Friday, December 4, 2009

The Fourth and Warm...

Hard to believe it's December 4th and it's supposed to be in the 40's again. I guess global warming has come to New York. Not that I'm complaining...I've been able to get out on the mountain bike in between trips most times lately. Even with deer season open for shotguns and rifles, I've managed to stick to dirt roads to get some miles in without getting shot at. I don't dare venture into the woods proper until the out-of-town maniacs take their long guns and go back downstate but at least I can get out. I don't know of anyone getting popped riding a trail but I do know I don't want to be the first so I'll stay out of my usual haunts for the time being. Unfortunately, sooner or later it's bound to snow around here. With or without deer hunters and bike riders,the salt will hit the roads and that'll be the end of it until spring; at least for the Trek. I've got some old bikes kicking around that I might finish corroding to death over the winter but that depends on my capacity to put up with frozen fingers and slush. I hate to settle in for the cold months and get out of shape again but riding in snow is a real test of endurance for this old guy anymore. The days of riding the Hog in December at twenty degrees (or less) are long gone and so is the inclination to push pedals when you have to dodge snowplows. My knees and fingers ache for weeks when I pull that stunt so call me a softie if you want but don't look for me out there freezing to death for fun and entertainment. There are limits to how much abuse a body can stand! Especially this body.

We've been talking about getting a trainer to ride on indoors so we don't lose all the edge but they're pretty steep for one that won't self-destruct in a week. With Christmas on the way and a couple of sick vehicles, it might have to wait until after the crisis of the month.
Like I said...I hate to give up easily on staying in shape. It's been almost five years since I looked in a mirror and saw 218 pounds staring back at me with a 36" waist. Talk about shock and awe. I knew I was getting heavy but for some suddenly dawned on me that I was really packing it on fast. My line of work is murder on your health anyway, especially when you hit the right-hand seat but this was ridiculous. Doing what I do, you pretty much just sit for a living and eat because you're bored. I was working a job to Allentown when I realized I was hogging down a sub and a big bag of chips for a warm-up before we'd been 30 miles. It was out of control. I pretty much made up my mind that this was not happening and haven't bought a Blimpie sub or darkened the door of a Wa-Wa since.
I've been a lot of miles on treadmills and bicycles since March of '04 but I did finally crack the 160 lb. barrier...if only briefly. I always said that 160 was my 'fighting weight' and that was my goal for all that time. Too bad I had to get sick to get over the last plateau but now the trick is to stay there.
Just like before...working the road is tough because of where we have to eat and the hours we keep. There really isn't much to be had at a mini-mart or Dunkin-Donuts at 3 in the morning that won't kill you. I pack a lot of my survival food from home and have gotten out of the habit of eating out and buying junk to eat on the way. I told my conductor last time out that everytime I walk away from the counter with only a large coffee and a thermos of black high-test for later, it's another little victory. It ain't much but I'll take them where I can get them.

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