taste of the ‘cult following’ that is Mr. Money Mustache.

Favorite Quote(s) of the Week

“You’re not supposed to optimize for money; you’re supposed to optimize for happiness.” – Mr. Money Mustache (AKA Pete Adeney)

"Just get started today. There is never a perfect time to start so just do it... Win tomorrow today... Compare is despair... Compare yourself to yourself yesterday. "  Portia Jackson eoFire #1582

Random of the Week

Alright, let’s talk about this bike fitting because I have been geeking out about it for almost two weeks. Over in Grand Rapids at properly named Grand Rapids Bicycle Company, they have a Guru Fit System to help fit you to the perfect position. If you are interested, watch this video, it will explain it all. Mechanically, the Guru Fit System is rather simple; a few stepper or servo motors that can move pistons up and down at 1mm increments (probably finer resolution, but as this was my first fitting 1mm was more than enough), allowing extremely easy adjustment of various settings on a bike. The settings we adjusted during the fitting were first the seat height, then the arm reach, then the arm height, then the seat angle, then a few more I don't remember and finally various combination of all these settings. Just like the eye doctor, it was a lot of “is one or two better? Now do you like two or three?” Although I felt like I was giving the wrong answer the whole time (as we all do at the eye doctor), I could actually feel a slight difference with each adjustment. And honestly, I had no idea there was that much adjustment on a bike!

Fortunately, there is some science behind the madness that another person can use to verify the bike position that ‘feels good’ is also bio-mechanically sound. Yes, the nerd is showing, but seriously there is a ton of science behind it - Google 'Biomechanics' and prepare to spend hours realizing how little you know about the way the human body moves. Throughout the fitting, once we found the position I liked, Alex, the professional bike fitter, would have me spin (or pedal) and then come to a rapid controlled stop where he would take a measurement such as my knee angle at the bottom of the pedal cycle. Surprisingly, I was typically right smack dab in the middle of the suggested ranges developed biomechanic experts for all of these measurements. If these measurements weren't enough, the final metric used to dial in the bike fitting was the power output on the bike. It was tracked all through the fitting and you could see a difference as my perfect fit was dialed in. I love it when a plan comes together! Needless to say, after the fitting, I pulled the trigger and bought the bike. While you may think you can just buy a bike and walk out the door to ride, in this case, we spent the next 30-45 minutes adjusting the bike to fit me. Again, nerd alert, but these high value bikes are a work of engineering art! Last summer during my long 60+ mile rides, I would often have some discomfort or numbness throughout the ride. After this fitting, I will be surprised if I couldn’t fall asleep in my new bike position! For those that are just starting out or ready to improve their biking times, I highly recommend getting fit by a professional! Now, it's time to go study. Have a great week everyone!

My new bike and the GURU Fit System

Time to write post: 37 minutes

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