thoreau: (Default)
I have had a flurry of connections on here recently - and wanted to let folks know that I am not updating this "blog" regularly - that is an archive of my old livejournal account. perhaps one day I'll return to blogging this way - but for now, I am making space in my life (online and offline) for other things. :)

BE WELL! - Bob McDiarmid
thoreau: (Default)
Well - my body (despite having hit the road hard yesterday for 100 miles) wouldn't stay in bed this morning. Curiously? the sorest part of my body is the mild sunburn I received, my muscles seem to be rather smug with themselves. Yesterday was a pretty remarkable thing.... the new bike performed remarkably, and I'm sure after a "follow up check" the bike shop suggested after I put 200 miles on it (later this afternoon I'll hit that mark since I bought it last Saturday)... probably on Wednesday. Today I'm going on a ride I know well, from home out Canada Road by Filoli and back.

I was having lunch at a rest stop when when one of my fellow PosPeds (Positive Peddlers) stopped and pulled me aside. Apparently every year in the AIDS LIFECYCLE opening ceremonies - the PozPeds carry in the "riderless bike" to honor people with AIDS whom we've lost over the years. He asked if I'd be intererested in being part of that as one of the newest members of PosPeds. I told him yes... so while it's not a fer-sure (giggle) thing - it was one of those - "gosh how wonderful to even be asked" things. (as there are 2400 riders - a fair amount of them anyways....

I am going to start soon helping my new friend Kaya C Dzambic organize a "South Bay" chapter of the organization - (every good leader like Kaya needs a go-getter with creative ideas that wants to work hard in their corner). You can read a lot about the PosPeds at

their aims include:
  • Expand awareness and recognition of people living with HIV/AIDS.

  • Encourage active participation of members and supporters in the work of the group.

  • Actively participate in HIV/AIDS cycling related events.

  • Advocate awareness and empowerment of people living with HIV/AIDS.

  • Maintain outreach to members, supporters and the HIV/AIDS community.

The rest of the day I ruminated on the whole thing. March 1 was my 18th year HIV+. That seems simply impossible to me. One of the reasons I signed up for ALC was to be able to push myself to be LIVING with HIV at a whole new fitness and awareness level. and that has most certainly been happening. I don't 'think' about HIV that much this far down the road from being a scared mess of a 25-year-old sitting in a clinic getting told he was positive. There was a time where the thought of 'it' and the implications used to almost entirely consume my thoughts.

I don't have a whole lot more to beat around on this topic but it was worth "recording" if you will. and as the role of HIV and AIDS in my life as PosPed, gay man and a person living (at 200%) with HIV continues to evolve, occasionally I'll talk about it. My point-of-view these days is that I'm very blessed to still be here, be in good shape, and having a smile on face about all of it. There are folks that are struggling and my place in the world these days is making sure services are still there for them at places like the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Which is why the way all of YOU folks have helped me rock the fundraising really MEANS something. You're helping people with every dime you contribute, so THANK YOU.

50 days to the starting line of AIDS LIFECYCLE #10. Awesome!
thoreau: (Dave and Bob)

TOTALLY OVER THE TOP SILLY - I'm actually surprised Dave doesn't just let go in that final move.....
thoreau: (AIDS RIDE POSTS)
morning commute: 2.3 miles x 5 = 11.5
new evening commute loops home: 15 x 5 = 75
my first full-on century ride on Saturday at 8am: 100 miles
my first "recovery" ride: 40 miles

that means between now and Sunday afternoon - I'll bike approximately 204 miles.

the equivalent of Olympia WA to Vancouver BC
or Chatham NJ to Providence RI
or Houston TX to San Antonio, TX
or Santa Barbara, CA to Palm Springs, CA

it just freaks my brain out! and that is just 37% of the distance I'll cover on the AIDS Ride - 545 miles in 7 days. The starting line is just 56 days away.
thoreau: (Default)

“When I realized the ship was only several meters away, I was chased by the water and debris up the hill. My wife was still in the house," Shiro Yushima, 69, told me in a very gentle voice. I saw him digging through the debris where his house used to be in Onagawa, Miyagi prefecture, trying to find any of their belongings. He was outside the house working in the garden when he saw the massive tsunami moving toward him, pushing with it a ship and debris from the port, almost one kilometer (0.6 miles) away. He knew his wife, Tamako, 67, was in the kitchen, but the wave was rolling so fast that he couldn’t do anything but run up the hill next to his house.

Now he sleeps on the floor in a space just wide enough for himself at the evacuation center in town. On both sides of him are families that survived the tsunami intact.

“It’s very difficult for me to see the families laughing and eating together. So I come here every day trying to spend time with my wife who I couldn’t save.”

It is so important to make sure the people you love? KNOW it. and that we make the people important in our lives truly important. Tsunamis of all kinds could happen when you least expect it. I don't know what I'd do if I lost Dave - suddenly or otherwise. Demonstrative love for our family and friends is so important.

Reading this story overwhelmed me - both in it's impact and it's simplicity.

My heart just breaks for Shiro Yushima. I would be right there too - visiting - trying to cope.. and I don't know how I'd function in his situation.
thoreau: (Default)

I am the proud owner of a Cannondale CAAD 9 Road Bike. It's insane light (1150 grams, 2.2 pounds) aluminum frame - and the Shibano 105 gear system. We got a great deal at GO BIKE in Redwood City. They fit the bike to me on the spot. YAY!

I did a ride out on the new bike this afternoon (a 25 mile loop) and it rides so quietly. its actually a little unnerving. You certainly feel a lot more of the road on this new frame. It's also windy out - and the lighter bike moves a lot more in the wind.
thoreau: (Default)
Bike Purchasing strategy sesson!! Reading reviews - thena round 10am - it's off to three stores, three different brands. lots of test driving. Heavy questions like like "is it worth $200 for the Shimano 105 drive train? or?" - and - "Does this come with the Hello Kitty or My Pretty Pony Accessory package?"
thoreau: (daskbike)
After nearly a full 12 hours (till blindness and fatique was setting in last night, and then again at 615am this morning, not that I'm obsessive or anything) of nonstop bike review websites, sifting through recommends from fellow ALCers, I have three finalists in my head - although... sitting and riding each of them is the real telling point.

1. The Trek 1.5 - - the Trek 1.5 reviews VERY well - and is very much like the bike I had in Boise and Seattle but sold when I moved to SF.

2. Specialized Roulux -

3. "Surly Long Haul Trucker" which is slightly more expensive than the other models - but also comes highly reviewed.
thoreau: (Default)
Well I went to get my "bike fit" today and well it looks like I need a new bike. The don't make new parts for the bike I have and it's several inches too small for me. the bike fit guy was surprised I'd made it 50 miles without significant problems leave along the nearly 900 training miles I've put on the bike this fall/winter/spring. The bike is too short and the bar is 4-6 sizes too small for me as well.(sigh)

He said all I was doing by trying to continue on this bike was welcoming more joint pain - because its too small and my body is crunched. He suggested with a properly fit bike that I would probably reveal myself as much stronger bicyclist - because he says right now I'm working much harder than I have to, to get down the road. So I have some decisioning to do.

I'm glad I found this out NOW - vs. get out on the bike ride and find out that I'm hurting myself - and that there aren't replacement parts if something on the bike failed.

my first candidate is a Trek 1.5 - good mid-range but solid investment - and I could get fit for clips and join the 21st century.

thoreau: (Blonde)

8 oz hamburger - diced fresh mango - and steamed broccoli! Dinner FTW!!
thoreau: (New Thoreau)
As I am going along the Corner road by the meadow mouse brook, hear and see, a quarter of a mile northwest, on those conspicuous white oaks near the river in Hubbard’s second grove, the crows buffeting some intruder. The crows had betrayed to me some large bird of the hawk kind which they were buffeting. I suspected it before I looked carefully. I saw several crows on the oaks, and also what looked to my naked eye like a cluster of the palest and most withered oak leaves with a black base about as big as a crow. Looking with my glass, I saw that it was a great bird. The crows sat about a rod off, higher up, while another crow was occasionally diving at him, and all were cawing. The great bird was just starting. It was chiefly a dirty white with great broad wings with black tips and black on other parts, giving it the appearance of dirty white, barred with black. I am not sure whether it was a white-headed eagle or a fish hawk. There appeared much more white than belongs to either, and more black than the fish hawk has. It rose and wheeled, flapping several times, till it got under way; then, with its rear to me, presenting the least surface, it moved off steadily in its orbit over the woods northwest, with the slightest possible undulation of its wings,—a noble planetary motion, like Saturn with its ring seen edgewise. It is so rare that we see a large body self-sustained in the air. While crows sat still and silent and confessed their lord. Through my glass I saw the outlines of this sphere against the sky, trembling with life and power as it skimmed the topmost twigs of the wood toward some more solitary oak amid the meadows - Thoreau's Journal: 6 April 1856

title: harris hawk in the woods
flickr user: pisces pix
thoreau: (elmowatchesyou)

The Aerogarden(my countertop garden) said in the materials that Tomato plants last five months once they start to fruit. and they did - we had fresh cherry tomatoes from Thanksgiving to last night - but after taking the latest tomatoes off the plant I noticed there are no 'new' growth - no sprouts of future tomatoes. So tonight I will de-tomato the aerogarden and get it ready for spring/summer herbs. (Basil, Oregano, Mint, Parsley, Terragon, and Lemon Basil) I love this hobby a great deal - and it's been great growing tomatoes. I don't think we'll do it again though - because it doesn't grow enough to not have to buy cherry tomatoes at the store. When I plant the herbs - i will literally get overwhelmed with the amount it produces and start drying herbs and all my recipes become all about the fresh herbs. (OMG I LOVE TARRAGON!) but - anyway - at around 6pm PST - please join me in a moment for the tomato plants before they head off to tomato plant heaven.

thoreau: (AIDS RIDE POSTS)

a picture from Saturday's ride at the 85 mile mark of a 90 mile ride

that is the "don't fuck with me missy" look on my face.
thoreau: (Default)
April 3

The end of my third month doing the new core strength workouts and, of course, the ALC bicycle training kicked into high gear starting in January. I really love this photo - because I'm finally able to see real visual proof that putting the work in at the gym is working. :) YAY!

Goals in the next six months (besides biking 545 miles with a smile on my face in June?)

1) be gentle on my knees. my knees are the only part of my body that have reacted adversely to biking. I'm getting a "bike fitting" to get my bike readjusted for long distance riding - many riders and TRLs along the way have suggested if I'm having knee "issues" - that I need my fit adjusted.

2) still working on that center section. It's come a LONG LONG way - I used to be ashamed to have my shirt off. But lets say I'm not quite at the super-confident having my shirt off stage. :) and that is where I want to be.

3) the next couple of months I will add to the core workouts - some more reps for my arms and for my lower back - I'm really noticing how much your body needs a strong lower back to climb hills on a bike (and my bike riding is not going to end when AIDS Lifecycle does). I just joined the Different Spokes GLBT Bicycle Club in San Francisco - and I look forward to biking as much as I can year around.
thoreau: (Default)
90 miles! avg 12.8 mph pace! Max (on a downhill) 37.5 mph

And I own the helmet hair look! (snap, snap, snap!)

100 mile ride on April 16th...
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This morning - I'm off on another long distance training ride. Last week's ride was a real moment for me - 1) I realized that no matter how much weight you lose or gym training you do - there is always a challenge out there that will serve you your furry ass on a platter. and how! 2) I also kept a positive attitude about it - and Thursday afternoon I rode out and did the section of the ride that kicked my ass - up the Alpine road hill - around the Portola Loop and back home. It felt good physically and psychologically to get back out and cover that territory.

Today is a new challenge - the Hayward Hill ride. It includes a five mile almost continuous steep climb (and thankfully there is a rest stop at the 2.5 mile point) but - it will require me to keep a steady pace (even it's 2mph) and KEEP PEDDLING. Thankfully I'm not afraid to stop and photodocument the experience (as an excuse to get my lungs and attitude in check). Then there is the thrilling downill portion over the back of the Hayward Hill - up the kinder, gentler Dublin grade than downhill into lunch.

I need to be strategic about my rest stops on these rides. Get in, refill my liquids, suck down a goop pack (delicious carb and sugar filled goop! this week's flavor? MOCHA!) and at lunch - keep it simple and get rolling quickly, no lollygagging.

Oh - and I've changed soundtracks - while Cole Porter worked - I think I've decided to change my hills song to "Unchain My Heart" by Joe Cocker ("you don't care a bag of beans for me, let my love go to waste, unchain my heart? baby set me free") its a great song because people could interpret my cursing as free form adlibbing rather than being possessed by the devil! :)

anyhow - Attitude is at 300% "GoGet'emTiger" form ---- and away we go!
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