Burn baby burn….had a great workout tonight, though I wish I knew how far/fast I was going. I have a bike computer on my bike but it runs off the front wheel sadly. Today was pretty good, went and visited a friends church, lazed around the house, just a nice chill-axing Sunday. We had dinner planned out, baked bbq pork chops, mashed potatoes, fresh broccoli(for steaming). When I went to cook it though is when it all flew down hill. The pork chops were thicker than I had thought they were, so they did cook right. This lead us to order out for dinner…and the tracker will tell the rest of the story.
I wasn’t going to post this, I realized how easy it would be for me to fake it, none of you would ever know! I honestly feel ashamed to post this, which despite how it may seem, isn’t want this is about. I am not looking for sympathy, I am looking for change in myself. Right now, this moment, will stay etched in my mind. I don’t like this feeling, the food wasn’t that good, it wasn’t amazing, it is NOT worth feeling this shame, regret, and tummy ache(can you tell I have kids?).
This last week sucked, it just plain sucked! Actually, the last two weeks suck, because of traveling back to Platteville I ended up going negative on my points each week. We also didn’t get to weigh in the one week, and so when weigh in came on this past Saturday it was welcomed. What made these past weeks all the worse was the weather, cold, rainy, and just plain yucky. Despite my manly persona, sometimes I can be rather wimpy. The truth is I let it be an easy excuse not to go out riding, and those week showed it. I have been grumpy, depressed, hungry, and rather snappy at those near me. So to everyone who had to deal with me I apologize, it wasn’t you, it really was me. I find myself needing to vent about this so, since this is my blog I will do as such.
I ate and ate and ate and ate and ate..I DID track, but that is me only half-assing it. I found myself hungry even though i had already ate a decent sized meal. Nothing could sedate my hunger some days, leaving me feeling worse and worse. I tried hard to not feel guilty about my choices, but after 2 slices of pizza, a waffle cone, bag of popcorn, and some Chinese food(all in one meal) it is difficult thing to do. I know what was causing the hunger and right now i don’t wish to share publicly. I know some of you are thinking “but you share so much!”, but sometimes even I want to keep somethings to myself.
I walked up to the scale on 05/03/2014 with a weird mix of feelings, knowing what my fate was gave me a sense of relaxation. I accepted what was coming, the gain that would be showing on the scale. I needed this, oh lord did I need this! Just like getting baptized, I felt that this weigh in would wash my last two weeks away. I would feel “redeemed” so to speak, and free to move on! I also felt a feeling of dread, I was about to have my sentence passed down from the “judge”. As the scale sent me it’s metallic stare, it seemed to scan me for a sign of remorse for my deeds, for that second piece of pizza or that waffle cone. It knew, it knew all my dirty little eating secrets! How can you feel judged and set free at the same time? I have no clue, but that is how I felt.
“So how was your week?”, ahh yes the standard question from the lady behind the scale. How was my week? I could lie, but why? I weighed myself at home before I left and a 3 pound gain can be hard to hide. I could laugh it off, hahaha I ate a horse! Did you hear about those sheep that went missing? It really does take three little piggies to make a piggy pie! I don’t know what good that will do though, if anything it makes it seems like I simply don’t care anymore. Do I care anymore? There was a day that I hit my “limit” and was done with the it all. I told my wife, I am through with it all, screw this all! Yet, I knew I couldn’t quit, and I didn’t want it to seem like I did. So, I could be honest? Hey, I ate like a pig and didn’t practice what I preach. You know those anchors? I cut the line and let them sink! I am nothing but a fat fat fatty hypocrite, a fruad and a flim flam. Maybe I should just not say anything, step on the scale and, face it with a cold glare.
Which am I? The lier, the joker, the truth-teller, the brick wall? That moment seemed to last a lifetime, I knew what I was going to do and didn’t like it one bit. I looked her in the eye and said “it was a bad week, I went negative on my points and made poor choices”. Did I feel like the liar, hypocrite, and a fraud? Yup! I didn’t let that stop me though, because I know that those aren’t true. I am simply a human being who has ups and downs. Much to my surprise(ok not really) she didn’t judge me! I love the fact that weigh in is a judgment free zone, I don’t have to worry about disappointing looks or remarks.
I stood holding my breath, almost afraid to look at the scale, the feeling of redemption came back over me. It didn’t matter what the scale said, and I won’t tell you if you ask. I felt a sense of renewed vigor, this coming week will be my best week in a long time! I am focused and driven, I want my next goal. I can TASTE my next goal, and it tastes better than any thing I have ever ate before! Have you ever had one of those moments? The moment when you realize that you could smack down a linebacker if he got in your way! That is me right now, I am on fire and nothing will put me out.
So if I have a gain next week, will that stop me? Really, did you not just read the above? I will not be stopped, if you fall down 6 times you get up 7. So yesterday you know what I did after lunch? I took my oldest boy on a 30 mile bike ride. Semi-loaded my panniers and hooked Katrina up to Bullseye, taking off for parts unknown. We even did some “off roading” for a bit, going through some water puddles. By the way, FYI, those trailers do not have the same clearance as your bike. Lucky it just soaked his feet and he had the good sense to pick his feet up when he felt them getting wet.
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.
I changed some tires for my dad on his old Murry Mt. Bike, but I didn’t notice that the ones I ordered were white wall. They also ended up being a bit larger than what he had on orignally, but with a bit of wrenching with the brakes I was able to get them to work. I wasn’t sure what my dad would think of the white walls, but he was thrilled! In fact, it made his old bike almost look like new, and with a slightly less knobby tread it was smooth sailing.
I noticed that Katrina has been running a bit sluggish, so after I examined her I noted that my back tire as out of true. So I took her in on this past Friday to see the “doctor” at the LBS. The said it would be done Sat. afternoon, however it wasn’t until late Monday that I got the call to pick her up. Turns out the rim wasn’t out of true. The adjusted my brakes out a bit, and I think that helped clear up the issue.
So on Wednesday I decided to give Katrina a good bathing/lubing, as the road grit was building up. What I discovered while doing this though was that I had worn through my back wheel. Needless to say I was not a happy camper, but was glad to know that I didn’t have to take it to my LBS to fix. I ended up finding some nice tires on amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004JKIUD6/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1), and while I had some 700×32’s on before I decided to go with 700×28’s. I am hoping that with the smaller diameter tire I will be able to pick up some speed, as well as being able to run a higher psi.
So today they were due to arrive, but since they were coming UPS I knew it would be late in the afternoon. Which, would be a good thing because we had our ultrasound today! I am happy to announce that our newest member of the family will be a boy! Though I was positive it would be a girl, I am very happy with another boy. So after we picked up my son from his aunts house, we went to wal-mart for a few things. When I got home at about 4:30 I was expecting my tires to be here, but they were not. They ended up not coming till about 7pm, and as soon as my son went down to bed I went to install them.
Installing them seemed pretty straight forward, after all I had done my dads tires earlier in the week. I had already removed the old tires/tubes from the rims, so I was able to skip that step. After aligning the valve with the valve hole it was a simple matter of setting the beads on the tire. Simple at least for the front tire, with the stock rim. The back tire was another beast all together, and it ended up taking me 30min of fighting, sweating, and swearing to get that tire on! In the end though I did prevail and after installing them on Katrina I went for a ride. I did not notice the size difference as much as I had hoped I would. However, when I went to take a turn, the agility of the tire really showed itself! I only went around the block quickly, and will be able to offer a better review after a longer ride.
Weight watchers wise, it was an ok week. Saturday I went completely overboard on some food choices, but still remained within my weekly/activity points. Despite my better efforts I only ended up loosing about a half pound. Which is better than a gain, but I consider that a maintain. I think I let some personal things going on affect my food choices. It reminds me that no matter how well I feel I am doing, I can easily slip back to my old habits if I let my guard down. Those of us on this type of journey have to take it all one bite at a time….
So today my wife was feeling pretty well. Which is not the norm since the pregnancy started. So I was able to go on a bike ride today! My goal I had in mind was Hazel Green WI, which is about 5 miles past Cuba city, giving me a total of 32. That was going to be my longest ride to date. However, things did not go as planned.
I DID make it to hazel green but, I had different idea at that point.
So I head off to Galena, Illinois! For those of you who are not familiar with that town, it has a HUGE BBBEH that leads down to the down town area. The down town area is full of specialty and fun shops of all types. When my wife heard I was going to Galena, she requested I pick her up something special from one of the shops. So I had to go down the BBBEH, which in turn meant I had to go UP the BBBEH. I made it up in one go, without stopping, which surprised me more than I can say. Also, my first time crossing the state line on Katrina!
As I headed back I thought about how much my life is changing, how I am not the man I was when this started. I never would have dreamed of doing this kind of ride, never would have dreamed about planning a 400+ mile bike tour. I love the person I am becoming, and considering I hated the person I was, it is a nice feeling. I still often times look in the mirror and see the #430+ guy looking back at me, however when I arrive home after my bike rides I don’t FEEL like that guy.
When I arrived at mile 42 I hit a wall, my energy felt sapped. I was eating through out, and chugging water as well, but didn’t seem to make a difference. I had a choice at that moment, keep going or call my wife to come get me. What did I decide to do? I got back in the saddle and kept on rolling. I still don’t know where that strength came from, but I do know that it is the tenacious attitude that has kept me going in this journey.
53 miles!! A half century, as it referred as in bike lingo. Took me about 5.5 hours! Also, this made for a total of 100.5 miles this month, guess I made that goal happen!! This is the bar that I needed to set in order to the bike tour next year. I will frankly admit I was scared about doing it, perhaps because it means one less “shield” to hide behind. As I pull down these walls, I have to face the things on the other side. When, I do that and succeed, like I did today, it makes me that much stronger though. The stronger I get, the easier it is to push on further. After all, limits are there for us to break!
Had a great day today with some friends, Mr. H, Mrs. H, and Lil H! Mr. H and I went out bike riding, borrowing my BIL’s bike. The seat on that bike is PAINFUL! We had to take turns riding it because our manly bits were not enjoying that seat. We did about 8 miles, and it was so relaxing to bike with someone. We found a new trail and ended up at walmart, which will be nice to know as it was relativly flat getting there.
After our ride, we came home and played with the kids for a bit. It was rather cold out today, which was nice for bike ridding for sure. For dinner we cooked up some world class brats from Mr. H’s local meat store. I had two brats, one alligator and one Cuban. They both were great, the first one had a nice Cajun after kick and the Cuban was just plain amazing. To rap up the evening we all took a walk around the neighbor hood, and I took some family pictures for them. Great day by all accounts!
The new wheel preformed perfectly, and despite my fears of it feeling more sluggish I did not notice any difference at all. Though switching from ridding my BIL’s bike it was like sailing on a cloud. Smoooooooth as glass, or even a babies bottom!
Also, on the bottom right side I have added my mileage ticker for those who would like to see how I am rolling along.