Little Cheats

Yes, I quit drinking alcohol for the month.  I’ve had two “exception days”.  Last Wednesday was my sister-in-law’s birthday.  Four of us went out for drinks.  I had four beer – that was probably a bit much.

Yesterday after the adventure ride, Tim and I had pizza and beer.  I had a more acceptable two beers.

I have nothing else on my calendar that can change my plans.  So, I’m done until February 3rd.  I’ll only be drinking on Fridays and Saturdays.

No Alcohol in January

I’ve “quit drinking” a few times over the last few years.  It never “stuck”.  I enjoy beer, I simply enjoy it too often.

After a night out on New Years Eve with Diane, I gave up alcohol for a month.  I had been drinking daily, so I really need to cut back.  Once February is here, I’ll only allow myself to drink on Fridays and Saturdays.

It’s only been a week without alcohol so far, but my body is already happier – especially my digestive system.  I’ve also lost 4 pounds – only 76 more to go.  🙁

I still need to limit myself once February gets here.  I also need to control food intake.  I need to ride my bike more.

It’s 2016 – Time To Change Things

I did pretty well losing weight from 2007 to 2011.  How?  Mostly through tracking everything I ate, and exercise.  The bicycle was only part of the exercise.

Since 2012, I’ve been horrible about my food and beer consumption.  I’ve done short-lived half-measures to attempt to get back on track.  This morning, January 1st, 2016, I weighed-in at 275.4 pounds.  That’s unacceptable.

I’ve also wasted a ton of money on beer, and dining out.  I need to be more responsible with everything I do.

2015 was a terrible year for my diet, exercise, and cycling.  I rode my bike only 2,424.3 miles for the entire year.  In comparison, I rode 5,502 miles in 2011.  I haven’t regularly tracked my calories in years.  I haven’t weighed regularly in months.

It’s a new year.  This changes today.  I will not drink beer at all during 2016.  I will track everything I consume.  I will track not just bike rides, but other exercise.  I’ll make it a point to do “training rides” where I push myself faster, even if they are short rides.

My goals?  Same as always.  I want to lose 5 lbs a month until I reach a weight of 175.   I want to ride longer rides (like I did in 2009-2011) without suffering.  I want to get faster, fitter, and thinner.

I’ve almost spent as much time working on bikes in 2015 and riding them.  I need to simplify.

I attempted to sell my Big Dummy, but I didn’t get any buyers.  I’ve since disassembled it, to part it out – again no buyers.  It’ll remain in pieces for the time being.  It’s put away out of my way.

The recumbent needs work, and I really don’t enjoy riding it much anymore.  It’s also put away in a non-rideable way.

The rSogn (now with drop bars again) is my primary bike.  It has rack, fenders, dynohub lights, and can do nearly anything.  My Space Horse is a fun lightweight single-speed.  I may use this for the flatter training rides.

The Fargo has some drivetrain issues currently, but I intend to get it fixed when I have the money.  The Fargo comes in handy for the awesome “middle of nowhere” rides we sometimes do.

The tandem is rideable, and I won’t be changing anything for a while.  It’s almost never used now.  I am a bit disappointed in Diane since she pretty much gave up on bicycles.

I still want something like a Disc Trucker, but I don’t have the funds for it.

Why haven’t I written since August?  Good question.  I’ve spent most of my online time on Google+.  I’m cutting back there.  I’ve also spent too much time on the couch with Netflix.  I’m cutting back there too.  Tim has complained that the bike blogs we follow have been going dark.  I’m going to try and write more to fight the trend.

Physically, my body has been weird.  My neck was better for quite a while, but I have other, new pains.  In just the last week, the neck pain seems to be coming back, but I’ve decided to ignore it for a while.  I want to wait at least five years before getting surgery.  I’m hoping that a better diet, weight loss, and exercise can help the neck this time.

Stick around for more.  I’ll be here.

Weight Loss – Really!

The (mostly) no-beer June thing paid off, as did the longer commute and watching what I eat.

On 6/1/2015 my weight was 274.6.  It slowly dropped from there.  Weekly averages below:

6/6 274.3
6/13 271.3
6/20 269.9
6/27 268.7
7/4 265.8

My average weight for the month of June was 270.4.

I look forward to posting weekly updates on the weigh-in every weekend.

I still ride a bike too!  As you saw in my previous post, I re-configured the rSogn to be my daily commuter.  It works, but I now have two bikes that aren’t rideable.  I need to fix that.  I’m also planning on another bike for later in the year.

I had Friday off work, so Tim and I rode single-speed bikes around town.  Unfortunately I consumed way too many liquid calories after the ride.

Five more months to lose weight before Gravel Grovel.

Job News

Yay!  I get to stay employed!  Yay!  I get a week and half off between jobs!  Boo!  I don’t get paid for that time off!

My contract job ends this Wednesday.  It’s been a fun 18 months, but it’s time to move on.  The new job is direct-hire, long-term thing.  Good.  I’m tired of contract.  The pay is good.  The atmosphere seems nice (an arcade machine in the break room, and casual dress code), but the commute has the possibility to be ugly.

Driving, it’s ten miles each way.  Much of that is roads I would not want to ride a bike on.  I can take a 13-mile route on the bike, and have a good stretch of it on a bike path – that even goes through the woods for a while.  That’ll be nice, until winter comes anyway.  They won’t clear the path.

So, I’m looking at riding 26 miles a day, five days a week.  I’ll be getting 130 miles per week just for commuting (assuming I don’t wimp out and take bus/car/Lyft).  This should help with my weight loss (which has restarted since giving up beer on June 1st).  I also hope it improves my fitness.  I still have that goal of racing Gravel Grovel in November.

Until then, I’ll have some spare time for putting in miles.  I’m considering a short tour.  I’ll have to keep it cheap for budgetary reasons.

Do or Die

There’s something about nice round numbers or dates that appeals to me.  So today, June 1st, 2015, is a new start.

As mentioned yesterday, I’m not drinking beer during the month of June.  I’m not a fan of liquor and I rarely drink wine, so those aren’t an issue.

I weighed myself this morning.  I’m 274.6 lbs.  That’s pretty unacceptable to me, but not as bad as I feared.  I will continue weighing, but I’m not sure about posting here, as I always fell behind that in the past.

The first time I lost weight and wrote about it here, my life was simpler.  I was single.  I had nothing going on besides a job.

Now, I’m married.  We have a new dog (who’s destructive and high-maintenance).  Although I’m working now, I’m actively seeking a new job as the current one ends next week.

I’m playing volleyball again this year, at least in the summer, outdoor in the sand.  I don’t enjoy indoor as much.  I played today and had a good time, even without drinking any beer.

My eating habits have deteriorated in the last couple of years.  I need to fix that.  I’ve started that today, just by eating less.  I’m not tracking calories at this point, but I probably need to do that.  It certainly worked for me last time.

I’m rolling around some ideas about how to limit my beer consumption once this month is over.  I don’t have anything decided on yet, but it needs to take bike miles into consideration, so I can earn beer by riding more.  As much as I was drinking the last few months, I’d be riding to Indianapolis and back every few days.

Updates, More Riding?

I’d meant to “catch up” on what interesting things I’ve done this year, but I’m falling behind.

I did a bike camping trip with Tim back in September.  I don’t have time to write about it.

My mileage for the year isn’t great, but with some effort, I may hit 3000 miles for the year.

I’m weighing myself again, but I’m not posting it here yet.  I’ve lost about 5 pounds, only 115 more (or so) to go!  😀

I gave up beer.. until I didn’t.  I have cut back substantially.

I interviewed for a new job today.  I left work early, and rode 11 miles to the new place, while wearing a suit and tie.  I wish I had a picture.  I think the job has promise.  It’s also 12 miles from home, so it’ll kick up the mileage for me.

There’s a cheap bar near there.  That could be good/bad, depending on point of view.

I hope to get this job.  The pay is acceptable.  The longer commute is more of a challenge, but could be good for me.  I intend to remain car-free, but with the ability to use Diane’s car/the bus/Lyft as necessary.

More later.

Catching Up and Staying Sane (I Hope)

Goals

Yes, my writing has languished.  I’m trying to catch up.  Go read the last two posts then come on back.  Done?  Good.

I’ve not been weighing myself.  I’ve not been losing weight.  I’ve done some bike riding, but not enough.  I’m drinking too much beer.  I’ve been depressed.

Normal tasks have overwhelmed me, including writing here, where I try to make myself accountable to the public.  That was the whole point of this writing.

I can’t fix everything, but I use this site as a repository of what I have done.  I draw my own inspiration from it.  I can’t ignore it anymore.  Over the next few days to a week I’ll get it up to date to the best of my ability.  Then, once that it habit again, I’ll work on something else.  Diet?  Exercise?  Something.

Issue

My temporary job is coming to an end.  It’s harder to get a new job when you feel like a failure.  Earlier today, I actually felt like I was wrapping up my life, rather than just one job.  It’s not that I’ll miss the job (I might miss the income).  It’s that I feel I have nowhere left to go.  Luckily, the feeling has passed, and I’m normal(ish) again.  It was a disturbing feeling.

I went off the anti-depressant a couple of months ago.  The mental side-effects it had on me were not healthy.  I need to do this without a pill.  Change needs to come from within.

Wish me luck!

New Toys!

I have to reward myself for my new drive to get fit again.  I can’t have beer, but I can replace it with something healthier, like bike stuff!

Gadgets

My old GPS still works, but I can’t mount it to the bike anymore.  The piece that connects to the handlebar mount is broken, and isn’t something I can order from Garmin.  I’ve since learned about RAM mounts that would work, but before I knew this, I bought a newer device – the Garmin eTrex 20.  It’s similar in size and appearance to the old eTrex hCX, but it’s faster, more accurate, and has a much more robust mounting system.

Once I buy the RAM mount, I’ll have two usable GPS devices for the bikes.

Cousins in the GPS family
Cousins in the GPS family

Rebirth

My poor single-speed has been languishing in the basement for too long.  The crank and bottom bracket were trash.  I damaged the stem and handlebars.  The original (30+ year old) headset was crunchy.

Some time ago, I took it in to have the headset replaced.  I ordered some brake pads, cleaned the bike, obtained some tires, and had a rolling frame in the living room for a while.  It did make a nice art piece, but that wasn’t the plan.

I ordered a stem and handlebars.  I mounted the brake levers.  Diane had bought me a crankset (a beautiful Sugino) on our honeymoon.  I took the bike and crankset up to the bike shop and dropped it off.

On Friday, I got a call that the bike was ready.  I went and got it, put pedals, lights, and a bell on it, and took it up the street a bit.

The single-speed lives!
The single-speed lives!

It still needs bar tape, but I haven’t decided on color yet.  I also want freedom to re-position the brake levers for  a bit, so I’m in no hurry on bar tape.

I went for a different look this time.  I ditched the red accents, and when grey, silver, and black.  I may give it a splash of color with the bar tape.  I may cloth, twine, and shellac for an old-school look.

Mechanically, it is a little different.  The new crankset would give it a higher gear ratio (but I really liked the crank).  So I also had a new freewheel put on, to lower the gear ratio.  The end result is about 65 gear-inches, which is a bit lower than before.  That’s about perfect for my old knees.

I won’t be commuterizing this bike this time.  I did last time, but really this bike just wants to be a simple, nimble, light, fun ride.  I’ll ride a different bike to work.

Saturday, I met up with Tim for a ride.  He, unfortunately, rode a geared bike.  No matter, I got to give the bike a good workout.  I got  a good workout up and down the hills.  Things were good until on one climb when the headset made a loud pop and the lock ring came loose.

I carefully rode it to Tim’s house, where he gave me a ride home.  I didn’t use the front brake at this time.

Once home, I was able to tighten down the headset.  As long as it doesn’t come loose again soon, I’ll be happy.

Future?

I miss my LHT.  I shouldn’t have sold it.  I don’t have the money for another right now, but when I do, I’m going to buy the Disc Trucker – which is the same bike, but with disc brakes.  It will become my commuter/tourer/beater/gravel grinder.

Once I have the trucker, the rear rack will come off of the rSogn, as I want that bike to be my rando bike, even if I never do a randonneuring ride.

Goals

I need to earn the new bike.  I need to be able to crank out metric centuries every other weekend or so.  I used to do this, but have not recently, and I certainly wouldn’t enjoy it much if I did it in my current condition.

I’ve done no long rides since my Achilles surgery (until today! – more soon!).  I’m out of shape.  I’ve gained weight.  I need to fix that.

Cold Turkey

I started writing here to document my weight loss.  I lost 100 lbs.  That seems so long ago (2007-2009).  I got into riding a bike in April of 2008.  I started thinking about living car-free.

In 2010, while married to Kristy, we moved out of Charlestown, and into Louisville.  I’m still living in that house.  This allowed me to not drive.  I kept my truck, as Kristy liked it, and we took trips in it.  When Kristy and I split in 2011, I sold the truck and I’ve lived without a car since.

Living in Loo-evil has meant I’m too close to bars, restaurants, and coffee shops for my own good.  I can quickly ride from work or home, in normal clothes, to a bar.  I can stumble home drunk from a bar.  While convenient, my beer consumption skyrocketed.

I’ve gained 60 lbs since moving into town.  My transportation rides were immediately shorter.  I still did a lot of long pleasure rides, but those tailed off as my neck flared up again, then even more as I gained weight and lost fitness.  In January I had planned to severely limit my beer, but then I tore my achilles and spent a lot of time stuck at home.

I’ve suffered depression for a long time.  The initial weight loss helped with that tremendously.  Gaining back a good portion of that weight does not help.  Alcohol does not help.

I made up my mind to give up drinking a few days ago.  That takes effect today.

Diane and I went out to two bars last night as a “last hurrah”.  I didn’t get drunk, but I certainly drank enough beer to add to depression and weight gain.

There’s no more beer in the house.  There are two bottles of wine, but I’m not tempted by that, and they’re Diane’s anyway.

So, things are re-starting.  I’ve already been tracking my consumption with MyFitnessPal.  The mobile app is rather handy.  My food consumption is a little high right now, but cutting out the beer should lead to weight loss.  Once I’ve got “not drinking” as a habit, I’ll work harder on the food. (I say as I munch on some cookies).

I’ve got happier days on this blog to look back at.  I have a wonderfully researched email from Simon on Google+ about depression issues and how he’s fought them.

I want to do 60-80 mile gravel rides again.  I want to pound up and down the hills on Eastern Parkway on my single-speed again.  I want to feel like a cyclist again.

Will I change my goals?  My main goals have been to be happier, healthier, and 175 lbs.  The lowest weight I’ve managed since starting this has been about 197.  That would be much better than the 260 I’m at today.  I’m still going to aim for 175, even if it’s un-achievable.  This will hopefully prevent me from getting complacent again.

If I can be more active, not drink, and weigh less, that will go a long way toward happier and healthier.

Although they won’t work by themselves, I have spent some money on “incentives” to ride more nice rides.  I also have a plan for a bigger incentive for when I’ve lost some weight (and when I can afford it).

More later.

Back to Basics – Again

I’ve lost track of my resets.  Some of them have been quite helpful.  Others didn’t last long enough to matter.

I haven’t had a beer since Tuesday.  I won’t have another one until 6/27 – so one month without beer.

I mentioned that my weight according to the doctor’s scale was 268.  That’s wearing clothes and with things in my pockets.  I started weighing daily again yesterday.  I’ve been just under 262 both days.  I’m only going to start posting my weekly and monthly averages.  That’ll will make updating simpler.

I’m also back to tracking everything I eat.  I only had 1390 calories yesterday, but I went to bed hungry.  I should have had something more, but I didn’t have anything healthy in the house.

I’m sitting at a mere 490 calories so far today, but I’ll have a snack and dinner yet today.  I just came in from mowing the lawn, so I have a large glass of water next to me.

Diane and I took the dogs for another walk last night.  It was shorter than Wednesday’s excursion, but I was feeling weak (should have eaten more).

Riding, Updates, and New Resolve

Driving

I don’t care for driving, but I still do it for longer trips.  I first got a drivers license two days after my 16th birthday.  I rarely drive these days.  After having a valid license for a solid 27 years, I managed to let it expire yesterday.  I didn’t realize it until this afternoon.  It’s now been renewed.

Beer

I’m taking a one-month break from beer.  I’m not cutting back, I’m cutting it out.  I’ve gained too much weight.  I’ve been lazy.  I’ll re-evaluate in a month.

Bike-Pooling

Diane and I often ride the tandem to her work in the morning, then I ride solo a few blocks to my work.  We did that today.  In the afternoon, I picked her up, and headed to get my drivers license renewed.  She had changed into casual clothes and flip-flops.  She learned that flip-flops can come off while pedaling.  She had to retrieve her footwear in downtown traffic.

Look carefully – there’s Diane grabbing her flip-flop

Achilles

My weak ankle has been causing me to limp.  The weird walking caused a large buildup of callous on my heel.  The heel split open and was quite painful.  This caused quite a few issues.  I started putting “heel balm” on it a few days ago, and it’s much better.

Sunday’s ride with Tim showed me that the ankle is still quite weak.  I think the uptick in activity that I’ve had recently has been good, if a bit painful.  I noticed today that I can barely lift myself onto my toes while standing only on my right leg.  I haven’t been able to do that since before the accident.  I’m also not limping at all today.  I still have some weakness, but I’m making good progress.

More About Beer (and Food)

Beer and food is the keystone of my current social life.  I often go out for beer after a bike ride.  Diane and I go out for beer too often.  Since I’m not drinking beer for a month, we need to come up with healthier habits.  We started today by taking the dogs for a walk.

We walked the dogs to the bank, post office, and coffee shop.  It was about a 2.5 mile trip.  I much prefer riding a bike that distance, but it was nice to do something different and the dogs liked it.

Sandy enjoyed her break at the coffee shop

What’s Next?

I’ll eventually start weighing myself again.  My last doctor visit had my weight at 268, which is pathetic.  It basically means I lost 100lbs only to gain back nearly 70% of that.  I weigh more now than I did since before I started riding a bike.

I’m going to have to help more with the cooking around the house.  I have some ideas for healthier eating.  I’m going to start tracking calories again.  Once I do allow myself beer again, the beer calories will have to be tracked.

I want to feel like a cyclist again.  I’m not selling the Fargo.  I’m holding off on buying another bike.  The bikes I have can get me through.  It’s more about riding the bikes than buying them.

Updates

Beer Tickets

My first (partial) week of beer was okay.  I had two beers on two different days, taking up my allowance of four from 1/1 to 1/4.

This week is not so good.  I’m allowed seven per week.  I’ve already had six.  I don’t get another allotment until Sunday.  Bummer.

Cold!

We had some bitter cold weather on Monday and Tuesday.  The forecasted snow fizzled, but the cold was real.  The Monday morning bike commute was done at about 3F.  Monday afternoon was about the same.  Tuesday morning was a “chilly” -1F.  There was a bit of a warming trend during the day, so the afternoon commute was a balmy 15F.

I had a volleyball team captain meeting to attend after work on Tuesday.  I rode there, of course.  It surprised the others – and they know me.

Today’s morning commute was about 15F, but the afternoon commute was above freezing.  It felt like shorts and t-shirt weather!

Volleyball

The new volleyball season is about to begin.  I’m angry at myself for gaining weight last year, but then I realize that I still ride a bike (slowly) and play volleyball (poorly).  Actually, my volleyball league is full of older, fatter people.  Hmmm….

Work

The holidays are over.  Work is ramping up.  I stayed late today to get some projects finished.  I haven’t been this busy and productive at a job in a long time.  I love feeling productive again.

So, I’ve been busy and happy.

Also, this job is a contract job.  It’s temporary.  It was originally supposed to end by April 1st.  I think that’s now been changed to May 1st.  There’s also a chance of a six-month extension after that.  We’ll see.

Weight

My weight has been fluctuating right around 255 since the beginning of the year.  I am weighing every day again, but I’m not seeing any movement in either direction.

It’s early.  I need to keep an eye on the longer-term trends.  I’ll average weekly once I have more data to work with.

It pisses me off that I still need to lose 80 pounds.

The Plan for 2014

My weight today was 256.8 lbs.  That’s almost 20 lbs more than a year ago.  That’s unacceptable.  There are a few factors – and I have some ideas to combat them.

Goals

I still intend to get down to 175 lbs.  Anything under 200 is great, but 175 is still the goal.  I need to lose 7 lbs a month.  That will get me to my goal weight before the end of 2014.  It’ll also have me solidly under 200 for Gravel Grovel in November.

Accountability

I started this blog to be accountable.  I’ve lost track of that.  I no longer weigh daily.  I don’t track my calories.  I’ve been soft on goal-setting.

I’m weighing again every morning and will be updating my weight page.  I may even start the progress photos again – even though I’ve gained weight and a few years.

Food

I don’t believe food is the biggest issue right now.  I’ll need to watch what I eat, but in some ways, my eating isn’t bad at home.  I do poorly when I go out to eat, but Diane prefers we eat at home most days.  If I continue to gain weight I’ll start tracking calories again.

Beer

This is the big one.  I’ve dilly-dallied around this one.  I love beer.  Not just drinking it, but tasting it, talking about it, and trying new beer.  I’ve considered giving it up entirely.  Normally, just cutting back works for a while, then I slip back into old habits, so I need something new.

I’ve thought of something that will control my consumption, and allow me to further enjoy the beer.  Beer Tickets.  I’ve printed out a sheet of seven tickets – each good for one beer.  I get a new batch of tickets every Sunday.  The tickets expire that Saturday night so I can’t hoard them.

I can have one beer a day, or seven all at once for the week.  I’ll probably drink a couple a few nights a week.

How will I enjoy the beer more?  The tickets are mostly blank.  I write the name of the beer, where I had it, what I paid for it, and what I think about it.  I can review it later to determine what beers I prefer, or what I drink too much of, and tell me when it’s time to branch out.

If seven beers per week turns out to be too much, I’ll drop the number down.

This is the beginning of the year.  It is effective immediately.  I’ve had no beer today, so I have my seven tickets, but three are already crossed out due to the “partial week” so far this year.

A ticket is good for a normal size beer.  An 8, 12, 16, or 22oz pour is all “normal”.  A can or bottle is normal.  A monster 32oz beer from the Mexican restaurant is two beer tickets – and not really worth it.

Exercise

I need more fast bike rides.  I generally plod along at a leisurely pace now.  That’s fine for getting to work, but I need to step it up to burn calories.  I need to get faster to feel better on longer rides.

I need to branch out and do some strength training.  Maybe Diane and I could do a little running.  These are not new ideas.  I’ve been trying for over six years now.

Depression

I’ve suffered with depression pretty badly over the last year.  In April I started an anti-depressant.  It worked for a while, then it didn’t.  I quit taking it.  I’ve since started taking a different one with mixed results.  I’m still taking it.  Cutting back on alcohol could be hugely helpful here.  Easing the depression helps me control overeating and drinking too much.

Habits

I’m in the habit of going out to eat and drink.  Diane and I need to build habits of doing healthy things together.  When we ride the tandem together, it’s usually to ride to a restaurant, bar, or party.  We need to change that.

Happy New Year

I don’t know why we make changes with the new year.  Wouldn’t it make sense to do it on your birthday?  I dunno, but it’s time to change.

Welcome to 2014

Happy New Year!

It’s fine to celebrate the new year, but let’s dive back and look at 2013.

In January I said I’d buy no new bikes.  I didn’t for myself.  I did buy a bike for Diane, and a tandem for both of us, but no new bike for me.  I guess I get that on a technicality.

I was disappointed in riding just under 3600 miles in 2012.  I made it a goal to ride 6000 in 2013.  That didn’t happen.  I had 3800 miles.  I had training, weight, and diet goals.  I’ve failed them all.

I participated in a nice gravel ride in January.  I’ll probably do another one this weekend.

February brought Cyclocross Worlds and some company from California.  I also attempted a 100-kilometer populaire, but I bailed early.

In April I met Diane.  She’s continuing to affect my life – usually in a positive way.

By May, most of my non-commute cycling was with Diane.  This is a good thing, but it does slow the pace and shorten the rides.  I’m currently 21 pounds heavier than I was in May.

In June I rode with Tim to go camping at Clark Forest.  I rode my ‘bent.

Diane and I spent some time in San Francisco in July.  It was a work trip for me, but we squeezed a couple of extra days in for a vacation.  We didn’t rent a car or bring bikes.  I learned a lot about public transportation in a major city.

September was decent.  Tim and I did a crazy bike-hike thing on some “goat trails”.  We also did a metric century through Charlestown and checked out the Parklands in the eastern ‘burbs.

September also was when Diane and I bought a used tandem.  It’s become our primary “together” bike since.  She rarely rides here bike now.

September was also supposed to bring a century ride – my only one of the year.  I drove to Michigan for the ride, but got sick and didn’t ride.  I did get to sit on the beach for a while though.

October brought Diane’s first S24O.  We also got engaged.  I also enjoyed one of the top-three gravel rides I’ve ever done.

In November, Diane and I rode the tandem for her second bike-camping trip.  Diane’s car was stolen, then recovered.  I resigned my job without a new one lined up – a first for me.  I also bailed on Gravel Grovel.  I raced it in 2011 and 2012, but didn’t feel up to it in 2013.

In December, I started a new job.  I finished up the year with a cold S24O with Timothy, Tim, and Patrick.

Recurring themes throughout 2013 were weight gain, slow cycling, and drinking too much beer.  I intend to make some changes to fix this.  More on that later.

I Hate New Years Resolutions

Bleh.  I had decided some time ago to give up drinking for the new year.  I know I need to, but I’m having second thoughts.

I probably consume 40%* of my calories in beer.  I hate the idea of the New Years Resolution.  Why wait for the new year?  Why do something you don’t want to do?

In reality, I’m still rolling this idea around.  One way or another I will cut my drinking back substantially.  I have to.  Although my goal weight is 175, I could live with staying under 200.  I’m currently at around 250.  That’s not acceptable.

Stay tuned for a decision… or more whining.

* number pulled from my ass

Unfit

I’m in no shape to race Gravel Grovel this year.  It’s less than three weeks away, and I haven’t trained nearly enough.  Even though I’ve already registered, I’m not attending.

My goal now is to be read to race the 2014 grovel – at 175 lbs or so.  Wish me luck.

Sick Day

I’m still sick today.  I stayed home from work and skipped volleyball.  Diane had to work so I spent most of the day in the company of the dogs and my Kindle.  I didn’t leave the house.

Since getting sick, I haven’t been drinking beer (other than the partial one in Michigan City that I couldn’t finish).  This has made me re-think my dietary choices.  I need to lose weight.  I need to get fitter.  I intend to race Gravel Grovel in November.

If I could drop under 200 lbs sometime next year, and ride six centuries… that would make up for a lot.

Poor Progress

This blog may stay named “The Fat Guy” with my lack of progress.  No, I’m not giving up, just feeling frustrated.

I did my monthly weigh-in on February 1st, but didn’t post it until today.  I need to lose 5 lbs per month.  I lost 3.4 in December.  I lost one pound in January.  This progress won’t get me there.  I’m still 61.4 lbs from my goal.

On the bright side, seeing this has focused my attention.  I was going to go out for dinner.  Now I’ll stay home and cook.  I have no beer in the house, so that’ll help too.  Although I should go grocery shopping, I think I’ll do better if I stay home today.

I’ve mostly been at the computer today.  I should do some exercise and stretching.  I need to get away from the computer.

Goals and Motivation

Goals and motivation are important in life.  I have goals, but my motivation seems to be lacking recently.

Instead of going grocery shopping yesterday, I went out to eat and had a few beers.  I came home and went to bed early.  The alcohol helped me fall asleep quickly.  I didn’t stay asleep.  I woke up a few hours later with a headache and couldn’t sleep until almost 4:00 am.

I got up this morning at 10:00 am.  I still have the headache.  I’m fighting it with coffee and ibuprofen.  I cooked pancakes.  That’s not a diet-friendly breakfast, but it’s what I had on hand.

I had originally planned to get some bike miles in this weekend.  Yesterday, I rode one whole mile.  Today, I’ll go to the grocery store and back.

I’m not motivated.  I’m depressed and have a headache.  I’m pissed off at myself for the over-consumption yesterday (beer and food).  I’m slightly peeved that my caffeine addiction is so bad that sleeping in guarantees a headache.

I have a document I started in 2007, shortly after I started my original weight loss attempt. It was some life goals, and notes about each.  I added notes about each goal as the situation changed.

Some of the items on the list no longer apply.  I quit updating it before my second marriage.  Some of the others are still very relevant: exercise, healthy eating, depression, simple living.

Some of the other items on the list are a bit too private to post.  I need to write an updated document with my new goals, and reasoning for each.  It may take a while to figure out that document.  I’ll post the non-private bits when it’s ready.

I need some exercises to do indoors.  There are days I just can’t push myself outside for a ride.  That doesn’t mean I should be a lump in front of the computer on those days.  I need to do some core and upper-body work anyway.

Coffee Ramble

Tim and I met at Sunergos this morning for a coffee ramble.  We had no grand plans for speed or distance, just a pleasant ride around town.

My rSogn is having a new front wheel built, so I was unable to ride that.  My single-speed is just a pile of parts in the basement, so that wasn’t going to work.  The Big Dummy and recumbent just seem so much for a ride like this.  So, I rode the Fargo.

I could have done this ride on any bike.  However, we’re doing a gravel ride tomorrow, and I wanted to be sure the Fargo was ready.  It is.

We headed west and eventually to Shawnee Park, where we picked up the Riverwalk.  We had to detour the closed portion (the formerly best portion) then cut back to River Rd near Sixth Street.

We stopped for another cup of coffee and Quills before parting ways.

Ohio River view

I went across the street to Vic’s Classic Bikes, where I bought my single-speed.  Vic has assured me the headset can be replaced.  Once I have the money, I’ll be bringing the bike in.

I intended to not drink beer this weekend.  I was headed home, and was pulled into Four Pegs against my will.  I enjoyed a nice IPA and a sandwich.  I then rode home and brewed a pot of coffee.  I had (house)work to do.

I finished the day with 22 miles on the bike.  That brings me to 66.7 for the year.  I’m should be at 82 miles to keep in line with my goal, but I think I’ll make up for that on tomorrow’s gravel ride.  I need to start taking the long way to work.

New Month, New Year

As I stated at the beginning of December, I need to lose 5 lbs per month for 13 months to hit my goal weight by the end of 2013.  I’m one month in and I’ve lost only 3.4 lbs.  I need to work harder on that.  I’ve updated the weight page.

I rode my bikes 313.8 miles in December, for a total of 3,595.9 miles for 2012.  That’s down about 1,900 miles from 2011.  I intend to rectify that this year and ride 6000 miles for the year.  That’s an average of 500 miles per month, or 16.4 miles per day.

I’m buying no new bikes this year.  I’ll spend money to properly outfit and repair the five I have.

I need to do two types of training: distance and speed.  Distance just requires long rides.  Speed may involve intervals.  I’m far from being fast, and basically just want to keep a 15+ MPH pace of a reasonable length road ride.

I also need to get back into upper-body workouts.  I’m not prepared to start a YMCA membership again, so I’ll work with body-weight exercises and the dumbbells I have.

 

For Real This Time

As I mentioned before, I intend to reach my goal weight of 175lbs by the end of 2013.  I’ve got 65lbs to go, so that’s only 5lbs a month.

I’m no longer counting my previous 100lb weight loss.  I’ve gained 40 of that back and I haven’t lost weight in a long time now.  So, today, I start from 240.8lbs.  I’ll will be weighing regularly again, but not daily like I used to.  I’m considering only doing it monthly.

I gave up beer, but then I had some at Car-Free Happy Hour on Thursday.  That’s okay, Once a month won’t hurt.

I ordered parts for the new bike yesterday.  It could be rideable within a week.  I look forward to putting thousands of miles on it next year.

I want to ride at least 6000 miles in 2013.  I’ll race Gravel Grovel again in November.  I might race The Death March.

I’m probably going to hold off on buying bikes for a while.  I have five again, and I’ll spend money and time getting them set up the way I want.  The single-speed is a mess.  The rSogn is waiting on parts.  The Big Dummy and recumbent could each using dynamo lighting.  The Fargo could use different handlebars.

I’ll re-do my weigh-in page here on the blog soon.  I’ll start updating it again when I weigh.  I’m still not tracking everything I eat, but cooking at home has been a huge help.

Once I’m done here at the computer, I’m going to head out for a solo excursion into Indiana.  I have no destination in mind, but I’d like to crank out 40 or 50 miles.

Committed

I’m racing the Gravel Grovel this Saturday.  I know I’ll suffer, but I’ll hate myself and sink into depression if I don’t do it.  I’ll be joined by Asher and Timothy because misery loves company.

I did spend good money to buy an appropriate bike, the Fargo, for this race.  I paid the registration fee.  I bought shoe covers to keep my feet warm.  I have to race.

I’ve been without beer or junk food since Friday.  My mood is improved, but I don’t know how long-lasting that will be.

I’ve had muscle aches in my legs for months now.  They disappeared today.  I have no idea what’s going on there.  I hope they stay gone.  I still have the normal neck/shoulder mess going on, but that’s not going to go away.

I reserved a hotel room in Bedford Indiana.  I’m riding with Timothy, and he wants to drive up the night before.  This should hopefully allow me to arrive at the race well-rested.

I need to take the Fargo out for a last-minute ride on Thanksgiving to make sure everything is ready.

I consider this race as the kick-off to focusing on my health and fitness again.  I did well in 2007 and 2008.  I did a ton of riding in 2009 and 2010.  2011 saw my first neck issues, but the riding was still good.  2012 has been poor.  I’ve drank too much, ate too much, rode less, had physical and mental issues to deal with.  I put too many things at a higher priority than my fitness, yet being healthy should be my primary goal.

I’m not waiting for the new year.  January first is just another arbitrary date.  I’m starting now.

Gravel Grinder

I purchased the new cheap hybrid as a gravel machine.  It really won’t do well in that role until I’ve spent way too much money in upgrades.

I’ve made a change of plans.

Salsa Fargo

Robin drove me out to Main Street Bikes in Shelbyville Kentucky to test ride a Salsa Fargo 2.  They have one in stock that has been used as a demo bike.  It’s the large size, which seems to be what I need (but not the extra-large like Patrick has).

I took it for a spin around town, and I’m hooked.  With a swap of the stem, and moving some spacers around, the bars will be high enough for me to ride, even with my neck issues.

It’s the higher-end model with the BB7 brakes, SRAM 2×10 drivetrain with brifters, and Thudbuster seatpost.  I’ll probably swap out the seatpost.

I got back and put down a (large <gulp>) deposit.  The bike is mine.  I’ll pick it up in two weeks when I finish paying for it.

This bike won’t be a road-touring bike.  I’ll use my recumbent for that.  It won’t be for commuting, but I may ride it to work a few times to show it off.  I’ll just carry my stuff in a backpack, because I don’t intend to put a rack on it.  I won’t be putting fenders on it.

This bike is for off-road, gravel, mud, whatever.  I may do camping trips on it that require off-road capability.  I’ll have to learn about bikepacking.

I intend to race the Gravel Grovel again this year, and this is the bike to do it on.  It should do the trick better than the LHT that I used last year.  If I lose 20lbs by then,  I might even do as well (?) as I did last year.

Now the decision is what to do with the hybrid bike.  Sell it?  Keep it and add fenders?  I don’t know at this point.