Sunday, February 4, 2018

Rider Profile Gil Russel

Hi I am Gil and I like to share my cycling story.
This is the long winded version starting from US.... If u like to know my SG ver... u can scroll down lower :)
I started biking seriously in 1982. I had a top of the line low end bike. It was a 10 speed Murray. I bought it at Toys R Us. I think i spent like $100 for it back then. At that time I only starting to bike and was not riding much, maybe 10 miles a week if I was lucky.
My life changed drastically in 1983 when i ended up divorced. I moved to Hollywood Florida and had no car. My work was 12 miles from my home to my work, which was 24 miles each day, rain or shine. There were some very cold mornings in the winter to ride. I did this for 18 months. After that I still road but not nearly as much. In 1986 I developed some sort of Lung disease and went from riding regularly to not being able to walk across the hanger (less than 50 meters) without running out of breath.
In 1987 I moved from Florida to Oregon, changer of jobs. I still had my team Murray but was not riding much. In 1992 I signed up for the MS150 bike ride. I needed to get support and pledges for the $200 entry and that I did. I started training I was riding most evenings after work. I was building up my strength and endurance.

The event was the Best Dam Bike Ride. Started in Troutdale, Oregon and went up the old scenic highway in the Columbia Gorge. The dam part of it was when we crossed over the Columbia River at Bonneville Dam. This continued up the gorge to Hood River. We then turned south and headed up the back side of Mt Hood (elevation 3,429 m) we stopped at Odell (220 m) for the night. I must clarify that this was a fully supported ride and transport of camping equipment and all meals and water stops provided. The next morning started after a carbo loaded breakfast and it was back in the saddle. Up and up and up some more, I remember telling myself one more peddle one more step, I was hoping for a lower gear but I was at the bottom already. I finally crested with a much needed lunch stop. After the quick lunch it was all downhill from Government Camp (1,346 m), ending up in Gresham (99 m). That was the fun part. Well I had accomplished my goal to complete the MS 150. Not in record time but I finished. 

Two years later i did another MS150 but it was not nearly as challenging or as much fun as the first. The route was from Portland, Oregon to the Coast. Don’t get me wrong it was a fun ride. During this time I completed another ride. I convinced a work college to ride to the beach. The event was called Reach the Beach. After this I just occasionally rode and did not do anymore supported rides. In 2007 I accepted a position in Sydney Australia. I did not ship my team Murray so after living in Newington for about a year and having so many trails to ride in the Olympic Park I purchased my first MTB. Again nothing flash just a solid Fluid MTB, I think it was $299. I was riding randomly, but nothing real serious.

Here is the Singapore leg and what lies ahead...
2014 my company moved me to Singapore, I moved into a condo in Marine Parade and love that I was so close to East Coast Park. I dusted off the old Fluid and started riding a little. I then found the LCSG face book page and soon joined in a few rides. Seeing they would do rides in the |West i bought a foldie. Not knowing much about them i just bought one online and again $299 was my price. I have managed to put a lot of miles on is Apollo 5 bike. I preferred my Fluid over the foldie but it allowed me to take the MRT to the west to join in more rides. I continued riding more just on the weekends but was getting out more often.
Left and after cycling actively
Beginning in 2017 my wife and I both decided to start doing life differently in order to lose weight. I started biking every morning, starting at 10 km a day, and started using Lose It to track some weight the amount of food I was eating. I had topped out at 120kg and decided to get serious about losing. By May, I was feeling and looking healthier, in large part due to the daily exercise, (now increased to 20 km per day) which was helping me lose inches, even if the weight loss was slow.
The photos above show me at a few lbs above my goal weight on 10/11/17. I have lost a total of 76 lbs. I continues to bike, tracking a total of 4800 km in 2017. I continue to track me food with Lose It daily since February I am confident that I can maintain my current weight following the simple Code Red lifestyle of clean eating (cutting sugar out), drinking water, and sleeping.

I joined the TOGO Half challenge last fall and killed it. I ended up first finisher and as a prize i now have a Dura foldie bike. I am pleased with the performance of this bike and tend to split my time between it and the longevity Trek bike I received from the company. To date my longest single day ride is 102km with a monthly goal of 550km.
I don’t ride for speed I don’t like riding on the street, give me the PCN anytime.

What are some of my plans for the future? I will be returning to the USA the end of 2019, with the plan to retire fully shortly after that. That being said, my biking in the future has Cycle Oregon ( on the horizon. Another sponsored ride that crosses Oregon in 5 days. Another is the STP (Seattle to Portland Another bigger dream ride for me is BRAN (Bike Ride Across Nebraska Why Nebraska you ask, my birth state. Haha.  Thats my story and if u like to ride me, pls contact me at my FB Happy cycling!