22 April 2012

Hey fatty!

Need more of this.
I am fat.

Not obese. Not yet.  But fat I am. Fatter than I've ever been.

One-hundred-ninety. That's what I weighed-in at yesterday (and today). After my ride.  After crossing paths with my old friend Tony, the manager at the bike shop where I used to spend my summers, up on Secret Trail out in the middle of nowhere.

"Hey fatty!" he called out as we recognized each other from some distance away.  I greeted him with the same, of course.  Though it really wasn't true; he's as fit as he's ever been right now, I think.

I am not, however, so his greeting didn't shock me. I've been aware of my new bulkyishness for some time; waistbands are good barometers of such things and mine have been growing ever-snugger of late.

When I was fast, years ago, I was 160.  For the last decade or so, I've felt best at about 175.

It was when Tony said, "Look at your legs, they're all chubby.  You've got chubby fat-guy legs, Johncoe!" that I resolved something needs to be done about my situation.  I don't want to be that-guy, all pudgy and stuffed into his lycra.  But right now, I guess I am.

And this.
A lot of excuses can be made, of course, all new-job-related.  But they really don't matter, nor do they change the foundation of my dilemma.  I need to lose some weight.  I'm thinking I need to work on getting back to 175.  What's that, 15 pounds?  That should be doable, right, for someone active and healthy?  How long should it take to get rid of 15 pounds, without killing myself through starvation?  A few months, probably.

School's out in early June, a little over a month from now.  Can I get there by then, so I'm more ready for the Tuesday Morning Ride?  Probably not.  But maybe close.  The days are longer, so maybe I can start getting out on a ride or two during the week after work, before dinner.  If I can just find more time to ride, I think the weight will come off easier than if I try to starve myself back to 175.  I think that makes the best sense: ride more, eat a little less.  Right?

The bottom line: I need more time to ride.  Less time behind a desk. More time on wheels in the woods.  Riding's more fun when you're less fat; exercise is good for the soul; the woods are lovely, dark and deep.  There are a million more good reasons why I need to do this.  And I'm gonna.

Don't wanna be fatty-fat-fat no more.

07 April 2012

Old number 64

My fancy bike is broken and I'm too embarrassed to take it down to the shop and admit that I don't know how to fix it.  It's got a bubble or something in the rear brake system which has progressively been causing the brake to perform more and more poorly.  In the course of the 20 years that I've been hanging around at Absolute Bikes, I've maybe had a bike in for a legit repair two or three times.  And I've never filled out a repair ticket in the past 17 years when, as an official employee, I was always able to fix all of my bikes on my own, or hang the broken one in the stand after work and ask the mechanics for help as-needed.

No more.  My new job pretty much prevents me from working for the shop this coming summer, just as it did last summer.  So my opportunities to get free advice or assistance from the pros after-hours, in exchange for beers, are basically gone.  I could take advantage of one of them, and beg for help, but that just feels so lame.  So I'm stuck.  One of the things I like about all the other bikes in my garage is that I know how to fix all of them.  This new bike, with its fancy suspension, indexed shifters, and disc brakes is quite foreign to me.  And, at the moment I've neither the time nor the inclination to learn how to repair these components on my own.

So, as I said, I'm stuck.  My new bike has now been broken, just hanging there, unused, in the garage for two weeks.  Drives me crazy.

Fortunately, when it comes to other bikes to ride in the interim, I'm not without a few pleasant options.

So pretty.
Click to enlarge
Today I rode my Retrotec, old number 64.  It was super-fun!  Up Super-moto and across Newham.  A great ride!  Something about that bike, dunno what it is... the way it handles, the way it rails through corners, that it was my first-bike... Hard to put a finger on it.  But it never fails to disappoint.

Love that bike!

But I've gotta get off the dime and just eat my pride and take the big, broken fancy bike down to the shop and drop it off and let the pros fix it up for me.  Otherwise it's just gonna hang there forever, languishing until it turns back to dust.  It sure as heck ain't gonna fix itself.

Maybe I'll take it in tomorrow.  It shouldn't be such a big deal, huh.

Yeah.  I'll take it in on Sunday.  And then go ride the Retro again!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Ed Abbey