I’ve been lax about writing. Instead, I fire off a sentence or two on Google+. I’ve also been using Google+ less, which has helped my productivity, but I’ve had nearly no social life – even an online one. I’ll be curtailing my G+ usage even more to spend the time having an in-person social life, writing here, and focusing on my health goals.
Beer is a problem. Food is a bigger problem. Both have been out of control for a while now. Grocery store? What’s that? Seriously, I need to buy groceries and cook again. Yesterday (and too many other days) I went out for dinner and drank too much beer – way too much. I woke up this morning after a crappy night’s sleep feeling sick and dehydrated.
I went out to eat after work today too. It was either that or the grocery store, and I loathe the grocery store. Also, I’d have to cook, which would mean washing the dishes…. Anyway, I had only two beers. It was enough to enjoy my time, but I didn’t get drunk. It was quite nice. I’ll have to try this “not drunk” more often.
So less time on social media. More time on dishes.
I’m riding the bike nearly every day. I’ve got just over 600 miles in for the year. This time of year isn’t conducive to really high miles, so I think I’m doing pretty good. There’s a populaire this Sunday that I should force myself to ride. 62 miles + 24 to get there and back. Pushing 90 miles? Maybe I could go the long way and get an even 100 for the day. I’ll probably ride the recumbent, as the rSogn will be having new rear wheel built that weekend. I’ve never ridden 100 miles in a day on the ‘bent.
I’ve had some nice short-ish weekend rides with Tim. Nothing epic, mostly just around town rides. Sometimes we had multiple coffee stops. Most of the RCCS crew has little free time. They all have family obligations or whatnot. Darn families. They take away our freedom.
I’ve complained a little (maybe more than a little) about loneliness. Well, I went and joined a dating site, again. I’ll try not to marry the first woman I meet within six months this time around. I texted with one woman late into the night on Sunday. I was limiting my looking to local women… really local, because I don’t own a car. Unfortunately, her profile said she was five miles away, in reality she had moved to another town 40 miles away. We still planned a Monday night date here in Louisville. She stood me up. She did contact me later. She had car trouble. I haven’t heard from her since. I’m not going to pester her. We’ll see if I have better luck (and hopefully someone closer) next time.
Icing on the cake? My daughter and I had plans to go out on Tuesday night. Guess what? She stood me up too. She fell asleep and didn’t hear her phone. Oh well. I’ve spent most of my dining out time alone. Often I’m surrounded by people, yet I’m alone. I’m not an extrovert. It’s difficult for me to just start talking to people, and honestly, some of them don’t want me to talk to them.
I’m a great procrastinator. I wish I could get paid for that. I’d easily get that job. “Senior Vice President of Procrastination” Yep. I could do it. I put off posting here. I’ve put off my upper-body exercises. I’ve put off getting my diet back under control. I should take advantage of my good mood tonight and do something useful, but I won’t. I’m procrastinating again…… Oh wait! I’m posting here. That counts, right?
I’m dreading the March 1 weigh-in. Unless I starve myself until then (which I won’t do), I’ve probably gained a tad. Bleh.
I’ve never been big on gifts for Christmas. I have (now grown) children, so it was necessary to buy stuff before, but it was limited to immediate family.
I did buy a couple of things for an online acquaintance recently. I also received a bag of really good coffee in the mail.
I don’t mind gifts. I mind the expectation of gifts.
I’m not close to my daughters anymore. Even the youngest, who lives nearby, rarely calls. Her phone is currently shut off and I never know when she’s home. I haven’t spoken with her in a while.
I’ll be spending another holiday alone. I still have my dogs.
It’s not all bad though. I’m planning a 75-mile solo bike ride tomorrow. I’ll do a shorter group ride on Monday. I haven’t figured out Christmas day yet. It just seems a waste to have a four-day break from work and not do something.
It’s times like this that I’m reminded of the downsides of being single. However, taking off on a bike ride for 8+ hours without much planning ahead is difficult in most relationships. Maybe being single is okay. I don’t have to justify my habits at home, rather it’s being gone for bike rides, or peeing in the shower.
I haven’t posted in a while, but things have been happening.
Depression I’ve been suffering on and off with depression a fair amount again. I’m still on the fence about what to do about it. If I can make enough changes to ease things, great. Otherwise, I may turn to professional help.
Robin and I went on the houseboat trip. It was four days of fun, sun, a storm, alcohol, and cool people.
I gave the new-ish hybrid bike to Dawn. She needs a bike for transportation. I didn’t have a use for it. I had bought it as a gravel bike, then decided to go with a Salsa Fargo instead.
I have the Fargo. I’ve ridden it to work a few times, and around town for fun. I took it on some trails today, and realized that I still suck at mountain biking. 🙂
I decided I needed to end my relationship with Robin. I need to get my head out of my ass and figure out my life. She didn’t do anything wrong. I’m not pointing fingers. I just wasn’t behaving myself with proper lifestyle choices while around her. That’s my fault, but it needed to stop. 🙁
I’m still planning on racing Gravel Grovel this year, but I haven’t registered yet. I went for a ride today, and at only 18.5 miles, I was beat. My fitness level has really deteriorated. I’m going to have to make a concerted effort to fix this quickly. I’ve only got a little over two months.
I’m a member of the Louisville Ski Club. My volleyball league is part of that. Yesterday was the annual canoe trip.
I had last been in a canoe in April 2010 on my North Carolina vacation. It was on the New River near Boone, NC, and was pretty sedate. The biggest hazards were minor rapids over rocky shallow spots. We kept the canoe upright and it was fun, possibly even a bit boring.
Yesterday’s trip was a 12-mile trip on Elkhorn Creek near Frankfort KY. This trip has been scheduled for months, and with the drought we were wondering if the creek would be passable. The recent rains over the last few weeks solved that. The creek was fairly high and running swiftly.
The trip was from Canoe Kentucky. They had a macaw with quite a personality.
I had brought a ziplock bag with me to keep my phone and other stuff in. It worked well enough last time, and I didn’t plan on getting wet. The store sold small waterproof boxes. One that would fit my phone was $12. That turned out to be a wise investment.
They bused us six miles upstream, so the halfway point would be back at Canoe Kentucky. This allows a 12-mile ride on Elkhorn Creek without having to worry about the dam in Frankfort, or where the creek ends at the Kentucky River.
Neither Robin or I are expert canoeists. She’s been out more than me, so she was captain, at the rear of the boat.
There were 22 of us on the trip from the Ski Club. I think it was ten canoes and two kayaks.
Once the water got rough, my phone was safely locked in the box, and I didn’t take more pictures until after the trip.
The water got rough where the creek got very shallow and rocky. I’m not entirely sure how, but we ended up sideways and I fell out of the canoe. The safety video tells you to fall upstream so the canoe doesn’t run you over. I don’t know how they plan such things. I, of course, was downstream from the canoe.
It was shallow water, but the current was strong. I was unable to stand, and the canoe (with Robin still in it) was attempting to go over me. The water was too shallow for that. I grabbed the canoe, which had the unintended consequence of dumping Robin into the water with me.
The much lighter canoe then passed over us. It, our paddles, cooler, drinks, snacks, and Robin’s life-vest continued downstream without us. I was wearing my life vest, but the water was quite shallow. We were able to stand up in the mid-calf deep water, but walking to shore wasn’t feasible. I was already hurting from the rocks I had bounced against.
Robin insisted we float downstream. I balked. She took off without me and seemed to have no issues catching up with the group ahead that was gathering our stuff.
I allowed myself to float. The rocks were painful, but only continued for a dozen feet for so before I was in deeper water.
The current didn’t quite take me the same direction as Robin. She ended up on the right bank where others were. The water wasn’t deep there. I ended up heading toward the left bank, which was much deeper and had a large bushy tree hanging into the water. It was dense enough to be impassible, and probably continued to far into the water to go under it.
As I approached the tree, I grabbed for a larger branch to support the force of the current. I didn’t want to get pushed into the tree. It was covered in thorns. I was trying to figure out how to get myself out of the predicament, when a more skilled guy on a kayak made his way over and had me grab the front of his kayak, and he pulled me away from the tree and to shallower water.
Now we re-grouped. We had retained most of our canned beverages. The fried chicken was still sealed in it’s container. Our phones were dry in their boxes. Nothing was lost other than some of the beverages and all of our ice. We were both beat up and had sore spots, but nothing major was bleeding. We continued on.
There were many islands in the creek. These narrower spots caused greater flow and issues with trees at the edge. We had a number of close-calls and a few collisions.
We eventually made it to the halfway point, where I ran back to the car to grab our chips that were forgotten the first time.
We continued on. I was half tempted to sit out the rest of the trip, but that would have left Robin without a canoe partner.
At some point we dumped a second time. I don’t remember the details. It was deep enough that I didn’t hit rocks. We had our cooler bungied in this time, and lost nothing.
We approached a narrow spot. There were too many canoes bunched up. We backed off to let the group in front go first. They had a few issues, but made it through. We did not. We ran directly into a tree at the water’s edge. It was a hard impact and I slid off the seat on to the bottom of the canoe. The front of the canoe went downward and we took in a bunch of water, swamping us, but we didn’t tip. We managed to paddle (half sunk) to the other shore to empty out. Before we got out of the canoe, another group came through and collided. Multiple canoes hit us, but we were in very shallow water. Once the group was past, we dumped the water and continued. Somewhere in that mess I lost my towel, which was already soaking wet. No big loss.
We came across another rough spot and tangled with a tree. Me managed to lose one of our paddles. We didn’t dump however. Another couple of guys in our group (Dave and Pat) dumped and lost a paddle and a cooler. We were fighting to regain control at the time, and continued our way downstream a bit. We eventually got to shore where our paddle was returned to us. I had Dave and Pat’s lost paddle. We also grabbed their cooler.
We kept waiting for them to come downstream, but there was no sign of them. I eventually walked upstream (luckily it was an easy climb up to a road in that spot) and found them.
Pat had lost his glasses. Their canoe was trapped under a log. The current was strong and I really didn’t think we’d get the canoe out. The three of us were able to get the canoe free, which then led to us trying to control a sunken canoe in fast current. We managed, and I gave them their missing paddle. I walked back to our landing spot and we continued on.
It was pretty calm after that. Our take-out spot was right after the US127 bridge. We stopped just before the bridge where there was a nice place to eat and swim. We talked with others in the group and enjoyed our snack.
After a bit, it was time to go. Robin and I got back in the canoe and headed downstream. The water was deep here. It seemed the current was faster than it should have been. We could see the take-out spot. I complained that “of course the take out is in heavy current”. I had barely gotten that complaint out when, for no apparent reason, the canoe flipped, dumping us both in the water.
Robin wasn’t wearing her life vest (again). I was wearing mine, but apparently it wasn’t tight enough, as it moved upward on me, cutting of my vision. She struggled because her footwear – crocs (poor choice) slid up on her ankles, making it difficult to swim. She was some distance from the canoe. I was holding on to it. Her life vest was right there in front of me. I intended to throw it to her, but she had fastened it to the cooler, and I couldn’t get it free.
I saw one of my sandals floating (also a poor choice of footwear), and I threw it in the half-swamped canoe. Robin was making progress toward the canoe. We were both trying to get to the left bank, as that’s where the take-out was.
She reached the canoe, and we both swam toward shore, speeding up our glacial progress. Amazingly, we made it to the take-out before getting carried downstream.
Robin lost her towel and a visor she had been wearing. I (amazingly) still had both sandals. We still had our phones and keys, and they were dry.
We were both grumpy and glad to be done with the trip. Canoeing with someone can be stressful, much like tandem bike riding.
It also turned out to be more dangerous than I thought it would be. On an average bike ride, I don’t crash, fall over, or collide with stationary objects. We flipped three times and swamped the canoe once. We collided with trees, other canoes, and one kayak (but the kayak wasn’t stationary, and it was her fault).
The two guys with the stuck canoe really scared me. If that had been a person rather than a canoe, they would have died. There really was no way out.
As far as the flip right at the end… The other canoeists complained about the current there, and one even said they almost flipped. It looked calm, but there must be monsters (trolls?) under that bridge the get enjoyment from rolling canoes over.
I think my future paddling adventures will be on calmer water until I learn more.
Once I was home, I went to bed early and slept for 13 hours. Canoeing didn’t seem strenuous. I think the stress did me in as much as anything else.
This morning I woke up quite sore. I have a banged and scraped knee. My right hand at the base of the thumb has a deep, painful bruise. I have a scraped ankle, sore spots on my feet, and a scrape on my ass.
I’m still better off than Robin. She has at least as many bumps and scrapes as I do. She also hurt her finger. It may be broken. It was quite swollen today. I helped her cut a ring off that was constricting the swollen finger. She hated to lose the ring, but it’s better than losing a finger.
I think Robin and I learned things about each other too. Neither of us behaved that well to each other under stress. Does that mean we avoid canoeing together? Do we work on technique? I don’t know. I’ll have to discuss it with her once she’s willing.
That’s right. I’m back to my old self. My neck still hurts, but I can ride again. I can even ride a drop-bar road bike. It’s a shame I sold my LHT, but I needed the money.
April is 30 days of biking. I have to be on the bike every day of the month. It doesn’t matter if I’m riding 100 miles or 1 block, but I have to ride.
I’ve been back on the bike for commuting the past two weeks. Things have improved. I’ve mostly rode the single-speed, but took the Big Dummy shopping on Thursday.
Today, April 1st started with rain and thunderstorms. I assumed I’d be riding around the block. I had tentative plans to ride with Tim and Timothy, but woke up to crappy weather. Robin had stayed with me, and she reminded me I had to ride.
The weather cleared out, and I took off to meet in St. Matthews. Tim never showed. He had a bad day. Timothy was there, and we rode 20-ish miles. We helped an older gentleman on a recumbent trike fix a flat tire. It ended up being a beautiful day and there were many cyclists out. My total miles for the day were 30.8. I’ll take it. I did it all on the single-speed, even over the hills of Cherokee Park.
Later in the day I went with Robin to pick up her new TV, her first HDTV. I programmed her UVerse box to work with it, and then took hours to figure out the remote programming. She rewarded me with apple pie and ice cream.
Tomorrow I ride to work. This is easy. Iv’e been back at it for two weeks.
After work, I’ll be at Robin’s to watch UK win the NCAA basketball championship on her new TV.
Between my car-rental drive to Bowling Green and driving Robin’s car for us to do stuff together, I drove 356 miles for the month. It would normally not be difficult to ride my bike more than that in a month, but I’ve had a really off month.
I only rode my bike 160.6 miles. My neck and shoulder have conspired to keep me off the bike much of the time. I made good use of carpooling, the bus, and the occasional cab ride to get to work. I’ve even walked the 3.5 miles home from downtown once.
I quit weighing myself recently, but I’ll be doing that again now. I had quit posting my weight a while before that, but I’ll get that caught up soon.
Now that I have an iPhone I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app to track what I eat. I’ve also downloaded the EEBA app to help me budget my money using virtual envelopes. We’ll see how that works out.
The last two days have been much less painful than before. I feel like I can function normally. I didn’t ride my bike yesterday, because I had to return the rental car and walk to work from there. I took the bus home. Today, I rode the single-speed and it felt wonderful. I’ll be on it again tomorrow.
I still have an appointment with a neurosurgeon on Monday. I’d like to avoid surgery, so I’ll get a second opinion if he immediately suggests it. If two doctors suggest it, I’ll go through with it.
Things are going well between Robin and I. I like the fact that we’re both comfortable living where we do… two blocks apart. Seriously, I just know I need to avoid pushing things faster (or further) than they need to go. We are seeing each other exclusively, but I really don’t feel comfortable discussing much more here.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) is also the Car-Free Happy Hour. This is technically January’s event as it was delayed a week. Will you join us at 5:30pm at Four Pegs at 1053 Goss Ave 40217. I may ride my bike there, or just walk. It’s very close to my house.
Weight? Weight! Wait? No, don’t wait. I still need to lose about 55lbs to make it to my goal weight. A reasonable goal is one pound per week, giving me about a year to do this. So 175lbs by 2013. Could the iPhone be the tool I need to do this?
With my new phone comes a new phone number. I used to publish my old one pretty openly, but I’m not doing that any more. That’s why I didn’t port the number to the new phone. If you need my number, send me an email, and I’ll get back to you.
My neck issue is pushing me off the bike for a while. I’m tired of fighting the pain. I see a neurosurgeon in two weeks. Then it’ll be time for more decisions. In the meantime I’m staying off the bike. Even the recumbent hurts me on bad days.
My eating habits are only slightly better than before. I have purchased a new hot-air popcorn popper. I used it tonight. Plain popcorn used to be a comfort food for me, but I had thrown away the old popper. Now I can go back to this filling, low-calorie, snack that I used to enjoy.
In spite of the challenges, I’m in a good mood. I’m not trying too hard to lose weight, just trying to prevent myself from gaining for a while. Things are working well with Robin. We’re now going out and doing something besides eating. We saw a concert on Friday and a movie on Sunday. We met with my daughter and her boyfriend on Saturday, but we did go out to eat then.
I feel more motivated to take care of housework and other related duties than I have in a while.
I probably won’t see Robin next weekend, but that will give me time to thoroughly clean house and catch up on other duties that need to be done.
I’ll take the bus to work most days now that I’m not riding my bike. I’m considering walking a couple of days a week though, including tomorrow. At least it’s still exercise and it doesn’t seem to hurt.
It’s fitting that I’m writing a post titled “Wake Up?” at 3:00am somehow… It is interesting laying in bed on a January night with the window open listening to a thunderstorm. A few days ago temperatures were in the teens. Tonight it’s 55F.
I didn’t ride the recumbent today (yesterday?). This became important later.
I rode the Big Dummy. I had my doctor appointment with my new family doctor. I like my new doctor. He’s nice, competent, and is honest. He pointed out that my overeating and drinking are not only working against my weight loss effort (what weight loss effort?), but are adding to my depression.
So anyway, I met up with Tim again after work for our hour-long spin that we often do on Mondays. As we rode more, my neck hurt worse. It probably wouldn’t have been an issue on the ‘bent. When we were nearing the end, I headed back on Payne St rather than following him back to his car on Mellwood Ave. I wanted to cut the ride short.
I could have/should have went home. Instead I stopped for food and beer. I had my laptop with me so I made use of the free wi-fi and posted about my gastronomical disaster on BikeForums.
I went to bed after getting home. I woke up in the middle of the night and looked at my post on BikeForums. Apparently many people are supporting me and want me to continue the weight loss. There’s a bit of “tough love” including from some strangers. 🙂
The BikeForums post, the discussion with Tim while riding, and my doctor’s advice are all ganging up on me. It is time to make a change. Sure I lost 100lbs in 2007-2008. Since then I’ve either held steady or gained. I’m up 30lbs from my lowest weight. I don’t want to be The Fat Guy anymore.
The neck pain has mostly ended long rides, but I can change that by riding the recumbent. I just have to push myself out there and I will ride. I miss disappearing for a day with the bike and a camera. I can still do it.
I’m not spending any large amounts of money on bike stuff for a bit. Long-term, I don’t know what bike(s) I’ll be riding. I have one bike that I can ride a lot now, even with my neck issue. It really doesn’t need anything other than maybe better lights, but I’ll use what I have for now. The last time I spent money on that bike (upgraded brakes) I barely rode it for months because my neck improved. Not that I’m complaining…
I need to make some major dietary changes, but I’m not writing out new rules here right now. I’ve done that a few times recently and failed each time. I’m going to make some changes now, but the changes are more minor and less strict. I’ll figure out more later. I will start riding more immediately also.
There’s also the issue of Robin. We tend to go out to eat every day. She wants to make changes too, so maybe it’s time. Overall, I think she eats better than I do. We’ll need to figure out social activities that don’t involve copious consumption of calories.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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).
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.
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.