Ugh

About the middle of last week I had a gout flare-up again, it started slow.  The next day I got quite ill and that was compounded by the medicine I take for gout upsetting my digestive system.

I missed a little work.  I skipped meal tracking and weighing for a few days.  I wasn’t worried, as I usually eat less and lose a little weight when I’m sick.  That wasn’t the case this time.

I’m back to tracking again, but I gained a few pounds.  <shrug>

Although the illness has passed, the gout has not.  In the past it’s been my left foot.  This time it’s the right foot.  Today was especially bad.  There are quite a few stairs at work, and that’s just no fun.  I’ll work from home tomorrow so I won’t need to walk much.

Cheating and Bicycles

I had behaved myself all day yesterday until evening.  I was preparing for bed when Diane got a call from her son, who wanted to get together for a beer.  I went along.  That was a mistake.  1200 calories worth of beer later, I went to bed.

Today, we had some errands to run, and Diane was willing to ride her bike.  I dusted off the single-speed and we went to the new Logan Street Market, the bike shop, and a pet supply place, making a stop for lunch along the way.

I love that single-speed
I love that single-speed

It was just over a five-mile ride, but it felt good to be back on the bike, even if my knees complained a bit.  There was some frozen shit falling from the sky on the way home.

I mentioned that I went on a motorcycle ride on the first.  I took one picture while putting gas in the bike.  It sums things up nicely.

Harley Guy!
Harley Guy!

The Long Backward Slide

This site has been around since late 2007, as that’s when I began my weight loss.  I started posting pictures of myself in my underwear to show progress and humiliate myself into working at it.

November 2007, roughly 300 pounds.
November 2007, roughly 300 pounds.

That weight loss attempt was successful.  In a bit over a year, February 2009, I had lost about 100 pounds, or 1/3 my weight.

February 2009, about 200 pounds
February 2009, about 200 pounds

For about two years, I maintained the weight.  I felt good.  I rode my bicycles thousands of miles per year.

Eventually the old habits came back, along with a new one, too much beer.

I quit weighing myself regularly.  My bicycle rides got shorter.  I quit taking the pictures.  It’s quite frustrating to find myself back at 300 pounds, right where I started.

January 2020, about 300 pounds
January 2020, about 300 pounds

The above picture was taken today.  This morning’s weight was 299.2.  I’m more than 12 years older than when the 2007 picture was taken.  The extra weight hurts.  This is why I’m back at this instead of waiting another decade when it’ll be even harder to lose weight.

It Begins

So, I had a couple of beers last night, as they were in the fridge.  That’s it.  Done.  I stepped on the scale again this morning.  I weigh daily, but I average it out, so the fact it went up by 0.2 pounds is meaningless.

I started my calorie counting spreadsheet.  I didn’t ride a bicycle to work because my knees are killing me.  I think I need to drop a few pounds first.  🙁

I’m considering going for a walk after I get home, but it’ll probably be raining.  I do have an umbrella….

I did go on the motorcycle ride yesterday.  I had fun with friends and didn’t drink with the others at the end of the ride.

A New Decade

Happy New Year!

As many do, I once again decided to fix some things in my life for the new year.

I hopped on the scale this morning for the first time in many months.  It had the highest number I’ve ever seen – 300.0 lbs.  Welcome to 2020.

I’m giving up drinking for a while (tomorrow, the 2nd, because I still have a couple of beers in the fridge).  I’m going to start calorie counting, again, tomorrow.  I’m going to start walking the neighborhood, then go back to riding a bike when my knees feel good enough.

Most people start on the 1st.  I’m still wrapping up the huge amounts of food and alcohol from the holidays.  This is partially due to having company over for a while.  I go back to work tomorrow, so it’s time.

There are a number of things I need to fix:

  • My weight
  • My overall health
  • My finances
  • My clutter and time-wasting
  • I want to own a home again

To fix these things, alcohol is being cut.  Going out to eat will be severely curtailed.  I’ll exercise.  I’ll write here again regularly.  I’ll work toward a workable budget.  If I pull this off, I will lose weight and feel better.

I’m going to be re-arranging this site a bit in the coming months to make it more current.  I’ll keep the 1100+ posts and 2300+ comments because it’s nice to see where I’ve been before.  Some of the “pages” will change or go away.  I don’t need to list my bicycles anymore, I only have two now.  I actually have three motorcycles, but that needs to be cut down to two also.

Goals

In three years I want a few things.

  • I want to weight less than 220 lbs
  • I want to avoid heart attack, diabetes, etc
  • I want to remain married to Diane
  • I want to own a home I’m happy with
  • I want to be more financially secure
  • I want to be a more focused individual

I still love motorcycling, even in the cold.  In fact, I’m heading to a ride in a couple of hours.  I do, however, need to get back on a bicycle.  I’m considering riding to work tomorrow, but I’ve been having some knee issues, so it’s really a wait-and-see thing.

More soon!

 

Motorcycle Stuff

I love motorcycles.  I have two.  Diane has one.  Mine cost a lot in maintenance, but Diane’s is older and just seems to keep breaking down.

I’m missing out on a group ride today to do yardwork and motorcycle work.  I’ve finished the yard work now, so I’m going to see if I can get Diane’s bike running again.

Selling the MudderFning Bikes

Since I rarely ride bikes now, I put most of them up for sale.  The idea was to go down to one bike, and have some cash for medical bills from the kidney stone.  It would also clear out space in the house.  Almost every room in the house has had a least one bike in it.

The Rivendell tandem sold first.  It was a unicorn, valuable, but hard to sell.  It went cheap.  The Trek eBike sold today.

I probably have a buyer for the recumbent, but the seat clamp broke when showing it to her.  I’ve ordered another one, but it won’t be here until middle of next week.

The single-speed was for sale too, but nobody seemed interested, even at a bargain price.  I really like that bike, so I’ll keep it.

The rSogn is the one bike I’ll keep.  It not replaceable.  It’s comfortable.  It does almost everything.

Wake-Up

I had a wake-up moment.  Luckily it’s not my heart.

In the last week I had two trips to the ER and a third trip planned ahead for hospitalization and a minor procedure.  Why?

Kidney stone.  They HURT.

This, more than anything is making me change my ways.  Much more is coming.  I don’t think I have readers anymore, but I’m gonna write anyway.

Hard to Hold On

Yeah, it’s been a couple of weeks.  I had some cheat days in January with beer.  Now it’s February and I’m drinking again.

I’m still weighing myself, but I quit tracking calories.  I’ll do that again tomorrow.

This is hard.  Life has been much busier.  Also, for the most part, life has been more rewarding in other areas, which it wasn’t the first time around on the weight loss journey.  Now I have a job I enjoy, and motorcycles.  Many other things are getting ignored.

I need to gather my thoughts better and figure out what I really want to do.

Look Ma! No Batteries!

I met up with Tim for a ride today, and I rode my totally-unassisted rSogn.  I didn’t take any pictures, I was slow, and it was only seven miles, but I felt good afterward, other than my shoulder.

The electric Trek has wider handlebars, which don’t bother my shoulder as much.  The rSogn has drop bars, which are narrower and caused some shoulder discomfort.  They didn’t bother me before the shoulder issue, so I’ll give my shoulder some time to heal before changing the handlebars.

After the ride, Tim and I went to Monnik – where neither of us had any alcohol, but did have water and delicious burgers.

30 Miles

Last year, after my bicycling nosedived, followed by my fitness, I wanted to ride to work again, but I was too out of shape.  I bought a Trek Super Commute 8 to help.  It’s an electric-assist bicycle.  There’s no throttle.  You still have to pedal.  Some consider it cheating.  I considered it a way to get exercise again.  It would have been, had I rode it to work more than a handful of times.

Ignore the terrible saddle angle, the saddle was replaced right away

It sat in my bedroom for far too long.  Today, I rode it to work for the first time in many months.  I can make the 15-mile journey in an hour on this.  The ride home is similar.

I had actually intended to wait for a bit more dieting before worrying about exercise, but with a warm, if somewhat damp, January, it seemed a good time.

I’m glad I rode.  I need to do it a couple of times a week.

Difficult Eating Options, but Good Calorie Count

Ideally, we’d all just eat healthy.  Even when you want to, it can be difficult when on a time crunch and you’re not prepared.

Today was kind of like that for me.  Diane and I were participating in a local HOG (Harley Owners Group) chapter ride.  The weather was decent for January, so off we went… without eating.

We stopped at McDonalds, I had two Sausage McMuffins.  We arrived for the ride, and there were donuts.  I had one.

We rode to lunch at the Parkette Drive-In in Lexington.  I had a cheeseburger and tater tots.

Just a small sample of the 27 bikes on today's ride
Just a small sample of the 27 bikes on today’s ride

We finished up the ride at Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen, where I had a single scoop of chocolate ice cream.

I’ve estimated my calories for the day at 2060.  I don’t think that’s terrible considering the low-quality of the food (from a nutritional sense, it tasted great).

Off Track

I’ve been off-track for years now.  It’s been almost two years since I last posted.  I’ve now gained back all the weight I had lost.  I’ve lost most of my fitness.  I suffered injuries, depression, and I’ve gotten older.  These aren’t excuses.  I made my own decisions, and it’s time to undo some of them.

Let start with a recap.  I started this adventure in late 2007, over eleven years ago.  From then until 2009 I lost 100 pounds.  From 2009 to 2012 I mostly held steady, gaining a little, but being very active.  In 2012 I started drinking a lot more.  This began faster weight gain, fewer long bike trips, less fitness, etc.  In 2015 I started a job that I felt I needed a car to get to reliably, so I bought a car.  This almost entirely killed my bicycle riding.  Things got worse in 2017 when I bought a motorcycle.  Now, I have two motorcycles, but no longer have a car.

Diane and I on a Tennessee / North Carolina Trip
Diane and I on a Tennessee / North Carolina Trip

My old neck/shoulder issue has become a debilitating mostly-shoulder issue.  I’ve been back through physical therapy for it again.  It was time for change.

Now that the New Year’s Eve drinking is done, I’m done drinking, for at least a month, but honestly, I need to stop for good.  I’ve become a daily drinker, never really getting drunk, but drinking as a habit, to have something to do.  Much like I have always treated food, hence my weight issue.

I stepped back on the scale on 1/1/2019, and it read 299.4.  That’s where I started in 2007.  I’m weighing daily again, but I’ll average it out weekly, as I used to.

I’m back to tracking everything I eat.  I’ve been hungry a lot the last few days.  I’m drinking more water.  I have a new gym membership, this was mostly for shoulder exercises, but all the other equipment is available, I should use it.

I’ve made more realistic goals.  I want to be down 40 pounds by June – when I have another doctor’s appointment.  I want to get to around 220 pounds over the next 18 months.  I want to be capable of 70 mile bike rides on the weekends again.

Not everything has been terrible.  Two-up motorcycle touring on a big bike is wonderful.  Diane and I are approaching five years of marriage, and we’ve learned to live with each other’s quirks.  We have two cuddly dogs, friends, family, jobs.  I sometimes feel like I complain too much for having so many good things going on.

I’ll be writing here again.  I’ll probably slip motorcycle content in now and again, much as I started writing bicycle content in 2008.  I probably won’t bring back the “fat pictures” section I once had.  I’m older now, and nobody wants to see that.

I fill in some details of what’s been going on in the last two years, but in the meantime, I’ll be working lose the weight… again.

A Start

As I mentioned, I intended to ride to work on Monday… and I did.  I took a reasonably sedate route at 15.7 miles.  Diane had volleyball later, so after work I rode to her sisters house (4 miles) only to find they had already left.  I rode to the volleyball location (2 more miles) and watched them play.

Diane had driven my car there, and it was late when we left, so I loaded my bike on the back and drove home.

The plan is still to ride three days a week.  I can work from home two days, which means not driving to work unless there are extenuating circumstances.  I worked from home today and yesterday.  I’ll be back on the bike in the morning.  It’s packed and ready now.

I do have to ride to the Middletown location tomorrow, which I don’t enjoy much.  Friday will be better, as I’ll be at Riverport.

Not Enough Riding

After my March 5th mountain bike ride, I didn’t get on a bike again until Friday the 10th.  Part of it was I was still sore due to hitting the ground.  Most of it was laziness.

That Friday was another “work from the old office” day.  I prefer that commute to the new office.  I wanted to ride the single-speed, so I attached the only spare rack I had (a front rack), some lights, and rode to work.

Unlike last time, I had no issues on either leg of the trip.  I did stop at a brewery on the way home.  My wife rode her bike there and met me, where we drank entirely too much.

The next day, Tim and I went mountain biking again.  This time we went to Waverly Park which has more “flow” and less rooty, rocky technical stuff.

I was on my dual-suspension Scott.  Tim was riding a dual-suspension demo bike from On Your Left Cycles.  I’ll let him bother to post about his feelings on that.

We used to have similar riding ability, but over the last few years, I’ve lost a lot of fitness and gained weight.  Rather than hold him back, it was agreed we’d each ride our own pace.  So he went ahead, and we regrouped at the car later.

I had a slow ride, but it was pleasant, and I didn’t crash this time.  That’s always good thing.

So, it’s now been eight days, and I haven’t been on the bike since.  Why?  Laziness mostly.  I really need to start getting around by bike a lot more.  I’m planning on riding to work tomorrow, even though it’s the “new office” that I don’t riding to as much.

I’m also really enjoying the single-speed as a commuter.  I didn’t want to add racks. lights, fenders, etc, but I might make some concessions to utility.  I bought the Disc Trucker for that kind of use, but I don’t enjoy that bike as much.

If loading-up the single-speed gets me to ride more often, then that’s what I’m going to do.

Mentally, I’ve been a mess recently.  More biking and less beer is what’s needed.

Mountain Biking is Hard

On Sunday, I met up with Tim for a quick spin slog though Cherokee Park.  Riding the full-suspension Scott with it’s aggressive position leaves me sore, so I had it at the shop last week for some riser bars.

Riding the Scott through town to get there was fine.  Once on the trails, my lack of fitness was very evident.  I’m in worse shape than since before I started riding.

I’m also not a great mountain biker, and I fell once.  I wasn’t injured, but I’m still sore and I kinked a cable on the bike.

Once the ride was over, Tim and I spent some time over beer, discussing my lack of fitness (the beer isn’t helping).

Luckily, I had brought small lights with me, as it was dark before I headed home.

I worked from home yesterday and today.  I’ll be in the office tomorrow, but I’m not sure what the chances of riding the bike to work are.  I still hurt.

Commute Fail

Due to needs at work, I had to work at my old office location today.  I never liked that location much, but it’s easier to reach by bicycle than the current location.  I took that as a good reason to ride to work this morning.

It was cool with light rain as I headed out.  It was a pleasant, uneventful ride.

The weather had warmed by quitting time and the rain had stopped.  I was looking forward to a very pleasant trip home….

Unfortunately, I had a flat rear tire.

I carry tubes, pump, and tools, so shouldn’t be an issue.  Well, it was an issue.  The tires on that bike are very tight on the rims.  I couldn’t remove the tire.

My co-workers were already gone.  My wife was on the opposite end of town playing volleyball.  I used Lyft to get home, leaving my bike in the office.  Boo.

At least I got my 13-mile morning ride.

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When I Was Single…

I found this picture from a few years ago.

That was my living room.  I had a couch, chair, and coffee table.  That left room for working on bikes.  What more does a guy need?  Oh, a cargo bike for using the laptop on.

Needless to say, things look a bit different in my living room these days.  However, all is not lost.  I washed the mud off my mountain bike in my shower today.  Diane even helped.  That’s devotion.

Wasted Opportunity

I planned on riding the bike to work today.  However, I was lazy and whiny this morning, and drove to work.

The morning temperature was quite cool.  When I left work, it 70 degrees.  In February.  I should have ridden the bike.  Dammit.  I drove home with the windows open.

I’m tentatively planning on working from home tomorrow, but if I’m up early and feeling good, I’ll ride in, just because I enjoy it.

 

More Weekend Exercise

As I mentioned after yesterday’s ride, I planned another ride for today.  Tim and I met up and headed to Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge for a gravel ride.

Muscatatuck isn’t that big, but it’s a good starting place for a ride, with pleasant scenery.  The planned route was just under 30 miles.

Tim and I were both on our Rawlands.  This was expected to be easy, mostly-flat gravel.  The temperature was about 50 at the beginning of the ride.

After meandering around the hard-packed dirt roads in Muscatatuck, taking in the scenery (and birds – lots of birds), we headed east along a “road” that was little more than muddy grass two-track.  I was wishing for tires with tread, instead of my fat road tires.  Well, at least we have a different route coming back.

After getting back to a real road, it quickly turned to loose gravel.  It was more work to ride through, but I liked it better than the mud.

We eventually hit pavement for a while, which felt unnaturally smooth after that gravel.  It was like cheating.

Except for a brief burst of “leaving church” traffic, there was little traffic.  It was a pleasant ride.

I mostly quit taking pictures at this point.  I was still feeling good, but I needed a bit more focus to keep moving.

On the final stretch back, we ran into a snag.  The planned route took a road (CR 300 S) that didn’t really exist.  A quick look at my GPS showed that CR 200 S to the north didn’t go all the way through.  We did the only sensible thing and headed back south to CR 475 S – the very “not road” I mentioned earlier with all the mud.

Oddly enough, looking at data from a previous ride a few years ago in the area, it appears that we did take CR 200 S, so apparently it’s passable by bike.  I don’t remember the details.

We ended it at 33.6 miles before heading home.  It was a perfectly pleasant day.  Planning a shorter ride means we don’t have to cut rides short.  I’d rather feel good about finishing a ride, than cut it short and feel bad.  I’ll keep planning these shorter rides until I build a bit more fitness.

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Feeling Fat in the Woods (Again)

I mentioned that I needed to ride during the week.  I didn’t.  I worked from home two days, drove two days, and was sick on Friday.  I hadn’t swung my leg over a bike all week.  That changed this morning.

Tim and I headed out to get some mountain biking in at Brown County State Park in Indiana.

We started with a stop while still in Louisville for doughnuts.

Tim and I have very different fitness levels these days.  We used to be close to even, but I’ve lost a lot of fitness.  We agreed to ride separately, and contacting each other every hour or so.

The weather was beautiful for February.  The trails were pretty busy with hikers and bikers.  It was pleasant.

This was my first time on the Brown County trails.  The climbs are quite serious.  I stayed on the easiest trail while Tim wandered off to ride some gnarlier stuff.

Due to aches, pains, and a terrible lack of fitness I just really felt fat and was quite slow.

My bike is more capable than I am.  It probably wishes it was sold to a real cyclist.  It took me a bit over 90 minutes to ride just over 7 miles.  That was once around the “easy” loop.  I was going to go around again, but by this time my neck, shoulders, elbows, etc hurt from the low cockpit on this bike.  I need to take the bike back to the shop for some handlebar and stem adjustments.

I’m not complaining.  Being fat in the woods is better than being fat on the couch.  I enjoyed myself, and I’m glad I did it.  It was also short enough that I wasn’t miserable.

Tomorrow, Tim and I are going back out, but for some gravel road adventure.  I’ll be on a different bike for the different kind of riding.

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Flat Butt

Flat butt is what happens when you sit on your ass too much.  I’m having that problem now.

I was going to ride my bike to work this morning, but ended up working from home.  I’ll try again tomorrow.

I have weekend plans too.

Another DBNF Sunday

As mentioned in my previous post, I did ride in Daniel Boone National Forest last Sunday.  Here it is, six days later, and I’m just now posting about it.

I rode to Tim’s place, and he drove us to Berea where we met up with Andy, who I rarely get to ride with.  We drove then to S-Tree campground, a great place to start a bike ride.

At the beginning it’s mostly easy gravel.  Tim and Andy were riding fat bikes.  I was on my Fargo with relatively skinny 2.2″ tires.

The weather was beautiful, if a bit warmer than planned for.  A clearing next to the road made for a nice place to adjust clothing.

We eventually went downhill to this old abandoned house next to a creek.  I’ve ridden by this place several times.

Although I didn’t get pictures, we had to cross the creek.  Due to the warm temperatures, I wasn’t too worried if I got a little wet.

After crossing with nothing more than one damp foot, I managed to do an endo at the edge of a puddle.  I was fine, if a bit muddy.

After continuing along the creek for a while, we needed to cross again.  I got much wetter this time.  Again, nobody thought to take pictures.

It really wasn’t a road anymore.  The path was rocky, rooty, and muddy.  It was a challenge, but also a lot of fun.

After a downhill that Tim and rode the brakes the whole way – yet Andy bombed down like a pro, the long slog uphill began.  This was the beginning of the end for me.  I walked the entire hill, and was not feeling well.

We regrouped at the top and ate snacks.

We often end up cutting planned rides short when someone isn’t feeling up to finishing the ride.  This ride was planned to be short and easier.  It was a mistake in routing that led to shortening it.  I wasn’t complaining.  I was done.

On the return leg, there was a trail that was mostly parallel to the road.  Tim wanted to explore.  Andy and I agreed, even though Andy said he had his worst experience on a bike on that trail years ago.  It was tough, muddy, hilly, and rutted.  I was covered and mud at the end of it.

We arrived back at S-Tree, then drove to Berea for food and hydration.

I could barely walk the next day.  I still haven’t been back on a bike since.  This was from a ride less than 16 miles in length.  Yikes!

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Avert Your Eyes!

In July of 2014, if you ran across me, shirtless, in Daniel Boone National Forest, I apologize.

So far this week, I haven’t been on my bike.  I drove to work one day, and worked from home two.  I plan to ride tomorrow.

Also, I’ll be back in DBNF on Sunday to ride some more “not roads”.

Need to Ride

I feel fat and lazy, but I’ve been reading older posts here in preparation of migrating the blog.  I need to ride.  I’m horribly about it now.  I used to be much better – even when I rode from Charlestown.

My current commute is not ideal, but it’s no worse than the Charlestown commute.  I need to quit making excuses and ride.

The bike is packed for tomorrow.