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« The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest | Main | Going Metric »

My Racing Weight

I wrote last week about the Imperial vs. Metric weights and measures. People in the UK still measure their personal weight in Stones. I currently weigh eleven stone, which was my racing weight. There are 14 lbs. in a stone, so eleven stone is 154 lbs. American.

As a teen I was pretty skinny and weighed around ten and a half stone 147 lbs. But by the time I reached my twenties and into my thirties I had added some muscle and was consistently 11 Stone. It was the weight I strived for every spring after packing on a two or three winter pounds.

It was the weight I was when I arrived in New Jersey in 1979. I rode a few races here in the US.

The picture left shows me in my Paris Sport, New Jersey Bicycle Club kit, having my number pinned on before a race.

I didn’t like the US Criterium style racing. Plus guys were openly snorting cocaine in the changing rooms and even on the start line, which hardly seemed fair to me.

The thing I really didn’t like was the way everyone talked about crashing, and showed off scars like it was some kind of achievement.

I rode three maybe four races and at 43 years old, decided it was time to hang up my racing wheels for good. In the years that followed framebuilding took up all my time and there was little time for riding a bike anyway. I was never grossly overweight and I think the most I have ever weighed was 175 lbs.

In recent years, in spite of eating healthy and riding my bike a lot, I seemed to be stuck at 12 stone, (168 lbs.) and I had that annoying belly fat. I came to the conclusion that exercise alone is not enough to lose weight, neither is diet. It has to be a combination of the two.

The first thing I did was check into my Resting Metabolic Rate. (RMR) This is an estimate of the calories I would burn each day if I did nothing but lay in bed or sit on the couch all day. I found this useful calculator. Your RMR depends largely on your gender, age, height and weight. Mine turned out to be around 1,300 calories a day. The cruel reality is, as you get older your RMR goes down.

I started about three months ago. I made sure I consumed no more than 1,300 calories a day, plus I rode my bike between 100 and 150 miles per week. I usually do a 50 or 60 mile ride on Sunday and I try to eat a good meal, with bread or pasta, the night before. I also carry food with me on the ride, just in case I should run out of gas.

I weigh myself every morning as soon as I get out of bed, and keep a log. Looking back at the log, I weighed 168 lbs. when I started. I immediately lost 3 lb. in the first three days. After that I seem to be on a cycle of lose a lb. maintain that weight for a few days then lose another lb. The overall pattern has been one of steadily losing weight.

I have lost a stone or 14 lbs. which was my target. One doesn’t realize how much even 10 lbs. is until you hold it in one hand.

Simple movements like standing up from a chair or climbing steps are so much easier. My belly is now flat and I can get into some clothes that I haven’t worn in years.

Here I am, 36 years after my last race and I’ve reached my “Racing Weight” once more. It's a good feeling.

All I have to do now is maintain it. On the days I don’t ride I just have to make sure I don’t go too much over my RMR. 1,300 calories. 


Footnote: Before anyone makes comments about my socks. Three-quarter length cycling socks is the one current trend I refuse to follow. The reason is simple. When I am wearing shorts and sandals in a social setting, (Which is most of the year here in hot, sunny, South Carolina.) I do not need a sun tan line halfway up my calf. I'm sorry, deal with it.

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Reader Comments (19)

Great Read Dave ...and I must say looking great as well !

thank you so much for your sharing information!
i read i think about 90% of things not related to tech side.
and i read for the 2nd time all your posts about bike tech stuff.
it's so cool your blog!
I M P R E S S E D !!!
best regards,
(from Romania)

August 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMircea Andrei Ghinea

Thank you for your kind words. This blog started in 2005 and after 10 years it is often difficult to find fresh ideas to write about. I try to post something new at least once a week.
I ride my bike to keep my body fit, and writing is exercise for my mind. This page gets between 1.500 and 2,500 hits a day from all around the world. So I will keep writing as long as I am able, and as long as there are people out there who read it.

August 5, 2015 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

I read your blog every week, sometimes hitting it several times to find a new entry! Keep it up!
I like this topic because after a 30 year hiatus of not riding I started in 2008. I won't go into the accident in 2009 (think I did in another blog response) or other transition events. I started riding to work last year, an 11 mile ride one way. I was not able to use the available showers so hauled my bike on the metro then rode home. In September last year, with a new job, I started riding both ways. I think I put in about 1800 miles in 2014 with a loss of about 2 stone. My average speed went from 12 mph to 15 ish. Weather went bad in December.

I started up again in mid March with a gain of about 20 lbs. I am about to reach 1500 miles, tomorrow, and back to the previous weight. Average speed was about 14 in March and now about 18 mph.

Like you, I feel great!, More energy, easy to bend over and all my pants are too big! My VO2 Max is estimated to be about 61.3. Best of all, my rides are far more fun! I have legs under me now and I am steadily improving, even with being over 65.

August 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSJX426

Did you include your body fat % in your RMR calculation? I see that it's an optional, parameter, but I'm intrigued to know how it's measured..

August 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMartin Worsdall

No I did not include my body fat, as I have no idea what that is. There are several methods to measure body fat, but it needs special instruments or equipment. Some doctors, nutritionists, and even some gyms would be able to do this. But leaving the body fat out of the equation was accurate enough for my purposes. A sideways look in the mirror is all I need.

August 5, 2015 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

I agree with you on sock length. I am not so worried about tan lines, but I grew up with short socks and always white. Anything else just looks wrong. No. Anything else IS wrong!

August 5, 2015 | Unregistered Commenter82medici


That is impressive!

I'm a bit bigger than you and my 'riding weight' is about 170 lbs. I used to reach that every year, but not for the past couple of years. This is mostly because I don't get the time to ride as much as I used to anymore (and also because of eating habits and age).

Like you, I know what a big difference that 10 lbs can make. I tend to weigh about that much more than I used to. I'm working on getting back down to that riding weight. We'll see how it goes.

August 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterYohann

How do you establish a 1300 calorie diet. My RMR cam out about the same
as yours. I'm interested in what you eat.

August 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave Pater

Did you pose the current photo to match the older one?

August 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTony

Tony , that's what I was wondering , both pictures are very cool !

Typically I will eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, around 300 calories. Sometimes if I am not riding that day I will have 2 boiled eggs which is only about 120 calories.
For lunch one or two slices of bread with peanut butter or some other filling, trying to keep it around another 300 calories.
Evening meal: I try to keep no more than 600 calories by keeping the portion on the small side. Chicken or fish usually, with potato or rice, and a vegetable.
Occasionally I will allow myself a night out with a restaurant meal. A hamburger and fries or fish and chips and a drink might be as much as 700 or 800 calories, which is OK if I plan a long ride the day after, or I have eaten less that day.
I keep dates in the house as a snack, or they are good to carry on a ride. About 2 or 3 is 100 calories. I drink a lot of water, at least 60 oz, per day. I add lemon juice. My doctor tells me that is good for men's urinary tract. (Cranberry juice for women.) If I eat 2 dates at the same time, the bitterness of the lemon juice is off set by the sweetness of the dates, and 2 is enough to satisfy.. .
Finally, yes I was trying to strike the same pose in the recent photo for comparison.

August 5, 2015 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Lookin' good Dave.
Over the years my weight crept up to 245 (I am 6'2" or 187cm ;) ).
After some medical issues and getting back to the gym I have gotten back into the 205-215 range. I wish that I could ride more but here in WI every ride means either loading the bike in the car, or risking country roads with hills and turns and no shoulders.
I am shooting for 189lb. I can manage the diet when at home, but when traveling for work it is very hard. I carry a lot of health snacks with me and just skip meals.
I am taking your work as inspiration to get back on track.

(by the way, what is the bike in the old photo?)

August 6, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteredstainless

It's one I built, a 'dave moulton.' I built it at Paris Sport, and as it was for my oen use I put my name on it.

August 6, 2015 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

your blog is good enough to stay like that, to "rest", for how long it's needed. don't need to write every week. just enjoy your time and when new ideas comes the blog will welcomes you :)
wish you all the best!
best regards,

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMircea Andrei Ghinea

Hi Dave. I admire your devotion to your diet. Lucky for me I have never had a problem I eat what I want, when I want. At age 82 and riding 40-45 miles every day,depending on the weather, at 6500ft elevation I keep my weight at 125lbs I am 5'5". I DO have some belly fat, but I think all cyclists have this, unless they are training to get rid of this. Riding a bike I feel does not do that,. Last year I rode 9k and this year I have about 4k so far, we have had a very wet spring and summer so far. The key of course is to ride your bloody arse off. . Like the guy said in New York in the 1950s when I asked him how to get to Carnege Hall "PRACTICE MAN PRACTICE. which is the key to all sports.

August 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Crump

Here is an interesting article on the subject from Retrogrouch.


August 10, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterjohnb

Dave, I'll put you up there with Maynard Hershon. The articles you've written will never go out of style.

March 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterResty

You look bloody good for a man of your age, Dave. Well done! I've just turned 40 and so the belly fat and man boobs have started to show themselves so it's more miles on the bike for me this year. You've inspired me.

Great blog, great words, great legs ;)

Keep up the good work.


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