Monday, December 27, 2010

Man, I am a terrible blogger.

No, really. My last post here was in February of this year. Granted, I have had some big stuff happen, but when you curate a blog like this, you really need to come through with the posts. I did do some internet writing about bicycle stuff this year, and you can find the articles here , here and here. There isn't anything particularly earthshaking in any of those articles, but I was pretty busy. I'll address that more in a later post (yes, there will be more than one, probably. Well, maybe.) but for today, I will blog about my bicycle life over this past year.

I rode a lot - for me. I kept pretty good track of the "exercise" type riding that I did this year, and between commuting, exercise riding, organized ride, and etc I rode a little over 1500 miles in 2010. I'd bet it was actually a little more than that, because my record keeping skills are pretty poor. However, I did buy and use the Cychosis app this year, so I at least have better numbers than the year before. In riding all of those miles, I managed to lose about 40 pounds - I see that in some of my entries from 2009 I refer to myself as 220 pounds. On Jan 1 of this year, I weighed myself and came in at a whopping 225 pounds. I am now down to 188 pounds, and feel (and look, in my opinion) pretty good.
I was commuting 3 days a week in the high heat of the summer - and getting in 30 miles on a Saturday or Sunday morning once or twice a month. Truth be told, I'd like to have ridden much more, but couldn't manage it.

Riding so much really changed me; I'd say my bicycle hobby started out as bicycle fetishism, where the machine was more important to me than its use - I really liked fixing bikes more than I liked the riding part. That certainly changed this year, as I started really riding. I still enjoy the other aspects of cycling, but now it's about riding much more than wrenching or collecting. Part of the reason for that is because I completed my core collection of bicycles, and was able to concentrate on turning the pedals and reaching some of the goals I set
for myself - maybe not blogging goals, but riding goals for sure.

Speaking of goals, since this is the last week of the year and I am feeling reflective, I will revisit my goals posted here from last year, and see how I did.

1. No more fast food. I hate it but I love it so. I try to eat it "well" - in that I only have a burger and no fries, or a kids order of nuggets - but still I eat too often. I'm going to allow myself one double cheeseburger a year. At the core, this is a resolution to pack my lunch.

I did not Get this one - I still eat fast food, and still eat it "well", as described here. I love that stuff, and one double cheeseburger a year is patently ridiculous. I do pack my lunch a lot more, but I still manage some garbage once or twice a month.

2. I have already started one of my resolutions, which is to keep my house cleaner. I have taken over the kitchen cleaning duties, and I plan to devote a couple of hours a week to the rest of the house too.

I don't know why I shared this one with you in the first place, but yes, my house is still my house, and is a little cluttery, but mostly clean. Mostly. If I'm not tired. Or something good is on TV.

3. Ride the train at least once a week. This is kind of a biggie for the blog. I'll admit that while I do ride my bikes (though too little in the nasty cold; hence 220) I have not been getting on the train. As that is the premise for the blog, I guess I need to deliver.

I didn't stick with this one, but I did have a pretty big change this year - I quit my job in April to open up my own insurance office with my brother, so my commute changed. I did take the train a few times, but there isn't always something funny or worth writing about on the train. As such, I am going to ask you to indulge me as I find a new direction for this place, if there is one. I will continue to write here this year, I don't know when, but it may not always be train related.

4. Blog likewise. As work gets busier, it's harder for me to find time to do this - but then again, I always seem to find time to do other stuff. Therefore I will post once a week. I may do more, but there will be something new here at least that often. I will do my best to make train stories, but it may be something else. However, it will be 2 wheel related, at least. Probably.

Obviously I didn't stick with this one - the last entry here is in February, and while there is a draft saved, it also is from February, but it is nothing more than a title. I will write more this year, as I said. I am again in a stable work environment, but since I work for myself, it is sometimes hard to find the time to write. We will see what we see.

5. Enter and complete at least two "real" bicycle rides - like an MS 150, or a century. I'd like to do 2 this year. That means longer weekend rides to train for whatever ride. I'll keep you posted.

I did do one of these. I rode a "metric" century this year, and it was lots of fun. I will ride two rides this year, for sure. I also rode in one of the "social" rides with the Dallas bicycle scenesters - I rode my vintage townie bike around downtown Dallas while wearing slacks and a tweed jacket, and it was lots of fun. I also played a little hooky with my bike friends and embraced the cruising around and being twelve aspect of cycling as well. I rode to the State Fair, rode to Deep Ellum for lunch, went to a vintage bike show, and just had a good time in addition to the hard riding I like to do.

So after going over those, I apparently am not a very resolute person. However, I will say I am very happy with the personal growth I have made this year. I am really a "cyclist" now, and am not just riding for fitness, but riding for life; I ride to the grocery store, I ride to the bank, I ride to the bar, I ride to the cigar shop, I ride as many places as I can. Playing with bicycles is awesome, and if reading this blog is as close as you come to riding one, I encourage you to pick one up - I think if you give yourself over to the bicycle, you will be surprised how your life can change. Bikes can be many different things to many different people - are you willing to see what they can be to you?

I plan to post once more this year, probably on New Years Eve. I'd like to ride that day, but I'm not sure if I will, as the weather is supposed to be bad. Either way, I will post.

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