A “Stay at Home” Weekend

I haven’t left the house yet this weekend.  I will later today for some grocery shopping, but I’m driving rather than taking the bike.  I have a lot to buy.

I’m also spending much of the weekend doing this that I’ve been putting off too long.  The house is a mess.  I have a lot to do.

I plan on commuting to work by bike as much as possible this next week.  Not only does it help me lose weight, but it clears my head.  I may have to take a day off to drive to my brother’s funeral, but that’s not been completely decided yet.

I am working on learning, and eating, the paleodiet that I mentioned before.  I think I’m going to end up doing a modified version of it, getting a few carbs here and there from potatoes.  I’m avoiding nearly all grain products.  The worst part is that I’ve given up beer.  Not to say I won’t have one beer on a rare occasion, but it’s no longer a regular thing for me.

One of the advantages of this diet, is that I don’t have to measure and track calories.  I have found that I occasionally binge on too much meat, but I don’t think it’ll be a problem.  Most people who follow the paleodiet don’t eat dairy products.  I still haven’t given up on my cheese though.  🙂

My weight is slowly trending downward again.  It could take me a while to get below 200 lbs again though.  This time, I don’t ever want to get back above 200 lbs.  I need to be healthier.  I need to eat better.  I need to exercise more.

Rest in Peace Michael

I went to bed early tonight, but was woken by a call from my brother’s wife, Sondra.  I’ve only met Sondra a couple of times.  My brother and I have not been close in years. My brother, Michael Crowell, passed away today.

Michael in 2004

Michael was my little brother.  As we grew, that phrase became comical, as he got much bigger than I, in both height and weight.  We fought a lot, as brothers do, but mostly we just grew apart as we took very different paths in life.

His path led him to drugs and run-ins with the law.  He had recently gone clean due to health issues, and his new wife, Sondra, pushing him to clean up his act.

The two of them were homeless recently, but were staying with her family in Rochester Indiana.  I had no idea he was even in the area.

He had a seizure, and never came out of it.  Sondra called me, obviously shaken.  She doesn’t know how to handle the arrangements, neither do I.  As I write this, his body is in a hospital in Rochester.  I hope his spirit, soul, or whatever it is that makes us human is at peace.

Michael and I in 1986.

Dietary Indecision

When I lost most of my weight is was with a low-calorie diet.  I had to track everything I ate.  I’ve had more problems doing that now with much more going on in my life.  I’m busier, and more likely to “grab and go” rather than think, eat, and write it down.  This has led to some weight gain.

I did some reading and found the paleodiet.  It certainly sounds good.  It would mean I don’t need to track calories.  I can eat a lot of good food.  This diet may actually work, but apparently not for me.

My problem is carb-cravings.  I’ll do well for a few days then I’ll binge on high-carb food.  One of the main points of the paleodiet is to avoid the carbs.  I seem to have issues doing so.

So now I’m faced with a new decision.  Do I:

  1. Work harder on the paleodiet, and control my eating?
  2. Start tracking everything I eat and control my eating?

Either way, it appears I need more self control.  Self control isn’t fun.  Why can’t it be easy?


Oh, it isn’t about exercise.  I get a lot of exercise these days.  I’m a bit bummed out that I’m not riding my bike to work tomorrow, but I really don’t want to get stuck there with snow on the ground.  My wife is out of town until at least the end of March, so she can’t pick me up if weather gets bad.

Saturday Morning Ride

I have a lot of housework to do this weekend, and was considering not going for much of a ride. Having a new bike really makes me want to ride, but I figured I should do something more productive.

LHT Overlook

I got a text message from Tim asking if I’d like to squeeze in a ride this weekend. I call him, and we planned for this morning.

The temperature started out at about 40F. I tend to overdress, so I opted to go without a jacket. I wore a new jersey that my wife got me with a compression shirt under it. I wore cycling tights, wool socks, and my cycling shoes. I finished it off with a hat under my helmet and leather gloves.

LHT and Bleriot

I was worried I get cold, or that it would start raining, so I used bungee straps to tie my jacket and reflective vest to the front rack. I never needed those.

Tim came to my house with his Rivendell Bleriot. It’s a beautiful bike, but too small for me.

Our route took us out Tunnel Mill Road through rolling hills until the steep descent into the Fourteen Mile Creek bed. Then the steep climb out made me thankful for the low gears available on my new LHT.

Standing at the precipice

We then turned on Marion Martin Rd. I used to live out on that road, and I knew there would be a beautiful view of Fourteen Mile Creek and a small waterfall. We stopped for a few pictures before continuing up through New Market then to New Washington for a store stop.

Waterfall below

The ride from New Washington to Marysville was remarkably flat. We had kept up a good pace for most of the ride so far, but we were running out of steam.

Our flat riding continued to Otisco where we had another store stop, and I ate some chicken strips.

New bike, old bridge

We took Leon Prall Road out of Otisco and into hillier terrain. We were in very familiar terrain now. Tim and I had ridden these roads quite a few times, though usually in the opposite direction. It was along here somewhere that our climbing ability faltered, and we would crawl up the hills at 4-5 mph.

Old barn

It was a pretty straightforward ride back home with only one big climb along the way. We finished up at around 38 miles, but that number is just an estimate. Tim and I both need to do a roll-out calibration on our computers.

Gate to nowhere
Southern Indiana field in January
My old tree friend and LHT

First Commute on the New Bike

I rode my Surly Long Haul Trucker to work today.  The bike now has fenders, front and rear rack, and a computer installed.

I picked up the bike last night and was itching to ride it today.  My panniers wouldn’t easily mount on the rear rack, so I put them on the front rack.  My trunk bag would block my tail light, so I also put that on the front rack.  The bike did handle differently with the weight on the front, but it was still very stable.

I stayed up entirely too late last night, but was excited enough to get up and ride to work today.  Now I’m looking forward to the ride home this afternoon.

I’m still trying to come up with a name for the new bike.

Busy Sunday

Wow, today has been a whirlwind.  I started the day with a rainy but pleasant RCCS ride.  Turnout for the ride wasn’t great, but the weather had something to do with that.  After putting about 27 miles on my new LHT and enjoying good coffee from several establishments, I had to high-tail it home.

After changing out of my soggy clothes, and taking a hot shower to warm up, I drove to Bluegrass Bicycle to attend another session of the Park Tool School.  I’ve been a lousy bike mechanic, and I’m hoping to improve that.  Today, among other things, we changed a brake cable.

Once I got home, I spent several hours working on my daughter’s bike.  I replaced the rear brake cable, trued the wheels, fixed the fender alignment, installed a new rack, and raised the handlebars.

I can see that I’m going to spend money on tools to work on bikes now, but I will eventually save money.

30 Miles

I figured a 35-mile ride with the SIW would be a good way to spend some time on a Saturday.  The ride started in Sellersburg, so I figured I’d ad another 15 miles by riding to and from the ride.

I rode to Sellersburg, and met up with the other riders.  I had only ever met one of them before.  For the first few miles I kept up with the fast group.  I started losing ground on them, then rode alone.  I was going to finish the ride, but I was hungry, so I turned for home.  I got in a total of 30 miles, and I really feel like I put the new bike through it’s paces.

The ride seemed to turn out similar to my first group ride, which was with the SIW also.

Ignore the ugly, horribly mounted rack in the picture.  I borrowed that one (spray painted!) from my daughter’s bike until I get my new rack.



A Fling With The Mistress

I picked up my new bike today.  Riding a new bike is much like being with a new woman.  I’m still learning exactly how she handles, but I’m excited, and want to spend as much time with her as I can.

I took a bus from work to the bike shop to pick her up, so I could ride her back to work.  I rode with my daughter to go out for pizza (and beer for me).

Then I rode my 11-mile loop.  I haven’t ridden that route in a while, but it was a quick ride before bedtime with “the other woman”.  Night rides can be very peaceful.  My route takes me out in the country, where I run across more wildlife than humans or cars.  There is barely any sound other than the hiss of the tires on the road, and the wind in my ears.  The new bike is silent, smooth, almost supple.

Don’t bother telling my wife.  I’ve already been caught.

Car-Free Happy Hour

I attended last night’s car-free happy hour at The Monkey Wrench.  This is a once a month get-together of those that are car-free, or want to be.  There are guest speakers, but the coolest thing is the networking.

This is the first one I’ve attended, and there were about 30 people there.  The collection of bikes out front was quite interesting.  unlike many rides I’ve been on, every bike at this event was set up for transportation and/or hauling things.

I wish I had brought my camera.

I’m going to attend as many of these things as I can.  The next one is 2/16/2010 @ 5:30 at The Bodega on Market Street.

Sunday RCCS Ride

I had a lot of fun on last Sunday’s RCCS ride.  I didn’t have time to write about it until today.

Four of us were there for the ride.  I don’t consider that to be too bad considering the late notice.  It was cold, but we were dressed for it and enjoyed hot coffee from Heine Brothers and Sunergos.

Ben, Dominic, Tim, and I followed the route westward to Shawnee Park and back.  It was never meant to be a long ride, just an enjoyable one.  The planned route was about 20 miles, but Tim and I put in about 26 or so for the day.

We are planning another ride for this coming Sunday.  Check the RCCS site for more information.

Too Cold

I still don’t enjoy commuting in cold weather.  Riding with others in the cold is much more enjoyable than my 16 mile slog to work with temperatures in the teens.

I did ride to work yesterday (Monday), but I was quite cold.  I did have chemical hand and foot warmers, but I was still too cold.  I ended up getting a ride home.

I drove today, and I’m in a bit of a mental funk because of it.

Looking at the weather forecast is just depressing.  Snow makes riding hazardous.  Frigid temperatures make me want to stay indoors, or in the heated car.  It may be a while before I ride to work again.

A Warming Meal

I met up with five others today for the Ghost Bike Memorial Ride.  It was a cold day for a ride, but I was dressed well enough.  After the ride, Tim and I continued on for a few more miles (after a stop for coffee) bringing the total to 19.

After arriving home I cooked a nice healthy meal of chicken tenderloin with red pepper (I overdid the red pepper), brussells sprouts, and a bottle of Schlafly’s Coffee Stout.  Thanks Tim!



What is the perfect number of bicycles?  N+1, where N is the number you currently have.

Despite wanting a simpler life with fewer toys, I’m adding a new bike to the fleet.  I’ve had two rideable bikes, but they will become three in about two weeks.

I found a 58cm Surly Long Haul Trucker at a local shop that had been sitting in the showroom too long. The LHT is the bike I was writing about wanting back in November.

I took the bike for a spin this morning (it was a bit cold for a lengthy ride), and put a deposit down on it. It will be mine on the 15th.

I sent a picture of the bike to my wife (who is out of state again), and she called me immediately. She had apparently been planning on buying me one, over time, built piece-by-piece to my specifications. Overall it would have been more expensive, but I would have had the opportunity to pick out components. She was also working with a different bike shop.

That’s what happens when you have a secret. 🙂

Either way, the other shop hasn’t ordered anything yet, but already have some money “on account” that will go toward racks, fenders, a computer, and whatever else I outfit on the LHT.

My bikes have names.  Nermal is my frankenbike-hybrid/commuter that started life as a cheap Giant Cypress ST.  Oria is my long-wheelbase recumbent Bacchetta Agio.  The newcomer doesn’t have a name yet.  I will ride it/him/her for a while to get a feel for the personality first.

Cold Ride to Begin the Year

Tim and I met up on the first of January (yesterday) for a hilly 40-mile route through Hoosier National Forest.  The ride started with temperatures in the teens, which later climbed into the low 20s.

This was probably the most difficult 40-mile ride I’ve ever done.  The hills were unrelenting.  Even with chemical warmers in my gloves and boots, I had issues staying warm enough.

Tim wrote about it here.  I’m just including some pictures.