May 25, 2013


And yet, there were many moments in those two miles where I felt the joy of riding again.  And that's why I keep at it.  Because that's what riding is about: the joy of it.  I like remembering that I was once a very fit man, but I would like to actually BE fit once again.  And free of oxygen tanks.  And able to bike 40 miles without extraordinary effort.

OK, I figured I'd get the conclusion out of the way first, because it's the most positive thing I have to say about today's ride. 

It is hard to believe, but I haven't been on the bike since the beginning of the month!  Weekend after weekend went by with bad weather.  This weekend is no different.  When I pulled the bike outside, loaded a D tank w/ constant flow regulator on the rack, and put my M9 w/ pulse regulator in a pannier, the radar showed nothing, despite the grey skies and gusty winds.  However, the rain came, mid-ride, and proceeded to spit at me off and on the entire time.  Somehow, though, with my mind consumed with maintaining oxygenation and not getting hit by cars, I didn't think much of the rain.  And it felt good to say "fuck you" to the elements.

Honestly, I didn't have big goals for this ride, other than to get my blood moving, get my ass in gear.  A precursor to a full 10 miles planned for tomorrow.  I'd just spent the last day and a half on my butt dealing with medical bills, insurance, backing up computers, and the like, and needed to exert myself.  I was reminded by a receipt I ran across while filing a stack of them that I needed to get my bike up to Bicycle Habitat to have a double kickstand put on.  So...I pedaled up there.

Actually, I misremembered my route and wound up going up hill more than I needed to.  I had to rest at the top of the incline between 5th ave and 6th ave and that disappoints me, but feel happy to have conquered the slope.  And even though my oxygenation was bad at the top, my asthma was not kicking in, so I could at least breathe in the high-flow oxygen.

At Bicycle Habitat, they put on the new double kickstand and we promptly decided to modify it, as the front wheel sat ridiculously high and the whole bike was unstable.  They cut a 1/2 from each side and that helped, but had to cut a little more off the left leg.  So now I can at least stop and prop the bike up.  Not the most stable stand, especially with the rack loaded with an oxygen tank, but its an improvement over not having a stand at all.  (A sidestand would not work well with the top-heavy weight on the rack.)

I needed the break while they did that, I admit.  Even after the mile up there, I was in distress.  I am not happy about that.  But on the ride home, I was reminded why the ride up was so hard: head winds.  It was nice having a tail wind coming back, even if it was sometimes a side wind that threatened to slam me into parked cars or into traffic.

I really have to cut back on work days and start shuffling in days dedicated just to getting in a bike workout.  Three or four days a week.  I'm losing my fitness and I've got to fight against that.

May 21, 2013


I just want to get this off my chest:  I'm so very tired.  Bone tired.  Nothing seems to make that better anymore.  Getting more sleep temporarily gives me more staying power, but it takes less and less to use up what energy I'm going to have for the day.

 Last week went pretty smoothly, work wise.  Settling into a nice 5-hour workday kind of routine.  I thought I'd saved up enough energy for the weekend.

Saturday, I spent the morning sleeping, then vegetating in the early afternoon.  Then I got dressed nicely and went into Manhattan to meet my friend Piper for an early dinner and a cup of coffee.  We ended up a noodle place she knows near where she lives and then at a nearby coffee shop.  As often and as long as I've worked in the NYU area, I haven't really explored much to the west of 6th avenue, so these places were new to me.  Between noodles and coffee shop I got an out-the-window introduction to her sister.  Weird.  I don't think I was aware Piper has a sister.

So I'm going to lose my friend to the lures of Colorada.  Dad gum that seductive state!  Oh, sure, her parents are there, her boyfriend is there.... but geez.  Come one, everybody knows New York is where it's at! :D

Then I was off to a Tisch Design Alumni event, wherein we toasted retiring professor Lowell Detweiler and had a raffle of about 150 of his sketches.  Many people (though not all of us) walked away with some fine functional art.  I sat at the greeting table for a while and got to see some very old friends - many of whom I haven't seen, quite literally, in years.  There were a whole lot more, though, who didn't show up, even though I know they live in this city still, and that was very distressing to me.

And why is that so distressing?  Well, because I'm not so sure there will be any more opportunities for reunions.  Without a transplant my time is running out.  Rapidly.  This brings me back to my constant tiredness - it's a sign.  And though I feel pretty good RIGHT NOW after an afternoon of walking around Manhattan getting errands done (skipped out early on work), I know I couldn't have kept that up much longer.

And other things are wearing me down, too; mentally, I mean.  People who make noise.  People who are in the way of other people.  People who seem intelligent, yet hold with the kinds of politics &/or conspiracy theories that make me question their very sanity.  The rising level of DERP in the world is paralleled only by my rising hopelessness.  I am losing my faith in humanity's ability to shepherd itself successfully.  I do not believe that a very real population-decimating crisis can be very far off.  Pick your poison: energy, food, disease resistance, diabetes, environmental pollution, etc.  It all works together and, in my perception, the planet is on the same death spiral my lungs are.  Fortunately for me, a transplant is a possibility.  *I* may yet survive beyond my original lungs.  But I don't think the world has such a get-out-of-jail-free card at the ready.

I know.  I shouldn't worry about such things.  And, generally, I don't.  All I have to do is look to my immediate surroundings to see enough to make me want to move to the desert and be a hermit the rest of my life.  But I can't do that right now.

So...I've gotten off track, sorry.... after last Saturday night (and I was home by 11), I was just wiped out Sunday.  I didn't have the energy to do ANYTHING.  The weather being cold and rainy didn't help.  But I needed the day to rest.  And I feel this way a lot.  Like I need every other day for rest and the ones in between for activity.  But I can't make that schedule work right now, either.

Soon.  Soon Lord and Taylor will be designed and I'll cut my work hours down to about 15 per week.  I'll take two to three days off each work week and just concentrate on getting back what cardiovascular fitness I can.  I will apply for disability, because the equation is clear.  Working is killing me.