I have reached a plateau. I knew it would come sooner or later. I've lost right around 40 pounds and the body seems to be fighting my attempts to lose more. My initial response in the past has been frustration followed by ever more desperate weight loss techniques. This time around I'm shooting for a reasonable response. For instance, I had a flat week and indulged this weekend. I shouldn't really be surprised that I continue to hover around the 240 mark. Fortunately, I can refer to spreadsheet tracking my weight loss for a little bit of reassurance and motivation.
The long Sunday ride (130 miles) was preceded on Saturday by a 56-mile ride where I averaged 16 mph. I am slowly starting to put back-to-back long rides together. Sunday was a pretty important ride mostly because I started out feeling uncomfortable in the saddle and I didn't have the freshest legs. There will be days during the TD where I feel lousy so I need some familiarity. The on and off rain made sure I never really got comfortable. I was constantly up and out of the saddle to give my hindparts a break. I managed about 13 mph but the chafing got pretty bad towards the end and I'm still feeling it 36 hours later. I'm happy to have ridden the distance I intended when not at my best. Clearly though, I'm going to have to find a way to prevent the chafing as it results from pretty much any ride over four hours. I think I'll give Vaeline a try next. I thought Gold Bond powder would be the answer but it's difficult to apply while wearing bibs. Trailside just doesn't seem private enough for a proper application. Not to mention that when the rain is pouring no amount of powder is going to work.
On the kit assembly, I received my materials from Ray Jardine and have begun making the quilt. I had a heck of a time cutting the material with the scissors we own. Today will include a visit to the crafts store for a pair that can cut fabric. I'm really impressed with the package from Ray. For someone that's a total noob with a sewing machine, I find his instructions thorough and extremely helpful. I'm hoping the results are worthy of the design. More importantly, I hope it allows me restful sleep.
So here's a quick aside about surprises. The scissors reminded me that surprises are generally not good. The last three or four years I've been working on a list of universal truths. One that's been hard to get a handle on is this; the fewer surprises a person experiences, the happier they are. That's the working statement, subject to revision or complete dismissal. My thinking goes like this. As children we are conditioned to think surprises are good. Christmas and birthday presents are often purchased and held under a veil of secrecy while the child eagerly counts the days. Trips to the movies, the mall, or the playground are surprise rewards for good behavior. These are all parental constructs that manufacture the idea of a good surprise. In reality, surprises are seldom good news. In my experience, surprises often grow out of little things that repeatedly escape our notice until they become big show-stopping problems. Stranded on the side of the rode because the car ran out of gas or broke down due to missed maintenance? No milk for the kid's cereal? Getting calls from collections because a bill is past due? Putting on ten or fifteen pounds a year? These things are not inevitable. They usually just require us to pay attention. As I write this, I realize that there are plenty of good surprises; unexpected tranquility probably tops my list. I think what I'm trying to get at is this: we frequently cause our own problems and undermine the peace we seek. My assumption that the scissors would be up to the task put me in a bad mood as I struggled through the quilt project. Not a recipe for success or peace.