Discomfort

I’m barely riding the bike.  I’m gaining weight.  My neck has been, well, a pain in the neck.  I missed another day of work on Thursday due to it.

I don’t mean to sound too negative.  A lot of good stuff is going on.  I bought a new laptop on Friday to replace the one that died a few months ago.  I’ve been spending my weekends with Robin.  I have a doctor appointment tomorrow and will figure out what to do next for treatment of my neck.

Robin bought me a heating pad, mostly because I’m too stubborn to buy one myself.  I’ve been enjoying good company, good food, and good beer.

I bought some new clothing and a stand for my new laptop, so I can sit in a more comfortable chair and still use it.

I’ll be riding the recumbent to the doctor then to work tomorrow.  There’s a good chance of rain, so I’ll be carrying dry clothes with me.  At least the rain will finish melting the little bit of snow off the ground.

I’ve Got To Deal With It

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BUI

Blogging under the influence….

I just got back from Four Pegs, where I had food and too much beer.  I walked, so no drunk cycling involved.

I called a cab to get to work this morning.  My neck pain made riding a bike pretty much impossible.  A co-worker gave me a ride home.

Patrick noted in a text message to me that I’m probably going to have a weekend without much cycling.  He was referring to “Robin the Redhead”.  🙂  Although it’s probably true, it’s more to do with my neck pain.

I intend to ride the recumbent tomorrow.  We’ll see how that goes.  The pain was bad enough today that even that wouldn’t have worked well.  Even driving would have been problematic.

Unless my neck settles down, 2012 will be the year of neck surgery.  I’m not looking forward to such things, but if this is the alternative, I’ll take the surgery.

It’s strange, I’ve been slightly depressed all day, yet really looking forward to when Robin gets back in town tomorrow.  That won’t fix my neck issue, but will make me feel better anyway.

A Bad Day On The Bike…

… is still better than a good day in the car.

The holidays are over.  The new year is here.  Most of us are back at work.  Even with the cold weather we’ve had this week (until this afternoon) I’ve seen quite a few bicycle commuters.  I’ve also had interactions with rude and clueless drivers.

I’ve had at least one near-miss every day this week.  It normally takes months to get that many.  I’m wearing a lime-green reflective vest, I’m well lit, and I take the lane.  What gives?

This afternoon two cars cut me off within five minutes of each other.  Both times I was downtown on one-way streets with multiple lanes.  The second time, the car braked directly in front of me because another car was stopped at a red light.  I had to brake hard to avoid running into him.  I rolled along side of his car and rapped on his window.  I didn’t expect him to roll it down, but he did.

He was a clean-cut middle-aged man with a foreign accent (Indian?).  He was actually quite apologetic.  He actually SAW ME, he had changed lanes and went around me long enough to swerve back in front of me while braking.  After our (polite) words were exchanged, I rolled in front of him and waited for the light.  I think he got the message.

I rode my LHT in it’s “winter trim” yesterday and today.  We didn’t have any snow or ice, but I knew there was the possibility yesterday.  Pondero wanted some pictures, so I took the camera to work with me and grabbed a few pictures in front of the building.

Long Haul Trucker - Winter trim
Long Haul Trucker - Winter trim

The new front wheel has a dynohub, but haven’t bought a light for it yet.  I will soon.

Shimano Alfine Dynohub
Shimano Alfine Dynohub

The new Tektro CR720 wide-profile cantilever brakes feel better and are quieter, but they don’t seem much stronger.  Maybe some adjustments can fix that.

The Schwalbe Marathon Winter tires I bought almost two years ago will keep me upright on icy roads.

Tires and Brakes
Tires and Brakes

I’ve run the shift cables along the bars, allowing me to install the BarMitts.  I’ll eventually buy some more bar tape and re-wrap the bars.

Bars and Mitts
Bars and Mitts

I haven’t ridden the recumbent this week, but I probably should.  My neck hurts, my shoulder hurts, my upper back hurts, and my right hand is tingly.

It is nice to have all the bikes functional again.  No more worries about bad weather without the appropriate bike.

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!

Whee! Holidays!

I had a four-day weekend for Christmas.  It was really a bit absurd.

Dummy on the road
Dummy on the road

Friday
On Friday I rode the Big Dummy over 50 miles.  I rode out to Prospect to look at a used laptop.  I didn’t buy it.  I then headed out to Bluegrass Bicycle in Crestwood to pick up my new wheels for the LHT.  I took some really hilly roads on the way there and back.  I made a day out of it and stopped for food in Crestwood and coffee in Prospect.

Both Sleepy Hollow Rd and Covered Bridge Rd were very nice.  US42 wasn’t.

Saturday

Saturday was Christmas Eve.  I met up with others (I think it was Tim, Patrick, and Asher, but my memory is shot) early in the morning.  After riding around town for a while, I went to OYLC and hung out until noon, then went home.

Christmas
I didn’t leave home on Christmas.  I had a splitting headache most of the day.  I hoped my daughter would drop by but she never did.  I talked to friends and family on the phone.  I worked on my LHT, installing the new wheels and brakes.  I moved the bar-end shifters to the downtube, and re-cabled everything.

Monday
I still wasn’t feeling well, but I rode the updated LHT for a quick coffee ride with Tim.  I immediately hated the downtube shifting.  I’ll be switching back to bar-ends soon.  Sooner is better than later, as that’s the only bike the studded tires will fit, and I don’t think I’ll get much more good weather.

My neck and shoulder issue also flared up on Monday as has been getting worse ever since.

Since then…
I was back at work yesterday.  I rode the Big Dummy so I could haul dog food after work.  I rode the single-speed today and my neck was at it’s worst this morning.  It hurt bad enough that I got off the bike and walked about a mile.  This afternoon was better.  I’m hoping it’s easing up again.  I’ll know more in the morning.

Today was also the Car-Free Happy Hour.  We had a good turnout at Irish Rover on Frankfort Ave.  I think the 25 or so of us that showed up overwhelmed them a bit.  Although it obviously stressed out the server, she handled it well.

Holiday Season?
This is  generally a stressful time of year for everyone.  I was lonely on Christmas.  It was probably best that I was alone with the horrid headache I had.  Thanksgiving was better.  Patrick had invited me over, and I got to know his family.  I’m now invited to Andy’s house for New Year’s Day brunch.  I’m glad I have a few friends in the area.

Reset

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

My weight goals:

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

How will I achieve these goals?  I will:

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

I have some physical goals also:

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

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

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

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

I also have some bicycle goals:

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

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

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

Four Years?

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

What a strange trip it’s been.

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

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

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

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

Sick Sunday? Blah

I’ve been fighting a cold for a while, including during yesterday’s rides.  I had planned to ride with Tim again this morning, but I really wasn’t feeling well, so I stayed home, drank coffee, ate eggs & bacon, and wasted time on the internet.

It was a pleasant if wasteful day.

It wasn’t completely wasteful.  I did some housework.  I played with the dogs.  I’m resting and will hopefully be ready to get busy at work tomorrow.  I also intend to ride after work with Tim for some more training.  Gravel Grovel is less than two weeks away.

Often on sick days, I’ll spend a lot of time reading.  I didn’t today.  I’ve been reading so much on my Kindle that I just needed a break.  I’ve averaged more than seven books per month in a year.  Yep, taking a break is a good thing.

Pain In The Neck!

When falling off my bike into the mud on Sunday, I landed on my right shoulder.  My head (helmet) smacked the ground.  Although the soft muddy ground prevented me from bruising my shoulder, I hurt my neck.  I already have a cervical spine issue, and this made it worse.

Monday morning was bad.  I almost drove to work, but remembering that I’ll be without a motor vehicle very soon, took an alternate choice.  I rode the bus.

I don’t ride the bus often.  The 43 comes near my house and to downtown.  It’s usually quite crowded.  Monday was no exception.  I had to stand early in the ride because there were no seats available.  After a few stops, a seat opened, and I took it.

Many that I work with won’t take a bus ever, due to the other people on the bus.  I’ve never felt uncomfortable on the bus.  If something were to happen, I imagine the good people outnumber that bad by a large margin.

I planned on taking the bus home again, but Kristy came by my work place to talk about divorce things.  She paid for my dinner and drove me home.  Nice!

Tuesday, I was back on the bike.  I was still hurting, but the upright riding position of the Big Dummy was better than one of the drop-bar bikes.  I called my chiropractor to see about getting another appointment in.  She was able to see me that day after work.

I rode home after work and walked to the chiropractor’s office.  She did the adjustment, but said it was mostly muscular and that seeing my massage therapist would probably do more good.  I don’t have a massage appointment until next week.

Today, Wednesday, I woke up feeling much better.  I’m almost feeling like I was pre-crash.  I guess the adjustment did more good that she thought it would.

Good Monday

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

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

Work

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

New Bike

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

Cyclocross

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

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

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

Dinner

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

Late Errand

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

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

More Saturday

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

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

Action shot
Action shot

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

Upward and onward?
Upward and onward?

Exercise & Stretching

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

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

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

The Truck

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

This Weekend

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

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

Medical Miles

Monday was a bad day.  I had to be to work early, and I knew I’d work late.  I woke up late and drove to work… for the first time in months.  I’m glad I did, as I was at work until 8:30pm.  It did feel strange to not ride a bike on a workday.

I had an appointment with my family doctor on Tuesday morning.  It was a follow-up due to my hospital stay recently.  My family doctor is in New Albany.  Yes, I rode the bike.  There was really nothing to find as far as my intestinal problems that sent me to the hospital.  Things happen.  On the other hand, the CT scan I was given in the ER showed “something” on my liver.  The CT scan didn’t get a good enough picture of it to make a determination what “it” is.  My doctor ordered an MRI for a better image.

Anyway, I rode to work from the doctor’s office, then home later.  I had 29 miles on Tuesday, more than making up for my Monday driving.

Today, Wednesday, was my MRI appointment at Floyd Memorial, again in New Albany.  I rode my bike again.  I discovered that Floyd Memorial has a good-sized bike rack at the front entrance.  It’s your typical “wheel bender” type, but I just locked up next to it.  My bike was the only one there.

I wasn’t allowed anything to eat or drink today before the MRI.  Riding there with no food or coffee was not my idea of a good time.  Luckily the MRI was over quickly, and I grabbed a coffee and a snack from the hospital coffee shop before heading out.  The dreaded caffeine headache hadn’t had a chance to take hold yet.

After riding to work and home, I had 26.2 miles for the day.  The hospital is a bit closer than my doctor’s office.

I’m slightly worried about “it” on/in my liver.  It could be nothing.  It probably is nothing, but my liver is necessary for processing copious quantities of beer.  Please let my liver be okay.

I’ve Got To Keep Reminding Myself

Monthly Average Weight
Monthly Average Weight

When I was having the most weight loss I was constantly reminding myself about my progress.  That was the point of this blog.

Since then, It’s turned into either talking about bike rides or complaining about depression.  Both of those affect my weight loss and will still be mentioned here, but I need to get back to basics and post my weight daily.  I just recently started weighing regularly again.

So there is now a Daily Weigh-In link under the pages section.  I’ll keep it as updated as possible.  It also has a link to a chart of my monthly progress that I’ll keep updated on a monthly basis.  I’m putting the chart here also, that is updated through September.

I’ve had some weight loss for the last two weeks.  I need to keep that going.

Dumbbells

More than two years ago I started doing some upper-body strength-training to help with my shoulder pain.  I did it for a while, but I eventually quit doing it.  Letting the muscles atrophy may have exacerbated the cervical spine issue.

On the advice of my chiropractor, I bought some five pound dumbbells.  Then they sat on the bedroom floor.  Five pounds is nothing.  I can easily lift them.  Then, today, I did the exercises she told me to… and it hurt.  I’m glad it’s only five pounds.

This is one of those things that isn’t so much for weight loss as it is general health.  If my neck gets worse again, I’ll be off the bike.  I can’t have that.  I need to stay mobile.

Back to Work

You remember that depression I was having?  It’s gone.  Depression?  What depression?

I think getting out of the hospital just made me so happy that I’m still overflowing with happiness… even though my vacation is over and I went back to work today.

I was beginning to get a bit worried about my digestive system again today.  There was pressure building up.  However, I’m happy to report that “everything has come out okay” this evening.  I do have a doctor appointment in a week to hopefully figure out what happened and how to avoid it.

I was sore today.  My legs hurt from the riding I did this weekend.  I didn’t do a lot of riding (80 or 90 miles over two days), but much of it was at a faster tempo than I’m used to and I was riding the single speed.

I had a massage after work, but I still have one muscle in particular that is bugging me.  Oh well.  It’ll loosen up.

I’m riding the LHT tomorrow.  I need to haul the trailer to pick up dog food.  I’ve done that with the single-speed, but it’s generally not a good idea.  There is no totally flat way to get home from Feeder’s Supply.

Living without a car takes more planning.  I’m prone to laziness and procrastination.  I’ll adjust.

I’m Baaack!

I was discharged from the hospital late yesterday afternoon.  I have some dietary restrictions, so I needed to go to the grocery store last night.

I’m eating a lot of soup and getting by.

I intended to get up early this morning to do dishes and cook more food.  I overslept, and only woke up when Tim sent me a text to let me know he was at Sunergos, which is quite near my house.

I quickly dressed and rode the single-speed there.  We enjoyed coffee and scones and headed to Vic’s Classsic Bikes, where the LBC has a Sunday morning ride.

There was a decent size group on the ride (25+?).  I felt strong and Tim and I were running with the faster pack, although this isn’t a fast ride, but it felt good not to drop off the back.

After some flattish miles at 18-19mph up River Rd we turned up Lime Kiln.  I’ve done this mild climb on the single-speed before, usually with a commuting load, so it wasn’t a big deal.  I stood on the pedals and actually started passing people.  That left me quite winded near the top, so I dropped back where Tim was in the pack.

We made our way to Glenview Ave then back to River Rd then turned south into Indian Hills.  I struggled a little on the climbs here, but caught back up with the group.

We continued on through St Matthews, Seneca Park, then Cherokee Park.  I pushed to the front of the pack somewhere along there, and I saw a cyclist ahead who I thought was in our group turn right at what I think was Alta Vista Rd.  I didn’t know the route, so I followed.  Then I saw our group go flying straight through the intersection.

I did a quick U-turn and dropped the front wheel off the pavement into the ditch.  I went over the bars and rolled off my back unto my butt in the grass.  It didn’t hurt other than a slight tweak to my wrist.

I jumped up and began the chase to catch up.  I also managed to tweak my right (rear) brake lever, but it was still functional.

I wasn’t able to catch the group and I wasn’t even sure I was going the right way.  I eventually saw Tim waiting for me.  He did say this was a “dont’ drop Dave day”.  I guess that’s fair, considering I just got out of the hospital.  🙂

Tim and I continued on along to Vic’s where the fast group was already loading their bikes up.  Vic, and the rest of them rolled up slightly after us.

Tim and I left and went for coffee and snacks at Breadworks.  While there we exchanged text messages with Patrick who was heading our way for a ride.  Tim needed to head home, so once Patrick arrived, He and I wandered westward, past the zoo, eventually heading north toward downtown.

Patrick and I kept a decent pace heading west from downtown into a headwind and into Shawnee Park.  At that point I was cooked, and we slowed down.

We refilled our water bottles at Shawnee and took the Riverwalk as far east as we could, up to the closed section behind the golf course, then took city streets back to Baxter Ave and to Vic’s as I needed to buy some supplies.

Vic was busy helping to bike tourists traveling for Oregon to Virginia, so Patrick and I went across the street for coffee at Quills… and another snack.

Patrick headed home, and I went back over to Vic’s.  I wanted to buy a T-handle allen wrench to fit my brake levers, but he didn’t have one.  I did buy new brake cables, housing, and doo-dads for the ends of each.  I also bought some new bar tape.  Vic is big into cloth bar tape, but I wanted the cork-like stuff.  I wanted a dull red, but he didn’t have red at all.  Patrick had suggested the blue earlier, but I didn’t like that idea with the red accents on the bike.

So, I’m a man.  I can handle it.  I bought (censored*) bar tape.  I’ll have pictures once I’ve completed the work.

I then rode to Keith’s Hardware, just a few blocks down the road and picked up the allen wrenches, then headed home.  I arrived home with 55 miles for the day.  I’m considering going out again today, but I have much to do including fixing my brakes and re-wrapping the bars with (censored*) tape.

I do have tomorrow off work still, as another vacation day, as I was originally going to Michigan this weekend.  I’ll get more riding in then too.

* You’ll have to wait for the pictures to know what color it is.

Hospital Update

I posted earlier (from a phone) about being in the hospital.  Kristy has brought my laptop, and that’s perfect as I’m having trouble sleeping.

I’m expecting to be discharged sometime tomorrow.  A correction: the obstruction is in my small intestine, not the bowel.  The pain is gone, so I believe the obstruction is clear.  Nothing has passed yet, but it’s probably just a matter of time.

I’ve been allowed nothing to eat or drink today.  I really miss coffee!  I have an IV stuck in my arm providing me with fluid and nutrition.  I hesitate to call it food.  The IV has also made it quick and easy to administer a painkiller which was necessary earlier.  I’m no longer on a painkiller, but I’m in no pain other than a headache from lack of caffeine.

I think Sunergos will be my first stop after leaving here.

It’s been weird dragging around an IV pole with pump anytime I get out of bed.  It’s not very convenient.

Thanks to those who sent well-wishes in comments on my previous post, and via text message.

I will be on the bike tomorrow, but I won’t be out in time for the Knobby Hills Ice Cream Ride or whatever it’s called.  I’m not sure I should ride it until I had the chance to refuel normally anyway.

Panicked

I left work early and rode my bike out to my doctor’s office as planned.  I was escorted back to have my vitals taken and sign some paperwork.  After the nurse leaves the room, I can hear them talking about the fact I rode my bike there.  One of the nurses goes on about how she used to ride across the Second Street Bridge.

I’ve done this before.  I know the doctor will come in and talk to me briefly before another nurse leads me to the treatment room.

He does.  I tell him this will probably be my last epidural – that I’m scared shitless of them now.

The nurse takes me to the treatment room.  I take off my shirt and put on the gown.  I lay down face-first on the treatment table.  The x-ray machine is put in place over my neck.  This is used to place the needle correctly in my spine.

My heart started racing.  I couldn’t breath.  I told them to stop.  They moved the x-ray machine and I got up.  They hadn’t gone as far as prepping my skin, but that was the next step.  I was done.  I just wanted out.

I apologized to the the doctor for leaving, but dressed and left.

On the ride home my mind was battling between shame and relief.

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.

Monthly Personal Best

I rode my bikes 671 miles for the month of August.  I can live with that.  🙂

I had another doctor appointment after work today, so that got me about 33 miles.  I needed a few more to put me over my old record of 665.6.  I wandered around parts of town that I’m not familiar with.  I eventually ended up in the Mockingbird Valley area, then on River Rd.  Then I went out for a beer.  That made it all worth it.

This new personal best tells me that my neck is “good enough”.  I can ride whatever bike I want for as long as I want without any more discomfort than I get sitting in a chair.

I also had a 130-mile weekend with camping.  I’ll write about it soon.

30 Miles of Utility Riding

I rode 30 miles on the single-speed today.  I bought a new smaller set of panniers that are just big enough to put the laptop in one, and clothing in the other.  This makes the single-speed a less awkward rig.  It was silly with the huge touring panniers on it.

I rode to work in the rain.  It actually felt nice.  I had an appointment to ride to and had to leave work early.  It was out by Shelbyville & Hurstbourne, not exactly a bike-friendly area.

I managed to stay off of Shelbyville Rd by traveling out Brownsboro, Westport, Lyndon, and an exploratory jaunt on Whipps Mill because I had time to spare.

I rode a similar route back into St Matthews, through the parks, then Eastern Parkway to get home.

Riding a bike around Louisville has taught me much about getting around this city.  I still have more to learn.

I still have neck pain.  Riding a bike doesn’t seem to be an issue at all anymore.  Sitting in a chair sometimes is though.  Sitting in a reclining chair helps, but then I get to look lazy at work.

I did go out for pizza with Kristy after I got home (she made me shower first).  We drove, as that’s the only way for us to travel together.  She is moving out soon, but we still enjoy spending some time together.

I don’t have any pictures from today’s ride.  I’m not posting the GPS track.  I’m mostly just rambling and enjoying riding my bike.

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.

Busy Day – Over 30 Miles of Transportation Riding

I had a lot to do today.  I rode to work and arrived at about 8:30.  It was work.  Most of the day was meetings.

I left early.  I had an appointment for my second cervical epidural.  The first one really scared me, but things improved after the first one, so I decided to stick with a second one.

Side note:  I’ve been back on my Surly LHT since last Friday.  That means I can ride any of my bikes again.  This is a huge improvement.  I was riding with Tim on Sunday and broke the chain on the LHT.  I have a chain tool and was able to fix it, but I’ve been running a chain that is quite worn and a few links short since then.

I could have driven, but I’m stubborn.  I don’t like to drive.  I planned a route to get out to the doctors office (out past Oxmoor Mall, near Hurstbourne).  We’re in the middle of a heat wave.  I left myself 90 minutes to get there.  It took only 70.  Traffic was heavy but everyone was polite.

I locked up out front and cleaned up in the bathroom before my appointment.

The second epidural went much smoother than the first.  It still wasn’t comfortable but it was less frightening.  I didn’t hear the needle sliding into place.  The doctor said it went easier because I had less inflammation in my spine.  That’s a good sign.

The doctor did seem concerned about me riding a bike home after the procedure.  I knew from the first one that it wouldn’t be a problem.

When I left, the previously hot, humid, sunny weather had become cloudy, humid, not-quite-as-hot weather with distant thunder.  Shortly into the ride a light rain started.  By the time I made to the St Matthews area the rain had become a downpour.

I needed to go to On Your Left Cycles for a new chain.  The route I had programmed into my GPS wasn’t taking me there, but I took Bardstown Rd north to Baxter Ave.  I was turning left at high speed on wet roads right in front of the shop.  I hit a pothole and went down.  It wasn’t the slow motion thing that my other wrecks were.  It was very quick and quite painful.

I laid at the edge of the road for a few minutes before attempting to sit up.  My hands, knee, elbow, and big toe hurt.  I didn’t hit my head (or helmet).  I eventually stood up and picked up the bike.  There was no visible damage.  I walked into the bike shop.  They allowed me to clean up and borrow a first-aid kit.

After a while, I bought my chain, and headed out.  I rode down to Cumberland Brews and met my daughter there.  We had dinner, and I rode home.  She decided to take the bus.

I had a total of 31.8 miles.  Not bad for such a busy day.  I could have done without falling, but that was my fault.

My route is below.  I didn’t have my GPS on for the ride to work, but it was for the rest of the day.

Download

Once I was back home I had to pick gravel out of my skin.  I’m glad I used the peroxide.  I know Baxter Ave is not sterile.  🙂

Tomorrow is car-free happy hour.  See you there!

Returning to Normal(ish)

Yes, my neck is still an issue, but it’s manageable now.  I’m no longer driving for short errands.  I can get around by bike again, even if I am limited to the recumbent, but I think that’ll be changing soon also.

I rode to work Monday (yesterday).  After work I rode to get a haircut.  The weather was brutally hot and humid.  The woman cutting my hair offered to rinse my hair.  The cool water not only rinsed the sweat out, but was very refreshing.

After the haircut, I rode down to Cumberland Brews for a beer and sandwich.  Then I went home.  It was about 10 miles for the day.

Today, work was closed due to a water main break.  I didn’t ride anywhere, but I had no need to leave the house for most of the day.  I decided I wanted dinner and beer, so I walked to Zeppelin Cafe, just a few blocks away.

A thunderstorm rolled in while I was eating.  Before leaving I took off my sandals and walked barefoot.  It was quite pleasant other than the short stretch down the gravel-strewn alley.

I’ll be riding my bike to work again tomorrow, and the day after that….  Yep, things are getting back to normal, or at least as close to normal as my life can be.