Things Along Side the Road, and Giving Blood

I spotted an iPhone laying on the side of the road on my way into work yesterday morning.  I stopped, went back, and grabbed it.  It was undamaged and functional.  I called someone in the contact list who got me in contact with the owner.  He was grateful to get it back.

I took a little bit of an alternate route to work.  I rode a slower pace along the river.  It did add about a mile to my route.  It was a beautiful day.

I also took advantage of the weather during lunch, and two of us went on a lunch ride.

I almost bailed out of riding home, and asked for a ride home.  I was in a fair amount of pain.  I rode home anyway, and I’m glad I did.

I felt strong and fast on the way home, then realized there was a tailwind.

One of the churches along the way was hosting a blood drive.  I hadn’t given since October, so I stopped in.  I’ve rode after donating before, and it’s never been a problem.  It wasn’t a problem this time either.

As my commute home was nearing an end, I spotted something on the side of the road.  It could have been a cell phone in a carrying case.  I turned around.  As I got closer it looked more like pepper spray in a carrying case.  I picked it up, it was a small LED flashlight.

I never really imagined myself picking up and keeping objects on the side of the road, but I can always use another flashlight, and if I didn’t pick it up, it would probably just remain more debris on the side of the road.

Monthly Update – May 2009


chartmonthly200905My average monthly weight was 203.3 lbs, or a loss of 3.3 lbs from April.  I’ve made up for April’s gain, and then some.  My daily weight has dropped below 200 lbs for three days in a row.


Month Bike Car
01-2009 277.8 678.0
02-2009 263.0 768.0
03-2009 192.4 1,995.0
04-2009 290.9 1,550.0
05-2009 452.0 1,087.0

May mileage is improved.  I’m driving less and riding more.  I wasn’t tracking mileage by month last year, but May 2009 could be the most miles in a month for me.


It turns out I have arthritis in my right shoulder.  I probably injured it years ago, and just don’t remember it.  Most of the medication I have been given for it didn’t do much, and had side effects, so I’m no longer taking medication for it.  I have been doing strength training for my upper body with a personal trainer.  This has been helping my shoulder, and is good for the general fitness also.


Kristy is still too far away.  I’ve been focusing on bikes, cooking, and diet to keep the loneliness away.

I’ve been recruiting some co-workers to go on a bike ride during lunch.  Several people keep a bike at work, and we ride along the riverwalk during lunch.  We ride slow, and it’s not a long ride, but it helps break the day up and clear the mind.

Monthly Update – April 2009


My average monthly weight was 206.6 lbs, or a gain of 2.0 lbs from March.  I had been gaining in late March and early April.  I’m fairly confident that May will show some more loss.  I haven’t weighed under 200 lbs yet, but I’ve been very close, and it’s a bit frustrating.


Month Bike Car
01-2009 277.8 678.0
02-2009 263.0 768.0
03-2009 192.4 1,995.0
04-2009 290.9 1,550.0

My bike miles are still low, and I still drive too much.  I don’t think it’s going to be possible to hit my 5000 bike miles for the year.  April’s car miles are lower only because I went two weeks without a car.


My blood pressure is excellent, my cholesterol is good.  I’ve been seeing a doctor for some severe shoulder pain.  I still don’t know what’s causing it, but I have an MRI scheduled for tomorrow.  Maybe that will clear things up.  Some of the medication I have been taking has drained my energy, and made it difficult to ride to work recently.


As I blogged about before, I’m engaged to Kristy, and will be getting married this September.

I haven’t ridden to work since buying my truck, but I have taken some evening rides.  I’m also trying to get  a co-worker interested in riding.  He’s going to bring his bike over this weekend for adjusting, and we hope to meet up on Tuesday for a partial commute into work.

I had hoped to ride to work today, but woke up late, and really sore, so I’m driving.

Off-Topic Rambling

My reaction to having a nicer vehicle is much different that it would have been in the past.  In the past, I would have driven it as much as possible.  Today, I need to drive several hundred miles, but wish I could just stay at home.

As many of you know, Kristy lives 90 miles from me.  She’s currently much further away than that for work.  Initially she was going to be gone for one month, now it’s been extended to three months.

I need to drive to her apartment and grab some stuff to ship to her.  I would say more, but she’s sensitve to information about her being posted on the web.  She did tell me last night, that she’ll send a picture that I can post.  I’m still waiting to receive it.

Engaging News

I have written about Kristy, my girlfriend, a little on here before.  She likes to keep her life private, so I can say little.

What I can say, is that I asked her to be my wife, my bride, the woman I spend the rest of my life with.  That wonderful woman said “yes”!

Both of us have some craziness in our lives right now, so we haven’t nailed down a date.

It’ll be interesting to mesh our lives together, and challenging to continue losing weight, as she’s a great cook!

I’ve been walking on air for a few days because of this.  I really feel good.  I’m trying to channel this “excited energy” into riding my bike… as that’s still my only form of transportation.

Which, by the way, I had an appointment with my doctor after work today.  I had to ride there in the rain.  I arrived wet on the outside due to rain, and wet on the inside due to exertion.  It certainly wasn’t  my favorite visit to the doctor.

I Wish I Had Brought a Camera

I spent Saturday driving to Michigan and back to pick up my youngest daughter.  Kristy went with me, and it was her first time in Michigan.

I made a short detour on the way back to stop at a beach on Lake Michigan.  It was cold and windy, but it was nice to watch the waves for a while.  Walking along the sand, and climbing the rocks was fun too.  Kristy has spent time on coasts before, but never at one of the Great Lakes.

I didn’t have a camera with me, but I could have had some great pictures.

My weight loss is doing poorly.  I’m overeating and riding too little.  I really need to work harder on that.

I’ve Met Someone Incredible

I met an incredible woman, and she appears to be willing to tolerate me for a while.  🙂

She was concerned about this website, and how public I am about my life.  I have agreed to keep that part of my life out of here, but I did want to let people know I am writing less often (and riding less often) because I found other things to do.

I still plan to continue riding and losing weight.  After all, I’d like to get myself into good shape, and stay that way for my health, and for her.

Some other aspects of my life will be improved now.  I may do some home and car repairs that I’ve put off for a while.  She lives some distance away, and my car has a few issues.  My house has some minor issues that I haven’t fixed, and it makes me look lazy.

So, don’t expect to see much about her on here.  I just wanted to let people know that my less frequent postings are not a bad sign.

Happy, but No Riding

I haven’t ridden a bike since Monday.  I was going to yesterday, but I had a date after work.  I’m not going to chronicle my love life here (or lack of it), but I had a good reason for not riding.  A first date is probably not ideal for showing up in cycling gear, drenched in sweat.  I’ll save that for the second date  🙂 — If there is one.

This morning, I can hear the wind howling outside.  Not ideal weather for a ride.  I also woke up late.  Apparently I had a brief power outage overnight, and my alarm clock didn’t go off.  The alarm on my cell phone did go off, but it took it almost 2 hours to wake me up.

I’m happy and in a good mood despite these setbacks, mostly because new possibilities seem to have opened up.

Bicycle Commuting and Work Emergencies

I borked the server at work.  Right before leaving.  I didn’t realize it.

My boss got a call about the problem, and tried to call me.  I didn’t hear my phone in my trunk bag over the traffic noise.

Luckily, I only rode a partial commute today, so 20 minutes later, I was at my car, and noticed the missed call and voicemail.  A quick call back to work determined that the best course of action was to continue home, then fix the issue remotely.

If I had ridden the entire distance (which I considered this morning), it would have been an additonal hour of downtime, at least.

How do other bicycle commuters handle this?  Especially if you have a longer commute like mine?

More Wind

Yesterday’s weather forecast was calling for strong wind and possible thunderstorms.  I didn’t want to ride the entire distance to work in a headwind, so I drove to Jeffersonville, and rode across the bridge.

The headwind was strong, but for such a short ride it wasn’t a big deal.  I had to ride back across the bridge and back at lunch time.  The northbound trip was fast and fun with the tailwind.

At the end of the day, the wind was stronger.  It was a tailwind, but it was strong enough to be frightening.  I could accelerate easily without pedaling.  While stopped at a light behind a truck, I watched the wind yank a plastic vent off of the truck.  I was a bit worried the guy driving the truck would think I did something.

I managed four bridge-crossings with barely any rain while I was out.  That worked out well.

What didn’t work out well, is I came home to a house with no power again.  Apparently the wind took some power lines down somewhere.

It was reasonably warm, so I stayed home in my dark house.  I cooked on the grill, and went to bed early.

I still didn’t have power this morning, and didn’t ride as the wind was still howling quite a bit when I got up at 5:00 a.m.

I haven’t been riding as much as I would like, but my weight loss is still progressing nicely.  Today’s weigh-in was 207 lbs.  I have lost 89.4 lbs.

Sick Day

It was perfect weather for a bicycle commute, and I was home sick.  I’ve only stepped outside to get  the mail, and take the dogs in and out.  Blah.

There is still going to be some nice warm weather for commuting, but I’ll probably get wet.

Help From Friends and Acquaintances

When I was without power for several days last week, Nick let me take refuge at his house.  On Saturday, Tom let me borrow a hand saw to clear downed limbs from my driveway.  On Sunday, Kris brought a chainsaw over, and helped me clear the bigger limbs.  Today, Tom helped out with a wheel bearing issue on Nermal.

I’ve lived in the area for eight years, but being divorced, and having no family in the area, I had been feeling rather alone.  I think events of the last couple of weeks have fixed that.  Thanks guys!

Food for Thought

I ran across this gem on YouTube today.  I vaguely remember this cartoon from when I was young, but had completely forgotten it.  It’s also amazing that this cartoon is from 1950.

I’m not saying we need to stop people from driving cars.  I believe we need to change peoples’ attitudes about driving.

Would my 35 MPH speed limit idea help?

Exercise Through Hard Work

Tom was generous to loan me a saw.  It wasn’t a chain saw, just a simple hand saw.  I was able to clear my driveway of downed limbs just fine with it, although it did take a few hours.

Here are the before and after pictures.



I have no idea how many calories that burned, but it felt good to do it all with my own work.  Much like the first time I rode my bike all the way to work.

I still have more limbs to carry from the back and side yard and I’ll have to have a tree service come in to do some work that I’m not comfortable with, but my driveway is clear now.

It Went Dark

It got dark and cold.  The ice storm took my power out at 5:30 a.m.  I spent most of the day trying to clear snow and downed limbs from my driveway.  It’s going to take me a long time to clean up the mess from this storm, but luckily the only damage to my house was part of the gutter.

I cooked dinner on my gas grill, but my house continued to get colder.

Although my laptop has a battery, my cable modem and router do not.  So I didn’t have internet access to keep me occupied.

I took a short bike ride, which was probably a bad idea.  The roads were a mess, and my brakes and derailleur iced up.  I got back home safely, but I have a new respect for those that ride to work in snowy/icy conditions.

I’m staying the night at a friend’s house.  He came and picked me up in his four-wheel drive truck.  The drive would have been dicey in my car.  It’s warm here, and I have internet access.  I’ll be back home in the morning, and will hopefully have power by then.

Due to disruption of my routine, I didn’t weigh-in this morning.  If it’s still cold at my house in the morning, I won’t weigh-in tomorrow either.

I’m not entirely sure what my work plans are for tomorrow.  I went to work on Tuesday, when many others didn’t.  I skipped today, as I was unable to even get my car out of the garage for most of the day, and I’m still not sure I can get it through my neighborhood without getting stuck.

If the roads are passable, but my power is still out, I may go into work just to be warm.  If my power is on, I’ll probably stay home, and catch up on sleeping.  I also desperately need a shower.  🙁

Both Duke Energy here in Indiana, and LG&E in Louisville say it could be this weekend before all power is restored.  I’m seriously beginning to consider an alternate heating source for times like this.

That's unfortunate
That’s unfortunate
Why not take a ride?
Why not take a ride?

TV-Free (for a while)

While my ex-wife was moving, she offered to trade her appliances for my TV.  I had bought the appliances for her when she got her own apartment.  They are nicer than mine.  My refrigerator was okay, but my stove is falling apart.

So, I now have a stove and refrigerator that are less than a year old, but no TV.

I had bought the TV after she moved out and took the old one with her.  It was important to me at the time, as I had an elliptical, and wanted to watch TV to keep my mind occupied.

I no longer have the elliptical, and time I spend time watching TV is generally wasted time.

I still have my laptop with iTunes on it, so I can continue watching a few TV shows.  At some point in the future I will probably buy another (bigger) TV, but I’m in no hurry.

New Beginnings

I written about the fact that I’ve recently divorced.  I’ve maintained a good relationship with my daughter and ex-wife throughout all of this.  I’ve supported her emotionally, and to an extent, financially.

That’s changing tomorrow.  The two of  them are packing and moving 300 miles away.  I’ll still visit when I can, and my daughter will probably spend quite a bit of the summer here, but my family, as I’ve known it, is changing.

My daughter is 17.  She’s at the age where she wants freedom from her parents, but has no idea what that really entails.  I have a feeling that her and I will grow more distant for a few years, until she has a family of her own.

When I began living alone, I was extremely lonely.  I have since adjusted, and having the two of them nearby to visit was a big help.  It was an even bigger help that they would go home and leave me alone.  🙂  I won’t have them nearby anymore.

I have no family in the area now.  I have only a few friends.  I have no real ties to any particular city.  I like Louisville, and I like my current job, so I have no plans to move.  If I did move, it would be somewhere else without family, because I’d like to move somewhere west of here, and most of my family is in Michigan.

On the plus side, I won’t be going out to eat with them anymore, so it should be easier to control my eating.  I also feel I’ll be able to move forward with my life.  I don’t know exactly what I want out of life.  I have a variety of ideas, but some of them are in conflict with each other.

Whatever path I choose, it will involve getting fit, staying fit, riding a bike, and doing my best to improve myself as a human being.

Don’t Tailgate!

I’ve talked about how riding a bike has changed my driving habits.  One aspect is that I drive slower.  This has caused me some grief, as too many people are impatient.  Today, one driver got what he deserved.

I was driving up Highway 62 at 50 MPH – 5 MPH under the speed limit – and I was being tailgated by a pickup truck.  Traffic was light, it’s a 4-lane highway, and this guy couldn’t figure out to go around.

I ignored him, as I usually do.  He didn’t do anything aggressive, but didn’t back off either.  He continued for almost two miles.  At that point there was a police officer turning around in the road.  The officer started to pass us, then slowed and pulled behind the truck, and pulled him over.

It’s possible the guy had no license plate, or a light out, but odds are that he was pulled over for tailgating.  If so, that is the first time I’ve seen that happen, and I hope it continues.

I would have loved to stick around and listen to the conversation…

driver: “…but he wasn’t going the speed limit”

officer: “It’s an upper limit, not a lower limit.”

A Crazy Weekend

I really enjoyed my weekend.  I went to see Wicked with my daughter and ex-wife on Saturday.  I highly recommend going to the show if you can.  I’m not normally a fan of musicals, but this one is very well done.

Other than that my weekend was spent indoors at home.  I had plenty of housework and other tasks to keep me busy.  I also managed to get some computer stuff done that I needed to.  However, I ate too much, and didn’t ride my bike at all.  Then I was up too late last night, and didn’t get up early enough to ride today.

My weight has been climbing for the last few days.  The weather doesn’t look good for riding for the rest of this work week, so I may have to spend some time working on sit-ups and push-ups.

A New Year Beckons

I’m starting the new year at around 218 lbs.  While still technically obese (barely), I don’t feel that way any more.  I feel like a different person.  I ended last year at about 270 lbs.  I hope to end 2009 at 175 lbs.

I’ve ridden my hybrid bike 150 miles in the last five days.  I rode to work all three workdays this week, and every commute was great, except the ride home today, which I really did not enjoy.

I’ve ridden my two bikes a combined distance of 2238 miles for the year.  Next year, my goal is ride at least 5000 miles, and drive less than 3500.  That will mean riding to work nearly every day.

I was going to go on another midnight ride tonight to ring in the new year, but I had a rough ride home, so I’m going to sit with my dogs, watch The Dark Knight, and eat popcorn.  Then I’ll get to bed.  I won’t be drinking tonight.

Happy New Year!

Christmas Weight

I’m still invited to eat Christmas dinner with my ex-wife and daughter.   I feel much better about that now.  I thought I was going to have to eat a frozen dinner at home.

I intend to ride a short ride around town before riding to her house for dinner.

My weight was 221.4 lbs this morning.  It seems to be stuck there again.  I didn’t weigh-in on Christmas of last year, but based upon other days it appears I weighed about 274 lbs.  So I’m down over 50 lbs in a year.  I’m hoping to be at my goal weight by next Christmas.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Here it is, 3:00 A.M. at Christmas.  I’ve been wasting time all day and night.  I’ve fought with some email issues, website issues, and now my ex-wife is angry at me for things I won’t go into here.

Once I get some sleep, I’m going on  a Christmas ride around town.  Nothing too long, just a ride on my recumbent decorated with Christmas lights.  If I had a Santa hat I’d put it on my helmet, but I don’t.

My diet for the last few days has been pretty good.  I think my Christmas dinner will be small this year, so I’m not worried about diet.

I am worried about not riding my bike enough.  I’ve been suffering from the normal holiday blues, and it is affecting my ability to get motivated.

I didn’t intend to make this such a negative post.  I will enjoy the day, I hope you do too.

Merry Christmas!

Dedication or Obsession?

This morning’s weigh-in was 221.2 lbs. That means I’ve lost 75.2 lbs.  I know that because I have a spreadsheet to track it all.

I drove to work today because we are under a winter storm warning.  I’ve been thinking about my bikes all day.  I know how often I have to ride to work to make my mileage goal for next year.

I can list off anything I’ve eaten in recent history, again because of my spreadsheet.

I’ve probably changed my perception of myself from “fat guy” to “weirdo on a bike who is OCD about tracking things in a spreadsheet”.  How far is too far?  More importantly, what comes next?

I will reach my goal weight sometime in 2009.  I know I have to maintain, but it won’t require as much work.  I will continue to ride a bike as much as possible (I want 5000 miles for next year).

What will be my next big goal?  I need to find something to achieve, or I will feel lost.  Maintaining the goal weight isn’t enough.  It’s got to be something different.

I have some other goals in mind.

  • Learn to ride a unicycle (next year)
  • Be car-free (three years away)
  • Either fix-up my house, or move (three years away)
  • Meet a woman crazy enough to like my lifestyle (never?)
  • Ride a several hundred mile multi-day tour (next year?)

Those are neat ideas, but it doesn’t solve what to focus on.

Mostly, I feel a little lost.  I think people that know me are tired of hearing about my weight loss or bike rides (blog readers don’t count… they just leave when they tire of it).  I really don’t have other things to talk about now.  My life has been consumed with these matters recently.


Some of you know that I’ve been going through a divorce.  It’s been amicable, which is good for all us, especially my 17 year-old daughter.

I’ve actually remained friends with my wife throughout this.  The weirdest part was friends (and family) who wanted to take sides.  There were no sides.   Things just didn’t work anymore.

Yesterday I got the final papers in the mail.  The divorce is final.  The marriage has officially come to an end.  We were married for over 13 years.  I don’t regret any of it, but it was time to move on.

My divorce was unrelated to my weight loss, however, the overall life change intertwined a bit.  Here’s a rough timeline:

  • October 2007: My weight was nearly 300 lbs.  I got serious about weight loss, bought a scale, and started changing my eating habits.
  • November 2007: I bought an elliptical for exercise.  I started this blog to document my progress, and publicly humiliate myself to lose weight.
  • December 2007: My wife and I decided so split up, and continue on with our lives without each other.
  • January 2008: My weight dropped below 270 lbs.
  • February 2008: My wife found an apartment, and I helped her move.
  • March – April 2008: I struggled with my weight, depression, and loneliness.  I gave up consulting work for a full-time job.  I spent a bunch of money to feel better.  I bought new furniture and my first HDTV.
  • Late April 2008: I bought a bicycle.
  • May 2008: My weight dropped below 260 lbs.  I started commuting to work on my bicycle on an (ir)regular basis.
  • July 2008: I bought my recumbent bike.  I received some minor fame from WAVE3 TV.
  • August 2008: My weight dropped below 240 lbs.  My wife and I actually got around to filing for divorce.  I started considering a car-free existence in the future.
  • September 2008: I rode a 60 mile ride.
  • November 2008: I changed jobs to work with less stress.

Now it’s December.  I am glad the divorce is over, but my emotions over the whole thing are rather weird.

I truly enjoy my new job, but I do fear I won’t handle some of the bigger challenges I face there.

I haven’t been riding enough, and I’ve been eating too much too often.   I’m still losing weight, but at a slower rate.  I didn’t ride to work today as planned, but it was because I overslept (again).  I need to get better about that.

Monday Musings


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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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


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