Weekly Average Weight for July 18, 2015

My average weight for the week ending 7/18/2015:
264.7 lbs

Up from last week:
0.5 lbs

Down since I re-started on 6/1/2015:
9.9 lbs

I went too long without posting.  I’ve been driving to work too often.  I gained a little weight.

Weekly Average Weight for July 11, 2015

My average weight for the week ending 7/11/2015:
264.3 lbs

Down from last week:
0.5 lbs

Down since I re-started on 6/1/2015:
10.3 lbs

Weight until goal:
89.3 lbs

I mentioned I was going to start posting my weekly average weight posts again… well, here we are.  My new start was 6/1, when I weighed 274.6 lbs.

This round of weight loss is mostly due to less beer consumption and a bit of self-control on what I eat.

Space Horse
Space Horse

Yesterday, I rode the single-speed Space Horse up to the coffee shop to meet with my daughter.  We hung out a bit before I rode home.  Later I met up with Tim for a single-speed ride around the parks before we stopped for a couple of beers.

When it was time to head home, I had a flat.  Boo!  After getting a bit dirty, the flat was changed and I rolled on… and stopped at another bar for another couple of beer.  Oops.

Writing these weekly updates will hopefully keep me focused on the goal, rather than the beer.

Bike Commuting and Road Treasure

After buying a car on Monday, my bike commuting took a hit.  I drove the car everyday until yesterday (Friday).  On Friday, I rode the bike.  I did it partially because I like riding my bike, and partially because Diane wanted to take the car to check it out.  She hadn’t driven it yet.

The ride in was pleasant, if a bit cloudy.  Along the way on Camp Ground Rd, I saw some “road treasure.”  Road treasure it rare on my commute, but often times you’ll find something interesting.  A number of years ago, I found a slightly scuffed, but functional iPhone.  I returned it to it’s owner.  Friday, I found a cheap screwdriver.  I’ll keep it.

I can park indoors at my job - just not at my desk
I can park indoors at my job – just not at my desk

Shortly after arriving at work we had torrential rains.  I’m glad I made it in first.  The rain came and went all day.  I’m glad Diane didn’t leave the sunroof open on my car.

Road Treasure - Made in China
Road Treasure – Made in China

The rain stopped about ten minutes before I left work.  There were plenty of puddles on the way home, but I never got rained on.  The fenders kept my bike mostly clean.

I changed my commute route slightly.  There was a short stretch near home that was the most stressful.  Routing around that saves me stress, and adds 2.5 miles to my round-trip commute.  I’ll take it.  So the new round-trip commute is 28.5 miles.

Being a Grown-Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

Four Wheels Is Good Sometimes

After a few years of living car-free, things have changed.  My life changed.  I married Diane.  I got another dog that doesn’t easily fit on a bike.  My new job is farther from home.

Although Diane has her Explorer, it is hers.  It’s also older, and I wouldn’t trust it on a long trip.  The benefit is that it was paid for in cash.

Yesterday, I paid a visit to CarMax (where I bought my Nissan Frontier in 2009) and bought a 2012 Honda Civic.

After getting the car, I went to the grocery store and thought over the decision.  I’m still going to get around by bike for most things.  The car gives me an “out” for those days I just don’t feel up to riding.  It also gives me the ability to drive to Michigan to visit my mother without the hassle of a car rental, or the risk of the Explorer breaking down.

Although it’s an econo-car, it’s the nicest car I’ve owned.  It has only 21,000 miles on it.  It has more gadgets than I know what to do with.  It connects to my phone with bluetooth.  It has a sunroof. Fancy.

Diane and I took it for a drive last night, and brought both dogs with us.  Yes, my car got the “dog hair treatment” on the first day.

If I regret the purchase later, or if life changes again, I can sell the car, assuming I pay off enough of it by then.  I did with the Nissan.

I did drive the new car to work today, but I’ll be on the bike tomorrow.

Weight Loss – Really!

The (mostly) no-beer June thing paid off, as did the longer commute and watching what I eat.

On 6/1/2015 my weight was 274.6.  It slowly dropped from there.  Weekly averages below:

6/6 274.3
6/13 271.3
6/20 269.9
6/27 268.7
7/4 265.8

My average weight for the month of June was 270.4.

I look forward to posting weekly updates on the weigh-in every weekend.

I still ride a bike too!  As you saw in my previous post, I re-configured the rSogn to be my daily commuter.  It works, but I now have two bikes that aren’t rideable.  I need to fix that.  I’m also planning on another bike for later in the year.

I had Friday off work, so Tim and I rode single-speed bikes around town.  Unfortunately I consumed way too many liquid calories after the ride.

Five more months to lose weight before Gravel Grovel.

Different Commuting Rig

The recumbent isn’t really working for me as a commuter bike.  I rode the new Space Horse (single speed) on Friday, but I had to install a rear rack to do so.  That’s not the point of that bike, so I removed the rack.

The rSogn, with it’s drop bars, still hurts my neck, but it has a dynohub and fenders – so it’s an ideal commuter bike.  I removed the drop bars, installed the Albatross bars, recabled everything, and added the rear rack.  It’s ready to haul me to work tomorrow.

Since I was working on bikes I also worked on the Fargo and Space Horse, which I took outside for a group picture.

Later, Diane and I took the Big Dummy (not pictured) out for dinner.

Goodbye Sandy

Last year, I had to say goodbye to Candy.  The decision to put a dog down is never easy.  A week ago, it was confirmed that Sandy had cancer.  We were still waiting on results from the biopsy, as the vet was pretty certain that Sandy could get another 3 to 6 months of pleasant life.

As the week wore on, It became clear that she wasn’t getting better with the pills she was taking.  Originally, I was going to take her in yesterday (Saturday) to be put down.  I was upset that I hadn’t taken her out for a “going away party” and opted to wait another day.

Saturday night, Diane and I took Sandy out for (a sip) of beer and a burger.  She enjoyed socializing with the the other dogs and people.

Sandy's Last Beer
Sandy’s Last Beer

This morning, She seemed better, if a bit subdued.  The self-doubt about whether now is the time or not was gnawing at me.  The vet didn’t open until 2pm.  I worked on my bikes to stay busy.  I had some leftover parts to take to the co-op that opened at 1pm.

She didn’t seem horrible today, but she was suffering.  I loaded up the car with bike parts to take to the co-op.  I brought Sandy out to the car. We drove about 1/2 mile, and unloaded bike parts.

Sandy went in to the co-op and was mildly friendly with another dog there.  She was calmer than normal.

She couldn’t get back in the car, so I had to pick her up.  We drove another mile to the vet’s office.  I was afraid of a long wait.

After arriving, I lifted her out of the car, but she wouldn’t walk.  She could barely stand.  I carried her in, and she collapsed on the floor.  They immediately took her back.  The vet was ready to intubate her, but I reminded him I was there to have her put down.  They did nothing.  She was gone in less than three minutes.

In short, I was having second thoughts, but she eased my mind by dying all on her own.

I’d like to think I gave her a good home for the 8 or 9 years that I’ve had her.  That’s the best I can hope for.

Rest in Peace, Sandy.

One week before her death
One week before her death

Tired

28 miles today.  I had to run to the bank before work.  I had a late day at the office, then rode home.

The temperature was nicer.  Traffic was lighter.  That’s all nice, but I’m really tired.  I’d forgotten how exhausting the longer bike commutes can be.

I still intend to remain car-free – well, except Diane’s car, but she drives that.

New Job!

Yesterday was my first day at a new job, but I drove.  I wasn’t sure where I would park a bike, change clothes, and I had to drive a little ways away for a drug test.  Yep.  Safest to drive on the first day.

Today was the second day.  Yes, I rode my recumbent.  It’s about a 26-mile round-trip, so I wear bike clothes, and leave extra time.

An unusually quiet stretch along Algonquin Parkway
An unusually quiet stretch along Algonquin Parkway

I headed west on city streets that aren’t too bad.  There are worse roads where I’m headed, but I bypass them by taking the Louisville Loop.

 

I spend a fair amount of distance in a bike lane on Campground Road.  It’s not horrible.

 

 

The area is an odd mix of woods, ugly industrial, a huge power plant, and a few residential neighborhoods.

 

 

 

The worst part is probably the chemical factories.  The smell bothers me as I ride by.

 

 

Heading home is just the reverse route.  I got 26.5 miles on the odometer today.

A co-worker who rides a bike wanted to try my ‘bent.  I let him ride it around the parking lot.

I’m hoping the longer distance commute will help me get fitter again.

A Tour Without a Plan

Last Wednesday, I realized time was running out before I start my new job and have to go back to the daily grind.  I posted on G+ asking about locals for an overnight bike camping trip.  Nobody was very certain of availability.  So I improvised and whipped out a quick 5-day plan of about 250 miles.  I’d ride alone if necessary.  I had just a couple of hours to plan and pack.  Diane was flabbergasted.

Wednesday – Day One

After a trip to the ATM on my loaded recumbent bike, I headed north.  I detoured around some of the bridge construction mess, and eventually crossed into Indiana on the Big Four Bridge.

I noticed the cables for the new downtown bridge are partially done.

I cruised through Jeffersonville without stopping by Flat 12 for a beer.  I continued up to Utica, where I could see the progress on the new east-end bridge.

I continued to Charlestown, where I did have a beer, a half-sandwich, spinach salad, and copious amounts of water at Charlestown Pizza.  I probably had too much of something.  I felt “sloshy” while leaving.  Ugh.

Shortly after leaving town, the rain started.  I don’t mind riding in the rain.  The glasses making it hard to see does bother me.

At this point I had to deal with hills.  Oh well.  I’m fat and old.  I’m attempting my longest (in days) tour while being at my fattest and most out-of-shape since I got a bike.  I went slow.  I walked up hills when I had too.

The rain stopped after an hour or so.  The roads were gorgeous.

I made it to Clifty Falls State Park after sunset.  I paid the fee, set up my tent, and went in to take a shower in the nice facility their just as a torrential downpour began.  It rained a lot Wednesday night.

I slept poorly.  It was hot and muggy in the tent, but I couldn’t open the rainfly due to rain.  I couldn’t leave the tent due to bugs (I had already washed off the bug repellent in the shower).  I read my Kindle for a while.  I think I finally fell asleep at 3:30 am or so.

Download file: 2015-06-17.gpx

 

Thursday – Day Two

I woke surprisingly late at 9:00 am.  I can’t normally do that while camping.  I unzipped the tent to a pleasant day, and my ‘bent leaning against the picnic table.

Timothy contacted me about meeting up at Hardy Lake, where I already had plans to swim.  I packed up and headed out.

Weather was a bit mixed, and this was probably my slowest day on the bike.  I was a bit stressed, getting sunburned, and trying not to make Timothy wait too long.

Due to spotty cell coverage, my conversation with Timothy was difficult.  I rolled into Hardy Lake, down to the beach, and took a swim with my waterproof camera.  I didn’t see Timothy.

Just as I was leaving the water, Timothy came rolling up on his bike.  He had apparently been at the park for a couple of hours, but missed the beach.  He was down at the boat launch enjoying the view.

We rolled out.  Our destination was Delaney Park, which I believe is a county park nestled into the hills of Jackson-Washington State Forest.

It was hot, then it rained.  I was slow.  I complained.  I think Timothy pulled ahead to avoid hearing my complaining.

We rode a little gravel.  We rode a few hills.

I needed food and more caffeine.  We stopped at a Subway restaurant in Crothersville (where I stopped in a 2011 tour also).  In the 2011 tour, I went into that Subway to hide from a storm, and ate while I was there.  This time, I went there to eat, and ended up waiting out a storm.

The second half of the day was mostly flatter terrain.  We were in ancient river valleys between “knobs”.  As we approached the park, bigger hills were visible, but our path took us around them.

I had been under the impression that Delaney Park was private, but I now believe it’s a county park.

We arrived, set up camp, and were immediately set upon by a severe thunderstorm.  It had scary-strong winds.  We took shelter in the laundry area of the laundry/restroom building.  It appeared to be a sturdy block building.

The winds passed, and we wandered about, watching the deluge flood down the hills and eventually into the lake.  Surprisingly, both tents and bikes were right where we had left them.  Timothy’s was fairly dry.  Mine was soaking wet.

I didn’t have real food with me, and had intended to eat at the restaurant in the park – which was closed.  Timothy saved the day with camp food.

After eating, we settled in for the night.  The rain had tapered off.  I wan’t able to fall asleep easily, so kept the rain fly open on one side to watch the lightning bugs flicker in the stand of trees a ways a way.  It was hypnotic.

I’d like to say I fell asleep in that bliss.  I did not.  The “residents” who have full-time sites there were loud and boisterous.  There was a very loud strange bird flying from tree to tree.  The frogs were very vocal – including one very close to my tent.

Eventually things quieted down, but the rain started again.  I closed the rain fly, and fell asleep eventually.

Download file: 2015-06-18.gpx

 

Friday – Day Three

I woke at about 5:30 am.  It was raining.  My tent was dripping on me.  Packing up in the rain is difficult.  Timothy was still asleep.  I tried to go back to sleep.  I considered the absurdity of camping in the rain, of bike touring, of many of my life’s choices.  I was unhappy.

Then, at 7:00, the rain just stopped.  That’s my cue.  I got out of the tent and quickly started packing.

We made coffee and more camp meals, and headed out.  Salem was our immediate destination for a more substantial breakfast.

There was one brutal climb on the way that I walked most of.  The rain did not hold off.  Often there was just a drizzle.  A few times it was a downpour.  We took shelter under a tree briefly.

We arrived in Salem looking for a breakfast place I had been before.  Apparently they don’t exist anymore.  The best we got was excellent doughnuts and mediocre coffee.

Shitty Mushroom Bridge?
Shitty Mushroom Bridge?
Lemme sleep!
Lemme sleep!
Mr. Scruffy
Mr. Scruffy

Our destination was Spring Mill State Park, which is just a short distance from the town of Mitchell.  Timothy thought that heading to Mitchell first for a substantial meal would be a good idea.  I agreed, and off we went.

I had already scoped out The Hub Restaurant online before the trip.  It’s a simple, family restaurant, but the staff was friendly and the food was good.

While there, more weather warnings were issued.  My gear was pretty wet.  I suggested we skip the camping and go across the street to the Mitchell Motel.  Once checked in, and had our bikes secured, we walked to the local liquor store for a six pack of beer to share.

There's a bike under all that wet stuff somewhere...
There’s a bike under all that wet stuff somewhere…

I slept like the dead.

Download file: 2015-06-19.gpx

 

Saturday – Day Four

I woke with the 7:00 am alarm.  We were packed, check out of the motel, and across the street at the restaurant again for breakfast when they opened at 8:00.

After a hearty breakfast, we headed out.

It had rained all night and most of the morning.  There flood warnings scattered around the area.

My planned goal was Buffalo Trace Park in Palmyra.  Timothy was going to ride with me, then ride home.  He was going to have a much longer ride than I.

I was really struggling to keep moving.  I was having knee pain.  I was wet and miserable.  Along Vincennes Trail there was high water across the road.  We consulted the GPS, and took an alternate route.

We made another short detour to visit Beck’s Mill.  It’s an operational water-powered mill.  Timothy wanted to buy a bag of grits.  Apparently they can’t operate with flooding and were closed.

We continued further along Vincennes Trail.  We came across another, longer, deeper flooded stretch.  It didn’t look good.  There wasn’t an alternate route that wouldn’t add significant mileage.  It wasn’t flowing water, so it was safe.  It was a matter of submerging parts of the bike that shouldn’t be submerged.  We decided to try to carry our loaded bikes the distance.  Neither one of us managed, and instead set the bikes down, and pushed across.

Yes, both my hubs were submerged.  Timothy had the same problem, along with his bottom bracket.  The lower part of my panniers were also dragging in the water.  It was a long slog down the road before it wasn’t underwater.

At this point, I knew the tour was over.  I was too sore, too tired, and would need extra time to clean and fix the bike at home.  We continued to Palmyra, found a diner, and I called my wife to come pick me up.

I still rode about 200 miles in 4 days.  I’ll take it.  I’ll do it again… later.

Download file: 2015-06-20.gpx

New Bike in the House!

A number of years ago, I bought a 1980s Raleigh Record converted to a single-speed.  I liked it.  It was comfortable.  I eventually had headset problem and a poor repair attempt damaged the fork.

I later bought another 1980s road bike – this time a Bridgestone 400, but it was just a little too small for me.

After researching for a while, I was unable to find another old frame I liked that was for sale locally.  I decided to go ahead and buy something new.

I decided on a frameset from All-City called the Space Horse.  It comes complete as a geared bike, but if your order a frameset, you can pick your own parts.

On Your Left Cycles ordered the frame and parts.  I brought in my old tires, freewheel, crankset, bottom bracket, and pedals.

Single-Speed Space Horse
Single-Speed Space Horse

Build list:

  • 58 cm All-City Space Horse frame set
  • Hand-built wheels using:
    • All-City New Sheriff hubs
    • HED Belgium+ rims
    • Black spokes & nipples
  • Thompson seatpost
  • Brooks Cambium C17 saddle
  • Tektro CR720 cantilever brakes
  • Cane Creek headset
  • KMC chain
  • FSA Omega Compact drop bars – 44cm
  • A stem – unknown brand or size
  • SRAM brake levers
  • Some awesome rubbery bar tape
  • Brake cable hangers – front and rear
  • Brake cables

I provided from my parts:

  • 20 tooth freewheel
  • 48 tooth Sugino crankset
  • Shimano bottom bracket
  • Grip King pedals
  • Panaracer Pasela 700×35 tires
  • Two stainless steel King Cage water bottle holders
Cushy cockpit
Cushy cockpit

After getting the bike home, I put lights, GPS, and a cheap saddlebag on, and went for a 24 mile ride with Tim.  The bike rides wonderfully.  The drop bars have a shorter reach than I’ve had before, and these may be the drop bars that allow me to continue to ride drops.  The soft, rubbery bar tape is quite nice too.

I’m still waiting on the covers for the cable mount bosses on the downtube.

I’ve got some plans for different light mounting ideas, and a small bag up front.

I don’t intend to put racks or fenders on this bike.  I want to keep it simple, light, and fun.  This bike helped me to feel like a cyclist again today.

 

Retail Therapy Part Two

No, this isn’t about the bike yet.  Sorry.  Soon, I promise.

I’ve had the same glasses for four years.  I wear them every day.  It was time to replace them.

I rode 3.5 miles to the vision center yesterday, and got a full eye exam.  This included the “picture of the retina” thing that they charge extra for.  My prescription is unchanged in one eye, and slightly changed in the other.

I can still see okay through the old glasses, but the lenses are quite scratched and the frames are worn.

I picked out a similar frame, and it’ll be more than a week before my glasses are ready.  As “retail therapy” it’s not as satisfying as a new bike, but it is more useful.

When I left, I took an alternate route through some neighborhoods.  I needed a few extra miles.  I was eventually dumped onto a busy road – but it has multiple lanes and I usually take the lane.  This time, there was road construction, and there were only two open lanes.  I did something I almost never do.  I rode the sidewalk until I was past the construction.

Even with “no beer June” going on, I had a little beer on Wednesday.  Yesterday was worse.  I parked myself at Four Pegs for hours and drank.  Then I went home and took  nap.  Diane wasn’t very pleased with me when she got home from work.

Anyway, I’m back to no beer for the rest of the month.

Job News

Yay!  I get to stay employed!  Yay!  I get a week and half off between jobs!  Boo!  I don’t get paid for that time off!

My contract job ends this Wednesday.  It’s been a fun 18 months, but it’s time to move on.  The new job is direct-hire, long-term thing.  Good.  I’m tired of contract.  The pay is good.  The atmosphere seems nice (an arcade machine in the break room, and casual dress code), but the commute has the possibility to be ugly.

Driving, it’s ten miles each way.  Much of that is roads I would not want to ride a bike on.  I can take a 13-mile route on the bike, and have a good stretch of it on a bike path – that even goes through the woods for a while.  That’ll be nice, until winter comes anyway.  They won’t clear the path.

So, I’m looking at riding 26 miles a day, five days a week.  I’ll be getting 130 miles per week just for commuting (assuming I don’t wimp out and take bus/car/Lyft).  This should help with my weight loss (which has restarted since giving up beer on June 1st).  I also hope it improves my fitness.  I still have that goal of racing Gravel Grovel in November.

Until then, I’ll have some spare time for putting in miles.  I’m considering a short tour.  I’ll have to keep it cheap for budgetary reasons.

Sunday Morning Ride

Tim convinced me to get up this morning for a ride.  The rSogn was the steed of choice.  It hasn’t been ridden much.  It’s the only bike I have that still have drop bars, but I figured a few hours wouldn’t kill my neck too bad.

Coffee start
Coffee start

After meeting at Sunergos for coffee, we headed toward Iroquois Park.  It has some climbs that I struggled on due to being out of shape.

Tim climbing the hill
Tim climbing the hill

Near the top is a pleasant grassy field – a small refuge in the city.

Grassy field at Iroquois Park
Grassy field at Iroquois Park

We headed back, and had more coffee at Breadworks, then back to my house where I loaded some maps on his GPS.  At 28 miles, it was a pretty nice way to spend a morning.

Dogs and Pickles

Dogs

I mentioned in my previous post that we have a new dog.  Diamond is a year and a half old.  She came to us from my son-in-law.  She wasn’t meant for apartment life but I have a fenced back yard.

2015-06-02 09.05.20

She really is a sweetie, but needs more training.  Now we’re back to having three dogs.  Two of them are old, but Diamond is making them perk up a bit.

Pickles

I bought a large jar of pickles a few days ago. I was craving a beer when I got home from work today. I had a pickle instead.

Now I just need pickle-bars to stop at on the way home. I can have overpriced craft-pickles served to me by hipsters. Oh. Wait. Nevermind.

Do or Die

There’s something about nice round numbers or dates that appeals to me.  So today, June 1st, 2015, is a new start.

As mentioned yesterday, I’m not drinking beer during the month of June.  I’m not a fan of liquor and I rarely drink wine, so those aren’t an issue.

I weighed myself this morning.  I’m 274.6 lbs.  That’s pretty unacceptable to me, but not as bad as I feared.  I will continue weighing, but I’m not sure about posting here, as I always fell behind that in the past.

The first time I lost weight and wrote about it here, my life was simpler.  I was single.  I had nothing going on besides a job.

Now, I’m married.  We have a new dog (who’s destructive and high-maintenance).  Although I’m working now, I’m actively seeking a new job as the current one ends next week.

I’m playing volleyball again this year, at least in the summer, outdoor in the sand.  I don’t enjoy indoor as much.  I played today and had a good time, even without drinking any beer.

My eating habits have deteriorated in the last couple of years.  I need to fix that.  I’ve started that today, just by eating less.  I’m not tracking calories at this point, but I probably need to do that.  It certainly worked for me last time.

I’m rolling around some ideas about how to limit my beer consumption once this month is over.  I don’t have anything decided on yet, but it needs to take bike miles into consideration, so I can earn beer by riding more.  As much as I was drinking the last few months, I’d be riding to Indianapolis and back every few days.

Beer-Free for a Month

My weight gain has continued.  I’ve also continued to drink too much beer.

I can’t (yet) commit to quitting beer, but I can commit to quitting it for a month.  June is that month.

Since the weather has been nicer, I’ve been riding the bike more.  Nearly 100% of my transportation has been by bicycle.  I’m not riding enough “other rides” though.

I have less than two weeks left at my current contract job.  I’ve been interviewing, and hope to have something lined up soon.

I haven’t been weighing in quite some time.  I do know I’m about 280 lbs, so I’ve basically gained back 80% of what I lost.  That is depressing.

Trail Riding and Bike Changes

Since going to friction-shifting on the Fargo, the ten-speed rear has been a bit of a pain.

Tim recommended a short ride at Waverly this morning.  I got up early and replaced the ten-speed chain and cassette with 8-speed equivalents.

Fargo Power!
Fargo Power!
Download file: 2014-12-21.gpx

I’m too fat and I struggled a bit.  Afterwards we had coffee.

In other news, I’ve made changes to the Big Dummy.  It’s also become my primary commuter bike.  I’ll have more on that later.

November 23rd Gravel Adventure Ride

Timothy has been putting on Gravel Adventure Rides for the Louisville Bicycle Club.  I attended one last month.

Tim and I went together.  I think we had a total of six riders.  The ride started in New Washington Indiana.  This route is nice for only having one big climb.

My memory isn’t clear, as I didn’t write about it right away.

Timothy and the other riders mostly stayed ahead of Tim and I.  Tim stayed with me.  I was struggling to keep any kind of pace whatsoever.  The first half of the ride, I never took my camera out.

We stopped at Jendy’s Pizza in Hanover.  It started raining at that point.

My new waterproof camera is perfect for rain, but I was too busy to use it.  I let Tim take pictures.

That's me in the distance
That’s me in the distance
Running along the river
Running along the river
Horse!
Horse!

The ride was cut a bit short at 35 miles.  I enjoyed getting out, but had a weak day on the bike.

Download file: 2014-11-23.gpx

 

Updates, More Riding?

I’d meant to “catch up” on what interesting things I’ve done this year, but I’m falling behind.

I did a bike camping trip with Tim back in September.  I don’t have time to write about it.

My mileage for the year isn’t great, but with some effort, I may hit 3000 miles for the year.

I’m weighing myself again, but I’m not posting it here yet.  I’ve lost about 5 pounds, only 115 more (or so) to go!  😀

I gave up beer.. until I didn’t.  I have cut back substantially.

I interviewed for a new job today.  I left work early, and rode 11 miles to the new place, while wearing a suit and tie.  I wish I had a picture.  I think the job has promise.  It’s also 12 miles from home, so it’ll kick up the mileage for me.

There’s a cheap bar near there.  That could be good/bad, depending on point of view.

I hope to get this job.  The pay is acceptable.  The longer commute is more of a challenge, but could be good for me.  I intend to remain car-free, but with the ability to use Diane’s car/the bus/Lyft as necessary.

More later.

More Adventure

Tim and I had big plans for last weekend.  We were going to drive to Texas to ride with Pondero.  We were concerned about weather on the return trip, and stayed closer to home.

Saturday was Tim’s birthday, and we usually try to put a ride together.  This time, it was on Friday.

We re-visited Daniel Boone National Forest, where we spent some time back in July.

Going to a remote area, and having a flaky GPS is a bad thing, so I brought both my old GPS, and the new one, recently replaced.

Belt and suspenders
Belt and suspenders

We started at S-Tree campground this time.  Tim and Patrick had scoped it out a while back, but I’d never been there.  The ride start was at 1400 feet of elevation.  It was a pleasant run on a gravel road that followed the ridge for a while.

We followed a turn-off that lead to a cleared piece of land overlooking… well, everything.  I have no idea what the purpose of the clearing is.  Maybe someone will build there.

Clearing with a view
Clearing with a view
Tim at the edge of the world
Tim at the edge of the world
Pleasant
Pleasant

After a while we took a steep downhill, still on gravel down to our only paved road of the day, KY-89.  That was a couple of miles riding along the river, with some dogs chasing us along the way.  Traffic was extremely light.  There was a neat old wooden-decked bridge over Horse Lick Creek, a tributary of the Rockcastle River.

Neat bridge
Neat bridge

We eventually turned off near where Horse Lick Creek branches off from the Rockcastle River.  This was a pleasant ride for a while.  After enjoying a snack at a deserted intersection, we continued along.  Our GPS route had us crossing the creek at a location that just wasn’t feasible – and there was a “private property” sign on the other side of the creek.

We continued on “our side” of the creek for a while.  It remained mostly flat, but large mud pits became common.  I was reminded of the old videogame, Pitfall!.

After a while our road path dead-ended at a campsite along the creek.  It wasn’t feasible to cross the creek there, and moving away from the water meant a steep climb through the woods.

Not crossing here
Not crossing here

We considered taking crossing the creek anyway.  We took off our shoes and socks, intending to walk across.  It was too far.  The rocks were sharp.  The water was icy.  I bailed and put my footwear back on.

We turned around, and later hiked crawled up the hill.  Near the top was an interesting rock bridge and a cave.  Neat, but I was too tired to get closer.  We moved on.

Rock bridge
Rock bridge

After riding along the ridgetop for a while, there was a mostly-unrideable descent back to the creek.  This creek crossing was shallower, and looked rideable.

Tim made it successfully
Tim made it successfully
I did not
I did not

It takes more than wet feet to deter me, so we continued on.  In the flat spot by the creek, there was an open field with the makings for a bonfire.  We had brought coffee-making materials, but time was running short.  Sunset comes early this time of year, and we weren’t equipped with good lights.  We skipped the coffee, but I did change into some dry socks.  We also decided to cut the ride short, and head directly back to the car.

I mostly quit taking pictures at this point.  We were off track according to the GPS, and there was that pesky creek and it’s cold water between us and the magic purple line.  Tim and I had disagreements over the route, but it was his ride, and I followed.

In the end, even though I was technically right, his way worked fine.  He has a better sense of direction than I do.

We had a couple of miles of endless mud pits to cross.  I got a bit reckless due to my haste, and went over the bars.  I wasn’t hurt, but rattled.

The temperature had dropped.  My rear derailleur was iced up and wouldn’t shift at all.  Tim’s drivetrain had similar issues.

Eventually we joined up with Raccoon Creek Rd.  This began our climb back to the car.  I walked most of it.

Raccoon Creek Rd and the endless mudpits before were a low point for me.  I really wanted to give up cycling.  I wanted to stay home where it’s warm and dry.  However, I didn’t want to get rid of the Fargo as I had in some previous trips, so apparently the bike changes helped there.

Before I knew it, we were at the car.  The sun was slowly setting.  What was supposed to be a short ride took all day.  We stopped for pizza on the drive home.  It was a nice finish to the day.

Now, my bike is cleaned and lubed.  The sore muscles have returned to normal.  The clothing has been washed, dried, and put away.  Now what?  I want to do it again, of course.

Tim’s write up is here.

Download file: 2014-11-14.gpx