Day 4 Out and About……Who Turned Off the Heat?

The plan for today was to work on cleaning up the garage but the rain was so hard, I dare not put anything outside. So instead of cleaning outside it was time to work on the pile of laundry that has been collecting over the last couple of weeks. I had hoped that the rain would stop or let up a bit so I could do a shake down ride on Clyde but it did not. On top of the rain not stopping the temperature went for 31c yesterday to a very 10c today.

My blisters are healing, but the placement of the blisters make each step I take hurt. I hope that they heal quickly so that walking and running training can begin this week. The weather for tomorrow looks like it will be an improvement over today so I will be up early to get that bike ride in.

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So the weather kept me inside for the most part today but I did have to make a special trip out. Today is my friend and running buddy Jenn’s’ birthday. I went off in search of a real gift but I am your typical guy, one I hate shopping and two, I never know what gift to buy anyone. After going to a couple of stores, I went with the old stand by, a gift card and a card.

So, I did not come anywhere near the time out of the house as I hope but I will make up for it in the coming days. Here’s to a better tomorrow and week ahead.

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Day 3……Day of Rest and Healing

Having had to cancel my bike ride yesterday, the plan for today Sunday was to join in with a group ride with the Ottawa Bicycle Club. I woke up nice and early to prepare for the ride and when I turned on the computer to find this message:

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Oh well, it probably worked out for the best. When I took Bogie and that nice I put on a pair of running shoes that I had not worn since last fall. I had stored them in the closet on the shoe rack. I often wear my running shoes without socks and yesterday was no exception. I guess through the winter small amounts of sand found their way into the shoes and this caused me to get a few nasty blisters on both feet.

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Needless to say, my feet are a little sore today so I need to take care of them with a lot of POLYSPORIN®. As I write this post, the temperature is dropping rapidly which is a true sign of thunder storms beginning very shortly so instead of heading out at all today, I think I will just stay in today, do a little reading and maybe watch a movie or two on Netflix.

Tomorrow is another day and though I have no plans just yet, but I will find something to do. The garage really needs a good clean out so that maybe the project for the day. It really does not get me out of the house but if the weather is as predicted, it just might be the right project for a rainy day.

Day 2 Out and About……

The day did not start out to great as Clyde, the TREK DS 8.3, that I planned to take out for a long ride on the Osgoode and Leitrim pathway was not ready to go as I thought. As you will recall from an earlier post, I had to take in the rear tire on Clyde to get a spoke replaced. I brought the tire home and it had been sitting in the garage until I was ready to go for a ride. As I was mounting the tire, I noticed that something was not right as I put the chain on. Low and behold, they forgot to tighten the cassette.

With Bonnie not really being ready to go, I decided that it would be best to take the tire in to get the cassette tighten. I could have done it myself with make shift tools but thought it best to let the professionals do the job right. The bike store, well it is really an outdoors store that is big into bikes, was packed it being Saturday and all. The bike tech said the tire would be ready in an hour as they had several bikes in the racks. I did not really mind as it let me walk around the store to lust after a number of bikes I would love to have. There was also a few factory reps at the store so I took the opportunity to talk with them about the different products that are currently available and what was coming on the market soon.

With the tire already to go, it was back to the house to get the tire mounted and head out for a ride. By the time I got home, the temperature was already in the mid 20’s so rather than head out on the bike right away, I decided that it would be better to take Bogie out for a walk before it got too hot.

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We had a nice long walk, stopping to say hello to as many dogs and owners as we could. I would normally avoid doing this as I am not great with introducing myself nor making small talk. Bogie had a great time and I think this was the longest walk he has been on in a very long time.

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By the time we got home, the temperature was hitting a whooping 31c. Poor Bogie was beat when we got home, which for an Airedale is a very good thing as they can be a bundle of energy. I spent a little time cooling off and having something to eat myself. Plan was to head out on the bike a little later. Well by the time I was ready to go, a severe thunder-storm warning had been issued which included high winds, heavy rain and high likelihood of hail. Having been caught in a storm like that last year, I did not want to take the chance of getting caught in one again.

Renee was spending the weekend with the Girl Guides camping so my Mum invited me over for dinner. We all know, there is no cooking like my mom’s cooking so I had to go over to the parents place for dinner. My sister was there with her two boys, my aunt and my brother were there as well so it was a big crowd for dinner. I know one time last year I went over for such a dinner I had to leave due to my anxiety. This year it was not so bad.

So, that was day two of being out and about. Though not as productive as I had hoped, it was still a good day with me being out of my own home for three and a half hours.

Looks like the decision not ride was a good one. A few areas around Ottawa got hit pretty bad with micro bursts and violent thunder storms.

Today’s Activities. Day 1 of Getting Out

In yesterday’s post I talked about how we went from winter to summer, well today the temperature is +31!!!! Holy heck, the body cannot get used to this wild swing in temperature. I was sweating like crazy so I hope my body gets used to these temps quickly. I have always had a hard time with heat, especially when there is a high humidity index.

So what did I get up to today, given that summer is here it was about time I got the winter tires off of my Mini Cooper. I scored a deal on an original set of Mini Cooper rims with summer tires mounted on them for $275 of all four. These were used but you could not tell. The guy at Active Green and Ross where I had the tires changed over told me that just one rim was $275 new.

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It took a lot longer to change over the four tires than I thought, two hours to be exact. I decided to wait in the waiting area but I took advantage of the situation as I took the initiative to talk with others that were waiting for their cars to be ready. This is out of character for me, even before the PTSD.

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Once my car was ready, it was off to Chapters to pick up a couple of books I need, as well as a couple of triathlon magazines. With it being such a beautiful day, I grabbed an Earl Grey Laite and sat on the patio to start reading one of my books. It was very hot on the patio but I stayed there for an hour until I got hungry. It was now 1:00 and my stomach was grumbling so it was off to Subway to get a sandwich.

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Rather than eat in, I decided to head to Hogs Back Park/Falls to sit by the water while I enjoyed my roast chicken sub. I always enjoyed the Hogs Back Falls, the sound of the water and the history around the area make this a great place to relax. It is fabulous to have such a natural wonder right in the heart of the city.

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I found a very nice shade tree to listen to the flowing water while ate my lunch. Once finished, I thought it would be nice to work off some of that sandwich by taking a walk along the pathway system around the falls. Luckily, the pathway is pretty much shaded so it made for a very enjoyable walk.

So, that was my day, a total of four hours outside the house, though I did not do a lot physically, it was a very enjoyable day. Tomorrow I will get one of the bikes out for a ride. Until then, have a great weekend.

The Weather Has Been Great……

The weather over the past three weeks has certainly been great with summer like temperatures. Spring has to be the shortest season in Ottawa as it seems in the 15 years that I have lived here, I only experienced what I would consider spring. For the most part, we go right from winter into summer so the body does not have time to acclimatize, this maybe the reason that so many people have a hard time with their race during Ottawa Race Weekend. I know it was brutal for me when I did my first half marathon, training in minus temperatures then only maybe two weeks of warm weather training.

So, like I said, the weather has been very nice as of late and you would think that I would out on the bike every chance I get. Well I have not. The closest I have come was to bring the bikes into the garage and get them ready for cycling season. Since finishing my contract with the deicing at the end of March, I have become a bit of a shut-in. Unless I absolutely had to, I just did not want to leave the house. The few times I have left the house was for doctors appointments and other times I only went out because I had Renee with me.

I did not intentionally set out to be a shut-in but in some subconscious way it happened. The old adage is that it takes 30 days to form a habit so now; not leaving the house has become a habit. This is a habit I need to break much sooner than later. I need to find something will give me a purpose to get up and out of the house each day, whether it is finding someone at my athletic level to train with or volunteer somewhere. I had hoped to take a course but I have a bunch of bureaucratic red tape to cut through before I can start the course I want to take.

So, I am putting out there and hoping that my blog followers will hold me accountable. That starting tomorrow, I will spend no less than three hours outside of the house doing something that gets me moving and feeling more engaged with the outside world.

Stay tuned for updates on my daily trips outside.

Clyde Has a Boo-Boo

The plan for today was to get the bikes in the stand to do my pre-season inspection and clean up. First in the stand was the Trek DS 8.3. I thought I had cleaned up the bike at the end of last season but apparently not, as everything was coated in a nice layer of dirt and mud.

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Clyde in the stand. Yes, that is snow and ice in the background.

 

I removed the bottle cages and bag so that I could apply a liberal amount of bike cleaner. It took me 20 minutes to just get the dirt and mud off of the frame and wheels. Next the drive train need to be sprayed and brushed. Damn it gunk up in such a short time. I used my Park chain cleaner tool along with some citrus cleaner, it sure smells pretty. The cleaner is white and just after a few turns of the crank, the liquid went from white to black.  As good as the Park tool is, I went at the chain and cogs with a soft brush just to dig out some of the tough gunk.

Next on the list of items to clean are the breaks. My bike has disc brakes front and back so I took a gag and soaked it with brake fluid. I then took the rag and cleaned the disc, front and back. What a difference in braking action that little bit of cleaning did. I applying a little bit of oil to the pivot points of the breaking system to allow for smooth action.

Great, Clyde is really starting to look now. Just a couple of more things to test and check before a test ride. Now to check the gear shifting action to ensure that it is all working smoothly and sure enough it was. Next was to clean the pedals and apply a little oil to the SPD action. Nothing worse than either not being able to click in or unclick from the pedal.

With the pedals good to go just one last check before the test ride and that is to test each spoke of each tire. That’s when things went bad. Front wheel, all spokes are tight and the wheel is true. Then to the back wheel and after checking just 3 spokes, I found a broken one. Darn!!! I continued to check the other spokes and found a couple of loose ones. That means a trip to the bike store to either buy the tools I need to change the spoke myself or get the shop to do it.

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D’Oh!! Broken Spoke

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Not Fun

I have to go pick up some other stuff at the bike shop as I think I will just drop it to them to fix quickly while I shop and lust after some of the goodies in the store. I just worked on Clyde today as it took long than expected and I need some other items for Bonnie any ways so I will clean her up tomorrow.

Here is hoping that warmer temperatures get here soon so I can enjoy a nice long ride on either bike. The first ride will most like be on Clyde as the roads here still have a lot loose gravel and debris in the bike lanes.

Come on Spring!!

Update: Dropped the wheel off today to get the new spoke installed but unfortunately the wheel is out of true. Given the broken spoke and the few loose ones, I guess I should have expected that. With Friday being a holiday, it looks like my first ride may not be until Saturday at the earliest, unless I take Bonnie out. If it is warm enough I just might.

Season Comes To An End

As part of my PTSD recovery, my doctors suggested I find some part-time work in an area that I enjoy or am passionate about. That was easy for me, aviation. For a portion of my life I was a commercial pilot and since I was a young lad, I always love planes and helicopters. I really wanted to be a helicopter pilot but the expense of getting that license was way out of my range. I truly loved flying but the events of 9/11 brought a down turn to the aviation industry world-wide, to an extent that I do not believe it has truly fully recovered yet. I had to make a choice of staying in aviation or pursue another career that would give me stability as well as a good income. The latter won out and I went into the real estate business.

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Hard at work spraying a Boeing 767

My love of flying never went away and I always seemed to keep up to date on the latest happenings. So I started to look around for a job at the airport that would be suitable for my condition. Luckily the airlines were looking for de-icing techs for the winter months. I submitted my resume, got an interview and before you know it, I am in a training class learning how to de-ice airplanes. This was the perfect job for me as it allowed me to work on my own, yet have some contact with people throughout my shift. I must say, though in the harsh elements of a Canadian winter, I really enjoyed and had a lot of fun spraying airplanes so people can get on their way safely.

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The view out of my office window some mornings

Unfortunately, today marks my last day spraying airplanes so I feel some what lost. I just need to find something to occupy a little bit of my time each day and that has structure. I found that the structure of working the same time each day did a lot to help with my anxiety. The job also allowed me to be on my own when I was not having a good day and that I did not have to put on a mask to cover up.

Knowing that this day was coming, has gotten me a little down so I need something to pick me up and keep me grounded at the same time. What that job will be I do not know just yet but hopefully something comes soon as I do not want to go backwards on my recovery. If nothing else, the time off will allow me to start training again now that the “Man Cold” seems to have finally cleared up.

Onwards and upwards!