Archive for November 2009

Frost on the Pumpkin

November 30, 2009

Just how cold was it this morning?  Glad you asked.

It was so cold…..

That my saddle frosted over while I was in the fitness center!

God bless….


Spoke-Lights Video

November 26, 2009

I mentioned the other day that I’m able to use my Spoke Lights on the new Surly.  Pam pulled in just as I got home yesterday, so I asked her to grab video of me coming down the streets to see how my lights actually looked.  What I found out is that the rear lights need new batteries!

Here it is.

Oh…and here is a very interesting article about cycling infrastructure and advocacy in Dallas.

God bless….



November 26, 2009

Hmmm….Thinking back to that third grade essay for Mrs. Gray…..What I’m Thankful For:

New Riding Partner at Lunch!

Actually, Kerri is obviously picking up a new set of wheels for the munchkin.  Good job for getting her started early!

Smooth Pavement!

After at least a couple of years begging the county to do something about the streets in our subdivision, they finally got re-paved this week.  It wasn’t nice they day stripped out the old, but that new asphalt is OH SO SWEET!

The ability to ride my bike around town!

When my dad was a much younger man than I, he was actually an old man.  He acted old.  He had limited mobility and energy.  For all practical purposes, his sedentary lifestyle left him so out of shape that if he tried to do anything at all he would hurt himself.  His life consisted (and still does) of watching TV, reading, and spectator events as long as they were easy to get in and out of.  I looked at that and decided there had to be more of life than that.  The problem was, I wasn’t sure how, so I did the best I knew to do.  It consisted of lots of walking and not a lot else other than just generally keeping myself busy by chasing after the kids.

Through my thirties, that was generally enough to keep me in reasonably good shape, but about ten years ago, I realized that I was still on a downward slide.  I weighed about 185 lbs, and noticed that I was susceptible to back aches and like my dad, I started feeling lots of aches and pains.  About that time, Pam got a job with Cox Health Systems, and had an opportunity to join their fitness center for a reasonable price.  Other than high school PE classes, I had never been inside a “gym” in my life.  Talk about an intimidating experience going in that first time for my orientation.  Luckily, as part of that orientation, the trainer gave me a sample exercise program for beginners and showed me how to use the weights and equipment.  If not for that, I’m sure I would have floundered.

Fast forward ten years.  I’m now in the best physical condition of my life.  I often lament to Pam that I wish I had figured out this lifestyle ten years earlier, just to see how good, fast, and strong I could have been.  I weigh 159 lbs, have a body fat percentage that is “ideal” for my height and age, and have a resting heart rate in the low 40′s.  I can run a 5k without thinking anything of it, ride my bike to work five days a week, ride a century with very little additional training, and I can do 100 pushups without stopping.  But more  than that, I feel good.  I’ve got energy for the things in life that are important to me. 

I look back at my dad’s life, and realize that he’s of the temperment to be happy with the choices he made.  I don’t have that temperment though.  I want to live life and live it at it’s fullest!  And I am….That’s what I’m thankful for

How about you?  What are you thankful for this weekend?

God bless….



November 25, 2009

Around the first of November last year, I decided that I didn’t want to commute through the winter on my Giant OCR-C road bike.  I felt like I was beating it to death, and it was certainly beating me to death.  I started watching various sources for a decent used bike to be my commuter.  It didn’t take long before I found a little Marin Novato on Craigslist that I grabbed for $200.  This bike was very lightly ridden, nice and light, and had disk brakes front and rear.  The 13″ frame was the smallest they made, but at 5′ 7″, I am short enough that the fit was decent. 

I rode the bike to work through the winter, putting almost 1,300 miles on it, then switched back to my road bike in the spring because the mountain bike wasn’t as fast and efficient as I liked.  Since that time, the bike has been hanging in the barn, relegated to the occasional ride on the local trails with Pam.  When I decided to buy a dedicated commuting bike, I also realized that I didn’t need another bike taking up space, and this one probably needed to go. 

It found a new home this past weekend with a college student here in town.  I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to find it a new home because of it’s size (I wish I would eventually grow up!), but things worked out OK. 

You served your purpose, little bike.  And I sold you for $20 more than I paid!  What more can I ask? 

God bless….


Random Personality Tuesday

November 24, 2009

Running Short! – Pam and I got about two blocks into our three mile run this morning before it started raining on us.  Sheesh!  I looked at the radar when we got up and everything in sight looked far away.  By the time we got out there it had turned into the same light rain/heavy drizzle that plagued us last week.  We cut our run short at 2 miles because we were getting soaked through and Pam grabbed the last mile on the treadmill.  I went ahead and rode to work, and by the time I got there it had pretty much quit.

Grind ‘em baby! – The last time I rode my road bike, I noticed the brakes grinding pretty badly.  I attributed it to grit from the constant rain and drizzle I was riding through but last night I went down to clean that bike and discovered that I had worn the pads to the point where I could see metal showing through.  Got new ones ordered and on their way.

Speaking of Crud! – I’m amazed that those brakes were even still functional.  I pretty much had to completely disassemble, clean and lube them to get them working smoothly again. 

Doh! – I took off work yesterday afternoon to run some errands.  When I got home, I stopped in the garage to tweak the saddle position on the Surly, then merrily went about my business.  This morning as I was leaving for work I couldn’t find the gloves I had home yesterday and realized I had probably left them laying on the back of the Jeep and driven off with them still there.  Darn…that was a nice pair of warm-weather full-fingered gloves!

Magnetic Presence! – I forgot to turn on my Spoke-Lights this morning, so I stopped to do so at the stoplight at Sunshine and Eastgate.  When I looked up, I had a green light…and there were no cars anywhere to have triggered it for me.  I guess the Surly has enough steel and mass to trigger that light.  That’s pretty cool, because it’s one I usually resort to running.

Spoke-Lights Rock! – No, I said Spoke-Lights, not Spook Lights!   The Nite Ize SpokeLit is an awesome little device that clips to the spokes of your wheel and emits a nice spinning glow as you ride.  I use one on both wheels, and they definitely add a little bling to the bike!  For dark commutes, these things do more to command respect from motorists than anything I’ve seen or tried.  I couldn’t use them on the Giant because of the low spoke count wheels, but they fit the Surly just fine.  I noticed the first ride with them that cars were doing a lot more sitting and waiting for me to pass rather than pulling out and going.  It’s funny to watch their eyes follow your wheels as you pass them!  If you’re a commuter who rides in the dark, you need to get some of these things!

God bless…



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