Getting Back In Shape

bike path 2013

As part of my New Years Resolution to lose weight in 2013, I plan on adding an exercise routine that is sure to melt the fat away.  The plan is to get to the bike path here in Bakersfield from my house, then get on the bike path by turning left, and then just keep riding until the path ends which is 16.5 miles out.  At that point I will take about 5 minutes or so to rest before turning around and coming home.

I have done this in the past, but instead of turning left, I’ve always turned right.  That route was only 22 miles round trip.  I wanted to continue, but I’d have to ride in traffic, which I didn’t want to do, to get to Hart Park.  On the way back to the bike path from Hart Park, I’d have to ride uphill, which I did not want to do because I didn’t want to wreck my thigh and calf muscles with too much hard work.  I’m no spring chicken, I have to do what I can to keep my legs strong, but at the same time not ruin them by exercising too hard.

My weight loss coach app called “Noom” will help me this time.  In the past I have used a cheap bicycle computer that I bought at Target, but it didn’t have all of the functions that Noom has, the only thing it can’t do is map my progress.  I do plan on using my bicycle computer to let me know how many miles per hour I am riding and to see what time it is since my phone will be tucked away safely in my camelbak, but I won’t rely on it for anything else.  It’s still a useful tool.

I have tools for fixing my tires, but the one tool that I don’t have that I will need is a Co2 pump and cartridges.  I have a regular hand pump, but I have carpel tunnel syndrome and my hands are getting worse everyday.  I have fingerless gloves that are made for people with carpal tunnel syndrome, but they won’t help my hands when I pump the tire.  The Co2 pump will be a great asset.

I also need bicycle shorts.  They have gel in the butt of the shorts which will help keep my butt from hurting, trust me, I’ll need it lol.  Nashbar has a pair of “Gel Ride Bib Shorts” that I can actually afford.  I will buy that when I get some money later in the week along with the pump and Co2 cartridges.  I’m almost positive that those are the last things that I have always been missing in my bike rides.  I will especially need them if I plan to ride 33 miles per day.

Just like always, I won’t be riding 33 miles on the first day, I will start at 10 miles, then add 1 or 2 more miles everyday until I get to 33.  And I will ride every other day to give my body the rest that it deserves so I don’t overwork myself.

Oh boy, this is going to be a lot of fun.  I can’t wait!

My Bike Must Be a Teenager

I guess my bicycle must be a teenager because the front tire has a pimple on it lol.  I was riding along this morning and all of a sudden it felt like I was hitting bumps in the road but I knew there weren’t any bumps at all.  I couldn’t do anything about it either because the sun wasn’t up at all so I had to wait until I got to my halfway point which was when the sun starts to come up.

As I’m riding I pass this baby stroller on the side of the bike path and I looked at it while I was passing it and saw 3 heads get up and turn to look at me as I’m passing.  I could’ve sworn 2 of those heads were dog heads while the 3rd one was a bald headed man lol.  The pimple in my tire was making noise and it woke them up.

So I get to my halfway point and I really don’t see anything wrong with the tire.  Then I see this bulge sticking out of the side of the tire and the top of the tire too so the top of the tire was slanted in that one spot lol.  I figure I can’t do anything until I get home because I’m probably going to have to remove the tire and the tube and adjust it.

I finish my 10 minute break and start to head back, I look at my computer and it says I’m going 35 then 40mph lol.  WHAT?!  There’s no way I’m going 40 lol.  I pull over again and see that the pimple is rubbing the wire going to my computer and it’s stripping it exposing the wiring inside.  I definitely have to fix the tire now.  I pull the wire tight so it isn’t going to get pulled by the tire again then I turn the bike upside down and let the air out of the tire.  I sort of adjust the tire but really, there isn’t anything I can do.  I’m not gonna start taking everything apart right there on the side of the bike path road.  I started putting air back in and see the pimple blowing up again so instead of filling it all the way with 64psi I just stop at 30.  That will get me home for sure.

My tire pressure in both tires doesn’t have to be the same.  My front can really be 30 or 40 and I’ll be fine but my back tire must be either the standard 64 or 60 is good.  The reason my front tire is doing that is because the wheel is 26×2.0 but the tire is 26×1.95 so it’s not the same.  So now I need a new tire for the front wheel so when I get some money I will buy the exact tire that I need for the front wheel.

Is Bakersfield A Safe Place To Ride A Bicycle?

Is Bakersfield a safe place to ride a bicycle?

This article was in today’s Bakersfield Californian newspaper.

In my opinion it is only safe to ride a bicycle if you are a defensive rider.  If you are watching where you are going, looking both left and right, never crossing the street unless you have the green light (or in some cases walk signal).  Never riding on the wrong side of the road then crossing while a car is turning left (which happened to me).

This one time I was leaving the bike path and I was crossing the street and this pickup truck was pulling out in front of me while he was looking right at me.  He nearly ran me over.  This was about 10am in the morning too so it’s not like he was drinking and driving… that I know of at least.

I have a little mirror that is attached to my helmet and I’m constantly looking at it to see the traffic behind me so I know what is coming at me.

Now I cannot say that it is 100% safe to ride as early as I do because even at 4:30am there are probably still some drunk drivers out there but usually when I ride that early there are maybe 1 or 2 cars every 10 minutes so it’s pretty safe where and when I ride.

You also have to consider the fact that I’m not riding in the busy streets along with traffic.  I start out in a neighborhood and I’m pretty much only in neighborhoods until I get to the bike path so there is not that much danger of getting hit.  And I know a route that gets me to the mall and to Target where it’s through neighborhoods and I never have to drive with traffic.

So is Bakersfield a safe place to ride a bicycle?  I think it is during the morning or during the daytime IF you aren’t driving in traffic where there are no bike paths or where cars are parked right in the bike path.  If you try to ride through neighborhoods then you are safe.  But if you drive alongside cars then there is never a guarantee that you are ever safe.  Even if you are crossing the street you aren’t ever safe because there are always reports of people getting killed while crossing the street.  Is it safe for me to ride here?  Yes, because I am a defensive rider and I pick the best safest routes.

If you live in a city that you aren’t sure where the safest routes are, why not just go to your favorite map website, I go to google maps and I map out my route then I adjust the route so I am going through neighborhoods then I print it out and hold it while riding through that neighborhood so I learn it so the next time I have to go that way I will remember.  And if I don’t remember then I print it out again (if I threw the old map out that is).

Bike Trail Home?

Now before I get nasty comments on this I would just like to say that at age 17 I was homeless for 10 months, 1.5 months after my 17th birthday all the way until about 1.5 months before my 18th birthday so I know what it’s like being homeless.  That being said here you go…

So I’m riding on the bike path last week and I stop at the Manor St. rest stop which has about 4 cement benches, 1 of them has like a bus stop roof so if it’s raining you can sit in there out of the rain.  2 of them have no cover and those 3 are all in like a half circle (see my bike cam video at the end).  Then the 4th bench is separate from that little half circle, more like across the “street” hehe.

Anyway, so I’m riding the bike path last week (as I said lol) and I go to the stop and it’s dark because the sun hasn’t come up and I see this darkness over by one of the benches.  So I don’t go around the half circle and sit in the middle like I normally would, instead I just pull in on the other side and sit on the bench at the end.  I look over and see a face staring at me.  It’s a homeless guy in a sleeping bag next to the bench but on the ground.  I sat there for my 10-15 minute break and then leave.

Next day he’s not there and then the next time I go there he isn’t there but the sun has already come up and it was the day after Michael Jackson had passed away.  So I go sit down on the bench and as I’m taking off my helmet I can see in my helmet mirror this guy all of a sudden standing like 15 feet away from me, staring at me.  This kinda freaks me out because he wasn’t there when I stopped and when I sat down, almost as if he teleported there lol.

He slowly creeps towards me and is now in front of me and I know that he’s the guy sleeping in the sleeping bag over by the bench and I’m not quite sure I trust him.  He has this scar on his neck from having his throat slashed.  I’m not sure what that was all about but I’m going to give him the benefit of a doubt.  He comes up to me and starts talking about Michael Jackson and I sat there talking to him about all the recent deaths and about how MJ is getting all the attention while Caradine, McMahon and Fawcett get no attention.

So anyway, after about 10-15 minutes I’m ready to go so I said well breaks over and start getting my gear back on, camelbak, gloves, skull cap, helmet, earbud’s and I look in my helmet mirror and he’s back where he was when I first spotted him.  Standing 15 feet away from me, arms folded, staring at me.

The last 2 days (yesterday and today) I could see him in his sleeping bag, I’m leaving really early and so I get there before the sun even has a chance to come up.  But I’ve decided I’m not going to take any chances.  Instead of stopping there and sitting down I’m just gonna go through that tunnel and go about maybe 1/4 of a mile away and rest there.  I’m having to rest standing up now which kinda bites but that’s fine, I’d rather have to stand then worry about having my throat slashed.

Now, as I said above about being homeless, I know what it’s like and not everyone should be judged based on their scars and I don’t want to judge “the content of his character” as Martin Luther King Jr. would say but at the same time I really don’t know this guy and I’m not taking any chances.

Bicycle

I woke up at 7am with the alarm clock with the intention of leaving the house at 8:30am or when Darrin left for work.  But then I realized that I might be getting a package in the mail any day now so I just decided to wait another hour for the mail.  It’s a good thing I did because she left a big package on my doorstep and didn’t even ring the bell.  She just left it there.  If I wasn’t home when she dropped it off then someone could have taken it.  It was the Big City Slider Station from Publishers Clearing House lol.  Yeah I know, I could have gotten it from Wal-Mart but I can pay for it over the next 4 months.  I don’t have the money to spend at Wal-Mart right now.

Before the mail came I thought that I would go to Albertson’s real fast and see what they have in the way of energy bars.  When I get to a certain point my stomach starts hurting because all of a sudden it’s like I’m starving or something.  I don’t know why it does that so I wanted to get some energy bars.  They aren’t too bad I guess, most of them are a bit expensive like $1.50 – $2.  But then I saw the Tiger’s Milk bars which were only .89 cents but they also had a tag that said buy 1 get 1 free.  So I bought 3 of them and got 3 for free.  I’m going to have to go back later and buy 20 more for $10 lol.

So then I went to the bike path and didn’t stop for any rest, I was going to just rest at a Yokuts park just before Beach Park but then I figured that Beach Park is right next to Yokuts park so I might as well just keep going to Beach Park.  When I got there I sat on the cement bench and grabbed my Tiger’s Milk bar and enjoyed it.  My stomach was a little tiny bit hungry but it wasn’t too hungry but this Tiger’s Milk bar filled it.  I sat there for probably 15 minutes then I went on my way back the way I came to come home.

When I got home I took the bicycle computer off and when I opened the back door the dog (toy chihuahua) was jumping up for me to pick her up and I did then I started walking in the door and went to reach for the doorknob to close it and the computer fell out of my hand.  OMG!!!  I picked it up and it was flashing numbers as if I had just taken the battery out and replaced it so it wanted me to set it up.  This means that I had lost all my information.

Luckily I had looked at the info before I got home so I kinda knew what my trip odometer was.  It was about 10 miles which was the same exact amount of miles I went on April 17th so I just wrote down the same miles.  Also I looked at my average speed and it was 12.2 so I wrote that down on my sheet (and in the bike computer stats in the Spark People page).  My time was about the same as April 17th also so I just put 52 minutes and no seconds.  I don’t know how many calories or fat calories that was but I’m not really concerned.  The reason I say that is because going 12.2mph burns more calories than going 11.8mph.  Not that much but still, the numbers wouldn’t be the same.

So that’s it.  Tomorrow I’m going to leave at the same time as Darrin since I’m not expecting anything in the mail.  Well, I did buy him some ties for Church with crosses on them but I’m sure they will be in a small enough package that they can slip it into the big box outside.

Hot Ride

Today it was 100 degrees.  Yes, in April it was that hot.  Normally the summer heat begins on May 1st but apparently it was early.  The 5 day forecast says that it’s going to be in the 80’s – 90’s so hopefully it won’t be too bad.

But since it was 100 degrees today it was a test for me to see if I could take it or not.  Apparently I passed because it wasn’t really that bad.  However, there was cool wind so it wasn’t a fair test.  Normally when it’s hot outside the wind is hot so I’m not sure how good of a test it was.

I will find out in either May or June how bad it’s going to be.  But no matter what temperature it is going to be I’m going to tough it out because I really want to lose this weight.

I’m thinking about adding ice packs to the inside of the CamelBak so that it will keep me cool on my back at least.  That will keep me cool and so I won’t die of heat exhaustion and it will keep the water cold in the process.  Luckily there are a lot of shady areas that I can rest in along the bike path in the parks and rest stop at Manor Street.

I just gotta remember to keep sunblock in stock and in my frame bag.  Oh and I’m going to have to reinstall the water cage on the frame to carry an extra bottle of water because today I had to refill my CamelBak with water from a drinking fountain and it tasted like a freakin garden hose.  YUCK!  No thank you, I’d much rather have clean and filtered water.

Video Calls

I’ve seen in tv shows where people are using an iPhone and they are talking to each other and they can also see each other. Like in Knight Rider for example. I’m curious if that really is possible. Maybe someone call respond to this question.

Since Darrin has a job now we’re both going to get a cell phone plan and new cell phones. He’s been taking our only cell phone to work but it’s a pre-paid cell phone which means for $25 he gets 2 1/2 hours to talk. He’s calling me all the time and he’s calling other places and I just have a bad feeling about it. He’s going to need a cell phone plan with an unlimited calling feature, GPS and internet. I figured that we could both have them so we can call each other for free.

I’m going to need one too because as soon as I get a new bike wheel I’m going to be riding my bike again and when he calls me I’d like to be on video phone chatting so he can see what the bike path looks like. I think that would be cool.

Anyway, please, if someone can respond to let me know which cell phone has that feature. I’d like to get blackberries but iphones will be cool too. I just need to know which phone is best for video calls. Thanks

Dell DJ Battery Fixed

My friend Alyce bought me a Creative Versa-Tool Kit as a gift which I totally didn’t expect her to do.  It has many uses such as wood burning, soldering, cutting, stamping, embossing, shaping (wax) etc.

I’ve wanted one to solder my Dell DJ battery wires because they snapped off.  I was finally able to fix it so now I can start riding my bike again on the bike path. I can start losing weight again yay.  That is if I am able to buy a new wheel soon.  Now is the perfect time to start riding again because the weather is nice.

Biking Accident

I had a little accident on my bike today.  I was riding up a bridge standing up and all of a sudden the bike shifted gears and my leg slipped off the pedal and I fell on my left side which broke the handlebar bolt.  I had to call home to come pick me up then went to the E.R. and was told that I tore a muscle and I can’t ride my bike for at least 4 weeks.

I’m not giving up on it though.  I’m sure it won’t take a month because it’s feeling good right now but maybe a week or 2 I can take it easy.  But I’m changing my bike route so I don’t have to deal with any of the bridges at all to get to the bike path and back home.

It’s frustrating that this happened because I’ve gotten myself into a routine and now that routine has been broken but I’m confident that when I can ride my bike again that routine will come back to me.

Tomorrows Goal

Tomorrow morning I’m not going to wake up to an alarm clock telling me that I have to get up at the butt crack of dawn to go bike riding.  Instead I’m just going to wake up when I wake up then I’m going to have something to eat, maybe a bowl of corn flakes, then wait a little while maybe an hour, they say to eat 1 hour before exercising.  I wouldn’t want to give myself a cramp.  Then I’m going to do some stretches for my legs and then get on my bike and go to Beach Park.  This time I have a goal to get there and then collapse onto the grass and rest while listening to my music for a bit, maybe call Darrin and tell him I made it.  Give my legs enough time to rest so I can make it all the way back home.

I think this is a good strategy.  See the reason I haven’t made it all the way there yet is because I kinda figured I’d get there then immediately go home without stopping and it was just too much for my legs.  But all I have to do is think about it in a different way and then I can do it.  I need to do this.  Then I can say hey I made it all the way to beach park and I collapsed on the grass and gave my legs enough time to rest before getting up, I looked at how pretty it is and I looked at the bike path but I will save the bike path for another time.  Yeah, that’s what I’ll say.

The one thing I need is encouragement to do it.  Well, on that note I think I shall go to bed and rest up for tomorrow.  This is good because it’s only 11:12pm and not 2am lol.