Like I’m Waiting…

I’m waiting to get back on track.
I’m waiting to eat healthy.
I’m waiting to be in control of my life.

What am I waiting for?

I have a lot of changes coming.  My daughter is moving out of the house tomorrow.  My wife moves out in a few weeks.  There are plans in place to get ride of the house in Charlestown.  I’ll be selling my truck before the end of the year.

What’s that got to do with it?

Nothing, but mentally I seem incapable of handling too much at once.  So I’m waiting.  Not a great reason, but it’ll have to do.

What now?

My neck problem improved dramatically for a while, then started to get a little worse.  I’m going to start commuting on the recumbent again for a while, and save riding upright bikes for group rides, or gravel stuff, or whatever.

Miles!

My June mileage was horrible.  Due to my neck issues I rode only 110 miles.  July was better, but still a bit off, at 363 miles.  Back in March I rode 647 miles.

I met up with Tim this morning for a short-ish ride.  I ended up with 35 miles for the day.  I was happy with that.  I brought my camera with me, but never took a picture.

Where am I heading?

I’ll be car-free by the end of the year.  I will hopefully be back on track for weight loss.  I should be weighing myself again soon.

I will hopefully pull myself together enough mentally to be happy with what I have, rather than obsess with what I want.  I’ll still want things, I just don’t want to obsess over them.

Busy Day – Over 30 Miles of Transportation Riding

I had a lot to do today.  I rode to work and arrived at about 8:30.  It was work.  Most of the day was meetings.

I left early.  I had an appointment for my second cervical epidural.  The first one really scared me, but things improved after the first one, so I decided to stick with a second one.

Side note:  I’ve been back on my Surly LHT since last Friday.  That means I can ride any of my bikes again.  This is a huge improvement.  I was riding with Tim on Sunday and broke the chain on the LHT.  I have a chain tool and was able to fix it, but I’ve been running a chain that is quite worn and a few links short since then.

I could have driven, but I’m stubborn.  I don’t like to drive.  I planned a route to get out to the doctors office (out past Oxmoor Mall, near Hurstbourne).  We’re in the middle of a heat wave.  I left myself 90 minutes to get there.  It took only 70.  Traffic was heavy but everyone was polite.

I locked up out front and cleaned up in the bathroom before my appointment.

The second epidural went much smoother than the first.  It still wasn’t comfortable but it was less frightening.  I didn’t hear the needle sliding into place.  The doctor said it went easier because I had less inflammation in my spine.  That’s a good sign.

The doctor did seem concerned about me riding a bike home after the procedure.  I knew from the first one that it wouldn’t be a problem.

When I left, the previously hot, humid, sunny weather had become cloudy, humid, not-quite-as-hot weather with distant thunder.  Shortly into the ride a light rain started.  By the time I made to the St Matthews area the rain had become a downpour.

I needed to go to On Your Left Cycles for a new chain.  The route I had programmed into my GPS wasn’t taking me there, but I took Bardstown Rd north to Baxter Ave.  I was turning left at high speed on wet roads right in front of the shop.  I hit a pothole and went down.  It wasn’t the slow motion thing that my other wrecks were.  It was very quick and quite painful.

I laid at the edge of the road for a few minutes before attempting to sit up.  My hands, knee, elbow, and big toe hurt.  I didn’t hit my head (or helmet).  I eventually stood up and picked up the bike.  There was no visible damage.  I walked into the bike shop.  They allowed me to clean up and borrow a first-aid kit.

After a while, I bought my chain, and headed out.  I rode down to Cumberland Brews and met my daughter there.  We had dinner, and I rode home.  She decided to take the bus.

I had a total of 31.8 miles.  Not bad for such a busy day.  I could have done without falling, but that was my fault.

My route is below.  I didn’t have my GPS on for the ride to work, but it was for the rest of the day.

Download

Once I was back home I had to pick gravel out of my skin.  I’m glad I used the peroxide.  I know Baxter Ave is not sterile.  🙂

Tomorrow is car-free happy hour.  See you there!

Bike to Work Day

Okay, everyday is bike to work day for me, but today was the city-sponsored event.  I managed to get my daughter out of bed early so we could get to Seneca park by 7:00.  There were two TV stations there and several dozen people, including Mayor Greg Fischer.

I didn’t bring a camera and I avoided the media crews.  I introduced my daughter to many of the people I know.  It made me realize just how many people I have gotten to know over the last few years because of bicycling.

The group eventually headed toward downtown with the mayor near the front of the pack.  I hung back with my daughter.  We went to Fourth Street Live and regrouped there.  There were quite a few people there, as there were several other meeting spots that all rode to the same downtown location.

I went to work while my daughter ran errands downtown.

We met back up for lunch, and were joined by David Morse.  After lunch there were some give-aways.  My daughter won a Donkey Boxx from On Your Left Cycles.  I installed the Donkey Boxx on her bike before she left.

I’m preparing to ride to Danville Kentucky in the morning.  I’ll be meeting my wife there.  She’s driving there for a family get-together.  I’m keeping this post short.  I need to get the bike ready and get bed.

Beautiful Monday

I did head out last night for a wander after dark.  I explored a few streets that I hadn’t been on before.  I cruised through a couple of alleys.  I eventually found my way to Cumberland Brews for some Red Ale.  If I had known about the Red Hot Mocha Porter, I might have tried that.  That’s alright, I’ll save it for next time.

I sent a text to Tim, and he rode his Ute up to join me.

We talked bikes.  We watched the people walking up and down Bardstown Rd.  We couldn’t stay long, we both had to work in the morning.  I had a few more beers than he did.

Waking today was rough.  The fact that I showered, rode to work, and made it on time despite the hangover is a testament to it being a great day.

The beautiful Spring weather is here, possibly temporarily.  It was sunny and in the mid-60s when I left this morning.  I was wearing my work clothes and didn’t immediately notice that I forgot my helmet.  I didn’t bother turning around for it when I did realize it.

Human power?
Human power?
I went for a walk at lunchtime.  The 21C Hotel always has some interesting art out front.  Now, it appears to be some bizarre human-powered transportation with Cuban license plates.

The commute home was pleasant.  It was clear and warm.  People were friendly.  When I was nearly home I saw my daughter riding her bike the other way.  We stopped and talked.  She was riding to the library to check out some books.  She invited me to come along, but I had things to do at home.

There is rain in the forecast, so I wanted to get the lawn mowed.  I needed more gasoline for the lawnmower.  I grabbed the gas can and walked a couple of blocks to the gas station.  At $3.89 per gallon it cost me about $10.50 to fill up the can.

There was a rumor at the gas station that the price would be $4.01 by tomorrow morning.

$10.50?
$10.50?

I’m glad I rarely buy gas.

My daughter called me from the library.  She was approached by David Morse, from CART (and he helps Bicycling For Louisville).  He’s photographing bicyclists in town.  He grabbed a couple of photos for his project.  He did share them with me later.

Dawn - still new at this cycling thing
Dawn - still new at this cycling thing

Later when Dawn got back from the library, the two of us took the dogs for a walk down to Sunergos.  It was really too late (and a bit warm) for me to want coffee, but I did have an iced drink.

My dogs are overweight and out of shape.  The last stretch on the way home really did them in.  They’ll sleep well tonight.

Overall it was a good day.  It was better than many and great for a Monday.

Tomorrow will be a different adventure.  There is a 50% chance of thunderstorms.  I actually enjoy riding in a storm as long there’s no hail and the temperature is warm enough.

Busy Day and New Bike Swag

I had a number of errands to run today, but since moving into town in September, I’ve been able to re-arrange my life to make using a car optional.

Before work this morning I went to the post office to pick up a package that they would not leave at my door.  Then I stopped by the bank before continuing on to work.

After work, I had a massage appointment, then picked up dinner before heading home.  Those new panniers came in quite handy for hauling things today.

Salsa Vaya
Salsa Vaya
While running afternoon errands on Bardstown Road, I saw this Salsa Vaya parked.  Time and I have discussed using a bike like this for a gravel bike.  I don’t need a specific bike for gravel, but it is a nice bike.

What was the package I picked up this morning?  It was an Acorn Handlebar Bag.

With this, I’ll have easy access to a few things while riding the bike.  I’ve been envious of others pulling out their cameras on rides.  I had to stop and fumble around in my trunk bag.  That shouldn’t be an issue now.

Acorn Handlebar Bag
Acorn Handlebar Bag

I have another bike project in the works for the LHT.  Stay tuned, I’ll be posting about it next week.

π Day

Bicycling for Louisville celebrated π (pi/pie) day today.  They put on a fun little fundraiser.  I brought in a peach pie that my wife baked last night.

I’d never heard of cabbage pie until tonight, but it was good.

There was a pretty good turnout considering the cold drizzle  that came to area today.  Bicycling for Louisville managed to pry a little money out of my wallet, and fill my stomach with pie.  What’s not to love?

Yes, I ate too much, but I’m skipping dinner.

Sharing The Road

Grainy picture of the rear of my truck
Grainy picture of the rear of my truck

I’ll never get to be car-free.  My wife requires a car.  I still owe on my truck.  I’m okay with the situation, although getting down to one vehicle would be nice.

I rarely drive, but I’ve been driving with Indiana plates on my truck for months after moving to Kentucky.  Part of it was laziness.  Part of it was waiting to get the lienholder to send the title.

Today, I drove to work so I could take my truck in for the inspection, then to get a Kentucky license plate.  I spent the extra money to get a Share the Road Plate.

The extra money for the plate goes to the Paula Nye Memorial Education Grant program, which provides money for a number of bicycle education and safety causes.

The biggest benefit to me is that when I’m driving, most cyclists will I’m keeping an eye out for them.

2011 Goals

It’s almost a new year.  Here are my goals for the next year.  This is not a “resolution”.  These are goals I can re-visit, track progress, and modify if I need to.  🙂

  • Train for and complete an Olympic Triathlon on 7/31/2011
  • Weight lifting for upper-body strength (I’m pretty pathetic above the waist now)
  • Get to my goal weight of 175lbs by 7/1/2011, and never go above 180 again (at about 216 today)
  • Ride at least 5000 miles for the year
  • Drive fewer miles than I ride (this could be hard due to most driving being longer trips)
  • Do at least three overnight bike camping trips
  • Start riding with the local club – on my single-speed (I’ve done that once this year)

Old Goals

Let’s look at some goals I posted on 2/28/2009

  • Goal weight will remain at 175 lbs (for now).  I hope to reach that goal by the end of August.
    Didn’t happen.
  • Ride a century this year (100 miles in one day).
    Didn’t happen until 2010.
  • Raise $3200 for The Ride to Conquer Cancer, and complete the entire ride under my own power.
    I raised over $2500 and completed the ride.  I’ll call that success.  I did not participate in 2010.  The fundraising part really is the hardest.
  • Learn to ride my new unicycle, and complete a ten-mile ride on it by June 2010.
    I gave up the unicycle.
  • Juggling?
    Didn’t bother.  Without the unicycle it wouldn’t be as cool.  🙂
  • Ride to work more often.  I had hoped to average 3 days per week, but I’m not even managing that right now.
    This was up and down for a while, but I moved to Louisville, and I ride (almost) every day.
  • Ride to work five days a week at least 3 weeks per year.
    See above.
  • Increase my average speed on the bicycle a little bit.
    Hasn’t really happened, although the triathlon training should help that.
  • Learn to kayak this year.
    I still haven’t touched a kayak, but I did take a canoe trip.
  • Get a rod, reel, and fishing license, and spend some time relaxing and fishing.
    I didn’t do this either.  Most of my free time is gone.  I have been reading a lot though.
  • Find new fitness activities.
    I guess training for a triathlon counts.  I’m also starting weight lifting.
  • I had made a goal to live-car free.  I think I’m giving that up.  I do want to drive less, but realities of the modern world make this a very unpopular choice.
    I wrote this when I had an old car that was paid for.  Then it died.  Then I bought a truck.  I seldom drive now, but I’m now married, and have a car payment.  It’ll be a while before I can become car-free.
  • Ride 5000 miles this year.  I’m way behind on this so far.  I’m two months into the year, and I’ve only ridden 541 miles.
    I did not make 5000 miles in 2009.  I did in 2010, and hope to in 2011.
  • Get better about riding in cold rain.  I often use this as an excuse not to ride to work, but I have the gear to do so.
    I ride in cold rain.  I still don’t care for it, other than the “crazy factor”.
  • I had planned to try to drive less than 3500 miles per year.  I’m giving up on this also.
    I’ve modified this to simply ride more than I drive.
  • Ride in a roller coaster this year.  I’ll actually fit now.
    I didn’t get a chance for a real roller coaster, but I did ride in a number of other amusement park rides.  Yes, I fit.
  • Go skydiving in the summer of 2010.
    Didn’t happen.  I still want to do it someday, but I’ve got too much else going on financially and time-wise.
  • I want to be a better cook.
    I may be slightly better, but only slightly.  I still don’t cook often enough.
  • I want to find a wonderful woman to enjoy these activities with.
    I did.  I met her shortly after writing that blog post.

    Change of Focus?

    This blog started as a way to document my weight loss and keep me accountable for my eating habits.  Once I started bicycling that was simply added into the mix.  More recently, the weight loss aspects have been ignored.  I’ve gained some weight.  I don’t weigh myself regularly anymore.

    Vehicles
    Which vehicle to take to the coffee shop?

    This is, in part, due to my focus on bicycling for transportation.  Bicycling for transportation has become such I big part of my life that moved into Louisville (while continuing to pay the mortgage on my old house) so that I could bicycle everywhere.  It’s been wonderful.  I have not driven to work since moving.  When my wife and I go out to eat, I’ll even meet her there rather than drive (if she’ll let me).

    I rode my bike to the coffee shop the other day, when the white truck in the picture on the right pulled up.  One individual drove that huge diesel-powered truck, just to grab some coffee.  I have nothing against trucks.  I own one.  I just believe in using the right tool for the job.

    I’ve been very busy for the last week.  Some of it has been the have-to-do stuff.  Some of it is want-to-do.  In either case it has left me sleep-deprived.  I was up late last night driving to Danville and back.  I had intended to ride the Harvest Homecoming ride today.  I changed my mind at the last minute and went back to bed.  I don’t regret the decision.  I needed the sleep.

    So, this blog… where does it go?  What should I focus on?  I would love to show some positive results in my weight loss and/or fitness.  The truth is, I haven’t really improved either of those since February of 2009.  I’m in much better shape than when I started in 2007, but I don’t think I’ll ever get to my goal weight of 175.  Maybe this is where I need to focus on waist size and strength.  I should add some weight training to the mix.

    So, I haven’t been writing about every bike ride recently.  It’s safe to assume I ride every day now.  I will continue to do so, except maybe today, where I probably won’t be leaving the house.  I will write about exceptional rides.  I will write about what I decide to use as a metric to measure my progress, but I need to figure that out still.

    I love bicycles and bicycle advocacy.  I don’t think I’m a great bicycle advocate, other than just being out there on the road.  I’m not eloquent or persuasive.  I’ll leave the “advocacy with words” to those smarter than I.  I’ll just ride my bike.  🙂

    Walking

    My LHT has been in the shop for some maintenance.  It was ready to pick up after work today.  How do I do that without driving?  I walked to the bike shop from work.  That means I left a bike at work for now.

    The difference in what you see in cycling versus driving is huge.  There is a similar change when slowing down even more and being a pedestrian.

    Walking means that one-way streets can be ignored.  Traffic is only an issue at intersections.  Stopping to take pictures won’t get you hit.  The graffiti on the right was interesting.  The “artist” must be a fan of this.

    I’m not ready to start walking to work.  It would take an hour each way.  Part of the reason for the move into town was to make bicycling everywhere feasible.  I’d have to move to a smaller town, or have a lot more free time to walk everywhere.

    Ben Sollee will be performing at the Kentucky Center tomorrow night.  He’s a cyclist and transportation advocate in addition to a musician.  There will be a ride right after the show (8:45?, 9:00?) around downtown.  I’ll be there.

    City Commuting

    My short commute

    Life has changed quite a bit since moving into town earlier this month.  I do ride to work and back every day.  I don’t ever see myself paying to park at work again.

    I miss having a rural ride just minutes from my house.  A rural ride will require more planning.

    Riding in town (at least inside the 264 loop) is much more bike-friendly than in the ‘burbs.  There is the occasional nitwit, but they are rare.

    Today was my longest commute day.  I had to go to the drugstore after work, which added about nine miles to my normal commute.  I intentionally chose a drug store a distance away, but still inside the 264 loop.  I was dismayed to discover that there was nowhere to lock a bike at the drugstore, nor did it have a drive-through.  So, I walked my bike right inside.  I had no issues.  I rode to the local Kroger the other day.  They had a bike rack.  I did see another cyclist take his bike inside.  He wasn’t asked to leave.

    One of my co-workers who sometimes bike-commutes, will meet me at my house in the morning.  We’ll take a different route than she is used to.  Her commute is only about 5-miles one-way, but that’s longer than mine.  🙂  I’m hoping to show that riding everyday is very possible at that distance.

    I now have an old British police whistle dangling around my neck when riding.  That thing is loud.  I haven’t used it in anger yet, but it’s nice to have handy.

    Overall I’m pretty pleased with where I live.  It’s nice to be part of a community where I actually know people.  It’s weird that I was so isolated from everyone in the smaller town I used to live in.  Maybe it’s just me.

    World Car-Free Day

    Okay, today is world car-free day.  The funny thing is, I almost drove to work.  I actually considered driving the 3.5 miles and paying $8.75 to park because I wasn’t feeling well.

    I rode my bike because I can ride 3.5 miles even when half-dead.  If I still lived 16.5 miles from work, I would have driven, or stayed home.

    Quandaries

    Settling In
    Kristy and I are settled into our new home.  I’m enjoying the “almost car-free” lifestyle, except when I have to drive back to Charlestown to get things from the old house, or go somewhere with Kristy, or drive to another city for work (Saint Louis next week).

    Bike Mileage
    My bike mileage has taken a nosedive.  I’ve been busy enough on the weekends that I haven’t had any long rides.  My new commute can be less than seven miles round-trip.  I can go a longer route, but I seldom do.

    Simple Living
    I’ve wanted a simpler life for a while.  What does that mean?  For me, I want to eliminate clutter.  Get rid of items I don’t use.  That’s easier said than done.  I have a truck and a house that I owe money on, and really don’t need either, although Kristy would hurt me if I got rid of the truck.  🙂

    I have eliminated a lot of old bike parts.  I sold two wheelsets and my unicycle on craigslist.  Other stuff went into the trash.

    I’ve eliminated unused computer equipment.  There are still five laptops for two individuals (although one is work-owned).  Each of them has a purpose.

    Both Kristy and I own things that are either sentimental, valuable, or were valuable, but are no longer used.  These are the hardest to get rid of.  I have old but expensive software packages.  I haven’t been able to let go of them yet.  Kristy has a lot of clothing that she paid good money for, and rarely (if ever) wore.  Most of it fits, she just didn’t like it as much as she thought she would.

    Going Backward?
    I still have things that I want to buy.  I’m in the process of having bike #4 built.  Although each bike is completely different and serves a different purpose, it does seem a bit much.  If I insist on having a bike for each type of riding, I can easily see myself with 6+ bikes.  I still like gadgets.  I want an MP3 player.  I want an ebook reader.  I really don’t need these things though.

    Bikes
    These are the bikes I have, or could have:

    • Commuting/Touring/Hauling: My Surly LHT
    • Comfort/”be different”: My Bacchetta Agio recumbent
    • Folding/Travel: my Dahon Speed D7
    • Single Speed/Lugged Steel: My project bike at Vic’s Classic Bikes (unfinished)
    • Off-Road: Don’t have one, no plans to buy right now
    • Fast Road Bike: Don’t have one, had intended to buy a fast recumbent, those plans are on hold
    • Cargo: Don’t have one, have considered a long-tail cargo bike, or a trailer

    That’s too many bikes.  I need to stop at four, and reconsider what I need.

    Now What?
    It’s hard to convince my wife to live simpler when I have my bike and gadget lust.  I need to quit visiting bike websites and ogling things to buy.  I need to think over all purchases for a few days before buying.  Don’t get me wrong, this is not really about money, it’s about the mental and time cost of each item owned.

    It’s Official

    We signed the lease on the house last night.  We’ll be moving in soon!  When/if Kristy leaves town for a couple of months again, I won’t have to drive the entire time.

    My riding is down this week.  I’ve been busy, tired, and stressed.  I drove to work today, but brought my folding bike.  I’m giving blood tonight, and I’m going to ride down to avoid parking issues.

    Edit:
    I fixed a stupid typo above.

    I did ride to donate blood.  I forgot to bring a lock with me, so I just wheeled the bike into the building.  They were okay with that, so it worked out alright.

    Something New

    I did ride to work and back on Friday.  It put me in a better mood.

    I didn’t do much riding this weekend.  I rode with Tim for about ten miles on Saturday.  He let me borrow a single-speed road bike.  I’ve been wanting a nice, simple, cheap, single-speed bike for a while.  I found one on Craigslist, but it was too small.  Tim’s is almost big enough, but he’s not selling it.  I’m not crazy about the new ones out there.

    I did visit Vic’s Classic Bikes today.  I put down a deposit on a new ride.  I’m still figuring out what components I want, but I picked out a frame and wheels.  I’ll do a big reveal once I receive the bike in a month or two, but yes, it will be a single-speed.  It’s wonderful to have a wife who is so supportive of my cycling.

    We also spent hours today driving around Louisville looking at neighborhoods.  I’ve spent countless hours looking online for houses also.  Yes, we intend to move out of Charlestown.

    One of the houses we are looking at would leave me with a 3.5 miles commute instead of 16.5 – 20.0 miles ride.  That might actually force me to take the long way to work occasionally.  It would eliminate the need for me to drive to work.  Even in snow, my LHT with studded tires would be fine.  I could walk if I needed to.

    So, will I end up car-free?  Kristy will still drive.  We would probably go down to one vehicle instead of two.  That would be quite nice.  🙂

    Sick Weekend

    I didn’t ride to work on Friday.  I had a scratchy throat most of last week, but I ignored it.  By Friday it had gotten worse.  By Friday night it had gotten quite unbearable.

    I waited until today (Sunday) hoping it would get better, it didn’t.  I went to the urgent care clinic and it was quickly determined that I have strep.

    I had initially planned to ride to Louisville on Saturday to help Tom move.  I was also hoping to ride with Tim today.  Those plans didn’t happen.  Instead, I’m home-bound, trying to recover, and avoid spreading the bacteria to anyone else.

    I’m also staying home tomorrow to avoid sharing this with anyone, but I should be safe to return to work on Tuesday.  If I’m feeling well, I’ll even ride my bike and attend Car-Free Happy Hour afterwards.

    Car-Free Happy Hour

    I attended last night’s car-free happy hour at The Monkey Wrench.  This is a once a month get-together of those that are car-free, or want to be.  There are guest speakers, but the coolest thing is the networking.

    This is the first one I’ve attended, and there were about 30 people there.  The collection of bikes out front was quite interesting.  unlike many rides I’ve been on, every bike at this event was set up for transportation and/or hauling things.

    I wish I had brought my camera.

    I’m going to attend as many of these things as I can.  The next one is 2/16/2010 @ 5:30 at The Bodega on Market Street.

    Car-Free Future?

    My wife and I had a discussion the other day about being a one-car household.  The idea is to get rid of her car, and she would drive the truck.  I could ride my bike to work most days, or carpool with her when I need to.  If she’s out of town for work, I would have the truck if I need it.

    The only problem with this is my laziness.  I drove to work on Monday and Tuesday.  I did ride yesterday and today, but when I shower in the morning, I’m trying to come up with reasons to not ride the full commute.

    My new route has made the commute less stressful and my recent lack of weight loss are both good motivators, but I’m guess I’m a generally lazy person.  Only having one car available could give me another reason to ride my bike.

    I still have a long-term goal of selling the house, and moving closer to work, then I could truly never drive again.  In the meantime I need to be less lazy.

    Another Bicycle Commuter With a Blog

    Shortly after leaving work on my bike today, I ran into Kirk Kandle.  He’s another bike-commuter, but he took it a step further and went car-free last month.

    Recently, he’s been interviewing other “Invisible Bicyclists”.  He’s trying to call attention to distracted motorists who don’t notice us.  He’s also trying to show that bicycles aren’t just toys, but a valid method of transportation.  He does this while keeping a positive outlook.  I applaud him for that.

    I recognized him, and went out of my way to talk to him.  He asked a few questions, and took a few pictures.  Expect to see me on his blog soon.

    No Longer Car-Free

    I really had intended on sticking out the car-free lifestyle for a while. After a discussion with Kristy about the future, and the realization that we will be in this house for a while, I decided to buy a vehicle.

    I bought a used 2008 Nissan Frontier.  I’m back in the world of car payments and full-coverage insurance.

    I really like the truck, and I’ll be able to haul my bikes, dogs, or whatever else I need to.

    I’ll still be riding the bike to work a few days a week.  I don’t want to start gaining the weight back again.

    Wrapping-Up the Work Week

    I rode my bike to work and back Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (with some bus assistance).

    I wimped out on Thursday, and called a co-worker for a ride.  That co-worker was not able to give me a ride home, and I didn’t have my bike with me.  I borrowed a car overnight to get home.  I drove the car back to work on Friday, with my bike on the back.

    Friday afternoon was beautiful.  The temperatures were in the 70s and the skies were sunny and clear.  I had forgotten to bring my helmet, and I rode home in jeans and a t-shirt.

    The Second Street Bridge was closed, but I had a positive experience with the shuttle service to get me across the river, as did Tom.

    Normally Fridays are bad for rude drivers.  Not this one.  It wasn’t until after I got home that I realized it might be because I was wearing my Ride to Conquer Cancer t-shirt.

    I found myself smiling most of the way home.  It was the best commuting ride I’ve had in many months.  Earlier in the week I was dreading the ride.  I considered going into debt to buy a car, just so I could get one now.  I held out, and feel better about it all, and will be riding again next week.

    Today, I’m mostly sticking around the house to do yard work.  I may make a grocery run on the bike.  Tomorrow I have an RCCS ride, but I’ve arranged a ride to get there.

    Officially Car-Free

    My Kia was hauled off on a flatbed truck just a few minutes ago.  I have a wad of cash to deposit tomorrow morning.  It’s done.  I will miss that poor little car.

    My commute today was interesting.  I rode 10.5 miles on the way to work, and caught the bus for some of the trip.  I hadn’t used the bike racks on the buses before today.

    On the way home, I felt good, and rode the whole way.  I did get rained on, but I was dressed well enough for it.

    I also ran two errands on the bike today.  During my lunch hour, I rode to a downtown bike shop to get a spare tube.  After getting home from work, I did some grocery shopping.  Fewer people here in Charlestown look at me funny.  They must be getting used to seeing me hauling groceries on the bike.

    I am a bit nervous about not having a car.  I do intend to buy another car at some point, but not yet.  I’m using what little money I have to pay my taxes.  I didn’t know I was going to owe money until today.  Selling the car became necessary to pay my taxes on time.

    Unintentially Car-Free

    My poor Kia is out of service, possibly for good.  The timing belt broke this morning and some pretty serious engine damage came out of it.  I could repair or replace the engine, but the rest of the car isn’t worth it.

    The timing (no pun intended) of this was actually pretty good.  Had it happened earlier in the morning, it could have meant Kristy missing her flight (I drove her to the airport).  If it waited until this Sunday, I could have been stranded somewhere between here and Michigan.

    Although I’m looking around for a cheap replacement car, this could be a great opportunity to ride more.

    I normally drive to get dog food and cat litter because I get large quantities from 12 miles away.  Today, I had to get a smaller bag of dog food of a different brand, so that I could get it here in town, and so I could haul it on my bike.  20 lbs of dog food and 14 lbs of cat litter definitely affected the handling of the bike, but I made it home safe.

    Food for Thought

    I ran across this gem on YouTube today.  I vaguely remember this cartoon from when I was young, but had completely forgotten it.  It’s also amazing that this cartoon is from 1950.

    I’m not saying we need to stop people from driving cars.  I believe we need to change peoples’ attitudes about driving.

    Would my 35 MPH speed limit idea help?