Riding AS Traffic

I don’t ride IN traffic or WITH traffic.  I AM traffic, so I ride that way.

Here’s a video I found showing how to do it.  He rides much the way I do, with only a few variations.

In other news, my spine issue has shifted away from pain and more toward numbness.  Still not good, but riding the recumbent is not bad at all.  I intend to ride to work every day this week.  I rode to a dentist appointment this morning, then to work.  It was a beautiful day for it.

Spine Stuff

Although I really enjoyed the camping trip over the weekend, it hurt my neck.  Riding the Big Dummy was a bad idea.  If I do another trip, I’ll have to find a way to carry everything on the recumbent.

Monday had beautiful weather, but my neck was really bothering me.  I took a cab to work.

Tuesday was windy and rainy.  I had a physical therapy appointment and I was feeling better.  I rode the ‘bent to PT then to work.  I don’t mind riding in the rain too much.  It was a good day.  The therapist isn’t happy with my lack of progress, and neither am I.

This morning I had an early chiropractor appointment before work.  It was another “bad neck day”.  The visit did no good, and I took a cab to work again… in beautiful weather… again.

I think I’m done with the chiropractor.  The visits helped for a while, but they aren’t anymore.

I’ve swapped out my desk and chair at work.  We’ve ordered a monitor stand.  This should give me a more ergonomic workstation.  Hopefully this means I can be reasonably comfortable at work without leaning back in my chair.

I still have a few more PT appointments, then a follow-up with the neurosurgeon.  Then I’ll know what direction to take.

S24O Part 2

Patrick eating by headlamp - Saturday night
Patrick eating by headlamp - Saturday night

Read part one if you haven’t already.

I woke sore, stiff, and cold on Sunday morning.  I rolled out of the tent glad to be off of the ground.  It was about 6:30am.  The other guys started stirring about the same time.

The original plan was for me to make coffee and breakfast.  Breakfast required Asher to get the fire going again.  I was convinced by the others to skip making breakfast and concentrate on coffee.

I used Patrick’s stove and a percolator I borrowed from a co-worker to make passable (but hot!) coffee.

With everything packed, we rolled out of the campsite.  We waved at the younger group on our way out.  They were up, awake, and making breakfast.

The 33-degree temperatures were chilling on the fast descent down Holsclaw Hill Rd with no warm-up time.  Then it was a steady slog into and through town.

We decided to eat at a buffet near my house.  I fell behind everyone (except Asher who rode with my sorry slow ass).  Shortly after turning on Eastern Parkway the bike started feeling “squishy”.  Yep, the rear tire was going flat again.

Repairing a flat means unloading the bike.  Not a big deal at the campsite, but a real pain on the side of the road.  We were probably less than two miles from the restaurant, so I pumped the tire back up and continued.

After a less-than-satisfying breakfast, Patrick loaned me a CO2 cartridge that I used to re-inflate my tire and ride another mile to get home.  The bike is still sitting in the living room with a flat tire.

Building a bench - Saturday
Building a bench - Saturday

I completely enjoyed the adventure, even with the cold, the neck issues, and the flats.  I’ll eventually buy better camping equipment.  I’m still not sure what direction bike changes will take.  I may be limited to riding the recumbent permanently.  This ride was painful.  I can add an under seat rack for more carrying capacity on the ‘bent.  I don’t want to do so until I know if I need to.

For now, I ride what I have and enjoy what I can.



A S24O is a sub 24-hour overnight trip.  The RCCS has been wanting to do one for quite a while.  Why not February?

So Saturday afternoon, Tim, Timothy, Patrick, Asher, and I all headed for Jefferson Memorial Forest.  Asher went on ahead to deal with firewood and paperwork, while the rest of us rode together after a meet-up for coffee and snacks.

I’m not supposed to be riding my bikes, other than the recumbent, per doctor’s orders.  The ‘bent isn’t set up for hauling a touring load.  Riding a drop-bar bike is out of the question.  The only choice I was left with was to ride the Big Dummy.  It has a more upright position which is easier on the neck.  It can also easily deal with hauling a load.

Loaded Dummy
Loaded Dummy

I don’t have winter camping gear.  My sleeping bag was bought at WalMart 13 years ago.  I have an even cheaper sleeping bag I brought along as a second pad to supplement my foam pad.  My tent is an old but serviceable dome tent.  I also brought my regular pillow from home to help with my neck.

We wandered through town hitting a few extra hills to warm up (Tim claims it was just one extra hill, but I’m not convinced.)

We eventually made our way out to Mitchell Hill Rd then to Holsclaw Hill Rd.  Somewhere along there we got to enjoy a backyard firing range, 80s heavy metal blaring from a stereo, and an aggressive driver in a Mustang.

My fitness level is way down.  My weight is up.  I was riding a heavily-loaded cargo bike.  I fell behind the group on Holsclaw Hill Rd, well, because it goes up a hill!  I actually got off the bike and walked… for about ten feet.  The loaded bike was too heavy to push.  I got back on and continued pedaling.

I didn’t bring my camera on this trip.  I brought my iPhone to use as a camera.  I have mixed feelings about it, which I’ll write more about later.  I didn’t take a lot of photos.

While approaching the entrance to the campground, the  gang was at the top of the hill waiting for me.  I attempted a steep uphill climb off-road as a shortcut, and fell in the mud.  Oops.

We rolled into the campsite.  Before I could even unload the bike, someone pointed out I had a flat tire.  Sure enough, the rear tire was completely flat.  I unloaded the bike and changed the tube.

We all set up our tents.  Asher got a fire going.  Asher, Tim, and Patrick built a bench from a log and two rocks.  (I brought a camp chair).  Patrick prepared an awesome meal of pasta and sauce.  There were also prepared meat balls that just needed to be roasted over the fire to warm them up.  Beer was shared.

Timothy's "Beast"
Timothy's "Beast"

Another group of five who were mostly U of L students were also bike camping a short distance away.  They invited us on an after-dark hike on a trail to a cemetery.  I was feeling the effects of the alcohol, and joined them.  The others in my group declined.  I enjoyed the hike.  The peaceful darkness was nice.  Flashlights were kept off unless needed.  The hiking warmed me up in a way the fire couldn’t.

Photogenic Tim
Photogenic Tim

Once it got late, we eventually crawled into our tents to sleep.  I stayed completely dressed including hat and jacket.  I only removed my boots.  Even cocooned in my sleeping bag I was cold.  I slept poorly and was glad when I woke to sunlight.  That meant I could get up and move.

Patrick's Fargo
Patrick's Fargo

I’ll finish the story later in the week.  I need to get to sleep.


Hot coffee after a cold ride
Hot coffee after a cold ride

I disappeared from here for a while.  I saw a neurosurgeon on the 6th.  He has referred me for physical therapy.  I’ve been to one session so far and have been doing some stretches as “homework”.  With luck things will improve enough that I won’t need surgery.

The doctor has told me to avoid the bikes, other than the recumbent, so the single-speed and LHT are parked.  I’ll still use the Big Dummy when appropriate for hauling loads.  It’s not too bad to ride it, as it a more upright position than the “road” bikes.

My eating is not doing well, but I am tracking everything I eat… and surpassing my limits each day.  I’ve not been getting on the scale every day.  Sometimes it’s because the scale is here at my house, and I’m at Robin’s house.  Other times it’s because I woke up late, and forgot the scale in my rush to get to work.

I’m beginning to tire of “tracking things”.  I’m going to bump my bike mileage tracking to monthly instead of weekly.  I’m still tracking my commute method each day (cab to work today, carpool home), but I’m not sure I’m going to continue doing it.  It’s actually a bit depressing.  I haven’t been on the bike enough.

I did ride my ‘bent for about 17 miles on Saturday.  I met Tim for a morning coffee ride.  I felt fat and slow.  The small hills around town are bigger than any of them on my commute, and I struggled.

The magical blue pony that gets me around Louisville
The magical blue pony that gets me around Louisville

Several of us are doing a bike camping trip this Saturday into Sunday.  I’ll be riding the Big Dummy for the hauling capacity.  I’m in charge of breakfast and coffee for all of us.  It’ll be fun, and we’re just riding to Jefferson Forest, so it’s not far.  The more challenging part may be staying warm and dry while camping in February.  We’ll see.

I have another physical therapy appointment in the morning.  Wish me luck.

Another January Stat – Commuting

Getting to work and back home requires two trips.  For 2012 I’ve started tracking how I do each of those trips.

In January I had 21 work days, meaning 42 trips.  Only 28 of those trips were by bicycle.  There were three car-pool trips, four where I got a ride from someone else besides a co-worker, three trips on the bus, two in a cab, and two walking trips.

February is off to a better start.  I’ve ridden my single-speed to work and back every day.  My neck has improved enough that this isn’t too painful.