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aaaargh....I'm so frustrated (ftw!)

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aaaargh....I'm so frustrated (ftw!)

Old 03-31-09, 05:58 PM
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aaaargh....I'm so frustrated (ftw!)

Hating myself right now.....and the infernal wind, toe straps, twist shifting, old folks that follow 2 feet behind, then pull off at the top of the hill and gossip about that fat boy on his bicycle, and the wind....oh yeah, said that already.

But most of all, hating myself. See, I had this GREAT second ride back on March 18th, did 14 miles up and down the Galloway trail. It was hard going north (slightly more up than down, and the wind was from the north that day), took about 45 minutes not counting a couple stops (one of which I snapped my avatar pic, seen at left). But the last 5.5 miles I did in about 28 minutes nonstop and felt great. After which later that evening I also rode about 3.5 miles on a stationary bike at the gym.

That was then.....

Since then the weather's been generally cold, crummy and more than anything else, WINDY! (We have a higher average wind speed than that other supposedly Windy City they talk about.) I also work nights at Walmart, which is a good way to get tired in its own right, and I also somehow managed to put off going to the gym too. All of which adds up to 'not cool'

I knew it was much too windy for riding out today, but I also HAD to do something - couldn't just sit around and stare at that damn bike. So I go for a quick ride in the park, which is right down the end of the street. Alas, the wind's blowing like a son-of-a-***** out of the west, and the road runs west to east which is good, but it's also steep. I barely make it up the first little hill mainly on account of getting my momentum up, but then the second one defeats me when my front derailluer refuses to shift down to the small ring (28T I think?). Just makes a clicking noise. I barely yank my foot out of the toe strap in time and discover these oldsters right behind my bumper! After waving them past, they turn off at the top of the hill and park at the pavilion, with the car turned around facing me. Now I'm not paranoid but I know how old folks love useless gossip, and I'm sure they were talking about me. Wonderful!

I walk the bike up to the top, not too far, then after scowling at old farts for a few moments, remount (I'm not very good at this either, its awkward!) and head down the hill to the boathouse at the end of the road. Soon as I turn back into the wind it's as if I ran into a wall of hay bales! I swear I'd have gone backwards if I hadn't cranked it up. Another frustration - I can't get out of the saddle and crank this bike! The last time I tried to shift myself foward and crank the handlebars were way way too close to me to even control the bike. If this is what they mean by "upright" then I'm not liking it very much!

It's about a quarter mile across the clearing to the trees along the lakeshore, if I can make it there that ought to cut the wind a little....made it, just barely. Then another mile or so to the end of the trail, where a short but VERY STEEP (figure on 30%) grade up to the parking lot near the gate. Once again the bike's shifting lets me down and I almost get dumped. Walk up to the top, suck wind, curse the wind, suck, curse, repeat. After a few minutes I get back on and head for home, but wait - gotta ride on the street or the grass shoulder. I choose the grass - good call, because three cars whiz by at 50mph right as I got there - if I'd tried to get on the edge of the road I would have gotten hooked for sure. None of the cars gave an inch that I could tell. Okay, 100 yards of grass to the gate, then back into my neighborhood, and now here I am.

I guess you could just say I'm venting because I'm only letting myself down. If I really want to get in shape I have to do this or at least ride the stationary bike or something every single day (in addition to eating virtually nothing at all, apparently) or I just swell up like a balloon (my weight can and does vary by as much as 15 pounds in a week, which is fine except that it's always from 305 to 320, then takes 3-4 days to get back down to 305, at which point the cycle repeats, and that's not fine).

I need to get a bike rack on the Tracker so I can safely take the bike to some of the local greenways and ride there, as my neighborhood simply is one hell of a dangerous area to ride (street goes around a blind curve then goes up a hill, no shoulders at all, and motorists FLY up the road as fast as 60mph) out of. Once up to the end of the hill its flatter and there's some residential roads so its safer.

But I don't/won't have the money to get the bike rack for at least 2 more weeks, and more likely a month at least. Not to mention all the other bike stuff I haven't got but need (bike lock, frog lights, tire repair kit - there was a lot of glass everywhere). And the Tracker ripped its top when I put it back on, so I can't just take it off and put it back on (see rant about cold/rainy weather anyway).

See, in this part of the country the wind blows relentlessly 9 months out of the year, then just when its high summer and blazing hot, not even a slight puff of breeze to be found!

There, done with my rant. I feel a little better now But how can I be thinking of that Masi or a road bike if I can't even make it 3 or 4 (3.2 actually) lousy miles to the end of the park and back?

Tom
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Old 03-31-09, 06:51 PM
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Dude, lighten up. Throw the bike in the back of the car and go some place safe. Remember, this is supposed to be FUN!!!
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Old 03-31-09, 07:04 PM
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I sense lots of frustration on your part, but honestly I think most of the things you're complaining about can be fixed without too much trouble. Except the wind...

Sounds like you would have had a much easier time if your front derailleur worked reliably. You might check to see how much it would be to have a local bike shop adjust it. Or find the directions for adjustment on-line and attempt it yourself. It's actually a lot easier than people think; all you need is a screwdriver. Also, remember that if you attempt to shift while you're putting a lot of force on the pedals that you may have problems. Best to anticipate the need to shift and do it before you're mashing on the pedals.

While a bike rack might be nice is isn't, strictly speaking, required for transporting your bike in a car. Back when I started riding, I'd remove the front and rear wheels from my bike, put the bike in the back seat of my car (Nissan Sentra), throw the wheels in the trunk, and drive to my destination. Buy some Mechanix gloves if you don't want to get grease on your fingers when futzing around with the rear wheel and chain. It'll take a few minutes to get the bike setup, but that's better than not riding.

While it's easy to think that there are a million things you need to buy in order to ride a bike, the list is really pretty short. Especially if you're doing it for exercise and have some flexibility in scheduling. As an example, I don't own a bike lock and I have no idea what "frog lights" are. I ride quite a bit and I think the essentials are: 1 or 2 water bottles and the cages necessary to mount them on the bike, patch kit ($2-4), Pedro's tire levers (2 x $4), and a Topeak morph-style pump (Road Morph w/Gauge for road bikes, Turbo Morph for mountain bikes, $30-32 @ Amazon).

The only other piece of advise I have to offer is to start slowly. I'm not nearly as heavy as you are, and when I pulled my bike out of the garage last year I felt like I was going to die after riding the 2.5 absolutely flat miles between my house and my office. But I stuck with it, started with easy flat rides, and increased my distance in small increments and found that I was soon able to tackle longer and more difficult rides.

Based on your descriptions of the terrain and weather conditions, it sounds like your last ride was a real doozy! I'm not sure anyone could have had fun on a ride like that! I find that what worked for me was to get into the habit of doing something on a regular basis. The first couple of weeks after I got back on the bike, I'd do short easy rides 4-5 days/week just to get back into the habit of exercising regularly. Once I was riding regularly, it was easy to start varying my routes and adding a bit more distance or a few small hills each time. The important thing, for me at least, was to have reasonable goals and keep things fun.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:06 PM
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When I began riding last year, started with a certain grim determination. I woke a 4:45AM, was out the door by 5:30, rode on congested streets to get to work at 7:00. Coming home was even worse, traffic was intense. I sometimes got unneeded comments from coworkers. I remember walking past a group of smokers who sarcastically asked if I was turning pro. It was hard not to not shoot back.

I now ride more but punish myself less. I pick roads that make sense. I will drive or bus myself to safe riding locations.

I would read The Art of Cycling and rethink your routine.

Michael
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Old 03-31-09, 07:22 PM
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It also sounds like your looking for the negative in everything IMO ! In addition it also sounds like your bike may not fit you . just my 2 cents if its worth that . RELAX bike riding is pose to be fun !!!!!!

also get your bike fixed
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Old 03-31-09, 07:23 PM
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Okay, I've calmed down a bit now. I know, I know, need to lighten up but its not in my nature. I keep comparing myself to 'what used to be' and when that 'what used to be' could ride a 42# Schwinn Varsity up Mt. Magazine and run up/down the basketball court for seemingly hours on end, continuing to play even as everyone else lined up at the water fountain; to 'now'....yeah, it's hard. Makes me wonder if this hybrid was the right idea or not. I also wanted to get a few rides in before trying out that Masi so I didn't bonk out three blocks down the road, lol.

I'll get the derailluer adjusted. Transporting the bike may indeed prove a bit more difficult - problem is the Tracker's a convertible which sounds great in theory, but in practice is otherwise. See, my grandfather had it for 4 years and never took the top off. First time I put it back on after taking it off, the rear window zipper tore out on the upper left corner. So now I can't open/close it until I get it repaired. I definitely want to get this done as sliding the bike under the rear window thru the tailgate is really awkward. Which reminds me.....lawyer lips. Can I grind 'em off? Sure would make removing the wheels easier!

All this will improve in good time, I'm sure....just like y'all said, I need to lighten up.

Tomorrow should be warmer and less windy both - rear window or otherwise, I'll head up to the trail and give it a whirl tomorrow. It was pretty fun the last time!

Tom
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Old 03-31-09, 09:33 PM
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I feel your pain and it looks like we live in the same state.
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Old 04-01-09, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
When I began riding last year, started with a certain grim determination. I woke a 4:45AM, was out the door by 5:30, rode on congested streets to get to work at 7:00. Coming home was even worse, traffic was intense. I sometimes got unneeded comments from coworkers. I remember walking past a group of smokers who sarcastically asked if I was turning pro. It was hard not to not shoot back.

I now ride more but punish myself less. I pick roads that make sense. I will drive or bus myself to safe riding locations.

I would read The Art of Cycling and rethink your routine.

Michael
Hearing about cigarrette smokers thowing digs at someone doing something healthy strikes a nerve. The anger goes beyond mere words.

GF has a clan of them in her family. She is fit and trim, takes care of her health. They are all obese and smoke like chimneys. Without fail, this bunch always finds a way to rip into HER for being (what they consider) too healthy.

That would be my rant.
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Old 04-01-09, 07:50 AM
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The day before yesterday, wind was 16 / 26, SSW, so I went out west. Figured I'd have a little quarter tailwind on return. 90 minutes later it was SSE, so I had to fight wind on way home, and it got to 28 gusting to 36 .

Yesterday it was 30-36 gusting to 45+. I hit the stationary bike for 2 hours.

I hate indoor riding, but I'm resolved to not let the spring storm season stop my weight-loss program. For the next two months, you either have to decide to let the wind dictate your workout schedule, or alternate rides between indoors and outdoors, and accept the fact that some weeks will have more of the former than the latter.

When summer arrives, you then have to make a similar decision: ride before noon, exercise inside, or give up.
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Old 04-01-09, 08:06 AM
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Heh....I'm thinking of summer already, and wondering if its gonna be anything like my experiences in the summer of 1988 in southern Arkansas. Hotter than hell that summer - I remember riding thru downtown Arkadelphia and seeing one of those rotating bank signs on the corner. It said 12:53 in the morning and the temp was still stuck on 120 degrees - of course not actually that hot, but pretty damn close (about 110 - 112 actually).

As I remember it, I was fine on the bike AS LONG AS I KEPT MOVING......soon as I stopped, it would be a nuclear meltdown. And there wasn't any wind to speak of either.

If I'm still working the graveyard shift then I can probably ride soon as I get home from work.

SStoutdog, how's biking up in Columbia. You're right, Misery really does love its company eh?

Tom
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Old 04-01-09, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by baron von trail
Hearing about cigarrette smokers thowing digs at someone doing something healthy strikes a nerve. The anger goes beyond mere words.

GF has a clan of them in her family. She is fit and trim, takes care of her health. They are all obese and smoke like chimneys. Without fail, this bunch always finds a way to rip into HER for being (what they consider) too healthy.

That would be my rant.
I've tried to develop a thick skin concerning the opinions of self destructive losers. However it's like the walking dead in zombie movies, they're everywhere and they keep talking at you for no reason.

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Old 04-01-09, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
I've tried to develop a thick skin concerning the opinions of self destructive losers. However it's like the walking dead in zombie movies, they're everywhere and they keep talking at you for no reason.

Michael

I guess the comments from losers would not bother me, if I were completely secure with my lot in life. But, I hang precariously at the cliff's edge myself. The last thing I need is to be pulled out of my determination to maintain or even lose some weight, eat healthy, not drink to excess, not fall into bad habits like smoking, you know, basically be all I can be.

Then again, some negative feedback may not be all that bad. It sure does help keep me focused. Unlike me, GF just takes it all in stride. She is secure in her chosen path.
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