New Toy

I want a simpler life, but I also like gadgets. Yesterday the gadgets won. I now have an iPhone 4S. I’m writing this post from it.

In addition to browsing and writing from this thing I’ll play with some food tracking apps. What are your favorite ones?

Off The Bike

My neck issue is pushing me off the bike for a while.  I’m tired of fighting the pain.  I see a neurosurgeon in two weeks.  Then it’ll be time for more decisions.  In the meantime I’m staying off the bike.  Even the recumbent hurts me on bad days.

My eating habits are only slightly better than before.  I have purchased a new hot-air popcorn popper.  I used it tonight.  Plain popcorn used to be a comfort food for me, but I had thrown away the old popper.  Now I can go back to this filling, low-calorie, snack that I used to enjoy.

In spite of the challenges, I’m in a good mood.  I’m not trying too hard to lose weight, just trying to prevent myself from gaining for a while.  Things are working well with Robin.  We’re now going out and doing something besides eating.  We saw a concert on Friday and a movie on Sunday.  We met with my daughter and her boyfriend on Saturday, but we did go out to eat then.

I feel more motivated to take care of housework and other related duties than I have in a while.

I probably won’t see Robin next weekend, but that will give me time to thoroughly clean house and catch up on other duties that need to be done.

I’ll take the bus to work most days now that I’m not riding my bike.  I’m considering walking a couple of days a week though, including tomorrow.  At least it’s still exercise and it doesn’t seem to hurt.

Wake Up?

It’s fitting that I’m writing a post titled “Wake Up?” at 3:00am somehow…  It is interesting laying in bed on a January night with the window open listening to a thunderstorm.  A few days ago temperatures were in the teens.  Tonight it’s 55F.

I didn’t ride the recumbent today (yesterday?).  This became important later.

I rode the Big Dummy.  I had my doctor appointment with my new family doctor.  I like my new doctor.  He’s nice, competent, and is honest.  He pointed out that my overeating and drinking are not only working against my weight loss effort (what weight loss effort?), but are adding to my depression.

So anyway, I met up with Tim again after work for our hour-long spin that we often do on Mondays.  As we rode more, my neck hurt worse.  It probably wouldn’t have been an issue on the ‘bent.  When we were nearing the end, I headed back on Payne St rather than following him back to his car on Mellwood Ave.  I wanted to cut the ride short.

I could have/should have went home.  Instead I stopped for food and beer.  I had my laptop with me so I made use of the free wi-fi and posted about my gastronomical disaster on BikeForums.

I went to bed after getting home.  I woke up in the middle of the night and looked at my post on BikeForums.  Apparently many people are supporting me and want me to continue the weight loss.  There’s a bit of “tough love” including from some strangers.  🙂

The BikeForums post, the discussion with Tim while riding, and my doctor’s advice are all ganging up on me.  It is time to make a change.  Sure I lost 100lbs in 2007-2008.  Since then I’ve either held steady or gained.  I’m up 30lbs from my lowest weight.  I don’t want to be The Fat Guy anymore.

The neck pain has mostly ended long rides, but I can change that by riding the recumbent.  I just have to push myself out there and I will ride.  I miss disappearing for a day with the bike and a camera.  I can still do it.

I’m not spending any large amounts of money on bike stuff for a bit.  Long-term, I don’t know what bike(s) I’ll be riding.  I have one bike that I can ride a lot now, even with my neck issue.  It really doesn’t need anything other than maybe better lights, but I’ll use what I have for now.  The last time I spent money on that bike (upgraded brakes) I barely rode it for months because my neck improved.  Not that I’m complaining

I need to make some major dietary changes, but I’m not writing out new rules here right now.  I’ve done that a few times recently and failed each time.  I’m going to make some changes now, but the changes are more minor and less strict.  I’ll figure out more later.  I will start riding more immediately also.

There’s also the issue of Robin.  We tend to go out to eat every day.  She wants to make changes too, so maybe it’s time.  Overall, I think she eats better than I do.  We’ll need to figure out social activities that don’t involve copious consumption of calories.

Getting Bent Again

I rode the recumbent (‘bent) to work today.  Then I met up with Tim for an hour-long loop while one of his children was involved in soccer.

Tim and I had done some “training” rides on Monday nights last year.  No training today.  We’re both out of shape, and I’m slower on the recumbent due to not riding much in the last 18 months.

We meandered around town for an hour, then I headed toward home.  I stopped at Four Pegs to talk to the owner about Car-Free Happy Hour, and I had to have a couple of beers while I was there.  Their kitchen isn’t open on Monday’s, and I hadn’t eaten since lunch.  The last time I did this on a Monday, I went to Hammerheads and didn’t remember the rest of the night.  So, today, I went home.

I called Danny Mac’s Pizza for delivery, but they recently cut the days they are delivering.  Bummer.  I ordered anyway, and rode the ‘bent up to pick it up.

I ate well and rode a total of about 28 miles for the day.  That’s the best mileage day for the year.  It certainly was too many calories, but maybe I’ll get that under control tomorrow.

I’ve Got To Deal With It

I’ve bitched and moaned about my neck issue.  I’ve talked about riding the recumbent, but haven’t done it much.

I’m riding the recumbent to work tomorrow.  It’s set up and ready to go.  It would be more work to NOT ride it.

On Friday, I took Robin down to Za’s Pizza on the Big Dummy.  It was a blast, but she wants a cushion to sit on next time.  I rode the recumbent to her house today, and she rode it through the alley.  She’s interested in trying out a tandem recumbent now… so I’ve got to find one available for a test ride.

My eating habits have been bad.  I’m drinking too much.  My bike riding is way down due to the neck issue.  I guess the recumbent becomes my go-to bike so I can get more miles in.  I’ll ride the LHT in winter weather, as it’s better equipped.  I’ll ride the Big Dummy for hauling loads or people, as it does it well.  The ‘bent is for everything else.

I’ve driven too much this year (Robin’s car).  It all involved us going out for something, but I didn’t think the first calendar year of being car-free would involve so much driving.  I’ve driven almost as many miles as I’ve ridden a bike.  Granted, I’m low on bike miles due to my neck issue, but it’s still frustrating.

I have tentative plans to meet up with Tim after work tomorrow for a one-hour ride.  We’ll see.

For the rest of the week I need to eat healthier and ride more.

Bikes, Beer, Blahs, and the Weekend

I have to keep reminding myself of my unhealthy relationship with food.  I haven’t been great about my new rules.

On Friday, some co-workers were getting together to go out for food and beer.  I was invited, and social occasions are allowed per my self-imposed rules.  The fact I had an overly-large lunch earlier wasn’t good, but whatever.

I had a beer called “Morning Wood”, and I even shared my “Morning Wood”.  I made a (probably annoying) comment about the bike rack being free when others were complaining about parking meters.

I slept in Saturday.  I went out for a ride with Tim.  I got about 23 miles in.  I ate leftover split-pea soup.  I hadn’t gone grocery shopping.  I really wanted to go out for food and beer.  I successfully suppressed those urges.

I got up early today, Sunday, to meet Tim, Patrick, and Asher for a ride today.  I left before sunrise in the cold air.  It was a good ride, mostly urban.  Nothing epic, just four guys riding around.  I did have some snacks at coffee shops, but nothing extreme.  I ended the day with over 46 miles.

Again, later in the day I was really wanting to go out for food and beer.  I still haven’t gone grocery shopping.  I’m cooking a simple peas and rice dish that I actually have the stuff to make.  I’m not going back out, because if I do, I’ll find myself gorged on food and sloshing full of beer.

I’m slightly depressed because I know I shouldn’t go out to eat and drink.  Adding to that is the fact that I don’t like the way I feel about it.  I didn’t have this much trouble controlling my eating and drinking three and four years ago.  Why now?

I am killing time and forgetting about food for a while by burying myself in reading.  I’m currently reading Spin, which I highly recommend, at least if you’re into science fiction.

 

Rainy Errand Day and SOUP!

I like to post pictures when I write, but my indoor activities weren’t interesting enough to photograph.  I wasn’t going to take my camera out in the rain, so no pictures today.

While grocery shopping yesterday I bought some cornmeal.  It has been years since I’d had cornmeal mush for breakfast.  Well, that’s what I did today.  I probably added a bit too much sugar, but it was good.

I also rode the Big Dummy out to Lyndon to pick up the rear wheel for the recumbent.  Tom had fixed a broken spoke for me.  I also needed to return the tires that I had borrowed from Patrick.  He lives even further out in the Goose Creek area.

If I would have gotten up early, I could have done all of this before it rained.  I slept in and had a relaxing late morning with my cornmeal mush, so it began raining as I headed out.

I had no issues, even on the busy roads, getting to Tom’s place.  We chatted briefly, and I left with my wheel.  The ride to Patrick’s place was a bit worse.  The bike lane on Westport Rd ends after a while, so I took the right lane.  That seemed to anger three different fellow road-users.

I ended up spending a bit longer at Patrick’s place.  It was nice to warm up and talk bikes for a while.

It was getting dark when I left and headed for home.  Strangely, I had no issues with drivers on the return trip.  Maybe they felt sorry for the cold, wet, crazy guy on the bike.

Once I arrived home I began cooking dinner: Split-pea soup!  I hadn’t made it in years, and I always stuck with a really basic recipe.  With some guidance online, I added ham, onions, carrots, potatoes, fresh marjoram, and even spinach.

Soup is an excellent food to warm up with after 27 cold, wet miles on the bike.  The two bottles of beer I had with dinner were nice too.

I have enough leftover soup for several more meals.  Tomorrow’s lunch is ready!

Since I have my recumbent’s rear wheel fixed, I reinstalled the tire and have the bike ready to go.  I’m planning on commuting on it for most of the coming week.  I’m riding it again because it’s a neat bike and I haven’t ridden it in a while, and my neck is flaring up again.

Progress Since the Reset

On November 21st I began anew at the weight loss effort.  I spelled out my goals and rules.  I’ve been revisiting that post every day since then.

Progress?  I’ve not been perfect about the rules.  I even bought beer at the grocery store, and had a few last night.  I have been better.

Results?  My weight on 11/21 was 230.2lbs.  Today is 224.2lbs.  In the time between, it’s been 220s the whole time.  I’m seeing small consistent drops.

Weaknesses?  On Wednesday, I went out on an allowed outing for Car-Free Happy Hour.  I was fine with my food consumption, but had a bit more beer than necessary.  On Thursday, I was going to go out to eat, but the restaurant I went to went out of business.  I went home and cooked.  Friday I went out for pizza.  I ate entirely too much, but was better about the beer consumption.

I went grocery shopping last night on the Big Dummy.  I hauled a lot of groceries home.  I’m planning on making large amounts of soup.  I can freeze the extra.  I can easily bring it to work for lunch.  It should be a big help.

My daughter came to visit yesterday.  We made a chicken breast and rice dish.  I ate a bit too much and had beer.

I have no big bicycle plans this month.  I’m just coasting by.  We have one gravel ride planned in a week or two… I don’t know which weekend.  Other that that it’s just riding to work, running errands, or the occasional in-town ride.

I dropped off my rear wheel for the ‘bent on Friday.  That meant riding out to Lyndon after work.  I’m riding back out there today to pick it up, probably just in time for the rain to get here.

Reset

I bitched and moaned a bit about gaining weight over the last 18 months.  I’ve made half-hearted attempts to get back on track.  Today, I’m getting serious.

My weight goals:

  • Get back down under 200lbs by March 2012
  • Get to my goal weight of 175lbs by September 2012
  • Maintain my weight between 175 and 180 indefinitely

How will I achieve these goals?  I will:

  • Get back to tracking everything I consume
  • Drink beer only for special, social occasions
  • Quit going out to eat alone
  • Quit eating at my desk at home or at work – especially snacks
  • Severely limit carbohydrate consumption, especially sugars and grains, except on days with big bike rides
  • Visit coffee shops less often, I drink my coffee black, but coffee shops have very little I can eat
  • Look into a support group, such as Overeaters Anonymous – I’ll ditch it if I see little value

I have some physical goals also:

  • Gain some upper-body strength
  • Through diet or supplements, reduce inflammation – this should help my neck and other areas

Somebody asked if I was starting this at the first of the year.  No, it started TODAY.  I’m not waiting.  Here’s my food list for the day (don’t worry, I won’t be posting this all the time):

11/21/2011
Breakfast:
Banana
Yogurt
Lunch:
Bowl of chili
Dinner:
Spaghetti w/meat sauce – serving was a little too big
Snack:
Almonds – serving was a little too big

You’ll notice I’m not counting calories.  I think what I eat, and the amount of it is more important than an inaccurate calorie count.  I’m also not measuring stuff closely, but relying on common sense.  Portion sizes will be a challenge.

I also have some bicycle goals:

  • Complete a ten-day tour next year
  • Participate in at least one race next year (I’ll be racing Gravel Grovel this Saturday, but I mean another race)
  • Get faster so I can keep up and have company during a Populaire/Brevet
  • Buy a lighter road bike set up “Brevet” style
  • Buy a mountain bike and try to avoid breaking any bones
  • Ride one century per month next year

I’m 40 years old.  I’m in better shape now that when I was 35, but things have been heading downhill again.  I think that losing weight, eating better, and getting stronger will help my mental and physical well-being.  I may even see improvement in my neck, which is important as I can feel the inflammation returning.  I’m terrified of going back in for another epidural.

So, this “project”, over four years in, is being reset.

Four Years?

Time flies.  I started this blog four years ago today.  November 11, 2007 was when I started documenting my weight loss effort.  I had actually started the effort in late October but took a little longer to get the blog moving.

What a strange trip it’s been.

It’s time for me to reflect where I’ve been and where I need to go.  I’ve gotten too used to “instant gratification” in everything.  I feel I “deserve” things that in the long-term are bad for me.  So I’ve gained weight.

This is more than eat less/ride more.  This is my relationship with food.

Looking back on old posts to write this has been illuminating and given me new incentive to work at this again.  The wedding pictures especially.  I was about 20lbs lighter then than I am now, and I looked quite a bit better.

So, I’m going to work harder and see where I am in another year.  I hope some of you hang out and enjoy the ride with me.

Great Day!

I woke up feeling ill still.  It’s mostly head congestion and a sore throat.  I enjoyed an extra-long shower to clear everything out and took a leisurely ride to work to relax.  I had gotten up early enough to not hurry, and even had oatmeal for breakfast.

Work was busy, a bit hectic maybe, but went by quickly.  I felt much better as the day went by.

I met up with Tim after work for a training ride.  It was dark but we were both well-lit and reflective.  The weather was comfortable.  I felt strong and had a spirited ride.  I won’t lie, Tim was ahead most of the ride and probably riding stronger, at least until the last two miles.  I pulled ahead and left him quite a way back.  He worked hard to pass me again and I was too tired to chase.

I then took a long-ish route home meeting Bethany, another bicycle commuter on Third St.  We chatted briefly before going our separate ways.

After arriving home, I was tempted to go out for dinner, not because I’m hungry, just having a craving.  The spirited ride actually suppressed my appetite, so I’m skipping dinner and staying home.  I’ll eat a hearty breakfast in the morning.  It also feels good to make the right dietary decision.  I need to do that more often.

Edit:

I couldn’t sleep due to phlegm.  I got hungry so I cooked some white rice.  Still being good, and going to try to sleep again.

Good Monday

I normally loathe Mondays.  Today turned out good.  Tim and I have standing plans on Mondays to meet in the afternoon for cyclocross training.  My LHT is the only ‘cross-worthy bike, so I rode it to work this morning.

I had a light breakfast of a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of milk.  That’s mostly because I overslept and didn’t have time to cook bacon and eggs.

Work

I had a productive day at work.  Although my official duties are database related, I get pulled into various IT projects.  Today, I finished up a small Windows application to make deployment easier for one of our line-of-business applications.  Just a little thing, but it was nice to write software again, even on a small scale.

New Bike

I heard from Ian today.  We agreed upon a price and payment plan.  The Big Dummy is mine.  I’m getting the KickBack kickstand and wide loaders in the deal.  Now I truly have a pedal-powered pickup truck!

Cyclocross

After work I rode out to the park to meet with Tim.  We did a couple of easy laps around the course, then he started a faster lap.  I fell back, stopped and took a breather.  I really wasn’t feeling strong.  We then did a lap with me in the lead – running at my pace. It wasn’t much faster than an easy lap.

I’ve made up my mind that cyclocross is not for me.  I’ll continue to do these practices for fitness and fun, but I don’t want to race.

Tim gave me a ride part of the way back home.  I rode home from the Highlands.  I still rode 12.5 miles of commuting/errands and 12 miles of ‘cross practice.

Dinner

I go out to eat entirely too much.  I still haven’t been grocery shopping, but I had enough stuff to cook spaghetti, so that’s what I did.  I have no beer, but I need to avoid it for a while.  I had a filling meal, and have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Late Errand

My daughter works at a local drug store.  She called me to ask me to bring her something.  I hopped on the single-speed, went to the ATM, then the drug store, dropped off something for her, and bought some stuff for me.  The round-trip was only 2.5 miles.

What did I learn on my errand?  I learned my Acorn handlebar bag will fit two large bottles of supplements (glucosamine) and a 14oz tub of Haagen-Dazs ice cream.  So, dessert too!

More Saturday

I got an email from Michael, who I rode with on Saturday.  He passed along a couple of pictures of me.

The first is just me riding through the woods on my single-speed road bike.  Not the ideal bike for the terrain.

Action shot
Action shot

The second picture is hilarious.  We were at the nearly impassable stretch of the Riverwalk behind the golf course.  I had no idea he was taking pictures, but I needed to lift my bike to get through.

Upward and onward?
Upward and onward?

Exercise & Stretching

I’m doing my dumbbell exercises.  Even the 5lb stuff hurts after enough repetitions.  I have no upper body strength.

I’ve also noticed over the last few months that I hurt more.  My legs were so tight last night that any movement was painful.  I realized that somewhere over the last six or so months I quit stretching.

So, I spent about 30 minutes stretching my legs, back, and torso yesterday.  I’ll do it again tonight.  Hopefully I’ll notice a difference soon.

The Truck

The gasoline-powered cargo hauler (as opposed to the pedal-powered cargo hauler) is going up for sale this week.  I’m done using it now, I just need to find a buyer.  Then I’ll be officially car-free.

This Weekend

Tim, Michael, and I are heading to Red River Gorge (in Tim’s SUV) for two days of riding, and one night of camping.  It’ll be cool during the day, and cold at night.  I’ll be wearing as much wool as possible at night.  I hope there aren’t any burn-bans in effect this weekend.  We’ll really need a fire.

Either way, it’ll be a blast.  Much like the Big South Fork trip was last year.

Productive = Happy?

I’ve had a very productive day.  12 hours worth of productive.

We had a server failure on Saturday.  I needed to get in early-ish today (Monday).  I woke up late and grumpy, so I drove to work.

Today was a whirlwind of activity.  I was there for over 12 hours.  I felt slightly stressed at times, but never overwhelmed (despite the problems we ran into).  I guess I’m a good problem solver but bad at time-management.  Time-management isn’t much of an issue during an emergency.

The problems are solved.  I stayed late to fix things.  I got home happy but hungry.

Despite “reminding myself” recently about weight loss and such, I went out for a burger and beer.  It was worthwhile.

Tomorrow, I’m back on the bike.  It’ll be a long day with a morning doctor appointment providing extra mileage.

I need to incorporate this productiveness into everyday.  Not only do I do better at work, I feel better about it later.

Shrinking?

My weight this morning was 225.8.  The last few weeks I’ve been eating healthier, partially to save money.  I haven’t been going out for meals.  It’s working.

I had a can of soup for dinner last night.  Not exactly satisfying, but I’m running out of groceries.  I’ll be making a grocery trip tonight after work.

I still don’t have my weigh-in page figured out, but I have the data in an Excel spreadsheet.

Mellow Monday

Today was the last day of my four-day weekend.  I didn’t sleep in, I was up puttering around the house.  I did some useful things, and wasted some time.  I wasn’t feeling energetic enough to go out on an epic ride.

I was running low on coffee.  I normally buy my coffee at Vint on Main Street because it’s right across the street from work.  I wasn’t working today, but I still needed coffee for tomorrow morning.

It was pleasant riding my commute route when it wasn’t rush hour.  I bought a pound of coffee and drank a cup while I was there.  I then headed eastward and turned south on Baxter Ave.

The LMPD have been known to be (mostly) bicycle friendly.  Some of them even do bicycle patrols.  The Jefferson County Sheriff Department… not so much.  One local bike advocate was ticketed by the sheriff’s office for not riding in a bike lane.  Kentucky does have an oddly-worded law requiring it “if practical”.  After much public outcry, the ticket was tossed.

Anyway, I was on Baxter Ave, which does not have a bike lane.  It has “flexible lanes”.  There are a total of four lanes.  The outer two lanes are for parking most times, but that changes between 4:00pm and 6:00pm, and no parking is allowed.

So, it was 4:05 and there were no cars in the right lane.  I took the right lane (it is narrow) and was moving along about 17mph.  I sheriff department SUV was behind me.  Rather than pass in the other lane, he honked his “buzz” horn.  I don’t know what they call it, but the sound makes it clear it’s an emergency vehicle.  He did not turn on any lights, so I ignored it.  After three more buzz-honks, I stopped in the middle of the lane and asked him if he was pulling me over.  He made several confusing hand gestures.  I repeated myself.  He made a clear hand gesture to get moving, so I did, still taking the right lane.  A few blocks up, he turned right while I continued straight.

I spent the next several minutes being amused about the sheriff.  He’s probably used to harassing cyclists, and they do what he says, whether they were breaking the law or not.  The incident with the local advocate probably lead to an internal memo being passed around, and my refusal to squeeze to the right in a narrow lane reminded him of it.

I continued on to Bardstown Rd and stopped at Cumberland.  I’m not supposed to drink beer or eat “heavy” food.  So I had only one beer, several glasses of water, and a salad.

Tim and I communicated via text, and I rode to meet him during near River Rd for a quick ride.  I rode a very urban, very heavy traffic route getting there.  It’s not something I do in a group, but there are days, and today was one of them, where I feel strong enough to mostly keep up with traffic.

I met up with Tim and we rode through Indian Hills, St Matthews, Seneca Park, and Cherokee Park.  His original plan was to hit the Beargrass Creek Trail, but last night’s deluge would mean mud, so we buzzed along Lexington Rd instead.  We continued out Mellwood Ave back to the start location.  It was about 13 miles in about an hour.

There were many cyclists out for the evening.  It was a bit cool, but pleasant.  Tim wasn’t feeling well, he wrote more about that here.

We went our separate ways, and I headed back down Mellwood Ave into downtown before heading south on Third St.

I ride Third St as part of my commute home most every day.  I pass Third Avenue Cafe most every day, but I can’t remember ever going there.  So, I stopped and locked my bike up outside.

I had another salad, and another beer.  I also had more water.  Salad doesn’t do much for energy when cycling.

By the time I left it was fully dark.  I’m glad for the SON hub and B&M lights to get me home safely (yes, I was riding the pink-barred single-speed.)

I arrived home with 33.2 miles for the day.  Nothing epic, just a mostly lazy, pleasant day.

Fun Facts

Due to the moisture and proximity to the river the gnats and other small bugs were horrible.  I ate several.  Tim had one in his eye.  I looked like a poppy-seed bagel by the time I stopped at Third Avenue Cafe.

Because I had originally just planned to ride 3.5 miles to buy a bag of coffee then ride home, I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt (and a helmet).  Other than wishing for long sleeves as it got cooler, I was perfectly comfortable during the ride.  Another 20 miles and I might have been wishing for a chamois.

I felt bad for Tim.  He was obviously not feeling well, but I was feeling quite strong.  It’s good to get out and ride when you’re having a bad day though.  I think the ride did him some good.

Drunken Post

I ate (and drank) what I shouldn’t have.  I’m not doing the house work that I should have.  I went down to Zeppelin Cafe and had a burger and a few beers.  It’s only a couple of blocks, I walked.

I was eavesdropping on an older couple on their first date from some online dating service.  It didn’t appear to be going well, but I got the impression they were going to spend the night together.  I walked home alone.  I wasn’t jealous of the guy, I would have ditched the woman.  🙂

So, I ate too much and spent too much.  Tomorrow is the car-free happy-hour, and I barely have enough money for that.

Blah and Bleh

I didn’t ride much over the weekend, just rode around town a little.  My eating habits are worse than they should be.

I’ve been in an emotional slump.  I tend to use food and beer as crutches.  That’s not good.  I’m slowly gaining weight.

I did spend a number of hours moving the dyno-wheel and lighting from the LHT to the single-speed.  It was a pain.  I know how to work on bikes, but I’m lousy at it.  I struggle with simple things.  I get it done, it just takes way too long.

I’m home sick today.  I haven’t left the house, and have no intention of doing so.  I have groceries so I’ll eat, and I’ll actually eat healthy today.  I’ve spent hours laying in bed.  Some of that time I was sleeping, some of it reading.

My kitchen is still a whirlwind of bike parts and tools.  I need to pick up the mess before I can cook.  <sigh>  Maybe I’ll just go lay in bed instead.

Busy Sunday

Sunday is day 3 of my 4-day vacation.  I slept in a bit.  I eventually headed out for a ride with Tim.

After riding the recumbent for 70 miles the day before, I decided to ride the LHT.  I’m glad I did, as Tim took us through the somewhat hilly Indian Hills area.  Then we were on a flat stretch of River Rd doing 15mph into a headwind.  Tim was riding strong, but I was beat.  I eventually fell behind, but Tim waited for me.

At that point I was cooked.  When back on Baxter Ave, we parted ways.  Tim to do another loop in the parks.  Me to stop at O’Shea’s for food and drink.

O’Shea’s has a nice shady outdoor dining area.  I was able to bring my bike up near the table.  I hadn’t brought a lock with me, so that worked well.

Saddle eye view - saddles don't have eyes!
Saddle eye view – saddles don’t have eyes!

I ordered a beer (Southern Tier 2xipa), water, and a chicken wrap.  After finishing the first beer, I ordered an Avery IPA.  Both of these beers were new to me, and quite good.  I like a hoppy beer on a hot day.

Mmm... Beer!
Mmm… Beer!
After a while, I took the neighborhood streets home.

Part of the point of my vacation is to get some stuff done around the house.  I mowed the lawn, washed dishes, and started re-organizing my computer/office/bike storage room.

I’ve thought about creating a “beer” category for my blog posts, but then it’ll just point out how often I drink it.

I ended up with over 20 miles for the day, and rather enjoyed it.

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Never a Dull Moment

Three Amigos
Three Amigos

Early Morning Meeting

I was up at 3:30am.  I had time to do some bike maintenance, yet I put it off again.  I had an early appointment before work.

I headed out while it was still dark.  I was riding the single-speed.  About half way to work, the chain came off.  Rather than loosen the rear wheel to fix it properly, I managed to get the chain back on.

I got to work, and changed clothes.  I then grabbed the folding bike that I hauled to work yesterday and carried it across the street to Java Brewing Company.  I was meeting Chris aka Pondero and Tim.

Chris lives in Texas, and I’ve only known him via his blog.  He has a couple of really nice bikes, and some wonderful Texas Prairie roads to ride them on.

He is in town for a conference.  We arranged to meet up.  I thought it would be a good idea to let him borrow my folding bike to check out town.  I don’t know if he’ll have much time to ride, but I’d hate for him to have the time and not be able to take advantage of it.

The visit was brief, but it was nice to chat and drink coffee.  Chris pedaled off to get back to work.  Tim and I sat around and talked bikes a bit longer before I went back to work.

The picture above was shamelessly stolen from Chris’s blog.  There are a few more there.

Should Have Fixed it Right

After work, I had an appointment to donate blood.  I headed out and quickly regretted not fixing my bike properly.  I dropped the chain again while riding 20mph in traffic.  I managed to safely move over and fix it.  While pulled over on the sidewalk, Asher rode by, then turned around to check on me.  I talked briefly to him.  One of his co-workers was hit by a car.  I don’t know the guy, but I guess his injuries are minimal.

Oops

After donating blood, I was on a less-familiar road trying to get home.  I ended up hitting a concrete median and going down.  Yes, it was stupid.  I was looking behind me at traffic instead of where I was going.  Nothing was damaged, and I wasn’t hurt.  Mostly I just pulled a muscle while trying to (unsuccessfully) prevent myself from falling.

Food!

Once home, my wife wanted to go out to eat.  Part of me said “Yay! Beer!”.  Another part said “and I was doing so good today”.  We went somewhere without beer.  I had a small salad and a piece of fish.  I still did okay.

Time to Fix The Bike

After dinner, I properly fixed my single-speed.  Drew at On Your Left Cycles had mentioned that the chain probably needed a link removed.  I didn’t want to spend the time or the money, so I passed.  So, I have a chain tool.  I removed the chain and cleaned it thoroughly.  I shortened it, and reinstalled everything, then re-lubed the chain.  It should be good for a while longer now.

I’m having issues with the freewheel on the single-speed.  It works okay, but it’s now noisy and the chain tension varies.  The right answer is a new, better quality freewheel.  Drew has some nice looking ones from White Industries, but I’ll ride this one until it’s non-functional.  If it happens on a ride, well, I’m running a flip-flop hub, so I can flip the wheel over and run fixed until I get a new freewheel.

A Good Day

Even with the minor wreck and mechanical issues, I had a good day.  There was good company in the morning.  I enjoyed spending time with my wife and eating healthy at a restaurant.

Coffee, and Other Dietary Changes

I gave up coffee about two months ago.  I suffered some pretty horrible withdrawal.

I don’t have issues with coffee consumption, it was the money I was spending.  I almost always went to coffee shops, and I’d get a carb-loaded snack while I was at it.  Even brewing coffee at home, I had to have good coffee.  The money added up.

During my tour, I was drinking coffee every day again.  After the tour, I started going through withdrawal again.  So, I bought a cheap can of coffee at the grocery store. Yes, I’m drinking coffee daily again now.  I’m spending very little money on it though.  It’s hot, bitter, and loaded with caffeine.  It’ll do.

I had intended to go with a low-carb diet after the tour.  I was even considering giving the paleo-diet another try.  I’ve decided against it.  I will try to stay away from most wheat products, but I will continue to eat ride.  I’m just going to have to control portion sizes and try to eat healthy.

My weight has been rising slightly this year.  From just under 220 to just over.  Although I had been weighing myself, I hadn’t bothered to update it here.  Now I have.

Why is my weight still an issue?  I still eat too much.  I’ll do alright for a while, then I’ll pig out on pizza and beer, or burgers and beer, or down a whole box of cookies.  It’s a balancing act.  I want to enjoy eating, and use it as a social activity, but I don’t want to overdo it.

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.

Oatmeal and Chocolate Milk

I’m preparing for a long day on the bike.  I’m leading a 30-mile RCCS ride this morning.  It may turn out to be a solo ride.  I’m not sure.

It’s almost 20 miles for me to get to the ride.  I may take a 30-mile return trip for variety, or not.

Either way, it looks like the weather will cooperate.  Now to wake up.  This time-change thing always messes with me.

I’m sitting here eating oatmeal and drinking chocolate milk.  Probably should have had regular milk, but I’m doing what I want.  🙂

Starting Again

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’m still gaining weight.  I’ve made a few drastic decisions today with some exceptions.

No more coffee. My coffee consumption has skyrocketed.  I seldom brew my own, I go to the coffee shop and end up buying snacks while I’m there.  It’s hurting my weight loss effort, and my wallet.  I’ll drink water and milk.

Very little eating out. I guess it’s a mental thing where I feel like I have to treat myself.  I’ve been doing it too often, and it’s causing problems.  I need to pack a lunch when I go to work, and cook dinner at night.

Very little beer.  I love beer.  It’s something I treat myself with, usually when going out for dinner.

No ice cream. I haven’t had any recently, but if it’s in the house, I’ll eat the whole container.  Kristy will be home soon, and probably bring some in the house.  If the allowed amount is none, it should be easier for me.

Changing weight-tracking. I’m still weighing daily, even if I haven’t updated the page here in a while.  I’m no longer going to post daily weights.  I’ll change the weigh-in page to be weekly averages.  Then maybe I’ll be able to keep posting regularly.

I did mention some exceptions to the changes.  I may occasionally violate one of the rules during social functions.  This could include an RCCS coffee ride, pub crawl, whatever.  If I ride a 40-mile round-trip to have pizza and beer, that’s okay.

I won’t be training this week, but I will be back at the YMCA on Sunday.  It’s time to get in gear again.  After the triathlon in July, I’m going to re-attempt switching to a paleo-diet.  I tried before, but I felt like crap when I didn’t eat carbs.  I’ve since learned that it takes 2-3 weeks to adjust.

More Snow

After reading the weather forecast last night I fully expected to see some snow on the ground when I got up.  I got up at 4:00 a.m., and it hadn’t even started snowing yet.

By the time I was heading out the door at 5:15 or so the snow was coming down.  I rode to the YMCA and got in a small amount of exercise before heading to work.  There was some snow on the ground by then.  I was surprised that my bike was one of four in the parking garage when I was leaving.  Notice the XtraCycle on the far-right.

During the day we got a couple of inches of snow.  The main roads were kept clear and the warm-ish temperatures meant that nothing iced up (on the roads I was on).

My commute home was pretty uneventful, but the dogs seemed happy to play in the snow when I got home.

Notice all of the "luggage" on the bike.  Commuting and a stop at the Y means I get to carry more stuff.  There is a thermos for coffee buried in there to cut back on the expense of the coffee shop.

Now that I’m home, I need to get to sleep so I can get up at 4:00 a.m. again, but I’m not sleepy.  I’m considering walking to go out to dinner.  I’ll overeat, but a full belly might be what I need to sleep well tonight.