WOW! 301 mi!!! Considering my goal was 500 for the entire YEAR!
Just going to be a short post for today. I am very proud of what I have ridden this month. I feel like I am finally getting to the point where I can call my self a cyclist. I grab my bike over my car any time I get the chance. I have done 7 hours in the saddle, and still rode the next day. I LOVE IT!
The Platteville human powered trail group built a new Mt bike trail here in town. I went to the ribbon cutting with my dad, and tried it out. Unfortunately, Katrina was not a fan of it with her skinnier wheels/slicker tread. I was sliding all over the place, and was very lucky that the group had brought some loaner bikes to use! I never knew mountain biking would be so fun! It was an uber easy course, but gave me a small taste. I think I could get into it, even riding downhill was a work out.
After we did the trail, we went and took the other trail out to Menards, it was a great time. I can’t remember the last time we were able to “sit” down and talk like that. No computers, no cell phones, no toddler, just some time with my dad! No matter how old you get, you never get to old for some one on one time.
After we were done and he went home, I decided to put in a few more miles. I rode out to the M before returning home. It was a great ride, a slight breeze, and the weather was really perfect. Still struggle a bit with that last climb, but nothing like I use to. Riding home was quick, and all said I put about 16 miles in for the day.
I plan to post my monthly numbers tomorrow night, like I said I am very proud of it!
Remember, only YOU can change your life.
Keep on Rolling,
I decided that I wanted to challenge myself, and challenge myself I did! Yesterday I road out to Dodgeville, WI, and it took me on an adventure! No matter which way you try and go there was no escaping the hills(as I learned).
The route started out simple enough, it took the direct way to the “M”, I remember thinking to myself “no problem I got this”. I soon found myself saying “what the hell have I got myself into”, as the hills began. One of the most relaxing/scenic part of my trip was as I rode around the “M”, there was something magical. As Katrina effortless glided along, the cool Autumn style weather hit my warm face. The view was wonderful, and I found my self wishing this part would last the entire trip. Soon though, I arrived at my first turn, and the first of my real challenges. I want you to picture the letter ‘V” bold and capital. Now you have an idea of the terrain I was facing, well not true. Imagine the V with the downside shorter than the upside. As I crested the first hill on this road, I realized that it was NOT the top. Thus began the many hours of what I like to call Roller Coasters. VVVVVVVVV is a good way to describe it.
I eventually hit a rhythm, and found my stride so to speak. I often found myself wishing for a lower gear, and I would curse as I realized it was as low as it would go. As I rode along, I noticed that many of the roads had no signs! What the hell?? I began wondering if I missed my turn, and if I did I wasn’t sure I would want to back track. The only glimmer of hope was when I saw a sheriff’s officer ahead of me. I wave him down, and ask for directions. Turns out he was as lost as I was, but he had a map at least which was helpful. I realized that if I wanted I could take a turn earlier than I needed to, which would get me off these back roads quicker. I was glad to see the hwy up ahead, and sent out a little prayer for simply not dying on the before mentioned hills.
The highway was heaven on G/d’s green earth. Yes there was still hills(this is the driftless region after all) but the hills were gentle, the road smooth, and I had a 3 foot shoulder to ride on. I made much better time on the hwy, going from about 7-8 mph to 12-15mph. I arrived in Dodgeville, WI and decided it was lunch time. Enjoying my lunch immensely, I quickly finished it and after a quick check-in home decided it was time to go. As I was leaving a man walked up to me, asking if I was ok? I let him know that I was ok, and we soon had a conversation about cycling. Turns out he was a cyclist and tourer as well(though I suppose I am not technically a tourer yet). I showed him my panniers (insert link) and let him know how to find me on the bikeforums.com before I left.
Hitting the pavement it was time to head home. I soon found out something interesting about the highway, rumble strips! It felt like I was in one of those paint shakers at the store! I thought Katrina was going to fall apart right there! Luckily I was easily able to avoid them for the rest of the trip, but I would recommend watching out for them. I decided that it might be a better idea to avoid those back roads on my return trip, and would stick to the highways. Things were going smoothly except for one little part, I felt like I was going to Bonk! Bonking is when you are suddenly drained of all your energy, leaving you unable to continue on. I decided to pull over to a gas station in Cobb, WI and get some Gator-aid with a snack. I mixed the gator-aid with my water about 50/50 and ate a frosted honey bun(which I would later find out was 17 points). While taking this break a strong wind came, and knocked Katrina to the ground. As I rush over to check on her, I noticed that she fell on her drive train side. I was very please to see that my pannier had broken the fall, which I am happy to report did not break the pannier either. Picking her up, I realize that I can’t turn the handle bars back. They were catching on something that I could not figure out. So I did the COS(call of shame) to Mrs. BBB, I told her I most likely would need her to come pick me up, but I wanted to check out one more thing first. After hanging up, I take one final look at Katrina, and discover the issue. The mirror was catching on the seat. I felt like an idiot, but was glad to see that I would be able to countine. After a quick call home to belay the order of pickup, I hit the road again.
Things went very uneventful all the way to Montfort, WI accept I was getting a lot of pain in my legs. Part of this is because I really need a new seat, and the other part was that I had done a lot of riding. I stop and take another break, taking some Aleive(which worked amazing). I contemplated calling home and asking for a ride, but soon shrugged that off. I made the turn to the next highway, and gasped in horror. If the first highway was Heaven on earth, than this was hell on a bad day. The shoulder shrunk, the road got curvy, both horizontally and vertically! I hit the next town, Livingston, WI and had to take another break. I was beginning to feel the effects of about 6 hours on the road. I was drained, I was exhausted, and I was defeated. I saw that my wife had texted me, and I wrote her back that I was exhausted. She asks if I had been drinking water and if I needed a lift. I sat there looking at the screen, “did I want a ride home” I said out loud. Do I? Am I done? I knew that up ahead was some of the worst hills of this trip. Would it be shameful to get a ride from my wife? No it wouldn’t be shameful, but was I done? NO, I was NOT done, I WILL NOT QUIT. I mustered my strength and told her “yes to the water and no to the ride because I am to stubborn.” She was worried, but I knew I had this.
“what is going on?” I said out loud, my legs becoming a blur beneath me. I was climbing a BBBEH(big bad biker eating hill) and suddenly all the tension disappeared from the pedals. I realized my chain had slipped off the bottom ring. Now, I was wearing my bike shoes which clip in and I panicked. However, I did have enough sense to kick my feet out of the death trap of my great steed. I did not fall over and was very proud of that fact. The downside to this though was that I a was half way up this hill and stopped. I have 2 choices, walk or ride. Walking would be the easiest, but if you have read this blog at all you will know I don’t typically take the easy way out. I hopped up on Katrina clipping in with one fluid motion. I push, I push hard! Soon I was rolling again and found myself at the point I was fearing this entire ride home, Arthur, WI!
It was a sharp downhill into Arthur, I found myself needing to hit the breaks much to my saddens. Sadness because I knew what was up ahead. A BBBEH, not one though multiple. It seemed to never end, and I found myself praying out loud “G/D PLEASE MAKE THIS END”. I regret to report my prayer was not answered with a yes. I am happy to report though that I did not stop nor walk up these hills. As things often due on these type of adventures, the hills finally ended. Well not ended but at least became spaced out a bit more. The rest of the trip went by quickly and I soon found myself pulling into the “stable”. I came, I saw, I conquered! Round trip it was about 65 miles, and I feel I earned every single one of those miles.
I thought that today I would be to sore to move, and am happy to report that I was able to get 5.5 miles in today. I am now positive I will survive this bike tour next year.
I am also happy to share a link to our newest podcast at Fitastic Podcasts
Keep on Rolling,
Big Boned Biker
Hey howdy hey!
Since my last update, things have been going great bike wise! Have picked up a 137 miles since, and have done a couple of trips out to hazel green WI. Katrina has been running great, and been trying out some new lube as well for her. It is called Rock N’ Roll Gold, and what I like about it so far is that it also cleans as it lubes, which should extend my chain life. Rock-N-Roll Gold Chain Lube, 4oz If you decide to purchase it please use this link, as it will help fund my bike tour!
Lets talk about safety, because the other day I was almost killed. I was coming back from one of my Hazel Green ride, and needed to turn around to grab something. It was a highway stretch and I easily was able to get into the other lane and back track. I need to make a left hand turn, so I signal for about 10 seconds before hand. No cars from the other lane, and two behind me, so I make my turn. WOOSH! The white car from behind me comes within an inch of side swiping me! The “friendly driver” had decided to pass me on the left….as I made a left hand turn. I heard him speed up as soon as the incident happened, most likely so I would not get his plates. UGH! After the instance of my bike light being run over on purpose, it really makes me start to hate some drivers. You realize just how easy it is to get hurt/killed by someones stupid mistakes. In a car you have 2 tons of vehicle to take some of the blow, but on a bike there is nothing except your bones(no matter how big those bones may be).
So, what can we do for safety on our bikes? Well lets go through some ideas, and maybe you will even come up with some more! Lets start off with bike lights/blinkers, important for daytime as well as nighttime use. I have been told that by using a rear blinking light it makes you 10x more visible to drivers, since we are attracted to movement of the lights. I have even seen some folks wear one on their helmets like this Nite Ize Helmet Marker Plus, Red. Also, it is a good idea to use a front blinking light, just like a cars daytime running lights, it increases visibility. I do not think you can be to visible to others on the road!
Clothing, not just to keep you from charges of public nudity! We won’t get into types of clothing to wear, but as common sense would tell you bright colors are always a better option. I have even been tempted to pick up a reflective vest like construction workers wear. Would I look goofy? Yup! Do I care? Nope! I would rather look goofy be alive than fashionable at my funeral. Though, I was wearing a giant 5xl yellow jersey and that other car still decided to be stupid. I wish you could fix stupid…
Do you wear a helmet? WHY NOT?!? Single most important item you carry on your bike is your helmet. You can live without an arm or leg, but trying going to work with out your brain..though some places I have worked that might get you a promotion. I know some folks don’t like to wear them because of looks, but there are many options available. I just found these the other day, and if my current helmet needs replacing, will most likely be what I get Nutcase Air Mail Matte Bike Helmet, Small/Medium(in my size of course). The brand is called NutCase and seems like they had me in mind when they named it. Remember though, that helmets are one time use, if you fall or get hit and the foam is compressed you need to replace it
One final safety advice….use your head! Nobody will care more about your safety than you will. Most folks get in the most trouble when they get to cocky and start doing stupid things like weaving through traffic. I take the same attitude that I do when I drive a car, I assume that every other car is being driven by an idiot, that way when they do something silly I will be expecting it.
My new panniers by the way get a big A+! Rode in my first rainstorm ever yesterday, and my stuff stayed dried. However, I found out that my bar ends, and even my grips get REALLY slick in the rain. I think I will need to wrap my bar ends with some cork tape to give it a bit more grip.
I am still working on saving up money for my bicycle tour with a fellow stay at home dad. If you would like to donate please visit http://www.GoFundMe.com/BigBonedBiker every dollar helps greatly. Anything raised above cost will be donated to the local food pantry, to help those in need.
Keep on rolling!
Big Boned Biker
Hey howdy hey!
So I have been working on a fun project I want to share with you all! ANYONE can do this!
Kitty Litter Pannier
4 “tarp hooks” (I bought mine for about $1.50 each)
8 bolts(1/4” worked well for the hooks I picked, I wanted mine to be able to tighten VIA Allen wrenches but that is a personal choice)
16 washers(sized to the bolts)
8 nylar nuts(sized to the bolts)
2 Plastic kitty litter containers(with lids if you want them to be water proof).
Step one: Buy a cat….wait hmm, perhaps you can just find someone who already has a cat and ask for the bins? If nothing else, you can purchase the buckets and donate the kitty litter to your local animal shelter!
Ok back to the project!
Step 1:Take your tarp hooks and mark the buckets where you want them to sit. Make sure to leave a little wiggle room.
Step 2: Cut out the slots for the hooks to attach, I used some snips with a sharp knife to score the edges. I then simply used some pliers to break the tabs off.
Step 3: Careful to keep them straight/level mark the holes for the bolts.
Step 4: Drill out the holes with the appropriate sized bit for your bolts. I used a drill with a brady point attached to make sure I was centered.
Step5: Placing a washer on each side install the tarp hook with the bolts.
Step 6: Repeat
Step 7: Hang on bike
I added a bungee cord around the middle to hold it down tight while I ride.
If you have any questions just let me know!
I can’t wait to take mine out for some real world tests, should be a lot of fun!
So now lets pick a color….
Sorry for the delay in the update but have been busy with life.
My brother was in town visiting, and we had a great time going for a bike ride. I really give him props as he is from Florida, the land where flat was born. He still did his best on our hills out here, and ended up with about 13 miles! Also considering he does not ride regularly it is even more an accomplishment!
So lets look back on how I mentioned those shoes fit….they still fit but I have not been wearing them for awhile. Why? They caused me to have 2 falls on the same day! I was at stop signs and my feet simply would not come loose from the pedals. Imagine for yourself, a rather large man sitting on a bicycle, flapping his arms like wings. He hopes to fly as he, in slow motion, falls towards the ground. His pride lays broken on the ground as he examines his bike to make sure it is ok. Fast forward to about 10 minuets later and repeat. I was very lucky with no major injuries to Katrina nor myself. I was worried as I fell once on each side, and I didn’t want to damage the rear derailleur.
So the voters have spoken and my new goal for next year will be 1200 miles, or 100 miles per month. I am excited to meet that goal next year, and have full faith I will! I know to most cyclist 500 miles does not seem like much, but it still blows my mind. I think even more so because all of last year I think I did about 60ish. Feels like I can do anything, like I am superman, well anything but fly as I fall to the ground on my bike.
So how was today? Ok, went to da big city and got measured for a new bike seat. Seems my butt has shrunk along with the rest of me. I can now use a more “normal” size saddle with a 165 measurement, which makes me happy as the saddle I really want will work! It will be awhile till I have the $$ to buy a new one though. Went and bought some baby clothes, my wife had a fun time with that I think. For lunch I did subway, and I have to thank my anchor and my rock, my wife. I really wanted to just get a foot long sub, but she convinced me that I would be happy with a 6”. She(as most times) was right, and the 6” was just perfect. Dinner on the other hand was not such a success. We went to my favorite restaurant in that town, Longhorn Steakhouse. I wanted to get a nice ribeye, but ended up going with a 8oz sirloin. I skipped the bread and had a salad with a baked potato for my sides. Great choices, and well within my points, in fact I had an extra 16! I decided to get a dessert and this is where the meal went south. I wanted some chocolate, and the “Stampede” looked like just the ticket. I knew it would be a lot of points, but could not find it on the weight watchers app. I found something I thought was similar and tracked it. When the beast arrived I was shocked at the size of it! Two HUGE pieces of this moose and chocolate type of cake, and 2 large scoops of ice cream. Sadly, before I could stop myself I ate half of it. I was in a daze, and had a bit of a “black out”. When I got home I decided to google the nutrtion information, and here is what I found:
calories fat s. fat sodium Carbs
|Chocolate Stampede (Serves 2)||2180||131||73||760||229|
Came out to 59 points!!!!!! WTF!! So for my entire day I ended up using 74 points for the day, I am given only 59.
Not to long ago, with a day like this I would be wanting to give up. Why continue since I apparently have not changed my eating habits? I am just going to gain all the weight back, as this is proof. Now however, I can look at this for what it is, ONE bad day. Tomorrow is a bright and new! Katrina will be waiting for me, and we will try to have a great adventure!
So remember, every meal is a new meal, every day a new day, and no matter how bad it was we get to restart at any time!
Keep on rolling!
Big Boned Biker