Trail Riding and Bike Changes

Since going to friction-shifting on the Fargo, the ten-speed rear has been a bit of a pain.

Tim recommended a short ride at Waverly this morning.  I got up early and replaced the ten-speed chain and cassette with 8-speed equivalents.

Fargo

Fargo

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I’m too fat and I struggled a bit.  Afterwards we had coffee.

In other news, I’ve made changes to the Big Dummy.  It’s also become my primary commuter bike.  I’ll have more on that later.

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November 23rd Gravel Adventure Ride

Timothy has been putting on Gravel Adventure Rides for the Louisville Bicycle Club.  I attended one last month.

Tim and I went together.  I think we had a total of six riders.  The ride started in New Washington Indiana.  This route is nice for only having one big climb.

My memory isn’t clear, as I didn’t write about it right away.

Timothy and the other riders mostly stayed ahead of Tim and I.  Tim stayed with me.  I was struggling to keep any kind of pace whatsoever.  The first half of the ride, I never took my camera out.

We stopped at Jendy’s Pizza in Hanover.  It started raining at that point.

My new waterproof camera is perfect for rain, but I was too busy to use it.  I let Tim take pictures.

That's me in the distance

That’s me in the distance

Running along the river

Running along the river

Horse!

Horse!

The ride was cut a bit short at 35 miles.  I enjoyed getting out, but had a weak day on the bike.

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Updates, More Riding?

I’d meant to “catch up” on what interesting things I’ve done this year, but I’m falling behind.

I did a bike camping trip with Tim back in September.  I don’t have time to write about it.

My mileage for the year isn’t great, but with some effort, I may hit 3000 miles for the year.

I’m weighing myself again, but I’m not posting it here yet.  I’ve lost about 5 pounds, only 115 more (or so) to go!  :D

I gave up beer.. until I didn’t.  I have cut back substantially.

I interviewed for a new job today.  I left work early, and rode 11 miles to the new place, while wearing a suit and tie.  I wish I had a picture.  I think the job has promise.  It’s also 12 miles from home, so it’ll kick up the mileage for me.

There’s a cheap bar near there.  That could be good/bad, depending on point of view.

I hope to get this job.  The pay is acceptable.  The longer commute is more of a challenge, but could be good for me.  I intend to remain car-free, but with the ability to use Diane’s car/the bus/Lyft as necessary.

More later.

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More Adventure

Tim and I had big plans for last weekend.  We were going to drive to Texas to ride with Pondero.  We were concerned about weather on the return trip, and stayed closer to home.

Saturday was Tim’s birthday, and we usually try to put a ride together.  This time, it was on Friday.

We re-visited Daniel Boone National Forest, where we spent some time back in July.

Going to a remote area, and having a flaky GPS is a bad thing, so I brought both my old GPS, and the new one, recently replaced.

Belt and suspenders

Belt and suspenders

We started at S-Tree campground this time.  Tim and Patrick had scoped it out a while back, but I’d never been there.  The ride start was at 1400 feet of elevation.  It was a pleasant run on a gravel road that followed the ridge for a while.

We followed a turn-off that lead to a cleared piece of land overlooking… well, everything.  I have no idea what the purpose of the clearing is.  Maybe someone will build there.

Clearing with a view

Clearing with a view

Tim at the edge of the world

Tim at the edge of the world

Pleasant

Pleasant

After a while we took a steep downhill, still on gravel down to our only paved road of the day, KY-89.  That was a couple of miles riding along the river, with some dogs chasing us along the way.  Traffic was extremely light.  There was a neat old wooden-decked bridge over Horse Lick Creek, a tributary of the Rockcastle River.

Neat Bridge

Neat Bridge

We eventually turned off near where Horse Lick Creek branches off from the Rockcastle River.  This was a pleasant ride for a while.  After enjoying a snack at a deserted intersection, we continued along.  Our GPS route had us crossing the creek at a location that just wasn’t feasible – and there was a “private property” sign on the other side of the creek.

We continued on “our side” of the creek for a while.  It remained mostly flat, but large mud pits became common.  I was reminded of the old videogame, Pitfall!.

After a while our road path dead-ended at a campsite along the creek.  It wasn’t feasible to cross the creek there, and moving away from the water meant a steep climb through the woods.

Not crossing here

Not crossing here

We considered taking crossing the creek anyway.  We took off our shoes and socks, intending to walk across.  It was too far.  The rocks were sharp.  The water was icy.  I bailed and put my footwear back on.

We turned around, and later hiked crawled up the hill.  Near the top was an interesting rock bridge and a cave.  Neat, but I was too tired to get closer.  We moved on.

Rock Bridge

Rock Bridge

After riding along the ridgetop for a while, there was a mostly-unrideable descent back to the creek.  This creek crossing was shallower, and looked rideable.

Tim made it across successfully

Tim made it across successfully

I did not

I did not

It takes more than wet feet to deter me, so we continued on.  In the flat spot by the creek, there was an open field with the makings for a bonfire.  We had brought coffee-making materials, but time was running short.  Sunset comes early this time of year, and we weren’t equipped with good lights.  We skipped the coffee, but I did change into some dry socks.  We also decided to cut the ride short, and head directly back to the car.

I mostly quit taking pictures at this point.  We were off track according to the GPS, and there was that pesky creek and it’s cold water between us and the magic purple line.  Tim and I had disagreements over the route, but it was his ride, and I followed.

In the end, even though I was technically right, his way worked fine.  He has a better sense of direction than I do.

We had a couple of miles of endless mud pits to cross.  I got a bit reckless due to my haste, and went over the bars.  I wasn’t hurt, but rattled.

The temperature had dropped.  My rear derailleur was iced up and wouldn’t shift at all.  Tim’s drivetrain had similar issues.

Eventually we joined up with Raccoon Creek Rd.  This began our climb back to the car.  I walked most of it.

Raccoon Creek Rd and the endless mudpits before were a low point for me.  I really wanted to give up cycling.  I wanted to stay home where it’s warm and dry.  However, I didn’t want to get rid of the Fargo as I had in some previous trips, so apparently the bike changes helped there.

Before I knew it, we were at the car.  The sun was slowly setting.  What was supposed to be a short ride took all day.  We stopped for pizza on the drive home.  It was a nice finish to the day.

Now, my bike is cleaned and lubed.  The sore muscles have returned to normal.  The clothing has been washed, dried, and put away.  Now what?  I want to do it again, of course.

Tim’s write up is here.

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Fargo Changes

After the rides I did earlier in the year on the Fargo, the drop bars were really hurting me.  I decided to take a risk and make some changes.

I bought Jones H-Bar handlebars, Silver Shifters, and Paul Thumbies, some new brake levers, and a new rear derailleur. This gives me a more upright riding position.  The derailleur is just because I’m trying to sell the old shifter/brake levers/derailleur together as a set.

Fargo Cockpit View

Fargo Cockpit View

Bar tape and grips finished up the bars.  The upright riding position didn’t work well with the stock saddle, so I moved the black Brooks saddle and seatpost over from the single-speed (there’s another story there too).

Muddy Fargo

Muddy Fargo

The bike as you see above was how it was ridden last weekend.  I still want to change out the rest of the drivetrain.  Shifting 10-speed stuff with friction can be problematic sometimes.  I’ll replace the cassette with an 8-speed, which means a new chain also.  I’d like to replace the crankset with a triple.  This bike will be for gravel adventure, winter commuting, and some touring.

Riding High

Riding High

This is a picture (stolen from Tim) from last weekend’s ride.  Yes, it’s a very upright position.

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August 16th, Ferdinand Gravel Ride

I’m still trying to catch up with my writing.  I’m showing that I actually did ride this year.

Ferdinand State Forest in Indiana has some wonderful gravel roads.  Tim and I headed out there on August 16th for some adventure.  Tim’s write-up is here.

My Favorite Road Picture

My Favorite Road Picture

This was a 42-mile ride.  I suffered a bit from it.  I’ve had more issues with my neck, and riding the Fargo seems to make things worse.

Tim is Happy

Tim is Happy

It was a good day to get out for a ride.  The flat I had after riding down a “farm road” didn’t bother me.

Bad Selfie

Bad Selfie

 

Good Roads

Good Roads

 

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August 10th, Miles With Tim

After our Charlestown Pizza ride in July, Tim and I wanted to revisit the area, but on a longer ride.

So, on August 10th we headed out through Utica toward Charlestown.  I was on the rSogn, Tim was riding his Lightspeed.

Old Bridge

Old Bridge

This was three months ago, so the details are sketchy, but I ended up with over 80 miles for the day.  We were caught in a hailstorm on the way home.  In other words, perfect.

Heavy Skies in Utica

Heavy Skies in Utica

Tim wrote about it when it was fresher in his mind.

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Fun Ride, Poor Body

In January of 2013, I joined Tim, Patrick, and Timothy for a sloppy-winter gravel ride out of Marengo Indiana.  Today, it was Tim, Timothy, Jeff, and I.

Last time was a planned 40-mile ride, but was shortened a bit.  This time, we did the short version, at 36 miles.

Last time it was cold and muddy with bits of ice.  Today was cool, but mostly pleasant.  There were still several creek crossings and  numerous large puddles, so I didn’t stay dry, but it wasn’t a problem.

I’ve gained a lot of weight and lost fitness.  I really struggled on this ride.  For that reason, I took no pictures.  I was too busy trying to keep up.

I really wanted to give up during the first four miles.  After that I felt good until mile 18, at which point the wheels fell off.  I wanted to quit.  I wondered what could possibly make me want to slog up and down all these damn hills.

I eventually got over it.  The terrain is rugged but beautiful.  Traffic is nearly non-existent.  The road surface is rough enough to be interesting, but not so bad as to make it dangerous.  I even managed to get the Fargo up to higher than normal speeds downhill (40mph or so – on gravel).

What really came out of this ride is that I’m too damn fat.  Most of the weight gain has been from beer.  I really need to re-evaluate my relationship with beer.

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Edit: Tim has posted his (better) write-up with pictures.

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Catching Up and Staying Sane (I Hope)

Goals

Yes, my writing has languished.  I’m trying to catch up.  Go read the last two posts then come on back.  Done?  Good.

I’ve not been weighing myself.  I’ve not been losing weight.  I’ve done some bike riding, but not enough.  I’m drinking too much beer.  I’ve been depressed.

Normal tasks have overwhelmed me, including writing here, where I try to make myself accountable to the public.  That was the whole point of this writing.

I can’t fix everything, but I use this site as a repository of what I have done.  I draw my own inspiration from it.  I can’t ignore it anymore.  Over the next few days to a week I’ll get it up to date to the best of my ability.  Then, once that it habit again, I’ll work on something else.  Diet?  Exercise?  Something.

Issue

My temporary job is coming to an end.  It’s harder to get a new job when you feel like a failure.  Earlier today, I actually felt like I was wrapping up my life, rather than just one job.  It’s not that I’ll miss the job (I might miss the income).  It’s that I feel I have nowhere left to go.  Luckily, the feeling has passed, and I’m normal(ish) again.  It was a disturbing feeling.

I went off the anti-depressant a couple of months ago.  The mental side-effects it had on me were not healthy.  I need to do this without a pill.  Change needs to come from within.

Wish me luck!

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Charlestown Pizza Ride

I used to live in Charlestown Indiana.  It’s not that far.  They have a cool pizza place.  Tim and I decided to do a road ride there and enjoy some food and beer.

On a Friday in July, I took the day off work.  After running some errands, I met up with Tim at Quill’s coffee to get the day started.

This was a road ride, so I was on the rSogn.  Tim was on his Lightspeed.

rSogn

rSogn

We took the Big-4 bridge across to Indiana.  Riding this thing is absurd.  There’s nearly always huge crowds of pedestrians.  I’d say “screw it” and take the Second Street Bridge, but the I-65 realignment and bridge project is going to turn that bridge into a high-speed exit ramp.  Bleh.

Once across, the ride up to Utica is pleasant and rather flat.  Being along the river tends to do that.

Ohio River and fluffy clouds

Ohio River and fluffy clouds

There’s a gradual climb up Waterline Rd.  We took Highway 62 into Charlestown and enjoyed our tasty treat.

We took part of my old 11-mile loop north of town then headed down hilly Bethany Rd and back to Waterline, and back the way we came.

It was a nice 58 miles for the day.

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Back to Volleyball

Volleyball took me out in January.  I popped my Achilles and that changed my life for a while.

On Monday, July 21st, I got back to playing volleyball.  I was a bit worried about my right ankle.  Strangely, during the first two weeks of play, my right leg was hurting.  Eventually that went away.

I recently finished up the session.  I’m not playing indoor anymore, partially because the harder floor is hard on me, and partially because it’s farther away than I want to travel.  I’ll play again in the Spring when they come back outdoor.

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Daniel Boone National Forest

Tim, Timothy, and I drove down to DBNF back in mid-July for a camping and biking trip.  It was intended to be three days of riding, starting on Friday the 18th, but the riding was much tougher than we planned for, so we rode two days.  We still camped for two nights.

Yes, I’m behind on writing here.  More about that later.

I’ll admit to being nervous about the trip.  We were going to be in a very rural, rugged area.  My neck was flaring up.  My Achilles was still healing.  Damn it!  I needed a ride!

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My new GPS totally failed me.  It refused to show our course on the map.  Timothy had forgotten to load the course on his.  Luckily, Tim had no issues with his.

On the GPS track above.  See the little wiggle off to the east?  That was our “Big Sinking Creek” loop.  It was an off-road adventure that turned out to be much more than we bargained for.  It was beautiful and rugged, but mostly unrideable.

Sure, we can ride that

Sure, we can ride that

The scenery was worthwhile.

Cliff & Creek

Cliff & Creek

It’s called Big Sinking Creek because the creek is partially below ground.  I assume it disappears and reappears seasonally.  We had plenty of opportunity to ride and walk through it.

Wet feet

Wet feet

The rest of the ride was low-traffic, mostly-unpaved roads.  It was quite pleasant.

Pleasant

Pleasant

We finished the day tired and went to Red River Rockhouse for dinner before heading back to camp.  I slept like a log.  Tim’s write-up on Friday is here.

If Friday’s word was “Hiking”, then Saturday’s was “Mud”.

It rained overnight.  I slept through the worst of it.  Getting out of the tent was a damp experience.

Most of the rain had passed.  It continued to sprinkle occasionally, and the mist was constant.

Damp morning

Damp morning

After coffee & breakfast at camp we drove to Heidelberg for a nice parking spot along the Kentucky River.

Fargo and mist

Fargo and mist

The goal for the day was to ride to Turkeyfoot campground and cook our own lunch.  We were each carrying small stoves and a little food.

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The ride started out on paved roads, then a nice gravel road, then a turn onto a rutted, muddy, mess.  Timothy managed to go over his bars at some point, but he was unhurt.

Slippery

Slippery

Happiness is a muddy GPS.

Muddy GPS

Muddy GPS

We eventually make it to Turkeyfoot.  It’s a very pleasant campground.  It has no fresh water supply, but we brought our own.

Turkeyfoot!

Turkeyfoot!

Turkeyfoot is alongside a creek.  The picnic area is near the creek.  This made it quite handy to climb in the water and rinse off the mud.  I didn’t even think about snakes until I was already in the water, but I never did see one.

The Esbit stoves did a good job of boiling water for my simple meal of macaroni & cheese with tuna.  After eating and relaxing we still had to get back to the car.

We took a different route back that wasn’t as rugged.  There was still a mud-pit road, but it was not rutted.  It was completely rideable.  It would have been enjoyable had I not been so exhausted and sore.

That was not to last as we hit another rocky, rutted, rough stretch and we walked again.

Once things flattened out and we were along a creek again, I wanted to sprint to the car.  I didn’t have a sprint left in me.  I was done.  We all were dragging back to the car.

Tim and I discussed not riding on Sunday.  We discussed leaving soon.  It was eventually decided we’d go ahead and camp Saturday night, and head out in the morning.

We had a simple meal at camp.  I slept soundly again.

Aftermath

My bike was a mess.  It wouldn’t shift right.  The brake pads were toast.

I was a mess.  I’d had several instances this year where I hate the Fargo.  I put it up for sale once, then pulled it back down.  I was considering selling it again.  It physically hurts me to ride it.

Many tough rides can be hard at the time.  I’ve cried during rides before.  I usually enjoy the rides much more in retrospect.  Initially, I was having a hard time with this ride, even in retrospect.  I’ve gained weight.  The bike hurts my neck.  I love these kind of adventures and the recumbent won’t work for this type of riding.

Now, more than three months later, the ride was excellent, in retrospect.  I haven’t sold the Fargo.  I actually switched out the handlebars, brake levers, cables, shifters, rear derailleur, and cleaned up everything.  It’s a totally new bike.  I don’t know what it’ll be like on another awesome adventure like this, but so far I like it.

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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.

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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.

Posted in Bikes, Food, Mental | 3 Comments

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.

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Good Ride, but Damn, I’m Out of Shape

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.

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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.

Posted in Bikes, Goals, Pictures | 1 Comment

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.

Posted in Food, Goals, Mental | 1 Comment

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.
 
Posted in Bikes, Pictures, Tandem, Touring, Volleyball | Comments Off

Slow Progress

My progress has been slow, but I have lost 3.4 lbs in four weeks.  I have had days with too much beer.  MyFitnessPal is helpful, but I have the occasional day that I blow my calorie budget.

I’ve updated the weight page.  I need to write more often.  Tim and and did a bike camping trip last weekend.  I may get around to writing about that soon.

Posted in Bikes, Stats, Touring | 1 Comment

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.

Posted in Food | 4 Comments

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.

Posted in Bikes, Car-Free, Food, Marriage, Tandem | 6 Comments

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.

Posted in Bikes, Car-Free, Mental | Comments Off

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).

Posted in Exercise, Food, Goals, Stats | 1 Comment

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.

Posted in Achilles, Bikes, Car-Free, Exercise, Goals, Pictures, Tandem | 6 Comments