Moving By Bike

Andy Dyson of Bicycling for Louisville and his Moira recently purchased a new house, and asked the bike community to help.  Considering what Bicycling for Louisville is doing for the local cycling community, there were plenty of people to came to help.  The number varied a bit depending on time of day, and who you asked, but it was probably somewhere between 20 and 30.

Andy and Moira are great people.  I had a lot of fun helping out.  Good food and refreshments were provided.  So thanks to Andy and Moira for lining up a good time, even if it was to help them move.

My LHT towing one of Andy’s trailers.

A homemade trailer

David Morse is preparing to haul a model train

There were a lot of trailers

Furniture too

Empty trailers waiting to head back for the next load

Caffeine Withdrawal

Caffeine withdrawal is not pleasant, but I think I’ve made it through the worst of it.  Yesterday was horrid, but I did discover that aspirin and ibuprofen will dull the headache.

I still felt like I was muddling through everything, but it’ll pass.  I’m glad today is Friday.  I’m taking Monday off (picking Kristy up at the airport) so the three-day weekend will allow me to completely recover.

I drove to work on Monday because I was sick.  I drove to work today because I had no motivation to do much of anything.  After work today, I barely had the motivation to drive home.  I could have slept in my office.

I did push myself to go grocery shopping.  It really did take pushing myself to accomplish that.  Ugh.  I need to cook tonight, but I’m not sure I’m going to.  I may just have a peanut butter sandwich and call it a night.

My bike mileage for the month is going to be lousy.  I was hoping for 500 miles, but I’m not much over 300.  I don’t have anything big planned for this weekend.  I need to recover.  I need to clean the house.  I am going to help Andy Dyson from Bicycling for Louisville move tomorrow.  He’s invited area bicyclist to help him move… by bicycle.  It won’t be many miles.  Both his current and future residences are very close to me.

Starting Again

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’m still gaining weight.  I’ve made a few drastic decisions today with some exceptions.

No more coffee. My coffee consumption has skyrocketed.  I seldom brew my own, I go to the coffee shop and end up buying snacks while I’m there.  It’s hurting my weight loss effort, and my wallet.  I’ll drink water and milk.

Very little eating out. I guess it’s a mental thing where I feel like I have to treat myself.  I’ve been doing it too often, and it’s causing problems.  I need to pack a lunch when I go to work, and cook dinner at night.

Very little beer.  I love beer.  It’s something I treat myself with, usually when going out for dinner.

No ice cream. I haven’t had any recently, but if it’s in the house, I’ll eat the whole container.  Kristy will be home soon, and probably bring some in the house.  If the allowed amount is none, it should be easier for me.

Changing weight-tracking. I’m still weighing daily, even if I haven’t updated the page here in a while.  I’m no longer going to post daily weights.  I’ll change the weigh-in page to be weekly averages.  Then maybe I’ll be able to keep posting regularly.

I did mention some exceptions to the changes.  I may occasionally violate one of the rules during social functions.  This could include an RCCS coffee ride, pub crawl, whatever.  If I ride a 40-mile round-trip to have pizza and beer, that’s okay.

I won’t be training this week, but I will be back at the YMCA on Sunday.  It’s time to get in gear again.  After the triathlon in July, I’m going to re-attempt switching to a paleo-diet.  I tried before, but I felt like crap when I didn’t eat carbs.  I’ve since learned that it takes 2-3 weeks to adjust.

He Had to Call it “Hell”

Tim named yesterday’s RCCS ride “Holland Frozen Hell“.  We expected cold and snow.  We were not disappointed.

We had a good turnout.  A total of seven of us arrived in Holland IN for the ride start.  With the snow on the ground, mountain bikes were pretty much required.  I don’t own a mountain bike, so the LHT had to fill that duty.  I had the studded tires on which worked great on the icy patches near the beginning of the ride.

The route was beautiful.  The terrain was lovely.  The road surfaces were horrid.  Once we got away from town, none of the roads had been plowed at all.  The snow was pushed down “two-track” style by car tires.

We headed west out of town.  We kept a reasonable pace, and I felt strong.  I almost felt confident due to the amount of ice, and my studded tires.  As the roads got more snow-covered, it got a little tougher, but I kept a reasonable pace.  After just over four miles, the route headed north.

At about mile 13, my speed dropped considerably, and I knew I was struggling.  It took too much effort to push through the snow.  My brakes were caked with snow and nearly non-functional.  The studded tires had little traction on loose snow.

Also along here somewhere, the five faster riders left Tim and I behind.  Tim and I decided to cut the Winslow portion of the route off and take a shorter route.  We headed south on CR 650E where the others went north.  This was probably a mistake.  I could have used some real food, and a chance to warm up.

This way also took us directly through Ferdinand State Forest, which had the worst road surface we saw.  Looking at the GPS logs, my top speed through that stretch was in the single-digits.

We continued on.  I sometimes stopped to walk the bike when I just couldn’t get traction.  I was completely out of energy.

We finally made it to SR64.  The road was clear, and I wanted to take it as far as possible toward Holland.  Tim was thinking a little clearer, and didn’t like the 55 mph speed limit, high-traffic highway, and directed us on SR257 instead, which wasn’t as clear, but had little traffic.  After some distance on SR257, the other five riders came up behind us.

We rode together to the tiny town of Stendal and regroup and took a few photos.  I was done.  I wasn’t going any farther.  There was an (out of business) general store with a bench out front.  Despite the cold temperatures, I sat on the bench and announced that I couldn’t ride anymore.  They tried to convince me to continue to avoid getting too cold, but I was adamant.

After only 34.5 miles, I had bailed on the ride.  I was disgusted with myself.  Maybe I was coming down sick (that’s actually possible, had a rough day today).  Maybe I just had the wrong bike for the ride (that certainly contributed).  Maybe I was just having an off day (like the spin class I ditched after 10 minutes).  Maybe I’ve been training too hard for the triathlon and wore myself out.

I’m still glad I rode.  The scenery was beautiful.  I managed to dress well for the temperatures.  I even survived sitting on that stupid bench with only a small amount of shivering.

More on Tim’s blog and on the RCCS blog.

Am I Training?

Yeah, ouch, I am.

After running the 5k yesterday, and attempting a spin class last Tuesday, not to mention the four days I went to they Y for swimming and weightlifting… I met up with Tim this morning for a 34-mile ride on the single-speed.

After the ride this morning, I intended to be lazy around the house.  Debbie, my training partner, sent me a message about a 2-hour spin class this afternoon, so why not?.

I had only managed 10 minutes of my previous attempt at a spin class, but I realized that I tried to go all-out too often.  So, I met up with Debbie at the Y, and managed to complete the class.  I did take it a bit easier in the beginning, but in the last hour, I was keeping up, and could barely walk when I left.  Not a problem, I only had to ride home.

I took a small detour and stopped for food.  I was famished after eating very little all day.  I overate, and had a few beers before trundling home.

My legs?  Do they hurt?  Uh… yeah, actually they do.  Why do you ask?

I’ll be up tomorrow morning early for swimming and weightlifting before work, and running after work.

My First 5K

As part of my Triathlon training I ran a 5k this morning.  This is not only my first 5k, but my first organized run.  I met up with my training partner (Debbie) at the Frostbite 5k.

A week ago I was supposed to run a 4K. I didn’t even buy running shoes until two days before. I didn’t train at all. I was saved by bad weather. I didn’t run.

This past week I ran indoors at the YMCA. 1 mile, 3 times. Not a huge distance, but I did better than I thought I would. For some perspective, the last time I ran a mile, I was in high-school, and despite being lean and muscular I could barely breathe and almost vomited.

So today, I didn’t wimp out.  I even rode my bike to get there, which was a good idea due to lack of parking.  There were over 700 people running.

For the first 1.5 miles I kept up a good pace without walking. I think my first mile was about 11:30. After the halfway mark I did drop to a walk a couple of times to recover before getting back to a jog.

I saw a lot of Couch to 5K t-shirts. There were some icy spots on the road.

My finish time was 34:16. I did a lot better than I thought I would.

The ride home was at a leisurely pace. My legs are sore.

Some observations from a bicyclist point of view:

  • Running requires fewer layers of clothes in cold weather
  • A 5K run wasn’t bad, but a 5K bike ride is nothing
  • I was generating enough heat during the entire run, it was like climbing a hill on the bike, constantly
  • A lot of people run – how can we get them on bikes?
  • Once the run was over, I quickly got chilled
  • I had minor knee pain, and will probably look into one of those bands that goes around the leg just below the knee

I don’t think I’ll ever become a regular runner, but I’ll do it enough to train for my Triathlon in late July.

More Snow

After reading the weather forecast last night I fully expected to see some snow on the ground when I got up.  I got up at 4:00 a.m., and it hadn’t even started snowing yet.

By the time I was heading out the door at 5:15 or so the snow was coming down.  I rode to the YMCA and got in a small amount of exercise before heading to work.  There was some snow on the ground by then.  I was surprised that my bike was one of four in the parking garage when I was leaving.  Notice the XtraCycle on the far-right.

During the day we got a couple of inches of snow.  The main roads were kept clear and the warm-ish temperatures meant that nothing iced up (on the roads I was on).

My commute home was pretty uneventful, but the dogs seemed happy to play in the snow when I got home.

Notice all of the "luggage" on the bike.  Commuting and a stop at the Y means I get to carry more stuff.  There is a thermos for coffee buried in there to cut back on the expense of the coffee shop.

Now that I’m home, I need to get to sleep so I can get up at 4:00 a.m. again, but I’m not sleepy.  I’m considering walking to go out to dinner.  I’ll overeat, but a full belly might be what I need to sleep well tonight.

Spin Class?

I went to the 5:45 a.m. spin class at the Y this morning.  I was the only male in attendance, and I was probably about average age-wise for the group.

We quickly got going.  Maybe I started off too fast.  Maybe I’m still too weak from yesterday’s workout.  I am still sore from yesterday.  In any case, I lasted all of ten minutes in the spin class before I bailed.  I went and swam for a while, now I’m sitting here at the Y watching the news channels go crazy about the snow.

I’ll be riding to work in a minutes, but my shortened workout has left me some extra time.

I Ran a Mile!

I haven’t run a mile since high school.  Although I was lean and muscular at the time, I still remember feeling like I was going to lose a lung.

Today, in addition to swimming and weight-lifting, I took advantage of the indoor track at the Y.  I settled into a steady pace, and before I knew it, I had run a mile.  I felt fine.  I guess my cardiovascular system is stronger now than when I was in high school, even if I sag more now.  🙂

I’m a bit sore now, but I’m pleased with myself.  I’m going to the Y again tomorrow, but I’m not sure if I’m going to run.  I’ll see how my legs feel in the morning.

I have an appointment on Thursday morning with a “wellness coach” at the Y.  I basically just asked how to use the computer-fitness-tracking-thing (I can’t remember what it’s called), and had to schedule an appointment.

I’m really only doing strength training for my upper body, arms, and core.  I think my legs are doing  just fine from a few years of riding a bike.

Change of Plans

I’m registered for today’s Reindeer Romp.  As far as I know, the race is still on, but I’m not going.

It’s 20 degrees and there’s snow everywhere.  I ride my bike in this stuff all the time, but dressing for a run is a bit different than for dressing on the bike.  I also don’t have a good way to carry extra layers while running, I do on a bike.

If it had been 10 degrees warmer I would be there.  Instead I’m going to enjoy some warm coffee and a book.

How’s My Week?


I rode to work and back.  Not much else to add.


I rode to work, then to a massage appointment, then home.  I ate too much.


Woke up with a horrible headache, called work to let them know I’d be late, then went back to sleep for a while longer.  I did go into work, but I drove.

Since I was driving anyway, I ran some errands after work.  I went to Swags to buy some running shoes.  Found some that will work for about $60.  Then I went grocery shopping.  Now that 2011 is here, I’m tracking all of my driving miles.  Well, Wednesday was 22.1 miles put on the truck.

Thursday (Today)

Rode to work again.  After work rode across the bridge to Jeffersonville to meet up with Debbie, who I’m training with for the Triathlon.

We discussed scheduling, training, and whatnot.

After I got home, I put on my new running shoes, and some thick base layers (it’s cold outside!) and my reflective vest, and went for a quick run.  The shoes will work.  I should probably buy some thin gloves.  I have thick ski gloves I wear on the bike, but they are not ideal for running.

Rest Of The Week?

I’m now committed to running the Reindeer Romp 4k on Saturday.  I might be crazy to run this soon, but at least it’s only 4k (2.4 miles) and I can walk as much as I need to.

I also need to spend some more time at the Y.  My swimming technique needs a lot of work.  I also need more miles on the bike.

The Long View

I want to look at my weight for the last few years.


Most of this is fairy-land made up stuff.  I didn’t own a scale until late October, but I wanted to fill in a full year’s worth of weight, so I guessed.  You can see the weight start dropping at a pretty good clip near the end of the year.  That part is real.


Through 2008 the weight loss continued nicely. I did bitch and moan at the time about the plateaus that I hit, but it was temporary, and the weight loss continued.


The first couple of months of the year started out well, but then I struggled to lose weight and actually gained weight in the last half of the year.


For the first quarter of the year I lost the weight I gained in the last part of the previous year.  Then I gained it back and another 15 lbs just for good measure.

What Now?

I try not to get too upset about this.  My weight is still below 220 and considering I started just below 300 I’ve still made progress overall.  I do feel like I’m on the verge of undoing it, but I have a much different lifestyle now.  I am fit and active now, I wasn’t before.  I’m eating too much again, thus the weight gain.

The triathlon training should help.  Does that mean I’ll gain more weight after the triathlon is complete?  Maybe.  Should I worry?  Not too much.  I do need to start eating better.  It’s the 2nd day of the year, and I’ve already went out for pizza twice this year.  I can’t keep doing that.

Another Day, More Overeating

I went to Charlestown Pizza today… again.  After yesterday’s trip, I had to go again.  At least I rode there again.  Maybe 40+ miles of riding burns off the calories I consumed.  I don’t know.

I took a different route today. It was a meandering route here in town, and I also took the Waterline Road route toward Charlestown.  I took a new way back to test routing on the GPS.

GPS routes don’t work quite like I imagined.  I can plan out a route on the computer, but once I uploaded, the GPS seems free to re-route me.  That’s fine, except I usually know  better than the GPS which roads I would rather ride.  Instead of loading a route, I can load it as a track.  It won’t tell me when to turn that way, but it’ll highlight the roads that I need to follow, so that will be the method I use, and it’s what I tested today.

When I have the chance, I’ll plan a trip out into an area I’m unfamiliar with, and really put it to the test.  🙂

I rode the single-speed again.  I really like that bike.

Yesterday I compared the distance on the GPS to the distance on the bike computer.  It was off by 2%.  I adjusted the bike computer by the appropriate amount, and now the GPS and computer matched *really* closely.  That’s probably more accurate than a roll-out test, and definitely more accurate than the average car odometer.

The computer on the LHT already agreed with the GPS, so I don’t need to mess with that.

I had intended to take pictures on yesterday’s ride, but never bothered.  Well, today, I took a few pictures on the trip to Charlestown.  It was cold, clear, and a little windy.  On the way home it was simply cold and dark.  The pictures are below.

In Jeffersonville along the river.

Neat building along Market Street in Jeffersonville (Howard Steamboat Museum?)

Along Waterline Road

Charlestown Pizza Run

I really needed to get out of the house yesterday.  I wanted good food and beer.  There are dozens of places within a few miles of my house to go, but I wanted a longer ride to burn of the calories.

I had some errands to run here in Louisville, and in Charlestown.  I didn’t have to carry anything heavy, so I could still do it by bicycle.  I brought my camera, but never stopped to take a picture.

I rode the single-speed, and had the GPS with me.  My route is below. My GPS has the barometric altimeter. You can tell it was used tracking this, by the lumps where I crossed the Second Street Bridge. The normal elevation data stored with maps has the road dipping down to the river. Neat!

Download file: 2011-01-01.gpx

New Year – Time To Put More Miles In

2010 was a good year for bike miles.  I had 5087 miles.  Let’s look back at the last few years.


I bought a bike and started riding in April of 2008.  At the time it seemed like I made slow progress in being able to ride, but I quickly shot up to 626 miles in one month (August).  It tapered off after that.  I finished up that year with 2238.6 miles.  The average monthly was 186.6.


In 2009 I brought my average monthly mileage to 321.7.  I had a total of 3860 miles.  I didn’t have any incredibly good months, but I only had one really bad month, December, with only 91.6 miles.


In 2010 I was more consistent.  My worst month, February, wasn’t really that bad at 297.3 miles.  I also set a new monthly record in June of 665.6 miles.  I barely made my 5000 mile goal for the year by getting 5087.2 miles, averaging 423.9 per month.


Now that I live closer to work, I’m a bit worried my mileage will drop.  I’m also spending more time on other activities related to the triathlon.  I’ve left my goal for the year at 5000 miles.  Commuting alone will only get me about 2000 miles for the year.  I need to squeeze in longer ride and/or take the long way to work.

I think I’m off to a good start.  I put in a 43-mile ride on the first day of the year.  I may (or may not) get in a ride today.