Re-Thinking Some Goals

Every once in a while it’s good to look at goals, and revise them.  I think it’s time for that again.  This is the third set of goals since I started this blog, and my lifestyle change.

  • Goal weight will remain at 175 lbs (for now).  I hope to reach that goal by the end of August.
  • Ride a century this year (100 miles in one day).
  • Raise $3200 for The Ride to Conquer Cancer, and complete the entire ride under my own power.
  • Learn to ride my new unicycle, and complete a ten-mile ride on it by June 2010.
  • Juggling?
  • Ride to work more often.  I had hoped to average 3 days per week, but I’m not even managing that right now.
  • Ride to work five days a week at least 3 weeks per year.
  • Increase my average speed on the bicycle a little bit.
  • Learn to kayak this year.
  • Get a rod, reel, and fishing license, and spend some time relaxing and fishing.
  • Find new fitness activities.
  • I had made a goal to live-car free.  I think I’m giving that up.  I do want to drive less, but realities of the modern world make this a very unpopular choice.
  • Ride 5000 miles this year.  I’m way behind on this so far.  I’m two months into the year, and I’ve only ridden 541 miles.
  • Get better about riding in cold rain.  I often use this as an excuse not to ride to work, but I have the gear to do so.
  • I had planned to try to drive less than 3500 miles per year.  I’m giving up on this also.
  • Ride in a roller coaster this year.  I’ll actually fit now.
  • Go skydiving in the summer of 2010.
  • I want to be a better cook.
  • I want to find a wonderful woman to enjoy these activities with.

What I’ve achieved

  • I’m no longer obese.  My weight is hovering just above 200 lbs.
  • My blood pressure and resting pulse rate are low.
  • I am physically stronger than I’ve been in years.
  • My pants size dropped from a 44 to a 36.
  • I feel better about who I am, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
  • Others have been inspired others to improve their lives.
  • I am more confident in all aspects of my life.
  • I am usually much more upbeat, happy, and optimistic than I used to be.

What I’ve learned I still need to work on

  • Occasionally, depression still gets the better of me.
  • I’m still lazy by nature, and have to fight this every day.
  • The “I want it now” mentality is still hiding back there, and surfaces occasionally.
  • I am still somewhat self-centered.  I don’t think having a blog helps in that matter.
  • The depression and “I want it now” mentality sometimes team up to hurt my financial state.  I need to get better about that.

If you think I’m going off-topic… I’m not.  What started as a weight-loss effort has turned into a complete transformation of who I am.

A New Obsession

I have a new obsession.  I had been planning on learning to ride a unicycle this year.  Now I can get started.  I just bought this a few hours ago.  It’s just an inexpensive unicycle with a 24″ wheel.

I’ve fallen twice already with no injury, and stepped off of it to avoid falling more times than I can count.  The farthest I’ve traveled so far would be measured in inches.

It’s going to take time to master this thing.

Weekly Average Weight for February 28, 2009 and Monthly Recap


My average weight for the week ending 2/28/2009:
206.1 lbs

Down from last week:
0.6 lbs

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

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

Weight until goal:
31.1 lbs


My monthly average weight for February is 208.2 lbs.  That’s 8.3 lbs down from January, and 88.2 lbs down from the beginning.  I really did well in the first part of February, but slacked off a little in the last week and a half.


My body is changing in different ways.  The fat is coming off of my midsection faster now.  That’s nice, as I’ve heard that losing the belly fat is the hardest.  As the progress pictures show, it definitely happening.

In October 2007, I was wearing pants with a 44-inch waist.  They were getting too tight.  In November 2008, I bought new clothes for work.  The pants were a 40-inch waist.  So over 60 lbs loss meant a 4-inch waist difference.  Now, less than 30 lbs later, my new jeans are a 36-inch waist, and they are not tight.  I will probably be buying 32-inch waist jeans this year.

When I hit my goal weight of 175, and I’m wearing 32-inch waist pants… That’ll be about the same as my senior year of high school.  That just floors me.

Happy, but No Riding

I haven’t ridden a bike since Monday.  I was going to yesterday, but I had a date after work.  I’m not going to chronicle my love life here (or lack of it), but I had a good reason for not riding.  A first date is probably not ideal for showing up in cycling gear, drenched in sweat.  I’ll save that for the second date  🙂 — If there is one.

This morning, I can hear the wind howling outside.  Not ideal weather for a ride.  I also woke up late.  Apparently I had a brief power outage overnight, and my alarm clock didn’t go off.  The alarm on my cell phone did go off, but it took it almost 2 hours to wake me up.

I’m happy and in a good mood despite these setbacks, mostly because new possibilities seem to have opened up.

Pulling Out of the Mental Funk

I’ve been in a “mental funk” since Monday night.  I initially thought it was food, but now I think it’s more complicated than that.

Anyway, I feel better now.  I haven’t ridden my bike since Monday, but I will tomorrow.  The weather forecast is calling for a chance of rain, so maybe I’ll get wet.  Big deal.

I’m just a couple hours away from seeing The Pink Floyd Experience.  I almost skipped going, even though I already bought the ticket, but my improved mood has helped.  The last thing I need to do is hide at home all the time.

It Was a Beautiful Day for a Ride

… but I drove.  I woke up in a foul mood.  I woke up at 5:00, but reset my alarm clock for 6:00.  Nermal had a flat tire. I could have rode Oria, but I just wasn’t in the mood.  Now, I’m at work, and I really wish I had gotten up at 5:00, and rode to work.

I ate Girl Scout Cookies for breakfast.  At least those things are gone now.  I now know not to ever buy them again.  I apologize to the Girl Scouts, but my problems with food are not solved.

Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer,  but with a good chance of rain.  I may ride anyway.  I may even ride Nermal the entire distance.  I will fix the flat tire tonight.

I did do some dumbbell workout routines last night, and this morning, so my chest and arms feel a little weird.  They’re not really painful, just weird.

The Car Won

I really had planned on riding to work again today, but the allure of the car won.  The heated beast with a radio has preyed on my weaknesses.

In reality, my legs hurt and I feel “blah” from my sugar consumption yesterday.  I know the best thing to do would be to ride anyway, but my ability to do so seems so far away.

Liquid Crack

As an addendum to my earlier post… Ohmygod they gotta outlaw soft drinks!

I had a soft drink with my fast food.  I drink the stuff so rarely these days… and now I want another, in a deranged kinda way.  I actually considered getting dressed and riding down to the gas station to buy some more.

That said, I’m going to go to bed and curl up in the fetal position.

Full Commute, and a Whole Lotta Food

I’ve mentioned the my success seems to be caused by hard work and occasional screw-ups.  I really think the screw-ups are necessary.

Today, I rode into work in 16 degree temperatures.  It was a bit below my comfort level, but I managed it.  Other than the temperature, it was a great ride.

I ate a large lunch at work, and a snack.  The ride home was warmer, but I felt famished.  I stopped and bought some fast food on the way home.  That was the magic screw-up that was needed.  I felt a ton better, and continued the ride home.

I don’t feel so good now that I’ve totalled my calories for the day.  I ate over 3000 calories.  I intend to ride tomorrow also, but the two boxes of Girl Scout Cookies I ordered should be in tomorrow.  Two screw-ups in two days might be too many.

On the subject of trying to ride when hungry, I found Paul Cooley blogging about fasting and riding with his kids.  I dunno, I would probably pass out if I tried something like that.

The Bike Shop Loves Me

Yesterday’s RCCS ride killed my rear wheel.  Okay, I did it hitting a pothole.  It’s a low-quality wheel, and I’m still over 200 lbs, and I shouldn’t be riding through potholes.

Anyway, Schellers is open on Sundays, so I drove there.  They are one of the more expensive places to get things fixed, but they’ve always treated me well.

While I was waiting on my wheel, I bought some more chain lube, another spare tube, an Incredibell, and a bar-end mirror.  I have a helmet mirror, but I wanted to give this mirror a chance.

So my quick trip to Schellers cost me over $60.  So much for reeling in my spending.  🙂


RCCS Ride #2

I had reservations about this months RCCS ride.  The weather forecast was calling for wind, rain, and snow, with possible accumulation.  Well, the weather forecast was right, but it was a great time.

Four of us were there.  Tim, Dale, Rich (Rick? – not sure, sorry), and myself.

We started at Sunergos Coffee on Preston St.  At this point it was windy, and there were times we had a hard time pushing through the wind… other than Dale… he’s a monster.

On the way to our first stop the rain began.  It was a cold rain that would sting slightly when it hit exposed skin.  Luckily, I had very little exposed skin.

Our first stop was Rich O’s in New Albany for a good beer, and to warm up.  While at Rich O’s, the rain had turned to snow.  It was wet, sticky snow, but it was better than the rain.  The temperature had dropped, so I switched to my warmer gloves, and put on my balaclava.


We traveled back through New Albany and Clarksville, and were heading across the bridge.  Tim is great at choosing moments to take pictures, so we pulled off on to the sidewalk while he grabbed a picture of the downtown skyline disappearing into the snowy haze.

We went to BBC for hot food, and cold beer.  Then continued on to Cumberland Brews in the Highlands for another snack, and a beer.


It was a great ride overall.  I left my camera at home, so I stole these from Tim.  Dale had a camera too, but I don’t have those pictures yet.

By the time I got back to my car, the precipitation had stopped.  There was a light accumulation of snow on the grassy areas, and on my car, but the roads were fine.

I completely blew my calorie budget for the day, even considering the calories burned by the ride.  I don’t care, it was completely worth it.

Weekly Average Weight for February 21, 2009

My average weight for the week ending 2/21/2009:
206.7 lbs

Down from last week:
1.5 lbs

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

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

Weight until goal:
31.7 lbs

My loss per week seems to be about average at 1.5 lbs.  All of my weekly weight reports beginning in June 2008, with the loss per week averaged out come to 1.5 lbs.  I expect the same trend to continue.  If it does, I expect to be at my goal weight before the end of July.

No Riding Today

I’m not riding today.  I’ve been slightly sleep-deprived recently due to riding time, fundraising for RTCC, and other more mundane things I need to do.

I slept in a little later today, and I’ll be driving to work. I haven’t even been on my bike for that many miles this week.  I haven’t checked the computers on the bikes, but I’m pretty sure it’s less than 50 miles.

I am participating in a 30-mile River City Cycling Society ride tomorrow, so I need a little break, and a good night of sleep first.

I’m considering organizing some small group rides for training for the RTCC.  I would concentrate on Southern Indiana people, and have rides from my house here in Charlestown.  There are some beautiful country roads just a few minutes away by bike.  I’ll probably ask around, and try to get something set up for the 28th or 29th.

Ride To Conquer Cancer Orientation

I attended the orientation for The Ride to Conquer Cancer (RTCC from now on).

There were few serious cyclists at the orientation that I attended.  If these people raise the necessary donations, and complete the ride, that will be huge for them.

I did find out that the course will be open for twelve hours each day, so even at a slow pace under 10 mph, the ride can be completed without having to hauled in one of the support vehicles.  That was good for me to hear, as my goal is to ride the entire distance, and I’m not fast.

People there were split about there worries.  Some worried more about getting the necessary $2500 in donations, others were more worried about riding 150 miles in two days.  I talk to a young lady who wanted to attempt this ride with her mother, but neither had ridden a bike in years, and they were a bit unsure how to shift a bike with a bunch of gears.

I tried to give some helpful advice, but the best advice is to ride.  You’ll figure out the shifting as you go.  You’ll gain practice, and strenght.  You have until September, It’s time to get busy.

I’ve added a link in the sidebar to my personal page on the RTCC site, and I still need donations myself.  Please think about the number of people that could be helped by Norton Cancer Center.

I rode my bike part of the way to work today.  I rode from work to the orientation.  I believe I was the only person (other than one of the event organizers) who rode a there today.  Of course, most people don’t like riding in February.  🙂

Bicycle Commuting and Work Emergencies

I borked the server at work.  Right before leaving.  I didn’t realize it.

My boss got a call about the problem, and tried to call me.  I didn’t hear my phone in my trunk bag over the traffic noise.

Luckily, I only rode a partial commute today, so 20 minutes later, I was at my car, and noticed the missed call and voicemail.  A quick call back to work determined that the best course of action was to continue home, then fix the issue remotely.

If I had ridden the entire distance (which I considered this morning), it would have been an additonal hour of downtime, at least.

How do other bicycle commuters handle this?  Especially if you have a longer commute like mine?


I weighed in this morning at 205.2 lbs.  I’ve now lost more than 91 lbs.  That’s not just water loss from riding yesterday, as I drank about half a gallon of water last night.

I didn’t ride today though.  I woke up late, and my legs feel like jello.  I really pushed myself on yesterday’s ride trying to get faster.

I’ve found that I can pedal the “correct” way with the clipless pedals, and get an amazing amount of power going, but only for a minute or so.  If I do that too many times (like yesterday) I’m sore for a while.

I guess it’s going to take a lot more work to get faster.


Wanting something better in life is a good thing, unless that is all you ever do.  Constantly wanting the next goal means you never enjoy the now.

Enjoy the now, they are around for a limited time only.

Off to a Good Start

For me, the hardest part of riding to work is just getting out the door.  I had to do it twice today.

I convined myself to ride, and got about 1/4 of a mile away, and realized I wasn’t wearing my helmet.  I went back and got it.  I considered driving at that point.  I was on my way again.

About 5 miles into the ride I realized I forgot my reflective vest.  Oh well, I can go without it for one day.

It was also  a bit colder than I had planned for.  I was only wearing one pair of socks and my cycling shoes, so I had froez toez by the time I arrived at work.  🙂

Overall it was a good ride, traffic was light and polite.  I watched the sun come up as the half-moon was above in the beautiful clear sky above.

Short Ride, and Clothes That Fit!

I really wanted to do a lot of riding this weekend.  It didn’t happen.  I went on one 13.8 mile ride today, and that’s it.  I just didn’t have the energy.  It’s a bit colder than I really wanted to ride in, but not so cold as to make it miserable.  I tried some sprinting uphill runs for practice, but my clipless pedals weren’t adjusted properly, and the cleats kept pulling out.  I guess I need to adjust that.

I have my new clothes that actually fit now.  I took a picture of myself, and if you look closely, you’ll notice that I still need a smaller belt.  🙂

I’ve gone through another transformation recently.  My previous transformation was just the realization that I wasn’t going to be fat forever.  That I would reach my goal weight.

This new transformation is me realizing that I’m not a “fat guy” anymore.  I don’t feel fat anymore.  I still have a few pounds to lose, but I’m nearly at my goal.

I Need Your Help

As I mentioned earlier in the month, I intend to ride The Ride to Conquer Cancer.  It’s now official, I have signed up.

I riding in memory of Mike Vogel.  Mike was a good friend and a bit of a father figure for me. He passed away on 12/2/2006 after a battle with cancer.  I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t met Mike in 1989.

If you could please donate to help this cause, and allow me to participate in the ride, I would be extremely grateful.

Go here to donate.

New Pants

I kept putting off buying new jeans.  I wanted to wait until I knew I could wear a size 38 comfortably.  I didn’t want to go with “relaxed fit” either.

I guess I waited too long.  I tried on a few sizes, and a size 36 fit perfectly.  I bought three pair on sale, and will get ride of the larger ones I have.

I’ve heard that the last few pounds are the hardest to lose.  I feel like I’m in that home-stretch.  I only have 33 more to lose.  However, the weather is getting nicer, I’ll be on my bike much more, and I really do see hitting my goal weight of 175 by late August.

Weekly Average Weight for February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day everyone!  I hope you’re doing something nice for someone you love.

My average weight for the week ending 2/14/2009:
208.2 lbs

Down from last week:
3.6 lbs

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

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

Weight until goal:
33.2 lbs

I should be under 200 sometime in March or April.  My goal weight used to be 200 lbs, so this really feels good.  I’m within striking distance of my 175 lb goal.

This picture is from September 2003.  I was unconsciously eating when I didn’t need to.  I did that a lot then.

One Full Commute for the Week

I rode Oria to work and back today.  The ride into work was in “training” mode.  I pushed harder to go fast.  I don’t normally like to ride that way, but I have several longer rides I want to do this year, and I need to get my average speed up before I do them.

When I got to the Second Street Bridge (nearly done with the ride to work), my average speed was 15.0 mph.  It went down from there as traffic was backed up across the bridge.  The ride home was slower, at about 13.4 mph.

This was the only the day this week that I rode the entire commute.  I need to ride more often, not just for my fitness, but to save money on gas and parking.

I’m probably going to drive to Bluegrass Bicycle tomorrow morning, and check them out.  I’ve never been there.  It’s a bit far for a ride however.

Yesterday I met up with Dennis Sheridan at Molly Malone’s Irish Pub.  We have worked together in the past, and I figured it was time to hang out a little with him.  I didn’t ride yesterday, and he’s not really a cyclist, but he decided to surprise me by showing up on a bike.  It was amusing.

I ate too much, and drank too much beer, so my calorie count for the day was off the chart.  I had a good time, but the corned beef and cabbage and beer made for some weird smells today.  🙂

More Wind

Yesterday’s weather forecast was calling for strong wind and possible thunderstorms.  I didn’t want to ride the entire distance to work in a headwind, so I drove to Jeffersonville, and rode across the bridge.

The headwind was strong, but for such a short ride it wasn’t a big deal.  I had to ride back across the bridge and back at lunch time.  The northbound trip was fast and fun with the tailwind.

At the end of the day, the wind was stronger.  It was a tailwind, but it was strong enough to be frightening.  I could accelerate easily without pedaling.  While stopped at a light behind a truck, I watched the wind yank a plastic vent off of the truck.  I was a bit worried the guy driving the truck would think I did something.

I managed four bridge-crossings with barely any rain while I was out.  That worked out well.

What didn’t work out well, is I came home to a house with no power again.  Apparently the wind took some power lines down somewhere.

It was reasonably warm, so I stayed home in my dark house.  I cooked on the grill, and went to bed early.

I still didn’t have power this morning, and didn’t ride as the wind was still howling quite a bit when I got up at 5:00 a.m.

I haven’t been riding as much as I would like, but my weight loss is still progressing nicely.  Today’s weigh-in was 207 lbs.  I have lost 89.4 lbs.

Sick Day

It was perfect weather for a bicycle commute, and I was home sick.  I’ve only stepped outside to get  the mail, and take the dogs in and out.  Blah.

There is still going to be some nice warm weather for commuting, but I’ll probably get wet.