CoffeeWhiskeyBeerCheezeburger Ride

Sloth and I were both looking for a ride of about 25 miles this Saturday, but neither of us wanted to drive somewhere to ride bikes. So, the plan was hatched that I would ride solo to the coffee shop, and Sloth would meet me there, then we would ride to my house, and Sloth would ride solo back to his place. Everybody gets 25 miles, nobody had to drive.

So, I rode down to the coffee shop. I drank some coffee. When Sloth showed up, he had forgotten his GPS or something, so we had to ride back to his place.

Once we got there, he had some sort of French whisky for me to try. Under normal circumstances, I don’t drink intoxicating liquors before noon, but this was just a taste[1], and it would have been poor manners to decline so generous an offer. So, I had a taste, and it was a very nice whisky indeed.

Now that we were fully caffeinated and had a wee nip[2], it was time to go ride bikes. We made it almost 11 whole miles before we decided it was time for lunch. So, we stopped off and had some beers and some cheeseburgers.

Beers.  Cycling caps carefully posed for the picture
Beers. Cycling caps carefully posed for the picture

This worked out pretty well for me, because the restaurant was only a mile from my house. Sloth had to ride back over the mountain with a gut full of bacon cheeseburger.

People will tell you that riding bicycles is a good way to loose weight and be healthy. I do not see how this can be true.

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[1] It may have been more than just a taste.
[2] A double

2013 in review, New Year Resolutions, etc.

I made a few New Year’s Resolutions last year. Let’s see how I did:

2013 Resolution Outcome
Lose 52 pounds Massive, Epic Fail!
Ride 1500 miles Success! (Rode 1,714 miles)
Ride 100 miles per month Fail!
Ride a Metric Century Success!

Weight:
I gained some weight in 2013. I’d rather not discuss it. Let’s move on.

Riding:
All things considered, 2013 was a very good year for me and my bicycle. I rode over 1700 miles, besting my goal of 1500, and setting personal records in damn near every category. I finally rode my first metric century, with a lot of climbing, and while heavily laden with camping gear.

Reading:
I made steady progress with the Harvard Classics, and read several other books besides.

I’m following the “History of Civilization” reading plan through the Harvard Classics. This plan starts you in Ancient Egypt and you work your way forward through time. I made it through Herodotus, Homer, interminable Greek drama, Plato, and Plutarch. I am now at the beginning of the Roman Republic, which puts me about 15% of the way through the entire Harvard Classics.

Onwards to 2014:
Right. so, what do I want to accomplish this year?

2014 Resolution Rationale
Loose some weight How much, and by what method – to be determined
Ride 2,000 miles for the year. Less than 6 miles per day!
Read Another 10% of the Harvard Classics This should take me through the Middle Ages
Spend less time dicking around on the Internet. I already deleted my Facebook. I’m hanging on to G+ for the moment.

2012 in review, New Year Resolutions, etc.

So, I made some new year’s resolutions last year.

How did I do?

Resolution Outcome
Lose 70 pounds Fail
Ride 1000 miles Success!
Ride a Metric Century Fail

Weight:

Lard Ass Log

I am starting 2013 14.2 pounds lighter than I started 2012. That’s progress, I suppose, but not much.

I logged 1054.29 miles in 2012:

Riding:

  • Cycling: 1004.22
  • Hiking: 11.67
  • Kayaking: 38.4

Mileage Report

I almost didn’t make it to 1000 miles for the year. I hardly rode at all this summer. It was hotter than blue blazes, and I was putting in a lot of hours at work. Nevertheless, I rallied in December, and put in 229 miles; my second highest-mileage month ever. The Sloth and I put in a gruelling 26-miler on New Year’s eve to push me over the 1000 mile mark.

Metric Century:

I didn’t do any long rides. At all. In fact, yesterday’s 26-miler was my longest ride all year.

2013 Resolutions

Yes, resolutions are bullshit. I’m making some anyhow.

Riding

  • Minimun of 1500 miles.
  • No single month with less than 100 miles.

Weight

  • Loose at least 52 pounds
  • One pound per week shouldn’t be that hard.
  • As a motivational aid, I concocted a visualization of the ultimate objective. It may take more than 52 pounds to get here, but this would be a nice end-result.

Metric Century

62 miles. I know of people in not-much-better shape than me who do these regularly. I just need to get off my arse and do it.

That’s it. 3 resolutions. Lose 52 pounds, ride 1500 miles, and do a metric.

Happy New Year to anyone who still reads this blog.

Metric Century Plan

All this #30daysofbiking foolishness has me feeling like a bad-ass, and I’m starting to think about the metric century I promised myself I’d train for this year.

So, I came up with a training plan.

All I really did was take the old century training plan I ripped out of an old copy of Bicycling magazine, cut out the last three weeks, and interpolated the remaining weeks to keep the weekly increase to a manageable 2 miles per week. Over the next 23 weeks, the “long ride” gradually increases from 16 to 65 miles.

I made a spreadsheet with this plan in it, because once you put something in a spreadsheet, then you know you mean business!

To my eyes, the first few weeks of the plan seem ridiculously easy, and the last few seem ridiculously hard. That probably means it’s right on the money.

That’s a little better!

The first week of 2012 is in the bag! I’ve lost 10 pounds, and already ridden twice as many miles as I did in the whole month of January last year!

Lard-ass logging

Yesterday, the Sloth and I circumnavigated the Capital Area Greenbelt on our bicycles.

We stopped around the halfway mark to brew up some coffee. Sloth had a new coffee filter he wanted to try out, and I had a new stove that I wanted to play with.

Coffee Break

I had an entire pannier’s worth of coffee brewing accouterments. Stove, fuel bottle, extra water, pot, french press, etc. It all adds up to a lot of pannier space, but was well worth it.

Due to some miscalculations while lighting the stove, I ended up with a small fuel spill, and a gigantic ball of flame. This seemed to amuse / horrify the joggers and dog-walkers who were passing by.

Nonetheless, we had our coffee, and it was good. Personally, I think coffee / tea breaks should be mandatory on any ride over 15 miles when it’s less than 50 degrees out. Anything less would be uncivilized.

Bikes!

Fortified with caffeine, we soldiered on through the gigantic traffic disaster of the Farm Show. We made a few wrong turns (the signage on the Greenbelt is a little spotty), and ended up with about 21 miles — my longest ride for the week/month/year!

The new year appears to be off to a good start, and ambitious plans for a multi-day tour are already underway.

Year in review, Resolutions, etc.

So, this year is pretty much shot. Around this time last year, I made some New Year’s Resolutions. Let’s see how I did.

Resolution Outcome
Lose 52 pounds Fail! Lost 20 pounds
Ride 1820 miles Fail! Rode 742 miles
Ride the big hill without walking Success!
Fit into my MUSA pants Success!
Ride a metric century Fail! Never even tried

One other accomplishment – I didn’t list this as a resolution, but I did manage to finish my degree program at Penn State this year.

Graduation

Being a grown-up with a job, mortgage, etc. and going to night school is a good way to loose your mind. It eats up all your free time, and leaves you with very little time to pursue other goals.

I’m going to blame part of my resolution failure on that damn degree. I was actually doing pretty well with my bike / fitness goals up until school started in August.

Lard Ass Log

I was losing weight at a lovely clip until August, then everything went to shit, and I gained back half of the 40 pounds I lost.

2011 Dailymile stats

My cycling mileage numbers were starting to get respectable (for me, at least) until August, as well.

At any rate, I won’t have school to use as an excuse this year, so here’s what I’m gonna try to do in 2012:

Lose another 70 pounds
The primal/paleo thing seemed to work for me, as long as I stuck to it. I lost 40 pounds in 7 months on it — an average of about 6 pounds a month. If I can maintain 6 pounds a month through the whole year, I should be down 72 pounds for the year. That would be huge. I know bicycling was a hell of a lot more fun when I was lighter.

Ride 1000 miles
There’s really no reason this shouldn’t be doable. I’ve done more than this in years past. I’d only have to ride my bike to work 100 times to meet this, and that’s not even counting recreational rides on the weekends, etc.

Metric Century
Leftover goal from last year. I’m even setting a date, so I don’t put it off and think I’ll “get to it sometime.” September 29th, 2012. This is happening, come hell or high water.

I think those are goals enough. I have more, but I’ll probably have enough trouble meeting these.

So, if anyone out there still reads this blog, happy new year! I hope you have good luck with whatever you want to accomplish in 2012.

Half-Assing it to the Halfway Point

I got on the scale this morning, and discovered I was down 25.6 pounds for the year. I did a little victory dance in the bathroom. My plan was to lose 1 pound per week this year, for a total of 52 pounds for the year. It’s only April, and I’m just a hair shy of the halfway mark. Hooray!

I haven’t even been following the cave-man-diet thing very well. It seems to work OK, even if you half-ass it like I am.

I took the Cross-Check out for a 20 mile ride on a local Rail Trail yesterday. One thing I noticed is that with the 5-speed sturmey hub, sometimes the ideal gear just isn’t available. If the gear I’m in is too high, the next one down is way too low, and you just sort of have to pedal a gear slightly higher than you want. Hopefully, this will make my legs a little stronger. I’d like to attack both the numerator and denominator of my strength-to-weight ratio.

Blurry Cell-phone pic of my CC on the LVRT

The other thing I noticed (or rather, didn’t notice) is that my butt didn’t hurt. Normally, I end my rides not because I’m too tired and just can’t go on, but because my butt hurts and/or my junk falls asleep. The Brooks B.190 I’m rocking on the Cross-Check gave me NO TROUBLES the whole ride. Yeah, it weighs like 5 pounds, and costs a fortune, but I think it may have made me faster, because I didn’t have to get off every 5 miles to let the blood flow return to my nethers.

I’ve only put maybe 35 miles on this saddle so far, so it isn’t even broken in yet. I can only assume it will get even better in the future.

Brooks B.190

It looks silly, I’ll admit, with all its springs and whatnot, but who cares? It makes my butt happy. It soaks up the bumps like nobody’s business, too. All those springs serve a purpose. I’m almost tempted to get one for my road bike, too.

I also figured out a route that’s pretty much the longest possible ride from my house without having to deal with too much crazy traffic. It’s about 13 miles long, with a nice climb, and I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be able to ride it at least 2 or three times a week. At least that’s what I’m going to shoot for. The weather is finally starting to get spring-ish, the days are now long enough that after-dinner rides won’t be in the dark. It’s time to get my shit together and start riding again.

No more dick-monkeying around!