Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Odds & Ends

Easter Sunday fell on Georgia's birthday this year, so Alex and I avoided all extended family festivities to drive to Purdue University to spend the day with our now 19 year old daughter. It's hard to believe she's almost done with her first year of college. I must say, I think she's adapted to college much better than her parents have to being empty-nesters.

This is Georgia with her really good friend, James. This was the first time we got to meet him. The kid is OK - he's on a mountain bike racing team, and he skitters around on campus on a sweet fixie. He didn't have it handy, though, because he had it squirreled away in his room. Georgia showed me a photo of it at Christmas time.

On the bike scene, I've been hammering out the miles, and have been thinking about little else between working, and biking. The weather the last two weeks has been extremely windy (sounds like pretty much all of the country), and it's been cold. The week before last I was covered with snow one day, and pelted by sleet on the next.

I rode my first club ride on Saturday, and apparently caused a minor stir. Several people noticed how thin I was, but only Luis was brave enough to mention it. Apparently losing 45 lbs is pretty noticeable, especially in a short sleeved jersey and bike shorts. Come to think of it, that jersey actually felt a little on the large side. I still got smoked by the jocks, but I made it to within two miles of the finish before I was dropped. But I rode 8 miles to the start, and 8 miles home, so I had a few more miles in my legs than they did.

Oh, back in October, I mentioned that I wanted to get down to 200 lbs. Well, I made it there sometime around mid-March, and since then I've been consistently staying right at 197 - 199 lbs. The size 40 pants that used to be tight on me are so loose that I can't really wear them anymore. I'm back to a size 36 - the same size I wore in high school, when I ran track and cross country. I'm only 7 pounds heavier now than I was 31 years ago. I'm hoping to be able to control myself and keep the weight off. If you or anyone you know is trying to lose weight, try SparkPeople. I've been following their free diet plan, counting calories, fat, and protein all the while. Once I dedicated myself to sincerely following the diet plan, and getting plenty of exercise, the weight came off steadily.

Since it's been windy, I haven't been commuting too much, but instead I try to knock out 25 - 35 miles after supper, which means I end up getting back home after dark. My new Ixon light is just the gravy for a dark night.

The high beam is outrageously bright. I haven't tested it on any significant downhills yet, but this sucker lights up the night. The low beam is just fine for general riding, and that's what I mostly use. It runs on 4 AA cells. I have re-chargeable lithium batteries in here, and I haven't had to recharge them yet. I did buy the original rechargeable batteries from Peter White, from whom I bought the light. But those batteries just never held much of a charge, and I felt I should have been getting more than 2 hours of use per charge. I went down the road to our Meijer store and bought some $7 rechargeable batteries, and they've been working great. I bought an extra set for my next brevet - the 400K coming up on May 14th.

It's been quite a while since I last posted, and I've got more to say, but it's getting late. I'll post some more stuff another day.

Happy riding!



rlove2bike said...

400K...I can't even crasp a number that large. That has to be the ultimate.

You have a lot to be proud of and we in the north of Wisconsin are happy for you.

Apertome said...

Congrats again on all the weight loss. I'm not surprised that the club guys were shocked.

I'm glad you've been getting to do a lot of riding. You should be in great shape for the 400k.

limom said...

Great to hear about the weight!
I'm working on my last two or three kilos.
As far as 400k, I'm not even going to try and convert that to miles.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear from you and congrats on the weight loss. I also am aiming for 200 and am at 210. I am cutting extra sugar out and with the commuting, the pounds have been coming down. Best of luck May 14!

Big Oak said...

rlove2bike - Frankly, I'm glad they measure it in K's - I don't want to think how far that is in miles. The funny thing is, the ultimate randonneuring ride is the Paris-Brest-Paris 1200K Randonnee, held once every four years. This year is the latest. I'm not planning to do that ride. This year. Maybe in 2015.

Apertome - thanks, I'm in decent shape. We'll find out on the hills in So. Ohio what kind of shape I'm in.

limom - thanks, and good luck!

twofeet - yes, isn't it amazing what a little sugar can do? Good luck on your goal too! I hope you're not getting drowned out down there in Missouri - the images on the news are discouraging. I hope you folks dry out soon (but not too dry).

Anonymous said...

That's excellent and I'm glad to hear of a successful weight loss that was combined with exercise.. congratulations!

Steve A said...

You haven't lost a daughter to college, you've gained a "foul weather room" to keep bikes in!

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