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.

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

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

This was Lilly.  Poor dog.

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

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?

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.


On Monday I ended my post with “We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”  It brought a massive headache.  My neck is having a minor flare-up, and the muscles were so tight that it was pulling my head, causing a severe headache.  I didn’t go to work.

Wednesday morning was much better.  I rode the recumbent to work.  I’ve considered commuting on that bike a pain, because I don’t generally wear “street” clothes on it.  Pants can get greasy on the long chain.  I used two small straps to hold my pant leg, and it worked.  I arrived at work grease-free.  I didn’t have to bother with changing clothes.

After work, I went out to eat and drink with my daughter.  It was totally against the diet, but it was good talking to her.

I overdid it.  I woke up this morning dehydrated and sore.  I spent the money to take a cab to work.  I walked to Car-Free Happy Hour after work.  Another attendee took me home afterword.

I limited my beer consumption tonight.  I need to ride tomorrow.

Car-Free Fun

It was another cold morning in Louisville.  I had trouble pushing myself out the door.  I did my best to not over-dress for the 20 degree temperatures.  I was wearing work clothes, and didn’t want to get sweaty.

Once on the bike, I was cold.  I wanted to hurry and get to work, so I pushed harder.  That meant I was cold and sweaty when I got to work.  Oh well.

I’ve been riding the rSogn every day this week so far.  I won’t be tomorrow, as I’ve taken the rear wheel off to haul to the bike shop to have it rebuilt.

Earlier in the day, we were facing down a possible winter storm.  It had warmed up to just above freezing while I was at work, and began a light rain.  I had an appointment to give blood after work, so I rode there.

Take a pint!
Take a pint!

When I left the Red Cross, the rain had turned to sleet.  The roads were just wet, no icing yet.  Traffic had gotten quite heavy though.  I rode out Baxter Ave and stopped at Lil Cheezers, a new-ish place that I hadn’t been before.  They have gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, which just sounds wrong, but it tasted good.  I also had a West Sixth IPA from Lexington Kentucky.

From there I took residential streets home.  There were some slightly slippery spots, but with some care, I didn’t fall.

I finally got around to doing the dishes at home.  I also removed the rear wheel from the rSogn, took the cassette and tire (tyre for Timothy) off, and have strapped it to the Big Dummy for tomorrow’s commute.

I have mostly decided to ride the Populaire on Sunday.  I was planning on riding the ‘bent, but it seems my new wheel for the rSogn will be ready Saturday, so maybe I’ll be on it.  We’ll see.

I’m Still Here!

I’ve been lax about writing.  Instead, I fire off a sentence or two on Google+.  I’ve also been using Google+ less, which has helped my productivity, but I’ve had nearly no social life – even an online one.  I’ll be curtailing my G+ usage even more to spend the time having an in-person social life, writing here, and focusing on my health goals.

Beer is a problem.  Food is a bigger problem.  Both have been out of control for a while now.  Grocery store? What’s that?  Seriously, I need to buy groceries and cook again.  Yesterday (and too many other days) I went out for dinner and drank too much beer – way too much.  I woke up this morning after a crappy night’s sleep feeling sick and dehydrated.

I went out to eat after work today too.  It was either that or the grocery store, and I loathe the grocery store.  Also, I’d have to cook, which would mean washing the dishes….   Anyway, I had only two beers.  It was enough to enjoy my time, but I didn’t get drunk.  It was quite nice.  I’ll have to try this “not drunk” more often.

So less time on social media.  More time on dishes.

I’m riding the bike nearly every day.  I’ve got just over 600 miles in for the year.  This time of year isn’t conducive to really high miles, so I think I’m doing pretty good.  There’s a populaire this Sunday that I should force myself to ride.  62 miles + 24 to get there and back.  Pushing 90 miles?  Maybe I could go the long way and get an even 100 for the day.  I’ll probably ride the recumbent, as the rSogn will be having new rear wheel built that weekend.  I’ve never ridden 100 miles in a day on the ‘bent.

I’ve had some nice short-ish weekend rides with Tim.  Nothing epic, mostly just around town rides.  Sometimes we had multiple coffee stops.  Most of the RCCS crew has little free time.  They all have family obligations or whatnot.  Darn families.  They take away our freedom.

I’ve complained a little (maybe more than a little) about loneliness.  Well, I went and joined a dating site, again.  I’ll try not to marry the first woman I meet within six months this time around.  I texted with one woman late into the night on Sunday.  I was limiting my looking to local women… really local, because I don’t own a car.  Unfortunately, her profile said she was five miles away, in reality she had moved to another town 40 miles away.  We still planned a Monday night date here in Louisville.  She stood me up.  She did contact me later.  She had car trouble.  I haven’t heard from her since.  I’m not going to pester her.  We’ll see if I have better luck (and hopefully someone closer) next time.

Icing on the cake?  My daughter and I had plans to go out on Tuesday night.  Guess what?  She stood me up too.  She fell asleep and didn’t hear her phone.  Oh well.  I’ve spent most of my dining out time alone.  Often I’m surrounded by people, yet I’m alone.  I’m not an extrovert.  It’s difficult for me to just start talking to people, and honestly, some of them don’t want me to talk to them.

I’m a great procrastinator.  I wish I could get paid for that.  I’d easily get that job.  “Senior Vice President of Procrastination”  Yep.  I could do it.  I put off posting here.  I’ve put off my upper-body exercises.  I’ve put off getting my diet back under control.  I should take advantage of my good mood tonight and do something useful, but I won’t.  I’m procrastinating again…… Oh wait!  I’m posting here.  That counts, right?

I’m dreading the March 1 weigh-in.  Unless I starve myself until then (which I won’t do), I’ve probably gained a tad.  Bleh.

It’s past my bed time.  Good night!

Winter Weather?

My plan to only ride the recumbent to work this week may have come to an end.  We are under a winter weather advisory.  I can hear the sleet hitting the window.  The roads could be icy in the morning.

I have a set of studded tires.  They were purchased for the LHT, which I no longer own.  They’ll fit on the Fargo, but it’ll look a little silly as it’s meant for wider tires.  I’d rather look silly, and not fall on the ice.

So I swapped out the tires on the Fargo.  The rear wheel’s rim strip was out of place, showing a spoke hole.  I’m surprised it hadn’t blown the tube.  I had a roll of rim tape in the closet, so I replaced that.

After getting the studded tires on, I packed the bike for tomorrow’s commute.  If the roads are clear, I can still move the bags and lights back to the recumbent, but I’m not sure I will.  It’s been a while since I last heard the “electronic rice crispy” sound of studded tires on pavement.

Fargo with studs

I generally commute on a bike with fenders.  If it’s sloppy tomorrow, I’ll end up splattered with road grime.  That’s okay, I’ll be changing clothes at work anyway.

Shopping Ride!

The weather has been a bit cold and windy.  We had some snow accumulation, although the roads are clear for now.

Dawn, my youngest daughter, is struggling financially and could really use some new clothes and shoes.

She lives with her boyfriend just a short distance from my house.  They don’t have a car either.


She rode her bike over today.  She seemed slightly disappointed that I didn’t call a cab or make bus plans.  She was willing to ride, and we headed off down Preston Highway.  I bought her some pants and shoes.  I bought a sheet set and shirt for myself.

Locking up

The sheet set is for a new bed I ordered that will be delivered on Monday.

After shopping we rode to Four Pegs for dinner and a beer.  She turned 21 earlier this month and can have a good stout with her dad now.

Double Chocolate Stout – she has good taste

She’d like to have fenders and possibly even a dynohub on this bike.  She did on her previous bike before it was stolen.

This was my second time taking her out for food and alcohol.  She only had one beer this time.  Last time, we were walking back, which is a good thing.  She overdid it.

Sick Dog

Sandy the Psycho had some raw venison on Thursday of last week.  I used to raw-feed the dogs, so I didn’t think this would be an issue.  I was wrong.

Candy the Lovable is normally the dog who gets an upset stomach, but this time Sandy started squirting vile liquid out the rear end uncontrollably.  This started on Saturday morning, and she quit eating.

Sandy the Psychodog

Saturday night, I made her sleep outside.  It was a mild night.  I put water out for her.  I let her back in during the day Sunday, but she still wouldn’t eat.  She was drinking water, and occasionally squirting again.  It seemed to have tapered off by Sunday night, so she stayed in overnight, and made a mess.

Monday, I woke up sick, so I stayed home from work.  That was good.  It allowed me to keep an eye on her, and let her out often.

She was lethargic, still wouldn’t eat, and appeared nauseated (not eating, licking her lips, etc).

I decided to call the vet if she still wouldn’t eat on Tuesday morning.  As expected, she still wouldn’t eat Tuesday morning.  She did seem slightly more energetic though.

A call to the vet got a 9:30 appointment.  I figure she should get used to the bike trailer, rather than deal with getting a cab driver who doesn’t want dog hair in his car.

She tried to get out of the trailer as we first left, but after being put back in, she stayed in for the rest of the ride to the vet’s office.

Doggie cab?

Since I was riding the Big Dummy and pulling a trailer, I just parked in a car parking spot.  Nobody said a word about it.

Sandy was given some fluid under the skin (which dribbled out of her a little making me laugh).  She was given some anti-nausea medicine to induce her to eat.

They supplied several different pills.  She actually ate a pill wrapper with pills in it before we left the vet’s office.  Success!

They suggested I cook a bland meal of boiled chicken breast and white rice for her first meal.  I dropped her off at home and went to work.

After work, I went to the grocery store, so that I could cook dinner.  I expected to come home to dog messes on the floor, but there were none.  I cooked the dinner, and my dogs and I all ate the same thing.  Yes, Sandy ate her whole bowl full.

About an hour later, I heard a loud WHARRRRRRRRRRRRG noise.  I expected Sandy to be sick, but no, it was Candy, vomiting up the chicken and rice.  I let her out where she continued emptying her stomach.  I cleaned up the mess and later let her back in.

The vet called me today at work.  They ran the blood work, and everything looks fine.  Sandy should be fine.  She’s acting normal again.  I still need to provide them with a stool sample, but Sandy needs to provide it first.  Her system is probably still pretty empty.  Maybe tomorrow.

Although I spent a couple of hundred dollars at the vet, it was worthwhile.  I also know I can get the dog there by bike.  Both dogs at once would be more of a problem.

Car-Free – The First Year

One year ago today, I sold my truck back to the dealer and rode my bike home.  Since then most of my travels have been by bike.  I rented a car once, in January, for a trip to Bowling Green.  After a neck flare-up made riding the bike difficult, I spent some time taking the bus or a cab to work.  Luckily, the neck issue has improved.

There was some trepidation about living without a car.  There are still some things that are less than ideal (getting the dogs to the vet).  I’ve managed and I don’t regret the decision at all.

2012 has not been a good year for bike riding due to a number of health and mental issues.  I’m hoping my second car-free year is easier and happier.

This message was actually “pre-recorded” on 11/3, but won’t post until 11/4 at 9:00am.  I’ll be on a camping trip (by bike!) and won’t be able to post.

The Invisible Car-Free

Many of you may know the visible car-free. They bum rides everywhere.  They don’t have a car due to bad circumstances. It was never a choice.  It’s often temporary.  I saw a sad craigslist post a while back for a bike for sale.  It was for sale because the owner “didn’t need it anymore” because he “got a car”.

I’m in San Diego for a conference.  There are people from all over the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand here.  These are professionals.  Otherwise their employers wouldn’t be spending thousands of dollars to send them here.

I don’t generally bring up being car-free to most people that I don’t know, but a couple of discussions have went down that path since I’ve been in town, and I’ve found two car-free individuals.

The first is a woman from Sydney Australia.  She gets around on foot and with public transportation.  She has her groceries delivered.  She was one of the first conference attendees I talked to.  I had breakfast with her on Monday.  Our discussion started about timezones and jet lag.

While Robin and I were shopping, the owner of small tourist-oriented place in the Gaslamp Quarter discussed bikes (because we were riding rented ones) and the fact that I’m car-free came up.  He is also.  He doesn’t ride a bike, but he walks and takes public transportation.  He also works at the Zoo, so the MTA trolleys come in rather handy for him.

I’ve seen a lot of conference goers from New York City.  I imagine a good percentage of them are car-free.  It’s quite common in major cities with good public transportation.

Here in San Diego, pretty much all of us in this conference (over 1200) are at least temporarily car-free, as we flew here and are all staying a short distance from the conference.  Most everything you could need is right here within walking distance. Public transportation can get you anywhere else.

Between the climate and the public transportation, I’m really tempted to stay here….

Strange Driver Interaction

Strange Driver Interaction
Shit People Say

I had a strange driver interaction downtown Monday.  I was northbound on 5th street.  It’s a one-way three-lane road.  There are lights every block.  The right lane is parking and right turn lanes.  I ride the middle lane.  I do this regularly with no issues.

Monday, while I’m riding my new bike, an older woman very politely asked if I had the right to “ride in the road like that?“.
Yes, ma’am” was my reply.
… but without a license plate?” she mumbled.
I told her she should “look up the Kentucky State Statutes” for herself.
“I will.” she replied and drove on.

I’m glad the conversation was civil.  There were no threats.  She didn’t tell me I wasn’t allowed to do something, she asked.  I’m frustrated that road users don’t understand the laws governing them.

It’s not just drivers that are like this.  There are hundreds (thousands?) of people in Louisville who ride bikes on the sidewalks or the wrong way, through red lights.  I honestly think that at least half of them don’t know that the laws apply to them too.

Weird Week, Heat Wave, and Mileage Goals

My eating has been better, even with the large amount of ice cream that disappeared one day.  I’ve been weighing myself every morning again, although I have yet to post it here.  There is a definite downward trend.  It dropped six pounds in three days, then jumped up about three pounds.

It’s only Thursday, but it feels like the week is over.  I still have to work tomorrow.

Robin and I rode bikes to her volleyball game Monday evening.  I signed up for the next session beginning 7/16.  This could get interesting…  We went to a restaurant across the street called “The Brewery” after the games.  I drank water and had a spinach salad.  Success with self-control!

Tuesday morning brought a massive headache of near-migraine proportions.  I wasn’t on a bike, or even at work.  Later in the day I did install the front rack on Robin’s bike.

Wednesday morning was again filled with that massive headache.  I had to work.  I called Robin and she drove me to work.

Today, Thursday, I happily rode the recumbent to work.  The weather forecast has been calling for a heat wave beginning today.  It was still pleasant on the way in to work.

It was 103 degrees when I left work.  It was hot and sunny, but with a bit of a breeze.  The ride home was actually quite pleasant.  I had just got the bike indoors and undressed when I heard from Tim.  He was out on a ride and wanted me to meet up with him.  I got re-dressed and headed out for another 19 miles.

I’m now at 460 miles for the month of June.  I’d like to hit 500, but I’ve only got two days left, and I have other things to do.  I might get up early and try to get extra miles in to hit 500.  I’m also a part of a group on Google+ that are shooting for 500 miles in July, but I’ve got plenty of time for that, and I actually hope to surpass 700.

I’ve been beer-free for a week.  Just a few weeks more before I decide if I will allow myself beer again, and at what quantities.

Fitness, Food, and Alcohol

I’ve been eating poorly for almost two years now.  I’ve gained weight.  I quit weighing myself regularly.  I quit being accountable.  I’ve had a couple of false (re-)starts since posting about this in in November.

Much of the loss of momentum was due to the neck issue.  The neck issue in currently under control.  Moving into town back in 2010 made getting around by bicycle easy, but it also meant easy access to many restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.  I have no desire to move back to an area where I would be car-dependent again, so I just need to be better about going out.

I went grocery shopping today so I would have enough stuff around the house to eat without being tempted so strongly to go out to eat.  Going out to eat usually means drinking beer for me.  Drinking beer means I don’t control my eating.  It’s an ugly cycle.

Beer has turned into a problem in my life.  Not an alcoholism problem, but a weight gain, depression, and digestive system problem.  I’m not planning on becoming a teetotaler, but quitting beer for a few weeks, then giving myself an weekly “allowance” of some reasonable amount thereafter.  I haven’t had alcohol since Thursday.

I’m trying to spend less money on excessive food and alcohol not only for health reasons, but so I can save more money toward my next major cycling expense.  I want a recumbent trike for touring.

I’m also considering going back to the YMCA in the mornings before work.  I haven’t decided if it’s worth the money, as I have trouble getting up in the morning and I’m not even positive what exercise to do.  I need some upper-body strength, yet I need to be careful to avoid hurting myself.  I have arthritis in my right shoulder and my neck issue to worry about.

For accountability, I need to begin tracking what I eat again.  I need to start weighing myself.  I still need to organize a bit on that.  This site should be about weight loss and bicycling again, instead of just bicycling.


30 Days of Biking – Day 25 – Eventful

I had a busy day.  I had to take the Big Dummy to the bike shop after work.  I needed transportation after dropping it off, so I rode the Big Dummy to work, towing the single-speed.  I’ve often called my Big Dummy a gravel truck.  It was more of a tow truck today.

Tow bike

Riding the bike like this was fine.  It handled better than expected.  Moving it around while not riding it was problematic.  When I got to work, I had to leave it in the hallway.  I also couldn’t turn it around, so at the end of the day I went out a different set of doors.

I rode this contraption to On Your Left Cycles and unhooked the bikes.  I dropped off the Dummy and rode the single-speed to Popalino’s Pizza for Car-Free Happy Hour.

There was a chance of strong storms around 5:00pm, but they never materialized.  We just had light rain.  That seems to have scared off some of the CFHH crew, as there were only about ten of us there this time.

Tomorrow is my birthday.  I have plans to spend time with Robin and my daughter.  Robin surprised me by having a cake at Popalino’s when I got there. She had other plans for the evening and couldn’t be there.  The cake was a really nice touch.

After things wrapped up, I headed home, but had to stop at the gas station… for a picture.


30 Days of Biking – Days 22, 23, and 24

Sunday – Day 22

I met up with Tim for a Coffee ride.  We started at Heine’s, had an urban ride around town, and ended at Quill’s.  I then walked across the street to Vic’s Classic Bikes and looked around.

Quill’s is good!

At Vic’s I met Emily.  She moved to Louisville recently from Minneapolis.  Louisville’s bike scene doesn’t compare with Minneapolis, but I told her about car-free happy hour.  She won’t make this month’s event (Wednesday), but maybe next month.

Monday – Day 23

Monday was my normal 7.7 mile round-trip commute.  I then rode in a car with Robin to a Maker’s Mark event where we learned about the Mint Julep.

Maker’s Mark

After this event, I went with Robin where she played volleyball.  I drank beer and had a burger.  I was stuffed and feeling a bit ill by the time I got home, but not enough to keep me from playing with my new Kindle that arrived.

Kindle Touch

My old Kindle was the model with the keyboard.  It was damaged when the Big Dummy fell over while unloading groceries.  I replaced it with the Kindle Touch.  I’m not sure if I like the touch screen more than the old keyboard or not.  I did get a leather case for it this time to protect it from my stupidity.

Tuesday – Day 24

I had trouble getting up after consuming too much on Monday and staying up too late reading, but I did manage to drag myself to work on the the bike.  Again, the 7.7 mile commute.

Once I was home, I wanted to fix the flat tire on the Big Dummy.  It took me a while to find the tiny piece of glass in the tire that has repeatedly punctured the tube, but I feel more confident about the tires now.

I also discovered that the Big Dummy will sit happily on the kickstand without a rear wheel in place.

Hover Dummy?

I’m not getting a ton of miles in, but I am riding every day.  That feels good.  The first three months of the year have been hellish with my neck issues.  The problems aren’t gone, but things have improved enough that I feel like myself again.

30 Days of Biking – Day 20

I needed to buy dog food, so I rode the Big Dummy to work.  After work, I rode to Feeder’s Supply.  After my last fiasco hauling dog food (bike fell over breaking a brake lever and my Kindle), I loaded the dog food on top the deck instead of in the freeloader bag.

I got in 8.5 miles for the day before going out for pizza and beer with Robin.  It was a fine way to end the week.

30 Days of Biking – Days 18 and 19

Yesterday was just a simple commute.  My normal 7.7 mile round-trip route.  The morning was quite cool, so I wore a hat, gloves, and jacket.  The jacket was too much.  I started getting sweaty before I got to work.

I took the same way to work today, but had an appointment to donate blood after work.  My normal route is not necessarily the most direct.  Going by the Red Cross is actually more direct, and I ended the day with 7.3 miles.  Going “out of my way’ saved me 0.4 miles.

It was cool again this morning, but I skipped the jacket, and just wore the hat and gloves.  I still managed to take a few pictures while riding.

The snacks are the best part of giving blood
SPD shoes and slacks…
Pant leg tucked into sock
Skinny shadow?
My ears were warm

30 Days of Biking – Day 17

It was a chilly ride to work this morning.  I spotted a fellow commuter (a woman who recently had a bike stolen, but I don’t remember her name) and gave chase.

Why did I have to chase?  Maybe it’s natural competitiveness.  I did catch her, and chatted briefly, but the extra exertion left me sweaty.

It was a bit warmer for the ride home, so I didn’t wear a jacket.  I left work a bit late, so traffic was light.  I pushed hard again, although there was no one to chase.  I cruised at about 22mph on my single-speed down third street barely making the lights.  That’s about as fast as I can go on flat ground for any length of time.  Once I hit a red light, I took it slower after that.

So, a 7.7 mile commute – my normal route – and that’s it for the day.

30 Days of Biking – Day 16

Today’s weather forecast called for thunderstorms.  I was getting ready for work this morning when the storms rolled through around 7:00am.  It was mostly just wind and rain.

I left home about 8:30.  The rain had tapered to a drizzle, but it was windy.  I wore bike shorts and a jersey and had my work clothes packed away in a plastic bag to keep them dry.  I changed at work.

I had a lunchtime appointment across the river.  The skies had cleared and it was quite pleasant.  Heading north across the bridge was easy with a tailwind to help out.

After lunch, I had to fight that same wind heading back across the bridge.  These two trips over the bridge in good weather were done wearing my work clothes.

After work I went to the drugstore then home, capping off a 13.5 mile day.  I only got wet once and overall it was quite pleasant.


I often joke about riding when the weather is bad, and wimping out and taking a cab on the nice days.  I had intended to ride to work every day this week, and I almost accomplished it.  On Thursday, with beautiful weather, I felt like crap and called a cab.

Wednesday was stormy, yet I rode anyway.  We ended up with tornadoes to the south, but not in Louisville.

Yesterday, Friday, I rode again.  I had a physical therapy appointment before work and rode there under cloudy skies.  After PT I rode to work with a few raindrops.  There were all kinds of weather warnings popping up around the region, but it had actually started looking nice out.

A nasty storm system was approaching Louisville, and most businesses were letting people go home early.  About 2:15 I was given the go-ahead to leave.  I rode through strong winds and the temperature had climbed to 75F.  That’s definitely a sign of a spring storm.  I was in my back yard before I even felt a drop of rain.

Tornado in Southern Indiana
Tornado in Southern Indiana

I watched weather information on my computer for a while and watched as nasty reports came in from Southern Indiana.  A friend of mine who lives near Borden Indiana, forwarded me a picture of a tornado.

Eventually a tornado warning was issued for Louisville, and I headed to the basement.  My power never went out.  No trees came down in my neighborhood.  We just had some scary winds for a few minutes, then it was over.

The reports are still coming in today.  More than two-dozen people killed in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.  Henryville High School is pretty much destroyed.  Borden High School damaged.  I’ve read there were over 80 tornadoes associated with this storm.  Some of them were pretty large.

The areas in Southern Indiana that were hit hardest are some of the areas I used to ride a lot in.  I won’t attempt to go there for another week or so to allow clean-up efforts to continue.  It’s a beautiful area with great low-traffic roads.  I feel for those who lost homes, family members, pets, etc.  That’s got to be hard.  I don’t wish that on anybody.

Riding AS Traffic

I don’t ride IN traffic or WITH traffic.  I AM traffic, so I ride that way.

Here’s a video I found showing how to do it.  He rides much the way I do, with only a few variations.

In other news, my spine issue has shifted away from pain and more toward numbness.  Still not good, but riding the recumbent is not bad at all.  I intend to ride to work every day this week.  I rode to a dentist appointment this morning, then to work.  It was a beautiful day for it.


Hot coffee after a cold ride
Hot coffee after a cold ride

I disappeared from here for a while.  I saw a neurosurgeon on the 6th.  He has referred me for physical therapy.  I’ve been to one session so far and have been doing some stretches as “homework”.  With luck things will improve enough that I won’t need surgery.

The doctor has told me to avoid the bikes, other than the recumbent, so the single-speed and LHT are parked.  I’ll still use the Big Dummy when appropriate for hauling loads.  It’s not too bad to ride it, as it a more upright position than the “road” bikes.

My eating is not doing well, but I am tracking everything I eat… and surpassing my limits each day.  I’ve not been getting on the scale every day.  Sometimes it’s because the scale is here at my house, and I’m at Robin’s house.  Other times it’s because I woke up late, and forgot the scale in my rush to get to work.

I’m beginning to tire of “tracking things”.  I’m going to bump my bike mileage tracking to monthly instead of weekly.  I’m still tracking my commute method each day (cab to work today, carpool home), but I’m not sure I’m going to continue doing it.  It’s actually a bit depressing.  I haven’t been on the bike enough.

I did ride my ‘bent for about 17 miles on Saturday.  I met Tim for a morning coffee ride.  I felt fat and slow.  The small hills around town are bigger than any of them on my commute, and I struggled.

The magical blue pony that gets me around Louisville
The magical blue pony that gets me around Louisville

Several of us are doing a bike camping trip this Saturday into Sunday.  I’ll be riding the Big Dummy for the hauling capacity.  I’m in charge of breakfast and coffee for all of us.  It’ll be fun, and we’re just riding to Jefferson Forest, so it’s not far.  The more challenging part may be staying warm and dry while camping in February.  We’ll see.

I have another physical therapy appointment in the morning.  Wish me luck.

Another January Stat – Commuting

Getting to work and back home requires two trips.  For 2012 I’ve started tracking how I do each of those trips.

In January I had 21 work days, meaning 42 trips.  Only 28 of those trips were by bicycle.  There were three car-pool trips, four where I got a ride from someone else besides a co-worker, three trips on the bus, two in a cab, and two walking trips.

February is off to a better start.  I’ve ridden my single-speed to work and back every day.  My neck has improved enough that this isn’t too painful.

January Miles and (Lack of) Progress

Between my car-rental drive to Bowling Green and driving Robin’s car for us to do stuff together, I drove 356 miles for the month.  It would normally not be difficult to ride my bike more than that in a month, but I’ve had a really off month.

I only rode my bike 160.6 miles.  My neck and shoulder have conspired to keep me off the bike much of the time.  I made good use of carpooling, the bus, and the occasional cab ride to get to work.  I’ve even walked the 3.5 miles home from downtown once.

I quit weighing myself recently, but I’ll be doing that again now.  I had quit posting my weight a while before that, but I’ll get that caught up soon.

Now that I have an iPhone I downloaded the  MyFitnessPal app to track what I eat.  I’ve also downloaded the EEBA app to help me budget my money using virtual envelopes.  We’ll see how that works out.

The last two days have been much less painful than before.  I feel like I can function normally.  I didn’t ride my bike yesterday, because I had to return the rental car and walk to work from there.  I took the bus home.  Today, I rode the single-speed and it felt wonderful.  I’ll be on it again tomorrow.

I still have an appointment with a neurosurgeon on Monday.  I’d like to avoid surgery, so I’ll get a second opinion if he immediately suggests it.  If two doctors suggest it, I’ll go through with it.

Things are going well between Robin and I.  I like the fact that we’re both comfortable living where we do… two blocks apart.  Seriously, I just know I need to avoid pushing things faster (or further) than they need to go.  We are seeing each other exclusively, but I really don’t feel comfortable discussing much more here.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is also the Car-Free Happy Hour.  This is technically January’s event as it was delayed a week.  Will you join us at 5:30pm at Four Pegs at 1053 Goss Ave 40217.  I may ride my bike there, or just walk.  It’s very close to my house.

Weight?  Weight!  Wait?  No, don’t wait.  I still need to lose about 55lbs to make it to my goal weight.  A reasonable goal is one pound per week, giving me about a year to do this.  So 175lbs by 2013.  Could the iPhone be the tool I need to do this?

With my new phone comes a new phone number.  I used to publish my old one pretty openly, but I’m not doing that any more.  That’s why I didn’t port the number to the new phone.  If you need my number, send me an email, and I’ll get back to you.