Job Interview and New Clothes

Yes, I had an interview today.  Yes, I had a mad rush to get appropriate clothes last night.

I think it worked out alright.

I don’t normally dress this way

I didn’t ride a bike to the interview.  Diane drove me there from work.  I walked to BBC for a beer afterward, then she drove me back to work to change clothes.  She left to help her sister, while I rode the bike back to BBC for another beer.

Unfit

I’m in no shape to race Gravel Grovel this year.  It’s less than three weeks away, and I haven’t trained nearly enough.  Even though I’ve already registered, I’m not attending.

My goal now is to be read to race the 2014 grovel – at 175 lbs or so.  Wish me luck.

Recovered

Diane rode her bike to my work.  We went out for a beer.  On the way home she was complaining about not having her car.

We were home for about 20 minutes when we got a call from LMPD.  They had located her car, and arrested the thief.  The car was a mere 2.5 miles away.  We rode there on the tandem.  The car only has minor damage, and is drivable.  They used the center console as an ashtray.  All the belongings from the car were gone.

Blinkenlights

She drove her car home, and I rode the tandem home solo.

Poor car

I’m a tad disappointed.  I had hoped her car-free adventure would last a bit longer.

More Lifestyle Changes

All I’ve posted about recently has been bikes and beer.  My life is changing.

I won’t be giving up bikes, but beer is a maybe.  My doctor has said I need to cut back.  Diane says I need to cut back.  I’ve started weighing myself daily and tracking my calories again – and I need to cut back on the beer.

Something else has come up.  I’ve resigned my position at work.  My last day will be 11/27/2013.  I’ve been there five years.  Things need a change.

I resigned without having another job lined up.  This is either a motivational tool, or just plain stupid, depending on your point of view.  I don’t yet know if I’ll get another IT job, or take a pay cut and do something more interesting.  The pay cut route would mean less beer – because I don’t like cheap beer.

Either way, the bike will remain an important part of my life.  I’ll continue to remain car-free, even if Diane doesn’t.

Car-Free Volleyball

Diane and I had discussed riding the tandem to the indoor volleyball location even before her car was stolen.  Now it was our only option.

Luckily Diane is fearless in traffic – as long as I’m driving.  So, as the captain of the tandem, we did fine.  I had my Dinotte 140L and PDW Radbot 1000 taillights mounted.  Anyone who can’t see me from behind is legally blind.  I also had the Dinotte XML-3 headlight.

Both of us took a change of clothes.  The cooler temperatures are making this necessary.

We won all three of our volleyball games – because I was lucky enough to get a good team.

The trip home was mostly the same as the way out only darker and cooler.  I took a different route once closer to home, enjoying a 32mph downhill.

The ride was more than 23 miles round-trip.  With my commute to work today, I rode 30 miles for the day.  I’ll take it.

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Crestwood – Part Two

When we left off in Part One, Diane and I were invited to sleep indoors in the warmth.  Once in the spare bedroom, I was asleep within seconds.

I woke to coffee and breakfast served by our hosts – my future brother in-law and his wife.  I had hauled my Esbit stoves with me for morning coffee, but this turned out to be unnecessary.

We were able to shower before heading back out.  This was quite nice, and different than the average bike-camping trip.

Unlike Saturday, we didn’t have to worry about rain.  It was a beautiful day, if a bit cool.

I had a different route planned.  It was a little longer, a little hillier, and a little more scenic.  We struggled on the hills.  We eventually scrapped the planned route and took a more direct route.  This required taking the lane on busy multi-lane roads.  We had no issues.

My favorite part of the day was a brief break we took near the Snyder Freeway.  We pulled off into a grassy field, and sat in the grass, drank wine, and ate some crackers.  We should have brought cheese!

I adjusted Diane’s saddle (and watered the brush) and we were back at it.

We stopped at Mark’s Feed Store, Diane’s favorite BBQ place, along Shelbyville Rd.  There was a large crowd waiting to get in, and they really liked the loaded tandem.

The lovely Diane, behind the refreshing beer

We had a large lunch and a beer and moved on.

Yes, I like beer

We really were in “get back to the barn” mode now.  This was the last of the pictures.  We did make another stop for beer, but it was brief.

We rode three roads that I usually avoid: Shelbyville, Hurstbourne, and Taylorsville.  They are high-speed, heavy-traffic, multi-lane roads.  I took the right lane and let people go around.  We really didn’t have any problems other than odd looks.

I do think that Louisville drivers are pretty clueless about how bikes fit into traffic.  I don’t think they’re all that aggressive about it.  There are always exceptions… but not for us on this trip.

We arrived home, tired and sore.  This was more than 50 miles over the weekend – which is new to Diane.  I still have saddle issues on the tandem, so I was a bit tender.

Overall, Diane still loves the tandem.  She tells me that pretty regularly.  How can I not love her for that?

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Car-Free : Year Two

It’s been two full years (to the day!) since I sold my truck and have chosen to live without a car.

I have been in relationships with women who own cars.  So, some trips have been made by car.  I’ve still mostly relied on the bike for day-to-day things.

Diane and I will be getting married in April.  She won’t live without a car, but it will be her car.  I will continue to get around by bike for most things.

Oddly, as I write this, Diane is car-free.  Her car was stolen on Halloween night, as I wrote about before.

I’ve tackled the taking the dog to the vet problem, and it went well.  I’ve expanded my travelling, and have agreed to captain a volleyball team – played indoors, 12 miles away.

I look forward to the next year of being car-free.

Crestwood Wedding Chapel & Camping Tour

Diane and I had talked about riding the tandem out to Duncan Memorial Chapel on Saturday, even before her car was stolen.  We’re getting married there, and needed to finalize the booking for the right date.

We left later than intended, as usual, Saturday afternoon.  A quick trip to the store and we remembered something at home.  The 20% chance of rain seemed to materialize while we were shopping.  A quick ride home in light rain to grab the forgotten item, and we headed back out.

We hadn’t had lunch.  It was starting to rain.  Stopping early to eat seemed like it could solve both problems.  A quick trip to Four Pegs (while the rain petered out) was quite pleasant.

The rain quickly returned and became a brief storm.  Only one lightning strike that I noticed, but a little wind, a lot of rain, and small hail.  I was worried Diane would call off the trip.  She didn’t.

The skies cleared, and most of the trip was pretty pleasant.  The first 18 miles were pretty urban.  It takes a while to “get out there”.  Even at the 21-mile mark, where the chapel is, had exurb traffic.  Bleh.  It made for narrow winding roads and numerous pickup trucks.

After finishing the business at the chapel, we continued on along Mt Zion Rd, which I’ve ridden quite a few times.  I remember complaining about the unending rolling hills.  Diane and I do not make a good climbing team on the tandem.  Diane gets scared of high-speed descents.  This stretch was a bit taxing for both of us.

We eventually arrived at Diane’s brother’s house.  He wasn’t home, but we’d already talked to him about this.  We set up camp around his fire pit in the back yard.

She’s glad to be off the bike

The back yard / campsite is a sprawling thing ending at a line of trees, a pond, and a valley.  It’s quite pretty with the fall colors.

Blah!

The fire pit already had chairs around it.  There was ample aged firewood in place.  This would be nice.

Fire pit

I had a decent fire going before long.  We brought snacks, drinks, and sausages to cook over the fire.  It was quite pleasant to sit and watch the fire.

Diane by firelight

The homeowners weren’t due back until late, and when that time rolled around, they still weren’t home.

Diane finally gave up and climbed in the tent.  I sat watching the fire a while before joining her.  I was able to get comfortable and warm pretty quickly and I fell asleep.

I woke up cold and stiff.  I had been asleep for possibly 90 minutes.  I realized the cellphones had woken me up.  Our hosts were home and inviting us to sleep in the spare bedroom.  We were cold.  The fire was dead.  We happily agreed.

Ten minutes later I was in a warm bed and sleeping soundly.

Sunday’s events will be posted in part 2.

The route below is mostly what we rode.  I edited out the camp location and our goofy riding around before finally leaving town.

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Campfire

Diane and I rode 25 miles to her brother’s house outside of Crestwood. We’re camping in the backyard.  This was another ride on the tandem.

I posted this from my phone – with great difficulty.

We stopped at the wedding chapel on the way to fill out paperwork and finalize the date.

Edit: Now that I’m home, I fixed the picture and re-worded some awkward phrases.  Posting from the phone is a pain.

Fire!

One Less Car?

One Less Car.  That phrase is often seen on bicycles… not my bicycles, but I’ve seen it around.

It’s a good phrase for today.  With the cooler weather, Diane wasn’t going to ride her bike to work today.  She did yesterday, but last night’s cold front changed her mind.

I didn’t mind much.  She usually wants me to ride with her when she rides, so I could stay in bed for a couple more hours.

Today was different.  Her car was gone.  Somebody stole her car on Halloween night.  It’s not a valuable car.  It’s not a nice car.  Somebody is/was joyriding it, or is using it to commit a crime.

A police report was made.  A call to the insurance company followed.  Then we rode our bikes together to her workplace.

This is not how the morning was supposed to go.