Land’s End to John O’Groats – Normal Clothes

This showed up in my email today via the Brooks Despatch, the newsletter from Brooks Saddles. While the video is more or less an extended advertisement for their saddles, I actually love it because it has great scenery, great bikes, great saddles (I ride ‘em as documented many times here), and NORMAL CLOTHING!

Yes the blokes in this video are riding bikes and look like normal people. In the US we seem to have this, some would say unhealthy, fascination with tricking ourselves out in racing kit, even when we are simply going for bike ride.

While I’ll admit to being careful about what I wear when I ride long distances, underwear that doesn’t bind or have painful seams, things that dry quickly after a rain shower, and so forth, I mostly look like a normal guy. I don’t have special shoes, in fact I wear plain old sandals (though with socks to prevent chafing). I love these guys in the video.

The helmet thing. They don’t wear helmets. I generally do, though not always. It’s up to you.

Finally, I’d love to do this ride. In fact, I’m going to do this ride. Tomorrow. Okay, maybe not tomorrow. I am going to do this ride though.


Activity tracking now that I can walk…

Now that my hip is fixed I figured I’d better keep it that way and, because I can move again and be mostly pain free, it was time to up my activity. 

I saw one of the super Kindle deals for a Misfit Shine about two weeks ago and picked one up for $20 (usually $99). It was really okay and could track cycling (though you had to manually kick it into that mode and put it on your shoe or in your sock, etc.). 
Well they have the #%#$@!’iest band system around and it popped out somewhere in 6 days. I may still find it as it is in my home somewhere, but only God knows where. 
Still I’d gotten hooked so….I did a bit of research and since I already own other Garmin products settled on the Vivofit. Here are some links to decent reviews and advice by a techie guy using DC Rainmaker as his handle:
I like it. It’s not perfect but it does what I expect. Basically I just wanted to track movements and be reminded to move. I also didn’t want something I had to charge every other day – I tend to forget. This has a battery that’s supposed to last 1 year or more.
The reminding this is sort of okay, About every hour (or maybe a bit more), it shows a red band in the display reminding you to go get some exercise. As i can easily sit at my desk all day unless I have to pee, this is a good thing. Turns out walking around my block takes about 750 steps and 8 minutes. That keeps my device quiet for a while. 
It does interface with my Garmin heart strap and can show my heart rate. I don’t use that all the time of course, only during actual exercise or bike riding.  
There is an app for both IOS and Android. I think the IOS version is probably better but hey, I just want to know a few things. In addition it can all hook up the Garmin Connect software which then can combine my Oregon 400 GPS unit (which I need to pull out again), the Vivofit, and heart band. 
For calorie measurements check out It integrates into Connect as well, as does MapMyRide and some other things. 
Connect is a bit clunky, not up to Fitbit standards I guess, but it does what I want and, as I’ve said, I have other Garmin stuff.
That’s it. There are other trackers out there and more on the way this coming winter. As I said it’s likely I’ll upgrade when one comes out that can do cycling (not GPS necessarily, just recognizes the motion), heart rate, and such all in one device – I’ve seen this:
There you go.
BTW – None of these companies pay me anything, but darn it, after reading this email, they should. :-)


My Hip Replacement #18

It’s been a while since I’ve posted…a whole month. To be honest, that’s how little I’ve thought about my hip recently. It’s not that things haven’t happened, it’s just, well my hip feels completely normal for the most part so I just don’t think about it.

It’s been three months since my surgery and this past week I had checkup. My incision has almost completely healed and has filled in very well. I no longer have a ‘pit’ on my leg. It’s not quite done but oh well. I was told by my surgical team that out of about the last 100 folks they’ve only seen in this in 2 or 3 folks. It’s not normal but it happens. Basically it seems my body rejected a bit of the suture. I’ve had a few minor scrapes and cuts since I had surgery and they’ve all healed normally so this isn’t something systemic thank goodness.

My team also commented on how well I’ve done physically since surgery. As I reported I was kicked loose from PT early. Since then I’ve continued to stretch, walk, and yes, bicycle. I’m back to cycling more or less normally. I haven’t done any real long rides (meaning 50+ miles) but have been very happy with rides in the 20 mile range. My team said I’m doing very well for someone after only three months – in fact they did a double check to make it hasn’t been 6 months.

One of the best things that’s happened is that I was able to dance at a friend’s wedding this past weekend. I haven’t danced for years. I’m not a big dancer (well I am kind of big so when I dance I guess I qualify), but it sure is nice to be able to do it when I want!

The wedding was on Hawaii Island so I had to travel…in fact I’ve traveled a lot lately, Olympia Washington, Boise Idaho, and Hilo. I’ve not been flagged by the TSA, no bells have rung and I haven’t been pulled aside for extra scrutiny, besides the normal random checks of course. That’s great because I’m told that sometimes hip replacements to trigger the devices, sometimes they don’t. I don’t.

The only other thing I can think of is that I have a six month check up scheduled, but barring complications, I probably won’t be posting on my hip till then. All is good. If you need one, don’t wait.

My Hip Replacement #17

There’s just not a lot to say about this anymore, but a final update or two are probably still out there in the future when I meet with my plastic surgeon again next week and my hip team again in late July. Let’s go from the low points to the high points…

My incision is still healing. It is healing. It is just healing slowly. I’ll see the plastic surgeon again next week and get an official answer on this, but to me it looks better than it did a week ago, two weeks ago, and, of course, when it was downright nasty.

On the other hand, here we are eight weeks out from surgery, and I have no trouble from the replacement itself outside of the incision (though technically I guess the hip itself in “inside the incision”). Let’s be realistic, I’m fifty-six and ache a bit from time to time. That’s probably not going to change no matter how much stretching and exercise I do (though that does help a lot), but my hip really isn’t part of the equation anymore. Thank goodness.

The highlight of the week has to be my twenty mile bike ride yesterday. Twenty miles isn’t a particularly long distance, at least not for me or the friends I tend to ride with here or on the mainland. But it’s the longest I’ve done since getting back on the bike two weeks ago. I could have gone further but the sun was going down and…well…it was time to go home and eat. Besides I really don’t want to overdo it. I haven’t added any hills yet, but probably will see how it goes later this week. At the rate I’m going, and with the breaks I must take due to travel, I expect that by mid-August I should be back in the shape I’d need for a nice long ride to Haleiwa. I’d also be willing to do a wee bit less but haul camping gear. In fact I’d love to go camping in August…who’s up for Malaekahana?

And finally, at least for now, I’ll be flying soon and am perversely looking forward to finding out if I set off the sensors at the airport. Will they want to check my scar? It’ll be an adventure.

That’s it for now!