• Category Archives day by day
  • This is the category closest to just being a plain diary. Places I go, things I do, people I see, what’s happening in my life.

  • Passing Through

    Morning weigh-in: 190.0#, 13.0% BF

    Another night out at Brew Works, this time with Anne and Donna (and without the burger). No trainer workout either, though I’m still faithfully doing my yoga and my push-ups. They come in handy when I feel chilly: rather than turning the heat up in the house, I turn up my own heat…

    It’s pretty damn cold out again, by the way, though there is no snow. I may do a towpath ride in a minute, or I may hop on the trainer. We’ll see.


  • All Better Now

    Morning weigh-in: 190.5#, 14.5% BF

    Looks like those numbers are back to normal — thanks to a cheeseburger and a couple of beers! Went out solo to Brew Works last night. I ran into Greg H and Laurie  with some of his high school friends, but they showed up not long before I left — it was nice to see them, but I was feeling the beer and the burger, and I was pretty tired. Which is why it was so weird when I woke up around 3:00 or 4:00, and couldn’t go back to sleep. No indigestion, no hangover or anything like that, just toss and turn, and I got up early…

    So now I’m just working on another CAT map project: commuter routes for Northampton Community College students. They want some recommended routes that students, who may not be the strongest or most confident cyclists (at least at first), would be comfortable riding; they are looking for routes from Bethlehem, Easton and Nazareth, and I’m doing multiple routes (easy, more direct, etc). After I/we get the routes hashed out I’ll be looking into how to present them, probably a printed map of some kind.

  • Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone

    Morning weigh-in: 187.0#, 16.5% BF

    Not sure what’s going on there with the weigh-in, but I figure that if you keep hitting them with sledgehammers the walls will eventually come down. Of course, I’d like to think that the “wall” in this case was that logjam in my official weight, but sledgehammers are two-edged swords, so to speak, and this sudden drop in weight could be a sign that I’ve been overdoing things. I got in a short trainer workout last night, that’s two nights in a row, so today will only be the morning yoga and the push-ups and we’ll call that a rest day. No idea what’s going on with the body fat; it’s usually low when I’m dehydrated, maybe this is the opposite.

    Then again, it could all be due to my dinner last night: basically I ate half of a leftover cheese tray and not much else. I was planning to go out to eat, but it was raining so hard and I was tired…

    It’s beautiful and mostly sunny today even if cold, but Anne is in New York, at a knitting convention with her sisters. They left yesterday in the rain, to try and beat the worst of the winter storm which came down last night. She may be home today, or stay through until tomorrow depending on the group consensus. I’ll try to eat right until she gets home.


  • In Memory of Elizabeth Rivera

    Morning weigh-in: 190#, 14.5% BF

    I never knew her name; amongst ourselves we always referred to her as “Little One” because she was so small. Short, tiny even, and with a sweetly smiling, childlike (almost doll-like) face, though her voice had a rough edge and could be filled with anger. She was homeless, but she was always clean and well-dressed, and she was already a fixture when I moved to Bethlehem — sometimes you’d see her hanging in Wired Café, or passing through Brew Works to use the bathroom, or sitting at a little table she’d set up on Broad Street, selling handmade knick-knacks. Local vendors liked her and helped her out a bit.

    She was hit by a car and killed crossing Broad Street this week. (Some more about her here and here.) So sad — it’s a tragedy no matter who was killed, but this just seems worse because I know who she was, and her life seemed so tough.


  • Map Quest, Bitchfest

    Morning weigh-in: 189.5#, 15.5% BF

    I want to sit down with Scott S and a large paper map of the Lehigh Valley, like the folding kind we all kept in our cars before Google Maps came along, so we can sketch out some of the recommended bike routes for my map routing project. So, I need to get a map. I tried the local CVS (no maps), a local gas station (maps of  New Jersey, Philly and Reading — WTF? — but nothing for our area), and the local market (nope). The market was 0 for 2, since I also needed a new battery, one of those coin-shaped ones and they didn’t have those either.

    I also went on Garmin Connect to look for some of my old rides in Jim Thorpe, and I found that their “Explore Activities” feature, which is  basically the search page for activities, was broken. The tech support chat guy went through the usual “have you tried clearing your cookies?” bullshit — no I am not going to clear my cookies, some of them are useful, and the problem is on your server, doofus. It took a while to even get him to know what I was talking about, like giving him URL’s to his own company’s website, and he eventually was able to reproduce the problem, but he had no answer, no timeline for a fix, and he even sort of intimated that the engineers will get around to it when they feel like it.

    Meantime I was looking at the VMB website last week, where I ran into a problem with the calendar. I posted something about it to the forum — no response, Facebook PM’ed the guy who used to run the site — no response. Today I used the website contact form, which sends an email to club leadership — so far, crickets.

    What’s gone wrong with the world?

    So anyway, I did a basement trainer workout last night, then we went out to The Mint. Today was an outdoor ride, out to the community college and back.


  • Basement Daze

    Morning weigh-in: 190.0#, 15.5% BF

    Spent most of the morning working on various projects in the basement, mostly cleanup and brew equipment maintenance, but I also managed to find and set up my trainer. I’ll get in a short ride later in the day, hopefully.

    I’ve been pretty religious about the morning yoga and exercise, so that’s good, and blogging has been pretty consistent as well. Next up in my resolutions list: the cello. I got it out, tuned it up, and have been playing a few scales every day but that’s about it. I should be ramping up soon enough…


  • The Past Waits Just Offstage

    Morning Weigh-in: 188.0#, 14.0% BF (I’m still convinced that my actual body fat percentage is much higher…)

    This weekend was like being shot out of a cannon.

    On Saturday we hosted Sarah A’s 40th birthday party, which was basically about 40 people, including maybe a dozen kids — actual children, that is, not twenty-somethings. We got up early and I started the outdoor oven — we would be making pizza for the party — then we cleaned the house, got in some supplies and, with some help from Sarah’s parents and Mark, decorated for the party. The party itself started at 4:00, we cooked the pizza around 6:00, which was awesome but just a drop in the ocean of food we had on hand, and those burdened by kids (including grandparents on babysitter duty) all left by around 8:00. The rest of the party was smaller, and less intense with the kids gone, but things didn’t wind down until around 1:00.

    Sunday should been a later morning than it was, but Anne was going to meet Ben and Renee at Lake Nockamixon for some ice skating — I dislike skating, but I could go for a hike while they were on the ice. Unfortunately, when I went to warm the car up, it wouldn’t turn over… Call AAA, change the plans a bit: Renee picked up Anne while I stayed to deal with the car. The same mechanics came out as for the last car problem two years ago, and they got lost again on the way.  They jumped the car and it started up, I ran it for an hour to give the battery some juice, and we were golden but it’s going in for a battery check tomorrow.

    In the afternoon we went to Stroudsburg High School, to see Anne’s teacher do a violin concerto with the Pocono Community Orchestra. We went up (in our car, which added some excitement) with Jeff and Krista, and got there way early so we explored downtown Stroudsburg for a bit (OK, we found a bar), then saw the concert, which was awesome — the orchestra was OK, but Mike was incredible.

    We stayed in last night, and were in bed by 10:00. Unfortunately, I must have pulled something in my upper back or neck, and could not get comfortable — this is the same back issue I’ve had before, by the way. I finally found a halfway comfortable position, but it was not what I’m used to and I woke up with vertigo — remember that? Ugh…

    I’ve made a big decision though, and today I will be putting the bike up on the trainer. I’ll try to maybe get in a half hour of moderate spin every day, enough to keep me from falling apart — it’s just been too cold lately, and now it’s about to warm up and become mucky; it’s time to train indoors for a while.


  • What Gets Measured Gets Managed, And What Gets Managed Gets Gamed

    Morning weigh-in: 188.5#, 14.5% BF

    Not much to say: we stayed in last night, and I did my morning yoga both yesterday and today. Breakfast was oatmeal with apples and cottage cheese, lunch was a reuben at Syb’s Deli — we did a major food-shopping day today, including an epic visit to the Allentown Farmer’s Market. I like the drop in weight, but I think it’s really just noise.

    We have that party tomorrow, and it’s so cold I really don’t want to leave the house, so I suspect that we’ll be staying in tonight as well.


  • Escalating A Continuing Obsession

    Morning weigh-in: 189.5#, 14.0%BF

    It remains to be see whether I’m “back to that” or not, but I weighed myself this morning. It’s my blog, I can do what I want…

    I came across this photo the other day, taken by my friend Brian H on our trip out to Moab in 2008. It’s one of my favorite photos of myself, in fact one of the few I actually like:

    I ride my mountain bike
    Me Riding In Fruita, Colorado

    It presents me as I liked to see myself, and wanted to present myself to others as, at that time in my life. Maybe I still do want that, in some ways… Note the muscles! Those are why I’m posting the picture, actually: I am using this photo as motivation to get back in shape. (As a counterpoint, note the non-gray beard: some things are not entirely going to return ever, at least not without some Grecian Formula, or Photoshop or something.)

    Anyway, I didn’t get in touch with Greg yesterday, so I went out on a nice towpath ride. It was freezing at first, but I was dressed right and working hard, and warmed up soon enough. There were a few runners out, and some hikers, but it seemed like I was the only cyclist. I did run into Sarah A’s parents (I know Bob because we both volunteer at the Museum), who were out for a walk, and we talked some party logistics — we are hosting Sarah’s (no longer a surprise) birthday party this Saturday.

    My turnaround was going to be the old boat launch, but for some reason I kept going to the new one, where I ran into a bunch of first responders, ambulances, rescue boats, and the Freemansburg Fire Department hovercraft. I asked if they were on a training run, but no: there was a report of someone jumping from the Rt 33 bridge, and they were searching the river. That’s a tough job, and a bad day.

    Eating: Today’s lunch is canned mackerel in tomato sauce, with crème fraîche and pickled vegetables, over Danish seed bread. Yesterday’s lunch was smoked trout on Danish seed bread, with more pickled vegetables. We’ve been getting pretty Nordic with this recent cold weather.

  • Destination: Listmania!

    I sat down last night and, jonesing for rides as I do every year about this time, I wrote up a list of places I’d like to ride this year. All are in either Pennsylvania or New Jersey (with a few MD/DE outliers) , and within two or three hours of home. I’ve biked all of them before, some many times, but somehow very few of them happened in 2017. Anyway, here goes:

    New Jersey:

    • Allamuchy (also Stevens & Deer Park)
    • Ringwood SP
    • Wawayonda SP
    • Kittatinny SP
    • Mahlon Dickerson Reservation
    • Chimney Rock
    • Round Valley
    • Six Mile Run
    • Huber & Hartshorne Parks
    • Allaire SP


    • Jim Thorpe
    • Tamaqua/Burma Road
    • Raystown Lake
    • State College/Rothrock SF
    • R.B. Winter SP
    • Camelback
    • French Creek SP
    • Blue Marsh Lake
    • Nockamixon SP (I know, I know, but I don’t go as much as I like…)
    • Michaux SF
    • Merli-Sarnoski Park
    • Prompton
    • Lackawanna SP
    • Wissahickon


    • Frederick Watershed
    • Gambrill SP
    • Patapsco Valley SP


    • Iron Hill
    • White Clay

    This is to say nothing of “destination” places like Kingdom Trails in VT, or Slatyfork WV, or Moab, or Downieville…