Well, I should be able to stop a little quicker now! Here are a couple of old vs. new shots….
That is only about 770 miles worth of wear in a tad over three months.
Today’s post is just a brain dump. Please excuse the random hyperactive thoughts!
We’ve finally had a dry week, but this weather has been so unseasonably cold that riding to work in the mornings has been a bear. It’s been 23, 17, 13, and 15 degrees the past four mornings, so getting to work has basically been a lesson in just digging deep and doing it.
The trips home, however, have been fairly nice. You know it’s been cold out when I categorize 32 degrees as fairly nice! In reality, all the evenings except one have been in the upper 30’s to 40ish, so it’s really not been bad. Adding icing to the cake is the fact that it’s staying light enough that I really don’t need my lights in the evening, so I guess things are actually looking up!
The other day on my way home I saw the tree below in daylight for the first time.
I was intrigued by what looked like blossoms all over it already, so I turned around for a closer look. They turned out to be red berries. I’m not sure what kind of tree it was, but I don’t remember seeing anything with berries that thick on it before.
A new class called Men’s Fraternity started up on Wednesday nights at church and I’ve been attending it the past few weeks. It didn’t cause any commuting complications the first couple of weeks because the weather was so bad, but on the last couple of Wednesdays, the Surly has had to endure the indignity of riding home afterward in the back of the Prius!
Depending on the weather, I’m probably just going to start riding home afterward in a couple of weeks even though it will be full on dark afterward.
One of the benefits of riding home in the evening is the late afternoon sunlight that kisses everything. I snapped this picture of the side of the Shrine Mosque on my way home Tuesday evening.
I got a chuckle on my way home through MSU this evening. Most of the houses on Greek Row had been papered. There was a group of guys out cleaning up one of the sorority houses. I wondered if they were the culprits or if they were just the unlucky boyfriends who had drawn cleanup duty! If you look closely, you can even see one is up in the tree!
When I’m not riding or dreaming of riding, I like to read blogs from other cyclists. I’m not sure whether I’m just a cycling junkie, or something of a voyeur in nature, but I find it fascinating to get a glimpse of how others are embracing this sport and activity that I so love. One of the blogs that has caught my interest of late is Biking To Live, which is chronicling Bryan’s efforts to lose weight and change his life through cycling.
It always encourages me to see someone make a committment to better themselves, and I think one of the most significant improvements a person can make is to lose weight and get healthy. The quality of your life is just so much better when you’re lean and fit. At the ripe old age of 50, I’m always blown away when I see someone so overweight and out of shape that they just look and act old, especially when I know they are younger than I am. I mean, come on! At this point in life, I feel better than I ever have and it’s no wonder. I’m in the best physical condition that I’ve ever been.
The thing that has gotten me to this point is that Pam and I have developed a lifestyle based on physical activity and decent choices. The interesting thing about doing so is that at some point along the way, my body changed and now craves lots of hard physical activity and decent meals. If I don’t get a workout in, my mood turns foul and I’m probably not much fun to be around. Likewise, if I don’t eat the right kinds of food, I get all out of kilter and my stomach starts rebelling. That’s not much fun…..
So…what am I really talking about in terms of lifestyle? Well, here is what my week is looking like exercise wise:Saturday – Ran 8 miles (4 w/ Pam and 4 alone) Sunday – Rest Monday – Lifted weights 1 hour, commuted by bike 18 mile round trip Tuesday – Ran 3.25 miles w/ Pam, commuted by bike 18 mile round trip Wednesday – Lifted weights 1 hour, commuted by bike…may be about 15 or 22 miles total, depending on whether I catch a ride home from church tonight w/ Pam. Thursday – Run at least 5k, commute by bike Friday – Lift weights 1 hour, commute by bike
I try to not get too regimented or structured in my exercise patterns. I never really train for a particular event, but I will run an occasional 5k race or organized bike ride. I mostly go by how I feel, and try to mix it up quite a bit. I never have two days in a row that look exactly alike so my body has time to recover. Also, this is pretty typical of winter. When summer gets here, I stop running and pick up quite a few more bicycle miles.
Our eating pattern is something else that has evolved over time. Right now, we eat a lot of chicken, turkey and fish, with salads, vegetables and brown rice. We have a Big Green Egg, so most the meat we eat is grilled. It’s amazing what you can do with a little charcoal and lots of spices! My breakfasts usually consist of an egg white and ham burrito with yogurt and milk. The one thing I need to do need to changed is the amount of Dr. Pepper I drink. I’m addicted to that stuff!
So there you have it. A little insight into my life. Yea, I know it’s not worth much, but it’s all you get for today. Now jump on over to Bryan’s and drop him a note of encouragement!
After being spoiled over the weekend with warm (although wet) weather, this morning was painful. It wasn’t so cold as it was windy and bitter. I think it was 28 degrees as I headed downtown, but it sure seemed worse than that.
See that mountain bike above. It’s Pam E.’s new 29er. I suppose she got it primarily for commuting, as it’s set up with slicks. Today was the first day I’ve seen it at work, so I suspect this was her first day of commuting this year.
On the way home this evening, I enjoyed the extra daylight we’re getting this time of year. I actually made it home again tonight with daylight to spare. Now if we could just get that sun back out it would help. I noticed there was quite a bit more activity around MSU this evening for some reason. Lots of walkers and runners were out on the streets and sidewalks. I suppose the extra daylight contributed to that as well.
You can see from the shot below that we were fighting dark clouds again most of today. I felt lucky to get a nice burst of late evening sunlight to brighten my path home.
In spite of 60 degree weather yesterday, I didn’t get a chance to go for a bike ride. Well….I guess that I technically had a chance to go in the afternoon, but since I ended up running 8 miles in the morning, I didn’t think my legs had it in them.
Instead, I took advantage of the warmer weather to go down and fix the derailleur on the Surly commuter. It hadn’t been touched since it was new, and was shifting pretty poorly…and it was no wonder. In addition to having pretty extreme cable stretch, there was a lot of gunk built up in the bottom cable stop/ferrule. When I squirted it with a shot of spray silicon, the excess came running out black. It’s a wonder it was shifting at all.
I also made a couple of other discoveries. First, both the front and rear brake pads are nearly at the end of their life after only about 700 miles. I’m not sure if the EOM pads were just pretty soft or whether I’ve been that hard on them. At any rate, two new pairs are now on order.
The second discovery was just puzzling. Notice anything different between this picture:
and this one?
Yep….that front brake cable doesn’t have a barrel adjuster of any kind on it. I guess the guys at the shop just overlooked it when they assembled the bike. At any rate, one of those is now on it’s way also.