Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Long Winter Nights

The long, dark nights usually trigger in me a need to become obsessed about something, but this winter it really hasn't hit me yet. Last winter I spent much time researching and reading about the Erie Canals - the Wabash & Erie Canal in Indiana, the Miami & Erie Canal in Ohio, and the original Erie Canal across New York state.

The winter before last I spent a lot of time reading about riding long distances - mainly centuries and longer and finding new trails to ride my bike.

This winter, maybe I'm more obsessed about losing weight than I want to admit. I have many reasons for wanting to lose weight. One of the things that inspired me to lose weight was this book:

published by Marlowe & Company in New York.

I'm not going to give you a book report here, but three things I like about the book are,

1) the book has a lot of good, useful information about the health and mind aspects of bicycling,

2) there are 12 in-depth interviews with notable cyclists ranging from 90+ year-old John Sinibaldi to "The Reverend" Rich White, with interviews of more famous cyclists in between, and

3) the authors are both accomplished cyclists who love cycling (not because they were great at it, although they both were) and it is evident in the way they put the book together.

I almost never buy books, since we have a fantastic library system here in Allen County (oh, by the way, my wife works there!) and they have literally millions of books. If they don't have a book, they will seek the book from another library system for me, or I can request that they purchase the book I want for the library.

I bought this book, though, and I paid the full price $16.95. Only when I was in college 26 years ago did I pay more for a book. You should be getting the idea by now that I liked the book.

'Nuff said.

On the weight-front, I've lost 24 lbs now since Oct 1, and I'm still losing. Nineteen more pounds to go and I'll be smack dab in the middle of my ideal weight range. Quite honestly, I'm surprised I've made it this far. My love of food usually consumed the majority of my conscious thoughts. Lately I've been excited about finding new belt loop holes I haven't used for a very, very long time. And getting comments from people who say, "you've lost weight!"

I've even started running again, although I'm taking it very slow and easy. My knees ain't what they used to be. But with less weight to push around, it's remarkable how happy they've been over the past month.

I haven't biked for the last two weeks, but that's going to change soon. Tonight I'm putting the Haakapaliittas on the Tricross for some winter biking. I'm feeling the need to begin commuting to work again, although 20 miles each way in the dark on icy, snowy roads doesn't seem like a sane thing to do. I've scouted out some more park-and-ride spots where I might get away with parking my truck part way to work, then I can bike the rest.

Anyways, enough about me.

If you can't get out and ride, at least day-dream a happy bike ride!


Trevor Woodford said...

Yeah the long winter nights are certainly a good time to indulge in all those minor obsessions.
Trouble is most of my obsessions seem to involve spending money. Currently looking at new bike catalogues.....!!

rlove2bike said...

I used to think "How hard can it be to loose wieght?" That was before I needed to do it myself and I found out that it is't easy and sad to say I am at that crossroads again. You are to be congratulated. Keep up the good work, along with the interesting reads.

Jon said...

Glad you are seeing some success in the weight loss. I am familiar with that road.

Get some rides in and keep the posts coming!

Apertome said...

You're doing great with the weight loss!

I'm still commuting every day, but a 10-mile round trip is a lot easier. Still, we have had some interesting conditions ... park & ride seems like a great plan. You could still get out for rides on the weekends, you know!

Studded tires are great. I'm very happy to have some for the LHT now instead of just the old beater MTB. It's such an improvement!

Big Oak said...

Trevor - yes, I know what you mean. There are so many bike parts and bike clothes I "need", but fortunately for my bank account I don't indulge too often.

rlove2bike - thanks, growing older sometimes sucks, doesn't it?

Jon - thanks for the encouragement.

Big Oak said...

Michael - your last blog post got my juices flowing for winter biking again. Saturdays in the winter are for disc golf, and Sundays for me are family days, but I'll try to squeeze some rides in.

Steve A said...

If you haven't read it yet, see if your local library has a copy of "Cycling Past 50." It is very good as well. After checking it out several times, I broke down and bought a copy.

Big Oak said...

Steve - I've heard good things about that book. I'll see if the library has that one. Thanks for the recommendation.

jeff said...

Congrats on the weight loss. I struggle with it during the winter when I'm riding indoors. One of these years I'm going to stay at my summer riding weight all year.

Big Oak said...

Jeff - Thanks! I figured I had a little too much extra weight to lose during the summers, so now was as good a time as any. said...

Great job on losing that weight. That'll make a huge difference in your riding this spring. You'll be climbing like a gazell!

Big Oak said...

Tracy - Thanks. I don't know about climbing like a gazelle, I'd settle for a bear.