It was a rather blustery day…

It was a wonderful day out, and I had plans to go bike riding! I love days like this, feels like spring has come(though in 2 days we are suppose to get a snow storm), birds are chirping and the pedals are moving. At drop off for LB 1’s preschool, I saw my friend Brian, and he made the mistake of mentioning that he didn’t have any plans this morning. Instantly I pounced on the chance, and invited him for a short bike ride. I promised to take it easy and we would just do a short little ride, and he believed me. Muwhahahaha.

I rushed home, got my youngest ready and went out to the stable(some might call it a garage). I started the process of getting everything ready. Brakes, check! Tire pressure, check! No weird rattling noises, check! All systems go and prepare for launch.

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After hooking up the trailer, and making sure I had everything ready to go, Brian arrived. He seemed both excited and apprehensive. I knew though, deep down inside, that once we got going he would love it. I know in the past he had joked he could only bike a mile or so, I figured we would go out and be back real quick. That’s ok, we all have to start somewhere and I didn’t want him to over do it, never wanting to go out again.

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We started out and I could quickly see that he wasn’t enjoying it. Did I mention this was a windy day? Like 50 mph gust type windy day? We went about a half mile and he asked to pull over, and I figured we would be turning around. I took that moment though to mention a few “pointers” for riding, sitting on the pelvic bone not the tail bone, don’t ride using your heel as you want to use the ball of your foot, I think I also mentioned posture and keep the shoulders relaxed. As we started back up again I also realized I had forgotten to tell him something important, how to switch gears! He was in a high gear as the bike was last used on my trainer, and with this head wind it must be killing his legs. He switched gears, sat right, moved his foot, and instantly I could tell he was enjoying himself more. We rode past the park and finally made it to the bike trail. What was nice is that with all the trees and the position of the trail, it really cut out the wind! I saw a smile on his face and was pretty sure I had him hooked.

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As we went along I told him when we hit mile marks, and how fast he was going. I could tell that he found that encouraging and that he was surprising himself with what he could do. There was even a few times I had to catch up with him as we hit some decent speeds(I think at one point 15mph). We reached a shelter area and decided to take a quick rest, we had ridden over 3 miles and had to get back in time to pick up the kids. The way home was very smooth and when we did get hit by the wind, it was luckily at our backs. As we got back I could tell, I could see the look in his eyes, he was hooked. If we hadn’t been on such a time crunch, I think he could have done the full ride to Chesterton and back. I also look forward to having a new riding buddy, because you can never have to many of those!

Keep On Rolling,

Big Boned Biker

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What to get a father for Father’s Day

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The day started like any great day should, with a lovely breakfast in bed (I had already eaten some of it before I thought to take the picture). Much better than the oatmeal I had been planing on having hands down. Looking outside, the weather was cloudy and looked like it could turn to rain. There went my plans for a bike ride with the family, I had been really looking forward to it too. We spent the morning just chilling out around the house, watched a movie, my oldest helped me switch out the pedals on Katrina (I decided to put the original ones back on her), and had a quick-lunch. Fun times, fun times.

I decided at this point to check the weather report and it said it was supposed to clear up and be sunny. Sure enough, having stepped outside to check, the weather was getting nice! It’s at this point when I asked my wife if she REALLY wanted to go for the ride I had planned. Surprisingly she was still up for it, and so I began the laborious process of getting ready. In case you don’t have kids, getting ready for anything isn’t a 1. 2. 3. task. It’s more like:

1.
a.
b.
c.
d.
2.
a.
b.
c.
d.
3.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
g.

You get the idea I think at this point. Add into this I need to get the bikes/trailer all ready too, we worked up a sweat before we even left. The fun part of that is my landlord is fixing up our house, and is storing the supplies in my garage. The very front of the garage, and it’s a PITA to get the bike and trailer out of there now. Mind you, when you asked I thought it would be a couple of buckets of paint, not 3 ladders, a door, lumber, plywood, and a few things that I don’t know what they are. Our back porch/playroom is also filled with windows too, so can’t store them there either. I digress though, and after getting the tires all pumped, the trailer hooked up, and helmets all rounded up, it was time to get going. Oops, wait, someone needs to go potty. Ok now it’s time to go!

A few key points to remember, this is my wife’s second time on a bike since middle school, my wife has a medical condition that can cause her to faint during an intense workout, and finally her first ride was a total of about 4 miles. We decided to take the bike trail up to Chesterton, IN, which is only about 10 miles each way. Ya, that’s about 20 miles! We were set for a fun-filled time, and our adventure started early. We were heading to the trail head on some quiet suburban roads and we had a left hand turn to make into the park where we would meet the prairie dune land trail. A truck was behind me and I signal very clearly that I would be making a left hand turn. I begin to make my turn when half way through it I realize the truck had tried passing us! Had I been 2 seconds slower I think I would have been hit. I brushed it off, I was pulling the kids and didn’t need them to get upset. Truth be told though, I was rather rattled by this, with a flash back to a news article I read a few weeks ago. One of the folks I rode with on the tri-state bike ride was hit by a car and died! This happened about 15 miles from my home, this is one of my biggest fears with cycling.

Every made a promise to a kid, and instantly regret it? Ya, I sorta promised we would stop at a park on the ride. In the mind of a 4.5 year old that means we will stop at the first park we see, as well as every subsequent park that we pass. I knew that if we stopped this early we would never get anywhere! I did the reasonable thing though, I told him that the park was full. It had 2 kids playing in it, and someday if he reads this, I’m sorry, sorta. Something that you should know about this route, is that we pass by about 5 parks. That isn’t counting the fact that when we turn around we pass them again. To make it up to him though, I told him we would stop at the dragon park on the way home. It’s the nicer of them and its about 2 miles from home. This seemed to work better than I had expected, leaving me to solve the next problem.

“THAT’S MY TRANSFORMER! HE WON’T STOP TAKING IT! STOP IT!” is what I heard from behind me. A 4.5 year old trying to reason with an 18 month old doesn’t typically get the result that he would like. Just for the record, we brought 2 toys for them to play with. This went on for about 20 min, finally ending when one of them zonked out. This was followed shortly by the next one, this lasted until Chesterton.

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I loved the fact that this gave my wife and I a chance to just chat. It reminded me of when we dated, those ideal conversations that had nothing to do with anything important. We made it all the way to the end of the trail without stopping for a break. When we did stop for a quick 10 min break before turning around the boys woke up, a bit crankily unfortunately. It was getting hot out and my they both looked very warm. We decided to give them a quick cool down with some water, and they both seemed to be in great spirits afterwords. A happy child, is a happy daddy.

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The ride home was uneventful until we got to the park, the dragon park. When we arrived it was empty and the boys were having fun playing. My youngest ,just happy to be free from the restraints of the bike trailer, was just running around with no real objective. About 10 minutes into it a family shows up with their kids, about 6 of them (I think it was 2 families together). It was quickly apparent that it would be best if we just left. If you ever are looking for something fun to do, I suggest you try to get a toddler and a preschooler to leave a park after 15 minutes! We finally got them wrangled, my youngest being exceptionally fast for having little legs! We headed home, where everyone decided to enjoy a nice summer time snack of peaches and watermelon. Before I could enjoy my snack though, I put the bikes away. Katrina first, followed by bulls-eye (the trailer), finally Tallulah. As I lifted her up to carry over the mound of supplies in the garage, the back wheel came right off! Sometime during the ride it had come completely loose, while hooked up to the trailer filled with 66 pounds of kids and diaper bag(not sure which weighed more). To say I was shocked is an understatement, because I had checked them the last time I rode. Moral of that story, you can’t check your bolts/screws to often.

So, for father’s day, I didn’t get a card, I didn’t get a present, I didn’t get a little trinket to sit on my desk. I got the best damn gift I could ever ask for, a memory!

Big Boned Biker

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Something different

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,

BBB

New Goal

So today I realized that the kickstand that I took off of Katrina was not broken. It turns out I installed it wrong, and it should be a simple “fix” to get it working.

Had a pretty good day today otherwise, the weather is finally starting to get nice again! I took my family on a picnic again at the park, lil BBB loved the bike ride like always. Afterwords, when i normally would have gone straight home, I made a different choice. I took him on a bit longer ride, and even hit some of those BBBEH’s that populate this area. When you have a 25# weight pulling you down it makes it hard to go uphill! While I only did about 3 miles today, it was 3 well earned miles.

Right now I am looking towards some new goals, I am making decent progress on my 500 mile goal(about 65 miles down so far), but I want something a bit more substantial. There is a bike trial that goes to a neighboring town, round trip I think would be about 20-25 miles. It would be a very fulfilling trip to be able to do, but I don’t know if I am ready for it just yet. Right now I am trying to make it back to the M, and perhaps beat my previous time?

Not much else to report for now, so with that this is the Big Boned Biker signing off for the evening.

Update

Just a quick update from last night, I did end up hitting my 100lbs mark by loosing 1.2 pounds. I find it funny that it wasn’t just 1 pound, but that I still got that .2 :). They gave me a new “weight” for my key ring, and a certificate even. Though they gave me the 50lbs one by mistake because they have to order the 100lbs(guess they don’t give to many of those out?). One thing that was extra fun yesterday was that the wife and I went for a Wog before the meeting. Normally we drop lil BBB off at my ‘rents and go and sit outside the meeting for a bit, however this time we went to a local park and walked/jogged about a mile before hand. It was great to see a real world application of my gym time, made it feel like all those hours in the gym mattered for something other then just wieght loss. Next time I will bring my running shoes for sure!

Pardon the fact I look like I just wrestled a Gazelle to the ground..

Down 101 pounds!
Down 101 pounds!