Tag: cycling

A boring AF Easter and some rambling.

It’s been a very quiet, very boring (AF) Easter for me. But, it was to be expected as it’s like this every year and has been for my entire adult life.

I guess you could say my Easter started at midnight. I was celebrating Villanova’s win over Kansas in the Final Four. I didn’t go to Nova, but they are located within the county I live in and it’s nice to see a local team doing well.

After I finished celebrating, I wrote my last post.. but I got very distracted and ended up watching old videos of the Foo Fighters (like the Brixton ‘95 gig) for like an hour. I finally got to bed at about 3 AM.

I made a promise to my mom that I’d go to church with her and dad for 8 AM mass. I wore a black shirt, a black, grey, purple, and pink tie, khakis, and a blazer with a pair of Doc Martens. Church was about 70 minutes. It was a little longer than usual because there was singing.

I then went out for a quick bite to eat so that I could go out to ride my bike and get done by 12:30.

The ramble: It’s that time of year where my cycling outfits change pretty drastically. For the four months leading up to now, I’m usually in a hat, gloves, oversized sweater and a heavier jacket for riding. This is about the time where all of that comes off and is replaced simply with a half buttoned flannel shirt. I wear it so that the top half of my chest is exposed and the warmer air blows through. It originated as a hungover style about four years ago when I’d come home from all nighter parties and go riding at 7 AM wearing the same shirt but half buttoned. I was usually airing out the shirt because it smelled of alcohol and cigarettes. The thing about me exposing half of my chest is that as a grown man.. I do have chest hair. Not like Barry Gibb thick, but it’s far from a hairless chest. When I was younger, I shaved my chest several times but I don’t anymore.

Additionally, I was surprised there wasn’t any kids outside playing when I was out for two and a half hours. There’s typically anywhere from two to twelve kids outside at once. I guess the parents actually spent time with their kids for once instead of shooing them outside and making them the neighborhood’s problem.

Anyway.. I got really far off track. I got back right around 12:30. I sat down for about a half hour and then went grocery shopping with my dad like we do every Sunday.

Riding and shopping got flipped for time today because I feared the streets I ride would get flooded with cars for Easter.. and they did. Because I live on one of the streets I ride on, I could see how busy it got by 2 PM.. which would be my typical ride time on a Sunday.

When we got back from the store, the Easter dinner was ready. We had ham and a bunch of sides. I ate with the parents and then they went to take naps. I was going to try and take a nap but I couldn’t and ended up writing this and listening to music on TV for a little while instead.

I don’t think I’ll do anything else today. I was thinking about going back out to ride but decided not to because the roads are still so congested. On top of that, I have to get up at 5 AM for work and we’re supposed to get snow tonight into tomorrow morning and it could cause a mess for trying to leave for  work.


End of the year wrap up.

It’s been a week of partying to finish out the week. I had a half day on 22 Dec and don’t go back until 3 Jan. There’s been quite a bit of drinking to accompany the partying. I typically don’t drink a whole lot anymore but I allow it two weeks a year (the week of my birthday, and the week between Christmas and New Years).

When I drink, I reminisce. It’s both good and bad. It allows me to reflect on things that happened during the year. I thought I’d write them out. So here’s a timeline of this year through the good and bad.

Early January: I get my very first New Years kiss by my high school crush and at the time girlfriend. I’m ecstatic at this point. I’m also in love at that moment.

Late January: “She” becomes a little odd. She seems like she’s hiding something. We go to a concert and she doesn’t enjoy herself. I drop her back off at her dorm and she abruptly gets out of the car. It’s our last time out as a couple.

Early February: I see a guy too close to “her” in a Snapchat story. I call her out on it. She admits she’s been cheating on me with several guys. We break up.

Late February: I contemplate dropping out of the university to collect myself and to become composed again (I skip a few classes, but don’t drop out).

March: I go back to my job during spring break and finalize my summer internship schedule.

April: I regularly hang out with the guys (Chris, Levi, and Joe) at a grocery store’s beer garden after Thursday night Finance classes.

Early May: I finish the semester with 5 A’s and a C.

Mid May: I start at my internship three days a week and take an online class for my internship credits.

Mid June: I go to two concerts on Fathers Day with Chris. The first one is sponsored by a local radio station. The second is U2 with Lumineers opening. Unplanned, we meet up with Chris’ dad who also had general admission tickets.

Late June: I go to my cousin’s birthday party and hang out with my cousin’s nephew. He brings tequila. I take one too many shots with him under the deck and have no memory of coming home that night.

Late July: I celebrate my birthday at the beach. I get both my ears pierced with temporary studs.

Early August: I start taking the train to work and no longer carpool.

Late August: I start my final semester at the university.

Mid September: I go to a wedding at a very expensive country club and drink too many Captain and Cokes. I hang out with my gay cousin for the night and have the best night I have in a while.

Late September: I go to the beach again and meet up with family friends. Oktoberfest is being held on the pier and I spend most of the night there.

Early October: I reach my 640th hour for my internship requirement. My employer has to now decide whether they want to bring me on board full time or not.

Early November: I hear back from HR and they offer me a full time job. I accept. I also get a haircut as part of a mutual agreement.

Mid November: I attend my first job conference.

Early December: I finish my final semester with a 3.78 GPA.

Mid December: In the same week, I start my job full time and graduate. I have to take a day off to graduate. I graduate with a 3.47 cumulative GPA.

Late December: I cycle my 85,000th mile on a chilly afternoon.

It was one hell of a rollercoaster of a year but I made it out a better, stronger person and learned a lot of bitter lessons. I was happy that I learned them early on and did not invest more than I had. She could have made me broke and more miserable had it all kept lingering.

I hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2018.




Growing more than I could ever imagine.

Since I was fourteen years old, cycling has been a huge part of my life. Years ago.. somewhere in my mid teens, I got made fun of a lot for wearing my tights. A lot of things were said about me and cycling that were so negative and upsetting that it almost made me quit.

I came out fighting. A lot of my riding is done in a residential area and at one point, neighbors tried shutting my whole thing down because of nuisance. I fought it and won because the township could not find me doing anything wrong or illegal.

Times change though. As I’ve grown into my early twenties, the reception has been a lot different. It’s generally been positive in recent years. There’s a person here or there that will say something nasty, but once I invite them to do a full bike ride (42 miles), their tones change.

When I go out to get something to eat or go out to a store, I often get recognized as “the cyclist”. Some people want a picture and others just want to talk.  There’s been a few dozen instances over the eight and a half years I’ve cycled that people have told me that I have motivated them to go on their own fitness journeys and I think that’s an amazing thing.

Back when I applied for my job (almost two years ago), I had nothing to write about professionally on my resumé. I helped friends move and got paid in pizza and beer. It was something I couldn’t really write about when applying to a job at the federal level. What I could write about was my blogging history (I have blogged on many websites since I was about thirteen), and my career as an independent cyclist who at the time had cycled 60,000 miles (just under 85,000 miles now).

They found it strange that I constantly rejected joining bicycle clubs despite being a highly sought after cyclist in the county. I then explained to them that I remained independent so I could cycle at my own will whenever I wanted to and not having set times and places to go. They accepted my answer and put it on file.

Fast forward a year and a half, Philadelphia had a bike competition and our external stakeholder had a position in the event and they asked if I wanted to ride on their behalf. They found out through my job about my cycling capabilities and they said it was what they needed. I signed on for the competiton with the caveats that I could remain clubless and ride at my personal convenience. They accepted the terms and I became theirs for the month. The competition ran October 1 – October 31. With 1,194 miles, I ranked first overall in the Philadelphia area for mileage. I also ranked nationally. Nationally, I ranked fifteenth for men and seventeenth overall out of 59,000 entries. Our external stakeholder was proud and asked if I would stay on for future cycling events. I agreed, as long as terms remained the same.

I’ve come a long way as a cyclist. From the beginnings of a struggling teenage cyclist on a BMX bicycle to the adult who rides for his job and becomes a nationally ranked cyclist.. it amazes me how far things have gone and remaining independent at the same time.


I’ve been very busy recently. I am writing this after midnight because I can’t sleep because I took a four hour nap because it rained all day. I haven’t been able to blog at all because I’ve been busy at school and at work. So here’s some updates.

– I started my final semester at university on 21 August. I have an online writing class, a class about how to be an entrepreneur, and a business class that I should have taken like a year ago but somehow managed to bypass for the last two years. My advisor gave me hell about it over the spring. I have friends in both physically met classes.

– I’ve now cycled 81,000 miles. I reached 80,000 miles in early August and 81,000 miles last week. I’ve also surpassed the 9,000 mile mark for the fifth consecutive year. I’m about 1,000 miles behind what I did last year at this time but I’m okay with it because I got very run down from the excessive cycling in previous years. I feel better going into fall this year.

– I’ve been working three days a week since early May. I write contracts and contact manufacturers. I take two trains to get there. One of my buddies is trying to get a job in the same agency I work for. I’ve been pulling for him.

– I’ve recovered from anorexia. I weigh the most I have in seven years but I feel strong and healthy; something I’ve not felt in many years.

– I got new earrings. My temporary studs were removed over the weekend and replaced with very tiny white gold hoops that hug my lobes.

– I recently heard from a friend of my ex’s. She contacted me because she fears my ex is getting out of control and thought I may be the only one who could tame her. I’m not about it and could honestly care less after what she did to me over the winter. I also found out she’s at a new college, dating a much older man, and spending a lot of time in the middle of Jersey.

I’ll update again later in the semester.

Until then,




The cycling philosophy.

By the end of August, I should be clearing my 80,000th cycled mile as well as my 2,100th session as a cyclist.

The unconventionality and style that I run with is so different from what people would could consider normal.. and you know, I’m okay with that. Because from the beginning this was never supposed to come off as “normal”. The oddities that I run with for cycling is what got it attention and got me on the map as a cyclist locally to the point clubs have reached out to me directly. I still decline all offers because I don’t need a club to showcase my abilities and also if I gave up my independence I would no longer be able to operate how I want to.

My philosophy involves unconventional training. Hell, to get my foot work down and achieve on point reaction time I maze my way through kids playing in neighborhoods and ride between moving cars and parked cars to perfect my accuracy.

My philosophy of cycling also involves the theory of “nothing gained, nothing lost”. Simply meaning I am not looking to gain muscle anymore (my thighs are over the 25 inch mark — all muscle,  making every pair of pants I own look like skinny jeans). I am also not looking to lose weight. At my ultimate lowest, I had weighed 115 pounds. This meant that I had in fact lost 150 pounds at one time. I currently weigh 175 pounds and that deceives a lot of people because I still wear a few of the shirts I wore when I weighed 60 pounds less.

But, because there’s not a look for a gain or a loss, it takes the pressure off of everything and lets me go out for those 42 miles a day and ride without stress and in peace.

A familiar face and another thing I hear while cycling.

I have a familiar face. A very familar face locally. My eyes typically hidden by tinted sunglasses because my eyes are ridiculously sensitive to light because of something that happened when I was a teenager. My hair is kind of a mess because it gets blown around by the wind. Sometimes it’s tied back by a rubber band taken from the morning paper. All of that paired with a flannel shirt partially buttoned creates my image that I’ve grown with over the years.

It’s how I present myself for three seasons of the year. The summer has an overhaul and I dominantly appear in tank tops and compression shorts.

But, people who’ve gotten to talk to me over the years and gotten pieces of my playbook that gave me success have said many things to me over the years.

One thing I hear a lot (besides “I’ve been watching for years”) is “I want to be like you”. It’s one of those things where I don’t know how to react because a) I’m just me and b) I only found success because I rebelled against the social norms of cycling in any way I could. That rebellion put me on the map and it gave me my own personal platform where I could vocally talk about things I believed in or didn’t believe in.

Some of that rebellion includes:

– Refusing to join multiple clubs that requested me to join them.

– Keeping as much independence with cycling as I could. Previously, I allowed suggestions on how I could improve but I no longer accept them.

– Minimally dressing like a cyclist. The only cycling gear I own now are tights.

– Stripping the cyclist mentality from my life. That snotty arrogance is so unnecessary and as I grew older, I permanently got rid of it.

– Riding more “acoustic” and “informal” as I grew older. I no longer look like a cyclist, the spandex body suits are gone, and I tried to strip down any part of me that could come off as intimidating to approach. I also no longer have an exact schedule outside of the night sessions. When I have options for timing throughout the day, I look at when I have a space to go out and feel when my legs are the strongest on a particular day.

I truly made cycling mine. I wanted cycling to feel approachable for anyone of any age and be able to make it their own. I partially dress the way I do to prove a point. That point is that you don’t need those $100 bicycle shoes or that $75 cycling jersey to become a “cyclist”. All you need is a bike, some time, and a goal in mind. As long as you’ve got those three things, you can become a cyclist. If that’s what people want to be like, then that’s alright with me. I know it’s been successful and cycling has become more accessible to the average person around here. I know this because it’s more than a coincidence that I’ve seen dozens of people with Trek bicycles that resemble the three that I own and the fact that it’s the only brand of bicycle I see. If bringing cycling to the community is my lasting memory, so be it. It’s making for a healthier community and I couldn’t be happier about the outcome.


Lacking enthusiasm.

Have you ever been a part of something for so long that you lost enthusiasm doing it?

I’m now in that place with cycling.

It’s been my baby of a project since I was 14 (I’ll be 23 in July) and was the first thing I ever gave a commitment to and what also got me to love the outdoors. While I was cycling in just one place almost the entire time and still cycle there, I’ve expanded my horizons and go a lot of places on my bike now outside of the usual routine.

But, there’s just something that’s changed. I don’t really know what. It could be spiritually or emotionally. I feel like my heart isn’t in it anymore like it once was. It was the one thing I always loved talking about when people asked because they knew it’s who I am. But, nowadays.. if someone asks about it.. I’ll be like “Yeah, I plan on riding today” or “It’s going alright”. I don’t feel like elaborating it anymore because I feel like I’ve done enough of that to last two lifetimes.

Sometimes.. I just feel worn and tired. I wake up and walk downstairs to get coffee in the morning and all I hear are my knees crackling.

I’ve also missed more time this year for cycling than I have since 2014 and have not surpassed 1,100 miles in a month yet this year. It’s very unlike me. Almost every year I would significantly pass that milestone by March and get more than 1,300 miles in a month. I feel like I can’t do it anymore.

And I even look at the neighborhoods that I’ve used as my path. They aren’t the same anymore. Up until this year, they were pretty empty most of the time. The only time I would experience anything was if I overslept on the weekend and the kids would be out at like 1 in the afternoon and I expected it. Those were good kids though. If they were playing something, they would wait for me to pass and then continue. Now, most of the week when I go out.. there’s loads of disrespectful, self-entitled kids out there who.. if I ride by them and they are playing a game get so upset they will intentionally try and make it hard for me to ride. They typically throw things at me or try to walk directly in front of me and laugh. I’ve also watched a few of them throw things at passing cars if they made them stop playing something. Some of those kids don’t even live there. It’s a mess and it’s the one thing I’ve gone to hate more than anything. Parents are nowhere to be found to stop it from happening as most times they throw them out to the streets and make them the neighborhood’s problem. There was one instance that it got so bad one night that I had to get my dad out to police it so I could finish a ride and so that kids would stop throwing things at me. One night this young boy (can’t be older than five), unscrewed the saddle post to a bicycle that wasn’t even his and threw the saddle post with seat still attached directly at my head and only missed me by inches. He stood there clapping his hands as if he was proud of himself that it almost hit me in the head. I can’t even tell a parent about it because I don’t know who his parent is. Like six adults live at his house and the times I’ve come in contact with any of them, they’ve been incredibly rude to me. The kid’s got serious issues though (there was one incident that the little dude punched an unfamiliar kid in the face and started bleeding as they were running away and the little dude just stood there laughing about it as if someone told him the funniest joke ever — great parenting).

Depression may also be another factor. People have told me that my appearance has changed in recent months. Longer, uncombed hair, an unshaven face, dead eyes that I typically hide when I’m out. I feel a lot of disconnect in my life right now even though I’m in a good place in my life (a great job, about to graduate college).

And.. you know.. I celebrated the eighth anniversary of cycling on the 18th. I typically bring out a picture from the first year and try to find it in myself to write something inspiring to people on their own weight loss journey and I just.. couldn’t find anything. I just wrote a status that acknowledged it was the anniversary and that cycling was a big part of how I got my job. I’ve lived through most of my life with depression and can often hide it pretty well.. just not recently. It comes to the point where I sometimes feel too depressed to ride. I’ve never been there until recently. I used to ride more when I was depressed to make me feel better. I can’t even do that anymore.

It’s a darker time in my life when it shouldn’t be and I don’t know how to explain it or why it’s happening.