november cycling recap

The MUP is still closed. The pipeline work is done but now there is a new development going in and they have it blocked about halfway down the road.

The MUP is still closed. The pipeline work is done but now there is a new development going in and they have it blocked about halfway down the road.

November has 5 Saturdays. I biked to Flatwoods. It was cold and windy. I had planned on doing 2 laps and 30 miles. But then the wind got very strong. At one point, I felt like I was just pedaling to stay upright. I decided not to push it and only did one loop and rode home. The way home was against the wind.

Week 1. I rode my bike everyday. Some days felt like a struggle until I realized I was biking harder than I needed to. Saturday was cold and windy again. I decided to skip Flatwoods and ride north, into the wind. I rode towards Zephyrhills. State Road 54 does not have a dedicated bike lane but the shoulder is wide enough. I only managed 26 miles. Perhaps next week I will go farther and maybe explore some of the developments. I rode 93 miles.

Week 2. Andy decided he wanted to ride bikes after school but before dinner. We went out Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday I rode my 820 so I could ride slower. On Thursday, I got my first flat since I started biking again. A long wood screw embedded itself into the rear tire. I was 2 miles from home. I decided to try to replace the tube instead of walk home. It took a while but I finally got it replaced. I couldn't pump enough air into the tire but I hobbled home. I took the wheel to Oliver's. The man said it was still rideable but I could feel it and didn't trust it. It cost me $50 for a tire, 2 tubes (one as a spare) and their labor. They had a heck of a time getting the new tire on my rim. The weather was crappy on Friday but I rode because I wanted the miles. I couldn't ride Saturday because ANdy had Special Olympics Fall Classic bowling in Orlando.I finished with 91 miles.

It's been years since I changed a flat and had to read the directions. Getting the tire off the wheel is the hardest part.

It's been years since I changed a flat and had to read the directions. Getting the tire off the wheel is the hardest part.

Week 3. I began working this week. I had to reduce my biking on the days I worked. Cycling is important to keep riding even though I  am walking a lot more for work. Cycling doesn't hurt and it gets the blood flowing to help heal the aches and pains of walking all day. I rode 87 miles this week.

There is another construction block along my usual route so I switched my route. The road is busier but it doesn't bother me. More cars = less pedestrians.

There is another construction block along my usual route so I switched my route. The road is busier but it doesn't bother me. More cars = less pedestrians.

Week 4. I only rode 3 days this week. It rained twice and I had to work at 6am on Black Friday. Riding helps me forget about the pain of working. I finished the week with 42 miles.

I rode 340 miles this month. I lost 10 pounds.

october cycling recap

This guy stopped his truck on the path to do something on his phone. He was oblivious that I was waiting for him to move.

This guy stopped his truck on the path to do something on his phone. He was oblivious that I was waiting for him to move.

I really like riding my road bike despite the hand pain. I had thought I would ride my 820 in wet weather. But I just didn't want to go slower. 

I am not skilled enough to hop over this hose.

I am not skilled enough to hop over this hose.

I am still trying to find the ride spot for my saddle to lessen the hand pain. I wish I had the money for a professional fit. Though it would have to be redone as I lose weight. 

I got a mirror for my bike. It's OK.

I got a mirror for my bike. It's OK.

I did my first organized ride on Sunday, October 5. I was supposed to meet Ron from BikeFourms there. I got impatient and cold and he was late. I rode alone. I rode just over 14 miles and went back. Organized rides do not excite me like they used to do. Riding alone is OK, no one is expecting more than a few words. I feel awkward standing alone at rest stops. I usually don't stay long. And when the ride is over, I just go home. I can do all this with the added driving if I ride around my neighborhood.

 withlacoochee rails to trails bike ride

I moved my saddle forward a bit. I found I felt a bit better. I also tipped it up to level it out. I am still looking for the best riding position to stop the hand and shoulder pains.

Withlacoochee Trail

Withlacoochee Trail

I only rode 60 miles during week 2. I took off Monday as a rest day after the Withlacoochee Rails to Trails ride. I missed my Saturday ride to go on the World Wide Photo Walk with Bridget. I wish my dad understood that cycling is so much better than church. I wish I didn't feel like an 8 year old.

The cows are usually not so close to the fence. I stopped to take some photos. They moo'd at me.

The cows are usually not so close to the fence. I stopped to take some photos. They moo'd at me.

I rode 100 miles during the third week. I rode two loops each week day and 25 miles on Saturday. The weather was good. 

I rode 106 miles during the fourth week. The weather got cooler and I got. My SheBeest tights. They were longer than I expected, I was expecting knickers and these are capris. They keep my knees warm and the chamois is wonderful. I was still having some issues but riding with the SheBeest tights made it go away. I realize now that the Terry chamois is too narrow and the seams were chafing. I wish I could afford to but some new shorts or a skort from SheBeest. That will have to wait and maybe the weather will stay cool so I can keep wearing the tights. I rode 30 miles on Saturday at Flatwoods. I felt pretty good afterwards. I realized I need to start increasing my mileage if I plan on my age on my birthday. I have about 2 1/2 months to be able to ride 50 miles.

I saw some deer one Saturday morning.

I saw some deer one Saturday morning.

The last week ended on Friday so I didn't have my long Saturday ride included. I missed Thursday because I went on Andy's field trip. The tights continue to feel good. I have noticed less knee pain. Is it because of the compression of the tights?

I finished the month with 675km which is 419miles. I was hoping for 360 miles so I am pretty happy with this. 

Construction is mostly done but the path is still not suitable for riding.

Construction is mostly done but the path is still not suitable for riding.

I lost 7.2 pounds. 

goal achieved

I have finally lost enough weight to start riding my bike.

Yes, I have been riding for months. I have been wanting to get back on my bike for years but I thought I was too fat. I made a goal that if I got to xxx weight, I would start riding again. I had gotten close before but then something would happen and I would gain the weight back. 

I hurt my foot in April and I couldn't walk anymore. I couldn't wait for my foot to heal and tried riding my bike. I wasn't too fat for riding and it helped with the weight loss. I have lost 30 pounds since I started riding. I still have a lot more to lose. 

Cycling is enjoyable even without the weight loss.

one hundred and forty miles

I did well riding in May. I noticed some problems with my bum and got a new seat. I also started wearing a padded skort. It all helped and I felt really good. I wasn't losing weight but I knew that would come once I got better at riding and could ride faster and longer.

I was surprised and happy to find that I rode 140 miles in May. It may not seem like much to seasoned cyclists but it seemed like so much compared to the 50 miles I did walking. Many of those miles were ridden with Andy in the evenings. Even after he did well in the Special Olympics State Games, he still wanted to ride.

The best part was that my ankle pain was almost gone. I still had problems with plantar fasciitis especially in the morning but it was manageable. I no longer had ankle pain while I was sitting.

I do look at bicycles I would love to buy but know that what I have is fine. I love the idea on the Dutch style city bikes. I know I won't be going car-free but the idea of riding my bike everywhere. Suburban Florida just isn't the place the go car free. 

pink eye

Health wise, we have been pretty lucky. The boys have had their share of colds and flu but we haven’t needed the doctor in years. During spring break, Andy woke up with a red and swollen eye. There didn’t appear to be any injury and I took a wait-and-see approach. The eye continued to be red and puffy through the day and the next. It starting weeping the next day. Again, I wasn’t too concerned. I have had my own problems with allergies affecting my eyes. Perhaps Andy was developing and allergy? I told Andy not to touch his eye but to use a tissue to wipe it.

When the drainage became thicker, I should have called the doctor. I knew Andy would not want to go. I didn’t want to go. I thought we could try some over-the-counter eye drops. Due to Easter holiday, that took a few days to get done. By the time I got eyes drops, Andy’s eye was red and gross.

I showed Andy that getting the drops wouldn’t be difficult by putting a drop in my own eye. I had him lie on the bed and look the other way. It wasn’t easy but we got it done. I was hoping we would see improvement by the end of the day.

The next day, Andy’s eye was not quite improved but not worse either. We continued with the drops. By the end of the day, it did seemed improved. The drainage had lessened.

Andy was supposed to got to school Tuesday morning. But his eye was still bad. He had had only 2 days with the drops and maybe a third would be the trick. I let him stay home. He spent the morning in his room.

On Wednesday morning, there was no improvement and Andy wanted to stay home. Again he spent the morning in his room. When he came out for lunch, I saw that his eye was worse. I called the doctor.

We got in right away. Dr LaCross was pleasant and patient with Andy. She said it was conjunctivitis and that he would need eye drops. She tried to look in his ears. Andy is blessed with heavy ear wax and she couldn’t see in his right ear. She said that there is sometimes ear infections on the same side as the eye. It was Andy’s right eye that was infected. She offered to clear the ear but I knew that wasn’t going to go well. I said I could do it at home and she agreed. She also gave us some sample eye drops so we wouldn’t have to pay for a prescription.

We went home and I put in an eye drop. This stuff in concentrated so 1 drop, twice a day is all that is needed. The thicker drops are harder to get out of the tiny bottle.

Andy wanted to go to school on Thursday. He wanted to go 2 days, not just one. I let him go even though he should have stayed home the 24 hours after the first dose. The clinic called right away and told me Andy’s eye was bothering him. I asked Andy if he wanted to go home but he did not. I said he could call if he wanted to come home later. The clinic called at 10:30. I figured this coincided with Andy’s work time at school.

We went through drive-thru at Chick-Fil-A and went home. Andy stayed in his room until Ryan came home. Andy’s eye continued to improve but he wanted an exact time when his eye would be better.

On Friday morning, Andy wanted to stay home. I didn’t argue with him. I felt guilty enough for ignoring the problem in the first place and let him stay home. He stayed in his room during the morning but came out in the afternoon bouncing to music. His eye is still a little red but the drainage is gone and it doesn’t seem to bother him at all.