More Adjustments

I rode my bike to work four days last week.  I still don’t feel much like a cyclist, but pushing myself out the door is getting a little easier.

Yesterday was a beautiful day, but I spend the day running errands on the bike and doing housework.  I hauled a large load of groceries on the Big Dummy

Dummy load

I’m still drinking too much beer.  I love beer, but every time I try to cut back, my consumption climbs back up in short order.  I may have to give it up entirely.  I’m tired of still being fat.

Beer!

I’ve pondered the idea of a paleo-diet multiple times.  I tried it once.  I wasn’t able to stick to it.  I lost my weight before with calorie counting and sensible eating (and little beer).  I’m not going to do the paleo-diet.  I’m going to eat a sensible diet, mostly home-cooked, mostly non-processed, and heavy on the plant matter.  I’m not going vegetarian, but smaller amounts of meat, and larger amounts of vegetables are in order.

The bicycling situation is complicated.  I’m out of shape.  I’m slow.  I can putter around town all day, but longer rides are hard.  I’m mostly limited to riding the recumbent.  I need to take off on some long solo rides, but time and weather have been limiting factors.

I feel like I need to take a break from worrying about the cycling for a while.  I can work on other issues in my life in the meantime.  So, I don’t care about bike miles.  I care about getting around by bike.  I care about making my house a more pleasant place to live.  I care about cooking healthy meals at home.  I care about spending more time with my dogs.

I used to have an exercise mat.  I should replace it.  I need to do some strength-training.  I’m getting too old to ignore my upper body.

Maybe it’s not too late to rescue this calendar year.

Ice Needles

“Ice Needles” is how I described how this morning’s ride felt at one point.

I hadn’t been on the bike since Tuesday.  I missed one day of work.  I took a cab a few times.  I rode the bus some.  I walked more miles last week than I have in quite some time.

Tim suggested a Sunday morning coffee ride.  The weather was supposed to be cold and wet – in other words perfect.

Looking out at a wet ‘bent

Tim rode to my end of town and met me at Sunergos.  Timothy also showed up, but wasn’t intending to ride.  At the beginning of the ride it was simply cold and wet.  There was a slight wind, temperatures in the mid-30s, and moderate rain.  As the ride continued, the temperatures dropped a bit and the rain started to become sleet.  At this point it started to feel like ice needles stabbing into my face.

We headed west to Shawnee Park then out to Riverwalk for a bit before cutting back to streets in Portland.  We cut back to the Riverwalk downtown.  We had no illusions of pace.  Both of us have ridden little recently and are out of shape.  It also seemed we had a headwind no matter what direction we were riding.

I was riding my recumbent – the only bike I can ride right now without neck pain.  Tim was riding his Rawland.  Due to the wet weather, I didn’t take my phone out for a picture, but Tim did.

Wet bikes

We eventually made our way to the Beargrass Creek Trail, then Cherokee Park.  We wrapped it up at Twig and Leaf for more coffee and omelettes.

It was only a few more miles for me to get home.  I was freezing at this point.  The precipitation had changed over to big clumps of wet snow.  I had one 30mph downhill run and the ice needles really hurt.

After getting home and getting out of my cold, wet clothes, I realized that I felt a lot better than I have in a while.  My mental state has really been suffering from not much bike riding.  My beer consumption is too high which isn’t helping matters either.

I’ve not had any alcohol today.  I’m relaxing this evening with herbal tea.  I’ll be riding the bike to work tomorrow.

Today’s ride was 24.4 miles.  The route is below.

Download

I Don’t Feel Like a Cyclist Anymore

Even after closing my dating site account, I’ve been fixated on relationships.  It’s not been healthy for me.  It’s time to move on.  I need to enjoy the good points of being single.

Another issue is bike riding.  I haven’t been doing much.  I’m also mostly limited to the recumbent due to neck pain.

I spent a lot of money building up the rSogn for long rides, but now I can’t ride it on anything other than a short ride.  I’m sticking to the rule that I won’t buy a new bike in 2013.  I also won’t sell any existing bikes.  Unless my neck improves, I’ll mostly be riding the recumbent.  I may end up putting some bikes up for sale in 2014.  Then I could expand the recumbent fleet.

I’ve had one ride this year where I felt strong.  I felt like a cyclist.  Other than that, even my longer rides feel slow and plodding.  Slow and plodding is fine for going to work or the grocery store, but I want to do more than that.  That means I need to train.

I put off training once before because I was having knee pain on the recumbent.  I’ve solved that issue.  I adjusted the seat.  A recumbent has a seat that slides forward and back – similar to the seat in a car.  Unlike a regular bicycle saddle, gaining or losing weight can quickly affect proper saddle position.  My weight gain meant my seat needed to be moved back.  Since moving it, I’ve had less knee pain.

I’ve also mentioned that the recumbent needs some work.  I keep putting it off.  I need to get around to doing it.  It could also use a few upgrades.

Dating Sucks

I signed up for a dating site.  Date #1 was a no-show.  Date #2 didn’t seem interested.  Date #3 was fascinating, but eventually it was obvious she wasn’t interested.

There was a #4, but we never set up a date.  We had some nice email conversations.  I don’t know if she lost interest or is just too busy.

What I discovered is that:

  • It’s an emotional roller-coaster
  • I need to stay true to myself
  • Looking for someone is the best way to never find them

It was hard for me to be happy while actively seeking someone.  I was willing to give up my car-free, tv-free lifestyle.  I think I was going about it all wrong.

I’ve closed my dating site accounts.  I’m going to remain car-free and tv-free, not because of any “greater calling”, but because that’s what I want.

A friend told me to “be true to yourself”.  I will.  I’m going to live my life.  Maybe I’ll find someone to share it, maybe I won’t  Either way, I can be happy being me.

Not dating means I’m more productive and less stressed.  So be it.

 

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

For some reason Louisville has the St. Patrick’s Day Parade eight days before the actual holiday.  I’d never attended before, but Timothy told me the Pedal de Ville team needed some help.  He wanted to, but he was busy racing Death March with Asher.

I didn’t want to leave a bike locked at the parade staging area so I walked the two miles there.  It was a nice day.  I took the shortest route which took me through a bad neighborhood, but it was the middle of the day and I had no issues.

I knew nobody there.  I was introduced to Scott, the Schlafly representative.  Schlafly was sponsoring this “float”.  It’s not really a float.  It was a decorated, pedal-powered, bar.  It could hold over a dozen people.

Green everywhere
Green everywhere

They were still in the process of decorating the “float” for quite a while after I arrived.  Some stuff was St Patrick’s-themed, other stuff was Schlafly-themed.

Last-minute preparation
Last-minute preparation

This was Lilly.  Poor dog.

Festive, yet sad
Festive, yet sad

We eventually got underway.  We began with a minor hill, but this thing weighed 2500 lbs. I think a few people didn’t pedal.  There was no shifting, and the first few feet were difficult.  After that we had to be careful to not run over children.

We cruised slowly along Baxter Ave and Bardstown Rd.  The spectators were pretty crazy.  Everybody wanted hand-outs, but I had little to give.  It felt wrong to give green plastic bead necklaces to children.

It's nice seeing these street full of people
It’s nice seeing these street full of people

We were egged on at the end to go faster, so we spun like crazy, taking our speed from 2-3 mph to probably 5 mph.  That thing is heavy!

Is the Schlafly sponsorship obvious enough?
Is the Schlafly sponsorship obvious enough?

We parked at the end, and I walked down with a few of the others to the Schlafly event at River City Drafthouse.  I had three beers and some food.  I paid for the food, Schlafly covered the beer.  That was very kind of them.

I walked three miles home.  This was not in a bad neighborhood, nor was I the only walker out and about.  I stopped again at Four Pegs for a few more beers.

At this point I stumbled home and went to bed.  It wasn’t a bad way to spend a Saturday.  Five miles, too many beers, too many calories, and a whole lotta fun.

Would You Date a Sweaty Bike-Riding Guy With No Car?

I mentioned I had a date tonight.  “L” and I were to meet in Okolona – a southern part of Louisville.

The trip there was interesting.  I rode my rSogn to work this morning, because it’ll fit on a bus rack.  I intended to hop the 18 bus down there after work and ride back.  Preston Highway during rush hour doesn’t appeal to me.

When the 18 arrived, it already had two bikes on front, and the bus was pretty crowded.  Oh well. Off I go, wearing my work clothes.

I took the lane all the way down Preston Highway, almost to Outer Loop.  How many rude or dangerous drivers? Zero.  It was actually quite nice.  Traffic was heavy, but people were courteously changing lanes to pass.

I made better time than the 18 bus for most of the trip.  It passed me near Fern Valley Rd, and it still had those two bikes on the front.

On the return trip I came right back up Preston Highway, again, no issues.  There was lighter traffic, but it was moving faster.  I was well lit – three tailights, dyno-headlight, and a reflective vest.  Two LMPD officers passed me without even looking twice.

The date itself didn’t seem to go well. At least the 23-mile bike ride was nice.

Food, Dating, and a Lazy Weekend

I mentioned a while ago that I joined a dating site.  I haven’t actually had a date yet.  I had one (let’s call her T) that stood me up – probably for valid reasons.  There were two more who weren’t interested once they found out I don’t own a car.  Never mind that I don’t need them to run me around.  I’m quite self-sufficient.

There are still two more, M and L.  M is fascinating.  She’s also found this blog, so of course I’ll say good things about her.   😀  I haven’t met her in person, so who knows what first impressions we’ll have with each other.  L is less interesting, but I’m supposed to meet her tomorrow evening.  She doesn’t know I don’t have a car yet.  We’ll see how that turns out.  I’ll be taking a bus to meet her.

I spent most of the weekend in the house.  Tim, Timothy, and Patrick headed out yesterday for a camping trip and gravel ride..  I didn’t go.  My ongoing neck issue meant no gravel riding.  Although they were quite cold, I’m still jealous.

I wanted to go to Four Pegs for food and beer today.  I still had a lot of housework to do today.  I negotiated with myself.  If I did the dishes, I could go to Four Pegs, so I did the dishes.  I walked to Four Pegs – I haven’t been on a bike since Friday.

I got into an interesting conversation with a woman bicyclist at Four Pegs.  Let’s call her Z.  Z is gay.  So, I’m out of the running.  However, she actively tried to set me up with her friend, D.  It was obvious D wasn’t interested.  Z didn’t give up.  It was really quite embarrassing.  That’s the first time that a stranger tried to “hook me up”.

Oh, and Z knows somebody in common with M… but I won’t get further into that, or somebody will figure something out and get weird… or not.  Louisville isn’t that big.

This dating thing kind of sucks.  Most people (including me) want somebody to have a connection with, to have a partner, to have someone to be affectionate with.  That’s the easy part.  It’s all the other stuff that makes it complicated.  Lifestyle, TV shows, cars, beer, music, physical activity, and just normal stuff like attitude, tone of voice, and body language.

Let’s not forget the weird dance we do.  I am looking for a long-term thing, but you don’t just go out and say, “Hey! You! – you’re attractive and seem nice, will you marry me?  What’s your name by the way?”  Some people already know each other before they get involved.  That’s they way Cindy (my first wife) and I were.  We knew each other since kindergarten.  That makes it a lot easier.

M likes email (as do I), which means we’ve had several long exchanges.  That also means they come once a day at best.  It takes a while to write it all.

L likes texting.  Very little is said in each text, but you can have many in a short period of time.

I really prefer one-on-one conversation, but I haven’t got there with any of them yet, except Z’s friend D, who cut it quite short.

I’m not sure I can handle trying to talk to strangers with the intent of finding “the one”.  I’ll continue for a while, but eventually I’ll give up and go back to not worrying about it.  Too bad I already paid Match.com for three months.