I find the nice thing about my long bike rides is that it gives me time to think, just think. At least, when I’m not trying to kick some song out of my head.
I had something of a revelation – that a few regular activities of mine have ceased to bring me the enjoyment that they once did. I feel a lot better just having recognized that fact. The “oh, I should stop doing that, then” realization makes how I’ve been feeling over the past few weeks stupidly obvious in hindsight, and that I’ve been the one primarily responsible for beating myself up rather than work being mentally draining. Not that work hasn’t been mentally draining as well… Of course, the next trick will be figuring out what to do about those things, given the expectations of others.
On other topics…
Already ahead of last year’s pace in terms of bicycling. I surpassed 400 miles in March alone, which also says something about the weather and how little rain has come through the area.
I’ve been working on more RPG-related writing. I’ve nearly finished a rules adaptation that I’ve been thinking about for a while. Relatively simple in hindsight since there were not many rules covering much of the overlapping conceptual spaces in either system. I’ve been drafting outlines of adventure plot lines for my Epic Tier 4th Edition D&D game. I’ve been hampered by having my notes on what’s happened so far scattered across two different devices as well as handwritten during sessions.
I still haven’t gotten back into the story/fiction writing habit, here or otherwise. Just fits and starts. I really need to fix that.
Apparently I am a parking Jedi. I squeezed into a spot last night without touching the other car and with no one coaching, and this was the result:
From the other side after dinner, using a quarter on top of the front license plate mount (in the oval) to better show scale:
I also didn’t block anyone in; there was only space for two cars, and the white one wasn’t aligned to the front of the available space for parking. Yay for having a small car.
Dinner was very tasty:
(And those are glasses of wine #’s 3 & 4. They are 3 & 4 instead of 4 & 5 because I passed off my first glass to one of the RaceFans.)
In other news - this morning, I surpassed 2300 miles bicycled for this year. That’s a couple hundred ahead of last year’s overall pace.
Nine Day Weekend
Today was the first day of a nine day weekend. I think I like phrasing it that way, it makes it feel like less of a significant bit of time off and so I feel better about not actually doing anything of note.
I’ll still probably be bored by Monday afternoon.
Biked again today. The weather was much nice than last weekend - almost 20 degrees cooler. With today’s 63 miles, I hit 400 miles for the month of April. (I only did 400 in a month twice in 2011.) I celebrated by lying down on the floor and not moving for a while. Then I took a shower and ate dinner. Pretty much my normal post-bike-ride routine, actually…
I discovered on one of my morning bike rides last week that the last third of it, which is mostly downhill, has a maximum speed. It wasn’t the first time that I’ve noticed it, but that confirmed it. My average speed leading up to it was 18.7 mph, but when I finished my average had dropped to 18.5 mph. Still my second-best time, but a little disappointing (and frustrating) to see that drop.
It also means that I’ve largely hit the limit for that ride - I can’t really get much better, it’s become a matter of the timing of traffic lights determining if I’m sustaining speed or having to stop and start again. I’m still doing alright on the weekend rides - still at metric century distance - but I need to put more thought into fuel if I’m going to push any farther, since I’m largely at my limits right now.
And fuel is the ultimate question. I haven’t weighed myself since Christmas, and I’m somewhat hesitant to do so. It’s not weight but volume that I’m focused on now, but volume doesn’t seem to be changing of late. I know I’ve been a little lax on monitoring my calorie intake this year. Psychologically I guess I’ve been feeling good about having lost 50 pounds last year, but I really need to do a better job on that if I’m going to get my numbers down the rest of the way.
And, yes, I’ve been quiet here. I had some things re: D&D to get written, both for my campaign and comments on the whole D&D Next design process thing. But I’m not going to clutter this any more with those thoughts, they’re elsewhere.
RUSH is touring again! RUSH is touring again! Tickets for the local venue go on sale on Tuesday! Whee!
all puffed up with vanity
we see what we want to see
to the powerful and the wise
the mirror always lies
- Rush, “War Paint”
Back in the Saddle
After a month hiatus due to weather, I finally got in another metric century ride Saturday.
I did get in rides of 35 (on 3/18) and 46 (on 4/1) miles in between, but for the most part the weather has not been conducive to cycling on the weekends. Even with the weather being as it’s been, after 14 weeks I’m averaging slightly more miles per week this year than I did over all of last year. And I hit my monthly mileage goal for each of January, February, and March.
And now that I’ve got the mundane details out of the way, the unusual bits from Saturday’s ride…
For about 10 miles of today’s ride, I ended up talking to another cyclist about a variety of topics. We started talking about bike frames, since I still ride a steel frame bike and those are getting rare due to manufacturing costs. They’re all for the most part aluminum and/or carbon fiber now.
Keep in mind, this conversation is all happening while traveling at roughly 20 miles an hour by bicycle, over the aforementioned 10 miles.
After talking about bike frames, with little segue between, we ended up talking about the recent Supreme Court decision allowing anyone arrested for anything to be strip searched. The conversation then progressed to the case on health care, which progressed to a discussion on health care costs and retirement planning - he was 53 - and the current trajectory of rising health care costs, and what sorts of things could be done about that.
And then… we arrived at an intersection where we went our separate ways.
I never did get his name.
I wish I had been able to get a picture of it, but I passed a car (a grey convertible) with the Autobot emblem affixed to the side, just in front of the door. It wasn’t a sticker either, it was a shiny plastic emblem like the various and sundry fish emblems that can be seen on cars.
And… that’s all I can remember. I was thinking there was something else that I saw, but it’s gone now.
All in all, it was a good ride - I was a little worried that after a month I’d have slipped a little, but I was able to keep going strong throughout. Well, up until mile 55 or so, then fatigue started setting in…
Some people fly
and some of us worry
of touching the sun with wings.
I know if I try
I’ll get where I’m going
keeping my eyes on the sky.
- Queensrÿche, “Some People Fly”
Final tally for 2011 cycling:
2012 starts tomorrow, with an unseasonably warm forecast: 73(!!!!) degrees and sunny. I’m certainly hesitant to say that I’ll be able to duplicate 2011’s results in 2012, but I’m going to try…
Going the Distance
Early this year, I set a goal for myself for bicycling. Pretty simple: 300 miles per month, 3,600 miles for the year. I hit that goal in early November. Since then… I’ve kept going.
Went out and biked another metric century today:
(63 miles = 101 km)
With today’s bike ride, I surpassed 4,000 miles for the year:
It’s possible that I’ve biked more miles than I’ve driven this year (mostly due to working from home for the first half of the year). I don’t think that will repeat next year, unless I’m able to start biking to work. But, hey, 4,000 miles. Not too shabby, eh? In the course of that, I’ve lost 50 pounds.
I think I’m going to celebrate by moving around as little as possible for the next 24-36 hours. And then… well, there’s still three weeks left in the year, and weather permitting…