I Hate New Years Resolutions

Bleh.  I had decided some time ago to give up drinking for the new year.  I know I need to, but I’m having second thoughts.

I probably consume 40%* of my calories in beer.  I hate the idea of the New Years Resolution.  Why wait for the new year?  Why do something you don’t want to do?

In reality, I’m still rolling this idea around.  One way or another I will cut my drinking back substantially.  I have to.  Although my goal weight is 175, I could live with staying under 200.  I’m currently at around 250.  That’s not acceptable.

Stay tuned for a decision… or more whining.

* number pulled from my ass

More Winter Bike Camping

Tim planned another S24O for last Friday.  Timothy, Patrick, and I joined him in the madness.

Friday brought some nice temperatures – into the 40s.  It was a tad windy and overnight temperatures were about 30.

Tim and Timothy both used bivy sacks instead of tents.  No, thank you, I’ll stick with my tent.

We each heated our food over the fire, or various stoves – fueled by alcohol or Esbit tablets.  Timothy made an awesome chili.  I had a can of soup.  There was also bread and sausage.  We had some adult beverages.  I drank more than the others, but stayed up later.

Another stupid fire picture

I expected to be cold and have a lousy night of sleep.  In reality, I had a great night of sleep.  I was warm, slept for nine hours, and only got up once for nature’s call.

The morning was cold.  Packing up was brutal.  The camp coffee was less than good.  We rolled out and had a nice warm breakfast at Twig and Leaf.

It was a great way to get away from holiday madness and spend time with friends.  I hadn’t seen Patrick in months.

Tim wrote more here.

Stupid Bike Stuff and Commuting

Earlier in the week, Diane and I attended a party of a family friend.  We rode the tandem there in the freezing rain and snow.  The tandem was decorated in Christmas lights, and we got a lot of positive comments.

Later in the week, we stopped at the Bluegrass Brewing Company Taproom after I got off work.

I’m having trouble motivating myself to ride to work.  I took the bus several times.  The Big Dummy had rear wheel issues.  Those are fixed.  I need to ride the bike.

I’m unhappy with having to lock the bike up outside.  Diane no longer cares about her old bike (that we got for free).  I set it up tonight for tomorrow’s commute.  It’s cheap enough that the idea of theft isn’t so scary.  It may be a step-through frame that’s several sizes too small, but I don’t have to ride far.


Snow Ride

Last Sunday, December 15th, Tim wanted to take his fat bike on a snow ride.  I put the 2.2″ knobbies on my Fargo, and we headed to southern Indiana – where we assumed we’d find some snow.

Our ride started at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge.  It’s a nice way to get in some flat-ish gravel roads, and a little off-road riding.

We miscalculated on the snow.  There had been rain overnight, which had frozen over.  The beginning of the ride was clear roads.  Once we hit gravel, the roads were icy.  On the first turn, I went down hard, hitting my head and helmet on the road.

After I came to my senses, we decided to go off-road on the crunchy snow.  This was hard traveling, but much safer than the roads.

Frozen cattails

We eventually got back to where riding along the road was required.  Luckily, there was a muddy spot along the side without ice.  When the ice took over the road, we dismounted and walked.


We traded bikes for a bit to compare the ride.  My Fargo rode like a bike.  Tim’s Mukluk was pedal-powered tractor.  I’m not sure which was better.

Two Salsas

Our short ride of under ten miles was quite the workout.  Crunchy snow is hard to ride in.  We did manage to have fun and Tim watched a few birds.

Don’t Taunt The Cubicle Monkey

I had a cold commute this morning.  It was 14 degrees here in the city, but below zero just north of here.  I’m glad I don’t live in Charlestown anymore.

Yesterday, I planned on riding in appropriate clothes and changing at work.  For some odd reason I didn’t.  Instead, I wore bib-tights under my work clothes, and a sweater under my jacket.

I’m not the only year-round bicycle commuter at the office.  Unfortunately the office space I’m in is not conducive to bicycle parking indoors, so the bikes sit outside locked to a sub-standard rack.  I stick to riding the Big Dummy, as its size makes it harder to steal – especially with two locks on it.

The picture below was actually taken on Tuesday.  I was not wearing bib tights in that picture.

Cubicle Monkey

New Job

On Monday I had to get an MMR vaccine.  My new job is in a healthcare facility.  Even though I work in a separate building from the patients, it’s still mandatory.  With that out of the way, I started the new job on Tuesday (yesterday).

My new commute is 4.6 miles by bicycle round-trip.  I rode yesterday wearing a suit and tie.  I did put a wind jacket over everything, and hat, gloves, etc.  I was a bit under-dressed, but for the 2.3 miles each way, it’s easy.

Bike parking is at a lousy outdoor rack that isn’t attached to the ground.  I rode the Big Dummy and used two locks.  It would take some effort to steal it.

I wasn’t feeling well today, so Diane took me in.  I’ll ride again tomorrow, but I think I’m going to wear warmer clothes and change when I arrive.  I’ll wait for better weather to ride in work clothes.   Brrrr.

It’s nice to have income again.

Slush Ride

Timothy, Asher, Tim, and I met up yesterday morning for a ride in the aftermath of the “weather event” Louisville experienced.

Originally, Timothy was putting on a 100k Populaire, but with the winter weather, nobody was going to shop up.  He decided if we’d show up, we do a shorter ride for coffee.

The snow/sleet/rain/ice mix hadn’t quite finished, so roads were not in great shape.  I was riding the Fargo with the studded tires.  Timothy and Asher both rode ‘cross bikes with studded tires.  Tim was the oddball with his new fatbike – and no studs.

Fargo and I

The Fargo looks a little silly with the 700×40 Marathon Winter tires.  The bike is meant for 2.2″ tires, but these studded tires were bought for the LHT, which I no longer own.  The Fargo is the only bike I have that they’ll fit.

Asher and Tricross

Asher’s Specialized Tricross Disc is meant for ‘cross racing, but he added a rear rack for commuting, and some Schwalbe Snow stud tires for the icy mess.  The bike was in it’s element for this ride.

Timothy’s Origin 8 Frankenbike

I don’t know a lot about Timothy’s bike, other than the frame is sold by Origin 8.  He built it up from a frameset with his choice of parts.  He had some 45NRTH branded studded tires mounted.

Tim’s Salsa Mukluk with 4″ tires

Tim stole the show with his new bike.  He wasn’t running studded tires, but snow was not an issue for him.  Ice could be, but he managed without falling.

This is the monster truck of bicycles.  He got a few comments from people we saw.

We headed across the bridge into Indiana.  The roads in Jeffersonville were pretty bad.  Strangely, they were a bit better in Clarksville.  We crawled up to the Levee Trail which was completely ice and snow covered.  Many children were sledding down the small hill from the top of the trail.  Again, the orange bike with 4″ rubber brought stares and comments.

We made our way to New Albany, where the main roads were mostly clear, but the bike lanes were a mess.  We stayed out of the bike lanes.  We warmed up at Quills coffee – again people were agog over the size of Tim’s rubber (wait, what?)

Dreary winter conditions

We mostly followed the same route back to Louisville.  We finished up at Against the Grain brewery for food and beer.  We each went our own way – I ended up at Four Pegs for more beer.  Diane got off work and met me at Four Pegs.

I ended up with 24.6 miles on the Fargo.  That was enough.  I had dressed well enough for the ride that I was comfortable, but my sinuses were bothering me from all the cold air.  I believe now that I was coming down sick, as I had trouble sleeping and I’m a bit sick today.

Diane and I went out on the tandem to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner.  There are no studded tires on that bike, but the main roads were fine by that time.  The alley behind the house was a little slippery, but we did fine.

On the way home, I must have run over some glass.  After we were back home and warming up, I heard the hiss of air escaping from the front tire on the tandem.  Fixing that is on my to-do list for today.


We had some winter weather yesterday and last night.  There was rain, freezing rain, then snow.

Diane and I took the Big Dummy to a local bar last night.  The roads were a mess.

Today, I mostly “played domestic” around the house.  I did clear the sidewalks of snow and ice.

Front walk

I grew up in Michigan, so the small amount of snow is nothing… but I still didn’t like clearing it.  I’ve gotten lazy living in a more southern climate.

Back yard

After finishing, I had a good porter.

Founders Porter in a festive glass

I’m going to Four Pegs later for an acoustic musical performance and some good beer.  This should be a pretty decent weekend.

I Have Been Riding

Being between jobs, I’ve had some extra time.  I have been on the bike, but not for any long rides.

I met up with Tim, Asher, and Drew on Thanksgiving morning.  Timothy joined us later.  It was a cold morning.  My feet didn’t stay warm.  Drew had painfully cold fingers.  We cut it a tad short and stopped for coffee.

rSogn at cold meeting spot

Black Friday morning brought me an errand ride to Jeffersonville (not shopping).  From there I rode to New Albanian to meet up with the KyMBA crew, then riding back to Louisville with them.  It was interesting to use the Big Dummy as a mountain bike.

Later in the day on Black Friday, Diane and I did some bar-hopping on the tandem.

Saturday brought out the battery-powered Christmas lights for the tandem and Big Dummy.  Then Diane and I rode to Apocalypse for beer.

We were hauling growlers of beer

I was supposed to race Gravel Grovel on Saturday, but I had already decided against it.

I’ve been pulling domestic duty recently.  I haven’t started the new job, and Diane is working full-time.  Staying home, doing dishes, and spending time with the dogs isn’t all bad – especially during cold weather.

Decorated Dummy

Tandem Work and MacGyverisms

Last month I was doing a little maintenance on the tandem.  The timing chain (the one that runs between the cranksets) was loose.  This bike is outfitted with an eccentric bottom bracket to facilitate adjusting chain tension.

It appears that this style of EBB requires a special tool to rotate.  Meh.  I just used an allen wrench in one of the holes used for the special tool, and moved it against the crank for leverage.


I’m eccentric, and so is my bottom bracket

Tire Fun

The weather today is ugly.  It started with rain, then freezing rain, and now slow.  There’s a layer of ice underneath the snow.

I haven’t stepped outside.  I’ve been content to clean house and work on bikes.

I did put the studded Marathon Winter tires on the Fargo.  They were bought a few years ago for the LHT, but I no longer have the bike.  The Fargo looks a little strange with the skinnier tires, but that’s better than sliding on ice.

Also, I had ordered some Schwalbe Big Apple tires for the Big Dummy.  I got the Performance Line for a bit better feel.  Maybe the extra money was wasted on a cargo bike, but they are noticeably different than the tires I removed.  The Big Apples arrived today, and are now installed.

Reflective tires, stickers, and clothing

The Suit Worked?

Sorry for the lack of updates, but life has been weird.

I interviewed for a contract job through an agency.  The client wants me.  It’s in healthcare, so in addition to a drug screen and background check, I need a TB test and MMR titer (to determine immunity).

The background check came back clean.  The TB test is fine.  The other two are stuck in limbo.  The testing company is having some issues with paperwork.

If this gets straightened out soon, I could be to work on Monday.  Otherwise, I may end up looking for a job again.

The contract job will end in April, so this is just a temporary thing to give me time to find another job – unless I start enjoying the short-term gigs.  We’ll see.

My options are a bit more limited by being car-free.  The place I could start on Monday is only 2.5 miles from home – I could walk it.