No Time to Post

I’ve really been meaning to write.  I’ve done some really good rides.

Today, 82 miles with Tim.  Last weekend, 70-ish miles.  A few weeks ago an awesome adventure off-road in Daniel Boone National Forest.

The “no-beer” thing didn’t make it.  The new resolve to ride more did.

More later.  I need sleep.

Keeping on Pedaling

I’m still beer-free.  The eating hasn’t been great.

I haven’t ridden my bike to work at all this week.  I’ve had the beginning of a neck flare-up.  No matter, I leave in the morning for a camping trip with Tim and Timothy.  My Fargo is loaded and ready to roll.  I’ve packed plenty of anti-inflammatories.

Although I’m still in pain, I need this three-day weekend trip to keep my sanity.

More later.

Day Two

This is my second day with no beer.  I only miss it when I’m operating on habit.  I do a lot of things out of habit.  Eating too much is another one.  I’m just concentrating on the beer for now.

Alcohol helps me sleep, but so do 50-mile bike rides.  I’ll try more of the rides.

Good Ride, but Damn, I’m Out of Shape


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I met up with Tim at Breadworks at 7:00 this morning for a ride with some distance.  I haven’t done much of that recently.  I rode the rSogn.  Tim was on his Lightspeed.

Within 15 miles I was hurting.  We were pushing into a headwind.  I made it known that I wasn’t sure of completing the ride.  Tim suffered through my bitching and we rode on.

We stopped at Iroquois Park to rest, and for me to decide if I could go on.  Tim cajoled me into continuing, against my better judgement.  He did change the route slightly to avoid a road that I loathe.

We cruised to the Jefferson Forest area, and rode a couple of hills.  Tim waited for me as I fell behind.

After the two hills, it was mostly flat.  Before long, we turned and enjoyed a tailwind.  The tailwind made me feel so good, I pushed the pace too much, and bonked later.

With another stop for refreshments, I was able to continue.  This ride wasn’t my best showing, but I need to build my fitness back up.  I ended the day with just over 50 miles.

I took no pictures.  There were a lot of other cyclists out.  It was a great day.  The forecast rain never materialized.  It did get quite hot near the end of the ride.

I’m considering this ride the first step to getting back in shape.

New Toys!

I have to reward myself for my new drive to get fit again.  I can’t have beer, but I can replace it with something healthier, like bike stuff!

Gadgets

My old GPS still works, but I can’t mount it to the bike anymore.  The piece that connects to the handlebar mount is broken, and isn’t something I can order from Garmin.  I’ve since learned about RAM mounts that would work, but before I knew this, I bought a newer device – the Garmin eTrex 20.  It’s similar in size and appearance to the old eTrex hCX, but it’s faster, more accurate, and has a much more robust mounting system.

Once I buy the RAM mount, I’ll have two usable GPS devices for the bikes.

Cousins in the GPS family
Cousins in the GPS family

Rebirth

My poor single-speed has been languishing in the basement for too long.  The crank and bottom bracket were trash.  I damaged the stem and handlebars.  The original (30+ year old) headset was crunchy.

Some time ago, I took it in to have the headset replaced.  I ordered some brake pads, cleaned the bike, obtained some tires, and had a rolling frame in the living room for a while.  It did make a nice art piece, but that wasn’t the plan.

I ordered a stem and handlebars.  I mounted the brake levers.  Diane had bought me a crankset (a beautiful Sugino) on our honeymoon.  I took the bike and crankset up to the bike shop and dropped it off.

On Friday, I got a call that the bike was ready.  I went and got it, put pedals, lights, and a bell on it, and took it up the street a bit.

The single-speed lives!
The single-speed lives!

It still needs bar tape, but I haven’t decided on color yet.  I also want freedom to re-position the brake levers for  a bit, so I’m in no hurry on bar tape.

I went for a different look this time.  I ditched the red accents, and when grey, silver, and black.  I may give it a splash of color with the bar tape.  I may cloth, twine, and shellac for an old-school look.

Mechanically, it is a little different.  The new crankset would give it a higher gear ratio (but I really liked the crank).  So I also had a new freewheel put on, to lower the gear ratio.  The end result is about 65 gear-inches, which is a bit lower than before.  That’s about perfect for my old knees.

I won’t be commuterizing this bike this time.  I did last time, but really this bike just wants to be a simple, nimble, light, fun ride.  I’ll ride a different bike to work.

Saturday, I met up with Tim for a ride.  He, unfortunately, rode a geared bike.  No matter, I got to give the bike a good workout.  I got  a good workout up and down the hills.  Things were good until on one climb when the headset made a loud pop and the lock ring came loose.

I carefully rode it to Tim’s house, where he gave me a ride home.  I didn’t use the front brake at this time.

Once home, I was able to tighten down the headset.  As long as it doesn’t come loose again soon, I’ll be happy.

Future?

I miss my LHT.  I shouldn’t have sold it.  I don’t have the money for another right now, but when I do, I’m going to buy the Disc Trucker – which is the same bike, but with disc brakes.  It will become my commuter/tourer/beater/gravel grinder.

Once I have the trucker, the rear rack will come off of the rSogn, as I want that bike to be my rando bike, even if I never do a randonneuring ride.

Goals

I need to earn the new bike.  I need to be able to crank out metric centuries every other weekend or so.  I used to do this, but have not recently, and I certainly wouldn’t enjoy it much if I did it in my current condition.

I’ve done no long rides since my Achilles surgery (until today! – more soon!).  I’m out of shape.  I’ve gained weight.  I need to fix that.

Cold Turkey

I started writing here to document my weight loss.  I lost 100 lbs.  That seems so long ago (2007-2009).  I got into riding a bike in April of 2008.  I started thinking about living car-free.

In 2010, while married to Kristy, we moved out of Charlestown, and into Louisville.  I’m still living in that house.  This allowed me to not drive.  I kept my truck, as Kristy liked it, and we took trips in it.  When Kristy and I split in 2011, I sold the truck and I’ve lived without a car since.

Living in Loo-evil has meant I’m too close to bars, restaurants, and coffee shops for my own good.  I can quickly ride from work or home, in normal clothes, to a bar.  I can stumble home drunk from a bar.  While convenient, my beer consumption skyrocketed.

I’ve gained 60 lbs since moving into town.  My transportation rides were immediately shorter.  I still did a lot of long pleasure rides, but those tailed off as my neck flared up again, then even more as I gained weight and lost fitness.  In January I had planned to severely limit my beer, but then I tore my achilles and spent a lot of time stuck at home.

I’ve suffered depression for a long time.  The initial weight loss helped with that tremendously.  Gaining back a good portion of that weight does not help.  Alcohol does not help.

I made up my mind to give up drinking a few days ago.  That takes effect today.

Diane and I went out to two bars last night as a “last hurrah”.  I didn’t get drunk, but I certainly drank enough beer to add to depression and weight gain.

There’s no more beer in the house.  There are two bottles of wine, but I’m not tempted by that, and they’re Diane’s anyway.

So, things are re-starting.  I’ve already been tracking my consumption with MyFitnessPal.  The mobile app is rather handy.  My food consumption is a little high right now, but cutting out the beer should lead to weight loss.  Once I’ve got “not drinking” as a habit, I’ll work harder on the food. (I say as I munch on some cookies).

I’ve got happier days on this blog to look back at.  I have a wonderfully researched email from Simon on Google+ about depression issues and how he’s fought them.

I want to do 60-80 mile gravel rides again.  I want to pound up and down the hills on Eastern Parkway on my single-speed again.  I want to feel like a cyclist again.

Will I change my goals?  My main goals have been to be happier, healthier, and 175 lbs.  The lowest weight I’ve managed since starting this has been about 197.  That would be much better than the 260 I’m at today.  I’m still going to aim for 175, even if it’s un-achievable.  This will hopefully prevent me from getting complacent again.

If I can be more active, not drink, and weigh less, that will go a long way toward happier and healthier.

Although they won’t work by themselves, I have spent some money on “incentives” to ride more nice rides.  I also have a plan for a bigger incentive for when I’ve lost some weight (and when I can afford it).

More later.

Still on a Bike

Yes, I’m still riding a bike.  I just having been writing much about it.

Camping!

Back on June 20th, Tim and I went bike camping.  I rode my Big Dummy.

Big and Dumb
Big and Dumb

We didn’t want to deal with a campfire, so I brought a candle for light.  An unfortunate spider managed to get into the molten wax.

We each brought our Esbit stoves for cooking dinner, and making coffee in the morning.  There’s little else as important as camp coffee.

World's smallest campfire
World’s smallest campfire

This was just a quick trip to Jefferson Forest, but it improved that weekend.

Family Riding

The next weekend was my wife’s birthday.  She had her daughter over.  We got out on the bike (my stepdaughter and I on the tandem, and Diane on her own bike).

Among other places, we rode the Beargrass Creek Trail.  There’s a heron usually visible, but he’s shy and hard to photograph.  This time he was feeling brave, and I managed to get a picture of him.  I think Tim knows he well.

Heron!
Heron!

This was a slow, meandering ride.  It was quite enjoyable.  We stopped for ice cream on the way home.

Volleyball

I’m still not playing volleyball, but I will be in about a week and a half.  Two years ago, I was the only one who rode a bike there.  Last year there was usually one other bike.  Last month brought a large collection of bikes, including my ex-girlfriend riding the bike I bought her.  Sweet!

Diane and I rode the tandem
Diane and I rode the tandem

The motorcycle belonged to our group too.

Look carefully, there are four more bikes
Look carefully, there are four more bikes

Robin’s bike had a low tire.  I pumped it up.

Robin's bike looks neat with a basket.
Robin’s bike looks neat with a basket.

Fourth of July

Bicycling For Louisville put on the Family Freedom Fun Ride on the morning of the Fourth.  It was partially intended to celebrate/show off the new bike lanes on Breckenridge and Kentucky streets.

Turnout was good, probably 100+ people.  The mayor was there.  The news crews were there.  There were four highwheel bicycles there, which is more than I’ve ever seen in one place.
A few of the crew
A few of the crew
We didn’t take many pictures.  This one was at the end, before everyone returned.  Diane is off to the left in hi-vis yellow.  There’s a highwheeler hiding behind the tree.
Tim rode with us most of the way.  We ran into a number of people we knew, including Ben and Marcus.  After the ride, Ben, Tim, Diane and I went to Cumberland for beer and to watch the soccer game.
Ben invited us to a party at his house.  We went home, and packed up the tandem with beer.  
Ben is much younger than we are.  He lives in an apartment with a roomate.  There’s a nice back yard.  He had quite a few people show up, most on bikes.  You know it’s a party when the police show up.
Yes, one person was arrested.  Almost nobody there knew her.  She was arrested for DUI.  She had driven there (drunk) and ran into a parked car in front of it’s owner.  Sigh.  The police are never in a good mood when responding to incidents like this on the Fourth.
Louisville’s main fireworks show, at the Riverfront, was cancelled this year.  Diane and I went home early and watched a few neighborhood fireworks from our front porch.
More?
Yes.  More.  I’ll have more posts today.  Things are a-changing.
 

Dieting Sucks

Due to peer pressure, I’m now using MyFitnessPal on my phone to track my intake and exercise.

I haven’t given up beer, but I’ve cut back and fit it in to my calorie budget.

In any case, I’m hungry all the time.

More later.

A Plan

Yes, I’m tracking all my calories again.  I don’t yet have a specific calorie goal, but I’ll get there.  Just writing it down has kept things in check.  I have had a 3000-calorie day, but I’ve also had a 1000-calorie day.  When I wasn’t tracking, I probably had several 5000+ calorie days.

I’m weighing again every morning, but I’ll just be posting my weekly and monthly averages.  I’ve updated the weight page.

I gave up beer.  It was supposed to be a month, but a social engagement enticed me to have a couple.  That’s okay, I’m tracking the calories of the beer also – and limiting it greatly.

I’ve already had a happier digestive system than I did before.

Diane and I have been a bit more active.  We’ve been walking the dogs more frequently.  We bike-pool to work on the tandem most days.  On Sunday, we took the tandem and trailer on an errand run in parts of town I don’t normally ride.  Those areas have a reputation for not being bike friendly, but we had no issues.

The Rig
The Rig

Due to Diane having an earlier schedule, I just go to work early.  I went in a 6:30 this morning – which meant I got to leave at 3:00.  That’s not a bad deal.

Sometime’s It’s Not Worth It

There was an article on a local news website today that drivers are driving in the new “protected” bike lanes.  I haven’t yet used these lanes, they don’t go where I’m going, but I’ve seen them.  They’re “protected” with paint.  That must be some magic paint – or not if people are driving in them.

Anyway, I clicked though and made the mistake of glancing at the comments at the end of the article.  These are people who post comments from Facebook, so their real names show up.  I’m not on Facebook, and even if I were, I would not want to engage these same tired arguments.

Ignoring the rare occasion, I normally have no issues with drivers.  So why do I get so angry when I see the raging ignorance online?  Maybe it’s because they are willfully ignorant.  Some are worse.  In one article about a cyclist badly injured in a hit-and-run crash, one idiot commented “Good!

I want to take away their cars and licenses until they have a better understanding of the law and more empathy for their fellow man.  Maybe I’m just having a bad day, but this is getting to me today.  It’s making me want to go have a beer – but I’m trying to lose weight.

Back to Basics – Again

I’ve lost track of my resets.  Some of them have been quite helpful.  Others didn’t last long enough to matter.

I haven’t had a beer since Tuesday.  I won’t have another one until 6/27 – so one month without beer.

I mentioned that my weight according to the doctor’s scale was 268.  That’s wearing clothes and with things in my pockets.  I started weighing daily again yesterday.  I’ve been just under 262 both days.  I’m only going to start posting my weekly and monthly averages.  That’ll will make updating simpler.

I’m also back to tracking everything I eat.  I only had 1390 calories yesterday, but I went to bed hungry.  I should have had something more, but I didn’t have anything healthy in the house.

I’m sitting at a mere 490 calories so far today, but I’ll have a snack and dinner yet today.  I just came in from mowing the lawn, so I have a large glass of water next to me.

Diane and I took the dogs for another walk last night.  It was shorter than Wednesday’s excursion, but I was feeling weak (should have eaten more).

Riding, Updates, and New Resolve

Driving

I don’t care for driving, but I still do it for longer trips.  I first got a drivers license two days after my 16th birthday.  I rarely drive these days.  After having a valid license for a solid 27 years, I managed to let it expire yesterday.  I didn’t realize it until this afternoon.  It’s now been renewed.

Beer

I’m taking a one-month break from beer.  I’m not cutting back, I’m cutting it out.  I’ve gained too much weight.  I’ve been lazy.  I’ll re-evaluate in a month.

Bike-Pooling

Diane and I often ride the tandem to her work in the morning, then I ride solo a few blocks to my work.  We did that today.  In the afternoon, I picked her up, and headed to get my drivers license renewed.  She had changed into casual clothes and flip-flops.  She learned that flip-flops can come off while pedaling.  She had to retrieve her footwear in downtown traffic.

Look carefully - There's Diane grabbing her flip-flop
Look carefully – There’s Diane grabbing her flip-flop

Achilles

My weak ankle has been causing me to limp.  The weird walking caused a large buildup of callous on my heel.  The heel split open and was quite painful.  This caused quite a few issues.  I started putting “heel balm” on it a few days ago, and it’s much better.

Sunday’s ride with Tim showed me that the ankle is still quite weak.  I think the uptick in activity that I’ve had recently has been good, if a bit painful.  I noticed today that I can barely lift myself onto my toes while standing only on my right leg.  I haven’t been able to do that since before the accident.  I’m also not limping at all today.  I still have some weakness, but I’m making good progress.

More About Beer (and Food)

Beer and food is the keystone of my current social life.  I often go out for beer after a bike ride.  Diane and I go out for beer too often.  Since I’m not drinking beer for a month, we need to come up with healthier habits.  We started today by taking the dogs for a walk.

We walked the dogs to the bank, post office, and coffee shop.  It was about a 2.5 mile trip.  I much prefer riding a bike that distance, but it was nice to do something different and the dogs liked it.

Sandy enjoyed her break at the coffee shop
Sandy enjoyed her break at the coffee shop

What’s Next?

I’ll eventually start weighing myself again.  My last doctor visit had my weight at 268, which is pathetic.  It basically means I lost 100lbs only to gain back nearly 70% of that.  I weigh more now than I did since before I started riding a bike.

I’m going to have to help more with the cooking around the house.  I have some ideas for healthier eating.  I’m going to start tracking calories again.  Once I do allow myself beer again, the beer calories will have to be tracked.

I want to feel like a cyclist again.  I’m not selling the Fargo.  I’m holding off on buying another bike.  The bikes I have can get me through.  It’s more about riding the bikes than buying them.

Three-Day Weekend Fun

Saturday

Tim and I met up at Breadworks, as usual, on Saturday morning for an urban spin.  The ride was pleasant, but it’s really the only kind of riding we’ve been doing recently.  We schemed to do something about that.

He did play a game of Spot the Turkey at my expense, but that’s how we roll sometimes.  If you follow that link, you’ll see that I’ve gained some weight.  More on that later.

I was up quite early Saturday morning.  Diane and I bike-pooled to her work on the tandem.  Then I rode home to grab my rSogn to meet Tim for the morning ride.

After the ride, I went back, grabbed the tandem, and took it to the shop for some minor repair.  I then picked Diane up and headed home.

Later, Diane and I rode the tandem again, this time across the newly-opened Big Four Bridge.  We checked out a burger & beer place in Jeffersonville before riding back home.  The Big Four Bridge has no car traffic, but the crowds of pedestrians made this a walking-speed ride.

Sunday

Diane was on her own on getting to work.  I had other plans.  I had the rSogn packed and ready to go when Tim pulled up in his car with his Atlantis on the rack.  We loaded my bike and headed for New Washington Indiana.

Tim and I have ridden the New Washington area before.  It’s got enough hills to be interesting, but it’s not brutal.  It has enough gravel to add texture to the ride.  It’s low-traffic and our Sunday morning began with beautiful weather.

Tim likes his beach sunglasses
Tim likes his beach sunglasses

Much of the route was wide-open farmland.

Moo?
Moo?

Some of it was a bit more forested.

Shady
Shady

We had navigation issues.  Tim used his Edge GPS, which isn’t meant for routing.  I didn’t have the route, and my GPS was at home with a broken mount.  We meandered in the general direction, but managed to make a wrong turn on to a long dead-end road.  It wasn’t wasted.  It was one of the better roads on the ride.

We had planned a reasonable 35 miles, as both of us are out of shape.  At 20 miles I was done.  My right ankle is still weak.  The ankle kept trying to turn while pedaling.  It was painful, but I managed the last eight miles back to the car.

Tim wrote his piece here.

After I was home, I still had a few errands to run.  I was extremely slow on the bike, but I managed without injury.

Monday

Monday, being Memorial Day here in the States, brings various celebrations.  Louisville has the Mayor’s Hike, Bike, and Paddle.  I had already planned to ride this on the tandem with Diane, but Asher contacted me about riding with him and Denis on their tandem.  Tom and Jen joined us on their Rans Screamer (tandem recumbent) – and it was a party.

Asher and Denis with matching jerseys
Asher and Denis with matching jerseys

There was a huge variety of bicycles to see.  John brought his velomobile – probably the only one in Louisville.

John and his velo
John and his velo

There were a few ‘bents, and a few tandems, but I only saw one tandem ‘bent: Tom and Jen’s.

Rans Screamer
Rans Screamer

The first part of the ride was very crowded.  I spent most of that time at a walking pace in close quarters.  That’s a bit of a challenge with a tandem among wobbly children.

Tandems everywhere!
Tandems everywhere!

At one point Denis, started a water fight with me.  I retaliated with my water bottle.  Diane ended it by dumping water on me.  It was already unfair – Denis, Asher’s stoker attacked me, the captain.  He had his hands free to aim.  I had to steer.  Then my own stoker turned against me.  All is fair in love, tandems, and water fights.  I did get the last squirt in later in the ride.  I zoomed past Asher and Denis’s tandem, drenching the surprised Denis along the way.

I have recently put a new saddle on the tandem.  I hate it.  I think I’ll be changing back to the old one.  I was rather sore by the end of the ride.  The six of us had a meal and beer at Against the Grain before going our own way.

Whew!

Over those three days, I rode 104 miles.  I’ve certainly done more, but not recently.  I’m out of shape and too fat.  I went to work today by car.  I was really sore.  I left early due to a massive headache.  I’m slightly sunburned.  I guess I need to work on my physical well-being.

Peeved and Sore

I had a minor incident while riding my bike home from work today.  A woman stopped at a stop sign, but started again without yielding to traffic (me).  I was moving at a decent clip on the Big Dummy.

The Big Dummy has excellent brakes.  I think I (barely) missed her car, maybe I grazed it.  The panic braking would have been fine on a four-wheeled vehicle, but the swerve and braking led to me hitting the pavement.

The woman stopped, but was nasty and complaining.  She tried to blame it on me.  I didn’t have a stop sign.  She did.  I called the police.  They weren’t much better.  They refused to take a report.  One officer said “I’m sorry you fell off your bike“.  They never checked her registration, insurance, or license.

The bike has some scuffs, it’s just cosmetic.  My hands and left elbow had road grit embedded in them.  My left knee got a little scraped through my pants.  That’s all pretty minor, and I really don’t even feel it now.

My left shoulder is another story.  I have a deep ache in that shoulder and arm.  This is not the right should that I’ve struggled with.  This is my left shoulder.  It’s been fine, until this afternoon.

I wrote a complaint to LMPD for the poor service I got from one of their officers.   I hope they follow-up with it, but I’m not hopeful.

So, I had a crappy evening.  I’m hoping the shoulder is feeling well enough to ride to work again tomorrow.

Goodbye Candy

Candy, my yellow lab, has been suffering for a while.  Things started to go downhill about a year ago.   She lost muscle and developed arthritis.  She slept most of the time.

Recently, she hasn’t been willing to eat.  She’s lost a lot of weight.  She’s had bowel and bladder control issues.  She’s had trouble standing up.

Candy, about five years ago
Candy, about five years ago

Today, she was taken to the vet for her final visit.  We left there without her.  Her suffering is over.

Candy was the first dog I had as an adult.  This is the first time I had to take a pet to be put down.  I’ll miss her.

Selling Bikes?

I regret selling my Surly LHT.  I want another one.  One way to fund a new one is to sell an existing bike.

Here’s what I currently have:

  • Surly Big Dummy
  • Rawland rSogn
  • Bacchetta Agio Recumbent
  • Salsa Fargo
  • Raleigh Record single-speed
  • Trek T-900 Tandem
  • Specialized Crossroads (Diane’s)
  • Norco VFR4 (Diane’s)

Diane’s bikes and the tandem are staying.  The recumbent is staying.  I don’t ride it much, but when my neck flares up, I need it.  The single-speed is in pieces, but I intend to fix it.  I miss it.  The Rawland is definitely staying.  (Sorry Scott).  That leaves the Fargo and the Big Dummy.

I had decided to sell the Fargo to fund a new LHT.  Then I’d sell the Big Dummy to simplify.  I can’t live without a car now that I’m married to Diane, so we’ll always have her car when needed.  The LHT would be commuter/gravel/touring rig.  I still have a trailer for cargo if necessary.

I brought the Fargo back upstairs (it had been in the basement) to clean it.  I don’t want to sell it, but I don’t ride it often.  I did take it out on an awesome ride back in January, but mostly it just sits.

I have some soul-searching to do on this.

Wedding Update & Stuff

On April 6th, 2014, Diane and I were wed at Duncan Memorial Chapel.  This is my third marriage and her second.  It’s the first time either of us had a “traditional” wedding.

Duncan Memorial Chapel
Duncan Memorial Chapel

We had approximately 50 people attend the wedding.  It was a good mix of her family and friends, and my friends.  I have little family in the area.  Asher played the organ for us.  His husband, Denis, was there also.

Asher at the organ
Asher at the organ

Michael and his wife, Sarah, were able to make the drive.  I hadn’t seen Michael in a while.  We need to ride bikes together again sometime.  He brought his camera and got some great shots.

I'm looking older
I’m looking older

Tim was my best man.  It was great to have him there.

He was arm-in-arm with Denise, Diane's sister.  He'd never met her until this day.
He was arm-in-arm with Denise, Diane’s sister. He’d never met her until this day.

Tom and Jen were able to make it.  Patrick couldn’t make the wedding, he was at a funeral (gulp), but he did make it to the reception.  Timothy was there, and dressed well with a bow-tie.  He likes to pick up women at weddings, but I don’t think there were single women in his age range.  In a way, most of the RCCS crew was able to be there.

I hadn’t seen Diane since earlier the day before.  I had a beautiful bride.

My beautiful bride
My beautiful bride

Once the ceremony was complete, many pictures were taken, as people left to head to the reception.  I was really tired of pictures by this point.

The reception was at the BBC (Bluegrass Brewing Company) Taproom.  The mood of everything was lighter there.  Several people Diane and I both know from the Louisville Ski Club were present.

Ski club - just there for the beer
Ski club – just there for the beer

Once the alcohol was flowing, people loosened up.  My daughter and her husband showed up.  They had been unable to make it to the wedding.  People started acting strangely, especially the bride and groom…

The garter is in here somewhere...
The garter is in here somewhere…

I did find the garter.  It eventually ended up on someone’s head.

Um, wha?
Um, wha?

Our wedding night was a quiet night at home.  We needed the rest after such a busy day.

We did have honeymoon plans.  We had a rented “cabin” in Brown County Indiana.  The “cabin” was actually an upstairs apartment in somebody’s home.  It had it’s own deck and hot-tub.  It was in the tiny ‘burg of Helmsburg Indiana.

On Monday, we loaded the tandem bike on the car and drove there.  We arrived during a cold rain, so we tried to stay warm in the hot tub before going to bed.

All the interesting shops in Brown County are in Nashville Indiana, about six miles from our “cabin”.  This was an easy ride on the tandem.  The tandem was our transportation for the duration of the honeymoon.

Let's go tandem-ing!
Let’s go tandem-ing!

The route between the “cabin” and Nashville was hilly, but scenic and low-traffic.

Tandem selfie?
Tandem selfie?

Nashville is a small town, but it’s full of local shops, restaurants, and bars.  It also has a bike shop.

Bike Brown County!
Bike Brown County!

Nashville is also the site of Big Woods Brewing.

I love a woman with beer
I love a woman with beer

The weather on our too-short honeymoon was mixed.  There was always a threat of rain.  It did rain a little, but we were never caught in a downpour.

“I’ll be your driver for the evening”

The nights at the “cabin” were peaceful and quiet.  I have no pictures from that.  It was dark and the hot tub was hot.

On the way home we drove through part of Hoosier National Forest.  We went by Story Inn in Story Indiana, where the Gravel Grovel passes through.

Diane and I will need to save money to take more vacations.  We really enjoyed our time away form the daily grind.

Atrophied Cankle in the Rain

Tim and I had planned a 7:00am ride for this morning.  At 6:30 a storm with heavy rain and lightning was moving through.  We made the decision to wait it out.  By 7:00, things had settled down, and I headed out in the rain (by then, just a drizzle) to meet up for the ride.

I took the more direct, but hillier, route along Eastern Parkway.  My loss of fitness was obvious.  I was terribly slow up the hills.

My right ankle swells up frequently.  I call it a cankle.  The calf-portion of the cankle has atrophied due to the achilles tendon not being connected to the foot for a while – then not walking on it – and finally walking carefully on it with a limp.  So, I have an atrophied cankle, and I took it out in the rain.

It was about 65F degrees.  I dressed in shorts and short sleeves.  That was probably under-dressing considering the rain.

Tim and I headed around some neighborhoods to warm up before hitting the hills.  I had already warmed up on Eastern Parkway, but I was glad to tone it down a bit.

The hilly roads in the park are a lot of fun.  I had to ride the brakes a lot to dry them while descending into a curve, but it’s all part of the fun.  There were no accidents or almost-accidents.  I am a bit out of practice with fast riding in the rain.

During the ride we had two downpours.  One of those times included a little lightning and thunder.  It passed.  We looped through St. Matthews, Mockingbird Valley, and Indian Hills before heading back to Breadworks for coffee.

I stayed warm during the ride.  I think the effort I was putting into keeping up with Tim kept me warm.

We arrived at Breakworks much drier.  The rain had let up.  We each had coffee and a snack before going our own way.

The ride home was cold.  I had sat, cooling off, at Breadworks.  My top speed for the day was also in the stretch home.

I got home with 31 miles on the odometer.  I took a warm shower, poured another cup of coffee and sat on the front porch with the dogs for a while.

This has been a good start for the day.

Transition

Life is strange.  I’m in a weird place.

Diane and I had a wonderful wedding, and the marriage has been good so far.  Yes, we’ve had an argument, but nothing we won’t get over.  Mostly, things are quite good.  I really have planned on a big post about the wedding, but I think that’s dead now – over a month later.  We wedding was great.  The weather was perfect.  The reception at BBC Taproom was a blast.  I’ll write about the honeymoon – including tandem bike, later.

Wait.  I'm married now?
Wait. I’m married now?

My temporary job has been extended until the end of the year.  I don’t enjoy the job, but being employed is nice.  Work has kept me busy, too busy at times.  I feel like many other things are falling behind.

My doctor has not sent me to physical therapy for my leg/ankle/achilles.  I had my final appointment with my orthopedic surgeon, and he believes all is well.  It could take a year to feel normal again, but I have no more activity restrictions.

I still get swelling and soreness sometimes.  Walking causes more issues than riding the bike.  I still intend to start playing volleyball for the next session.  In the meantime, I need to stretch and work on strength.

I’ve gained weight.  I haven’t been weighing regularly, but I’m about 260lbs right now.  I still drink too much beer.  I’ve left the weight issue on the back burner for now.  I know I shouldn’t, but I feel like I have to finish the transition to married life and fixing financial issues.

Diane and I are trying to fix some financial issues.  We want to own a home someday.  Our spending on beer is down – most due to buying it from a store rather than a bar.

I’m on the bike pretty much every day now.  Diane and I ride the tandem several times a week.  We bike-pooled to work three days this week on the tandem – and plan to do so in the morning again.  We work within a few blocks of each other, so it works.

I seldom ride at a fast pace.  Serious distance would hurt.  This is killing has killed my fitness.

My depression issues have resurfaced again, but in a different way.  I’m able to monitor how I feel.  Maybe I’m just learning a new coping mechanism.  It still sucks, but it doesn’t paralyze me.  I can analyze it.  I can usually avoid hurting others.

I hope to not go another month without posting.  This blog was built on accountability on my weight control.  It’s been failing at that recently.

Long Night

Diane and I are getting married in about 14 hours.  She’s at her sister’s house.  I won’t see her until we’re at the chapel.

I’m not sure how much sleep I’m going to manage.  Most of the stress of the preparations is over.  Now I just need to remember everything tomorrow.

More later.

Tandem Toodling

I spent most of the weekend at home being lazy and reading books.  Diane had to work.

When she got home today, she wanted to go out.  We hopped on the tandem for a quick trip to Four Pegs.  We decided not to eat there, but go somewhere farther away.  The tandem has the new chain and cassette, so I figured we should really give it a work out.

We headed to Indiana.  We cranked over the bridge, but very shortly after that the chain wedged between the cassette and the spokes.  I got very greasy getting everything back together.  We continued the ride, but soft-pedaled it, as the chain would skip.  Apparently it has a bent link or two.

We eventually made it to New Albanian where we enjoyed BBQ pork sandwiches and delicious beer.

The drivetrain on the tandem was really complaining on the return trip.  I was worried that we’d break the chain.  I carry both 9 and 10-speed chain links, but the tandem is an 8-speed.  Again, we soft-pedaled our way along – and took the bike path through Clarksville.  It was dark by the time we made it to the riverfront.  We were well lit, but we took some time to enjoy the view.

Louisville Skyline from Clarksville
Louisville Skyline from Clarksville

We made it home with no further mechanical issues.  Now I need to get in the shower and scrub the grease off of my arm.

Just Bikes

This is the first week that I’m truly back on the bike.  This means I ride the bike to work every day.  I don’t borrow the car, or take the bus.  I’m getting back to normal – as normal as I get anyway.

I’m a little sad that I don’t seem to enjoy the recumbent bike anymore.  I won’t sell it.  It comes in handy when my neck hurts.

I rode the Big Dummy on Monday.  I switched to the rSogn (with new tires) on Tuesday.  I rode the Big Dummy again today to haul the tandem’s rear wheel to the bike shop after work.

In addition to having the spoke issues dealt with, I bought a chain, cassette and seatpost.  I installed those tonight.  The drivetrain is in much worse shape than I imagined, but the old 8-speed stuff is cheap to replace.  The seatpost was not original, and was above the minimum insertion line – even with Diane, the short one, sitting on it.

I did buy beer tonight.  I didn’t go to a bar.  We’ve not gone out yet this week.  Eating a home-cooked meal and drinking beer from a six pack is certainly cheaper, and a tad healthier than going out.

David Crowell :: Losing Weight