Category Archives: Car-Free

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.

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.

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.

New Job

On Monday I had to get an MMR vaccine.  My new job is in a healthcare facility.  Even though I work in a separate building from the patients, it’s still mandatory.  With that out of the way, I started the new job on Tuesday (yesterday).

My new commute is 4.6 miles by bicycle round-trip.  I rode yesterday wearing a suit and tie.  I did put a wind jacket over everything, and hat, gloves, etc.  I was a bit under-dressed, but for the 2.3 miles each way, it’s easy.

Bike parking is at a lousy outdoor rack that isn’t attached to the ground.  I rode the Big Dummy and used two locks.  It would take some effort to steal it.

I wasn’t feeling well today, so Diane took me in.  I’ll ride again tomorrow, but I think I’m going to wear warmer clothes and change when I arrive.  I’ll wait for better weather to ride in work clothes.   Brrrr.

It’s nice to have income again.

The Suit Worked?

Sorry for the lack of updates, but life has been weird.

I interviewed for a contract job through an agency.  The client wants me.  It’s in healthcare, so in addition to a drug screen and background check, I need a TB test and MMR titer (to determine immunity).

The background check came back clean.  The TB test is fine.  The other two are stuck in limbo.  The testing company is having some issues with paperwork.

If this gets straightened out soon, I could be to work on Monday.  Otherwise, I may end up looking for a job again.

The contract job will end in April, so this is just a temporary thing to give me time to find another job – unless I start enjoying the short-term gigs.  We’ll see.

My options are a bit more limited by being car-free.  The place I could start on Monday is only 2.5 miles from home – I could walk it.

Job Interview and New Clothes

Yes, I had an interview today.  Yes, I had a mad rush to get appropriate clothes last night.

I think it worked out alright.

I don't normally dress this way
I don’t normally dress this way

I didn’t ride a bike to the interview.  Diane drove me there from work.  I walked to BBC for a beer afterward, then she drove me back to work to change clothes.  She left to help her sister, while I rode the bike back to BBC for another beer.

Recovered

Diane rode her bike to my work.  We went out for a beer.  On the way home she was complaining about not having her car.

We were home for about 20 minutes when we got a call from LMPD.  They had located her car, and arrested the thief.  The car was a mere 2.5 miles away.  We rode there on the tandem.  The car only has minor damage, and is drivable.  They used the center console as an ashtray.  All the belongings from the car were gone.

Blinkenlights
Blinkenlights

She drove her car home, and I rode the tandem home solo.

Poor car
Poor car

I’m a tad disappointed.  I had hoped her car-free adventure would last a bit longer.

More Lifestyle Changes

All I’ve posted about recently has been bikes and beer.  My life is changing.

I won’t be giving up bikes, but beer is a maybe.  My doctor has said I need to cut back.  Diane says I need to cut back.  I’ve started weighing myself daily and tracking my calories again – and I need to cut back on the beer.

Something else has come up.  I’ve resigned my position at work.  My last day will be 11/27/2013.  I’ve been there five years.  Things need a change.

I resigned without having another job lined up.  This is either a motivational tool, or just plain stupid, depending on your point of view.  I don’t yet know if I’ll get another IT job, or take a pay cut and do something more interesting.  The pay cut route would mean less beer – because I don’t like cheap beer.

Either way, the bike will remain an important part of my life.  I’ll continue to remain car-free, even if Diane doesn’t.

Car-Free Volleyball


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Diane and I had discussed riding the tandem to the indoor volleyball location even before her car was stolen.  Now it was our only option.

Luckily Diane is fearless in traffic – as long as I’m driving.  So, as the captain of the tandem, we did fine.  I had my Dinotte 140L and PDW Radbot 1000 taillights mounted.  Anyone who can’t see me from behind is legally blind.  I also had the Dinotte XML-3 headlight.

Both of us took a change of clothes.  The cooler temperatures are making this necessary.

We won all three of our volleyball games – because I was lucky enough to get a good team.

The trip home was mostly the same as the way out only darker and cooler.  I took a different route once closer to home, enjoying a 32mph downhill.

The ride was more than 23 miles round-trip.  With my commute to work today, I rode 30 miles for the day.  I’ll take it.

 

Car-Free : Year Two

It’s been two full years (to the day!) since I sold my truck and have chosen to live without a car.

I have been in relationships with women who own cars.  So, some trips have been made by car.  I’ve still mostly relied on the bike for day-to-day things.

Diane and I will be getting married in April.  She won’t live without a car, but it will be her car.  I will continue to get around by bike for most things.

Oddly, as I write this, Diane is car-free.  Her car was stolen on Halloween night, as I wrote about before.

I’ve tackled the taking the dog to the vet problem, and it went well.  I’ve expanded my travelling, and have agreed to captain a volleyball team – played indoors, 12 miles away.

I look forward to the next year of being car-free.

One Less Car?

One Less Car.  That phrase is often seen on bicycles… not my bicycles, but I’ve seen it around.

It’s a good phrase for today.  With the cooler weather, Diane wasn’t going to ride her bike to work today.  She did yesterday, but last night’s cold front changed her mind.

I didn’t mind much.  She usually wants me to ride with her when she rides, so I could stay in bed for a couple more hours.

Today was different.  Her car was gone.  Somebody stole her car on Halloween night.  It’s not a valuable car.  It’s not a nice car.  Somebody is/was joyriding it, or is using it to commit a crime.

A police report was made.  A call to the insurance company followed.  Then we rode our bikes together to her workplace.

This is not how the morning was supposed to go.

Busy Day

My day started with a 7:00am dentist appointment.  It was just for cleaning and perio-care.  Yes, I have gum disease.  I rode my bike there, in the pre-dawn coolness.

I’ve been on the tandem a lot recently, but Diane was at work, so I was back on the rSogn.  It was nice to ride a reasonably light road bike again.

After the dentist appointment, I had a 9:00am doctor appointment.  It was just a quick ride down the road.

This appointment went well.  I’m trying a different anti-depressant.  I’m still not convinced it’s a good idea.  I also got my first ever flu-shot.  I’ve avoided them for years.  I was considering it this year, but I was sick when they gave them at work.  I’m no longer sick, so I took a shot in the arm.

The doctor has mentioned that I need to cut back on my beer.  It contributes to my ongoing obesity and depression.  I’m seriously considering giving it up entirely…. just not yet.

After the appointment I had a brisk ride to work.  After work I ran to the drug store, then home.

Diane and I went out to run an errand later, but we rode single bikes rather than the tandem.  I had 15.9 miles for the day.

Back From San Francisco

Yes, Diane and I went to San Francisco in mid-July.  Yes, I’ve haven’t posted a thing here since.

I had a four-day conference to attend in San Francisco.  I went out two days early to see the city.

We didn’t ride bikes or rent a car.  This was a public transport and walking kind of trip.  BART was helpful for the longer distances.  The city buses and trolleys (muni) got us around for the shorter distances.

BART was nearly empty coming from the airport
BART was nearly empty coming from the airport

We never had a chance to ride the iconic cable cars, but that seems to be more of a tourist thing anyway.  I was really fond of the ferry from Sausalito to San Francisco – It had a bar on board.

San Francisco is a great city to live without a car.  Too bad it’s expensive and crowded.  Many people (most?) use public transportation.  Bikes are everywhere.  Most bicyclists seem to follow the laws.  Even the pedestrians are predictable and law-abiding.  It’s a much different environment than Louisville.

There seems to be a bunch of unwritten rules about riding in San Francisco.  I’m a bit glad that I didn’t have a bike with me – as I would have not known the rules initially.

Bikes and transit
Bikes and transit

We had Friday plans to meet up with Jenny and Shawn for dinner and drinks in Oakland.  Jenny and Shawn were the couple that visited back in February for the Silly Bike Race Cyclocross Worlds Championships

We took the BART through the Trans-bay Tube over to Oakland and walked a few blocks to Chop Bar.  After good drinks, food, and conversations, we walked around the Jack London District and stopped by a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop.

Diane and I on the bay
Diane and I on the bay

We spent one day walking around Chinatown, checking out the area around the Ferry Building, taking a bus over to Presidio and walking the trails.  We walked a lot.  We took another bus across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito where we had dinner and made friends with a large bird.

Interesting cityscape
Interesting cityscape

During our time there, we visited two breweries, one near our hotel in the Financial District, the other in Haight-Ashbury.  We ate at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Squat and Gobble.

Golden Gate
Golden Gate

Sausalito was interesting.  We had dinner and did a wine tasting.  I can’t imagine living there.  The tourist traffic was incredibly thick.

Sorry, I don't have an eyepatch
Sorry, I don’t have an eyepatch

There are so many things I didn’t have time to see.  I wanted to visit Alcatraz.  I wanted to stick a toe in the cold water.  I wanted to visit more of the nearby cities.  I wanted to ride a bike across the Golden Gate Bridge.

View from the ferry
View from the ferry

I was fairly busy with the conference.  Diane went out and did some shopping and sightseeing on her own while I was busy.

Funeral band in Chinatown
Funeral band in Chinatown

I want to visit again, with more time and money.  It was hard to leave.  Part of me wants to move there.  The cost of housing is sky-high, so even doubling my salary would mean a lower standard of living.  I did browse some real-estate ads, but to live in the city itself would relegate me to a third-floor apartment somewhere.  I like having my little yard and little house here in Louisville.

It’s Been A While…

I’m still here, and I’m still riding.  I’ve been busy.  I spend time with Diane, I have social gatherings, and I ride my bike.  Having Diane around has been a positive to my bike commuting – as in she pushes me to ride instead of driving me to work.  She did drive me to work today though.  I wasn’t feeling well.

Here’s some random things since my last post.

Heavy Hauling

Heavy Hauling
Heavy Hauling

I hauled a kitchen table on the Big Dummy to my daughter’s house.  This was a four mile trip down Preston Highway.  I got some weird looks.

The hardest part was strapping the thing down securely so it wouldn’t slide off.  It was a bit wobbly, but I made it without dumping the table in traffic.

Part of the ride was a rather intense downpour.  Somebody took a picture of me while stopped at a traffic light.

Diane’s Bike

Diane's Bike
Diane’s Bike

Diane has her own bike now.  We met somebody at volleyball getting rid of a bike.  We got it for free.  It needed a tune-up, tubes, a brake cable, and a water bottle cage.  I put my dyno-wheel on the front.  Since the picture was taken I’ve added a rear rack and dyno-headlight.  I’ve still got less than $100 into it.

It’s a Specialized Crossroads Sport (step-through version).  It’s a size small, so it fits her well.

She doesn’t want fenders on it.  She may change her mind once she gets a “skunk stripe” up her back.

June Populaire

 

rSogn cockpit
rSogn cockpit

The Louisville Bicycle Club (and Timothy) put on a 100K Populaire on June 2nd.  It was leaving from Charlestown Indiana.  Tim, Asher, and I left from Louisville and rode to Charlestown (21 miles).  Tim had other obligations, so he rode back rather than participate in the Populaire.

Asher and I rode with another dozen people.  The route took us to Hanover Indiana for a lunch stop before going back to Charlestown for the finish at Charlestown Pizza Company.  – 64 miles later.

Diane met us there, and Asher and I enjoyed the comfort of a motor vehicle for the trip back to Louisville.

That was 85 miles for the day – more than I’ve done in a while.  Although I was slow, I felt like a cyclist again.  The rSogn is a wonderful bike.  The weather was gorgeous.  The company was pretty good too.

Relationship

Diane is effectively living with me, it’s just not official yet.  We’ve found the things that irritate each other (that’s what it’s about, right?)  Relationships can be a challenge, but I’m optimistic about ours.

She’s decorated the house a bit.  She keeps it clean.  She loathes the dog hair, but keeps it clean as she can.  Yes, I help with housework, but I basically just take direction from her.  She’s the expert.

Company

Diane and I have entertained company a few times at the house now.  She had her family over for dinner.  She cooked a large meal (with dessert!).  Everyone was pleased.

My mother and my niece came to visit.  They’re actually at my house for a few more days yet.  I’ve had a week of visiting with my mother.  I hadn’t seen her in person since 2009.  I hadn’t seen my niece in about ten years.  Diane and my mother seem to like each other.

Car-Free?

Diane won’t give up her car.  I don’t expect her to.  It did break down on her on Thursday.  It was about fifteen miles from my house, so it was several days before I got out to look at it.

She spent those days riding her bike around for errands.  I guess she got a bike just in time.

I fixed her car on Sunday.  She still rides with me on errands though.  She has a potential job downtown.  If she gets it, she’s talking about riding to work, weather permitting, to avoid paying to park.  She doesn’t want to ride in rain, cold, or hot weather, but it’s a start.

 

Lifestyle Change… Again

I had a few of huge lifestyle changes over the last few years.  The diet and exercise that began in late 2007, the bicycling in 2008, and the car-free lifestyle that went into full-force in 2011 are all a big part of it.  There were also relationship changes.  It’s the relationship changes that are sparking things now.

Diane

Let me be blunt.  I love Diane.  She’s not living with me, but her dog has been at my house for a few days.  I bought her a phone and put her on my family plan.  We bought a TV together, and I’m no longer TV-free.  We’ll get by with broadcast TV and an antenna.

Yes, There's a TV in my livingroom now
Yes, There’s a TV in my livingroom now

This is at least a long-term relationship and possibly more.  I bought her a plane ticket to join me on my trip to San Francisco in July.  We’re making long-term plans.  I fully expect that we’ll live together this year.

She has a dog, Baxter, and a cat, Fancy.  Fancy hasn’t been over yet, but Baxter has been here all weekend.

Baxter after a bath
Baxter after a bath

Diane doesn’t like dog hair, so we’ve both been cleaning.  I also bathed both of my dogs and brushed them out while she was out running errands.  Once the wet dog smell aired out, the house smelled better than it has in a while.

Sandy does not like getting a bath
Sandy does not like getting a bath

You won’t see her on social media.  She doesn’t use Facebook or Google+.  She rarely touches a computer.  She says I post enough for the both of us.

I mentioned that her first bike ride in years was a 7-mile night ride in traffic.  I think she has the capability to be more of a cyclist than I am.  I don’t know if she has the desire.  I’ll find out more later.

Work

I’ve been trying to focus a little more at work to avoid getting too complacent.  That involved going in a 3:00am on Thursday to get a major project completed without disrupting things during business hours.

I’m still a bike commuter, and the ride into work was easy.  The traffic was very light, although the bars were still open, and I was a bit worried about drunk drivers.

Quiet commute in the bike lane
Quiet commute in the bike lane

Money

Diane is used to being more frugal than I am.  She’s tolerating my $15 per pound coffee, but she’s insisting on cheaper grocery shopping and eating at home.  She has done much of the cooking, so I’m not complaining.

Diane is still willing to go out on occasion.  We’ve gone out for good beer at Apocalypse Brew Works on my birthday (by bicycle!), and Four Pegs last Thursday (on foot).  I did grab a picture of her on the walk home from Four Pegs.

The sign seemed fitting
The sign seemed fitting

Events

It’s nice to go out and do things again.  We walked around during the Balloon Glimmer (as part of the Kentucky Derby Festival).

Balloon Glimmer
Balloon Glimmer

We watched the Great Steamboat Race – and had a few drinks and some food.

Exercise

This is the interesting point.  Diane wants to lose weight.  She’s in relatively good health.  The only thing preventing us from doing more exercise together is time.  She likes to ride a bike, but doesn’t own one yet.  Between both of our jobs, and her youngest child who sometimes spends time with her, time can be tight.

We’ll eventually buy her a hybrid bike of some sort, but she may turn out to want a road bike some day.  I think her power to weight ratio could be much better than mine.  She’s only 5’1″.

The hit on my cycling

At this point, I’m riding a bike less, and I’m not worried.  I still get around (alone) by bike.  Diane rides occasionally and I hope she starts to ride more.  She’ll continue to drive her car for transportation.

I did a lot of thinking about what’s important in life.  Long rides every weekend didn’t rank that high.  I can do it less often.

Overall, I’m happy with life right now.  Some of that is new love.  Some of it is the anti-depressant I’m taking.  I’m not complaining.

Homebody Weekend?

I had hoped to get out and get some mileage in this weekend.  That didn’t happen.

I was up late Friday after my date with Renee.  I slept in on Saturday, and once I was up mowed the lawn for the first time this year.  I also went grocery shopping and picked up dog food.

Big Dummy Loaded
Big Dummy Loaded

Cindy, my first ex-wife, took a bus from Michigan down for my daughters wedding.  The wedding is tomorrow (Monday).  I met up with Cindy for about 10 minutes at my daughter’s apartment.  I hadn’t seen her in a couple of years.  Cindy owns a truck, but she didn’t trust it to make it here, so she’s “enjoying” the car-free lifestyle while she’s here.  :D

I have another date lined up on Thursday.  This one is with Melissa.  I know little about her.  I think I’ll see Renee again on Friday.  There are a few other possibilities coming up too.  This dating thing is kind of bizarre for me, especially when I’m trying to keep track of the “who and when”.  I’m bad with names.  Luckily, I take notes and use Google Calendar.

A Familiar Feeling

In 2008 and 2009 I felt better mentally and physically than I had since I was a child.  Not surprisingly, this is when I lost most of the weight that I did.  It was neat to discover that I actually had ribs.

Moving into town in 2010 so I could live car-free tempted me with all of these wonderful places to eat and drink within a short distance.  My neck issue flared up.  I didn’t do as many long rides.

I’ve gained weight.  I’ve gotten lazy.  I’ve been using a bus and a cab to get around at times.  This has bled through to other aspects of my life.  I’ve not been keeping my house clean.  I’m been drinking too much.  I put off grocery shopping – which leads to more eating out.  I spend a lot of time moping and not being productive.

Yesterday, I did get out and go grocery shopping.  I rode the Big Dummy to work today.  After work I ran to get my hair cut.  There was a one-hour wait, so I went to a sub shop next door for a cheap sandwich.

After I got home, I felt the normal “bleh – I don’t want to do anything” feeling, but I ignored it and cleaned the house.  My house is now cleaner than it’s been in two years.  Now I just need to keep it that way.

Having clean house makes me happy.  If I’m home more often (because I’m not eating out) I’ll have more time to keep the house clean.  My dogs will get more attention.

So, the “no beer” thing continues for a while.  I like the way I feel today.

I Don’t Feel Like a Cyclist Anymore

Even after closing my dating site account, I’ve been fixated on relationships.  It’s not been healthy for me.  It’s time to move on.  I need to enjoy the good points of being single.

Another issue is bike riding.  I haven’t been doing much.  I’m also mostly limited to the recumbent due to neck pain.

I spent a lot of money building up the rSogn for long rides, but now I can’t ride it on anything other than a short ride.  I’m sticking to the rule that I won’t buy a new bike in 2013.  I also won’t sell any existing bikes.  Unless my neck improves, I’ll mostly be riding the recumbent.  I may end up putting some bikes up for sale in 2014.  Then I could expand the recumbent fleet.

I’ve had one ride this year where I felt strong.  I felt like a cyclist.  Other than that, even my longer rides feel slow and plodding.  Slow and plodding is fine for going to work or the grocery store, but I want to do more than that.  That means I need to train.

I put off training once before because I was having knee pain on the recumbent.  I’ve solved that issue.  I adjusted the seat.  A recumbent has a seat that slides forward and back – similar to the seat in a car.  Unlike a regular bicycle saddle, gaining or losing weight can quickly affect proper saddle position.  My weight gain meant my seat needed to be moved back.  Since moving it, I’ve had less knee pain.

I’ve also mentioned that the recumbent needs some work.  I keep putting it off.  I need to get around to doing it.  It could also use a few upgrades.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

For some reason Louisville has the St. Patrick’s Day Parade eight days before the actual holiday.  I’d never attended before, but Timothy told me the Pedal de Ville team needed some help.  He wanted to, but he was busy racing Death March with Asher.

I didn’t want to leave a bike locked at the parade staging area so I walked the two miles there.  It was a nice day.  I took the shortest route which took me through a bad neighborhood, but it was the middle of the day and I had no issues.

I knew nobody there.  I was introduced to Scott, the Schlafly representative.  Schlafly was sponsoring this “float”.  It’s not really a float.  It was a decorated, pedal-powered, bar.  It could hold over a dozen people.

Green everywhere
Green everywhere

They were still in the process of decorating the “float” for quite a while after I arrived.  Some stuff was St Patrick’s-themed, other stuff was Schlafly-themed.

Last-minute preparation
Last-minute preparation

This was Lilly.  Poor dog.

Festive, yet sad
Festive, yet sad

We eventually got underway.  We began with a minor hill, but this thing weighed 2500 lbs. I think a few people didn’t pedal.  There was no shifting, and the first few feet were difficult.  After that we had to be careful to not run over children.

We cruised slowly along Baxter Ave and Bardstown Rd.  The spectators were pretty crazy.  Everybody wanted hand-outs, but I had little to give.  It felt wrong to give green plastic bead necklaces to children.

It's nice seeing these street full of people
It’s nice seeing these street full of people

We were egged on at the end to go faster, so we spun like crazy, taking our speed from 2-3 mph to probably 5 mph.  That thing is heavy!

Is the Schlafly sponsorship obvious enough?
Is the Schlafly sponsorship obvious enough?

We parked at the end, and I walked down with a few of the others to the Schlafly event at River City Drafthouse.  I had three beers and some food.  I paid for the food, Schlafly covered the beer.  That was very kind of them.

I walked three miles home.  This was not in a bad neighborhood, nor was I the only walker out and about.  I stopped again at Four Pegs for a few more beers.

At this point I stumbled home and went to bed.  It wasn’t a bad way to spend a Saturday.  Five miles, too many beers, too many calories, and a whole lotta fun.

Would You Date a Sweaty Bike-Riding Guy With No Car?

I mentioned I had a date tonight.  “L” and I were to meet in Okolona – a southern part of Louisville.

The trip there was interesting.  I rode my rSogn to work this morning, because it’ll fit on a bus rack.  I intended to hop the 18 bus down there after work and ride back.  Preston Highway during rush hour doesn’t appeal to me.

When the 18 arrived, it already had two bikes on front, and the bus was pretty crowded.  Oh well. Off I go, wearing my work clothes.

I took the lane all the way down Preston Highway, almost to Outer Loop.  How many rude or dangerous drivers? Zero.  It was actually quite nice.  Traffic was heavy, but people were courteously changing lanes to pass.

I made better time than the 18 bus for most of the trip.  It passed me near Fern Valley Rd, and it still had those two bikes on the front.

On the return trip I came right back up Preston Highway, again, no issues.  There was lighter traffic, but it was moving faster.  I was well lit – three tailights, dyno-headlight, and a reflective vest.  Two LMPD officers passed me without even looking twice.

The date itself didn’t seem to go well. At least the 23-mile bike ride was nice.

Migraine

On Monday I ended my post with “We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”  It brought a massive headache.  My neck is having a minor flare-up, and the muscles were so tight that it was pulling my head, causing a severe headache.  I didn’t go to work.

Wednesday morning was much better.  I rode the recumbent to work.  I’ve considered commuting on that bike a pain, because I don’t generally wear “street” clothes on it.  Pants can get greasy on the long chain.  I used two small straps to hold my pant leg, and it worked.  I arrived at work grease-free.  I didn’t have to bother with changing clothes.

After work, I went out to eat and drink with my daughter.  It was totally against the diet, but it was good talking to her.

I overdid it.  I woke up this morning dehydrated and sore.  I spent the money to take a cab to work.  I walked to Car-Free Happy Hour after work.  Another attendee took me home afterword.

I limited my beer consumption tonight.  I need to ride tomorrow.

Car-Free Fun

It was another cold morning in Louisville.  I had trouble pushing myself out the door.  I did my best to not over-dress for the 20 degree temperatures.  I was wearing work clothes, and didn’t want to get sweaty.

Once on the bike, I was cold.  I wanted to hurry and get to work, so I pushed harder.  That meant I was cold and sweaty when I got to work.  Oh well.

I’ve been riding the rSogn every day this week so far.  I won’t be tomorrow, as I’ve taken the rear wheel off to haul to the bike shop to have it rebuilt.

Earlier in the day, we were facing down a possible winter storm.  It had warmed up to just above freezing while I was at work, and began a light rain.  I had an appointment to give blood after work, so I rode there.

Take a pint!
Take a pint!

When I left the Red Cross, the rain had turned to sleet.  The roads were just wet, no icing yet.  Traffic had gotten quite heavy though.  I rode out Baxter Ave and stopped at Lil Cheezers, a new-ish place that I hadn’t been before.  They have gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, which just sounds wrong, but it tasted good.  I also had a West Sixth IPA from Lexington Kentucky.

From there I took residential streets home.  There were some slightly slippery spots, but with some care, I didn’t fall.

I finally got around to doing the dishes at home.  I also removed the rear wheel from the rSogn, took the cassette and tire (tyre for Timothy) off, and have strapped it to the Big Dummy for tomorrow’s commute.

I have mostly decided to ride the Populaire on Sunday.  I was planning on riding the ‘bent, but it seems my new wheel for the rSogn will be ready Saturday, so maybe I’ll be on it.  We’ll see.

I’m Still Here!

I’ve been lax about writing.  Instead, I fire off a sentence or two on Google+.  I’ve also been using Google+ less, which has helped my productivity, but I’ve had nearly no social life – even an online one.  I’ll be curtailing my G+ usage even more to spend the time having an in-person social life, writing here, and focusing on my health goals.

Beer is a problem.  Food is a bigger problem.  Both have been out of control for a while now.  Grocery store? What’s that?  Seriously, I need to buy groceries and cook again.  Yesterday (and too many other days) I went out for dinner and drank too much beer – way too much.  I woke up this morning after a crappy night’s sleep feeling sick and dehydrated.

I went out to eat after work today too.  It was either that or the grocery store, and I loathe the grocery store.  Also, I’d have to cook, which would mean washing the dishes….   Anyway, I had only two beers.  It was enough to enjoy my time, but I didn’t get drunk.  It was quite nice.  I’ll have to try this “not drunk” more often.

So less time on social media.  More time on dishes.

I’m riding the bike nearly every day.  I’ve got just over 600 miles in for the year.  This time of year isn’t conducive to really high miles, so I think I’m doing pretty good.  There’s a populaire this Sunday that I should force myself to ride.  62 miles + 24 to get there and back.  Pushing 90 miles?  Maybe I could go the long way and get an even 100 for the day.  I’ll probably ride the recumbent, as the rSogn will be having new rear wheel built that weekend.  I’ve never ridden 100 miles in a day on the ‘bent.

I’ve had some nice short-ish weekend rides with Tim.  Nothing epic, mostly just around town rides.  Sometimes we had multiple coffee stops.  Most of the RCCS crew has little free time.  They all have family obligations or whatnot.  Darn families.  They take away our freedom.

I’ve complained a little (maybe more than a little) about loneliness.  Well, I went and joined a dating site, again.  I’ll try not to marry the first woman I meet within six months this time around.  I texted with one woman late into the night on Sunday.  I was limiting my looking to local women… really local, because I don’t own a car.  Unfortunately, her profile said she was five miles away, in reality she had moved to another town 40 miles away.  We still planned a Monday night date here in Louisville.  She stood me up.  She did contact me later.  She had car trouble.  I haven’t heard from her since.  I’m not going to pester her.  We’ll see if I have better luck (and hopefully someone closer) next time.

Icing on the cake?  My daughter and I had plans to go out on Tuesday night.  Guess what?  She stood me up too.  She fell asleep and didn’t hear her phone.  Oh well.  I’ve spent most of my dining out time alone.  Often I’m surrounded by people, yet I’m alone.  I’m not an extrovert.  It’s difficult for me to just start talking to people, and honestly, some of them don’t want me to talk to them.

I’m a great procrastinator.  I wish I could get paid for that.  I’d easily get that job.  “Senior Vice President of Procrastination”  Yep.  I could do it.  I put off posting here.  I’ve put off my upper-body exercises.  I’ve put off getting my diet back under control.  I should take advantage of my good mood tonight and do something useful, but I won’t.  I’m procrastinating again…… Oh wait!  I’m posting here.  That counts, right?

I’m dreading the March 1 weigh-in.  Unless I starve myself until then (which I won’t do), I’ve probably gained a tad.  Bleh.

It’s past my bed time.  Good night!

Winter Weather?

My plan to only ride the recumbent to work this week may have come to an end.  We are under a winter weather advisory.  I can hear the sleet hitting the window.  The roads could be icy in the morning.

I have a set of studded tires.  They were purchased for the LHT, which I no longer own.  They’ll fit on the Fargo, but it’ll look a little silly as it’s meant for wider tires.  I’d rather look silly, and not fall on the ice.

So I swapped out the tires on the Fargo.  The rear wheel’s rim strip was out of place, showing a spoke hole.  I’m surprised it hadn’t blown the tube.  I had a roll of rim tape in the closet, so I replaced that.

After getting the studded tires on, I packed the bike for tomorrow’s commute.  If the roads are clear, I can still move the bags and lights back to the recumbent, but I’m not sure I will.  It’s been a while since I last heard the “electronic rice crispy” sound of studded tires on pavement.

Fargo with studs
Fargo with studs

I generally commute on a bike with fenders.  If it’s sloppy tomorrow, I’ll end up splattered with road grime.  That’s okay, I’ll be changing clothes at work anyway.