Being a Grown-Up

After moving to the house I live in now and selling my truck, I started acting like a teenager.  I didn’t worry about money (let alone retirement).  I wasn’t responsible.  I drank too much beer.

Some of those issues have come home to roost.  I gained weight.  I have an old debt nagging me.  I have no retirement money.

The new job offers me a 401k with company match.  The salary is enough that I can work on the old debt even with a car loan I just took on.  I’m going to buckle down and be a grown-up.  <Sigh>  That’s not what I wanted to do with my life.   😀

I’m cutting way back on eating and drinking out at bars and restaurants.  I’ll sign up for the 401k as soon as I’m eligible.  I may have to put off buying any new bikes for a while.  I’m even considering selling the Big Dummy now that I have a car.

Diane has triggered some of this, but she didn’t ask me to change.  It just seemed to be the right thing to do.  She will probably outlive me.  I don’t want her suffering and broke after I’m gone.

This still isn’t the “simple living” I envisioned a few years ago.  Diane doesn’t live that way.  It’s hard to say that I do when I have five bicycles and two laptops.

A Plan

Yes, I’m tracking all my calories again.  I don’t yet have a specific calorie goal, but I’ll get there.  Just writing it down has kept things in check.  I have had a 3000-calorie day, but I’ve also had a 1000-calorie day.  When I wasn’t tracking, I probably had several 5000+ calorie days.

I’m weighing again every morning, but I’ll just be posting my weekly and monthly averages.  I’ve updated the weight page.

I gave up beer.  It was supposed to be a month, but a social engagement enticed me to have a couple.  That’s okay, I’m tracking the calories of the beer also – and limiting it greatly.

I’ve already had a happier digestive system than I did before.

Diane and I have been a bit more active.  We’ve been walking the dogs more frequently.  We bike-pool to work on the tandem most days.  On Sunday, we took the tandem and trailer on an errand run in parts of town I don’t normally ride.  Those areas have a reputation for not being bike friendly, but we had no issues.

The rig

Due to Diane having an earlier schedule, I just go to work early.  I went in a 6:30 this morning – which meant I got to leave at 3:00.  That’s not a bad deal.

Wedding Update & Stuff

On April 6th, 2014, Diane and I were wed at Duncan Memorial Chapel.  This is my third marriage and her second.  It’s the first time either of us had a “traditional” wedding.

Duncan Memorial Chapel

We had approximately 50 people attend the wedding.  It was a good mix of her family and friends, and my friends.  I have little family in the area.  Asher played the organ for us.  His husband, Denis, was there also.

Asher at the organ

Michael and his wife, Sarah, were able to make the drive.  I hadn’t seen Michael in a while.  We need to ride bikes together again sometime.  He brought his camera and got some great shots.

I’m looking older

Tim was my best man.  It was great to have him there.

He was arm-in-arm with Denise, Diane’s sister. He’d never met her until this day

Tom and Jen were able to make it.  Patrick couldn’t make the wedding, he was at a funeral (gulp), but he did make it to the reception.  Timothy was there, and dressed well with a bow-tie.  He likes to pick up women at weddings, but I don’t think there were single women in his age range.  In a way, most of the RCCS crew was able to be there.

I hadn’t seen Diane since earlier the day before.  I had a beautiful bride.

My beautiful bride

Once the ceremony was complete, many pictures were taken, as people left to head to the reception.  I was really tired of pictures by this point.

The reception was at the BBC (Bluegrass Brewing Company) Taproom.  The mood of everything was lighter there.  Several people Diane and I both know from the Louisville Ski Club were present.

Ski Club – just there for the beer

Once the alcohol was flowing, people loosened up.  My daughter and her husband showed up.  They had been unable to make it to the wedding.  People started acting strangely, especially the bride and groom…

The garter is in here somewhere…

I did find the garter.  It eventually ended up on someone’s head.

Umm, wha?

Our wedding night was a quiet night at home.  We needed the rest after such a busy day.

We did have honeymoon plans.  We had a rented “cabin” in Brown County Indiana.  The “cabin” was actually an upstairs apartment in somebody’s home.  It had it’s own deck and hot-tub.  It was in the tiny ‘burg of Helmsburg Indiana.

On Monday, we loaded the tandem bike on the car and drove there.  We arrived during a cold rain, so we tried to stay warm in the hot tub before going to bed.

All the interesting shops in Brown County are in Nashville Indiana, about six miles from our “cabin”.  This was an easy ride on the tandem.  The tandem was our transportation for the duration of the honeymoon.

Let’s go tandem-ing!

The route between the “cabin” and Nashville was hilly, but scenic and low-traffic.

Tandem selfie?

Nashville is a small town, but it’s full of local shops, restaurants, and bars.  It also has a bike shop.

Bike Brown County!

Nashville is also the site of Big Woods Brewing.

I love a woman with beer

The weather on our too-short honeymoon was mixed.  There was always a threat of rain.  It did rain a little, but we were never caught in a downpour.

“I’ll be your driver for the evening”

The nights at the “cabin” were peaceful and quiet.  I have no pictures from that.  It was dark and the hot tub was hot.

On the way home we drove through part of Hoosier National Forest.  We went by Story Inn in Story Indiana, where the Gravel Grovel passes through.

Diane and I will need to save money to take more vacations.  We really enjoyed our time away form the daily grind.

Transition

Life is strange.  I’m in a weird place.

Diane and I had a wonderful wedding, and the marriage has been good so far.  Yes, we’ve had an argument, but nothing we won’t get over.  Mostly, things are quite good.  I really have planned on a big post about the wedding, but I think that’s dead now – over a month later.  We wedding was great.  The weather was perfect.  The reception at BBC Taproom was a blast.  I’ll write about the honeymoon – including tandem bike, later.

Wait. I’m married now?

My temporary job has been extended until the end of the year.  I don’t enjoy the job, but being employed is nice.  Work has kept me busy, too busy at times.  I feel like many other things are falling behind.

My doctor has not sent me to physical therapy for my leg/ankle/achilles.  I had my final appointment with my orthopedic surgeon, and he believes all is well.  It could take a year to feel normal again, but I have no more activity restrictions.

I still get swelling and soreness sometimes.  Walking causes more issues than riding the bike.  I still intend to start playing volleyball for the next session.  In the meantime, I need to stretch and work on strength.

I’ve gained weight.  I haven’t been weighing regularly, but I’m about 260lbs right now.  I still drink too much beer.  I’ve left the weight issue on the back burner for now.  I know I shouldn’t, but I feel like I have to finish the transition to married life and fixing financial issues.

Diane and I are trying to fix some financial issues.  We want to own a home someday.  Our spending on beer is down – most due to buying it from a store rather than a bar.

I’m on the bike pretty much every day now.  Diane and I ride the tandem several times a week.  We bike-pooled to work three days this week on the tandem – and plan to do so in the morning again.  We work within a few blocks of each other, so it works.

I seldom ride at a fast pace.  Serious distance would hurt.  This is killing has killed my fitness.

My depression issues have resurfaced again, but in a different way.  I’m able to monitor how I feel.  Maybe I’m just learning a new coping mechanism.  It still sucks, but it doesn’t paralyze me.  I can analyze it.  I can usually avoid hurting others.

I hope to not go another month without posting.  This blog was built on accountability on my weight control.  It’s been failing at that recently.

Long Night

Diane and I are getting married in about 14 hours.  She’s at her sister’s house.  I won’t see her until we’re at the chapel.

I’m not sure how much sleep I’m going to manage.  Most of the stress of the preparations is over.  Now I just need to remember everything tomorrow.

More later.

No Focus?

Reminders

I’m glad I have friends to remind me where I’ve been.  In April of 2010, Tim and I did a nice ride.  He grabbed a picture of me that I didn’t think much of at the time.  I was just over 200 lbs.  I was much fitter.

He posted that picture to me earlier this year on Google+.

The “good old days” should be coming back.

I need to get back to that instead of the 250+ I’m at now.  I don’t even know what I weight, as I haven’t been weighing myself.  That will require cutting *way* back on the beer.

Bikes

After a week of riding the recumbent to work, I realize that it hasn’t been my favorite bike for many years.  That’s unfortunate, as it’s a nice bike.  I won’t get ride of it, as I need a bike for the “bad neck days”.

The rSogn has been in pieces.  I finally got around to picking up some used 650b tires* from Tim for a fair price.  I’ll re-assemble the bike this week.  I won’t be commuting on it.

The Big Dummy is in great shape for commuting.  I’ll ride that tomorrow.

Diane and I have been riding the tandem quite a bit over the last three days.  I made the wrong choice in tires for this bike.  The 26×1.75 Paselas are nice tires, but with our combined excessive weight, glass works it’s way through the tire pretty frequently.  I fixed another flat yesterday.  I’ll keep using the tires, but when they’re worn, I’ll replace them with something tougher.  Also, the rear wheel has two broken spokes.  I had no idea until changing the tire.  The wheel still runs true – one of the benefits of a 40-spoke wheel.  I’ll be taking it in this week for repair.

I won’t be buying a new bike for a while – probably not this year.  Money is tight.  I need to fix some things on the bikes I have.  I need to make the single-speed ridable.

The Leg

I’m recovering well from my Achilles repair surgery.  I still have a bit of a limp.  I started riding the bike (against doctor’s orders) five weeks after surgery.  This quickly led to accelerated recovery.  I quit wearing the boot within days.  The borrowed wheelchair was returned.  The purchased crutches, walker, and knee-walker are in the basement.

On March 13th, I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor.  He said although I’ve been aggressive with my recovery, that I’m unlikely to re-rupture unless I start running or jumping.  Easy – I won’t be doing any running or jumping.  He hasn’t ordered any physical therapy as it would only be for range of motion, which I have no issue with due to my “aggressive” recovery.  I still need strength training, but he wants to wait a bit longer for that.  My next appointment is April 24th.

Tomorrow will be ten weeks since my Achilles rupture.  Friday was nine weeks since the surgery.  I’m pleased with the progress.

Fun Riding

I really haven’t done much leisure riding.  It’s mostly been commuting and errands.  I’m pretty liberal on what errand really means though.  It includes riding the tandem with Diane to the bar, the store, her mother’s house, or whatever.

We hauled her dog (Baxter) in a backpack on the tandem last night for a trip to Apocalypse Brew Works.  They are a dog-friendly establishment, and have good beer.  We had drivers pointing, laughing, and taking pictures on the way.  Baxter is a cutie.

Today, we hooked the trailer to the tandem and rode to Diane’s mother’s house.  We hauled the borrowed wheelchair back to her house.  We then went to her oldest son’s first apartment and had dinner.

On the way home we stopped for beer.

The Wedding

It’s still on – just in case you were wondering.  🙂  It’s two weeks from today. I was asked if I had cold feet.  I said I’d wear warm socks.

There are a few small details to iron out, but most everything is ready.

Work

My job was a contract position that was supposed to end on 3/31.  That’s now been extended to 4/28.  That means I can’t tease Diane that she’s marrying an unemployed bum.  Oh well.

There is talk of another extension.  I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that.  I do feel as if I’m wrapping things up and fulfilling my duties.  I will be ready to move on at the end of April.  I just hope I can find a job.

Weight, Beer, and the Elephant in the Room

I haven’t been weighing.  I know I’ve gained weight.  Diane has gained weight.  She had to have her wedding dress re-altered.  Yikes!  She’s not happy about that.  Our combined weight was apparently too much for the tandem’s rear wheel and two spokes have broken.

I gave up beer earlier this year for weight loss.  It didn’t last long.  I’m getting married on April 6th, and our reception is at a bar.  There will be beer.  My birthday is 4/26, and there will be beer.

I’ve made tentative plans to quit drinking on 5/1, but will I stick to it?  I honestly don’t know.  I know I need to.  I want to lose another 70 lbs.  I want to be able to crank out mildly-hilly 70-mile rides on the single speed.  I’ve done it before.  I want to be able to do it again.

Diane and I talk about losing weight.  We just don’t do anything about it.  I’m sure that will be a recurring theme here for a while.  This website is fatguy.org after all.  Maybe I’ll find focus someday.  Maybe I can reach my goal weight of 175.  Then fatguy.org will redirect to usedtobea.fatguy.org, or something.  🙂

*Tyres for Mark because he’s from the UK, and for Timothy, just because he’s weird.

Moving Forward

I haven’t been concentrating on weight loss.  I’m still not weighing myself.  I am on the bike most days now.  I have an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon later this week where he can tell me I’ve been reckless, but that it’s turned out well.  🙂

Diane and I have ridden together on the tandem and on single bikes.  We had an argument while riding single bikes on Friday night.  It turned ugly, but was fine later.  We’re both out of shape from lack of riding, but she was struggling more than I.  We had both been drinking.  It wasn’t a pretty sight.

I still can’t run.  I still have a limp.  Otherwise I feel mostly normal.  I don’t feel so fragile anymore.  I haven’t done any big rides.  I may not be ready for that.  I need to get back on the scale, back on the bike, and back on track.

Diane and I spent some time on the computer today to print wedding invitations.  She bought pretty paper.  I had to make it work with my laser printer running Linux on my computer with less-than-ideal drivers.  I wasted a lot of plain paper getting it right, but the finished product looks good.

The wedding date is approaching too quickly.  There are too many things to handle.  My medical bills are coming in.  I need to do my taxes soon.  I need to start looking for another job, as this one will be ending soon.  Bleh.  This is the wrong time of year to get married.

I worked on bikes today.  The rSogn has had a flat tire for over a week.  It turns out the rear tire is worn.  The tire came used with the bike.  It’s had enough.  I can see the casing through the tread.  Buying a set of tires is another item to add to the list.  I tuned up the recumbent for tomorrow’s commute.

I know I need to get back on track, but I feel overwhelmed with everything going on.  So instead of worrying about everything, I’m trying to tackle short-term tasks first.  The weight loss isn’t on the radar yet.  :/

Stay tuned.  I’m sure it’ll be an interesting ride.

Crestwood – Part Two

When we left off in Part One, Diane and I were invited to sleep indoors in the warmth.  Once in the spare bedroom, I was asleep within seconds.

I woke to coffee and breakfast served by our hosts – my future brother in-law and his wife.  I had hauled my Esbit stoves with me for morning coffee, but this turned out to be unnecessary.

We were able to shower before heading back out.  This was quite nice, and different than the average bike-camping trip.

Unlike Saturday, we didn’t have to worry about rain.  It was a beautiful day, if a bit cool.

I had a different route planned.  It was a little longer, a little hillier, and a little more scenic.  We struggled on the hills.  We eventually scrapped the planned route and took a more direct route.  This required taking the lane on busy multi-lane roads.  We had no issues.

My favorite part of the day was a brief break we took near the Snyder Freeway.  We pulled off into a grassy field, and sat in the grass, drank wine, and ate some crackers.  We should have brought cheese!

I adjusted Diane’s saddle (and watered the brush) and we were back at it.

We stopped at Mark’s Feed Store, Diane’s favorite BBQ place, along Shelbyville Rd.  There was a large crowd waiting to get in, and they really liked the loaded tandem.

The lovely Diane, behind the refreshing beer

We had a large lunch and a beer and moved on.

Yes, I like beer

We really were in “get back to the barn” mode now.  This was the last of the pictures.  We did make another stop for beer, but it was brief.

We rode three roads that I usually avoid: Shelbyville, Hurstbourne, and Taylorsville.  They are high-speed, heavy-traffic, multi-lane roads.  I took the right lane and let people go around.  We really didn’t have any problems other than odd looks.

I do think that Louisville drivers are pretty clueless about how bikes fit into traffic.  I don’t think they’re all that aggressive about it.  There are always exceptions… but not for us on this trip.

We arrived home, tired and sore.  This was more than 50 miles over the weekend – which is new to Diane.  I still have saddle issues on the tandem, so I was a bit tender.

Overall, Diane still loves the tandem.  She tells me that pretty regularly.  How can I not love her for that?

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Crestwood Wedding Chapel & Camping Tour

Diane and I had talked about riding the tandem out to Duncan Memorial Chapel on Saturday, even before her car was stolen.  We’re getting married there, and needed to finalize the booking for the right date.

We left later than intended, as usual, Saturday afternoon.  A quick trip to the store and we remembered something at home.  The 20% chance of rain seemed to materialize while we were shopping.  A quick ride home in light rain to grab the forgotten item, and we headed back out.

We hadn’t had lunch.  It was starting to rain.  Stopping early to eat seemed like it could solve both problems.  A quick trip to Four Pegs (while the rain petered out) was quite pleasant.

The rain quickly returned and became a brief storm.  Only one lightning strike that I noticed, but a little wind, a lot of rain, and small hail.  I was worried Diane would call off the trip.  She didn’t.

The skies cleared, and most of the trip was pretty pleasant.  The first 18 miles were pretty urban.  It takes a while to “get out there”.  Even at the 21-mile mark, where the chapel is, had exurb traffic.  Bleh.  It made for narrow winding roads and numerous pickup trucks.

After finishing the business at the chapel, we continued on along Mt Zion Rd, which I’ve ridden quite a few times.  I remember complaining about the unending rolling hills.  Diane and I do not make a good climbing team on the tandem.  Diane gets scared of high-speed descents.  This stretch was a bit taxing for both of us.

We eventually arrived at Diane’s brother’s house.  He wasn’t home, but we’d already talked to him about this.  We set up camp around his fire pit in the back yard.

She’s glad to be off the bike

The back yard / campsite is a sprawling thing ending at a line of trees, a pond, and a valley.  It’s quite pretty with the fall colors.

Blah!

The fire pit already had chairs around it.  There was ample aged firewood in place.  This would be nice.

Fire pit

I had a decent fire going before long.  We brought snacks, drinks, and sausages to cook over the fire.  It was quite pleasant to sit and watch the fire.

Diane by firelight

The homeowners weren’t due back until late, and when that time rolled around, they still weren’t home.

Diane finally gave up and climbed in the tent.  I sat watching the fire a while before joining her.  I was able to get comfortable and warm pretty quickly and I fell asleep.

I woke up cold and stiff.  I had been asleep for possibly 90 minutes.  I realized the cellphones had woken me up.  Our hosts were home and inviting us to sleep in the spare bedroom.  We were cold.  The fire was dead.  We happily agreed.

Ten minutes later I was in a warm bed and sleeping soundly.

Sunday’s events will be posted in part 2.

The route below is mostly what we rode.  I edited out the camp location and our goofy riding around before finally leaving town.

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Campfire

Diane and I rode 25 miles to her brother’s house outside of Crestwood. We’re camping in the backyard.  This was another ride on the tandem.

I posted this from my phone – with great difficulty.

We stopped at the wedding chapel on the way to fill out paperwork and finalize the date.

Edit: Now that I’m home, I fixed the picture and re-worded some awkward phrases.  Posting from the phone is a pain.

Fire!

Goodbye 2011. What’s In Store Now?

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions.  When it’s time for a change, you should work at it immediately.  I do, however, believe in looking back at things.  I’m looking back at 2011.

Bike Miles

I rode 5502.9 miles in 2011.  That’s more than 400 miles over 2010’s 5087.2.  By comparison, 2009 was only 3860 miles.  November 2011 was a new personal record month.  I had 697.7 miles.  December is my best December yet, but nothing exceptional at 444.9 miles.

I hope to surpass 6000 miles in 2012, and have a one-month best of 750 miles.

Car-Free

I sold my truck and became car-free on November 4th.  I’m still adjusting to living without a car, but it’s not a difficult adjustment after living most of the year as if I were already car-free.

Bikes

I bought the Big Dummy as my car truck replacement once I knew I actually would sell the truck.  I still have some fit issues to get dialed in, but the bike has been great at hauling things (and people!).

I’ve spent a lot of money on bikes this year.  In addition to buying the Big Dummy, I bought a SON dynohub and lighting system for the LHT in April.  I later moved the wheel and lights to the single-speed.

In March, I bought a used kid-trailer as an affordable cargo hauler.  I haven’t used it since buying the Big Dummy, but it could be useful to tow it with the Big Dummy if I really need to haul a lot.

In December I bought new wheels (including Shimano dynohub) for the LHT.  I also bought new brakes.  Now, January 1st, the bike is still partially assembled in my kitchen.

Health

2011 has been a challenging year due to health issues.

In June I had a horrible neck pain problem.  It kept me off the bike briefly.  It made me miss some longer pleasure rides that I wanted to do.  With some treatment and strength training it was resolved to the point that I can function normally, but it never went away.

In September I was hospitalized due to a bowel obstruction.  Luckily it resolved without surgery, but it was scary.  I only missed one important ride, and had no lasting effects.

On the day after Christmas my neck issue returned.  I’m still struggling with it, and I see myself riding the recumbent more often now.  I wasn’t car-free last time, so my options are a bit more limited now.

The various doctor visits may have actually added to my overall mileage for the year.  I had doctor visits in New Albany and east of Lyndon that took me a bit farther for transportation cycling than I normally go.

Weight

Ah, the elephant in the room.  First let’s look at my monthly average weight since I started tracking it in 10/2007.  Up until July 2009, things look great, then a bit of a bump, lost again, then steady increase since March 2010.

Now let’s look at the same values beginning January 2009.  You’ll notice that most of it is between 200 and 220lbs.  That changes when it goes above 230 in July 2011.  It stays above 230 until the last two month of the year.

It’s a little bit depressing, but not all that surprising.  I’ve been treating myself to good food and beer as if I don’t have a weight problem.  I not going to give these things up, but I need to make better decisions on how much and how often to consume these things.

2011 was not a good year for weight loss.  I ended the year 13lbs heavier than I started it.  Ugh.  As Tim would say, I have an “intake valve problem”.

Exercise

Other than cycling I’ve done little exercising.  I had my push-up plan back in 2008 that I abandoned after suffer shoulder pain.  I’m supposed to be using some dumbbells to strengthen my upper body to help with the neck and shoulder issues, but I’ve not been using them as much as I should.

I was training for a triathlon early in the year, but ditched that after suffering problems in the swim portion of the training.  I did not enjoy the running, but I was capable of performing what was needed.

I did race my first bicycle race in November, the Gravel Grovel.  I met my goal of less that 6.5 hrs (just over 6 hours).

My biggest problem right now, is that my most common exercise other than cycling is the 12 ounce lift (lifting the beer to my lips).

Relationships

Okay, where to begin?

When I started this blog in November of 2007, my 13-year marriage was ending.  I didn’t talk about it publicly for months, but it was happening.

I married Kristy in 2009.  It was a much different marriage than the first, but didn’t work out for much different reasons.  We are now officially divorced.

Interesting tidbit.  I met an interesting woman, Robin, a few days ago.  My desires in a relationship are a bit different now.  I’m not ready to rush in to living together or marriage (eek!  I said the M word!), but she lives nearby (walking distance, no bike even needed!) and we have some common interests.  We rang in the new year together.  I’m not going to talk much more about her for the time being.

2012

Most goals stay the same.  Goal weight of 175lbs.  Stay sane.  Be happy.

Some goals have changed.  Ride 6000 miles for the year.  Ride 750 miles or more in at least one month.  Save more money.

All of this is for nothing if the Mayans were right.

Happy New Year everyone!

Relationships Are Hard – I’ll Just Ride My Bike

Relationships Are Hard – I’ll Just Ride My Bike.  I’ve said that too much recently, but it’s true.

My divorce is final as of Monday.  I found out yesterday, and got the paperwork today.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what could be done differently.  I’m done thinking about it now.  It feels like self-flagellation, and I don’t want to do that anymore.

When I talk to people about it they seem torn between saying “I’m sorry” and “Congratulations!”.  It’s kind of funny.  In reality it’s just closure and that’s a good thing.

Escaping Reality

I have a bad habit of escaping reality through non-productive, or even destructive, means.  Sometimes it’s just wasting time surfing the internet.  Sometimes it’s food and/or alcohol.

I’m having a rough week.  I met with a lawyer on Tuesday to get the divorce started.  Papers were completed today and I stopped in to sign them.  I know I don’t like the way this whole ordeal has made me feel.  From what little Kristy has said, she’s feeling much the same way.

I wasn’t in the mood to cook after I got home today, but I wasn’t going to go out either.  I decided to read another book.  I burned through an entire novel, albeit an easy-reading one, in about three hours.  Once done, I revisited the dinner situation.

I had leftover spaghetti that I cooked yesterday.  I’ve been out of beer, and I’m not going out for more.  That’s probably a good thing.

I have several ride options for tomorrow, but I’m not sure I want to ride tomorrow.  I have a gravel ride with Patrick and Tim on Sunday.  I could stand to do some housework and yardwork tomorrow.  On the other hand, Timothy is putting on another LBC populaire tomorrow.

Maybe I’ll get up at 6:00am, eat a good breakfast, and decide what to do from there.

I’m going to go escape reality in my favorite fashion.  I’m going to sleep.

Anxiety?

I have depression issues.  I have most of my life and I deal with it.  Sometimes I spout off about it on this blog.  Other times I keep it to myself.

I’ve often heard of those who have anxiety issues along with depression.  That’s never been me.  Sometimes I get nervous, or scared, but I’ve never had an anxiety attack… until 30 minutes ago.

I’ve been depressed all day.  I’ve been unable to sleep tonight.  I was remembering that I have a massage appointment after work tomorrow.  Good!  Something to look forward to.  Then I remember I have an appointment on Wednesday to get another epidural.

I’ve already had two epidurals.  I was quite nervous about the first one, and I had a somewhat bad experience during the first epidural.  The relief I was received made it all worth it.  I wasn’t very nervous for the second one, and it went much smoother.

So, while laying in bed thinking about my upcoming epidural I got panicky.  My chest felt tight and I couldn’t breathe right.  I was re-living the sound and feel of the large needle sliding past my vertebrae.  I made up my mind that I can’t do it.  The realization that I can cancel the appointment is the only thing that calmed me.

Now I’m confused.  Why did I have an anxiety attack?  I’ve never had that problem before.  I’ll do some thinking during the day tomorrow.  I don’t really want to cancel the appointment.  I need the pain relief.  My neck is starting to hurt again and I have numbness down my arm.

I’m currently an emotional mess.  Today was the second anniversary of my second failed marriage.  I’m lonely, but know that I need to be alone.  I may never be able to have a live-in relationship.  Don’t worry.  I’m safe and I’m coping.  Writing about it helps sometimes.

Okay.  Back to bed I go.  I really need to sleep.

Over the Hump?

I just had a spam comment for electric toothbrushes.  Do I have bad breath?  Probably, I just came home from a few beers.

Although I can’t complain about the weather compared to what Pondero has gotten in Texas recently, we’ve still had a heatwave.  It seems to have ended this week.  We won’t be seeing 90 again for a while.  It’s been in the high 70s on the ride into work.  I love it!

Kristy signed a lease, and will be moving out soon.  This is both a relief, and scary at the same time.  I thought I spent enough time living alone after my first divorce, but I guess not.  Living alone will be hard, but necessary.

I’ve been riding the recumbent a lot.  It’s my main commuting machine due to my neck issues.  I still ride my other bikes though.  I pulled the single-speed out of the basement today.  It’s got issues with the freewheel, so I flipped it over to fixed gear.  The short ride I took felt very different.  I may commute on it that way a few times.

I’m in a strange spot.  I was ready to look for a new job a few months ago.  Now, I tolerate the job, and need to cope with everything else.  I’ve been more productive at work, and less productive at home.  <sigh>  I wish it were easier.

I do feel like I’m getting closer to being in control.  I also know that something else could come out of the blue….  I guess I cope my riding.  It’s my escape.

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.

My Normal Isn’t Healthy

I’m back to normal.  What is normal for me these days?

  • I ride a bike almost everywhere
  • I go out to eat often and overeat when I do
  • I drink beer several times a week
  • I gain weight
  • I suffer from depression

Maybe it’s time to not be normal.  I want to lose more weight and be healthier and happier.

I do have one change coming that I’m not quite sure of my feelings about.  Kristy and I are splitting up.  I’m not going to go into details except to say that we still love each other, but we rushed into marriage.  I’ll miss her, but I’m glad she’ll still be around town.

The question is, will that help me to focus on my goals, or push me toward beer, food, and self-loathing even more?

She won’t be moving out for another six weeks (give or take).  Once she does, I’ll work toward some of my simple living goals, which should help me determine what is important in my life.

Relationships are hard.  This failure has taught me things and will hopefully give me focus for the future.

Another Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday.  I had originally considered “riding my age”, meaning riding 40 miles, one mile for each year I’ve made it so far.

I had errands to run after work, and my wife had plans for after that.

While at work, 40 balloons were delivered to my office.  Also came a vase of flowers – some of them daisies.  I was told it’s because I’m getting ready to “push up daisies”.  That seemed a bid morbid.  🙂

I was expected to bring the balloons home.  I rode my bike to work, so yes, I rode through town with 40 balloons trailing behind me.  I got a lot of strange looks, a couple of honks, and one person yelled “happy birthday”.

I met up with my wife and daughter at Tony BoomBozz for pizza and beer.  I had a good day, but didn’t ride anywhere near 40 miles.

Beautiful Weather for a Ride

Bikes resting
Bikes resting
I posted over at the RCCS site about today’s wonderful ride.  Here’s the rest of the story.

After the ride I wandered around some unfamiliar neighborhoods.  My GPS was very helpful.  The weather was beautiful.  The wind was strong enough to make things interesting.

I eventually made my way to Bardstown Rd and had a late lunch and a good brew.  I played pedestrian for a while and walked around looking for little shops to buy my wonderful wife something for tomorrow’s holiday.  I found something suitable and rode home.

I’m out of propane for the grill, so I loaded the empty on the bike, hauled it down to the gas station, and exchange it.  After riding home (round trip 1/2 mile) I then rode to the grocery store.  I wasn’t going to haul the heavy propane tank all the way to the store.  I need to get a trailer.

I had my shopping done and things put away before my wife arrived home from work.  I had a tiring, but satisfying day.  At 55 total miles, I’m not complaining.

Interesting sign along Westport Rd
Interesting sign along Westport Rd

One Year of Marriage, From 1500 Feet

Today my wife and I celebrated our first anniversary.  Time flies when you are having fun, or when your spouse is gone a lot.  🙂

We went for a ride in an open-cockpit biplane to celebrate.  She’s been around planes her whole life, but never flown in a biplane.  I love flying, but haven’t spent as much time around aircraft.

We did stop for lunch after the flight, but the day was pretty low-key after that.

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.  🙂

A Gift From My Wife

I arrived home today after work (driving my truck) to see a large box out front.

Let me back up a minute…

I only rode my bike to work two days this week.  I only rode home 1 day, as the other I got a ride home.  My idea of another record mileage month is out the window.  I’ve not been riding enough, but I’m not letting that bother me.

My wife will be home tomorrow, a bit earlier than originally planned.  I’m glad she’s coming home, but it will cut even more into my bike riding time.

So anyway, I open the box and find a new bike.

It’s a Dahon Speed D7.  It certainly won’t be my primary bike, but it could come in very handy for travelling, or even short around-town trips.

How many of you have a wife that would surprise you with something like that?

It folds up quite small.  See how large the trunk bag appears on the folded bike.

It is officially too big to go as checked luggage on most airlines without oversize items fees, but I’m going to take it with me to Washington DC next month, and see how that works out.  It’ll be nice to have my own transportation while on a business trip.

I was amazed that it came with fenders and a rear rack.  I just threw on a cheap set of lights and my trunk bag, and it’s ready to go.

I did take the bike for a four-mile ride after getting it set up.  I rode to the bank, the pizza place, and home again.  I enjoyed some good food, a great beer, and a new bike from my wonderful wife..  Life is good.

Some Improvement

After several days of feeling only slightly better than death, today is refreshing.  It started out rough this morning.  It was just like yesterday morning.  I woke gasping and choking and making horrible noises.

By mid-morning, I was able to eat solid food.  That’s a switch.  By early afternoon the feverish feeling appears to be gone.

I won’t be riding my bike to work this week.  I haven’t actually been to work this week yet.  I shouldn’t ride tomorrow, I still need to recover, and I can’t ride anyway, because I’m picking Kristy up from the airport.  There is some better news!  I won’t be riding on Thursday so that I can spend more time with Kristy.

I can’t ride on Friday, because I’m taking her back to the airport for another adventure.  I thought she’d get to stay home for more than two days.  Such is my crazy marriage.

On the other hand, I’ve got every weekend in July available for putting in some miles on the bike.  I’m planning at least one more camping trip too.

N+1

What is the perfect number of bicycles?  N+1, where N is the number you currently have.

Despite wanting a simpler life with fewer toys, I’m adding a new bike to the fleet.  I’ve had two rideable bikes, but they will become three in about two weeks.

I found a 58cm Surly Long Haul Trucker at a local shop that had been sitting in the showroom too long. The LHT is the bike I was writing about wanting back in November.

I took the bike for a spin this morning (it was a bit cold for a lengthy ride), and put a deposit down on it. It will be mine on the 15th.

I sent a picture of the bike to my wife (who is out of state again), and she called me immediately. She had apparently been planning on buying me one, over time, built piece-by-piece to my specifications. Overall it would have been more expensive, but I would have had the opportunity to pick out components. She was also working with a different bike shop.

That’s what happens when you have a secret. 🙂

Either way, the other shop hasn’t ordered anything yet, but already have some money “on account” that will go toward racks, fenders, a computer, and whatever else I outfit on the LHT.

My bikes have names.  Nermal is my frankenbike-hybrid/commuter that started life as a cheap Giant Cypress ST.  Oria is my long-wheelbase recumbent Bacchetta Agio.  The newcomer doesn’t have a name yet.  I will ride it/him/her for a while to get a feel for the personality first.