Tag Archives: biking

Ouch!

I started writing Dirty Little Freaks #14 on Sunday, and I actually got most of it done. It’s not a very long story, so far only about 500 words, but it’s okay.

And then Monday came. And I decided I had waited long enough to get on my new bike, so I rode to work.

Ouch.

After a two-year hiatus of riding, my body is pathetically out of shape. I’ve gained back most of the weight I lost a few years ago, which I had sworn never to allow to happen. So now I’m back at square 1.5 (not all the way to square 1 because I didn’t regain ALL the weight), and I’m starting over.

The reason I stopped riding was because my poor bike was worn out. I had been riding it almost every day for eight years. And yes, I do mean every day. The bike had well over 10,000 miles on it, and while I paid for the shop to rebuild it every other year, they had never changed out the chain, and it should have been replaced after the first 5,000 miles. Between the stretched out chain, the worn out gears, and the overall wear and tear on the poor thing (including a cracked frame), I just couldn’t ride it any more.

In February I bought the new bike, fully intending to ride it in March. And then March happened. You know the old saying that if March comes in like a lamb it goes out like a lion? Well, after last month I am convinced that both the lamb and the lion were eaten by a polar bear. So I never got a chance to ride my brand new bike. Until Monday.

I took the “easy” route to work, avoiding the worst of the hills. About three miles. But by the time I got there, I knew just how badly out of shape I had let myself become. And then I had to do it again after work. By the time I got home I was so beat I couldn’t move. My wife helped me get my helmet and bike clothes off so I could collapse onto the couch. When I could finally manage to function again the first thing I did was adjust the seat height. I had thought it was okay when I left for work, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that it needed to go up at least an inch. I also installed my bike computer, so I could track my mileage and speed. Then I took some Advil and went to bed early.

On Tuesday I did it again. Adjusting the seat really helped, and I wasn’t nearly as winded or worn out by the time I got to work. I stopped to vote on the way home, so I can’t say how I would have felt if I hadn’t, but I’m hoping there was at least some improvement. I was, however, very disappointed by the numbers on my bike computer. Before I stopped riding I was averaging fifteen miles per hour on my rides, and now I have trouble getting over ten.

I’m going to continue to commute by bicycle as much as I can from now on. It will save me about $40 a month on parking, not to mention gas for the car. And it will help me get my fat ass back in shape. Hopefully it won’t be long before I can make the ride without feeling like someone is sitting on my chest. Either that or I’ll have a heart attack.

And I WILL finish #14 this week. And do my taxes. It’s good to have goals.

I’ll check in again on Sunday (if I’m still alive) to let you know how I’m doing. See you then!

P.S.: My new bike is a Marin Muirwoods 24 speed with disk brakes. And it’s black. If I make it through the week maybe I’ll post a picture.

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A Little Personal Time

Today I thought I would share a few things about my life recently. You know, just to keep you guys up to speed.

I just got a new bike. I was hoping to fix up my old one, which would have cost about $300, but the mechanic found a crack in the frame, which meant that instead I had to get a new one. The bike shop gave me a deal, since the old frame was out of warranty, but still, the new bike cost me $650. I can’t really complain, though. I got about eight years of use out of the old bike, putting over 10,000 miles on it over the years. It had a good run.

I’m looking forward to riding again. I had to stop riding my old bike because it was completely worn out. The chain was so stretched out that I probably could have taken at least two links out of it. The gears were so worn out that I was essentially down to a single speed from the eighteen I started with. And I had to keep my back fender on with wire ties, because the screw fell out and I didn’t have a spare. I have been trying to scrape the money together for an overhaul for the last two years, and was finally able to do it when I got a bonus at work.

It’s too bad that I had to spend the whole bonus on a new bike, but at least I’ll be able to ride again. The new bike is pretty awesome, with disc brakes and twenty-four speeds. I’m looking forward to getting it out on the roads and trails and seeing what it can do. I also really need the exercise.

My next news is that I just finished reading Warm Bodies, by Isaac Marion. Yeah, it’s the book that the movie was based on. And yes, the movie and the book are very much alike: OUTSTANDING!!! You should definitely go see the movie, and you should also read the book. I’ll leave the order up to you. If you are following me on Goodreads, you will see that I said the book is “worth adding to your go-bag for the next zombie apocalypse.”

And if you aren’t following me on Goodreads, WHY NOT?!

And lastly, my lovely wife of over fifteen years is having a birthday on Friday, so I am taking a few days off of work to spend time with her. Happy birthday sweetie!

That’s it for today. I need to get some writing done now. I hope to see you guys back here on Sunday!

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