All Kinds of Stupid

My weight spreadsheet had an error.  I haven’t lost as much weight as I thought.  You can see the correct numbers on my weight page.

In addition, I haven’t weighed since Saturday.  I also quite tracking food for a few days.  I’ve been terribly lazy.  I had four days of beer drinking.

Meh.

I’ll kick it back into gear tomorrow.

Cheating

I’ve been doing well.  I’ve lost weight, eaten better, and had no beer.  The only weak spot is riding.  I haven’t been on the bike much.

On the way home from work today, I stopped at the store to pick up a few things and grabbed a six-pack of beer.  I couldn’t help it.  I’m enjoying one of the bottles now.  I’m considering it a “mental health break”.

I won’t be riding to work tomorrow, as I’ll be working from home.  Friday may be the one day I do that this week.

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.

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.

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!

Keeping on Pedaling

I’m still beer-free.  The eating hasn’t been great.

I haven’t ridden my bike to work at all this week.  I’ve had the beginning of a neck flare-up.  No matter, I leave in the morning for a camping trip with Tim and Timothy.  My Fargo is loaded and ready to roll.  I’ve packed plenty of anti-inflammatories.

Although I’m still in pain, I need this three-day weekend trip to keep my sanity.

More later.

Day Two

This is my second day with no beer.  I only miss it when I’m operating on habit.  I do a lot of things out of habit.  Eating too much is another one.  I’m just concentrating on the beer for now.

Alcohol helps me sleep, but so do 50-mile bike rides.  I’ll try more of the rides.

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.

Sometime’s It’s Not Worth It

There was an article on a local news website today that drivers are driving in the new “protected” bike lanes.  I haven’t yet used these lanes, they don’t go where I’m going, but I’ve seen them.  They’re “protected” with paint.  That must be some magic paint – or not if people are driving in them.

Anyway, I clicked though and made the mistake of glancing at the comments at the end of the article.  These are people who post comments from Facebook, so their real names show up.  I’m not on Facebook, and even if I were, I would not want to engage these same tired arguments.

Ignoring the rare occasion, I normally have no issues with drivers.  So why do I get so angry when I see the raging ignorance online?  Maybe it’s because they are willfully ignorant.  Some are worse.  In one article about a cyclist badly injured in a hit-and-run crash, one idiot commented “Good!

I want to take away their cars and licenses until they have a better understanding of the law and more empathy for their fellow man.  Maybe I’m just having a bad day, but this is getting to me today.  It’s making me want to go have a beer – but I’m trying to lose weight.

Goodbye Candy

Candy, my yellow lab, has been suffering for a while.  Things started to go downhill about a year ago.   She lost muscle and developed arthritis.  She slept most of the time.

Recently, she hasn’t been willing to eat.  She’s lost a lot of weight.  She’s had bowel and bladder control issues.  She’s had trouble standing up.

Candy, about five years ago

Today, she was taken to the vet for her final visit.  We left there without her.  Her suffering is over.

Candy was the first dog I had as an adult.  This is the first time I had to take a pet to be put down.  I’ll miss her.

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.

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.

Baby Steps, Beer, and Bikes

My last post was pretty negative.  I was having a bad day.  Today is much different.

I had a good day yesterday, but last night was rough.  I had drank too much and eaten some questionable food.  I had trouble sleeping with an upset stomach and a headache.  I also had muscle aches that are probably due to dehydration due to alcohol consumption.

Getting up for work this morning was hard.  I made it in to work a bit later than intended, but still before 9:00am.  Work was a busy blur.  I can’t complain – I was productive and time flew by.

Before I even made it to work, I’ve decided to quit drinking.  I seem to have an issue with moderation.  I’m also not going to lay around like a lump until my leg heals.  I’m borrowing a trainer so I can use my recumbent bike as a stationary bike.  I’ll pedal one-legged with my SPD shoe until I’m cleared to use both legs.  I’ll have the trainer tomorrow.

Two days ago when I complained about lack of progress with my leg, things got better.  I can walk now.  I’m not supposed to, and I rarely do, but if I need to get up some stairs without a rail, I can.  I only walk slowly taking very small steps.  It’s almost a shuffle.  I can’t “push off” with my right foot, but it’ll hold me up.  There’s no pain when doing this either.  I only do this when wearing the boot to support my ankle.

I’m still using the Knee Scooter.  I hate the crutches and the walker.  I don’t need the wheelchair.

Now I just need some exercise.

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.

Busy Day

My day started with a 7:00am dentist appointment.  It was just for cleaning and perio-care.  Yes, I have gum disease.  I rode my bike there, in the pre-dawn coolness.

I’ve been on the tandem a lot recently, but Diane was at work, so I was back on the rSogn.  It was nice to ride a reasonably light road bike again.

After the dentist appointment, I had a 9:00am doctor appointment.  It was just a quick ride down the road.

This appointment went well.  I’m trying a different anti-depressant.  I’m still not convinced it’s a good idea.  I also got my first ever flu-shot.  I’ve avoided them for years.  I was considering it this year, but I was sick when they gave them at work.  I’m no longer sick, so I took a shot in the arm.

The doctor has mentioned that I need to cut back on my beer.  It contributes to my ongoing obesity and depression.  I’m seriously considering giving it up entirely…. just not yet.

After the appointment I had a brisk ride to work.  After work I ran to the drug store, then home.

Diane and I went out to run an errand later, but we rode single bikes rather than the tandem.  I had 15.9 miles for the day.

Century on Sunday?

I’ve been signed up to ride the Apple Cider Century in southwest Michigan for months.  I booked a hotel room last week.

I’m not too worried about the fact I’m out of shape.  I’ve done 70 miles recently, I don’t think 100 will be too much of a stretch.

Diane and I are planning on bring my bike (for the century) and the tandem (for toodling around on Saturday).

The last two days have been hell.  I’ve had a low-grade illness of some sort.  My neck flared up again.  I’ve been stressed and depressed.

I’ve not cancelled yet.  I may, or I may not.  We’ll see.

Cool Weather and Laziness

Friday was the beginning of Louisville Craft Beer Week.  Many of my favorite places were having interesting events going on.  I also had a planned 50+ mile ride for Saturday morning.  I needed to control my alcohol consumption so I could get up in the morning.

By the time I left work on Friday my mood wasn’t the greatest.  I rode home and ate dinner with Diane.  I didn’t intend to take out my frustration on her, but I think I did a bit.

We left on bikes and rolled out to the BBC Taproom.  There was one beer (a barleywine) that I really wanted to try.  I had the one beer, Diane had a different one.  We ran into Timothy, but he had driven.  Boo!

Bike parking at BBC is non-existent.  That didn’t stop about six people from locking up to random things nearby.  Maybe they should put in a bike rack.

We decided to go back to our neighborhood and visit Four Pegs.  Four Pegs has become my usual haunt.  It’s walking distance from home, has good beer, and the people are friendly.

This time, Four Pegs was insanely packed.  It was standing room only.  We each ordered a beer and went out on the patio and stood around.  There was no available seating there either.

We called it a night early, with little beer, and went home.  Diane had to be to work at 6:00, and I had planned to ride with Tim in the morning.

I find alarm clocks to be horribly rude and annoying.  Saturday morning was no different.  I felt sleep-deprived.  I had gotten up early with Diane on Friday and rode with her to work.  Although I was in bed for 8 hours, I didn’t sleep well.  I sent Tim a text that I wouldn’t be making the ride.  Diane decided to drive to work since I wasn’t riding with her.  I went back to sleep.

I woke a few hours later, downed some coffee and read a short book on my Kindle.  I didn’t want to be a useless lump all day, so I decided to get something done before Diane got off work.

I did the yardwork.  I did a thorough job, with dog mess cleanup, trimming, mowing, cleanup, and even cutting the vines that grow through the privacy fence from the neighbor’s yard.   Diane arrived home just as I was putting stuff away.

I’ve had several tasks nagging me for a while.  Diane and I walked to the hardware store.  I bought a new screen for the back door, a new light fixture for the basement, a new outdoor electrical outlet to replace the broken one by the grill, and the weird little roller-like tool for pushing the spline in place when installing screen.  Spline is a new (in this context) word I learned during the process.

After getting back home with the haul, Diane ran to buy some beer for us (on the bike!) while I got busy with the electrical outlet.  The outlet is dead.  Apparently there’s some wiring damage – probably underground where I can’t get to it.

Diane came back, and helped me with the screen and basement light.  All went well there.

After cooking and eating dinner, we took a quick trip to Four Pegs again.  They weren’t nearly as busy.  We didn’t drink much, as we both had early mornings coming up again.

We were up at 5:00 again.  Diane jumped up and started getting ready for work.  I hid under the blankets trying to stay warm.  I don’t have a ride planned, but I hope to get out.  I didn’t feel like getting out early with Diane, so she drove again.  Oh well.  We are both being lazy.

It’s now 6:30.  I’m dressed in warm clothes and sipping coffee at the computer.  It’s still quite cool outside, but it’s supposed to get up to near 80.  It’ll be another perfect day to be on the bike.  The real question, is will I bother?

Whatta Week!

Okay, it’s only Thursday, but this has been a busy week already.

On Monday, my daughter, Dawn, married Guthrie.  I present Mr. and Mrs. Smith:

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

It was a simple wedding.  There was a dinner afterward.

Later in the evening I went to play volleyball.  I’ve been using a dating site to try and meet women with mixed results.  While at volleyball, a woman approached me and we talked.  We had a date on Tuesday.  Her name is Diane.

I had a date with Renee that I thought went well last week.  She told me that she didn’t think we should have a second date a couple of days ago.

Yesterday was a housecleaning day.  I’ve been trying to keep my life more in order.  The anti-depressant seems to be working.  My moods have been more level.  I’ve been drinking less.  I’m not “stress eating”.  I have more motivation to do simple things – but not enough to do great things.  Hmmm.

I had a date scheduled with Melissa today, but she never called or showed up.  So I sat and ate pizza and had a beer by myself.  I wasn’t really bothered much by it.

I have a second date with Diane tomorrow.  It’s odd that the only second date I’m getting out of this is from a woman that I didn’t meet online.  We have a few friends and acquaintances in common – mostly through the Louisville Ski Club, of which I’m a member.

I’ve ridden the bike to work every day this week.  I’ve ridden the bike everywhere.  I haven’t missed work.  I’ve done some cooking at home.  I’ve been keeping the house clean.  I have a second date tomorrow.  This is progress.

Something In The Air?

I’ve experienced a bizarre set of emotions over the last few days.  My depression had lifted quite a bit this week.  Wednesday after work, I signed back up on a dating site.

I had a Thursday doctor appointment that basically meant I would go to work for three hours.  I woke up Thursday morning with quite a headache, and stayed home from work.  I enjoyed listening to the thunderstorm while laying in bed, even if it did bring a cold front along with it.

The storm had ended and the rain had mostly stopped when I headed out for my doctor appointment.  The office allows me to bring the bike inside, so I didn’t have to deal with the lack of bike parking.

This was mostly a follow-up visit for lifelong issue that I have.  I also brought up the depression again, and the fact that I’ve cut my beer consumption way down (he’s chastised me about this before).

Despite years of refusing a chemical solution to my depression, I finally agreed to try it.  He wrote a prescription.  It’ll take a few weeks to determine if it’s going to work out for me.

I was at the office for a couple of hours.  There was a paperwork snafu, and they were busy.  When I did leave, it was pouring rain, and I headed up Eastern Parkway to the pharmacy.  Tim passed me going the other way (in his car).  He was driving home from work.  Heh.  I was proud to be getting wet wearing my jeans and t-shirt.

After drinking one cup of coffee and going back to the pharmacy, I rode home.  I spent the remainder of the day cleaning the house and talking to several women on the phone that had responded to me on the dating site.  This was a much better response than I got last time.  Was it because it’s a different site?  My different approach?  Because Spring is in the air?

I had a few good conversations, but the best was with Renee.  She was also the one who could set aside some time for a Friday evening date.  I met her Friday at 7:00pm (less than 7 hours ago) at Four Pegs.  She doesn’t drink, so she had water and the famous Chicken Waffle sandwich.  I had a burger, water, and a single beer.  We spent the evening together, and I got to know a lot about her.

She eventually went home.  That saying, “parting is such sweet sorrow”, yeah.  I didn’t expect to be affected that way.  I hope to see her again.  At best, it’ll probably be another week.  She’s smart, funny, sarcastic, and cuddly.  She has a young daughter, which means I need to make some big decisions about my life if I continue down this path.

It’s now almost 2:00am.  I plan to get out on the bike tomorrow, but I won’t be getting up early to do that.

Spring Day

I think this nicer weather is the boost I need to be on the bike every day.  Although I decided not to participate in the #30daysofbiking thing over on G+, where we ride every day of April, I have been on the bike every day this month, except the 1st, when I got around via cab and bus.

Today’s weather might have been the best yet.  It was in the low-60s when I rode to work.  I wore short sleeves and no jacket.  Signs of Spring were everywhere.

Along my morning commute in Old Louisville

I failed to pack a lunch for work, which meant a quick trip across the street to the Mexican restaurant.  That’s not ideal, but I knew I wouldn’t be going out for dinner.

After lunch, I was jaywalking across Main Street,  a one-way street and I was almost hit by a cyclist riding the wrong way.  I normally look both ways, even on one way streets, but I was distracted by a woman who also showed that Spring was in the air.

There was no collision, no yelling, just some rattled nerves.

After work I had a massage appointment.  I took a slow pace in the now 80-degree day.  I didn’t want to get too sweaty.  The ride up Baxter Ave and Bardstown Rd was pleasant and uneventful – which is something during rush hour.

My massage therapist found a particularly nasty knot in my left leg.  I’ll need to do more stretching to keep it from coming back.

I had a leisurely ride home where I cooked beef and pork on the grill for several meals.  I steamed some broccoli, which I overcooked and it turned to mush, and later I made a potato soup. I have enough food prepared to last until the weekend.

Potato soup!

It’s supposed to cool off later in the week.  That’ll be a shame, I’ve been enjoying sleeping with the windows open.  The weekend is looking nice.  I need to plan some bike miles.

I’m still beer-free since Saturday.  I think some of my depression and muscle aches were from too much beer and not enough water.

So, another glass of water, and I’m off to bed.

A Familiar Feeling

In 2008 and 2009 I felt better mentally and physically than I had since I was a child.  Not surprisingly, this is when I lost most of the weight that I did.  It was neat to discover that I actually had ribs.

Moving into town in 2010 so I could live car-free tempted me with all of these wonderful places to eat and drink within a short distance.  My neck issue flared up.  I didn’t do as many long rides.

I’ve gained weight.  I’ve gotten lazy.  I’ve been using a bus and a cab to get around at times.  This has bled through to other aspects of my life.  I’ve not been keeping my house clean.  I’m been drinking too much.  I put off grocery shopping – which leads to more eating out.  I spend a lot of time moping and not being productive.

Yesterday, I did get out and go grocery shopping.  I rode the Big Dummy to work today.  After work I ran to get my hair cut.  There was a one-hour wait, so I went to a sub shop next door for a cheap sandwich.

After I got home, I felt the normal “bleh – I don’t want to do anything” feeling, but I ignored it and cleaned the house.  My house is now cleaner than it’s been in two years.  Now I just need to keep it that way.

Having clean house makes me happy.  If I’m home more often (because I’m not eating out) I’ll have more time to keep the house clean.  My dogs will get more attention.

So, the “no beer” thing continues for a while.  I like the way I feel today.

A Stumble

So Friday was my “new beginning”.  Then Saturday happened.

When I woke up Saturday morning, I had no coffee in the house.  I headed out on the bike to Sunergos where I bought three pounds of coffee and sat and drank a couple of cups there.

The plan was to go home, then later go grocery shopping.  Instead, I went to Four Pegs with the intention of a late lunch and a beer.  I had the food and seven beers.  I was sober enough to know I needed to walk the bike home.  So, I walked home.  It was still early afternoon.  I slept for a few hours and woke up in the evening with a hangover.  That’s a new one for me.

I was unable to sleep most of the night.  It was miserable.  I metaphorically pulled a muscle by kicking myself over it.  I felt very stupid.  I was depressed.  Sometime overnight I had a bit of an anxiety attack.

Today was better.  I didn’t get out for a long ride, but a puttered around the house.  I went grocery shopping and didn’t get beer.  I didn’t go out to eat.  I can’t say I ate healthy today, but I ate food from the grocery store that I prepared at home.  That’s an improvement.

Tomorrow was supposed to be my first volleyball game, but it’s been put off another week.  That’s actually a good thing.  I have a lot to do this week.

Acceptance

I’ve been frustrated with life recently.  I’m unhappy with my weight.  I’m unhappy with being alone.

It’s time to accept things.  I need to not worry about being single.  I’ve done it before.  I can do it again.

I need to acknowledge my eating issues and work on them.  I need to cook at home, give up the beer for a while, and do some exercises in the evening instead of sit at the bar drinking.

One thing will help me to achieve the “stay at home and cook” goal – I’m going to be broke for a few weeks.  Poor planning and unexpected expenses teamed up to take my beer away.  Maybe this is a good thing.

I have been riding.  I’ve even been back on the rSogn.  I still need to replace the handlebars with Albatross bars, but that’ll have to wait for finances.

Tim got a new bike.  He calls it SeaFoam.  We managed to get out for a ride both Saturday (foggy) and Sunday (Easter).  I have a few pictures from Saturday.

SeaFoam and rSogn

If you can’t tell, SeaFoam is a Rivendell Atlantis.  Tim always has the nicer bike.

Foggy

A trip through Joe Creason Park in the fog completely hid the fact we were in an urban area.

I didn’t ride the bike to work on Monday or Tuesday.  I took a cab (waste of money) to work.  I took the bus home.  Both days involved walking, and drinking at a bar (more money wasted).

Tuesday, I had a few beers after work, when Tim contacted me about an evening ride.  I ran home and got ready.  We met and rode 15 or so miles after dark.  Again, I was on the rSogn, and he was on SeaFoam.  Both of us with dyno-powered headlights.

As he headed for home, I stopped again for another beer.

Bike and beer – a match made in heaven

See?  This one was totally the bike’s fault!

It’ll be at least two weeks without beer now.  I’ll then limit my drinking to one day a week.

In addition to spending more time at home with my dogs, I’m starting back with sand-court volleyball next Monday.  This will hopefully give me enough social interaction (and some exercise!)

Life is an interesting journey.  It’ll be fun to see where I end up by the end of the year.

 

Ice Needles

“Ice Needles” is how I described how this morning’s ride felt at one point.

I hadn’t been on the bike since Tuesday.  I missed one day of work.  I took a cab a few times.  I rode the bus some.  I walked more miles last week than I have in quite some time.

Tim suggested a Sunday morning coffee ride.  The weather was supposed to be cold and wet – in other words perfect.

Looking out at a wet ‘bent

Tim rode to my end of town and met me at Sunergos.  Timothy also showed up, but wasn’t intending to ride.  At the beginning of the ride it was simply cold and wet.  There was a slight wind, temperatures in the mid-30s, and moderate rain.  As the ride continued, the temperatures dropped a bit and the rain started to become sleet.  At this point it started to feel like ice needles stabbing into my face.

We headed west to Shawnee Park then out to Riverwalk for a bit before cutting back to streets in Portland.  We cut back to the Riverwalk downtown.  We had no illusions of pace.  Both of us have ridden little recently and are out of shape.  It also seemed we had a headwind no matter what direction we were riding.

I was riding my recumbent – the only bike I can ride right now without neck pain.  Tim was riding his Rawland.  Due to the wet weather, I didn’t take my phone out for a picture, but Tim did.

Wet bikes

We eventually made our way to the Beargrass Creek Trail, then Cherokee Park.  We wrapped it up at Twig and Leaf for more coffee and omelettes.

It was only a few more miles for me to get home.  I was freezing at this point.  The precipitation had changed over to big clumps of wet snow.  I had one 30mph downhill run and the ice needles really hurt.

After getting home and getting out of my cold, wet clothes, I realized that I felt a lot better than I have in a while.  My mental state has really been suffering from not much bike riding.  My beer consumption is too high which isn’t helping matters either.

I’ve not had any alcohol today.  I’m relaxing this evening with herbal tea.  I’ll be riding the bike to work tomorrow.

Today’s ride was 24.4 miles.  The route is below.

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