Weekend Ride #2

I stated in a comment earlier that I was having trouble dragging myself out of the house.  I was, but finally did, and went on another 18-mile ride.

I took a different route this time.  The wind was much lighter than yesterday, but the hills kicked my butt.


There were a lot of dogs running free.  Only one of them looked like he would bite, and he chased me for about 100 feet at 20 MPH.  He apparently tired of the chase after that.

There were a couple of nice downhill runs, one of which I hit 40 MPH.  There were uphill sections that I slogged up at 6 MPH.

As I got back into town, I ran into the one stupid driver of the day.  A middle-aged woman in a minivan had to go around me in a 30 MPH zone, as I was coming up to a stop sign at 20 MPH.  She realized while going around that she didn’t have room to cut in front of me, so she blew the sign.  If she would have waited behind me, it would have made about a 2 second difference.



I haven’t eaten meat in a week now.  My protein has come from beans, peanut butter, and Kashi GoLean Crunch.  I like beans, but while grocery shopping yesterday, I decided two days worth of meat would be a good idea.  I bought a package with two small steaks.

My first almost-meatless week was due to not having much money for groceries.  The second week was totally meat-free, and was just done for the hell of it.  I have no intention of being a vegetarian.  I guess I’ll be meat-light.  🙂

About seven years ago, I had a short-lived weight loss attempt that involved only eating meat once a week.  I don’t really know how much I lost, as I didn’t own a scale, but I think I did lose a little weight.

Oddly enough, the month or so that I went without meat seemed to cure my heartburn problems for several years.  My new lifestyle has since eliminated the heartburn problems again.

The picture below was taken in May of 2002, around the same time in my life that I went vegetarian for a month.  I didn’t do the other things that were required to make any weight loss “stick”.

Warm, Windy, Melty Ride

With temperatures nearing 60, I wasn’t going to let a great riding opportunity pass me by.

I gave Oria a quick tune-up, put the clipless pedals back on, and headed out on the route below.  I had considered a longer route, but I was unsure how I would handle the wind.

The warmer temperatures are causing a fairly rapid melting of the snow and ice.  There were many places where water was flowing across the road.  The fenders on the bike kept the spray away from me.







After getting back home, I cleaned the mud off the bike, and learned how to properly adjust disc brakes.

I also removed the wheels, and showered just the wheels off in the tub.  I also degreased the cassette, and relubed everything.  Yep, today was a bike day.

I’ve also decided to get new wheels built for Nermal.  Nermal was originally a pretty low-end bike.  The real problem I’ve had is that the rear wheel is a seven-speed freehub.  A cassette system would be more durable, but seven-speed cassette parts are obsolete.  Moving up to a eight or nine-speed cassette would require even more money to swap out the entire drivetrain.

I found, and bought a used seven-speed cassette, Shimano Deore XT hub with cassete on Ebay.  I got both front and rear hub for a decent price.  I’ll have new wheels built around that.  Overall, it will cost more than I originally paid for the bike, but I honestly feel that it is worth it.


I’m No Longer Obese!

When I became aware that I was obese rather than “just a little heavy”, it was a bit of a blow to my self-image.  It took me a couple of years to come to terms with it, and was part of the reason for my lifestyle changes.

Obesity is defined as having a BMI of greater than 30.  Mine was over 40 when I started this.  I was “extremely obese” according to the linked chart.

My last two weekly average weights bring my weight down into the simply “overweight” category, meaning my BMI is just below 30.  When I reach my goal weight of 175 lbs, I will be in the upper end of the “normal” category.

I realize that BMI is not something that can be relied upon.  Everyone’s body is different.  Someone with enough muscle mass could be considered obese based up weight and height.  BMI is more of a statistical tool.

The recent changes in my body are striking.  I can see the veins popping up in my arms when I work out now.  They were buried in fat for years.  My legs are much more muscular, yet thinner at the same time.  Some would say I have chicken legs.  🙂

My gut is still the biggest problem, but it is substantially smaller than it was a year ago.

At the rate I’ve been going, I will be very close to my goal weight for The Ride to Conquer Cancer in September.

Weekly Average Weight for February 7, 2009

My average weight for the week ending 2/7/2009:
211.8 lbs

Down from last week:
1.5 lbs

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

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

Weight until goal:
36.8 lbs

California in 1986

I was born in California, but left when I was still a baby.  We went back for the first time when I was 15.  When this picture was taken, I was in very good physical condition, and had the blood pressure of an athlete.  My brother had started working on growing his gut already.  🙂

A Great Finish For the Workweek

Today’s weather was better than expected.  The ride in was a little cold, but I felt good riding the recumbent.

The ride home was nearly 60 degrees.  I had zero rude drivers today.  I’m not sure how that happened, but I’ll take it when I can get it.

The only issues I had on the commute were minor mechanical things.  I need to adjust the rear brake, and my bicycle computer quit working for 3.5 miles on the way home after running through a puddle.  I’m going to take a good look at the sensor, and seal it with silicone if necessary.

The weather for this weekend looks really nice, with a chance of rain.  I intend to ride a lot on both Saturday and Sunday.

Next week will start out warm, but with a greater chance of rain.  I did go ahead and order a rain cape, but I’m not sure when it’ll arrive.

My weight has been slowly trending downward pretty consistently.  I’ve been eating well, and have been on a vegetarian diet all week (mostly to save money).  I’ve eaten a lot of beans for dinner, and peanut butter sandwiches and bananas for lunch.

Warmer Weather on the Way?

This year has been brutal for bicycling.  Between ice storms, snow storms, and really cold temperatures, I’ve been in my car much more than I intended.

My January bike mileage was poor.  February is off to a bad start.

There is hope.  It’s supposed to substantially warmer tomorrow.  This weekend looks incredible except for a chance of rain.  Next week will be warm with a chance of rain and thunderstorms.  Was the groundhog wrong?  I hope so!

I intend to ride Oria to work tomorrow.  I’ve had an issue getting up on time this week, so feel free to call me at 5:00 a.m.  Yep, I’ll take calls from random strangers and friends alike.  I probably won’t say much other than “I”m up!”.  You could do your part to make sure I ride tomorrow.  My phone number is on the contact info page.

Now, I need a rain cape for next week and I’ll be good to go.

Help From Friends and Acquaintances

When I was without power for several days last week, Nick let me take refuge at his house.  On Saturday, Tom let me borrow a hand saw to clear downed limbs from my driveway.  On Sunday, Kris brought a chainsaw over, and helped me clear the bigger limbs.  Today, Tom helped out with a wheel bearing issue on Nermal.

I’ve lived in the area for eight years, but being divorced, and having no family in the area, I had been feeling rather alone.  I think events of the last couple of weeks have fixed that.  Thanks guys!

The Ride to Conquer Cancer

I’ve made the decision to participate in The Ride to Conquer Cancer.  I haven’t yet signed up, but I will soon, and provide a link to donate.  I must raise a minimum of $2500 to participate.

The ride is a two-day event where the course takes you from Louisville to Lexington.  You camp in Lexington, and head back the next day.  It’s roughly 150 miles round trip.

Norton Cancer Institute uses the money to treat cancer patients in the area.  I have lost a good friend to cancer, so this one is for you Mike.

The event is in September, so I’ve got time to get in better shape.


I did a lot of physical work over the weekend.  I used a hand-saw on Saturday to clean up tree limbs.  A friend came over on Sunday with a chainsaw, and I carried heavier limbs.  I also took my bike for a short errand ride to the post office and grocery store.

Last night, I cleaned Nermal’s drivetrain.  I took it as far as removing the chain, and soaking it in a degreaser.  I didn’t have a spare pin for the chain, so I just re-used the old one.  It seems to make a stiff link, so I’ll probably have to replace the chain soon.  Oh well, live and learn.

I was still pretty sore from the weekend this morning, and I don’t fully trust the chain on Nermal now, so I drove to Jeffersonville, and rode the rest of the way to work.

On the ride back to my car, I broke a spoke on my rear wheel.  The chain is still working fine though.

It’s been a long time since I broke a spoke.  That bike has had problems with that in the past, but I replaced the rear wheel, and that solved it, until now.

I’m pretty tight financially right now, so I can’t fix the bike.  To ride the other bike to work means riding the entire distance, and there is snow in the forecast, so I might be done riding for the week.

All of this just made me angry.  Then I get home, start browsing, and find this:

I had heard about this a few days ago, and forgot about it.  I read this today, then read the reader comments.  Now I am angry that I am part of the human race.  Luckily, most of these people that talk shit would never do anything stupid, but there are just enough that will to piss me off.

Feeling this way makes me want to overeat.  I think I’ll sleep instead.

Food for Thought

I ran across this gem on YouTube today.  I vaguely remember this cartoon from when I was young, but had completely forgotten it.  It’s also amazing that this cartoon is from 1950.

I’m not saying we need to stop people from driving cars.  I believe we need to change peoples’ attitudes about driving.

Would my 35 MPH speed limit idea help?