Something New

I did ride to work and back on Friday.  It put me in a better mood.

I didn’t do much riding this weekend.  I rode with Tim for about ten miles on Saturday.  He let me borrow a single-speed road bike.  I’ve been wanting a nice, simple, cheap, single-speed bike for a while.  I found one on Craigslist, but it was too small.  Tim’s is almost big enough, but he’s not selling it.  I’m not crazy about the new ones out there.

I did visit Vic’s Classic Bikes today.  I put down a deposit on a new ride.  I’m still figuring out what components I want, but I picked out a frame and wheels.  I’ll do a big reveal once I receive the bike in a month or two, but yes, it will be a single-speed.  It’s wonderful to have a wife who is so supportive of my cycling.

We also spent hours today driving around Louisville looking at neighborhoods.  I’ve spent countless hours looking online for houses also.  Yes, we intend to move out of Charlestown.

One of the houses we are looking at would leave me with a 3.5 miles commute instead of 16.5 – 20.0 miles ride.  That might actually force me to take the long way to work occasionally.  It would eliminate the need for me to drive to work.  Even in snow, my LHT with studded tires would be fine.  I could walk if I needed to.

So, will I end up car-free?  Kristy will still drive.  We would probably go down to one vehicle instead of two.  That would be quite nice.  :)

Turkey?

Monday: I didn’t ride to work.
Tuesday: I had an appointment with my doctor.  My wife drove me to work, and I rode my bike home.
Wednesday: Again, I drove.
Thursday: I rode today.  It was barely 60 degrees when I left in the morning, and in the mid-70s when I headed home.  A beautiful ride.  I also ran across some wildlife on Waterline Road.

I’ve been keeping a camera handy on my LHT recently.  That made this picture possible.  I came up on a deer, but he spooked to easily to get a picture before he ran off into the woods.

Somewhere along my route today, I passed 3500 miles for the year.  I’m pretty pleased with that.  I’m well on track to hit 5000 miles for the year.

Friday: Who knows.  I plan to ride, but anything can happen.

I Need Control of My Eating Again

My eating is still out of control.  That ends today.

I’m going back to smaller portions, lower carbs, and better decisions.  I’ve been eating too much “because I want to” instead of “because I need to”.

I’m giving up beer permanently.  I will finish off the two six packs in the fridge first.  :)

I had a muffin and a banana with my first coffee this morning.  I had chili and unsweetened tea for lunch.  I had a bagel for a snack (oops).  I cooked two hamburger patties on the grill for dinner, and ate them with onions and tomato.  I did not have bread.

I am drinking a beer as I type this, but, as I said, once these beers are gone, that’s it.  My wife doesn’t think I’m going to follow through with the no-beer thing, but I am.

When the RCCS holds another “brew cruise”, I’ll just drink water.

More Mixed-Terrain

Tim and his Bleriot
Tim and his Bleriot
Last Sunday, Tim and I headed north-east from Charlestown looking for more gravel.  We found gravel and more.

The ride was an advertised RCCS ride, but it was put together last minute, so nobody else was able to show up.  Tim did a better write up, and it can be found here.

I was able to attach a camera bag to my front rack, so I had easier access to my camera.  That did mean I took more pictures.  Most of them weren’t posting.  I’ll put a few in this post.  The full album can be found here.

This was one of the flattest rides I had done in a while.  There was one dive into a creek valley, then a climb back out.  There was also a white-knuckle descent to the river on a gravel road followed by an arduous climb.  The rest of the ride was flat to rolling.

Tim notes in his writeup where I eat, and he does not.  What he doesn’t say, is that I had skipped breakfast that morning.  Had I not eaten when I did, I would have had a much harder time finishing the ride.

I stole this last picture from Tim.  He walked around the mud pit, and called it “the easy way”.  I said “I don’t like the easy way”, and attempted to ride through the mud.  I was no match for the mud, and the bike and I came to an abrupt halt.  I then had to put my feet into the mud to avoid falling into said mud.  I still need to wash my bike.

It was a good adventure.  We racked up nearly 80 miles, then went to Charlestown Pizza for food.  It was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday.

RCCS Brew Cruise

Folding Bike - No Lock Required
Folding Bike - No Lock Required

Tim, Mark, and I worth the three people that showed up for last night’s RCCS Brew Cruise.

I rode my Dahon folding bike to avoid having to lock up.  I ended up with it locked to Tim and Mark’s bikes for most of the stops, but I did carry it into BBC Taproom.  The other establishments were packed, and I wouldn’t want it to get in the way.

My previous post was quite negative.  I’ve been fighting off frustration with many things in live, and dealing with depression.  Luckily bicycling has made me feel better about myself, and introduced me to many new people.  I now consider some of those people friends.

I now have a social life again, due to the bicycle.

Thought Better of It

I just deleted a post.  I almost published it.  I would have pissed a lot of people off.  I would have given away more personal information that I really want to.  Yes, it was quite negative.

I’m under a lot of stress.  I have a physical issue that is causing me pain.  I hate certain aspects of my life and my job.  Changing jobs won’t fix it.  The problem is me.  I don’t know how to fix me.

I’m not losing it.  I’ll get up tomorrow, ride my bike to work, then join Tim and others for an RCCS beer ride after work.

I need to quit reading the news.  Maybe being ignorant would be better.  I definitely need to quit reading most public forums.

I wish I could opt-out of society.  If I weren’t married, I would cut the cord for phone and internet.  If someone wanted to communicate with me, they’d have to come knock on my door.  How quaint.

Okay, this post has become almost as bad as the original, but with less personal information.  ’nuff said.

My Morning Commute, for Sanity

Sunrise over the Ohio River
Sunrise over the Ohio River
Due to recent travelling, I haven’t done much riding.  It was really starting to get to me.

I did ride on Sunday with Tim.  I’ll write about that and share some pictures soon.

I intended to ride to work yesterday.  I headed out the door on my LHT shortly before 7:00 am and made it less than two miles before my chain broke.  Discouraged, I called my wife to come get me, and changed into work clothes, and drove.

In addition to getting a new chain for the bike, I made a second, spur of the moment, purchase at another bike shop.  I bought a Brooks Professional saddle to replace my sagging Brooks B-17.

Barge on the river
Barge on the river

I hit the road this morning at 6:30 am, and took the long way through Utica to get to work.  I stopped at a coffee shop along the way.  It was nearly 22 miles one-way.

The hot weather has passed.  It was about 63 degrees when I left the house.  It was very comfortable weather with clear skies.  I couldn’t have asked for a better commute to work.  I may stay sane after all.

Trying to be visible
Trying to be visible
 
The commuting rig
The commuting rig
 
Coffee Thermos - not a nuclear weapon
Coffee Thermos - not a nuclear weapon

I’ll Be Sleeping in My Own Bed Tonight

I’m sitting in the hotel in DC between sessions.  My flight home leaves later this afternoon.  It’ll be good to be in my own bed with my wife.  It’ll be good to see the dogs again.

My eating on this trip could have been better, but I still did much better than the old Dave that I used to be.  That Dave would have eaten several plates at each meal.  I generally had normal size meals.  I did have some unnecessary snacks.  I had a few beers.  I haven’t exercised at all.  I could have, there is a fitness center here.   I’ll still be eating lunch here, and probably getting something to eat at the airport, but I’ll keep it light.

I’ve been thinking a lot about re-focusing on the fitness and weight loss.  I have gotten fatter.  I hate having a gut that hangs over my belt.  At one point, I was well on my way to not having it.

There will (probably) be a fun bike ride tomorrow.  There will be drinking, so it’s not a healthy ride, but I will practice moderation and make the purpose of the ride social rather than enjoying too much food and beer.

After that, I’ll probably go some time without beer.  I also need to clean up my eating again.  I need to avoid ice cream completely.  During my weight loss, I was able to limit myself to a single scoop of ice cream.  Every time I’ve had ice cream recently, I’ve had entirely too much.  I’m not sure why I have less self-control than I use to.

EDIT: Nasty weather has cancelled my flight, and a bunch of others.  I’m stuck in DC for another night.   I really hate air travel.

Getting Fatter?

I stopped weighing myself a while back.  My weight had been mostly holding steady, but I have noticed that my gut is bigger.  I think the lack of upper-body workouts in combination with poor eating is leading me to lose muscle and gain fat.  So, yes, sometimes the scale lies.

I’m sitting in the Louisville airport waiting to fly to DC via Cleveland.  I have a work-related conference to attend.  They will provide (too much) food.  I need to control my portion sizes.

I’m not bringing a bike with me.  Without riding, I should be able to get by with very little food.  When I get home I’ll concentrate on eating right again, re-start the food-diary (again), and start weighing myself again.  I’m also going to start using my dumbbells and doing push-ups.

The hotel I’ll be staying at has a fitness center, and I am bringing proper exercise attire, so I should be able to squeeze some time in on the weight machines.

My goal weight is still 175.  My lack of progress has been maddening and a bit depressing.  I’ve used being busy as an excuse to not eat right.  That needs to change.

West Virginia Rail-Trail


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Civilization?
Civilization?

Kristy and I are in Parkersburg West Virginia.  She has some family matters to attend to.  I spent most of the day on the bike.

I had heard about the rail-trail in the area.  It is scenic, has tunnels, and is quite flat.

The route I took to get to the trail was about 11 miles, and included a mix of city streets, divided highway, and country roads.  There were hills.

I was riding my little 7-speed folding bike, but I didn’t need to walk any of the hills.

My route is here:

Everything I said about the route is true. In addition,

  • It’s too flat.
  • It’s not paved.  This made it slow going.
  • It gets quite remote.  I wasn’t carrying enough water.
  • During the day on this Thursday, it was nearly empty.  I saw a couple walking their dogs, and no other cyclists.
  • I couldn’t stop for fear of being carried away by insects.
  • Cell phone service is very spotty.

I came across a sign for the town of  Walker, and hoped to find food and water.  There were no stores of any kind in town, but there was a post office.  I was able to get water there.

When I came near the town of Cairo, I went off-path, unto a dirt road that became a very pot-holed paved road.  I didn’t know it at the time, but I could have taken the trail and arrived in the same place.  No matter, traffic was light, and the hills were refreshing.

In Cairo, there are a number of small businesses that cater to those traveling along the trail.  I loaded up on food and drinks, and continued on.  I was then only 3 miles from my destination, North Bend State Park.

My wife met me at the park, and we drove back to Parkersburg.

Quiet
Quiet
Dark
Dark

Highlights of the trip:

  • Tunnels!  I rode through two tunnels.  The first one was the longest.  You couldn’t see the other side.  I was glad for having a headlight on the bike.  The first tunnel was very cool and damp like a cave.  There was cool air and a fine mist blowing out from the end I entered.
  • Interesting weather.  It started warm and humid, but not hot.  Skies were overcast, and winds were calm.  Further into the ride there was thunder in the distance and some rain.  Late in the ride, it warmed up and the sun came out.
  • At 40.2 miles, it was the longest ride on the new bike.  That bike is really for shorter trips.  I did have some minor comfort issues, but nothing that interfered with m enjoyment of the ride.
  • Riding along the shoulder of Highway 50 was interesting.  That highway is a divided four-lane, much like part of my commute route.  The difference is that Highway 50 is more “freeway-like”.  It has ramps and a 65 mph speed limit.  There were signs for it being a bike route.
  • In town, I got yelled at to get on the sidewalk.  It made me feel right at home.  :)
  • Being a bit lost.  While off the trail, I was unsure of where I was for a while.  I don’t have a GPS on the bike, and cell coverage was unavailable at the time.  I did have a paper map, but it didn’t really have the level of detail I needed.  It was an adventure.
Beauty
Beauty
Green
Green

Change of Plans

I’m taking the rest of the week off of work.  My wife and I are driving to West Virginia to see her family.

There go my bicycle commuter miles for the week.  I’m planning on throwing my folding bike behind the seat, but I’m not sure how much time I’ll have for riding.

When I get back, I may, or may not make a one-day trip to Michigan and back on Saturday, then fly to Washington DC on Sunday.

Why, yes, I am a bit stressed out.

New Month, New Start

I did ride to work on Thursday and Friday.  I rode very little during the weekend, just some errands on the folder.

I rode to work today, although it was a fast, direct-route kinda ride.  I averaged 16.24 MPH for the ride.  That’s pretty quick for me.

I’m not going to be able to take my folding bike to DC with me this trip.  I’m a bit bummed by this, but the logistics were stressing me out.  I don’t need more stress.  I’m going to buy a proper case for the bike, and fly a more bike-friendly airline next time.

I do have another trip coming up in September, but I’ll be driving to St. Louis.  I don’t think that city is all that bike-friendly, but I’ll get some riding in.

I’m awfully busy to get the long rides in, so I’ll just have to ride to work every day, or as close to that as I can.

August will not be a record bike mileage month for me.  I’ll be spending time in DC with no bike.  I have to drive to Michigan and back, and I have a lot of things to work on around the house.  I just need to keep riding to work, and running quick errands on the bike and it’ll work out.

I still intend to get 5000 miles in for the year.  I need to keep my average daily miles up to do so.