Commute Fail

Due to needs at work, I had to work at my old office location today.  I never liked that location much, but it’s easier to reach by bicycle than the current location.  I took that as a good reason to ride to work this morning.

It was cool with light rain as I headed out.  It was a pleasant, uneventful ride.

The weather had warmed by quitting time and the rain had stopped.  I was looking forward to a very pleasant trip home….

Unfortunately, I had a flat rear tire.

I carry tubes, pump, and tools, so shouldn’t be an issue.  Well, it was an issue.  The tires on that bike are very tight on the rims.  I couldn’t remove the tire.

My co-workers were already gone.  My wife was on the opposite end of town playing volleyball.  I used Lyft to get home, leaving my bike in the office.  Boo.

At least I got my 13-mile morning ride.

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When I Was Single…

I found this picture from a few years ago.

That was my living room.  I had a couch, chair, and coffee table.  That left room for working on bikes.  What more does a guy need?  Oh, a cargo bike for using the laptop on.

Needless to say, things look a bit different in my living room these days.  However, all is not lost.  I washed the mud off my mountain bike in my shower today.  Diane even helped.  That’s devotion.

Wasted Opportunity

I planned on riding the bike to work today.  However, I was lazy and whiny this morning, and drove to work.

The morning temperature was quite cool.  When I left work, it 70 degrees.  In February.  I should have ridden the bike.  Dammit.  I drove home with the windows open.

I’m tentatively planning on working from home tomorrow, but if I’m up early and feeling good, I’ll ride in, just because I enjoy it.

 

More Weekend Exercise

As I mentioned after yesterday’s ride, I planned another ride for today.  Tim and I met up and headed to Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge for a gravel ride.

Muscatatuck isn’t that big, but it’s a good starting place for a ride, with pleasant scenery.  The planned route was just under 30 miles.

Tim and I were both on our Rawlands.  This was expected to be easy, mostly-flat gravel.  The temperature was about 50 at the beginning of the ride.

After meandering around the hard-packed dirt roads in Muscatatuck, taking in the scenery (and birds – lots of birds), we headed east along a “road” that was little more than muddy grass two-track.  I was wishing for tires with tread, instead of my fat road tires.  Well, at least we have a different route coming back.

After getting back to a real road, it quickly turned to loose gravel.  It was more work to ride through, but I liked it better than the mud.

We eventually hit pavement for a while, which felt unnaturally smooth after that gravel.  It was like cheating.

Except for a brief burst of “leaving church” traffic, there was little traffic.  It was a pleasant ride.

I mostly quit taking pictures at this point.  I was still feeling good, but I needed a bit more focus to keep moving.

On the final stretch back, we ran into a snag.  The planned route took a road (CR 300 S) that didn’t really exist.  A quick look at my GPS showed that CR 200 S to the north didn’t go all the way through.  We did the only sensible thing and headed back south to CR 475 S – the very “not road” I mentioned earlier with all the mud.

Oddly enough, looking at data from a previous ride a few years ago in the area, it appears that we did take CR 200 S, so apparently it’s passable by bike.  I don’t remember the details.

We ended it at 33.6 miles before heading home.  It was a perfectly pleasant day.  Planning a shorter ride means we don’t have to cut rides short.  I’d rather feel good about finishing a ride, than cut it short and feel bad.  I’ll keep planning these shorter rides until I build a bit more fitness.

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Feeling Fat in the Woods (Again)

I mentioned that I needed to ride during the week.  I didn’t.  I worked from home two days, drove two days, and was sick on Friday.  I hadn’t swung my leg over a bike all week.  That changed this morning.

Tim and I headed out to get some mountain biking in at Brown County State Park in Indiana.

We started with a stop while still in Louisville for doughnuts.

Tim and I have very different fitness levels these days.  We used to be close to even, but I’ve lost a lot of fitness.  We agreed to ride separately, and contacting each other every hour or so.

The weather was beautiful for February.  The trails were pretty busy with hikers and bikers.  It was pleasant.

This was my first time on the Brown County trails.  The climbs are quite serious.  I stayed on the easiest trail while Tim wandered off to ride some gnarlier stuff.

Due to aches, pains, and a terrible lack of fitness I just really felt fat and was quite slow.

My bike is more capable than I am.  It probably wishes it was sold to a real cyclist.  It took me a bit over 90 minutes to ride just over 7 miles.  That was once around the “easy” loop.  I was going to go around again, but by this time my neck, shoulders, elbows, etc hurt from the low cockpit on this bike.  I need to take the bike back to the shop for some handlebar and stem adjustments.

I’m not complaining.  Being fat in the woods is better than being fat on the couch.  I enjoyed myself, and I’m glad I did it.  It was also short enough that I wasn’t miserable.

Tomorrow, Tim and I are going back out, but for some gravel road adventure.  I’ll be on a different bike for the different kind of riding.

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Flat Butt

Flat butt is what happens when you sit on your ass too much.  I’m having that problem now.

I was going to ride my bike to work this morning, but ended up working from home.  I’ll try again tomorrow.

I have weekend plans too.

Another DBNF Sunday

As mentioned in my previous post, I did ride in Daniel Boone National Forest last Sunday.  Here it is, six days later, and I’m just now posting about it.

I rode to Tim’s place, and he drove us to Berea where we met up with Andy, who I rarely get to ride with.  We drove then to S-Tree campground, a great place to start a bike ride.

At the beginning it’s mostly easy gravel.  Tim and Andy were riding fat bikes.  I was on my Fargo with relatively skinny 2.2″ tires.

The weather was beautiful, if a bit warmer than planned for.  A clearing next to the road made for a nice place to adjust clothing.

We eventually went downhill to this old abandoned house next to a creek.  I’ve ridden by this place several times.

Although I didn’t get pictures, we had to cross the creek.  Due to the warm temperatures, I wasn’t too worried if I got a little wet.

After crossing with nothing more than one damp foot, I managed to do an endo at the edge of a puddle.  I was fine, if a bit muddy.

After continuing along the creek for a while, we needed to cross again.  I got much wetter this time.  Again, nobody thought to take pictures.

It really wasn’t a road anymore.  The path was rocky, rooty, and muddy.  It was a challenge, but also a lot of fun.

After a downhill that Tim and rode the brakes the whole way – yet Andy bombed down like a pro, the long slog uphill began.  This was the beginning of the end for me.  I walked the entire hill, and was not feeling well.

We regrouped at the top and ate snacks.

We often end up cutting planned rides short when someone isn’t feeling up to finishing the ride.  This ride was planned to be short and easier.  It was a mistake in routing that led to shortening it.  I wasn’t complaining.  I was done.

On the return leg, there was a trail that was mostly parallel to the road.  Tim wanted to explore.  Andy and I agreed, even though Andy said he had his worst experience on a bike on that trail years ago.  It was tough, muddy, hilly, and rutted.  I was covered and mud at the end of it.

We arrived back at S-Tree, then drove to Berea for food and hydration.

I could barely walk the next day.  I still haven’t been back on a bike since.  This was from a ride less than 16 miles in length.  Yikes!

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Avert Your Eyes!

In July of 2014, if you ran across me, shirtless, in Daniel Boone National Forest, I apologize.

So far this week, I haven’t been on my bike.  I drove to work one day, and worked from home two.  I plan to ride tomorrow.

Also, I’ll be back in DBNF on Sunday to ride some more “not roads”.

Need to Ride

I feel fat and lazy, but I’ve been reading older posts here in preparation of migrating the blog.  I need to ride.  I’m horribly about it now.  I used to be much better – even when I rode from Charlestown.

My current commute is not ideal, but it’s no worse than the Charlestown commute.  I need to quit making excuses and ride.

The bike is packed for tomorrow.

Friday Commute

I don’t ride my bike to work often enough anymore.  I did ride Friday though.

I headed out in the morning to decent temperatures and wet roads.  I rolled a pleasant route through Cherokee Park, stopping for a picture at Hogan’s Fountain.

I was quite slow.  I’m not a morning person, and I’ve gained too much weight.  I pushed through and was glad I rode.

I have a shower at work, so I used it.  Although I’ve been bike commuting for years no, this is the first job where I had easy access to a shower.  It’s quite nice.  I’d trade it for a shorter commute though.

While at work, I took a selfie with a robot – because “why not?”

It was Friday, so of course I’ve gotta have some beer after work.  Diane agreed to meet me at Apocalypse.  I rode much faster in the afternoon.  The warmer temperatures helped.  It wasn’t morning, that helped too.  The promise of beer probably had a bit to do with it too.  I set three PRs on Strava on the way to Apocalypse.  I felt like a cyclist again.

We were puppy-sitting last week.  Diane brought Baxter (her dog) and Sophie (the temporary dog) along.  Sophie is adorable, even when trying to steal beer.

I limited myself to three beers then rode home.  Sophie was picked up and went home a few hours later.  I’ll miss the cute puppy, but not cleaning up after her.

32 miles for the day just for commuting.  I’ll take it.

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East-End Bridge Ride

The new east-end bridge (Lewis and Clark Bridge) opened last month connecting IN-265 to I-265 across the Ohio River.  It’s a toll bridge, but I managed to drive my car across last month before tolls started.  More importantly, it has a bike/ped path along the side.  I wanted to ride that.

Saturday’s weather was unseasonably warm with a slight chance of rain.  It was really quite nice for January.

I met up with Tim for coffee before we rode out wandering through neighborhoods, to St Matthews, eventually winding our way through Indian Hills and to River Road.  I struggled to keep up with him on (dead flat) River Road, forming a mini-paceline of two.

Crossing the river on the bridge gives a new perspective to Utica Indiana.  I’m not use to seeing it from above.

The path ends at Old Salem Road.  To the south, the road is closed.  That will eventually connect to Utica.  We went north to Waterline Road and took that back to Utica.

We got separated a bit after leaving Utica.  We both know our way.  When we did meet up again, we agreed that he’d go ahead.  I was cooked.  I think the fast stretch up River Rd did me in.

I rode back to Jeffersonville alone.  I took my time and rode at my own pace.  The Big Four pedestrian bridge was fairly busy due to the nice weather.  I went slow and took pictures.

The Big Four Bridge has a nice view of the other new bridge – the Abraham Lincoln Bridge.

I rolled back into town and met Tim at the bike shop.  We then went for coffee – then beer, yes, I cheated a little again.

After that I ran by his house, then home.  My GPS lost some data, so my total distance was actually 41.6 miles.  I don’t do that kind of distance much anymore.

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Livingston Adventure Ride

Tim planned a course leaving out of Livingston KY for adventure and a little mixed-terrain.  I grabbed the Fargo and off we went.

We headed out of town on the “busy” road.  Busy roads aren’t very busy in that part of the state.  There were a couple of climbs to warm up.  Temperatures were near 50 – 10 degrees warmer than anticipated.  There was a little mist and fog.

We turned on to some great gravel on Mullins Station road.  It ran along a creek for a while, then crossed over railroad tracks a few times.  I almost fell once due to my own klutziness.

We eventually came to an area with a small train tunnel, and the remnants of a mine.  There was also crushed coal all over a loading area of some sort.  The coal was hard to ride across due to being laid over the top of soft mud.

We eventually came to a bit of a community along the road.  It was marked at the ends with cattle guards across the roads, and no-trespassing signs.  We were a bit concerned by this.  It was supposed to be a county road.

While was we were trying to figure out what to do, an elderly man came out of the nearest home.  He said we could go through, so that’s what we did.  There were many dogs, a few pigs, a bunch of cows, and one very large horse roaming around.  The horse was actually frightening.

I didn’t get any pictures here, as I was starting to suffer a little.

We rolled along the flat section for a while, then came to paved roads and another climb.  I was beginning to slow dramatically on the climbs.

Near the top of this climb, were two large rocks making quite a view.  Tim waited for me there, as this was the turn off for a road he had found on a map.

The road was easy gravel and it ran along the ridgetop, so it wasn’t too hilly.

After a while it got much more rustic.  There was mud, a lot of puddles, roots, rocks, and general “mountain bike-like terrain”.  It was a lot of fun.

As fun as it was, it was challenging.  The rain kicked up at this point and the temperature dropped.  Tim was losing his brakes in the muck.  My bike made bad noises, but was fine.

After turning onto another paved road and enjoying a brisk descent, we came along a ridge road for a while, where two guys were shooting shotguns across the road.  Tim seemed quite bothered by this.  I simply got their attention, they stopped shooting, we rode past, and they continued their fun.

A while later, Tim pulled ahead of me, then I walked a long climb.  I found him waiting for me at an intersection.  He was cold and wet.

He headed out again, and again, I was too slow.  We regrouped at a shelter next to a cemetery and discussed options.  We were both beat.  I was too slow.  We’d head directly back to the car from there.  It was still another six miles.

We headed out, Tim was told not to wait for me until he reached the car.  I walked another climb, then had a very brisk downhill run most of the way into town.

Just as an aside, my memory isn’t good at keeping track of the order that these events take place.  I think I written them in the correct order, but I moved paragraphs around a bit.  The writing may seem a bit disjointed.  I took fewer pictures as I got into the ride due to just trying to keep up.  Tim’s account is probably more accurate.

Also, I had planned for 40F and rain.  It started out closer to 50F and no rain.  I ended up shedding my gloves and hat.  Later, when it cooled, and I never bothered to put those things back on.  I was glad for the heated seats in Tim’s car when we were done.

I wan’t physically ready for this ride, and I told Tim that ahead of time.  He made the very good point that I needed to ride it to get in better shape.  I’m glad I did.  I had a great time.

Thanks for the great route, Tim.

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Frigid Mountain Biking

I have a fancy new dual-suspension mountain bike.  I should damn well ride it already.

Tim and I headed out to the Parklands to ride some trails.  It was 11 degrees.

The bike was in it’s element.  The bumps are soaked up the suspension.  I just need a stronger motor.

The creek crossings were a frozen mess, but we both managed them without falling, or breaking through the ice.

It only warmed a little, but is was a pleasant day.

It was only about seven miles, but it took us about 90 minutes.  That’s mostly because of how unfit I currently am.  I’m working on fixing that.

Afterward, we warmed up with a cup of coffee.

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Eight Days Later…

I’m still not writing when I want.

I had an interesting week.  I worked from home on Monday and Tuesday.  Those would have been the best days temperature-wide to ride my bike to work, but I sat around in my robe instead.

Wednesday morning was cold, but rode my bike six miles to the bus stop and took TARC the rest of the way.  The afternoon commute was warmer and pleasant.  I took the long-ish way (16 miles) and enjoyed myself.

Thursday was brutally cold.  I drove my car.  Today was like Wednesday, but I woke late and drove again.

want to be a cyclist again, but I have an issue with laziness.

Updates – I’m Alive!

Nine months without a post?  Did I die?  No.

I’ve been focused on the wrong things in life.  I’m tied up with food, beer, work, computers, gadgets, etc.  I’ve even been dreaming of motorcycles for Dog’s sake!

Bikes

I did buy a full-suspension mountain bike in October.  You can see it on the my bikes page.  It’s a blast.  I’m write more about that later.

I rarely ride to work anymore.  The new office is a bit further, and the route is not very bike friendly.  I’m also fatter and out of shape.

I still try to get out on weekend rides, usually with Tim.  The issue is that I’ve lost so much fitness that either I can’t keep up, or I can’t even finish the ride.  I’m working on it.

Dogs

I lost three dogs in three years.  Candy died in 2014.  Sandy died in 2015.  In late 2015, my mother-in-law fell and broke her hip.  We took in her dog, Stormy, and elderly boxer, while her owner healed.  My mother-in-law passed away in June.  Stormy became our dog.  Stormy passed away last month.

That’s okay, we still have Diamond and Baxter.  That’s enough dogs.

Medical Crap

I have a doctor appointment in the morning.  I’m probably going to get put on cholesterol medicine.  This is my fault for letting my weight, health, diet, and fitness go to shit.

This is part of the reason for posting again.  I started this blog mostly for myself – to keep me focused and on-target.  I’ve been anything but recently.

My crappy recent eating habits led to a pretty bad flare-up of gout.  That sucks, and it kept me from bike riding for a while.  It’s better now.  I’m working to prevent another flare-up.

Beer

I love beer.  I’ve given it up a few times.  I cut back.  I eventually drink too much of it.

I wasn’t much of a beer drinker for most of my life.  I’d very occasionally buy liquor and get drunk, but beer, meh, whatever.

Sometime after losing a bunch of weight (2009-ish?) I got hooked on good beer.  Local craft brews are my favorite.  When I went car-free in 2011, I no longer had to worry about driving home after drinking.  That became a problem.

From 2011 – 2013 was bad.  I got better for a while.  Then I got bad again.  I’ve since got a bit better.  End result: gained back 80 pounds of the 100 I lost.  Years of work was lost.

Don’t misunderstand, I almost never get drunk.  I can spread out five beers over six hours and not even get a buzz.  It’s not about that.  It’s the same as when I drink my mug of coffee early in the day.  It’s a habit.  It’s soothing.  I need a less harmful habit.

Relationships

I still find personal relationships very difficult.  My marriage is mostly good, but our bad habits feed off of one another.  I have very little to do with my adult daughters any more.  One of them is coming over for Christmas though.

I have a job that I mostly enjoy, which is a big switch from the previous eight-or-so years.  Yay!  Something that doesn’t suck!

What Next?

I need a solo bike adventure this weekend.  I can’t put it off.  It doesn’t have to anything epic, just a 50-mile jaunt would be nice.  We’ll see what the weather does.

New Bike and Other Changes

I sold my much-loved LHT in 2012.  I shouldn’t have sold it, but it did allow me to replace it with the disc-brake equipped Disc Trucker.

I called On Your Left Cycles to order the bike.  I had them replace the saddle, seatpost, handlebar tape, and handlebars with parts better for me.  They also applied framesaver inside the frame.

I went with a Thompson seatpost, Brooks C17 saddle, FSA compact drop bars, and grippy bar tape.

So far, the steer tube is uncut, but I did lower the handlebars a bit after this picture.

Home from the shop
Home from the shop

I took the bike out for a shakedown spin on Friday night with Tim.  We stopped for beer along the way.

I added racks and fenders
I added racks and fenders

I ordered Planet Bike ALX fenders.  They’re aluminum, rather than the typical plastic ones.  They were a tad harder to install.

I moved over my Tubus rear rack and Ortlieb rear panniers from my rSogn, which will see more light-duty road use now that I have this bike.

Bags to carry stuff
Bags to carry stuff

I ordered a Tubus front rack and Ortlieb front bags from Wayne at The Touring Store.  The Touring Store is neat.  They have an online presence, but you order by calling.  This is my third order.  It’s been Wayne every time I call. He remembered me.  Included when the package arrived were instructions with hand-drawn notes on how to install the rack on the Disc Trucker.  Wayne is very thorough.

Top tube protection
Top tube protection

The high handlebars on my Disc Trucker means the bar-end shifters will hit the top tube.  I used some bar tape to protect that part of frame.

Ready for adventure!
Ready for adventure!

Earlier in the week, there was an after-work get together organized by my co-workers.  It was at a bar with a bowling alley at Fourth Street Live, which is really the “tourist” area of Louisville.  Not my favorite place, but close enough.

I drove home, grabbed the bike, and rode there.

Fourth Street Live
Fourth Street Live

Diane and I planned to go out to dinner late, but I spent too long there, bowled poorly, and eventually Diane tired of waiting for me, and pedaled her bike up to meet me.

Lousy bike parking
Lousy bike parking

We left shortly thereafter, and rode to a nearby restaurant for dinner, then enjoyed an after-dark ride home behind our dyno-powered headlights.

Blurry headlight
Blurry headlight

As is probably obvious from all this, my weight loss is off track again.  I’m eating out, drinking beer, but having fun.  Yesterday was the Louisville St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  We attended on the tandem, carrying beer with us.

I’m refocusing on riding more.  I would ride to work tomorrow, but I have to be at volleyball at 6:30 and I work 30 miles from there.  Nope.  Tuesday, however, I will ride the new bike to work.

Brrrrr

I’ve barely moved all week.  I worked from home four days, and drove the fifth.

I’ve been drinking beer and eating too much.  I haven’t looked at my scale.

But that’s okay.  I’m going for a bike ride in the morning.  It’ll be 15F if I’m lucky.

The Bearded Bike Commuter

I went two weeks without riding the bike to work.  That sucks.  I’ve also been attempting to grow a beard.  Yesterday, I forced myself out the door on two wheels for the trip to work.

I’m glad I did, even if the scraggly beard did little to keep me warm.




Cheating

I’ve been doing well.  I’ve lost weight, eaten better, and had no beer.  The only weak spot is riding.  I haven’t been on the bike much.

On the way home from work today, I stopped at the store to pick up a few things and grabbed a six-pack of beer.  I couldn’t help it.  I’m enjoying one of the bottles now.  I’m considering it a “mental health break”.

I won’t be riding to work tomorrow, as I’ll be working from home.  Friday may be the one day I do that this week.

Sometimes I’m slow

Tim and I met for a ride out to the Long Run / Floyd’s Fork area.  This is series of parks being connected by new sections of the Louisville Loop.

Unfortunately, being at the eastern edge of the Metro means it’s a rather urban ride to get there.

I met Tim for coffee to start our trip.  Within ten miles I was feeling weak.  I considered bailing on the ride.  Tim cajoled me, and we continued.  I tried to keep my whining to a minimum.

Once we arrived and rode some of the paths, we took a short excursion on foot through the brush to enjoy a view of the creek.

We looped around and headed to the southern end of the finished section of path.  There’s a fence up, but I figured we’d get around that, and check out the new construction.  Unfortunately, a park ranger was there (on his bike), locking the gate.

We eventually headed back, and again I struggled on every hill.  At one point Tim told me he couldn’t ride back at 10 mph, but that 13 mph would be okay.  We almost immediately came to a hill that brought me to 6 mph.  Ugh.  I was not strong today.

Tim didn’t leave me far behind, so I struggled on.  Eventually, once back on the busier roads, my speed went back up (adrenaline from traffic?).  We finished up the ride with another coffee.

I got 45 miles in, but never felt like a cyclist today.  Some days are good, some are not.  I’m still glad I got out and exercised.  I’ve been using Google Fit on my phone recently.  It thought I was walking for 70 minutes of today’s ride due to my slow pace.  Yikes.

My wife met me at The Post, a local pizza place, where I had a sandwich and iced tea to drink.  It was difficult to not order a beer.

Now that I’ve showered, I’m finding all of the sore spots from today’s ride.  Ugh, again.

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Yes, I *Do* Ride a Bike

I haven’t been posting about my rides, and I’ve complained about not riding nearly as much, but I do ride.  Here’s a quick rundown of some recent, memorable rides.

Cold Camping

On November 13th, Tim and I headed to Shelby Lake outside of Shelbyville for a lakeside camping spot.  The ride was pleasant, if a bit windy.  We had a cold, windy night to contend with.  I was uncomfortable for much of the night, even though I was able to get a fire started.  The return trip brought us a good breakfast.  80+ miles over two days and a beautiful campsite – not bad.

Lakeside view
Lakeside view
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November GAR

On November 22nd, Timothy put on another GAR (Gravel Adventure Ride).  This one left out of New Washington Indiana.  I rode my rSogn, as my Fargo, which is usually my gravel bike has some drivetrain issues.

rSogn
rSogn

I felt like an actual cyclist during the first half of the ride… then the wheels feel off and I struggled.  Still, I pulled myself through under my own power for 57 miles.

Fellow riders
Fellow riders
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Christmas Ride

My wife and I drove to Crestwood to visit her brother.  We had a nice brunch.  I had brought my bike with me to ride home.  It was appropriately decorated.

Christmas Cheer
Christmas Cheer

It was only 29 miles, but it felt good to get out.  After getting home, Tim and I went to one of the few bars open on Christmas for a couple of beers.

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Rainy!

Tim and I headed out on the Sunday after Christmas for a 50-mile road ride.  The day started with 70-degree temperatures, rain, and wind.  I was wearing shorts – a decision I later regretted.

Tim in the distance
Tim in the distance

The first 30 miles weren’t bad.  It did rain hard, but I don’t mind getting wet.

Wet rSogn
Wet rSogn

The return trip was supposed to have a tailwind, but at our mile-30 store stop, the front came through, the wind changed direction, and it got cooler.

I'm a little moist
I’m a little moist

If you look at the elevation profile on the GPS track below, you’ll notice it gets crazy after mile 30.  That’s not reality.  The pressure-based altimeter couldn’t handle the weather change.  In reality it was dead-flat.

The temperature had dropped into the low 40s, we had a stiff headwind, and I was still wearing shorts.  Brrrrrr.

Tim asked me where the ride registered on my fun-meter.  I told him that some rides are more fun in retrospect.

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Today

Although I didn’t get out for a New Years Day ride, which I did a few years back with Tim, when it was 9 degrees, I did get out today.  It’s starting to feel like winter.  I think it was low 40s.  I’m meeting up with him in the morning for another ride.

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I’ve done other rides besides these.  I just wanted to get a sampling out there.  Tim, Timothy, and I did an overnight camping trip to Jefferson Forest in the rain.  That was memorable.

I’m trying to really ramp up my riding this year.  Wish me luck!

It’s 2016 – Time To Change Things

I did pretty well losing weight from 2007 to 2011.  How?  Mostly through tracking everything I ate, and exercise.  The bicycle was only part of the exercise.

Since 2012, I’ve been horrible about my food and beer consumption.  I’ve done short-lived half-measures to attempt to get back on track.  This morning, January 1st, 2016, I weighed-in at 275.4 pounds.  That’s unacceptable.

I’ve also wasted a ton of money on beer, and dining out.  I need to be more responsible with everything I do.

2015 was a terrible year for my diet, exercise, and cycling.  I rode my bike only 2,424.3 miles for the entire year.  In comparison, I rode 5,502 miles in 2011.  I haven’t regularly tracked my calories in years.  I haven’t weighed regularly in months.

It’s a new year.  This changes today.  I will not drink beer at all during 2016.  I will track everything I consume.  I will track not just bike rides, but other exercise.  I’ll make it a point to do “training rides” where I push myself faster, even if they are short rides.

My goals?  Same as always.  I want to lose 5 lbs a month until I reach a weight of 175.   I want to ride longer rides (like I did in 2009-2011) without suffering.  I want to get faster, fitter, and thinner.

I’ve almost spent as much time working on bikes in 2015 and riding them.  I need to simplify.

I attempted to sell my Big Dummy, but I didn’t get any buyers.  I’ve since disassembled it, to part it out – again no buyers.  It’ll remain in pieces for the time being.  It’s put away out of my way.

The recumbent needs work, and I really don’t enjoy riding it much anymore.  It’s also put away in a non-rideable way.

The rSogn (now with drop bars again) is my primary bike.  It has rack, fenders, dynohub lights, and can do nearly anything.  My Space Horse is a fun lightweight single-speed.  I may use this for the flatter training rides.

The Fargo has some drivetrain issues currently, but I intend to get it fixed when I have the money.  The Fargo comes in handy for the awesome “middle of nowhere” rides we sometimes do.

The tandem is rideable, and I won’t be changing anything for a while.  It’s almost never used now.  I am a bit disappointed in Diane since she pretty much gave up on bicycles.

I still want something like a Disc Trucker, but I don’t have the funds for it.

Why haven’t I written since August?  Good question.  I’ve spent most of my online time on Google+.  I’m cutting back there.  I’ve also spent too much time on the couch with Netflix.  I’m cutting back there too.  Tim has complained that the bike blogs we follow have been going dark.  I’m going to try and write more to fight the trend.

Physically, my body has been weird.  My neck was better for quite a while, but I have other, new pains.  In just the last week, the neck pain seems to be coming back, but I’ve decided to ignore it for a while.  I want to wait at least five years before getting surgery.  I’m hoping that a better diet, weight loss, and exercise can help the neck this time.

Stick around for more.  I’ll be here.

More Trail Riding – I Needed That

Tim convinced me to ride with him at Waverly Park this morning.  The last few times I’ve been there, it was a sufferfest.  I’m out of shape and overweight.

I’ve not been on the bike much recently.  I haven’t ridden the Fargo in months.  I prepared the Fargo last night, and Tim picked me up this morning.

Tim and I agreed that he’d ride ahead, and turn back and meet me again.  He’s currently a stronger ride than I, and he’s better on the technical stuff.

Early on, I had shifter issues.  I realized that if I stayed in the three lowest gears it would be fine.  That’s enough for Waverly, which is rather hilly.  I struggled soon into the ride.  I wasn’t even sure I was on the right path for a while, but I was.

When we got to my favorite stretch of trail, Tim calls it “flowy”, I was able to increase my speed and enjoy it more.  Tim still pulled away into the distance.

Once I was alone again, something happened.  My mind went somewhere else. I lost track of time. There was no thought, no me after a while. Just flowing stretches of trail.  I’ve experienced this before on a ride, but it was a number of years ago.  I had forgotten it.  I don’t think I was like that long.  Tim had turned around to find me, and the skidding of his tires on dirt in front of me brought me back to reality.

Later in the ride, I managed to drop the chain off the bike twice.  It was still a great ride.

We stopped for coffee on the way back.  That was a good start to the day.

I have other, big, changes coming in my life.  More later.

Download

Too Little Riding

Buying a car has been bad for my bike commuting.  I’ve driven most days since buying it.

I did get back on the bike yesterday, and I wore my “Zombie Raccoon” Bike Commuter Cabal jersey for a 30-mile round trip yesterday (errands along the way).

Today, I was back in the car, mostly due to a poor night’s sleep.

The Big Dummy is prepped for tomorrow.

Weekly Average Weight for July 11, 2015

My average weight for the week ending 7/11/2015:
264.3 lbs

Down from last week:
0.5 lbs

Down since I re-started on 6/1/2015:
10.3 lbs

Weight until goal:
89.3 lbs

I mentioned I was going to start posting my weekly average weight posts again… well, here we are.  My new start was 6/1, when I weighed 274.6 lbs.

This round of weight loss is mostly due to less beer consumption and a bit of self-control on what I eat.

Space Horse
Space Horse

Yesterday, I rode the single-speed Space Horse up to the coffee shop to meet with my daughter.  We hung out a bit before I rode home.  Later I met up with Tim for a single-speed ride around the parks before we stopped for a couple of beers.

When it was time to head home, I had a flat.  Boo!  After getting a bit dirty, the flat was changed and I rolled on… and stopped at another bar for another couple of beer.  Oops.

Writing these weekly updates will hopefully keep me focused on the goal, rather than the beer.