A New Year Beckons

I’m starting the new year at around 218 lbs.  While still technically obese (barely), I don’t feel that way any more.  I feel like a different person.  I ended last year at about 270 lbs.  I hope to end 2009 at 175 lbs.

I’ve ridden my hybrid bike 150 miles in the last five days.  I rode to work all three workdays this week, and every commute was great, except the ride home today, which I really did not enjoy.

I’ve ridden my two bikes a combined distance of 2238 miles for the year.  Next year, my goal is ride at least 5000 miles, and drive less than 3500.  That will mean riding to work nearly every day.

I was going to go on another midnight ride tonight to ring in the new year, but I had a rough ride home, so I’m going to sit with my dogs, watch The Dark Knight, and eat popcorn.  Then I’ll get to bed.  I won’t be drinking tonight.

Happy New Year!

Things That Have Helped Me

As of this morning I’m down over 77 lbs.  I’ve still got weight to lose, but I will reach my goal.  I am offering a few things I have done that worked for me.  These ideas aren’t the only way to lose weight, but I’m offering in the hope they will work for you.

Calorie Spreadsheet

I track everything I eat in a spreadsheet, and total up the calories.  This allows me to eat what I want (within reason), and analyze it later to determine what I could have done better.  Early on, I had decided I didn’t need to do this anymore and my weight loss faltered, so I went back to doing it.

Deal with Depression

I’ve suffered from depression my entire life.  It is partly to blame for my weight gain to begin with.  I truly believe my depression is caused by a combination of genetics and dietary deficiencies.  There isn’t much that can be done about genetics (pick new parents?), but I started taking general vitamin supplement and fish oil pills months before my weight loss attempt, and it eased the depression substantially.

Buy a Scale

Small changes in weight add up.  It’s hard to determine what direction the change is going unless you have an objective way to measure it.  You don’t need a fancy scale that calculates BMI (I don’t have one), but you will need something that will handle your weight.  Many top out at 300 lbs, I found one that goes to 330, and that’s what I bought.  I believe it was less than $20.

Quit Drinking Soda and Beer

There is some evidence that artificial sweeteners aren’t good for weight loss.  Play it safe and give up regular and diet soda.  Beer has quite a few empty calories also.  Although I haven’t had a beer in a while, I still haven’t managed to completely give it up.

Eat Breakfast

Having a good breakfast means you need less food throughout the rest of the day.  I don’t follow a low-carb diet, so I have a high-fiber, high-carb, high-protein breakfast cereal (Kashi GoLean Crunch).  Choose whatever works for you, but high-fiber has heart-health benefits.


Yum – Bananas.  They are high in potassium, and are good.  They are a great snack when you would otherwise eat something less healthy.  I usually eat two a day.


Calcium, vitamins, low-carb, great for digestion.  Once my diet became high-fiber and had yogurt, I had way fewer issues with, ummm, bathroom stuff.

Air-Popped Popcorn

Air-popped popcorn is another high-fiber snack.  This one does have carbs, but not too many.  Don’t use microwave popcorn or add anything too it.  If you don’t like the taste, keep with it.  You may find many of your tastes changing.


Yeah, this is obvious.  Pick something you enjoy, and won’t hurt you too bad.  If you are over 300 lbs, running probably shouldn’t be your first choice.  Lose some weight before doing anything hard on the knees.

I started with an elliptical, which is easy on the knees and back, but I found it extremely boring.  Then I bought a bicycle.  I fell in love with bicycling, but I initially found the saddle uncomfortable, so I bought a recumbent.  I’ve now learned that with the proper saddle, and upright bike can be fine on the rear-end.  You’ll still have more pressure on your back and hands though.

Don’t Give Up When You Screw Up

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve screwed up.  Ate too much at Asian Buffett?  Don’t worry, unless you keep eating too much on a regular basis it won’t matter.  Didn’t exercise for a week?  Don’t worry, just get back into it.  You have the rest of your life to get it right.

Be Careful of Your Social Activities

If everytime you are around family or friends, you eating and/or drinking, maybe you should consider new social activities.  I’m still struggling with this one, as it’s pretty ingrained in our culture.  It is possible to go out to eat, and still eat well, but it is difficult.

Set Goals, and Don’t be Afraid to Adjust Them

Without goals, you don’t know where you are going.  You can set weight goals, calorie goals, exercise goals, or all of them.  However, be sure to revisit them occasionally, and adjust as necessary.

This is for Life

This isn’t a “diet”.  It isn’t a way to look better for hanging out a the beach.  This is a way to change the way that you live.  It will affect your life in many positive ways.  It will take time, and the changes will be gradual.  In November of 2007, I was writing about how difficult it was to tie my shoes.  Now, I can ride my 33-mile round-trip commute to work and back on my bike.  Compared to now, I was an invalid.

Don’t Make it a New’s Years Resolution

Those always seem doomed to fail.  Just do it.  Now.  I started near the end of 2007.  I didn’t have a New Years Resolution.  Just Do It (says the guy with no Nike products).

Remember, the stuff above was just my suggestions.  If low-carb is you way, so be it.  If you’re going to drink diet soda, well, others have managed.  There is no one-size-fits-all plan.  Change your life for the better, and it’ll eventually fall into place.

Another Ride on Nermal

I went on a 20 mile ride today on Nermal, the hybrid.  I really like the bike now that it’s got a new saddle and pedals.  I’ve had Nermal longer, but he only has 613 miles on him.  The recumbent has 1525.  This week, I rode Nermal for 51 miles.  Although I’ve done more than that on the recumbent it’s the most I’ve done on Nermal.

I usually plan a route in advance.  I couldn’t decide how long of a ride I wanted today, so I just went out the door without a plan.

The weather was much cooler than yesterday, but still quite nice.  I wore two base layers on the bottom, one on the top, a light jacket, beanie, wool socks, and light gloves.  I was plenty warm until late in the ride when the sun was getting low in the sky.

I started out going down Highway 62, as if I were commuting to work.

I continued toward Jeffersonville for a while, stopped at a convenience store for a break, then headed back toward Charlestown.

I wasn’t ready to go back yet, so I turned west on Salem-Noble Road.  I then took High Jackson Road back toward Charlestown.  I grabbed a couple of pictures along the way.


This route has a lot less traffic than 62, and more hills.  It also has water.  I managed to grab one picture of a small plane flying around.  Was he training or just enjoying the scenery from up high?

Along High Jackson Road there is a small derelict cemetery with a rock wall.  Pretty interesting to look at.


Living Longer – Blood Pressure

I’ve never really had high blood pressure.  When I was young and fit, it was on the low side.  As I got older and fatter it did go higher.  Last year, it had averaged 122/80 or so with a pulse rate of just under 80.

I had a routine appointment with my doctor last week.  The nurse said my blood pressure was 80/60.  I forgot to ask about pulse rate.  I thought that number seemed wrong, so I went to the drug store and used the machine.


According to the machine it was 105/64 with a pulse rate of 59.  Although this is a bit higher than at the doctor’s office, it is a bit more in line with what I thought it should be.

This is why I’m losing weight and eating healthier.  I want to have a long and healthy life.

Weekly Average Weight for December 27, 2008

My average weight for the week ending 12/27/2008:
221.6 lbs

Down from last week:
0.1 lbs

Down since I started on 10/31/2007:
74.8 lbs

My average loss per 30 days since 10/31/2007:
5.30 lbs

Weight until goal:
46.6 lbs

My weight loss has slowed down again.  It was probably due to the lack of exercise in the first part of the week, and the one day of overeating.  I’m still happy with my progress.

I’m attaching a goofy picture of me as a teenager.  I really don’t know when it was taken, or how old I was, but I wasn’t overweight as a teenager.


Record High Temperatures

I’ve already proven that I’m willing to ride in cold weather.  Today, I didn’t have to.  The official high temperature for the day was 71 degrees.  It was beautiful.

I rode about 17 miles today.  I met a couple of new friends along the way.

I had to stop to avoid hitting the dog, but he was friendly, and didn’t give chase once I had pet him.  The caterpillar was a surprise.  It was six degrees less than a week ago.

Southern Indiana always has some beautiful scenery.

Yup, I rode Nermal.  He’s like a new bike with the new seatpost, Brooks saddle, new pedals, and fixed bottom bracket.  I’m really liking the Brooks.  I’m still slower on Nermal than on the recumbent, but I wasn’t in a hurry.

Once I got back into town, I rode around a few residential areas, and found the site of a recent house fire.

I don’t know the details about this fire.  I hope everyone got out okay.  Notice the melted siding on the house next door.

In addition to today’s ride on Nermal, I also went on a midnight ride last night for about 12 miles.  It was an incredibly beautiful night, and it worked well for relieving stress.

More Bike Updates

Tom was kind enough to give me scrap reflective vinyl a while back, and I’ve decorated both of my bikes with it now.

Today, I took Nermal (the hybrid) to the shop for some warranty work.  While I was there I bought a Brooks B17 leather saddle.  I also bought a seatpost to replace the existing suspension seatpost.

I took the clipless pedals off of the recumbent last weekend, so I could wear warmer shoes.  I also replaced the cheap pedals on the hybrid with slightly better metal ones.

Here are some updated pictures of the bikes.


Christmas Weight

I’m still invited to eat Christmas dinner with my ex-wife and daughter.   I feel much better about that now.  I thought I was going to have to eat a frozen dinner at home.

I intend to ride a short ride around town before riding to her house for dinner.

My weight was 221.4 lbs this morning.  It seems to be stuck there again.  I didn’t weigh-in on Christmas of last year, but based upon other days it appears I weighed about 274 lbs.  So I’m down over 50 lbs in a year.  I’m hoping to be at my goal weight by next Christmas.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Here it is, 3:00 A.M. at Christmas.  I’ve been wasting time all day and night.  I’ve fought with some email issues, website issues, and now my ex-wife is angry at me for things I won’t go into here.

Once I get some sleep, I’m going on  a Christmas ride around town.  Nothing too long, just a ride on my recumbent decorated with Christmas lights.  If I had a Santa hat I’d put it on my helmet, but I don’t.

My diet for the last few days has been pretty good.  I think my Christmas dinner will be small this year, so I’m not worried about diet.

I am worried about not riding my bike enough.  I’ve been suffering from the normal holiday blues, and it is affecting my ability to get motivated.

I didn’t intend to make this such a negative post.  I will enjoy the day, I hope you do too.

Merry Christmas!

Yes, It Was Cold

Today is the coldest day of the year.  When I left home on my bike it was six degrees.  Yes, I did ride.  Yes, this was my first ride in single-digit temperatures.  No, I don’t think I’ll do it again.

I was well-covered, including three pair of socks, ski goggles and a balaclava.  My body and hands were warm enough, but my nose and feet were painfully cold.  I’m unable to ride fast in cold weather, so I was out in it for one hour and 45 minutes.

The ride home today is supposed to be in the teens, so it should be more comfortable.

I did switch out my clipless pedals on my recumbent to platforms, so I could wear warmer shoes, but that still wasn’t enough.

A Great Sunday, So Far

I woke up feeling good, and weighed-in.  My weight dipped below 220 lbs for the first time.  It may not stay there, but that was I nice boost.

I’ve eaten healthy today so far.  I rode my recumbent on an 11 mile ride with temperatures in the teens, and gusty winds.  The skies and roads were clear.  It was quite a nice ride.  I battled some killer headwinds, but I also had a tailwind that helped me up a hill.

I rode my hybrid to the grocery store for a few things I need to cook vegetarian spanish rice.  I’m not switching to a vegetarian diet, but I’m eating vegetarian today.

My main concern for today is ice cream.  I have ice cream in the freezer.  I will eat some, but I need to have self-control.

Weekly Average Weight for December 20, 2008

My average weight for the week ending 12/20/2008:
221.7 lbs

Down from last week:
3.9 lbs

Down since I started on 10/31/2007:
74.7 lbs

My average loss per 30 days since 10/31/2007:
5.39 lbs

Weight until goal:
46.7 lbs

This feels great.  I no longer have doubts about reaching my goal weight.

I’ve ridden my bike less than two miles over the past five days, but by controlling my diet carefully, I’m still losing weight.  I’m not giving up on the bike.  I actually feel the need to get back on it.

One of the issues I’ve run into in the past is that all of my social activities involved food.  I’m trying to change that.  I also seem to have given up beer without even noticing.  I just told myself I’d rather lose weight that buy beer, and after enough times of thinking that, I no longer found myself wanting  beer.  I’m not going too far that direction either.  I’ll still drink for special occasions.

I’m going to restart my push-up plan on Monday.  I did the “test” last night and manged 15 push-ups, which is better than before.  I don’t just want to be thin.  I want to be toned, strong, and healthy.

Just for fun, I’m including a picture of me and my daughter from May of 1995.  I was overweight then, but I certainly wasn’t morbidly obese.  I don’t know what I weighed, but I wish I had never gotten bigger than that.  I was 24 in that picture, my daughter was three.

Pants Sizes

When I started losing weight over a year ago, I had several pair of size 44 jeans that fit decently.  I had some 42s that were too tight.  As I lost some weight, the 42s fit well, but the 44s were too loose.

About six months ago, I bought some size 40 jeans.  I tried on 38s, but they were painful.  The 40s were a tad tight.

Last month, I bought some new slacks and dress pants for my new job.  Most are 40s, one pair are size 38.  The 38s were too tight, but I bought them anyway.  Today, I wore the 38s for the second time.  I didn’t realize they were the 38s, because they fit perfectly.  So, I guess I am officially a size 38 now.

I’m on a tight budget, and need new jeans, so I did stop at Goodwill today.  There were no jeans that I wanted.  I did find two old wool sweaters that will be great for riding on cold days though.  I’ll probably have to spend a few dollars for new jeans that fit, so I can stop walking around in baggy jeans.

My weight has been holding pretty steady so far this week.  I’ve been very careful about what I eat.  I said I was off the bike for a week, and although I didn’t commute to work on the bike, I did run to the bank yesterday.  I’ll probably go to the grocery store tomorrow, but those are both short trips.

The weather for next week looks like a mixed bag of frigid, rain, and snow.  I plan on riding all three of the days I have to work, but I won’t if there is ice on the roads.

Last Weekend

Last weekend, my ex-wife was over to help scan pictures.  I had to run to the grocery store, and took my bike.  She was amazed (okay she just thinks I’m goofy) with how much I could haul.  Wait until I get a trailer.  🙂

She also took a picture of me.  This is the only recent picture posted of me where I wasn’t dressed for cycling, or wearing nothing but underwear (the progress pictures).


My clothes don’t really fit anymore, but my clothing budget has been blown on cycling clothes, and work clothes.

Did I Lie?

I’ve stated before that before April 2008, the only bike I’ve owned as an adult was a cheap mountain bike that broke every time that I rode it.  I imagine that I rode it less than 10 miles.

However, my ex-wife was helping me scan pictures over the weekend, and I found a picture of my wife in our bedroom, in 1995, with what appears to be a mountain bike in the corner.

I have no memory of this bike.  I briefly didn’t own a car not long after this picture was taken, but I lived about 1.5 miles from work, and I walked.  I didn’t ride a bike.  It’s quite odd that the bike is in my bedroom, yet I have no memory of it.  My daughters were too young to ride it at the time, and my ex-wife hates bicycles, so it had to be mine.

It’s just really strange that I can’t remember it.

A Week Off?

My last post made me think more about what I’m doing.  I was considering riding tomorrow, although there is a chance of ice on the roads.  I’ve decided to give up riding for a week.

Once I’m through this winter, I will revisit my decision to not buy studded tires for the bike.  Next winter I may be ready.  🙂

I haven’t had a week without riding since I started tracking my mileage in June.  My average weekly mileage in November and December was 54.  My average weekly mileage for August through October was 91.

I haven’t done any exercise this week.  I feel lazy.  I’ve been considering starting back on my push-up plan, but can’t seem to motivate myself.  I bought a pilates video months ago, and haven’t used it.

However, my weight is doing just fine.  I’m still eating well, and haven’t had beer in weeks.  I’ve been out to eat a few times, and was pretty proud that I didn’t over-indulge.  I will probably be solidly under 220 lbs before the year is over.

Dedication or Obsession?

This morning’s weigh-in was 221.2 lbs. That means I’ve lost 75.2 lbs.  I know that because I have a spreadsheet to track it all.

I drove to work today because we are under a winter storm warning.  I’ve been thinking about my bikes all day.  I know how often I have to ride to work to make my mileage goal for next year.

I can list off anything I’ve eaten in recent history, again because of my spreadsheet.

I’ve probably changed my perception of myself from “fat guy” to “weirdo on a bike who is OCD about tracking things in a spreadsheet”.  How far is too far?  More importantly, what comes next?

I will reach my goal weight sometime in 2009.  I know I have to maintain, but it won’t require as much work.  I will continue to ride a bike as much as possible (I want 5000 miles for next year).

What will be my next big goal?  I need to find something to achieve, or I will feel lost.  Maintaining the goal weight isn’t enough.  It’s got to be something different.

I have some other goals in mind.

  • Learn to ride a unicycle (next year)
  • Be car-free (three years away)
  • Either fix-up my house, or move (three years away)
  • Meet a woman crazy enough to like my lifestyle (never?)
  • Ride a several hundred mile multi-day tour (next year?)

Those are neat ideas, but it doesn’t solve what to focus on.

Mostly, I feel a little lost.  I think people that know me are tired of hearing about my weight loss or bike rides (blog readers don’t count… they just leave when they tire of it).  I really don’t have other things to talk about now.  My life has been consumed with these matters recently.

Weekly Average Weight for December 13, 2008

My average weight for the week ending 12/13/2008:
225.6 lbs

Down from last week:
4.0 lbs

Down since I started on 10/31/2007:
70.8 lbs

My average loss per 30 days since 10/31/2007:
5.19 lbs

Weight until goal:
50.6 lbs

I’m pretty pleased with the results.  This is the biggest per-week drop I’ve had in months.  My riding amount is down, but I have been controlling my eating better.

Coming Down Off of the Plateau

I’ve moaned a bit recently that my weight seems to have plateaued just under 230 lbs.  I appear to be past that now.  Over the last few days, it’s been dropping nicely.  My weight this morning was 224.2 lbs.  My (unofficial) weight this afternoon was 222.4 lbs.  I have less than 50 lbs to go!

This comes in the midst of me not riding enough.  My weekly mileage is down.  I rode a partial commute on Monday, and the full commute today.  So, I’ve ridden roughly 50 miles all week.

What I have been doing better this week is watching what I eat.  I have went out to eat several times for social occasions, but I found myself ordering water to drink, and eating a salad, or a vegetarian pasta dish.

The bike riding and other exercise is important to my long-term mental and physical health, but the eating habits are more important for the weight control.  That will continue to be true after I have reached my goal weight, and simply need to maintain it.

I tried out the shower at the new job today after riding into work with temperatures in the low 20s.  Apparently they only turn on the hot water heater when there is an event going on, so I got an ice cold shower.  It did still help rinse the road grime off.


Some of you know that I’ve been going through a divorce.  It’s been amicable, which is good for all us, especially my 17 year-old daughter.

I’ve actually remained friends with my wife throughout this.  The weirdest part was friends (and family) who wanted to take sides.  There were no sides.   Things just didn’t work anymore.

Yesterday I got the final papers in the mail.  The divorce is final.  The marriage has officially come to an end.  We were married for over 13 years.  I don’t regret any of it, but it was time to move on.

My divorce was unrelated to my weight loss, however, the overall life change intertwined a bit.  Here’s a rough timeline:

  • October 2007: My weight was nearly 300 lbs.  I got serious about weight loss, bought a scale, and started changing my eating habits.
  • November 2007: I bought an elliptical for exercise.  I started this blog to document my progress, and publicly humiliate myself to lose weight.
  • December 2007: My wife and I decided so split up, and continue on with our lives without each other.
  • January 2008: My weight dropped below 270 lbs.
  • February 2008: My wife found an apartment, and I helped her move.
  • March – April 2008: I struggled with my weight, depression, and loneliness.  I gave up consulting work for a full-time job.  I spent a bunch of money to feel better.  I bought new furniture and my first HDTV.
  • Late April 2008: I bought a bicycle.
  • May 2008: My weight dropped below 260 lbs.  I started commuting to work on my bicycle on an (ir)regular basis.
  • July 2008: I bought my recumbent bike.  I received some minor fame from WAVE3 TV.
  • August 2008: My weight dropped below 240 lbs.  My wife and I actually got around to filing for divorce.  I started considering a car-free existence in the future.
  • September 2008: I rode a 60 mile ride.
  • November 2008: I changed jobs to work with less stress.

Now it’s December.  I am glad the divorce is over, but my emotions over the whole thing are rather weird.

I truly enjoy my new job, but I do fear I won’t handle some of the bigger challenges I face there.

I haven’t been riding enough, and I’ve been eating too much too often.   I’m still losing weight, but at a slower rate.  I didn’t ride to work today as planned, but it was because I overslept (again).  I need to get better about that.

Monday Musings


I rode a partial-commute (12 mile round trip) today.  With my new winter gear, I was actually overdressed.  When I left work, I went with one layer less.  I was still overdressed.  I should have checked the weather forecast.

I also ran some errands here around town after I got home.  I park my bike in the grocery store now, but don’t walk around with it, and they seem to be okay with that.

I had a really good riding weekend, and I rode today.  The weather forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday doesn’t look so good, so I’m not riding.  I’ll get back on the bike on Thursday.


In my previous post, I talk about a future where I am car-free.  I got some comments about that.  It’s not easy, and it’s not for everyone.  I’m not sure it’s for me.  It is a long-term goal I want to work toward.  I probably will have to sell my house and move to make it work.  However, I’ll worry about that later.


While on my ride with Tim yesterday, he said that someone else said that blogging is a bit narcissistic.  I guess it can be.  However, I believe Tim and I share the view that writing about what we do (cycling for him, cycling and weight loss for me) is good for others that read the blog.

If I wouldn’t have found some of the other cycling blogs out there, I probably would have never taken my bike into the street.  I certainly wouldn’t have bought a recumbent.  A blog (even a silly one like this one) can inspire someone to change something in their life.

I do know that my posting frequency has gone way up.  However, I don’t think the quality of my writing has.  I’m taking a few days before I post again.  I will keep updating my weigh-in, and respond to comments.


My weight this morning was 225.8 lbs.  That’s the lowest yet.  It’s probably a temporary dip from yesterday’s ride, but I’ll take it.  I have been eating better over the last few days.  I even went out to eat at Panera Bread and was sane with what I ordered.  I’m cooking tonight.  I’m having a small piece of steak, and brussels sprouts.


My new job is much different than any I’ve had before.  It’s a neat atmosphere to work in.  I do have to dress better, but that’s easier now that I don’t weight 300 lbs.  I will have to be there at 5:30 Wednesday morning for a software roll-out, but that’s a rare thing.  My normal hours are 8:30ish to 5:30ish.

2000 Miles

I track my bike mileage weekly.  Back in August I reached a total of 1000 miles for the year.  Today, the total is 2001.4 miles.

I’ll still get some more miles for the year, but I doubt it’ll be more than 300 or so.  It could be quite a bit less depending on weather.

I have set a difficult goal for next year.  I want to ride 5000 miles for the year.  I know there is a good chance I won’t make the goal, but that is what I will try for.  In addition, I want to try to drive less than 3500 miles to wean myself off of needing a car.

Another Weekend Ride

Today is what yesterday was supposed to be.

I went on a 35-mile ride with temperatures in the mid-20s.  This time, I didn’t go alone.  Tim joined me for the ride.  He lives in Louisville, and enjoys finding new areas to ride.  I enjoyed the company.  I promised to ride with him on his turf sometime.

I rode my recumbent, and he rode his beautiful and well used Bleriot.  It was a slow-paced ride.  He appears to be a stronger rider than me, but neither of us wants to race.

Most of yesterday’s snow and ice has cleared from the road, but there were still some slick patches.

Tim has blogged about the ride, and included a good picture of me, and both bikes.


Weekly Average Weight for December 6, 2008

My average weight for the week ending 12/6/2008:
229.6 lbs

Down from last week:
0.7 lbs

Down since I started on 10/31/2007:
66.8 lbs

My average loss per 30 days since 10/31/2007:
4.99 lbs

Weight until goal:
54.6 lbs

Okay, things are heading in the right direction again.  I’m eating better, riding more, and exercising more.  I don’t have much weight loss this week to show for it, but at least it’s not up again.

I may be stuck at another plateau.  It’s happened before.  From mid-April to early July my weight hovered around 260 lbs.  I was able to start the weight loss again, and I will this time too.

Cold Weather Riding

The Idea

I want to be able to ride my bike, no matter what temperatures we get here in southern Indiana.  I’m not looking into biking much when the roads are ice, but that’s a rarity around here.

The Gear

I wore some inexpensive padded cycling tights, and a long-sleeved compression shirt as my first layer.  I wore a pair of thin SmartWool socks.

My second layer was non-padded tights, and a second long-sleeved compression shirt.  This one had a collar to help keep my neck warm.  I put plastic grocery bags over my socks, then a thick pair of wool socks over the bags.

Warm and visible
Warm and visible

My third layer consisted of jeans and a leather jacket.  I wear a safety vest over the jacket.

I put a thin balaclava over my head, and a beanie over that.  I wore my cycling shoes, put ski goggles over my glasses, and put on my helmet.  I’m sure I looked goofy, but I was warm.

The Rides

I rode my recumbent late last night for about four miles.  It mostly just a trial run around town, to make sure I didn’t freeze.  I was plenty warm, but I did have a minor issue with my glasses fogging up inside the goggles.  It was about 15 degrees.

Early this afternoon, I again rode the recumbent,  but the temperature was about 25, and there was a little snow on some of the roads.  I wore the same exact clothing, and would have overheated if I had pushed too hard.  My ride started out in the country, did 11 miles on back roads with rolling hills.  I had to walk one icy hill.  I then rode back into town, and ran a few errands.  My total ride was about 14 miles.

What Now?

I’m planning a 30-mile ride for tomorrow.  It’s short enough I know I can do it.  I’m supposed to have another cyclist meet me for the ride.

I’m more comfortable with my new gear.  I’ll be more willing to commute on the bicycle in cold weather.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t do a lot for rain.  I do have a rain jacket, but my rain pants lasted one ride before ripping.  Next week is supposed to be rainy.