Record Month

I won’t be riding any more for what is left of this month.  I need to get well and I’ll busy spending a few precious days with my wife before she leaves again.

I was on track to have 800 miles for the month of June.  Then things got busy, but I was still on track for over 700 miles.  Then I got sick.  If I rode to work and back one day this week, it would put me at 700 miles.  That’s not going to happen.  So my total for June is 665.6 miles.  136.6 of those miles were on the recumbent, the rest on the LHT.

June 2010 is a record mileage month for me, beating out August 2008 with 626.8 miles.

I’m not done.  There’s a new month starting soon.  Now that my daughter has moved out, and my wife will be gone again, I intend to set a new record for July.

Some Improvement

After several days of feeling only slightly better than death, today is refreshing.  It started out rough this morning.  It was just like yesterday morning.  I woke gasping and choking and making horrible noises.

By mid-morning, I was able to eat solid food.  That’s a switch.  By early afternoon the feverish feeling appears to be gone.

I won’t be riding my bike to work this week.  I haven’t actually been to work this week yet.  I shouldn’t ride tomorrow, I still need to recover, and I can’t ride anyway, because I’m picking Kristy up from the airport.  There is some better news!  I won’t be riding on Thursday so that I can spend more time with Kristy.

I can’t ride on Friday, because I’m taking her back to the airport for another adventure.  I thought she’d get to stay home for more than two days.  Such is my crazy marriage.

On the other hand, I’ve got every weekend in July available for putting in some miles on the bike.  I’m planning at least one more camping trip too.

Feverish Writing

I’m taking the recommended medications, but I feel shaky, weak, and feverish.  This really sucks.  Swallowing (even my own saliva) is torture.  I’ve had strep throat before, but I don’t remember it being this bad.

I’ve been unable to sleep much at all.  I ate very little yesterday, and limited myself to soup, ice cream, and popsicles today.

This damn bacteria set up shop in the back of my throat and is trying to poison me.  In addition, my own body is making me miserable while fighting the bacteria.

I felt better mentally after finding out that this was strep, and having a plan to get rid of it.  Now I’ve been suffering with it long enough that it’s affecting my mood badly.

The thought of riding my bike is comical.  I don’t even want to step outside.  Actually, I’d rather not be inside either.  I want to be able to sleep through this.

Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow, and I’ll quit whining.

Sick Weekend

I didn’t ride to work on Friday.  I had a scratchy throat most of last week, but I ignored it.  By Friday it had gotten worse.  By Friday night it had gotten quite unbearable.

I waited until today (Sunday) hoping it would get better, it didn’t.  I went to the urgent care clinic and it was quickly determined that I have strep.

I had initially planned to ride to Louisville on Saturday to help Tom move.  I was also hoping to ride with Tim today.  Those plans didn’t happen.  Instead, I’m home-bound, trying to recover, and avoid spreading the bacteria to anyone else.

I’m also staying home tomorrow to avoid sharing this with anyone, but I should be safe to return to work on Tuesday.  If I’m feeling well, I’ll even ride my bike and attend Car-Free Happy Hour afterwards.

Strange Moods and Riding a Bike

I had a wonderful time on my Monday and Tuesday adventure.  I was quite sore on Wednesday, so I drove to work.

Today, I forced myself to get on the bike.  Once I was rolling, it was worth it.  I took the recently re-opened Waterline Rd on my ride to work.  It’s a peaceful wooded stretch of road and I rarely see a car.  I did see two turtles on the road.

I wasn’t feeling up to riding home after work, but I really didn’t have good options.  Traffic was bad.  Drivers were rude.  I really felt for a while that the world isn’t meant for people anymore, but instead is made for cars.

I pulled into a parking lot, walked over to some grass, and just sat down and enjoyed the feel of the grass.  I was a bit farther from the road now, so the traffic noise was more distant.  I thought about napping, but figured it would be a bad idea.  After drinking some water and reflecting on where I’ve been recently, I suddenly felt much better.

I hopped on the bike and the rest of the ride home was awesome.

An Awesome Adventure

Surly Sue is loaded
I made a last-minute decision yesterday to ride my bike, fully loaded with camping gear, to Clifty Falls State Park and stay overnight.  I plotted a route of roughly 35 miles.

Let me back up a minute.  The last few days did not go as planned.  Saturday, my daughter graduated from high-school, and a few family members (including my ex-wife) drove down from Michigan to attend.  The graduation was fine.  It was neat to watch, and several people cried.

My daughter decided some time ago to move back to Michigan after graduation.  My ex-wife and I both were going to haul her stuff back to Michigan.  I was also going to take a bike with me and visit an old friend, and ride with someone who I’ve talked to online.  I had requested Monday and Tuesday off of work to have time to do this.

For reasons I won’t go into here, I did not drive to Michigan on Sunday.  So I found myself with a couple of “free days”.  What do I do with “free days”?  I ride my bike of course!

Winding Road
So, I figured my first bike-camping trip, and about 70 miles of riding would be a nice way to spend two days off.  It turned out much better than that.

There were some concerns about possible severe weather, but I decided I’d risk it.  The ride was hot, but pleasant.  I took a nice slow pace and made it there in about 3 1/2 hours.  The odometer read 36.8 miles for the day.  I found a two-mile stretch of a pleasant gravel road along the way.  It wasn’t “seriously epic” like some of the roads Tim and I have found, but it was quite pleasant.

Just call me Squinty
Gravel Road
Farm
After getting my tent set-up, I talked to a bike tourist who was also camped there.  I was sure to tell him that I was simply doing an overnight trip.

My Campsite
This bike tourist was John.  He’s riding from Buffalo to Atlanta.  He was on day 11 of his journey.  He was following the an ACA route that would take him through my town of residence of Charlestown Indiana.  We agreed to ride together the next day, at least as far as Charlestown.

John was riding a beautiful lugged-steel touring bike that he bought used and had repainted and built up to match his desires.  The bike had toured Europe and Asia with it’s previous owner.  He told me the manufacturer of the frame, but I can’t remember now.

John’s Bike at Camp
I had trouble sleeping.  The ground was hard.  The tent was not well-ventilated and it was hot and humid.  I eventually fell asleep only to woken by a windstorm.  There was no rain, the tent didn’t fall over, so I guess it was a success.  The wind also solved the heat and humidity issue.

Clifty Falls has a new shower facility, so I was able to take a shower when arriving, and another after getting up at 6:00 a.m.  I kept this trip simple and did not plan on cooking.  I ate fig bars for breakfast , broke camp, packed the bike, then rode over to see if John was up.

Before long, John was ready to roll.  His ACA map had him going on Highway 62, which I had seen was under construction, and not safe for riding.  We followed my previous day’s route, in reverse to get back to Charlestown, stopping at a small diner in New Washington for breakfast (okay, I had a burger for breakfast)

There were some strange, fast-moving clouds that passed overhead, and the associated wind gust gave us a strong but brief tailwind.  The weather cleared up later.

Funky Clouds
Two Loaded Touring Bikes
After arriving in Charlestown we stopped by my house to unload my extra gear.  We stopped for a snack and more coffee around town.  John grabbed some supplies from the grocery store.

I made the decision to ride along with John for a while longer.  I didn’t have a firm plan, but wasn’t ready to end the adventure.

After looking at the ACA maps, I planned a much better route that avoided much traffic and took us down the recently re-opened Waterline Rd through the old ammunition plant.

We meandered through Utica and Jeffersonville.  The riding got much more urban.  We rode through Clarksville, saw the Louisville skyline, and made our way to New Albany where we stopped for water and snacks.  Did I mention it was hot?

John was now following the ACA maps again, as my knowledge of this area wasn’t as good.  We eventually ended up on Corydon Pike, and we climbed up to Edwardsville.  At this stage it was time to say goodbye.  We had ridden together for about 70 miles.  John had to be in Corydon in time to set up camp for the night.  I needed to get home in time to get ready for bed, as I do work tomorrow.

View From Edwardsville
I took a very urban, traffic-heavy route home.  I pushed a lot harder and faster, as I wanted to stop for pizza and beer at my favorite watering hole before going home.  I enjoyed a single beer and some lasagna in lieu of pizza and headed home.

The last portion of the ride made my legs more sore than the previous miles combined.  I should have learned my lesson from John about pacing.  He rarely exceeds 11mph.

I arrived home with 93 miles for the day.  That’s in addition to the nearly 37 miles yesterday.  June 2010 is now a record mileage month for me.  The month isn’t over, so it’ll be interesting to see the final total on July 1st.

Post-Thunderstorm Morning Rain Ride

Friday morning was a mess.  I had been woken up several times by emergency phone calls from work.  We had some network issues that required my time.  I didn’t get enough sleep, so I drove to work on Friday, as I had Thursday.  I did manage to ride my bike to work on Monday through Wednesday though.

Saturdays are often a good day to sleep in.  I was awoken early this morning by a thunderstorm.  After falling back asleep I was awoken again by a phone call from work at 6:00 a.m.  Our website was offline.  A quick check revealed all internal stuff was functional, so it was the web hosting company.  A few phone calls later everything was resolved.

The thunderstorm had passed, I still hadn’t had my morning coffee, but I really needed to clear my head to prevent a bad mood from ruining the day.  My lovely wife called and suggested I ride my bike.  So I did.

I headed out on my 11-mile loop.  It was still raining lightly when I left, but it stopped pretty early into the ride.  I wasn’t in a hurry.  It wasn’t a training ride.  I just wanted to relax.  So I took almost an hour to ride the 11 miles, then rode to the coffee shop to get my caffeine fix.

I’m now home, and things are looking up!  The sky in mostly sunny and blue, the temperatures are warming up, and I’ll be watching my youngest daughter at her high-school graduation ceremony tonight.

Wet Monday Commute

I rode the ‘bent for comfort today.  I’ve been neglecting that poor bike, so Oria will be my commuter of choice for the week.

I was caught in a sudden but brief downpour.  This picture was taken after the rain subsided.  It’s 94 degrees and sunny as I write this.  There is the possibility of severe weather.  Hopefully I’ll make it home first.

Top Months for Bike Miles

I was really surprised when I took the time to figure out which months I did the most riding in.  Here are the top five, sort by miles.

Month Miles
2008-08 626.8
2010-03 574.9
2009-06 542.2
2009-05 452.0
2009-11 443.9

I knew that March of this year was good.  I assumed it was a new record.  I had no idea that I did more miles in August of 2008.  I had only been riding a few months when I set my record.

I’m hoping to blow that record away this month.  If I keep up the pace that I’ve been doing, I should have 800 miles for the month.  We’ll see.

My commuting bike for this week will be Oria, my recumbent.  I’ve got some “butt issues” that need to heal, so comfort is the word.

Looking Back at My Weight

I looked back at this chart of my weightloss from the beginning.  The “good weightloss” range was October 2007 to March 2009, with a loss of about 94 lbs.  Nearly all of my weightloss occurred at that time.

During the slower weightloss period I dropped about five pounds from March 2009 to July 2009.

From July 2009 to present I’ve actually had a small net gain.  I actually weight more today than I did in early March 2009.

On the bright side, I think my body fat percentage is a little lower than it was in March 2009.  I have been riding the bike a lot more.  I’ve built a lot of muscle.  I’m on track to have over 5000 miles on the bike this calendar year.

Also being fit (which I feel I am) at any weight is healthier than not being fit at the same weight.  My quality of life has improved greatly.

I just need to keep working to eat better, as my natural inclination is to binge on things I shouldn’t.

Looking Forward to a Mellow Weekend

Bikes

Last Saturday I rode a Century.  I rode my bike to work and back 4 out of five days this week (I overslept on Thursday).  Most days this week were calling for rain, but I avoided it each time, other than a few sprinkles.

My commuting for the week racked up 140.5 miles on the bike.  I’m not doing any big rides this weekend.  I may not ride at all.  I have a lot of “domestic” stuff to do.

Depression

I’ve had a depression issue for most of this year.  It lifted mysteriously on Thursday, May 27th.  I’ve been almost giddy ever since until yesterday (the day I didn’t ride) and my mood darkened.  I rode again today, and things are well again.

Does riding fix the depression?  Is the cause more subtle than that?  I don’t know.  I do know that it’s hard to get on the bike when I’m depressed.

Diet

I’ve been eating better, other than Wednesday where I went out for lunch, and again for dinner.  I overate to the point of discomfort at dinner.  I hate it when that happens.

Weight

My weight is still bobbing around between 200 and 210.  It may linger there forever, but I now know that I must monitor my weight regularly and watch what I eat for the rest of my life.  This isn’t negotiable.  If I fail to do this, I will gain every pound back.

My goal weight is still 175.  It may take a long time to get there.  It seemed to be in striking distance at one point, but the loss has stalled.

I watched a speech by a doctor discussing a few things about obesity.  I recommend it if you have a spare 90 minutes.  The advice he gave was:

  1. Be as fit as possible at your current weight
  2. Prevent further weight gain
  3. If successful then begin weight loss

That’s not the way I did things.  I started with the diet, then exercise, now I’m hoping to lose more weight, but trying not to gain more.

When I started this adventure my BMI was about 41.  Standard medical procedure for someone like me would have been gastric bypass.  I’m glad I didn’t go that route.  I rather like having a complete GI tract.  My BMI is now about 28, which is still considered overweight, but I would no longer be considered for surgery, and that is a very good thing.

What Now?

I got a bit lazy after losing 100lbs.  I started to indulge in the foods I love.  I thought I could still do it, because I’d already lost weight, and because I ride my bike… a lot!

Well, that’s not the case.  I went two months without weighing myself and gained almost 10 lbs.

I’m back to keeping a food diary.  I am weighing myself daily again.  I’m making more appropriate decisions about what I eat and drink.

I may have to give up beer.  It’s a weakness for me, and I often go to a wonderful food establishment just for the beer.  Then, of course, I partake of the food also.  I really wanted to go again today.  I didn’t.  I stayed home and ate sensibly.  If that particular establishment is off-limits to me, and I quit drinking beer, it would be easier to stay on track.

My First Century

I can now say I’ve ridden a century (100 miles).  Michael and I rode the Siberian Summer Bicycle Tour yesterday.  They had several route options of different lengths, but we opted for the longest one.  The ride took us along some very scenic areas on mostly low-traffic roads through Perry County Indiana.

This ride did not have a mass start, but instead, registration began at 7:00, and you could leave when you were ready.  Michael and I left around 7:30.  There were some others that got an early start at about 6:30.  I was told only eight riders opted for the 100-mile route.

This was only Michael’s second century, but this one was hill.  His first was flat, so the ride was a challenge for both of us.

Michael and I are not fast riders.  There were probably plenty of other slow riders, but they didn’t choose the 100-mile route.  Luckily, the rest areas remained open until we passed through them.  It was a hot day, and we needed to refill our water bottles often.

We rode past Saddle Lake in Hoosier National Forest.  I was tempted at that point to jump in for a quick swim.

There was definitely some climbing involved but it usually led to a nice view.

Typical rural Indiana scenery

I could have used a Double Cola about then.

You have to love a place called Possum Junction.  Too bad they were closed.

Siberia, Cold in name, warm in heart

We saw several of these mini oil rigs

This reminded me of the Windows XP “Bliss” wallpaper

This was in St. Meinrad.

This is the covered bridge on Huffman Hill Road.  It’s no longer open, but is the site of a small park.

Michael and I were just about done with the ride at this point.  We were happy, but glad to be near the end. It’s a good thing it’s not a race.  We were the last two to finish the ride.

I think I recreated the route here. I may have taken a couple of wrong turns though.

Download

First Century Ride Tomorrow?

I am meeting up with Michael for the Siberian Summer Bicycle Tour tomorrow.  There are several different routes of different lengths.  We are planning on riding the longest one at about 100 miles.  If that’s what we do, it’ll be my first Century (100-mile) ride.

I took an alternate route to work and back today, giving me a total of 41.3 miles for the day.  I think I’m prepared for tomorrow.

I think I earned some carbs for the week, so I stopped at Charlestown Pizza Company for food and beer.  Of course I rode my bike there.  I’m pretty much known there for my love of beer and bicycling.

I hope for a lot of pictures from tomorrow’s ride.  I hope it doesn’t rain to much.  I hope my legs don’t give out!

Enjoyed a Non-Productive Day

I overslept and drove to work.  That’s probably for the best, I would have been caught in the end of a thunderstorm if I had ridden my bike.

I ate too much today.  I went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch.  I cooked steak for dinner, but I feel good, and I think it was worth it.

I’ve been busy with little things.  I’m still setting up my new work laptop.  I’m doing the bills.

I’m in a good mood even though I haven’t ridden today.  Maybe I just needed the break.  I’ll be back on the bike tomorrow… probably in the rain.

New Food Diary

I used to track calories, but figuring out how many calories were in everything I ate took some time and guesswork.  I quit doing it due to the hassle and began to gain weight.

I’ve started a “food diary” now that doesn’t involve calories.  It’s simply a list of everything I’ve eaten.  I can look back at previous days and determine what I did wrong and what I did right.  It’s just a tool for me to keep track.  Unlike calorie counting it doesn’t give me a goal, just a reminder.

Here are the first two days of the food diary:

6/1/2010 Breakfast shredded wheat w/milk
banana
Lunch turkey sandwich w/cheese
3 boiled eggs
2 string cheese
banana
blueberry bread
Snack frozen coffee treat
canoli
Dinner t-bone steak
milk
6/2/2010 Breakfast grape nuts w/ milk
banana
Lunch 2 boiled eggs
2 string cheese
turkey sandwich w/cheese
banana
Dinner peanut butter sandwich
milk

Yeah, I’ve been eating a little weird.  I really need to visit the grocery store soon or it’ll get even weirder.

I did ride my bike to work today, for a round trip of 34 miles.  June is off to a good start.

Long, Strange Commute

In addition to work today, I had a number of errands to run.  My route took me these places:

  • Home
  • Post Office
  • Coffee Shop
  • Bank
  • Work
  • Doctor’s Office
  • Coffee Shop
  • Home

It turned out to be 43.5 miles in beautiful weather.  I had to spend a few hours working, and some time getting poked and prodded by my doctor, but overall a good day.

As far as my crushing depression I was having before… It disappeared <poof!> last Thursday.  I did discuss it with my doctor, but I really don’t want to take medication for it.  As far as an existing medication causing it, I should get the lab results soon.

Oh, I weighed this morning.  I’ve gained weight, as expected.  My weight this morning was 211.2, which is about where I was in early February.  So, I lost some progress again.  I’m back on the wagon.