ipadio:Audio Post – Let’s Talk About Cycling and Stuff… – 21st phonecast

30 04 2010

Visit http://ipad.io/J3q to hear my latest ipadio phonecast

Or listen here:





An inspiring touring blog…

30 04 2010

I just found a really great blog about bicycle touring. These folks, Tyler and Tara, really get it; better than I ever did. Their adventures, as well as their commitment to tour the world, by bicycle, is awe inspiring. Their writing and photography make me feel as if I’m travelling with them. Their story of saving two puppies in Romania is delightful.

Please, do yourself a favor and take a look at their blog. You won’t be disappointed.

http://journal.goingslowly.com/search/label/Pre-Trip





A month to remember…

30 04 2010

April 2010 has been a memorable month for me. What with the move back to Colorado, not to mention the method I chose to get here: the pleasure of seeing familiar places and faces; the prospect of finding new employment; all from the saddle of my bike, April has been a month I will remember fondly for the rest of my life.

Today I would like to suggest to all of you that you can do the same for yourselves next month. You can make May 2010 the most memorable month of your life by joining the rest of the country in celebrating National Bike Month; National Bike to Work Week, May 17-21; or National Bike to Work Day, May 21. Simply by joining the ranks of bicycle commuters in May, for a day, a week, a month, you too can make a fundamental change to your life which, I believe, would add a real sense of joy and accomplishment to your month–and your life. Who knows, after trying a day or week of bicycle commuting, you may just become a true believer, cycling everywhere instead of using your motorized coffin instead.

Commuting by bicycle has many benefits, including: saves money, saves time, controls weight without dieting, energizes your morning, relaxes your evening, makes cycling a part of each day, frees the weekend, improves self-esteem, helps you train for cycling or other athletic events, opens your mind to other forms of riding, it is sooooo much fun!

Let me illustrate what might happen for you from my own life. Two years ago, due to circumstances largely beyond my control, I found myself without a car and with a nine mile commute to work, just as temperatures in Phoenix began to regularly reach 90 degrees. Walking was not an option and bus service in Phoenix is poor, at best.

My solution was to purchase a $75 Wal-mart special, and begin commuting by bicycle. Within two months it became clear that the bike could not handle the tub-of-lard I happened to be at the time. I then “upgraded” my ride to a $150 mountain bike from…Wal-mart. Once again, after a couple of months, I realized this too was not enough bike for me. However, I was having so much fun riding to and from work, and was loosing weight almost faster than I could keep track, so I decided to buy a real bike. I dropped $450 on a Giant Yukon mountain bike from my local bike shop, which I promptly began adapting for commuting, and very quickly fell in love with cycling once again. This is the same bike I rode from Phoenix to Denver.

I realize it sounds counter-intuitive, but a quality bicycle, set up properly for the rider, actually makes it easier to ride hard. Most people have no need, and could never do justice to, a bike such as Lance Armstrong would ride (and should probably never spend the $8-12,000 required to purchase one). However, for $450-1000, anyone can get a great bike to ride every day. A quality piece of equipment is a pure pleasure, and will actually save you money over driving just about anything motorized.

So, spend a little time cruising the web, using the sites below as well as any others you might find, and consider giving bike commuting a try. I never would have imagined myself doing so but, I had to, out of necessity. You, on the other hand, can do it as an indulgence instead, which just might make you even more delighted with your choice to give it a try.

To help you make the move to bicycle commuting, I’ve found a couple of great sites to help you plan and get started. The links to these sites are listed below.

http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bikemonth/
http://www.sfbike.org/?btwd
http://www.roadbikerider.com/bc_excerpt.htm (Here, for $3.99, you can purchase an e-book with all the info you need to begin bicycle commuting safely and successfully.)

Pedal on, and enjoy…

Later





ipadio:Audio Post – Let’s Talk About Cycling and Stuff… – 20th phonecast

29 04 2010

Visit http://ipad.io/J1C to hear my latest ipadio phonecast

Or listen here:





Lessons learned…

29 04 2010

I learned a few things on the ride to Colorado; things I thought I might share.

I learned I’m not “in shape.” Sure, I’ve been riding nearly every day for the last two years; commuting to work, riding for pleasure, riding to burn fat. I’ve lost a great deal of weight and I feel much better. However, I’m not what anyone would consider in shape. I need to do a great deal more structured riding before a trip like this to get myself into proper condition for such a challenging endeavor.

I learned I need to train for a ride like this. When I say training I mean a structured approach to riding which will emulate many of the challenges I would experience on a long distance ride.

I learned I need to do more climbing rides. I need to begin challenging myself with climbs regularly, rather than avoiding them. Pleasure rides are one thing. Training rides serve another purpose. I need to begin deliberately riding routes with more climbs in them, even on days when I ride to work (when I get a job, of course). I used to commute only five miles to work. I would regularly go in early to drop my work clothes, then ride another 15-20 miles before returning to cool down and get ready for work. I’ll have to begin adding climbs to those rides to strengthen my legs.

I learned I hate the wind when it’s in my face. I take a strong head wind very personally these days. I become truly offended when the wind slows me down.

I learned I love the wind when it’s at my back. God I love a good tail wind. Push, push push me baby; especially uphill!

I learned riding in a dust storm is more challenging than driving a car in one. Trying to out run a dust storm turns out to be not such a good idea.

I learned camping out is not always as fun at 55 as it was when I was 15. I woke up pretty sore on a few of those mornings. Need to get a better sleeping pad for future tours.

I learned I could overcome most, if not all of these things. I actually surprised myself with my ability to overcome some of the challenges I faced. I guess I’m a little bit toughter than I thought I was. I had bad days, sure. But I overcame them. Sometime with help, sometimes on my own, I overcame them. I’m proud of that and it allows me to believe I’ll be able to do something similar again.

Later





New poll…

28 04 2010

We just posted a new poll for you. Please vote at your convenience.





New iPadio Audio Post…

28 04 2010

Due to the problem with that commercial post to my blog last week, we had to make some changes to the security settings. As a result, todays iPadio audio post did not present as it usually does. Instead, we’ve established a link to the audio post below. Simply click the link to hear me once again.

Future iPadio posts will look like they always have in the past.

Link to iPadio Blog Post

Thanx for your patience,

Later





A nice ride…

28 04 2010

Had a nice ride yesterday. I decided it was time to surprise a friend I hadn’t seen in 13 years, so I rode 13 miles into Denver. It was great to see her again after so many years. Then, I just tooled around town a bit, looking and remembering. It all seemed so familiar, despite being gone for nine years.

Afterward, I rode home, allowing myself to try the bus system here for the last few miles. So, I rode about 24 miles yesterday, in beautiful spring weather, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It’s so amazing the difference in my behavior since I began riding. I never would have imagined, three or five or ten years ago, that I would hop on a bike and ride 24 miles round trip just to have a cup of coffee with a friend. I mean, I used to drive 200 yards to get the mail!!! What a lazy old slug I was.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that, after the ride, my body is recovering nicely and I’m back to pedalling wherever I need to go. Hope you enjoy your next ride as much as I enjoyed mine.

Later





Reasons to quit…

28 04 2010

Hello all,

I’m asking for everyone’s help in this post. One of the lessons I learned from my ride to Colorado is that I need to quit smoking. However, I’m a stubborn nicotine addict, and I’m having trouble thinking of reasons to quit; one is definitely not enough. So, I’m asking all of you to offer up reasons, anything you can think of, to help inspire me to finally quit smoking.

Both of my parents smoked in our home when I was a child, and all five of my sisters either have smoked or still do. So, you know, it’s always been a kind of family bonding thing.

I began sneaking smokes from my mom’s pack when I was about thirteen, though it didn’t really become a part of my persona until I was about 21. Since then though, I’ve been a very committed smoker, averaging about three packs a day for 34 years.

In my drinking days, I would spend hours sitting in a bar drinking beer, flirting with any female who would allow me to, and chain-smoking, raising my daily numbers to the 5-6 pack level. Man, the money I’ve spent on beer and cigarettes would stagger the imaginations of some people (though a few of you, those who’ve sat there drinking and flirting and smoking with me, reading this know exactly what those numbers would be). So, to say that I have been a committed nicotine addict for a very long time seems like an understatement.

I am proud to say, however, that I have been able to reduce my nicotine consumption to about one, or one-and-a-half, packs a day since the ride. Believe me folks, that is big news for me.

Living in Phoenix, my main motivation for quitting, or at least reducing, the amount of smoking I did was the expense. I might pay up to eight bucks a pack down there. Here in Colorado though, they’re much cheaper. This is not a good thing. You see, when the expense of smoking is reduced, my will power quickly follows. It is still an expensive and nasty habit–er, addiction–but I must admit, even that is not enough to make me quit something I’ve enjoyed for so long.

During the ride though, my lungs really suffered from the years of dedicated smoking. There were a couple of days when I thought I would have to give up; that I would be unable to finish. Even through the last two years of nearly daily riding before the trip to Colorado, I was never able to fully commit to quitting; though I did try. The struggle I had during the ride helped to convince me that, should I ever hope to do another long distance tour, I would need to give up the smokes.

My biggest dilemma, my real reason for not being able to give it up over the years has been, are you ready for this?, I love the taste. Sure I’m an addict. I admit that freely. Experts even say smoking is harder to quit than heroin. But I’m not sure the nicotine addiction is the biggest hurdle I must overcome. Whenever I’ve tried to quit in the past I do fine for two or three days, but then my taste buds crave the taste so powerfully that I simply can’t maintain. Pretty sick, huh?

So, besides the expense and the reduced lung capacity for riding, I need more, and more overwhelming, reasons to inspire me to quit. I’m serious about this, but I’m also serious that reasons like “you’ll get cancer,” or “you might have a heart attack,” aren’t enough. If I haven’t died from smoking yet, I probably never will.

My heart is strong; my blood pressure is absolutely perfect; my lung capacity, considering, is good. I need something else; something more to convince me that the thing I want to do is worth the struggle; for, believe me, it will be a struggle. It will be tortuous. It will be even more difficult than the ride, which is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.

So, I am asking for your help. Throw it all at me and let’s see what works; if anything. I have nothing to lose by asking, as you have nothing to lose by offering. Maybe, together, we can figure out a way for me to kick this disgusting, and oh so tasty, habit of mine.

Thanx,

Later





My apologies…

26 04 2010

It seems that someone, somehow, was able to post a commercial link to this site at some time last night. It also seems that this someone was able to make a mass mailing of this link as well.

I apologize to everyone for this inconvenience. I will be working on the security for this blog today, in an attempt to prevent similar problems in the future.

I want to thank everyone for their continued interest and support of this blog. I hope this will not put you off.

Later








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