After getting the car, I went to the grocery store and thought over the decision. I’m still going to get around by bike for most things. The car gives me an “out” for those days I just don’t feel up to riding. It also gives me the ability to drive to Michigan to visit my mother without the hassle of a car rental, or the risk of the Explorer breaking down.
Although it’s an econo-car, it’s the nicest car I’ve owned. It has only 21,000 miles on it. It has more gadgets than I know what to do with. It connects to my phone with bluetooth. It has a sunroof. Fancy.
Diane and I took it for a drive last night, and brought both dogs with us. Yes, my car got the “dog hair treatment” on the first day.
If I regret the purchase later, or if life changes again, I can sell the car, assuming I pay off enough of it by then. I did with the Nissan.
I did drive the new car to work today, but I’ll be on the bike tomorrow.
Yay! I get to stay employed! Yay! I get a week and half off between jobs! Boo! I don’t get paid for that time off!
My contract job ends this Wednesday. It’s been a fun 18 months, but it’s time to move on. The new job is direct-hire, long-term thing. Good. I’m tired of contract. The pay is good. The atmosphere seems nice (an arcade machine in the break room, and casual dress code), but the commute has the possibility to be ugly.
Driving, it’s ten miles each way. Much of that is roads I would not want to ride a bike on. I can take a 13-mile route on the bike, and have a good stretch of it on a bike path – that even goes through the woods for a while. That’ll be nice, until winter comes anyway. They won’t clear the path.
So, I’m looking at riding 26 miles a day, five days a week. I’ll be getting 130 miles per week just for commuting (assuming I don’t wimp out and take bus/car/Lyft). This should help with my weight loss (which has restarted since giving up beer on June 1st). I also hope it improves my fitness. I still have that goal of racing Gravel Grovel in November.
Until then, I’ll have some spare time for putting in miles. I’m considering a short tour. I’ll have to keep it cheap for budgetary reasons.
There’s something about nice round numbers or dates that appeals to me. So today, June 1st, 2015, is a new start.
As mentioned yesterday, I’m not drinking beer during the month of June. I’m not a fan of liquor and I rarely drink wine, so those aren’t an issue.
I weighed myself this morning. I’m 274.6 lbs. That’s pretty unacceptable to me, but not as bad as I feared. I will continue weighing, but I’m not sure about posting here, as I always fell behind that in the past.
The first time I lost weight and wrote about it here, my life was simpler. I was single. I had nothing going on besides a job.
Now, I’m married. We have a new dog (who’s destructive and high-maintenance). Although I’m working now, I’m actively seeking a new job as the current one ends next week.
I’m playing volleyball again this year, at least in the summer, outdoor in the sand. I don’t enjoy indoor as much. I played today and had a good time, even without drinking any beer.
My eating habits have deteriorated in the last couple of years. I need to fix that. I’ve started that today, just by eating less. I’m not tracking calories at this point, but I probably need to do that. It certainly worked for me last time.
I’m rolling around some ideas about how to limit my beer consumption once this month is over. I don’t have anything decided on yet, but it needs to take bike miles into consideration, so I can earn beer by riding more. As much as I was drinking the last few months, I’d be riding to Indianapolis and back every few days.
I’d meant to “catch up” on what interesting things I’ve done this year, but I’m falling behind.
I did a bike camping trip with Tim back in September. I don’t have time to write about it.
My mileage for the year isn’t great, but with some effort, I may hit 3000 miles for the year.
I’m weighing myself again, but I’m not posting it here yet. I’ve lost about 5 pounds, only 115 more (or so) to go! 😀
I gave up beer.. until I didn’t. I have cut back substantially.
I interviewed for a new job today. I left work early, and rode 11 miles to the new place, while wearing a suit and tie. I wish I had a picture. I think the job has promise. It’s also 12 miles from home, so it’ll kick up the mileage for me.
There’s a cheap bar near there. That could be good/bad, depending on point of view.
I hope to get this job. The pay is acceptable. The longer commute is more of a challenge, but could be good for me. I intend to remain car-free, but with the ability to use Diane’s car/the bus/Lyft as necessary.
Yes, I’m tracking all my calories again. I don’t yet have a specific calorie goal, but I’ll get there. Just writing it down has kept things in check. I have had a 3000-calorie day, but I’ve also had a 1000-calorie day. When I wasn’t tracking, I probably had several 5000+ calorie days.
I’m weighing again every morning, but I’ll just be posting my weekly and monthly averages. I’ve updated the weight page.
I gave up beer. It was supposed to be a month, but a social engagement enticed me to have a couple. That’s okay, I’m tracking the calories of the beer also – and limiting it greatly.
I’ve already had a happier digestive system than I did before.
Diane and I have been a bit more active. We’ve been walking the dogs more frequently. We bike-pool to work on the tandem most days. On Sunday, we took the tandem and trailer on an errand run in parts of town I don’t normally ride. Those areas have a reputation for not being bike friendly, but we had no issues.
Due to Diane having an earlier schedule, I just go to work early. I went in a 6:30 this morning – which meant I got to leave at 3:00. That’s not a bad deal.
There was an article on a local news website today that drivers are driving in the new “protected” bike lanes. I haven’t yet used these lanes, they don’t go where I’m going, but I’ve seen them. They’re “protected” with paint. That must be some magic paint – or not if people are driving in them.
Anyway, I clicked though and made the mistake of glancing at the comments at the end of the article. These are people who post comments from Facebook, so their real names show up. I’m not on Facebook, and even if I were, I would not want to engage these same tired arguments.
Ignoring the rare occasion, I normally have no issues with drivers. So why do I get so angry when I see the raging ignorance online? Maybe it’s because they are willfully ignorant. Some are worse. In one article about a cyclist badly injured in a hit-and-run crash, one idiot commented “Good!”
I want to take away their cars and licenses until they have a better understanding of the law and more empathy for their fellow man. Maybe I’m just having a bad day, but this is getting to me today. It’s making me want to go have a beer – but I’m trying to lose weight.
I don’t care for driving, but I still do it for longer trips. I first got a drivers license two days after my 16th birthday. I rarely drive these days. After having a valid license for a solid 27 years, I managed to let it expire yesterday. I didn’t realize it until this afternoon. It’s now been renewed.
I’m taking a one-month break from beer. I’m not cutting back, I’m cutting it out. I’ve gained too much weight. I’ve been lazy. I’ll re-evaluate in a month.
Diane and I often ride the tandem to her work in the morning, then I ride solo a few blocks to my work. We did that today. In the afternoon, I picked her up, and headed to get my drivers license renewed. She had changed into casual clothes and flip-flops. She learned that flip-flops can come off while pedaling. She had to retrieve her footwear in downtown traffic.
My weak ankle has been causing me to limp. The weird walking caused a large buildup of callous on my heel. The heel split open and was quite painful. This caused quite a few issues. I started putting “heel balm” on it a few days ago, and it’s much better.
Sunday’s ride with Tim showed me that the ankle is still quite weak. I think the uptick in activity that I’ve had recently has been good, if a bit painful. I noticed today that I can barely lift myself onto my toes while standing only on my right leg. I haven’t been able to do that since before the accident. I’m also not limping at all today. I still have some weakness, but I’m making good progress.
More About Beer (and Food)
Beer and food is the keystone of my current social life. I often go out for beer after a bike ride. Diane and I go out for beer too often. Since I’m not drinking beer for a month, we need to come up with healthier habits. We started today by taking the dogs for a walk.
We walked the dogs to the bank, post office, and coffee shop. It was about a 2.5 mile trip. I much prefer riding a bike that distance, but it was nice to do something different and the dogs liked it.
I’ll eventually start weighing myself again. My last doctor visit had my weight at 268, which is pathetic. It basically means I lost 100lbs only to gain back nearly 70% of that. I weigh more now than I did since before I started riding a bike.
I’m going to have to help more with the cooking around the house. I have some ideas for healthier eating. I’m going to start tracking calories again. Once I do allow myself beer again, the beer calories will have to be tracked.
I want to feel like a cyclist again. I’m not selling the Fargo. I’m holding off on buying another bike. The bikes I have can get me through. It’s more about riding the bikes than buying them.
This is the first week that I’m truly back on the bike. This means I ride the bike to work every day. I don’t borrow the car, or take the bus. I’m getting back to normal – as normal as I get anyway.
I’m a little sad that I don’t seem to enjoy the recumbent bike anymore. I won’t sell it. It comes in handy when my neck hurts.
I rode the Big Dummy on Monday. I switched to the rSogn (with new tires) on Tuesday. I rode the Big Dummy again today to haul the tandem’s rear wheel to the bike shop after work.
In addition to having the spoke issues dealt with, I bought a chain, cassette and seatpost. I installed those tonight. The drivetrain is in much worse shape than I imagined, but the old 8-speed stuff is cheap to replace. The seatpost was not original, and was above the minimum insertion line – even with Diane, the short one, sitting on it.
I did buy beer tonight. I didn’t go to a bar. We’ve not gone out yet this week. Eating a home-cooked meal and drinking beer from a six pack is certainly cheaper, and a tad healthier than going out.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
She drove her car home, and I rode the tandem home solo.
I’m a tad disappointed. I had hoped her car-free adventure would last a bit longer.
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.
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.
My day started with a 7:00am dentist appointment. It was just for cleaning and perio-care. Yes, I have gum disease. I rode my bike there, in the pre-dawn coolness.
I’ve been on the tandem a lot recently, but Diane was at work, so I was back on the rSogn. It was nice to ride a reasonably light road bike again.
After the dentist appointment, I had a 9:00am doctor appointment. It was just a quick ride down the road.
This appointment went well. I’m trying a different anti-depressant. I’m still not convinced it’s a good idea. I also got my first ever flu-shot. I’ve avoided them for years. I was considering it this year, but I was sick when they gave them at work. I’m no longer sick, so I took a shot in the arm.
The doctor has mentioned that I need to cut back on my beer. It contributes to my ongoing obesity and depression. I’m seriously considering giving it up entirely…. just not yet.
After the appointment I had a brisk ride to work. After work I ran to the drug store, then home.
Diane and I went out to run an errand later, but we rode single bikes rather than the tandem. I had 15.9 miles for the day.
Yes, Diane and I went to San Francisco in mid-July. Yes, I’ve haven’t posted a thing here since.
I had a four-day conference to attend in San Francisco. I went out two days early to see the city.
We didn’t ride bikes or rent a car. This was a public transport and walking kind of trip. BART was helpful for the longer distances. The city buses and trolleys (muni) got us around for the shorter distances.
We never had a chance to ride the iconic cable cars, but that seems to be more of a tourist thing anyway. I was really fond of the ferry from Sausalito to San Francisco – It had a bar on board.
San Francisco is a great city to live without a car. Too bad it’s expensive and crowded. Many people (most?) use public transportation. Bikes are everywhere. Most bicyclists seem to follow the laws. Even the pedestrians are predictable and law-abiding. It’s a much different environment than Louisville.
There seems to be a bunch of unwritten rules about riding in San Francisco. I’m a bit glad that I didn’t have a bike with me – as I would have not known the rules initially.
We had Friday plans to meet up with Jenny and Shawn for dinner and drinks in Oakland. Jenny and Shawn were the couple that visited back in February for the Silly Bike Race Cyclocross Worlds Championships
We took the BART through the Trans-bay Tube over to Oakland and walked a few blocks to Chop Bar. After good drinks, food, and conversations, we walked around the Jack London District and stopped by a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop.
We spent one day walking around Chinatown, checking out the area around the Ferry Building, taking a bus over to Presidio and walking the trails. We walked a lot. We took another bus across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito where we had dinner and made friends with a large bird.
During our time there, we visited two breweries, one near our hotel in the Financial District, the other in Haight-Ashbury. We ate at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Squat and Gobble.
Sausalito was interesting. We had dinner and did a wine tasting. I can’t imagine living there. The tourist traffic was incredibly thick.
There are so many things I didn’t have time to see. I wanted to visit Alcatraz. I wanted to stick a toe in the cold water. I wanted to visit more of the nearby cities. I wanted to ride a bike across the Golden Gate Bridge.
I was fairly busy with the conference. Diane went out and did some shopping and sightseeing on her own while I was busy.
I want to visit again, with more time and money. It was hard to leave. Part of me wants to move there. The cost of housing is sky-high, so even doubling my salary would mean a lower standard of living. I did browse some real-estate ads, but to live in the city itself would relegate me to a third-floor apartment somewhere. I like having my little yard and little house here in Louisville.
I’m still here, and I’m still riding. I’ve been busy. I spend time with Diane, I have social gatherings, and I ride my bike. Having Diane around has been a positive to my bike commuting – as in she pushes me to ride instead of driving me to work. She did drive me to work today though. I wasn’t feeling well.
Here’s some random things since my last post.
I hauled a kitchen table on the Big Dummy to my daughter’s house. This was a four mile trip down Preston Highway. I got some weird looks.
The hardest part was strapping the thing down securely so it wouldn’t slide off. It was a bit wobbly, but I made it without dumping the table in traffic.
Part of the ride was a rather intense downpour. Somebody took a picture of me while stopped at a traffic light.
Diane has her own bike now. We met somebody at volleyball getting rid of a bike. We got it for free. It needed a tune-up, tubes, a brake cable, and a water bottle cage. I put my dyno-wheel on the front. Since the picture was taken I’ve added a rear rack and dyno-headlight. I’ve still got less than $100 into it.
It’s a Specialized Crossroads Sport (step-through version). It’s a size small, so it fits her well.
She doesn’t want fenders on it. She may change her mind once she gets a “skunk stripe” up her back.
The Louisville Bicycle Club (and Timothy) put on a 100K Populaire on June 2nd. It was leaving from Charlestown Indiana. Tim, Asher, and I left from Louisville and rode to Charlestown (21 miles). Tim had other obligations, so he rode back rather than participate in the Populaire.
Asher and I rode with another dozen people. The route took us to Hanover Indiana for a lunch stop before going back to Charlestown for the finish at Charlestown Pizza Company. – 64 miles later.
Diane met us there, and Asher and I enjoyed the comfort of a motor vehicle for the trip back to Louisville.
That was 85 miles for the day – more than I’ve done in a while. Although I was slow, I felt like a cyclist again. The rSogn is a wonderful bike. The weather was gorgeous. The company was pretty good too.
Diane is effectively living with me, it’s just not official yet. We’ve found the things that irritate each other (that’s what it’s about, right?) Relationships can be a challenge, but I’m optimistic about ours.
She’s decorated the house a bit. She keeps it clean. She loathes the dog hair, but keeps it clean as she can. Yes, I help with housework, but I basically just take direction from her. She’s the expert.
Diane and I have entertained company a few times at the house now. She had her family over for dinner. She cooked a large meal (with dessert!). Everyone was pleased.
My mother and my niece came to visit. They’re actually at my house for a few more days yet. I’ve had a week of visiting with my mother. I hadn’t seen her in person since 2009. I hadn’t seen my niece in about ten years. Diane and my mother seem to like each other.
Diane won’t give up her car. I don’t expect her to. It did break down on her on Thursday. It was about fifteen miles from my house, so it was several days before I got out to look at it.
She spent those days riding her bike around for errands. I guess she got a bike just in time.
I fixed her car on Sunday. She still rides with me on errands though. She has a potential job downtown. If she gets it, she’s talking about riding to work, weather permitting, to avoid paying to park. She doesn’t want to ride in rain, cold, or hot weather, but it’s a start.
I had a few of huge lifestyle changes over the last few years. The diet and exercise that began in late 2007, the bicycling in 2008, and the car-free lifestyle that went into full-force in 2011 are all a big part of it. There were also relationship changes. It’s the relationship changes that are sparking things now.
Let me be blunt. I love Diane. She’s not living with me, but her dog has been at my house for a few days. I bought her a phone and put her on my family plan. We bought a TV together, and I’m no longer TV-free. We’ll get by with broadcast TV and an antenna.
This is at least a long-term relationship and possibly more. I bought her a plane ticket to join me on my trip to San Francisco in July. We’re making long-term plans. I fully expect that we’ll live together this year.
She has a dog, Baxter, and a cat, Fancy. Fancy hasn’t been over yet, but Baxter has been here all weekend.
Diane doesn’t like dog hair, so we’ve both been cleaning. I also bathed both of my dogs and brushed them out while she was out running errands. Once the wet dog smell aired out, the house smelled better than it has in a while.
You won’t see her on social media. She doesn’t use Facebook or Google+. She rarely touches a computer. She says I post enough for the both of us.
I mentioned that her first bike ride in years was a 7-mile night ride in traffic. I think she has the capability to be more of a cyclist than I am. I don’t know if she has the desire. I’ll find out more later.
I’ve been trying to focus a little more at work to avoid getting too complacent. That involved going in a 3:00am on Thursday to get a major project completed without disrupting things during business hours.
I’m still a bike commuter, and the ride into work was easy. The traffic was very light, although the bars were still open, and I was a bit worried about drunk drivers.
Diane is used to being more frugal than I am. She’s tolerating my $15 per pound coffee, but she’s insisting on cheaper grocery shopping and eating at home. She has done much of the cooking, so I’m not complaining.
Diane is still willing to go out on occasion. We’ve gone out for good beer at Apocalypse Brew Works on my birthday (by bicycle!), and Four Pegs last Thursday (on foot). I did grab a picture of her on the walk home from Four Pegs.
It’s nice to go out and do things again. We walked around during the Balloon Glimmer (as part of the Kentucky Derby Festival).
We watched the Great Steamboat Race – and had a few drinks and some food.
This is the interesting point. Diane wants to lose weight. She’s in relatively good health. The only thing preventing us from doing more exercise together is time. She likes to ride a bike, but doesn’t own one yet. Between both of our jobs, and her youngest child who sometimes spends time with her, time can be tight.
We’ll eventually buy her a hybrid bike of some sort, but she may turn out to want a road bike some day. I think her power to weight ratio could be much better than mine. She’s only 5’1″.
The hit on my cycling
At this point, I’m riding a bike less, and I’m not worried. I still get around (alone) by bike. Diane rides occasionally and I hope she starts to ride more. She’ll continue to drive her car for transportation.
I did a lot of thinking about what’s important in life. Long rides every weekend didn’t rank that high. I can do it less often.
Overall, I’m happy with life right now. Some of that is new love. Some of it is the anti-depressant I’m taking. I’m not complaining.
I had hoped to get out and get some mileage in this weekend. That didn’t happen.
I was up late Friday after my date with Renee. I slept in on Saturday, and once I was up mowed the lawn for the first time this year. I also went grocery shopping and picked up dog food.
Cindy, my first ex-wife, took a bus from Michigan down for my daughter’s wedding. The wedding is tomorrow (Monday). I met up with Cindy for about 10 minutes at my daughter’s apartment. I hadn’t seen her in a couple of years. Cindy owns a truck, but she didn’t trust it to make it here, so she’s “enjoying” the car-free lifestyle while she’s here. 😀
I have another date lined up on Thursday. This one is with Melissa. I know little about her. I think I’ll see Renee again on Friday. There are a few other possibilities coming up too. This dating thing is kind of bizarre for me, especially when I’m trying to keep track of the “who and when”. I’m bad with names. Luckily, I take notes and use Google Calendar.
In 2008 and 2009 I felt better mentally and physically than I had since I was a child. Not surprisingly, this is when I lost most of the weight that I did. It was neat to discover that I actually had ribs.
Moving into town in 2010 so I could live car-free tempted me with all of these wonderful places to eat and drink within a short distance. My neck issue flared up. I didn’t do as many long rides.
I’ve gained weight. I’ve gotten lazy. I’ve been using a bus and a cab to get around at times. This has bled through to other aspects of my life. I’ve not been keeping my house clean. I’m been drinking too much. I put off grocery shopping – which leads to more eating out. I spend a lot of time moping and not being productive.
Yesterday, I did get out and go grocery shopping. I rode the Big Dummy to work today. After work I ran to get my hair cut. There was a one-hour wait, so I went to a sub shop next door for a cheap sandwich.
After I got home, I felt the normal “bleh – I don’t want to do anything” feeling, but I ignored it and cleaned the house. My house is now cleaner than it’s been in two years. Now I just need to keep it that way.
Having clean house makes me happy. If I’m home more often (because I’m not eating out) I’ll have more time to keep the house clean. My dogs will get more attention.
So, the “no beer” thing continues for a while. I like the way I feel today.