Archive for August 2012

Caught by Surprise

August 31, 2012


Well, we needed the rain, but I sure didn’t expect that! 

Pam was tied up yesterday afternoon, so I kind of dawdled on the way home from work, stopping by Sunshine Bike to pick up our MS150 jerseys.

As I was pedaling my way toward home, I noticed the sky getting a little dark, then felt a couple of drops of rain on my legs.  I just had time to think, “The weather forecast said Isaac wasn’t supposed to get here until tomorrow morning.”, when the skies opened up on me and the wind started howling.  I was drenched in a matter of seconds, so it made no difference that I had my rain jacket in the pannier.

It was over in 10 minutes, but those 10 minutes were  pretty wet.  I’m not complaining though….we need every drop of rain we can get! 

Now, if Isaac will just get here and give us some more!

God bless…


It’s that time…

August 30, 2012


Well, it’s that time of year again.  Unless something drastic happens, today was our last early morning tandem ride of the summer.  It’s just getting too dark out there to be enjoyable for Pam.  The picture above is the view in our headlight as we started down the drive at 5:30 am.

I will say, however, that today’s ride was enjoybable, but a little action filled.

  • We met a runner with an energetic dog on our way out of the neighborhood at 30 mph.  When we’re out running, that dog tries to come see us and we were concerned it might try the same thing today and get in our way.
  • Since school has started, traffic is heavier than normal.
  • An opossum in the ditch scared Pam.
  • A car passed us from behind in the other lane.  Normally, that’s great, but this one managed to do it just at the point where it sandwiched an armadillo between it and us.  We weren’t sure if the thing was going to try to run under us or not.
  • A rabbit nearly bought an early grave under our front wheel.
  • Our turn-around point was filled with the Rogersville cross country team and a car trying to let a late runner out to catch the group.  Turning the tandem 180 degrees in the width of a county road is an exercise in care, balance, precision and luck at best.  Throw those distractions in our way, and it’s a wonder we didn’t have to dismount to get turned around!

We finished with an average speed of 16.7 mph, which is pretty consistent with what we’ve been doing all year for that route.  I also felt pretty strong the entire ride and on my commute to work.  That was a decent way to end.

God bless…





Positive Feedback

August 29, 2012

I mentioned here that the street surface on Central east of National was in the process of being repaved.  One of the benefits of that repaving was that the traffic signals at the intersection got switched over to timed mode instead of operating from the sensors and the old sensors were ripped out in the process.  Those sensors had been the bane of my existance for as long as I’ve been riding to work.  They never triggered for my bicycle, forcing me to wait inordinately long to get across National most mornings.  I hated them!

It was so nice to have that intersection on a timer.  I knew that not long after rolling up it would give me the green and I didn’t have to worrry about trying to find a gap in traffic to run the light or waiting for a car to trigger it for me. 

Yesterday, however, new slots for the sensors were being cut into the pavment, so it’s inevitable that they will be back.  I noticed there was a city vehicle parked on the curb while the contractor did his thing, so I rolled up to the window and spoke to the lady overseeing the work.  “Hey, since sensors are going back in here, could I lobby for them to be bike friendly?”.

She was very nice, and after I explained how bad they had been for so long, she took my number and said she would have the “bike guy” call me.  Well, I certainly didn’t expect that!

Later in the morning, David Hutchison called me.  He was cordial, and assured me the new sensor would detect my bike just fine.  I appreciated the fact that City employees were willing to follow up with me about my concern.

I think that attitude is one of the reasons that Springfield is getting more “bike friendly” all the time.

God bless…


My Breakfast

August 28, 2012

This is my typical weekday breakfast.

  • 2 ham & egg white whole wheat breakfast burrito (115 calories each)
  • Yogurt (150-175 calories, depending on flavor)
  • Quaker Oatmeal To Go bar (220 calories)
  • Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Almond bar (160 calories)
  • 2 cups 1% milk (200 calories)

Yeah, you’re right.  That’s a lot of calories.  960 today, and that’s going with egg whites instead of whole eggs and 40 calorie tortilla shells instead of the usual 110.  Eating like that, it’s a wonder I don’t weigh a ton!  But I don’t.  In fact, I’m struggling right now to keep my weight above 150 lbs.

For years, my weight held pretty steady in the 160 lb range.  We eat pretty healthy meals most of the time anyway, so I pretty much ate as I pleased and didn’t pay a lot of attention to it.  I seemed to burn about what I ate and kept things on a pretty even keel.

Then….a while back, I decided to track my food for a few weeks.  When I did, it opened my eyes to a couple of things.

First, I wasn’t getting nearly enough breakfast to compensate for the calories I burned in my morning activity.  Depending on which calorie calculator you use, the number comes in between 1,250 and 1,700 calories burned by riding or running/riding.  For example, today, I used the most conservative calculator and it told me that the 28.75 miles and 110 minutes I rode on the tandem and on my morning commute burned 1260 calories.  It’s no wonder that before I added the 2nd burrito and the oatmeal and almond bars I was getting hungry within an hour of breakfast.

The second thing it showed me was that I was compensating with a lot of empty calories.   Dr. Pepper and sweet tea, to be exact!  I figured there were a lot worse vices to have,  but those calories weren’t doing me a lot of good.

Based on what I was seeing, I decided to do a couple of things…

  •  Limit my intake of Dr. Pepper to 1 can a day.  Actually, I ended up cheating on this a little.  I do limit my intake of regular Dr. Pepper to one can most days, but usually have a can or more of Dr. Pepper 10 during the day also.
  •  Eliminate  the potato chips from my lunch and replace them with applesauce and fruit.

I’ve been successful in doing those things, but the challenge has been to replace those empty calories with more nutritious ones.  Let me tell you, it’s pretty hard to do sometimes, as evidenced by the 10 lbs I dropped like a rock.  To do so, I’ve had to go back to tracking my food.  At the end of the day, if I’m coming up short I’ll whip up a smoothie or have a bagle with peanut butter and jelly to load on 300-400 extra calories in one shot.

I wish I could tell you that I feel a lot better or that I run and ride a lot faster, but honestly, I can’t tell any real difference.  I do know that I feel a lot more “in charge” of my hunger and nutrition since I see the impact of everything I eat now.  It’s also very satisfying to know that all those miles I’m racking up on Saturdays are “bonus miles” that can be paid off in ice cream!

God bless…



August 27, 2012

One of my lunchtime routes is a trip straight north on Grant past Hillcrest High School, then looping right at the top of the hill to ride past Truman Elementary as I come toward town.  Across the road from the school is a pretty decent sized farm, and this year I noticed they’re raising buffalo.  In fact, they have a pretty good sized herd.  As I rode by today, I got to wondering what the market for buffalo really is? 

I presume it’s the meat, but I suppose a guy might make a profit off the breeding stock.  I wonder what the cost of raising a buffalo for slaughter is compared to angus cattle? 

Just some of the things I think about while pedaling….

God bless..



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