I’m 41. Now I’m thinking about things.

Nov. 12, 2015

Here we are, I just had birthday number 41. I was knocked off my motivation in the month of May. Since then I’ve been on a ‘reduced’ track to success. I did get stronger but the cardio did not improve and, in fact, reduced itself slightly. I did longer rides and my ability increased, but gaps in the hotel work or changes in weather crept in. May first of 2014 had my scale clock in at 199 pounds. That’s forty pounds in eight months. My ultimate goal of fifty was very achievable but would be difficult. I was building muscle as well and to shave off that extra fat was slowing down. That’s how it works. I entered vacation time. I got to ride some. More than usual but i lost the weight room from the work schedule. I also gained eating bigger meals at home and lets not forget how a trip back to a food capitol works. I ate through Buffalo New York. Pizza so good, you want to roll in it and absorb it that way. Donuts as big as your head. Wings and pasta. All great to eat and power through on the next ride but there were no bikes and only roads that would generate an accident should I find a way to ride them. I have never seen such red light running supported by police than in this city. If it just turns red thats a perfect moment to hit that intersection turning left.

I returned home up five pounds. Big deal. A big ride and responsible food after will see me chew that up in a few days. Weather changes kept me off the bike for a few weeks at a time on my days off. I started to question why I was doing this. I like ring a bicycle. I like doing that with people. I cant very well ride with people if they’re working when I’m off. If they’re riding while I’m out of town flying. I didn’t get in to this for the purely solo anti-social possibility. Every time it looked like a good time to ride was ahead, something was in the way. A sick kid, a wife who also needs her own exercise program, or weather and work. Very little time exists for someone who travels for work.

I bought the cross bike. I intended to fully get prepared an ready. My schedule comes out and all of the events for the season are impossible to attend. I leave Saturday afternoon to travel to work and if the races are in the morning, I have enough time at home that day to take a shower, kiss the family and leave. Perhaps next year the commuting schedule will be different.

The Fuji Cross comp hangs in the garage with 33 miles on it since I fit it all up. All ridden in wet weather. Its clean and ready. December could be possible to race it. I could sell both bikes and get a nicer carbon roadie. I could sell both bikes and restore a car I haven’t done anything with. Nah. I really shouldn’t back down from this. when I do ride I like it and I’m pretty good at it. I need it for when I need it. Theres quite a bit left in me to see what I can become even beyond my 41st year.

Where do I sit now? Take a look at my previous entry about the big climb and the rain storm. If there is indeed another fifteen pounds to be lost, the climb performance will only improve dramatically. If I get to that point, my cardio system will be substantially better as well. I can ride sixty miles now before needing to fill the bottles an stock up on more food. If it’s aggressive climbs, that becomes forty-five perhaps if I can stay out of the red. I was planning on riding a century ride, one-hundred miles. How many people in the world can say they rode a hundred miles on a bike? Where I live everyone can say that but when I mention a thirty five mile ride to folks from where I grew up in Missouri, they choke. “What? Jesus you’re insane.”

I was ready for that hundred miles, given the right support of a food or watering stop.

Its possible for me. I could do that now perhaps. But id like to get a decent forty mile ride in first. I haven’t been on a bike in five weeks and I’m probably fooling myself in what I can and can’t do at this point. The weather was actually too cold, or the family required actual family-time in a rented cabin in the woods or the schedule became so compact from said family needs that nothing could be done. I have to sit down once in a while for everyone else’s sake. Riding fifty miles takes three hours. Thats time away from the honey do list I’ve been ignoring a bit. Im only maintaining the muscles now, but not too well. So I suppose birthday number 41, with forecast weather of twenty four degrees and a wintery mix outside, signals a start of the second chapter of this. To find a way to finish, It’s gonna take longer than planned. Everything does. Restoring a car, writing a book, loosing weight, building an airplane. That last five percent takes ninety percent of the work.

Never fails, or as one person said about being a test pilot in the sixties, “There was never nothing wrong…”

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