DDOORN   228,438
SparkPoints
100,000 or more SparkPoints
 
 
DDOORN's Recent Blog Entries

Messages from My MP3 Player: Weight Loss vs. Maintenance

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

I know the drill. Been there, done that WAY too many times. Got it down to a science. Been back to basics and doing what I know *WORKS* for me this past week:

Daily Cardio: minimum of 35 mins. on treadmill every day (throw more on the fire if I wake up earlier...lol!), ideally 1st thing in the morning...which I did every day but one and made up for that later in the evening.

Daily tracking of my food: Nailed that too! Noticing my carb intake has been nice & low...about half of what SP recommends, which is what I *know* works for me!

Strength training? A bit slippery on that, have done 2 sessions, want to lock in on 3 per week.

Thing about all this is, while I can pat myself on the back for knowing what works and succeeding in being "on track," I could've avoided a whole lot of grief and drama by avoiding the backslide in the first place.

I am hoping to reconcile myself to accepting that I will always, ALWAYS, *ALWAYS* need to track my food. I believe that will be essential to maintaining a weight which is "good enough" for me.

But I know there is more to it that this. There is a certain mind set or psychology involved when it comes to maintaining. I know that I'm hooked on the weight loss mind set...can rev myself up and coach myself along quite nicely when it comes to LOSING the weight. In fact I'll go so far as to conjecture that I'm a bit "addicted" to this mentality which may be one of the sneaky, underhanded motivations behind my backslides: it's easier to whoop myself up into weight loss mode than it is to be just as enthusiastic about maintaining.

Let me share and give a shout out to one of SparkPeople's BEST crusaders of maintenance: 4A-HEALTHY-BMI! Check out her blog, Rockstars of Maintenance:

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4512102


In the meantime my excitement is ramping up for the days ahead: For the next week we will have PLENTY of sunshine with temps in the 60s & 70s...who knows, maybe even 80s!

Our bike club has what promises to be a WONDERFUL ride on Saturday (44 miles) on which I'm hoping to piggy-back another bunch of miles up to around 60 miles and 3,500 feet of climb...oof! Will love every minute of it! :-)

Here's the projected ride:

ridewithgps.com/routes/750935

Hope all us local Binghamton Area Losers are out there en masse soaking up the rays and SPARKING it up BIGTIME!

Don

ps...oh, my mp3 message? Last shuffled track while on the treadmill this morning:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nvT3_iSaHU

pps...thanks & shout out to REYVE01 for this wonderful graphic!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 10/8/2011 7:28AM

    Oh, I so understand that - it seems I need challenges and new things all the time and that can be frustrating and very counter-productive when it comes to maintaining. Good insights - we CAN do this thing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANDALEX 10/7/2011 5:38PM

    good for you for identifying what you need to do to meet your goals. that makes all the rest possible!

just getting back into things; it'll take me a while to catch up!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JAMESKEVIN 10/7/2011 11:33AM

    Keep up the great work! I wish I could do a long bike ride like that! Hopefully one day! I'm back to the basics myself! Walking in the morning, then hitting the stationary bike! I guess its just always going to be something we will always have to work on! I heard someone say the easiest part is losing the weight, the hardest part is keeping it off! And that statement is very true!

Report Inappropriate Comment
OUTDOORGIRL69 10/5/2011 8:03PM

    You keep up the good work. Enjoy the nice weather. We are starting to have rain & snow here. Thep was only 49.

PS Love the back ground picture

Comment edited on: 10/5/2011 8:04:00 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 10/5/2011 1:07PM

    love it.....
great share....
blessings and hugs....lita

Report Inappropriate Comment
SKINNYPOWELL1 10/5/2011 1:03PM

    Loved the pic... sums it nicely. Good job on getting back to basics, I too have come to the resolve that this is going to be a lifelong process - tracking food. We know what works, and are we willing to stand fast? Yep, you betcha.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JLITT62 10/5/2011 12:38PM

    See now, I can maintain pretty good, the whole losing thing seems to escape me . . . we've all got our crosses to bear, I suppose.

Great job getting back to basics!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MYLADY4 10/5/2011 11:23AM

    It is suppose to be nice here too so i get to ride as well. Makes up for the cold wet spring we had.

Love the picture!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HEARTOLOVE 10/5/2011 11:21AM

    Preach it Brother!! I'm talking maintainance....You're talkin to the girl who ate two small containers of Hagandaz this week!!
Not really a good way to deal with stress. Dealt with stress better this week. Walked 3 3/4 miles this morning!!
I loved the Video with "The Long Way Home!" LOOOOOL!! Smilin' here! Ltr,P.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAYHIKER 10/5/2011 11:01AM

    Great post, Don! There is definitely a different mind set to maintaining over losing! The rewards are not as tangible when you are maintaining which doesn't help, either. I'm glad to be back to it though I'm older and slower than you. emoticon

I sometimes wish we lived somewhere that I could ride a bike regularly like I did before we moved out to the sticks. A bike on a narrow, hilly, gravel road is just not all that. emoticon

Best wishes!
Cindy

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 10/5/2011 9:57AM

    Thanks for passing on BMI's blog. Hadn't passed my radar. SUCH IMPORTANT DATA!!!

And your blog ROCKS as well, as usual. Love "The Long Way Home" and the graphic is awesome!

Enjoy the rides!!!
emoticon
Maha

Report Inappropriate Comment
4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/5/2011 9:43AM

    Thanx for the shout.

Love the graphic. :-)

And whoa man. Are you the same guy who once upon a time long long ago told me that tracking food was just not for you? LOL
emoticon

We'll get you into those clip-in bike shoes, yet... hahahaha

P.S. I've been thinking of riding something big-ish on Saturday. Depending on how I feel after my biopsy on Friday I might just come down there and join you! Send me details, please? (Where to meet & when.)

Comment edited on: 10/5/2011 9:45:47 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment


Dream Ride

Sunday, October 02, 2011

I rarely remember my dreams. I'm sure I still dream...but it's only once a year or so that I remember my dreams.

Today I didn't have much time for my ride as it was late in the day and I knew it would be a race against the sunset. To make it more of a challenge I decided to tackle Belden Hill from two different routes. Within the 30 miles of my ride I climbed over 2,000 feet!

Here is the map of my ride which includes the various elevations:

ridewithgps.com/trips/409646

Last year that first little blip of a hill around the 3 mile marker...? THAT would have been a challenge for me! You can see how much I blew that away with the climbs I did during the rest of the ride!

After working hard climbing route 79 through tiny, virtually non-existent towns in name only such as Quinneville and North Fenton for my first descent, I reached the summit with trees crowding both sides of the road. As I pushed on through the road pulled me out into a breathtaking vista sprawling on and on before me and down I FLEW into the valley straight and true, never touching the brakes as the road was in perfect condition. I'm betting I hit between 40-50 mph whizzing by a tractor, the only other vehicle on the road as far as I could see.

Not much rest after that descent before, heading westward into the sun which was moving closer to the horizon, I'm climbing again. During this descent, feeling the sun fueling my ride it occurs to me:

As a little boy I used to have recurring dreams of flying. Usually they would begin by stumbling as I'm walking down a stairwell. Except instead of falling I spread my arms and glide through the air! I'm betting it was a way for me to find a way out of my obesity and being able to move my body through the world in ways of which I could only dream.

When I'm streaking on down these hills it feels so much like I felt during these dreams...! At least as close as one can come within the limits of the physics of this world! Tapping into these memories it dawned on me why cycling means so much to me!

I typically struggle so much to let the child within come out to play...but not on my bike! Very similar feeling also to those years spent swimming in Lake Michigan for hours on end. Fearless and reckless like a little boy, just having a blast! Living life to the fullest!

Today? Woo hoo-ing, laughing and smiling as I sailed into the setting sun ( runnin' into the sun... www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJYRtOPUonA )...it was such a fine, fine day!

Don

ps...while I've slacked in racking up the miles as these colder, darker days with more rain have been plenty, I've still racked an impressive 1739 miles so far this cycling season.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKINNYPOWELL1 10/3/2011 9:23AM

    Love your story telling. Congrats on the 1739 miles - emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GROEDER 10/3/2011 7:53AM

    Sounds like a great ride, and the way you tell the story is super!!!!
Thanks for sharing!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 10/3/2011 7:15AM

    That playfulness and wheee!!! sensation is what we all need so much! Thanks for sharing yours with us!! (Your new wallpaper is glorious).

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILL60 10/3/2011 7:05AM

    Sounds like you had a real blast!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZELLAZM 10/3/2011 6:40AM

    emoticon
emoticon emoticon
(sorry, those were the only emoticons I could find with WINGS!)
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAYHIKER 10/3/2011 6:25AM

    What a great ride and a great story to share with us! It is a nice uplifting post to go with my first coffee. emoticon Now you are fully back in the saddle and on your way! emoticon

Cindy in Indiana

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOODGETNBETR 10/3/2011 12:21AM

    emoticon Not a bad way to spend a Sunday. May you continue to live those dreams.

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 10/2/2011 11:10PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 10/2/2011 10:43PM

    "Fearless and reckless like a little boy, just having a blast! Living life to the fullest!" What a great affirmation!
emoticon
Maha

Report Inappropriate Comment
MYLADY4 10/2/2011 10:30PM

    That sounds AWESOME!!! Glad you felt like a kid again. Never lose that. Maybe that is why we like biking so much.

Report Inappropriate Comment


Back to the Future: Re-Committing, Re-Thawing

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yep: Back on track, re-committing to myself and dusting off all the stuff I know that works for me as I have written before. I'm coming to appreciate more & more the value of blogging and building a reservoir of one's trials and tribulations and more importantly, of one's wisdom and self-knowledge. When life pulls the rug out from under and you're frozen like deer in the headlights? You have all your smarts chronicled away in your blogs. I google 'em...where is that blog I wrote about...? Works pretty well!

How did all of this get started? After I did that awesome NYC Century I got an e-mail from Brightroom...a service that takes zillions of photos of athletes at events such as marathons and cycling, etc. They then offer to sell you photos of yourself in action. I thought: cool! I could finally get a good pic of me in action on my bike!

Well I went to look at the pics and was not very happy with what I saw! Despite my internal feeling and perception of myself as a light & sprite cyclist zooming about the city the external reality was a whole different story. Who stuffed that pillow bunched up around my belly as I'm bending over riding my bike?!?!

Well *I* did, that's who!

I saved a few thumbnails from Brightroom...not going to pay for a blow up of THESE! My 1st reaction was to tuck these away in shame. But I've decided I will share them after all as a motivator for myself. I want to look on a bicycle like I FEEL when I'm grooving to a workout while listening to Pat Metheny's tune "Eighteen": www.youtube.com/watch?v=sffBikk0dkw Revved, light & sprite!

So here are the thumbnails from the ride:







And here are a few that showed up under my number even though I don't see myself...just to share a few more itsy-bitsy slices of that Big Apple:







Now I realize it's only been a few days, but I've been back to my morning treadmill workouts, tracking all my food on the nutrition tracker and most importantly this morning I jumped back on the scale after an oh-so-long hiatus!

Like many of you I have a real messed up relationship with the scale. I struggle so NOT to give the numbers such power to BOOST or CRASH my self-esteem. They are just numbers. Like so many who have been successful in losing and more importantly maintaining their weight I'm still learning how numbers give me power. They remind me that in this world where SO much is beyond our control there are some vitally important things that are ALWAYS under our control.

I anticipated a much higher number on the scale and was amazed to find myself weighing in at 238. Not a good number at ALL, but a do-able number. I've been here, done this and although I'm getting tired of doing the Sisyphus rock-rolling up the hill I'm pleased to find that I haven't lost as much ground as I have in the past.

It seems when I let myself go and do my own thing I gravitate around the 240 mark. Although I take *some* comfort in this I know these are some decidedly dangerous waters in which sharks patrol! www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bc9N-SPNsJE

Dusted off my old workout room as my fitness center is STILL bouncing back from the flood. I got over this sense of going back to "kindergarden" in retreating to my old home workout routines which I followed before joining the fitness center and am now getting up in the morning and tackling my treadmill 1st thing in the morning before my day runs away with itself.

It worked before. It will work again!

Another thought: a rebuttal to myself in an old blog where I contemplate this seeming "set point" of 240 which I reach when left to my own non-tracking devices. I once upon a time considered: is 240 "good enough"...? After all the extremely high weights I've run in my past, can I take comfort in the ability to maintain myself around 240? Is it "worth it"...? All the tracking, vigilance and diligence?

My present answer (hey, I realize NOTHING is ever set in STONE...!) is: Nope. It ain't good enough. I'm still WAY to critical of my body at this weight and there is far too great a dissonance between the lightness of my spirit and desires and what this body of mine will allow.

What's the magic number? Perhaps the 200 pound mark I reached in March 2010. We'll see.

Another goal I'm dangling in front of me? Dancing. I'm hearing that, of all places, a local martial arts studio offers a low-key beginner's dance class which might be a good fit for me. I may need to lose a little more weight before I jump in as I am OH-so-self-conscious and critical of my body and klutziness. We'll see...

But I really do YEARN to match my body with the ever-in-motion spirit of lightness and brightness that so often courses through my being!

Yours in SPARK!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEARTOLOVE 10/3/2011 11:24AM

    WOW!! That's sounds like an awesome bike ride!!
Me? I'm glad to just be able to do my 40 minute walk!
And you did the hills!!
You're a motivation to us "sparkies!"

Report Inappropriate Comment
VEEJAY3 10/3/2011 9:12AM

    Wow ... I LOVE this blog! I'm a biker, too ... and I know how awesome I feel on a bike -- until I ride by a plate glass window and actually SEE myself. hahaha -- at least we FEEL that great, right???

I'm with you (as it appears many of us are, by looking at these comments). It's time to re-gear, re-commit, re-assess. You inspired me to go back to my food tracker (can't believe how long it's been ... I used to be PERFECT with that!).

Ride on, brother.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SASSYCHRIS1952 10/2/2011 1:04PM

    We spark friends are here for you, you are doing great emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZELLAZM 10/2/2011 8:16AM

    Woohoo, Don - you continue to be an inspiration! Tomorrow is the 3rd anniversary of my reaching goal (58 K) and I'm still determined to get back there, although I also have entertained thoughts sometimes of this current weight (62K) being "good enough." We'd rather have "great," right?

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHRIS3215 9/30/2011 10:42AM

    Don, YOU will get YOU back!!!
I also been there a few times & know how you feel..
Your pictures are nice I even hate seeing my own self in pictures & I see stuff I don't like either..

It's great you are getting you back & you know we all are here for you all the way!!
OK BUDDY, GET MOVING & emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JESPAH 9/29/2011 8:50AM

    This is a great blog.

I think what happens to a lot of us is we are flush with success and we kinda, sorta, lose those old pictures. Or they get shoved to the back. And then, if we backslide at all, we have this skinnier version of ourselves in the front of our minds. And either we're in denial or at least we are not owning up to our issues.

That reminds me - I definitely should change my big pic on my page. That's about 20 lbs. lighter than I currently am. It is untrue. I need to fix that.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOBYCARP 9/28/2011 9:39PM

    Your 240, my 190. I've been up and down the fitness trail, bouncing off low weights near 190 three times.

Thanks for the blog. It's another testamonial to the adage that I can't out-train a crappy diet, and to the conclusion that I'll need to track my food for life. So I may as well get good at tracking, because it isn't going to go away when I get to goal.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FERRETLOVER1 9/28/2011 6:45PM

    Never forget just how far you have come, Don!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
VARMINT3 9/28/2011 6:29PM

    Thanks for the inspiration - I've been hanging out far too long at my still-too-heavy pre-baby weight (baby is 7...) & I know what I need to do to change that - just need a kick in the behind to DO IT!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEBRA0818 9/28/2011 11:36AM

    Weight loss and maintenance feels Sisyphian to me too, but I cannot stop trying to roll this particular stone up the hill. It's good exercise anyway!

Cheers, Debra
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 9/28/2011 10:53AM

    what an awesome job you are doing.....
your journey motivates so many here...
blessings and hugs...lita

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAZINMICH 9/28/2011 10:17AM

    I needed to read this! I'm right there with you, time for me to stop making excuses and continue doing. I also struggle with that scale in the same way. thank you for the reminders and the honesty.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JLITT62 9/28/2011 10:07AM

    It would be really nice if this were a journey that ends, but it just isn't. The good news is every go-round we learn a little bit more about ourselves.

Dancing is fabulous exercise. I am so not graceful, but if DH would even tolerate it, I'd sign up in a heartbeat. Don't let your present weight hold you back!

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 9/28/2011 9:41AM

    You live in my heart as the "ever-in-motion spirit of lightness and brightness," Don. That's Who.You.Are. Yeah, now to match the shell with the inner reality!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon
Maha

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAYHIKER 9/28/2011 9:37AM

    You're doing a great job of getting back on track, Don. I can sooo relate to your comment, "I'm getting tired of doing the Sisyphus rock-rolling up the hill!" I guess we just get "weary in well doing" sometimes and wander off in the tall weeds for awhile. emoticon

Best wishes emoticon
Cindy

Report Inappropriate Comment


Attack of the Deathly Stupids

Monday, September 26, 2011

Amnesia has struck again!

I call it the fog…not the misty, dreamy, rolling type through which the geese were honking and flying southward, bringing to mind Sandy Denny’s “Who Knows Where The Time Goes?” ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oBMDcLf6WA ) while on my cycling commute to work this morning.

But the kind of fog Stephen King might write about, filled with amorphous sharp things that detach me from my wisdom and cause me to forget my wise mind, bringing about an attack of the Deathly Stupids!

I often kid about how thick men can be, yours truly included sometimes, requiring the oh-so-subtle 2 x 4 approach! Or to be a tad more kind, requiring the Zen slap! c2.com/cgi/wiki?ZenSlap

Well, leave it to the kindness of my SparkFamily to come to the rescue.

Out of the blue folks have been swinging by some of my more memorable blogs of yore, leaving supportive, appreciative comments but more importantly serving to bring my attention to insights, motivations and goals that I have allowed to be snatched from me by that insidious fog.

Unfortunately one of my first responses is to self-deprecatingly wonder why in the heck anyone would want to browse through MY blogs…?

After re-reading some of my past writings and feeling a bit of detachment (who IS this dude who wrote such things?!?!) I come around to realizing, “Hey, you can be pretty on the mark sometimes! THIS is what you’re really all about, not the past several months of half-living!”

That’s not to say I haven’t had wonderful moments during the past several months. But underneath it all there has been a sense of being adrift and certainly NOT on my game regarding my food choices and workouts.

Thank you, and shout out to GIVINGUPTHEPLUS and TRUETOU for stopping by and commenting on my blog “Choosing My Hard: Living vs. Dying”
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3999472


It was the Zen slap I’ve needed for a long time!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KINSBAILE 9/27/2011 4:11PM

    Great blogs! Thank you :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZELLAZM 9/27/2011 5:47AM

    I think I missed that one back in February (I was probably traveling back then) so I'm glad I got to read it today.

Hope that fog is LIFTING!

Michelle

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 9/26/2011 6:10PM

    Your blogs are absolutely worth reading and rereading -- and although there are a lot of terrific people on SP, you don't take second place to anyone Don!

Maintaining IS hard . . probably the hardest thing I've ever done and continue to do . . . but as you say, and so eloquently, it beats the alternatives. Which are even harder. No question.

And like you I'm choosing my hard!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SKINNYPOWELL1 9/26/2011 1:00PM

    Gotta get my head outta the clouds aLSO. Love the Zen slap emoticon. I consider this my wake up to get busy too.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JLITT62 9/26/2011 12:55PM

    Maintenance can be really hard, but having the SP community at least means we have support!

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 9/26/2011 11:51AM

    enjoy your week....
blessings and hugs.............lita

Report Inappropriate Comment
TAMIK1964 9/26/2011 11:46AM

    When I run across a blog that catches my interest I will often go back and read more blogs on that person's page. I like seeing the journey the person has been on. And as you've found, sometimes it does us good to relive our own journey.

Hope you have a great week :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
LMLOPEZ 9/26/2011 10:53AM

    Glad to see the fog is lifted. Focus is always good! Have a great start to your week.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 9/26/2011 10:02AM

    Are you living in my skin...OR WHAT??? I'm SO there, and so deeply understand what you're saying. Wish I had the wisdom of Right Living to clearly point toward the Truth, but it just ain't there.

We'll trudge the Path together, seeking the Light that glimmers faintly, giving hope and even occasional inspiration!
emoticon
Maha

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAISYBELL6 9/26/2011 9:31AM

    I needed this today.....actually I needed it a while ago!

emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAYHIKER 9/26/2011 9:19AM

    I got a little foggy over the summer, too, Don, on a SparkBreak due to the heavy work gardening/canning season. Glad we're both refocused. I always enjoy your blog posts! emoticon

Cindy emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/26/2011 9:20:19 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
IMIN2GENES 9/26/2011 9:19AM

    What a timely reminder for me too! I needed an extra little Zen slap too. I've been a little too complacent after my initial success and I'm not ready to be done yet!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NUTRON3 9/26/2011 9:04AM

    Have a Great Day!

Report Inappropriate Comment


Another Bite of the Big Apple: NYC Century!

Monday, September 19, 2011

This ride was NOT supposed to happen. My cycling buddy and I had spoken about doing the NYC Century quite a while back when someone in our cycling club mentioned it. www.nyccentury.org

But life went on and there was no further mention of it so I figured it was a no-go.

However on Thurs., only 3 days beforehand, she brought up the idea of the ride again. First reaction? Annoyance! We coulda shoulda woulda made GREAT plans for this...but NOW at THIS late point?!?

But then I thought...you know, I'm too much of a stick-in-the-mud...spontaneity does NOT come to me readily.

So YES! Let's GO FOR IT!

We scheme all sorts of ways to find a place to crash Sat. night before the Sun. ride. Everything is either "no vacancy" or $300 / night...ugh!

Going with the theme of spontaneity I suggest we just sleep over in the car. Not ideal, but for one night? Why not? You only live once! I did manage to e-mail someone through Warm Showers ( www.warmshowers.org/ ) and left my phone # just in case they could put us up at the last minute.

Turned out my cycling friend at the last minute (a few hours before departure on Sat.) found a wonderful fellow not too far out on Long Island (her friend's father) who agreed to host us for the night! He was a delightful man who took us out to a Chinese restaurant and we enjoyed much conversation before a short but restful sleep.

Neither of us are in least bit familiar with anything but the largest of landmarks in NYC. We were due at the start of the ride at the northern edge of Central Park for registration by 5:30 a.m. Paranoia over making the journey in sufficient time we woke up at 3:30 and made it with 15 mins. to spare. Whew! Garmin was our lifesaver!

Registered, we were OFF and cycling by around 6 a.m. and made it through Manhattan to the Brooklyn Bridge to soak up the sunrise:



Another view from the bridge:



Here's the tune from my internal radio that was playing:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xapGxL09-I

This was a very different ride from the 5 Borough Ride I completed earlier this year in May: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4205481
That ride was very unnatural in that they closed down streets / expressways and had police or volunteers directing bikes / traffic at nearly every intersection. The good part of that was the ride was more sheltered and protected and in many ways a great introduction to cycling in NYC. The bad part of that was the interminable waiting and HIGH need for patience.

The NYC Century made us feel like we were "locals" and in the know on all the great riding venues. Highly enjoyable. But not without anxieties.

Like when we got lost.

Gulp! NYC map dunces. No GPS.

Around the 40 mile rest stop we departed by following other cyclists. Yes we had cue sheets, but with the ZILLIONS of turns, who was going to stop at every intersection and look at THOSE!

We forgot that there were totally different routes for those doing the 75 mile, 55 mile and under routes. We soon discovered that we were whizzing along with a group of 55 milers! We weren't here to do only 55 miles! So we began to ask other riders for help. Two were very helpful, even gave us a cycling map of NYC and gave us some ideas how to route ourselves back to the century route. We STILL got lost again, but were blessed by the kindness of locals who helped us to get re-routed. Our ride was supposed to be 105 miles total. But we were so befuddled we'll never know precisely how far we went. Could have even gone FURTHER than 105 miles! Yes it was scary to go through this, but edgy and a bit exciting at the same time. Here we were tooling around NYC down streets that weren't at ALL part of the planned routes...wow!

Other anxieties? Wobbling, weaving and squeezing our queue of bikes in between parked and double-parked vehicles on our right and moving vehicles on our left! I managed to clip a side-view mirror on a vehicle and lived to tell about it! Another time I wove too much, leaning into the side of a van and had to step down off my bike: with a line of cyclists bearing down on me from behind! I quickly walked my bike without dismounting to the front of this double parked van so that I'd get out of everyone's way...WHEW! No "protection" here...no police directing traffic or streets closed to traffic...we had to negotiate our way just like anyone else in NYC!

We had to fjord our bikes up and down stairs to the various bridges (Brooklyn, Tri-Borough/RFK and other smaller ones) and then ride along VERY narrow walkways on the bridges. I made sure my hands were positioned on the straight, inside part of my handlebars so that I wouldn't scrape my knuckles along the walls or posts alongside me.

Here's a song that got stuck in my head BIGTIME throughout the day...great beat to it that helped to propel me along and I think the minor tone gave it an Asiatic-ethnic feel that seemed to fit as we cycled through an incredible number of neighborhoods which felt like a microcosm of the world.

youtu.be/GUe94GSN_ag



Cycling around the bay nearby LaGuardia with planes arcing overhead. Bridges all had beautiful parks around either or both sides. The sun gained strength as the day wore on, pumping me up even more!



The parks were great also and had their own surprises. Like the pathway that corkscrewed itself down and down and we were riding 'neath the path down which we rode!

Here's one of the bike repair tents:



Us? No flats, no mishaps other than my minor collision with another cyclist at a sudden stop.

Cyclists at a rest stop:





We had an AWESOME time on the NYC Century...felt like we were treated to every nook & cranny the Big Apple had to offer to folks on two wheels!

Two big thumbs up for throwing caution to the wind and BLITHELY (thank you VALERIEMAHA!) jumping forward with our lives!

Don

ps...my apologies to ALL those blogs out there that I've been too crazy / busy to catch up with just yet OR to even thank folks for your comments on my blogs...love, appreciate and value ALL of 'em! And I WILL catch up! :-)

pps...just discovered another EXCELLENT blog which provides much better detail that I!
www.howwedrive.com/2011/09/19/new-yo
rk-city-century-ride-a-few-quick-thoug
hts/


ppps...Here's another pleasant snapshot of cycling along the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway:
www.nytimes.com/2011/05/06/arts/cycl
ing-the-manhattan-waterfront-greenway.
html

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEARTOLOVE 9/28/2011 11:38AM

    Hi Don!! Didn't you just do a Big long Bike Ride.
Don't be so hard on yourself.
One of my therapy clients biggest complaints is that exercise is so repetitious and that gets boring it's the rep's that cause improvement and increased muscle mass. It's when we put a load on our muscles and bones that we benefit.
I have fallen off the wagon too. I need to start up my upper extremity exercises. I use to do them 2-3 x's a day when I worked.
I'm with you on the dancing. It's great exercise and fun!
I'm into exercise for the fun of it. If I have to time my minutes per mile it becomes "unfun".
Thanks for Sharing!!

Comment edited on: 9/28/2011 11:40:17 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
SASSYCHRIS1952 9/23/2011 9:16PM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLAYINGDRAGONS 9/23/2011 10:51AM

    emoticon
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KINSBAILE 9/22/2011 4:14PM

    Wow that's AWESOME!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZELLAZM 9/22/2011 6:10AM

    Not to worry, Don, post when you can...I know you're in this for the long haul!

What a great blog and what great photos - and what a great event! I think that the fact you made the decision on short notice is kind of a metaphor for being LIGHTER - sometimes when we lose weight, we also lose some of the heaviness of our hearts and spirits.

Have a good rest of the week...


Report Inappropriate Comment
DARK_CINDERELLA 9/21/2011 9:59PM

    What an adventure! So fun! And way to be spontaneous...... :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
HEARTOLOVE 9/21/2011 9:53AM

    Wow!! and you did 105 miles!!
in a strange city.
You are an adventurous spirit!
What an accomplishment!


Report Inappropriate Comment
JLITT62 9/21/2011 5:57AM

    I just jump back in without catching up after a trip!

I don't think I would have enjoyed that - biking in traffic in NYC sounds REALLY scary - but glad YOU did & you enjoyed it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CINNAMONJOY 9/20/2011 10:07PM

    Excellent! It sounds like a fantastic adventure for the end of summer!

(That globe was practically in my backyard once upon a time, btw!)

Report Inappropriate Comment
TSANC01 9/20/2011 6:01PM

  Thanks for sharing you trip with us. I've never been on a century, I don't have a road bike...yet..maybe someday.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SKINNYPOWELL1 9/20/2011 12:13PM

    Isn't flying by the seat of pants fun? Sometimes life's best adventures are unplanned. Good for you in stepping out of the box and having a great time. I always enjoy hearing your stories, I'm living the life of a cyclist thru your eyes and more and more I'm craving to give it a try, who knows maybe someday.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TOOTHFUL99 9/20/2011 8:43AM

    This sounds like so much fun, even the getting lost and surviving part!
I look forward to hearing about your next adventure!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 9/20/2011 8:21AM

    What an incredible adventure! Your blog is a terrific endorsement for the value of spontaneity.


"The awful daring of a moment's surrender
Which an age of prudence never can retract
By this and this only we have lived."

(From-memory more or less accurate quotation from TS Elliott's epic poem, "The Waste Land" . . . maybe in or around the "Burnt Norton" section . . . I've lost that particular map at the moment as well!!)

Report Inappropriate Comment
GROEDER 9/20/2011 7:43AM

    Sounds like a great time - and some adventure too!!!! I really enjoy reading about your cycling trips.
Thanks for sharing them.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAISYBELL6 9/20/2011 7:42AM

    You rock! I am very impressed!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILL60 9/20/2011 7:40AM

    Don, just SUPER!! Way to go and way to be spontaneous!! You're DA MAN!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BD3269PM 9/20/2011 6:50AM

    Yea for spontaneity!! What a great experience you had and thanks for sharing it. Keep on Sparking emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 9/20/2011 6:42AM

    There is something to love about BOTH types of cycling, city & country...for the most part I'm a fan of the quiet, open roads of the country...but this was certainly a unique, exciting and at times wonderful experience!

For a couple of seasoned, country cyclists I think we held our own pretty nicely down in NYC!

Don

Report Inappropriate Comment
BECKY3774 9/20/2011 6:33AM

    Sounds like you really enjoyed your ride...good for you for doing something outside of your comfort zone! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
4A-HEALTHY-BMI 9/20/2011 3:22AM

    Sounds like you had a great time! Thanks for the trip report!

I think I like riding out in the stix, though. Did enough crazy city riding while growing up in Oakland, CA. LOL

Report Inappropriate Comment
2BMYOWN 9/20/2011 12:41AM

    Damn.....between you and Maha, I get my weekly dose of inspiration right when I seem to need it the most. For some reason, the two of you are always joined in my mind...when I think of her, I think of you, and vice versa, isn't that funny? Maybe it's because both of you are exceptional, maybe? Totally AWESOME blog, Don, and YAY for spontaneity, it just sounds like an absolutely wonderful adventure, and isn't that what life is about????? Sometimes the plans that just kinda drop into your lap at the last minute turn out to be the most worthwhile.....and fun!

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 9/19/2011 11:26PM

    OMG! Don, I had NO idea!!! THE BIG APPLE, indeed! When did you finish, after starting at 6am, getting lost, resting, etc.? I find the preparation for 100+ miles so overwhelming at this point. Might have to make a bike trade too, huh.

YAY! for spontaneity!
emoticon
Maha

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 9/19/2011 11:11PM

    looks like it turned very well in the end..
blessings and hugs..........lita

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment


First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 Last Page