Monday Musings


I rode a partial-commute (12 mile round trip) today.  With my new winter gear, I was actually overdressed.  When I left work, I went with one layer less.  I was still overdressed.  I should have checked the weather forecast.

I also ran some errands here around town after I got home.  I park my bike in the grocery store now, but don’t walk around with it, and they seem to be okay with that.

I had a really good riding weekend, and I rode today.  The weather forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday doesn’t look so good, so I’m not riding.  I’ll get back on the bike on Thursday.


In my previous post, I talk about a future where I am car-free.  I got some comments about that.  It’s not easy, and it’s not for everyone.  I’m not sure it’s for me.  It is a long-term goal I want to work toward.  I probably will have to sell my house and move to make it work.  However, I’ll worry about that later.


While on my ride with Tim yesterday, he said that someone else said that blogging is a bit narcissistic.  I guess it can be.  However, I believe Tim and I share the view that writing about what we do (cycling for him, cycling and weight loss for me) is good for others that read the blog.

If I wouldn’t have found some of the other cycling blogs out there, I probably would have never taken my bike into the street.  I certainly wouldn’t have bought a recumbent.  A blog (even a silly one like this one) can inspire someone to change something in their life.

I do know that my posting frequency has gone way up.  However, I don’t think the quality of my writing has.  I’m taking a few days before I post again.  I will keep updating my weigh-in, and respond to comments.


My weight this morning was 225.8 lbs.  That’s the lowest yet.  It’s probably a temporary dip from yesterday’s ride, but I’ll take it.  I have been eating better over the last few days.  I even went out to eat at Panera Bread and was sane with what I ordered.  I’m cooking tonight.  I’m having a small piece of steak, and brussels sprouts.


My new job is much different than any I’ve had before.  It’s a neat atmosphere to work in.  I do have to dress better, but that’s easier now that I don’t weight 300 lbs.  I will have to be there at 5:30 Wednesday morning for a software roll-out, but that’s a rare thing.  My normal hours are 8:30ish to 5:30ish.

2000 Miles

I track my bike mileage weekly.  Back in August I reached a total of 1000 miles for the year.  Today, the total is 2001.4 miles.

I’ll still get some more miles for the year, but I doubt it’ll be more than 300 or so.  It could be quite a bit less depending on weather.

I have set a difficult goal for next year.  I want to ride 5000 miles for the year.  I know there is a good chance I won’t make the goal, but that is what I will try for.  In addition, I want to try to drive less than 3500 miles to wean myself off of needing a car.

35 MPH?

Riding a bicycle has changed my life.

It hasn’t just changed my physical condition, that’s still a work in progress.  It has changed how I feel about a variety of things.  It has helped me to realize that I don’t have to be “the out of shape fat guy”.  I can ride 60 miles in a day.  I realize that when properly prepared, a little weather is not a big deal.

I am working toward being car-free.  It will be a few years, but I will get there.  However, the way that I drive now has been affected by bicycling.  I’m more cautious.  I drive under the speed limit most of the time.  I’m never in a hurry when behind the wheel anymore.  It’s not worth the stress or the risk.

There are a number of ideas thrown around by bicyclists to get laws changed, from the good ideas, to unworkable ideas such as banning cars.

I have an idea.  It’s unworkable, but let’s pretend it’s not.

  • Maximum speed limit: 35 MPH (other than interstates)
  • Residential speed limit: 20 MPH
  • Speeding – first offense: large fine
  • Speeding – second offense: loss of driving privileges for 5 years
  • Reckless driving or driving without a license – jail and loss of driving privileges for life

I would assume that most people reading this think I’m off of my rocker.  That’s not true.  This idea will not happen.  I don’t even think the level of federal government control required to pull it off nationwide would be a good idea, but think of the benefits.

  • Fewer traffic deaths
  • Better gas mileage
  • Less stress while driving
  • Less pollution
  • Traffic control becomes less about revenue, and more about saving lives

Everyone I’ve talked to about this thinks it’s a bad idea.  Most people get angry.  Between my house and work, there is a nine-mile stretch of road with a 55 MPH speed limit.  If that stretch of road had a 35 MPH speed limit it would take less than five additional minutes to get to work.  If I average 25 MPH (including the stops through town) I can go the 16 miles to work in just over 38 minutes.

I do drive slower now.  I don’t drive 35 in a 55, that might be a bit extreme.  I drive 50 in a 55.  People pass me recklessly.  This is on a four-lane divided highway where passing is easy.  They get angry because I’m not “going the speed limit”.  Everyone seems to forget that it’s an upper limit, not a lower limit.

When I’m on a bike, travelling between 12 and 20 MPH they really get angry, even when I get out of the way when it’s safe to do so.

This Week Did Not Go As Planned

This is too common of a theme.  I have not met many of my own goals.  I have not ridden nearly as much as I intended.  I drove my car to work twice this week.  I’ve not eaten well.  I didn’t even weigh myself this morning.

My new job has great facilities for showering and changing clothes though.  There are entire locker rooms.  It’s pretty cool.  Maybe I’ll get to try them out next week.

Didn’t Manage Car-Free

I rode all the way to work and back on Monday.  I rode into work on Tuesday, but called for a ride after riding part of the way home.  My legs couldn’t do it anymore.  I seem to have more muscle issues in cold weather.

Last night I went out to dinner with my ex-wife and daughter, and my car broke down.  It’s in the shop now, but I still didn’t ride to work.  I got a ride from my ex-wife.

So, I’m three days into what was supposed to be a car-free week.  I drove my car briefly yesterday, and mooched rides from other people today.  I may take the bus from work to within nine miles of home tonight, then get a ride from there.

I should have my car tonight.  Tomorrow is my first day at a new job, so I’m going to drive.  I will ride to work and back on Friday though.

Trying To Be Car-Free For a Week

Earlier this year, I considered not driving at all for the month of September.  I ended up not doing that.  Now, I’ve decided to not drive for a week.  One week seems possible.

I haven’t driven since Friday, and I won’t drive again until at least after work this coming Friday.  There is supposed to be very little precipitation this week, so the weather is cooperating.

I do have a full work week this week, so I’m not “cheating”.  In fact, the first three days of this week are the last three days at my current employer, and Thursday and Friday will be my first two days at my new employer.

That should make for some interesting bike commuting.