Writing Problems

I haven’t posted in a while.  I’ve been busy during my good times and depressed during the bad times.

A week ago (last Saturday) I rode 41 miles on the rSogn, and was so stiff and sore that I didn’t leave the house on Sunday.

I rode the ‘bent to work, on errands, and to Car-Free Happy Hour last week.  This included one day with a winter weather advisory.  I probably should have ridden the Fargo with studded tires, but I didn’t.  I had no issues with the roads, but as I pulled into work, the bike slipped out from under me on an icy spot.  I went down in front of three co-workers.  I wasn’t injured, but it was embarrassing.

I was on a ride this morning with Tim and Asher.  I was on the rSogn again.  30 miles into the ride, I called it quits and turned for home.  I ended the day with less than 37 miles.  I’m stiff and sore again.

The rSogn isn’t the issue.  My body is the issue.  I’m having a low-grade flare-up of my neck and shoulders again.  Riding a drop-bar road bike aggravates it.  Maybe I should stay off that bike until the flare-up is over.

I’m planning on going out again tomorrow morning, but I haven’t decided which bike to ride.

As I said earlier, I’ve been busy.  Work is busy in a good way.  Other things in life are busy in a “not so good” way.  I’ve fallen behind on things I need to get done.  This has caused me to write here less often.

When I’m being lazy and not working on such things, it’s often because I’m depressed.  I have trouble writing when I’m depressed.  Okay… not entirely true.  I could write 300 pages of sad-sack shit that nobody wants to read.  I’ll spare you that.

Winter Weather?

My plan to only ride the recumbent to work this week may have come to an end.  We are under a winter weather advisory.  I can hear the sleet hitting the window.  The roads could be icy in the morning.

I have a set of studded tires.  They were purchased for the LHT, which I no longer own.  They’ll fit on the Fargo, but it’ll look a little silly as it’s meant for wider tires.  I’d rather look silly, and not fall on the ice.

So I swapped out the tires on the Fargo.  The rear wheel’s rim strip was out of place, showing a spoke hole.  I’m surprised it hadn’t blown the tube.  I had a roll of rim tape in the closet, so I replaced that.

After getting the studded tires on, I packed the bike for tomorrow’s commute.  If the roads are clear, I can still move the bags and lights back to the recumbent, but I’m not sure I will.  It’s been a while since I last heard the “electronic rice crispy” sound of studded tires on pavement.

Fargo with studs
Fargo with studs

I generally commute on a bike with fenders.  If it’s sloppy tomorrow, I’ll end up splattered with road grime.  That’s okay, I’ll be changing clothes at work anyway.

Rough Start to a Good Day

Yesterday improved after my post.  I went grocery shopping, cooked pot roast (leaving a bunch of leftovers for lunches) and got a bunch of housework done.

This morning was bad.  I had planned to leave early and take the long way to work.  I would have looped around Cherokee Park, up and down the hills.  I’m riding the ‘bent because my neck has been bothering me again.

I didn’t oversleep, I just didn’t get out of bed.  I was awake, but unwilling to move.  I tried to figure out how to stay home.  I eventually got up, showered, shaved, and prepared to face the day.

I no longer had time to take the long way.  I went directly to work.  The cold weather was invigorating and I was quite awake when I arrived.  I made it on time, which is sometimes an issue.

Once I had some coffee things improved greatly.  I had a couple of quick things to fix, then moved on to a big project.  I’ve been working on it (more like chipping away) for months.  The perfect conditions of being productive, and not being interrupted occurred  and I managed to make a large dent.  I have tangible progress I can show.  That’s a good feeling.

I’m not here to write about my work, but there’s a parallel to my personal life.  I need to be productive in my personal life again.  I feel like I’ve been spinning my wheels for a few years now.  This includes fitness, weight loss, financial issues, housecleaning, simple-living, and many other things.

I need to keep the positive attitude going that sprung up today.  So, off I go to do some stretching, exercises, cooking, and cleaning.

Goals and Motivation

Goals and motivation are important in life.  I have goals, but my motivation seems to be lacking recently.

Instead of going grocery shopping yesterday, I went out to eat and had a few beers.  I came home and went to bed early.  The alcohol helped me fall asleep quickly.  I didn’t stay asleep.  I woke up a few hours later with a headache and couldn’t sleep until almost 4:00 am.

I got up this morning at 10:00 am.  I still have the headache.  I’m fighting it with coffee and ibuprofen.  I cooked pancakes.  That’s not a diet-friendly breakfast, but it’s what I had on hand.

I had originally planned to get some bike miles in this weekend.  Yesterday, I rode one whole mile.  Today, I’ll go to the grocery store and back.

I’m not motivated.  I’m depressed and have a headache.  I’m pissed off at myself for the over-consumption yesterday (beer and food).  I’m slightly peeved that my caffeine addiction is so bad that sleeping in guarantees a headache.

I have a document I started in 2007, shortly after I started my original weight loss attempt. It was some life goals, and notes about each.  I added notes about each goal as the situation changed.

Some of the items on the list no longer apply.  I quit updating it before my second marriage.  Some of the others are still very relevant: exercise, healthy eating, depression, simple living.

Some of the other items on the list are a bit too private to post.  I need to write an updated document with my new goals, and reasoning for each.  It may take a while to figure out that document.  I’ll post the non-private bits when it’s ready.

I need some exercises to do indoors.  There are days I just can’t push myself outside for a ride.  That doesn’t mean I should be a lump in front of the computer on those days.  I need to do some core and upper-body work anyway.

Wheels!

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of dyno-powered lights on a bike.  What does that mean?  That means instead of batteries, there’s a generator on the bike to power the headlight, and sometimes a tail light also.

You may remember the old “bottle generators” that would rub against the tire.  Those work, but tend to slip in wet weather.  They also produce a fair amount of drag.

I ride in all weather.  I like to have lights on day or night.  So, a dyno-hub is the answer.  The front wheel is the generator.  Nothing needs to rub on the tire.

My rSogn came with a low-end Novatech dynohub.  I already had a nice SON hub, but it was laced to the wrong size rim.  The rSogn really needed the fancy SON hub.  I had Tom (the guy who usually builds wheels for me) basically use the existing rims and hubs, but switch them around, and use new spokes.

The Novatech wheel will go on my daughter’s bike, once I buy a headlight for her.  The SON is now mounted on the rSogn.

Newly-built wheels

I still need to get money together to have new wheels built for the recumbent and the Big Dummy.

Anti-Social Media?

When I was married to Kristy, she pressured me into joining Facebook.  After a while, the constant game notifications pushed me away.  I closed my account.  I had lived my life without social media (except this blog) and certainly didn’t need it.

Sometime in 2011, Michael invited us of the RCCS crew to join Google+.  It would a nice way to discuss ride plans without resorting to email.

Soon after that, I got connected to many other bike commuters, cyclists, Linux users, and weight-loss people.  It was fascinating and I made friends.

It started taking up too much time.  It certainly wasn’t getting me on the bike more often.  My personal productivity dropped.

A couple of months ago, I scaled back my circles.  I mostly scaled back those I didn’t have as much interest in, or who didn’t participate much.  This didn’t work, as the people I wanted to interact with were the ones taking my time.

Recently, Google+ added “Communities” a new feature.  I created a RCCS community, and made it private.  It serves the purpose of why I originally joined Google+.

Today, I made the decision to not use G+ anymore, except for the RCCS community.  I posted there about it, and provided my email address, and the url to this blog.  I hope to be able to communicate with the same people, but in a less frequent, more detailed manner.

I’ve made friends there.  Some I’ve met in person.  Some I will soon (I have a couple from California staying at my house for the Cyclocross Worlds event in February).  I know that most of the people I interacted with, I’ll never meet in person. That is kind of sad.  Although this is bothering me, I know it’s for the best.  I need to concentrate on my physical issues, mental issues, and work.

Last Sunday’s Gravel Ride

Last Sunday, January 6th, Tim, Timothy, Patrick, and I went out for a planned 40-mile gravel ride leaving from Marengo Indiana.

Zombie Raccoon hat at the ready!
Zombie Raccoon hat at the ready!

The weather forecast was for low to mid-30s with a 20% chance of rain.  The temperature stayed in that range.  We never did see any rain.  Although all of the snow Louisville had gotten had already melted, this area had gotten more snow and not all of it had melted.  This made some of the road conditions interesting.

Some snow
Some snow

Once we arrived in Marengo (Tim drove me there), I realized I had everything I needed except for my helmet.  I’m not a helmet-nazi, but my helmet is where my mirror is mounted.  It also has a rain cover on it which is useful for blocking the wind when it’s cold.  I missed the helmet during the ride.

Water crossing
Water crossing

I rode the Fargo.  It’s a great gravel bike, but doesn’t have fenders.  No fenders meant that I didn’t have to worry about mud getting stuck between the tire and fender.  Instead, the mud just went all over me and the bike.

Winter gloom
Winter gloom

I’m not going to give a play-by-play, as this was nearly a week ago, and I can’t remember the details.  What’s important is that some of the roads were quite sketchy.  This included a private road that was pretty much washed out – on a steep descent.  I dropped the bike in that stretch.

Another water crossing
Another water crossing

There were icy/muddy bits.  There were soft muddy bits that made moving forward difficult even on flat ground.  Once this road pitched upward we were forced to walk up the hill.

At the end
At the end

There were water crossings and a lot of puddles.  My bike and I were very muddy at the end of the ride.

Patrick was happy with his Fargo
Patrick was happy with his Fargo

40 miles is a relatively short ride for the four of us.  Yet, we cut a few miles off the route, and made it more like 37 miles.  We just didn’t have the desire to go the few extra miles.  I’ve lost fitness, and I think the other guys have too.  It was a tough route.

Tim was whiny
Tim was whiny

I have to congratulate Timothy on this route.  I’d like to visit here again when it’s warmer out and I’m in better shape.

Timothy, the route-master
Timothy, the route-master

Tim has better pictures on his post.

Coffee Ramble

Tim and I met at Sunergos this morning for a coffee ramble.  We had no grand plans for speed or distance, just a pleasant ride around town.

My rSogn is having a new front wheel built, so I was unable to ride that.  My single-speed is just a pile of parts in the basement, so that wasn’t going to work.  The Big Dummy and recumbent just seem so much for a ride like this.  So, I rode the Fargo.

I could have done this ride on any bike.  However, we’re doing a gravel ride tomorrow, and I wanted to be sure the Fargo was ready.  It is.

We headed west and eventually to Shawnee Park, where we picked up the Riverwalk.  We had to detour the closed portion (the formerly best portion) then cut back to River Rd near Sixth Street.

We stopped for another cup of coffee and Quills before parting ways.

Ohio River view
Ohio River view

I went across the street to Vic’s Classic Bikes, where I bought my single-speed.  Vic has assured me the headset can be replaced.  Once I have the money, I’ll be bringing the bike in.

I intended to not drink beer this weekend.  I was headed home, and was pulled into Four Pegs against my will.  I enjoyed a nice IPA and a sandwich.  I then rode home and brewed a pot of coffee.  I had (house)work to do.

I finished the day with 22 miles on the bike.  That brings me to 66.7 for the year.  I’m should be at 82 miles to keep in line with my goal, but I think I’ll make up for that on tomorrow’s gravel ride.  I need to start taking the long way to work.

New Month, New Year

As I stated at the beginning of December, I need to lose 5 lbs per month for 13 months to hit my goal weight by the end of 2013.  I’m one month in and I’ve lost only 3.4 lbs.  I need to work harder on that.  I’ve updated the weight page.

I rode my bikes 313.8 miles in December, for a total of 3,595.9 miles for 2012.  That’s down about 1,900 miles from 2011.  I intend to rectify that this year and ride 6000 miles for the year.  That’s an average of 500 miles per month, or 16.4 miles per day.

I’m buying no new bikes this year.  I’ll spend money to properly outfit and repair the five I have.

I need to do two types of training: distance and speed.  Distance just requires long rides.  Speed may involve intervals.  I’m far from being fast, and basically just want to keep a 15+ MPH pace of a reasonable length road ride.

I also need to get back into upper-body workouts.  I’m not prepared to start a YMCA membership again, so I’ll work with body-weight exercises and the dumbbells I have.