I guess I’m not fat anymore…

31 08 2010

So…I have some good news and some bad news. I’ll begin with the bad, and embarrassing, news first.

Two-and-a-half years ago, before I began cycling regularly, I weighed at least 300 pounds and was wearing a size 48 pants. (WOW, that was hard to admit.) I was drinking beer like I wanted to drink every drop on the planet, and I was smoking like a fiend.

Now the good news; a few days ago I bought two pairs of pants…in a size 38. These are the smallest pants I’ve purchased in a couple of decades. And, instead of wearing XXL or XXXL shirts, I’m wearing large, and some extra-large. What a difference.

When I look at pictures of myself from the bad days, I can’t believe how fat I was…or that I was so easily able to mislead myself that I didn’t look “that bad.” Five years ago, at my daughter’s wedding, I was embarrassing to look at. Sometimes, I’m surprised she wanted me there to give her away. Today though, I’m proud of myself and all the work I’ve done to get the weight off…and keep it off.

Of course, cycling is the main reason for this dramatic weight loss, but I’ve also quit using bars as my home-away-from-home. Sometimes I miss it, but I enjoy the healthier lifestyle I’ve adopted much more. I feel better…and I can look into a mirror without cringing.

I have to admit that the joy I experience when riding has now been equaled by the boost to my ego. I feel and look better; I feel and look younger; I have more energy and am more productive.

When I began commuting by bike it was out of necessity. I couldn’t afford to fix my broken-down car, so riding was the only viable alternative. At that time I made a promise to myself, and my daughter, that, if I was going to do this, I was going to benefit from it. I’d say it’s worked out rather well.

Later

PS: Check out the “Anniversary” post at www.milehicycleguy.com.





ipadio: Audio Post – Let’s Talk About Cycling and Stuff… – talking about bikes, dick, sporting goods, hello everyone, relationship

28 08 2010

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

Or listen here:





I am not an inconvenience…

15 08 2010

An open letter to Colorado motorists…

I am not an inconvenience…

…I am a legal resident of this state, operating a legal vehicle in a legal manner, on the roads of this state, as defined by law.

You, on the other hand, as you accelerate past me within inches of my left hip, while laying on your horn and shouting obscenities out your window, are in violation of several state and local statutes; while at the same time behaving in a manner which belies all claims to being civilized. You are in direct violation of the Three Foot Law, putting my life at risk, as well as committing an act of verbal abuse. You are also a fool and an idiot.

How many times must you be told that riding on the sidewalks of this city is against the law? How many times must I explain that the law dictates that I ride in the street, with all the rights and responsibilities of any other vehicle? How many times must you be told to give me the same respect as other vehicles, which happen to be moving more slowly than you in the proper lane (the right lane)?

Do you also pass a slow-moving 18 wheeler without changing lanes? No? Then why do you think this risky behavior is appropriate when coming upon a cyclist? Do you lay on your horn as you pass and scream at the driver of a slower car to get off the road? No? Then why do you think this intimidating behavior is appropriate when you pass a bicycling commuter?

Do you really believe that your time and safety are more important than mine? Are you truly so self-involved that my safety has no meaning for you? Do you actually have no concept of civilized behavior while on the road? Did you get your driver’s license through mail-order?

It’s time to wake up, people. Bicycle commuting, and cycling in general, is on the rise. More people ride their bikes to work today than ever before, for a myriad of reasons . More people cycle for recreation, weight loss, and improved health than ever before. Cyclists are spending more time on the roads, legally, than ever before. We have that right, whether you like it or not. We will persist in exercising that right, no matter what, because we love to ride.

For many, if not most of us, cycling is a way of life. I ride nearly every day. I commute to work on my bicycle 4-5 days per week…and nearly as many nights for my return home.  As a result, I have lost a great deal of weight and am much healthier than I was two years ago when I began cycling. I refuse to give up these benefits, or the joy I experience when cycling. I do not own a car, and hope to never again need one.

I truly believe that many motorists envy, yet also resent, the cyclist for his chosen lifestyle. If you are one of these, then make the same choice. Anyone can, you merely need to decide to do it. It all begins with that first turn of the cranks; then, and only then, will you even begin to understand why so many choose to live the lifestyle of the cyclist. If you do choose to join us, welcome. If not, at least leave us alone and afford us the respect you expect to receive for the choices you have made in your own lives. This is, after all, the grown up thing to do.

Later





Ooh Baby…

10 08 2010

Now this is what we call Bike Porn.

Doesn’t she just make you want to…”get to know her better?”

Later





Cycling prose…

9 08 2010

I just read a wonderful post about cycling, it was very nearly poetic, from my blogger buddy Kelly Carlisle at Ride Bikes, Drink Coffee. He even quoted Ernest Hemingway!

There are so many practical reasons to ride a bike, but this is why we really do it, because it improves our perspective and is so damn much fun.

Please…give yourselves a treat this morning and spend a few minutes reading this: http://ridebikesdrinkcoffee.blogspot.com/

Later





Old man working here…

7 08 2010

Today is the end of the work week at Dick’s Sporting Goods. (The week runs from Sunday to Saturday here, almost like a real week.)

Today is also the sixth day in a row I’ve worked without a day off. We’re short-handed right now, and it’s back-to-school season, so the boss asked me to help pick up the slack…no problem. Except…next week’s schedule has me working right through the week, Sunday through Wednesday, before my next day off. THAT’S ELEVEN DAYS IN A ROW.

Don’t these people realize how old I am? Different managers wrote the two schedules, the second not realizing, apparently, what the first had done (and for which he apologized, sort of). Communication is not a high priority around here.

The only good to come of this, is that I’ve been able to work in the bike department. I’ve sold half-a-dozen bikes, plus I’ve worked on a dozen more. I also have to cover the “Team” department, and I’ve been able to help quite a few folks get their kids set up for football season and some late baseball. I helped a very attractive 30-something woman put together her kit for a softball league, as well (we even did a bit of flirting with each other, which was very good for my ego).

So, while it’s been an exhausting week, it has also been very productive. That’s a good thing…right?

The larger issue however, is that I haven’t been able to work much on all the bikes I’ve bought to rebuild and resell. Mile Hi Cycle Guy is paying for the bad scheduling I’ve had to endure at my day job. This was supposed to be a part-time gig, which is why we began the bike business at home. I wanted to stay busy doing something I enjoy, as well as helping people to find an economical ride.

Everything was going so well too. We sold our first five bikes in a week, so I bought ten more used bikes last week, giving me a total of 22 to rebuild, and I haven’t the time to get them done. I’m feeling very stressed about that right now…and a bit resentful, I’ll admit.

Well, I guess this is just one more challenge I have to overcome. I’m sure I’ll do it, but I feel very frustrated right now. Plus, I’m so damn tired all the time.

Sorry I can’t whine about this any more. It’s about time to begin getting ready for work. I really can’t wait to hit the road this morning. I love to ride early in the day. It’s much more invigorating than an afternoon ride, and I know it will energize me for the day ahead.

When I get home this afternoon, I’ll hit the Fuji mountain bike I have in the rack and finish it up, so we can post it for sale by tomorrow morning. That will make me feel better I’m sure.

Have a good weekend everyone. I hope you get a chance to ride.

Later





Riding for pleasure…

4 08 2010

Haven’t been able to do much of that, lately.

I’ve been too busy to do much pleasure riding over the last week to ten days, or so. What with working at Dick’s and doing the rebuilds for Mile Hi Cycle Guy, I just haven’t had the time.

I miss it…

I did manage to take a spin with Darryl on his new Trek road bike yesterday morning, before we began working on the bikes, but that just wasn’t enough. Then, we got so busy in the shop that he drove me to work. I did take the Raleigh with me, so I was able to ride home last night but, that too wasn’t enough. I really need to get out for a longer ride.

Unfortunately, with my current schedule, that isn’t going to happen this week.

What a bummer…

Later





Quite a productive weekend…

2 08 2010

This weekend was exhausting, and exhaustive; but we finished rebuilding four hybrid bikes and have listed them for sale.

Saturday began wonderfully, with the usual seven mile ride to work. I had to leave much earlier than usual, hitting the road just before 7:00. It was a great ride on a beautiful morning, and I flew through those miles. The ride was so inspiring, I began my new job of working in the bike department by selling a couple of nice new hybrids to a couple in their sixties who wanted to get back into cycling. It was a great way to start my day.

After six hours on the retail floor, I hopped on the Raleigh and headed for home, where I resumed work on rebuilding one of our hybrids. Things went smoothly…mostly. When Darryl returned we hit two bikes together, nearly completing both.

At about 8:30 we headed out to Home Depot to pick up a small air compressor, which I’d had my eye on for weeks, and some other tools we’d decided were essential, then picked up a late dinner. With all the work we’ve been doing in the shop lately, we seem to eat later and later; if we remember to eat dinner at all.

Sunday morning we spent a couple of hours setting up the compressor and the new tools; hanging peg-board and improving our organization. We then began work once again and finished three more bikes. We now have a total of four rebuilt hybrids ready to sell.

The new bikes can be seen at http://www.milehicycleguy.com

While we were rebilding the bikes, Andi was, of course, not idle. She has done a beautiful job on the new website and I can’t thank her enough. If you ever need work done on your website, or if you want to begin a new one, she is the girl for you. (Just click on the link to her site at the right of this page.)

When we finished working last night at about 9:00, all of us were pretty wasted. I was so tired and achy, even my fingernails hurt. The bike work seems to put my body in all sorts of positions I’m not used to and I wake up sore nearly every morning. It’s worth it though, if we can get more folks out there riding on one of our bikes.

Well, just wanted to give you an update on how things are going around here. Today begins another tough week. We’re very shorthanded at work, so I’ll be doing six days straight, as well as moving over to bikes again. I enjoy selling them so much, I’m really looking forward to it. Plus, we have more bikes to work on. I’ll let you know how that is going too.

Later





Re: From the Ridiculous to the Sublime…

1 08 2010

This is, without doubt, one of the best pieces of writing I have ever read about commuting by bike.

‘Nuff said…

http://bikefriendlynorthshore.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/from-the-ridiculous-to-the-sublime/

Later








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