Like I’m Waiting…

I’m waiting to get back on track.
I’m waiting to eat healthy.
I’m waiting to be in control of my life.

What am I waiting for?

I have a lot of changes coming.  My daughter is moving out of the house tomorrow.  My wife moves out in a few weeks.  There are plans in place to get ride of the house in Charlestown.  I’ll be selling my truck before the end of the year.

What’s that got to do with it?

Nothing, but mentally I seem incapable of handling too much at once.  So I’m waiting.  Not a great reason, but it’ll have to do.

What now?

My neck problem improved dramatically for a while, then started to get a little worse.  I’m going to start commuting on the recumbent again for a while, and save riding upright bikes for group rides, or gravel stuff, or whatever.


My June mileage was horrible.  Due to my neck issues I rode only 110 miles.  July was better, but still a bit off, at 363 miles.  Back in March I rode 647 miles.

I met up with Tim this morning for a short-ish ride.  I ended up with 35 miles for the day.  I was happy with that.  I brought my camera with me, but never took a picture.

Where am I heading?

I’ll be car-free by the end of the year.  I will hopefully be back on track for weight loss.  I should be weighing myself again soon.

I will hopefully pull myself together enough mentally to be happy with what I have, rather than obsess with what I want.  I’ll still want things, I just don’t want to obsess over them.

Sunday Fun

Traci, a co-worker, is a runner and is interested in bicycling.  We made vague plans to get together today.

I called her, and we agreed to ride my old 11-mile loop in Charlestown.  She is concerned about traffic, and this seemed a great low-traffic route, even more so on a Sunday morning.

I had some time to kill and I hadn’t had my daily caffeine fix, so I rode to Sunergos and had some coffee.  I then rode home, and threw the bike in the back of the truck to meet Traci across the river.

I was riding my LHT, and Traci rode an old Schwinn mountain bike.

Traci did the ride just fine.  She was concerned she’d be too slow (I’m slow), or that her bike wasn’t nice enough (it did the job).  The ride is moderately hilly and she didn’t need to walk any hills.

I don’t think I’ll make a bicycle commuter out of Traci anytime soon, but it would be nice to see her on two wheels now and again.

After we parted ways, I rode to a frozen yogurt shop, then to Java Brewing for more coffee.  This was a perfectly acceptable way to spend a Sunday.

My Normal Isn’t Healthy

I’m back to normal.  What is normal for me these days?

  • I ride a bike almost everywhere
  • I go out to eat often and overeat when I do
  • I drink beer several times a week
  • I gain weight
  • I suffer from depression

Maybe it’s time to not be normal.  I want to lose more weight and be healthier and happier.

I do have one change coming that I’m not quite sure of my feelings about.  Kristy and I are splitting up.  I’m not going to go into details except to say that we still love each other, but we rushed into marriage.  I’ll miss her, but I’m glad she’ll still be around town.

The question is, will that help me to focus on my goals, or push me toward beer, food, and self-loathing even more?

She won’t be moving out for another six weeks (give or take).  Once she does, I’ll work toward some of my simple living goals, which should help me determine what is important in my life.

Relationships are hard.  This failure has taught me things and will hopefully give me focus for the future.

Busy Day – Over 30 Miles of Transportation Riding

I had a lot to do today.  I rode to work and arrived at about 8:30.  It was work.  Most of the day was meetings.

I left early.  I had an appointment for my second cervical epidural.  The first one really scared me, but things improved after the first one, so I decided to stick with a second one.

Side note:  I’ve been back on my Surly LHT since last Friday.  That means I can ride any of my bikes again.  This is a huge improvement.  I was riding with Tim on Sunday and broke the chain on the LHT.  I have a chain tool and was able to fix it, but I’ve been running a chain that is quite worn and a few links short since then.

I could have driven, but I’m stubborn.  I don’t like to drive.  I planned a route to get out to the doctors office (out past Oxmoor Mall, near Hurstbourne).  We’re in the middle of a heat wave.  I left myself 90 minutes to get there.  It took only 70.  Traffic was heavy but everyone was polite.

I locked up out front and cleaned up in the bathroom before my appointment.

The second epidural went much smoother than the first.  It still wasn’t comfortable but it was less frightening.  I didn’t hear the needle sliding into place.  The doctor said it went easier because I had less inflammation in my spine.  That’s a good sign.

The doctor did seem concerned about me riding a bike home after the procedure.  I knew from the first one that it wouldn’t be a problem.

When I left, the previously hot, humid, sunny weather had become cloudy, humid, not-quite-as-hot weather with distant thunder.  Shortly into the ride a light rain started.  By the time I made to the St Matthews area the rain had become a downpour.

I needed to go to On Your Left Cycles for a new chain.  The route I had programmed into my GPS wasn’t taking me there, but I took Bardstown Rd north to Baxter Ave.  I was turning left at high speed on wet roads right in front of the shop.  I hit a pothole and went down.  It wasn’t the slow motion thing that my other wrecks were.  It was very quick and quite painful.

I laid at the edge of the road for a few minutes before attempting to sit up.  My hands, knee, elbow, and big toe hurt.  I didn’t hit my head (or helmet).  I eventually stood up and picked up the bike.  There was no visible damage.  I walked into the bike shop.  They allowed me to clean up and borrow a first-aid kit.

After a while, I bought my chain, and headed out.  I rode down to Cumberland Brews and met my daughter there.  We had dinner, and I rode home.  She decided to take the bus.

I had a total of 31.8 miles.  Not bad for such a busy day.  I could have done without falling, but that was my fault.

My route is below.  I didn’t have my GPS on for the ride to work, but it was for the rest of the day.

Download file: 2011-07-20.gpx

Once I was back home I had to pick gravel out of my skin.  I’m glad I used the peroxide.  I know Baxter Ave is not sterile.  🙂

Tomorrow is car-free happy hour.  See you there!

Returning to Normal(ish)

Yes, my neck is still an issue, but it’s manageable now.  I’m no longer driving for short errands.  I can get around by bike again, even if I am limited to the recumbent, but I think that’ll be changing soon also.

I rode to work Monday (yesterday).  After work I rode to get a haircut.  The weather was brutally hot and humid.  The woman cutting my hair offered to rinse my hair.  The cool water not only rinsed the sweat out, but was very refreshing.

After the haircut, I rode down to Cumberland Brews for a beer and sandwich.  Then I went home.  It was about 10 miles for the day.

Today, work was closed due to a water main break.  I didn’t ride anywhere, but I had no need to leave the house for most of the day.  I decided I wanted dinner and beer, so I walked to Zeppelin Cafe, just a few blocks away.

A thunderstorm rolled in while I was eating.  Before leaving I took off my sandals and walked barefoot.  It was quite pleasant other than the short stretch down the gravel-strewn alley.

I’ll be riding my bike to work again tomorrow, and the day after that….  Yep, things are getting back to normal, or at least as close to normal as my life can be.

100K Populaire

The LBC organized the 100K (62 mile) populaire.  I figured that it would be a good ride to break myself back into riding something more than short rides.

The ride started at 9:00 am.  I left home early to get coffee at Quill’s which was just a few blocks from the ride start location.  I intended to meet Tim and Michael there.  Michael had to drive from Bloomington and was running late, so I didn’t see the two of them until the ride.

While drinking my coffee, Ward Wilson arrived.  I had met him on a RCCS ride back in February.  We drank coffee and talked bikes for a while before heading over to the ride start location.

I don’t know how many people were riding.  If I had to guess, I would say 40.  There were two tandem bikes.  I was riding the only recumbent.  I was riding one of two bikes with fenders.  Michael, Tim, Asher, and many others were there.

Our route had us going out River Rd.  Within about five miles, Asher’s left crank arm came off.  Luckily he hadn’t lost the bolt, so we were able to re-attach it.

We continued out to US 42 then Covered Bridge (I never saw a covered bridge on the route), then Old Zaring Rd.  I really liked Old Zaring Rd.  We continued through Buckner and finally to our first control and lunch stop at Red Pepper Deli in LaGrange.

Tim, Michael, Asher, and I were near the end of the pack during this time.  Anne (who I had just met) rode with us part of this time.  Anne sat at the table with us at the lunch stop.  That is the point of a populaire – to be socialable.

We turned around and went back through areas I’m not terribly familiar with.  We came to Norton Commons and the next control stop, Gilberto Gelato.  The heat and hilly ride made my stomach less than receptive to ice cream, so I ate only a small amount.

I started to get some leg cramping at this point.  I had been having trouble drinking enough water.  My stomach was not happy with me, and my current water bottles don’t make it easy to drink without pulling over.  The pace we were riding did not allow me time to stop much for water or for taking pictures.  Also along this stretch, Tim, Michael, and Anne pulled away out of site.  Asher hung back with me.  We also had a couple of tandems that we kept leap-frogging.

After a confusing route just trying to stay on Wolf Pen Branch Rd (I hate cue sheets), we were back on River Road and on the home stretch.  Turning onto Frankfort Ave, Michael, Tim, and Anne were pulled over while Michael changed a flat tire.  From there it was a quick ride to the final stop – Flanagans.

We arrived with a mere six minutes remaining before the cutoff.   I knew I was a slow rider, but I’ve always heard that the time limits for a brevet, randonneur, or populaire were quite forgiving.  If I can barely make the time constraints of a 100K then I have serious doubts about a 200K.

I didn’t have my GPS during the ride, but I did manually re-create the route based on the cue sheet.

Download file: 2011-07-10.gpx

How was my neck?  It was fine 99% of the time during the ride.  If I had been on an upright bike I wouldn’t have been able to finish the ride.  I did have one moment when I dodged right to avoid a large flying insect and I hurt myself.  I not only steered to the right, but I twisted and leaned that direction.  I successfully moved enough for the insect to bounce off the side of my helmet rather than hit me in the face, but it did cause neck pain for a while.

On many LBC rides, I end up riding alone.  There were enough people that I know personally on this ride, that I didn’t have to ride alone.  Although the “club ride” is not my favorite type of ride, I’m going to try to squeeze more of them in.  Although I had trouble with the pace on this one, it’ll get better if I keep pushing myself.

I had a lot of fun, and being back on the bike will keep my sane.  What more could I ask for?

Dirty, Dirty Bike

In preparation for tomorrow’s ride, I decided to clean and tune my recumbent.  I’ve also had some issues with the seat sliding back recently, so I looked into that.  One of the top two bolts had come completely unscrewed, yet didn’t fall out.  I got lucky that I didn’t lose it.  After disassembling the seat clamp, I greased the threads and put everything back together.  I hope it doesn’t slip again.

I used some de-greaser on the frame and rims.  The bike was filthy.  I did a half-assed job of cleaning and lubing the drivetrain.  It’s better than it was.

I haven’t been happy with the way the new brakes were adjusted.  The Avid BB7 disc brakes have an inboard and outboard adjustment that are easy to use, but I still couldn’t seem to get them adjusted well.  I finally found some instructions online, loosened the caliper, and reset the front brake completely.  It seems better now.  The rear wasn’t bad, so I left it alone.

I’ve had a full-touring-load of bags on the bike for a while.  I don’t want to haul them around on the ride tomorrow, so I put just the trunk bag on.  I’m also leaving off most of the lights, as this is a daytime ride.

I still don’t have a good way of mounting the GPS to this bike.  My handlebar mount works, but I occasionally hit my knee on the GPS, so I’m just throwing it in the trunk bag for now.  I’ll eventually get some kind of an accessory bar to put the GPS farther forward and upward, clear of my knees.

Cervical Epidural – Yay!

Having a large needle stuck into my neck didn’t hurt.  I was numbed with a small needle first.

Hearing the needle slide past the bone was very disturbing.  Feeling the injection fill my spine area was bizarre.  Having what felt like an electric shock applied directly to my spine causing both my right arm and leg to spasm and me to yell scared the crap out of me.  I still don’t know what caused that last issue, but no damage was done.

It’s now been two days since the epidural.  I was sore for hours, but that wore off soon enough.  I would say I’m getting a little relief now.  Most of it has occurred in the last few hours.

Before just a few hours ago, I wasn’t sure I would go through with a second procedure.  Now I know that I will.  It has made an improvement.  I still get some numbness when sitting up straight or standing, but not nearly the amount of pain.

I intend to ride the 100K (62 mile) Populaire tomorrow.  Although I’ll probably take an upright bike around the neighborhood tonight, I’m still limiting myself to the recumbent for the longer rides – for now.

Still Breathing, Still Riding

My life has taken some turns recently.  I have been back on the ‘bent though.  My neck is better, but still not good.  My focus has really been on my health, but not my weight.  I haven’t weighed myself in quite a while.

I’m leaving work early tomorrow to get my first epidural.  My wife is meeting me there, as I’m not supposed to drive home.  I was going to drive to work, then out to my appointment, but I’ve decided to ride my bike.  The ride to work is easy, but the ten mile ride from work to the doctor’s office is on some busy roads.  (Shelbyville Rd out to the Oxmoor for you locals).  I’m going to do it out of principle.  My wife will still meet me there for the trip home.

There’s a sub-group of the LBC that approached us at RCCS about a populaire, kind of like a Brevet but shorter, and possibly less organized.  🙂  There’s one coming up this Saturday and I’m making tentative (health depending) on attending.  It’s 100K (62 miles).  I’m not too worried about the distance.  I’m more worried about what kind of pace I can manage.