Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gone Fishing...

Weight: 221.2
Delta M: -2.4
Mileage: Zero, zip, zilch, nada
June Mileage: 312.4

No ride today, I spent the afternoon procuring various dry goods and sundries. As soon as I get my eight hours in Thursday I’m bolting for the door Fred Flinstone style, throwing Son#1 in the back of my mom’s Prius and the two of us are heading south for St. Louis to blow off some steam with Steve.

Steve hasn’t seen Son#1 since he was two, this is a trip that is long overdue. We’re doing an all day float trip down some river in MO, then camping over night. Both are firsts for Son#1. Saturday we have tentative plans to maybe go to a zoo or do some other sort of functional family horizon broadening type activity for the young’n, but I have a feeling we are just gonna hang out and play with all of Steve’s helicopters and RC cars. I think the kid and I might hit the Gateway to the West on our way out of town, I don't think I've been up there since I was his age. Steve ain’t so hot on hights, I think he's gonna go golfing or something.

There won’t be any bikes, and the diet is pretty much out the window. Although Steve and I are both trying to get our acts together health wise, I think we are taking the weekend off in that department. Every other word out of Steve has been “Smores.” The last thing he wrote was “The weather should hold till at least 11 Friday night, so that gives us pleanty of time for Smores.” If we don't get to make Smores for some reason, I think Steve will actually break down and cry. The young and easily impressionable will be amongst us, so no over indulging in adult beverages this time around. Besides, I made a big enough ass of myself for two or three visits last time I went down there. That was the closest to being hung over as I ever want to get.

Chas is understandably concerned. Son#1 is still her baby boy, and whenever Steve and I get together our maturity level drops exponentially. I’ve got the bar set really high for this trip, as long as the kid gets to smile and laugh a lot and I bring him home without sunburn or a broken bone I will call the trip a success. Stitches, depending number and location, will not be considered a disqualifying offense.

I'm not sure if I'll be posting again before I get back Sunday night.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Weight: 223.6
Delta M: -0.2
Mileage: 33.4 (Single Speed)
June Mileage: 312.4

Single speed, it’s good for your legs, but even better for your soul. That’s how bikers who read too many cycling magazines talk. They will probably throw in “Steel is real” for good measure. Apparently carbon fiber is a figment of the collective’s imagination. Anyway it roughly translates to “Ouch, I took the wrong bike out for today’s ride.” Single speeds are simple and fun and make it feel like your 12 years old again, but if you get stuck out in the wind with too tall of a gear what you thought was a bump last time you rode over it can turn into hill that seems to defy Euclidean geometry. You either have to pedal real hard, or fall down in front of people and look really stupid, which is good for us lazy Clydesdales, it keeps us honest.

I had set out on the single speed hoping to do at least 30 miles, but it took a while to warm up, and the wind seemed rougher than what the weather channel said it would. After the first 5 miles I was hurting enough to question knocking my goal down to 20. But eventually the wind seemed to die and the kinks worked themselves out and I was able to settle in. I paced it pretty good, I always felt I was just on the edge of pushing things and managed to hold that for about 2 hours. I was definitely hurting the last few miles; all I could think about was cold strawberries. Perfect.

Monday, June 23, 2008

This Is All I Got

Weight: 223.8
Delta M: -0.8
Mileage: 12.9 & 21.5 (Both Single Speed)
June Mileage: 279.6

My plans for big mileage this weekend kind of blew up in my face. I ended up sleeping in a little too late to get a ride in before Chas’s company picnic. They like her so much they invited her even though she quit a few weeks ago. They made her cupcakes and stuff on her last day. I’m pretty sure there will be a security escort out to my car my last day on the job. I have that effect on people. We were slated to do a big group ride Saturday night and Chas really wanted to go. It looked like there was going to be two groups, a faster group and a slower family style group. It turns out only 4 people showed up, Chas and I being 2 of them. This was Chas’s first ride in over a year, so we took it easy on her. We ended up doing an easy 13 miles through one of the richer suburbs of Chicago, not a bad gig, but not the calorie burner I needed.

Sunday I tried to get up early to get a ride in before things warmed up. I cracked an eye open around 6ish, decided I needed another 5 minutes, then promptly fell back asleep, till 11. I didn’t want to bring this up because I want this blog to be more about how much weight I am loosing and how much I love riding my bike(s) and less about how much phlegm my body can produce, but my bronchitis reared its ugly head again Wednesday. I think I just needed some sleep. Anyway, I mowed the lawn, and was contemplating a ride, but I was a little leery after the heat exhaustion incident, and the gurgling lungs, then the thunder and gusty wind kind of made my mind up for me.

I was gonna wuss out and justify a rest day with my cold, but the truth of the matter is it’s becoming all too clear to me that if I don’t ride when I am sick, I will never get to ride at all. Apparently I am going to be sick no matter what, so why be sick and fat? I’ll have to draw the line somewhere I suppose, but a little cough and a slight temperature will just have to be tolerated. Meanwhile I made an appointment with my doctor to see if another round of antibiotics is in order. Anyway, today was a shitty day on many levels, but I did get a ride in, and that wasn’t shitty at all.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Critterpuller Cometh

Weight: 224.6
Delta M: -0.2
Mileage: 0
June Mileage: 245.2

Inclement weather trapped me down in the basement tonight with my latest project bike, the Critterpuller*. It’s an old Schwinn Cimarron that I’m trying to get back into rideable condition to haul son #1 around on his trail ‘a’ bike, and later a trailer I got to haul son #2. There are a lot of factors to consider in a bike that’s primary purpose in life will be the logistical and tactical deployment of my spawn. Not just any bike will do. First of all, it’s gotta be cheap, second, it’s gotta have some sort of tubing that will allow me to bolt the trailer and half bike thing to. After that we can worry about structural integrity and operational brakes and all that boring crap my wife and mother will no doubt pester me with until the whole project implodes in some self fulfilled doomsday fantasy of theirs. Whatever, that’s what helmets are for.

Actually the bike is in pretty good condition. The guy who gave it to me said it was one of the last bikes Schwinn made in Chicago, his dad was a welder for them, and that’s how he got it. What isn’t serviceable I should be able to replace with some miscellaneous parts I’ve accumulated trying to maintain my old fixed gear. All I really need now is some new tubes, and maybe some wheels, which I think I got some somewhere, I just have to check some of the piles. I may need to replace some of the cabling and hopefully I can get it to shift OK, otherwise I’ll just single speed it.

It will look like the frankenbike from hell by the time I’m done with it, but son #1 and I will be grinning fools all the way up to the comic book store .

*About 20 minutes after my wife broke the news of Son#2’s imminent arrival last Fathers Day, I took to calling him Critter. Every time my wife so much as hiccoughed, me and Son#1 would be all “Are you OK, how is the Critter?” My mom was really proud. The name stuck. You should just see the beaming joy that radiates from her face every time we refer to her grandson as Critter.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Needs a Little Ketchup...

Weight: 224.8
Delta M: O
Mileage: 32(Road Bike)
June Mileage: 245.2

Just ask my friends Craig and Julie, I just love me some ketchup. The other day I was coming home from a 20 miler and smelled somebody else’s grill cooking up something that smelled gooooooood! Normally this gets me all bent out of shape, but I knew Chas was picking up some burgers and I would be doing some grilling of my own very soon. After a few minutes, it dawned on me that I was looking forward to the ketchup probably as much as I was the burger smothered in gooey melted cheese. It’s warped I understand, but what can I say, I like ketchup. I think it comes from being on a submarine. Once you got about 60 days into a 90+ day patrol around the north Pacific, everything tasted like stale nasty submarine food, except ketchup for some mysterious reason. The last week of a patrol, or “no mores” as we used to call it, I was putting it on everything just to choke some food down. Mashed potatoes, three bean salad, grilled cheese, you name it, if it crossed my lips it was smothered in ketchup. At one point on my last patrol I swore if we got extended I was gonna start putting it in my Coke or the occasional hot chocolate I used to have. Yeah, it was that bad. For the most part, I’m glad I got out of the navy when I did. I still occasionally miss some of the friends I made and the camaraderie and all that stuff, but I don’t have to miss ketchup, I find something to put it on at least twice a week.

So, I rode 14.7 miles on Sunday, another 4.2 on Monday, and 32 miles with the group today, which brings my grand total up to 245.2 for the month. The weight isn’t nearly so complicated. I haven’t lost a damn pound. In years. Ok, so maybe in a few weeks. I mean I’ve gained a few, lost a few and all that, but I’ve been hovering around 224 for a while now. It’s getting old. It has become my least favorite number. I ate like a pig today trying to replenish some of what I lost getting sick. I threw in a couple of kiwis, some extra servings of apricots, and a bowl of cantaloupe, as well as two small Gatorades, 1 just before and 1 just after the ride. Tomorrow the diet will not be as calorically dense. I’ve got one week of solid riding before me and kid number one head to St. Louis to do a river float with Steve. I’m curious to see how much weight I can lose with moderate diet control and a solid week of decent riding. If I can stay healthy more than 2 days in arrow, I think I should do OK.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm Probably Gonna Pay For This...

The Warden cracked the whip so hard Sunday, I damn near required hospitalization. She was kind enough to let me get a morning ride in, and then feed me before turning the screws, but after that, it was “The lawn needs to be mowed…the dog needs a bath” and so on. Need I remind you, Sunday was Father’s Day? Just a little clarification, my lawn is huge, under ideal conditions, it takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes to cut, but it hadn’t been cut in over 2 weeks because of travel and rain. I was out there pushing a little rinky dink, non-self propelled lawn mower for 2.5 hours. And it was hot. Further clarification, she says different, but she is lying, I did not make The Warden do dishes on Mother’s Day. She has this weird incurable virus that interferes with her perception of reality.

Anyway, the next thing you know it’s Monday morning, and I can’t eat my breakfast. Then I start feeling really weak, then nauseous, then my legs start cramping. I drank some Gatorade and started feeling mildly better, good enough to take the bike I had in the trunk of the car for a little spin. Large mistake. Huge mistake. It was the Mistake of Enormous Magnitude. I only rode 4.2 miles, but it did me in. About 20 minutes after I got back, my legs cramped, my stomach heaved, and all the Gatorade at the local Jewel couldn’t fix me. I managed to keep down some apricots and a PB& J (Food of the Gods!) but I was still weak and cramped.

After work I had to drive to my parent’s house and help them move furniture so they could have some carpet installed. I felt kind of useless; I sat on the couch while my mom moved all the small stuff out. I tried explaining to her that I probably only had one real effort in me, and was saving that for the couch. I was right. Immediately after I got the couch moved, I proceeded to lie down on the living room floor (the tile was oh so cold and refreshing) and groan in between asking for a bucket or bowel of some sort to puke in, and trying to convince my mom I did not need to go to the hospital. It was a difficult debate, complicated by the fact that after about an hour on the floor I was beginning to wonder if she was right. My fever hit 102, and according to the blood pressure machine my dad has, my blood pressure was 102/50. I just can’t stand the thought of paying some EMT at the local hospital 200 dollars to pump 2 liters of unsweetened sports drink into my arm. I need a new crank for the road bike.

After about an hour I was able to move to the couch, then about an hour after that I was able to sit up. A little while later I was able to eat some soup, then some more Gatorade, then some more soup, and a can of V8. I let that all gurgle for a while, then I went to bed. This morning I ate about a pound of my mom’s homemade beef jerky, and some Cherios, and another V8, real healthy I know, but the saltier it was the better it tasted, I couldn’t help myself.

I just got back from the doctor and the official diagnosis was heat exhaustion. He told me to stop taking the water pill he had prescribed for my high blood pressure, but that has been coming down steadily since April anyway.

There was no weigh in Sunday or Monday, I‘ll get that all caught up tomorrow. I gotta check my odometers and get my mileage up to date too.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Strawberry Pancake

Weight: 224.8
Delta M: +1
Mileage: 38.8(Road Bike)
June Mileage: 194.3

I’m not sure if it’s the sweat or the sun screen, but when I was done with this morning’s ride I looked like human fly paper.

So I did that Kirkland breakfast run, it was a pretty good ride. We had a decent crosswind/quartering head wind on the way there, but for the ride home it definitely shifted on us, and our route was a little hillier. This coupled with a belly full of food slowed us down significantly.

I’m getting to where I don’t mind hills so much, in fact I’m starting to enjoy them, at least when I’m by myself and don’t have to keep up with somebody. Wind just sucks though, or blows I suppose, depending on which side of that argument you sit on. It is not so bad when you can pick your route, than at least if you head into the wind for the first half of the ride you can look forward to seeing some good speed on the way back. On a long ride though, with a fixed destination, the wind just grinds on you.

I don’t know what the hell happened with my weight, I ate a little heavy Friday, but it was all pretty healthy stuff, I walked, and I rode. Who knows, just a fluke I suppose, I’m not too worried though, I’m still on track, and I’m getting a lot more miles in, so it’s gonna come off whether it wants to or not, the laws of physics are on my side on this one.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Just A Little Bit

Weight: 223.8
Delta M: 0.8
Mileage: 20 (Road Bike)
June Mileage: 155.2

Not much is going on, I took a rest day yesterday. I was still a little stiff today, even after my walk during lunch, so I had planned on just doing an easy 20 miles to loosen up, but then I ran into a few guys from the shop I use to ride with, for a few miles anyway, before they disappeared ahead of me, after dragging me out somewhere I had never been, and not giving me directions back. My dad use to play a game just like that with me when I was little.

They were heading to the same place I was so I decided to see how long I could hang on. They were all “Oh, you’ll be fine, we’ll hold back a little, I gotta race tomorrow...” I finally gave up at mile 3.5. So much for holding back, we were averaging about 21-22. I remember averaging about 19 last time I rode with these guys. Doesn’t sound like much, but it makes a difference to me. Either way it was quite the reality check. I will not make myself fast in 2 weeks, it will be a few months before I am even close to being back to the same level I was in 2006, and maybe close to a year of some pretty disciplined training before I can give these guys a run for their money, but man, it sure would be fun to ride into the shop lot with the pack after a good 30 mile scorcher.

Tomorrow’s ride will hopefully be a bit more subdued, 20 miles up to Kirkland, some breakfast, and 20 miles home.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm Spent

Weight: 224.4
Delta M: -3.2
Mileage: 27.7 (Road Bike)
June Mileage: 135.2

Wow, two days in a row with 3+ lbs weight loss; I’m either doing something really right, or really wrong, although I think that will taper to a more realistic rate in a day or so. Maybe even tonight. I kind of pigged out, it was healthy stuff, but I think I wolfed down about a pound of watermelon and grapes after dinner. My boss came out to my plant today and took me out for lunch, I kept it healthy, but that soup tasted pretty salty. I guess we’ll see how it pans out tomorrow morning.

I rode with a new group today, although I did have to push it they are no where near as hardcore as the group I use to ride with, I didn’t get dropped till about mile 20 or so, as compared to mile 11, or 5 even. I even pulled, 3 times! And they were long pulls too, and I didn’t even blow up. Joel would have been proud. If that keeps up he’ll have to find a new nick name for me. I was doing OK till we hit that hill on Keslinger. It’s not much of a hill, but then again it doesn’t take much to slow this Clydesdale down. When you’re as slow as I am it’s hard to pin point a specific weakness, except hills, it seems like I’m rolling down them backwards as everybody else is preparing to launch into low earth orbit. This group is pretty social, I think I’m gonna stick with them for a while, for now they mesh pretty good with my current fitness level.

I’ve averaged about 27 miles my past 3 rides. I am not sure if it was the effort of trying to keep up with group on top of yesterdays intervals, but I am fried. I’m still queasy again over an hour after I’ve been home. Tomorrow is a rest day. I’ll probably walk an easy 45 minutes or so during lunch to clear out the legs a little, but otherwise I’m relaxing. Twelve hours of sleep sounds better than a new mountain bike right now, well maybe thirteen hours.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Meet The Crew Part 4

Weight: 227.6
Delta M: -3.2
Mileage: 31.4 (Road Bike)
June Mileage: 107.5

I headed out this afternoon with the intent to get warmed up, do some intervals and try to knock out at least 30 miles, and I actually did it. Say it with me. JACKASS! I’ve been home for over an hour and my legs still burn, and I’m still suppressing the vomit. Joel had suggested I try something called pyramid intervals, something that involved graduated intervals of efforts then rest, peaking at some point, then working it backwards. It sounded pretty complicated, I always loose track doing regular simple power intervals. I’m pretty good at memorizing useless trivia, but I can’t count for shit. Laugh all you want, I’m not kidding. I took college algebra 4 or 5 times, I think. I don’t count the last one though, the teacher was really hot*, and she was from Cypress, and had this wicked hot accent. I can not be held responsible for not learning a damn thing under those conditions. Plus it was in the afternoon, prime hiking time for me and Kep.

As I’m coming up 23 from Waterman, about mile 22 of my ride, Aaron blows past me, scaring me so bad I almost lost control of my vomit suppression system, which was already operating at about 103% capacity. He offered a wheel, but there was no way in hell I could even try to catch him, let alone keep up with him once I caught him. I could barely hang on his wheel back when I was in shape, on fresh legs.

Aaron is somewhat of an enigma. I’d show you a picture, but the skinny bastard is always moving way too fast to catch on film. Not only does he spell his name really cool, but to quote Joel “Aaron always rides hard, always.” He is in a perpetual good mood. I saw him mad once, but I’m pretty sure he was faking it. He is always busy too, working weird hours, and the only thing I’ve heard him complain about was finding time to ride. But then every time I see him out, he is like 35 miles from home, and heading back, and you guessed, riding hard.

He’d occasionally come out with me and Joel, and that was always a treat. I’d be back trying to draft one of them, and they are doing one legged races in the granny gear. It was like riding with a pair of 5 year olds who just took off their training wheels. Especially Joel, you want to talk asses and elbows, watch a 6’3" man sprinting downhill for all he’s worth, with one leg unclipped, the other pedaling in his lowest gear.

One of my fitness goals is to be able to ride with Aaron next season. I didn’t get to know him quite as well as I did Joel, but I’m sure he’ll be fun to ride with once I can keep up. It won’t be easy, it will take some major off season conditioning and training, and about $2000.00 - $3000.00 to pay Vinny to pull a Tanya Harding on his ass and bust one of his kneecaps somewhere around October.

*But no where near as hot as Chas. If Chas could pick up a Cypress accent, I'd be totally set!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Conversational Skills

Weight: 230.8
Delta M: +4.8 ( You have no idea how hard it was to post that!)
Mileage: 24.1 (42x16 Single Speed)
June Mileage: 76.1

I just can't explain the weight gain. I mean I switched to vodka and cranberry juice. Vodka is derived from potatoes or some grain of some sort I'm sure, and cranberry juice is so good for you you damn near need a prescription to get it . I've read studies where it's been proven it's going to reverse global warming, resolve all those conflicts in Africa, and bring the cost of oil down to $38.00 a barrel, next Monday. I wonder if the chicken Alfredo had something to do with it? Or perhaps the mostacolli, maybe even the biscuits and gravy? Possibly even last nights gyro and chocolate shake? So many variables, it's a mystery to modern science I tell you. They'll come up with that universal Unification thingy before they solve this riddle. I should travel with a self packed feed bag, and never allow myself to eat anything I don't pull out of the feed bag.

Aside from getting back on track with the diet, I've made some minor changes. I'm replacing some of the fruit I usually gorge on for breakfast with some oatmeal and cottage cheese. Sounds delicious I know, but everybody could use a little more cholesterol absorbing fiber in their diet, and the cottage cheese is a good source of lean protein. My coworkers were complaining about me grilling those chickens at my cubicle. The whole smoke alarm sprinkler system thing proved to be a tad too disruptive. Whatever.

I had a nice ride this afternoon. This morning I had every intention of doing some intervals after work, but my legs were still a little stiff from Fridays ride, so based on some advice I opted to change my ride to an easy, long spin. I broke out my cross bike, currently set up with a 42x16 ratio on the freewheel side of the hub. But then as I passed the bike shop I ran into a friend who was waiting on a group ride that nobody else showed up for. She had already run 10 miles that morning, and she was on her new Orbea, so I figured we'd probably pace each other well. We rolled out for Waterman, and we were both a little shocked on how fast RT 30 came up on us. Normally that ride is a torture test to ride by yourself, especially if you are just out for an easy spin. It's not hilly or anything, just boring, and monotonous. Around here if the wind is out of the south, here, you ride to Waterman. Unfortunately in the summer, the wind is always out of the south. It was nice having somebody to talk to. The ride back wasn't as easy as the ride there. You can't take advantage of a tailwind on a single speed like you can on a geared bike. It definitely helps a little, but before too long you end up spinning out. Towards the end maintaining about 15 mph and a conversation became somewhat of an effort, but it was too nice to have somebody to talk to to let up.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

We laughed, we cried, we fell of our bikes like jackasses

Well, we survived our sojourn to north central Indiana. Let me just say, I would have enjoyed my lap dance a lot more if it wasn’t Chas’s uncle who was doing the dancing. At least he didn’t try to slip me the tongue. Oh well, his youngest daughter had just gotten married, at least he had an excuse, me I just drank myself stupid for no apparent reason. As predicted I got to ride, I ate too much, and I drank (way) to much. I'm pretty sure my liver gained a pound or two.

The adventure started early. We hit some pretty heavy rain around La Port. Chas was driving, because I’m lazy and I hate driving, especially that stretch between Chicago and South Bend. I think it has been under construction for like 15 years now. So anyway, the rain got bad, and then the wind picked up, and Chas switched over the CD we had been listening to and tuned in a local radio station, just in time to hear the tornado warning being broadcast, describing a tornado moving through the very are we were driving through. I turned the page of my magazine. Chas white knuckled the steering wheel, and then aged about 7 years. We eventually punched through the storm with out seeing any cool flying cows or anything. We spent the rest of the drive skirting the edge of a pretty hefty storm system. Once we got into town we stopped at the local Walmart to pick up a few last minute things, then headed over to her uncles pad in Lagrange. About 20 minutes after we left Walmart they had a “Code Black.” A funnel cloud was spotted and they had to lock everybody in the store till things cleared up a little.

So we get the car unloaded and I can’t see any lightening and can barely hear any thunder, so I hop on my bike and head south into a 30 mph headwind. The first thing I notice, Lagrange has hills! I mean I’m sure they’re nothing compared to the mountains some of you all get to play on, but where I normally ride, the biggest hill is the Peace Road overpass that lifts you over the local train tracks. I wasn’t 2 miles form basecamp, and I was in my granny gear! It was kind of brutal at first, heading uphill, in a pretty strong head wind, but after I got warmed up and got the new shifting pattern down I started enjoying the ride a little more and soaking up the local scenery. There were all kinds of old mills and farm buildings and ancient looking brick school houses and stuff. Oh, and Amish farms. I came across a couple of Amish buggies waiting for me at intersections. I always heard that the Amish could be a little standoffish to us “English” but I got more waves and smiles from them than I did from the numerous mulleted pick’em’up truck locals I came across. About 13 miles out I hit some hodunk town called Rome City. They had built a huge reservoir in the 1800’s and I rode up to the damn and stopped to catch my breath and take a look around. From the top of the hill I could see the storm front to the south, even uglier than the one we drove through on our way out here, and decided I best turn around.

With the storm booming behind me, and giving a pretty good push, and a predominantly down hill ride back to LaGrange, I had a blast. I raced a couple of Amish buggies. The hills don’t slow them down as much as you might think. About halfway back the storm caught me, and things got a little squirrelly. It got so dark I was worried about being seen buy car traffic, and the closer the storm got, the stronger the winds got, and its direction began to shift unpredictably. One gust caught me off guard, from the side, and literally shoved me off the road. I was lucky it wasn’t from the other direction or I would have been blown to the center of the road.
As I got into town the storm let up a little, and the wind started blowing steady from the south again. I timed it right and hit every light going through town, heading north downhill. Shooting north out of town, the sun came out, but the rain held up, I was rounding a curve, passing cars at 35 mph and shaking the rain from my eyes. It was beautiful.

By the time I got to my turn off the highway, my legs were blown, and I mean BLOWN. It was awesome, I was wobbly and shaky, I could barely turn my cranks. Less than half a mile from where we were staying I had to make a sharp turn. With the wind and shaky legs, I wobbled and didn’t cut it off sharp enough, and my front tire washed out in the sandy soft shoulder and down I went. No permanent damage to bike or flesh, I had to laugh at the irony it, staying up right while 40+ mph crosswind blew me off the road doing close to 30mph, and dumping it going around a corner at less than 15 mph. Despite the jack ass ridden denouement, that was one of the best rides I have been on in a long time.

I haven't stepped on the scale since we got back, but I'm sure it isn't pretty. I'm looking forward to that Monday morning. I ate like a pig all weekend and drank way too much Saturday night. I plan on dropping some serious poundage the rest of the month though, I've got some changes planned in the diet area, and will buckling down for some serious training. I've had fun dicking around the past few weeks, but it's well past time to get serious.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Gone fishing...

Weight: 226.0
Delta M: 0
Mileage: Big ol’ goose egg
June Mileage: 25.2

No riding tonight like I originally planned, one of Chas’s cousins is getting married, so we are off to Michigan for the festivities. I spent the afternoon getting the oil changed and shopping for wedding presents.

Chas’s family is two or three blogs all by themselves. I would go into more detail and you all would get more than a few laughs, but I know they check this blog out on occasion, to see pictures of us and the kids, and I think at least one or two of them can read.

Actually, Chas’s family is great. They’ve treated me like one of their own since day one, back when we were in high school, and if you can catch Dan, David, & Dennis in the same room, well you can’t put a price on that kind of entertainment. It will be a good weekend, I will eat more than I should, and laugh till I’m sore, and I may even partake of some adult beverages, and set my liver back another month or two.

I picked up some new tires and some chain lube, and the weather looks promising so far, so I should get some good miles in too. I'm not sure if I'll be able to post while we're gone, so this might be it until Monday.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Weight: 226.0
Delta M: -1
Mileage: 14.8 (Road Bike)
June Mileage: 25.2

No huge fitness milestones today, I just got out and rode a bit. I stopped at the shop to see if they could figure out why my bike won’t shift into the outer ring ever since they replaced what we initially thought was a bent chain ring. Turns out my crank arm spider thingy watchimahoozit is bent. They did get it working again, kind of, but I think its temporary and the only way I’ll get it back to full working order will be to replace the watchimahoozit. I’m sure that ain’t cheap. I ended up blowing most of my ride time there at the shop, once finally on the road I realized my time was limited due to the setting sun and the lack of lights on my road bike, so I decided to shorten the mileage and bump up the intensity.

I should have been doing intervals or some crap like that, but I was just happy to be outside, on a bike, and healthy enough to push it a little. The weather was perfect, a slight south wind, just hot enough to be a little muggy, and the setting sun was taking occasional peaks through some light rain clouds just starting to bloom into thunder heads. Sounds goofy, but crap like this is why I love to ride so much. I got out to mile 8 and hit my turn around point. This is my favorite part of every out and back. As I start to hit about 12 mph or so, the ride shifts a little past recreational. The wind picks up in my ears, and I start to get the mild impression of speed. Right about 15 mph, I start to breathe a little heavier. Between 18 mph and 20mph all there is for me is wind loud in my ears and me breathing starting to come real hard. Then I turn around, I slow down and the wind is gone and I hear the birds, tons of birds in the cornfields, and I feel my skin temperature surge, then notice the crosswind as I cross perpendicular to the double yellow line. It's not the drag from effort, just a breeze, but I notice it anyway, that and the distant rumble of thunder to the south. So simple, but good times, the best times actually.

Tomorrow is supposed to be hot, like really hot, and muggy. That’s some good training weather there. Tomorrow’s ride will be painful.

In other news, I am no longer a “kept”man, the Wife’s last day of work was today. She’s staying home to raise our brood full time. We got a system now. I snap my fingers once, she brings me food, I snap them twice, she cleans something, I snap them 3 times and she…well, let’s just say you won’t be reading about any of that over on her mommy blog.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Meet the Crew Part 3

Weight: 227
Delta M: -1.6
Mileage: 0
June Mileage: 10.4

The doctor says I have bronchitis. I asked about riding and he said sure, go ahead, once you can stop sweating while you're sitting still. So tomorrow when I get home from work I’m gonna strip naked, crank up the AC and lay down in front of a fan. I pretty much blew the rideable portion of the afternoon in the waiting room, and we have thunderstorms rolling in now, so there is no ride report to speak of, all you get today is another installment of meet the crew.

This is Joel. Yeah, I know, I didn’t recognize him either. If the picture was of the rear tire of his road bike, I would be able to pick it out from 500 yards, but otherwise I don’t get to see him in his biking clothes too often, well, at least not from that angle. I actually don’t get to see him much any more period, he moved back to Minnesota this past winter. He is about the baddest biker I know. He once left a full body print, snow angel style, in my front yard. He misjudged a snowbank and face planted in about 2 feet of snow, it was like 12 degrees outside. Crazy bastard. He'll be the first to tell you there were some other riders around here that could give him a run for his money, but I'm fairly certain given a level playing field as far as training and seasonal peaks and all that go, Joel could pretty much annihilate most of the locals out here. And plus, look at that picture, you see that tricep? How often do you see that on a biker? He doesn't have to ask his girlfriend to open the mayonnaise jar for him, upper body strength is a rare trait in the peloton. I'm pretty sure his bones aren't hollow either.

I met Joel on a local “slow” shop ride in the spring of 2006. I guess he lost a bet or something and had to take us slow fatties out and make sure we all didn’t get lost or hurt or something. We got to talking and the next thing you know, I’m shopping for a road bike. Up until that point, I had been riding around an old mountain bike my mom had bought me back when I was 15 that I had converted to a fixed gear.

Once I found my road bike Joel conned me into trying to keep up with the “fast” group ride coming out of the shop on Wednesdays. It was a losing battle, I think I finished in sight of the pack once that whole season, but Joel would talk me into going again, and again, and again. I guess I was pretty entertaining to have around. Joel seemed to get a certain satisfaction in telling me how everybody laughed at the way I pulled; accelerating, then blowing up, then getting spit off the back of the pack never to see them again…

Anyway, he also started inviting me on Saturday morning rides, and weekday rides. Sometimes other guys from the shop would join us on Saturday mornings, but on the weekdays it was usually just me and him.

An engineer by trade and training, Joel missed his calling. He should be a personal trainer. He has this weird way of keeping you on track, just when you start thinking you could slack a little, he’d knock you down a few notches. One time he was pulling us home from what I thought was particularly brutal ride and he happened to look at our shadow and caught me coasting in his draft. Not only did he not let me draft the rest of the way home, but he picked on me till I threw a tantrum. OK, well maybe not that much, but he did pick on me. In fact the only reason he let me catch him on the way back was because we passed this big sweaty hairy ape of a troll riding his old banged up 10 speed, shirtless. Joel wanted to makes sure it wasn’t my boyfriend. He’s nice like that.

Basically, he’d push me till I blew up, then make fun of me for being weak until I cried. Then he would slow down and apologize for making me cry, but I could tell he didn’t really mean it. Come to think of it, him and Steve would get along great, they’d laugh themselves silly at my expense I am sure.. He’s really not near as mean as I make out to be, he made up for it by keeping me skinny, and fixing my bike for me, or making sure I didn’t jack it up too bad trying to fix it myself. Tobie just dubbed him “The Instigator” on a whim, I'm sure of it.

Mental note- keep Joel in Minnesota, and Steve in St. Louis, never shall they meet.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I'm back! Kind of, well sort of, maybe

In the ideal world, every time you throw your leg over the top tube, you should be heading out for a good time. Sometimes though, when you’re sick, and it’s kind of muggy out, and your liver is obese, a ride is only a way to keep you from being as fat as you were the day before. Today was one of those days. I thought I was getting better, but by mid afternoon I was feeling worse and worse. So bad in fact, that I finally caved to the Warden’s wishes and made a doctors appointment. But I figured if I was healthy enough to mow my lawn yesterday, I was healthy enough to ride today. The weather is suppose to be crappy the rest of the week, and I figured this was probably my last chance to get an outdoor ride in before the monsoons started again or the doctor told me I can’t ride until they can find a viable organ donor and swap out my lungs.

It wasn’t a long ride, or a fast ride, but it was a ride and as long as I kept my heart rate under 160 BPM my body didn’t try to eject my lungs from my chest cavity in a violent, mucus saturated fit.

I’ve decided to start posting my weight and mileage kind of like a cross between what Elden and Jill Homer do. Don’t be expecting their kind of numbers though, especially the kind of mileage Jill puts out. I mean sure it would be nice to just hop on a bike and ride all day with out a care in the world but some of us live in the real world, and in the real world we are approaching middle age and gaining weight by the minute. We completely lack the drive, discipline or determination it takes to get to that level, and are actually bitterly jealous of those who can, so we take mad stabs at their accomplishments when they aren’t looking and can’t defend themselves. Bike the Ididarod? Pffffftttt. Whatever! Who has the time, my kid wants to go see Speedracer?!?!?!

For the record I weighed in at 262.2 burritos on April 7th, when I started this weight loss thing again. I'll probably start new posts with this stuff from here on out. So anyway, here it is:

Weight: 228.6
Delta M: 0
Mileage: 10.4 (42x16 Single Speed)
June Mileage: 10.4