Monday, August 30, 2004


Exercise and Addiction Recovery

In my recovery process I have found exercise to be very important. A person with an addictive brain has to learn to deal with life. Instead of running to the addiction when trouble comes he/she must learn to deal with life's problems as normal people do.

First you must understand a little about the addictive brain to make any since of what I'm saying. Addicts have become addicted to insanely high levels of chemicals secreted by the brain called "feel good" enzymes such as endorphins and enkephalins. These chemicals can be triggered by many things, drugs, exercise, sex, work, take your pick. These chemicals are natural and help us deal with life. For instance, whenever a husband and wife have sex both should feel a since of confidence, connection, and emotional intimacy. Basically, a natural "high." Also, when a person exercises they also "feel good."

However, addicts live on abnormal high doses of these neurochemicals. When stress levels rise at work, or simply when life happens, addicts like others trigger the fight or flight reaction. Addicts flight to their addictions. "Normal" people stand fight. In other words, normal people confront their problems upfront. Also, addicts learn to live in this trama frame of mind.

Moving on, a healthy way to deal with the addictive brain is through exercise. It is a healthy way to trigger your brain to secrete normal level s of "fell good" enzymes.

Many don't like exercise becaue they feel it's one more thing to do. I feel that exercise has to be a part of everyday life. For me it's bicycles. I can ride to class or to the library to do research or homework.. It's only a 4 mile round trip from my apartment to school. In other words find ways to incorporate manual labor into your everyday life.

You have to pick something you enjoy. I started lifting weight few year ago. I did not stick with it because lifting large heavy objects over my head wasn't enjoyable.

Understand that one can get addicted to exercise just like sex, drugs, food, work, etc. Healthy limits must be taken. I just remember not tor ride until total exhaustion.

Next time we'll look at what the pro say about addiction recovery and exercise.

Hope this helps anyone.


I Want a Trike!

Greesnspeed GTE designed for self-contained touring in 3rd World countries. Posted by Hello

The title says it. I really want a trike. The main reason I want one is because I experience such pain when riding a diamond frame(DF) bike. I can only ride for a short time before I start having really discomfort in my rear end.

I've ridden long and short wheel base recumbent bikes but they are all too unstable a low speeds. I test rode a Rans Stratus and a Rans V-rex. I liked both machines but they I could never really climb uphill well with them. Starting on an uphill was impossible. I think it's because on a DF you've got gravity and your body wieght working for you. Where as on a bent gravity and body weight don't work to your advantage. It also seemed that bents require a faster minumum forward speed to keep your balance.

Solution? A trike. Drawback? Cost. I've been looking for econimical solution for a trike. However, I don't have $5,000 for a Greenspeed. I've looked at Catrike, Organic Engines, Raptor Trikes, Scarab, Trimuter. All of them have some major drawbacks. Catrike is $2,000 but it can only handle 300 lbs max. I'm 6 feet 2, 255 lbs. I want to tuour with about 50-60lbs of gear. Scarab and Trimuter are out of my budget. Raptor looks like Cheap-Mart special. Plus the weight limit is 250lbs. They say it can be modified for more wieght but I don't trust the frame design. I don't mind cheap, or rather non top of the line, components but I want a frame that can hold up.

I most cost effective solution I see for now I to take a TIG welding class from the local Community College and build a Greenspeed from tube kits and plans. A Greenspeed GTE trike tube kits costs about $571. Basically, all the precision work is done for you, such as cutting tube to length, bending to correct angles, metering, etc. All you have to do is weld up the frame, paint and install drive components. Plus, I can build as I can afford. Hopefully, with this plan I can build for about $1,500. Plus the cost of the welding class. Even if it takes a year to build I think it would be worth it.

Monday, August 23, 2004


Build Your Own Panniers: Wrapup

At the boat ramp with my Pawn Shop Special Trek 800. Notice the Phat Cycles Urban Assault Handlebars :) Posted by Hello

Well, This project is a success. I've put about 7 miles on them so far. I've been off and on road. No cracks anywhere. I'd like to get 500+ miles on them to really see how they hold up.

My goal of multi use on tours

Lastly, is the storage space. 10 dry gallons = approx. 2688 cubic inches. That's way higher than my original 2500 cubic inch goal. Sorry, all you metric guys. I get meteric measres up later. I wish the U.S. would completely switch to the metric system. Wait, that's another post. Doh!


Build Your Own Panniers: Part 5

Fully adjustable :-) Posted by Hello



Pannier Budget
2 Buckets of Doom $9.98
2 Lids of Buckets of Doom $4.99
Arkel's Hook system $20
Shipping $11.83
four 20mm length screws $1.08
Grand Total $47.37

My original Budget was 50 bucks. Cool. Almost three bucks to spare. Just enough to go to Cold Stone and get this week's ice cream fix!


Build Your Own Panniers: Part 4

Testing and more testing. Posted by Hello

Let's fire this baby up. Houston, we are go for lunch. The flight director looked perplexed as the astronauts leave the space shuttle rubbing their bellies. I've always wanted to say that.

Anyway, I got my bike downstairs and only hook up one pannier with a few items get for a quick 2 mile ride around the neighborhood. I put the lid on. Completely on, that is. Then I tried to take it off. It wouldn't budge. I thought, “This thing works too well,” it truly is water tight!! I managed to get the lid off as a new lady was moving in to the apartment next to mine. Needless to say it was quite embarrassing. This time I only put two sides of the lid down so that I would be easy to take off. That's why they look so lop sided in the pictures.

I started out and bam! Heal clearance issue. Awe, man. But wait, I remembered. Arkel's Hook System is fully adjustable! Very much coolness!!! I adjusted the Buckets of Doom almost all the way back and heal clearance was no longer an issue.

I rode for a couple of mile just to see what is would be like. And like Arkel fashion the pannier stayed on okay. It was getting late and I went to bed.

I put the other pannier on the next day and rode with both for about a mile. I even went offroad to one of the Mental Hospital's many grave yards around the area. It's a strange thought that there are 3 mental hospitals within 2 mile of my apartment and they have lot of land with plenty of trails all leading to graveyards. My dad once told me a story of when he was in Vietnam. His unit went on some kind of training mission at midnight through a graveyard. Just a funny thought. I'm not superstitious or anything it's just odd to have so many crazy houses and graveyards right next to my apartment complex.

I had to go out of town so I could only get in about a mile with both panniers. However, I saw some bad thundercloud moving in from the west. They were almost black. About 3:30pm the bottom feel out. Big Oak tree were bending over like Christ had returned or somthing. However, I didn't here Gabriel blow the horn so I guess it wasn't time yet. Anyway, I couldn't go out of town with such bad weather.


Build Your Own Panniers: Part 3

Buckets of Doom completed. Posted by Hello
Once all the hole were drilled and the screws were in and I had everything all going, one question had been bugging me during the whole time I was building these Buckets of Doom: would they actually fit on the bike? Well, only one way to find out. I put one on and yes, it was good. The bungee chord was just the right length. Surprisingly , the right side is a little more lose that the left but it's just a minute thing.


Build Your Own Panniers: Part 2

20mm screws that saved me from the agony of defeat. Posted by Hello

Tool Time!!!
As i started to measure for hole to drill in the bucket I noticed that the bucket was a little more narrow than the bracket. Also, the bucket round edges which makes it hard to run the screw straight in from the other side, Also, the stock screws were too short. So, I had to go Home Depot and get some 20mm length screws as opposed to 16mm. It's hard to believe that 4mm was the difference between a project well done and the agony of defeat. Notice in the picture that the screws are black. The stock screws are same color as the aluminum.

Also, I has to drill bigger holes. My dad always says, “Give it a little to play with.” Wow, I'm happy I remembered than lesson. True enough I drilled the hole on the bracket one size larger and the whole in the bucket about twice as large as the whole in the bracket. It worked like a charm.

The bucket isn't perfectly square. In other words, the sides are not flat like a table. The middle bulges just a little. that's another reason I had to get the longer screws. Also, when tightening the sides flatened out more


Build Your Own Panniers: Part I

U.S. Plastics square pails, hence forth known as Buckets of Doom and Arkel's Hook System. Posted by Hello

The reason I wanted to build these panniers was because I wanted to get into bicycle touring as well as ministry. I'm a tinkerer and I love building things. For instance, I built my own water cooled computer. Also, as a graduate student I didn't have $150 to buy a set of panniers. So, I decided to build my own.

Here were my requirements:

A tall task, but like the A-Team, I had a plan. Scourer the internet to find anyone that had built their own panniers. I searched several backpacking websites for info on how to make your own backpacks. However, Since I did not know how to sew nor the proper equipment for sewing strong materials like canvas I tossed the idea out the window. So, I posted messages on bike forums and was able to get a few links their. I saw a couple design I liked. These were guys that made ridged panniers out of square buckets!
Bike Bucket
Rubbermaid panniers on a recumbent.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Buckets!
The next task was finding square buckets. I went all over town: Wal-Mart, Lowes, and Home Depot. They all had buckets that were either too wide, not tall enough, not water proof, etc. I went to K-mart and halleluia! They had a bucket that was about the right size and shape. There was no price so I had to go up front to the service desk. It took about 15 minutes for them to find a price but they did. $19.20 each!@#$%^&*() Wow! Just 2 of those and I would have almost blown my budget :( As Qui-Gon would say, "Another solution will present itself."

So, I went back home and googled for square buckets. Low and behold I came across U.S. Plastics with exactly the what I needed. 4 and 5 gallon square plastic buckets made from PolyE something or other! I ordered two. 9.98 for two buckets. 4.99 for two lids. Here's the link to the Buckets of Doom. Halleluia, Praise the lord.

The Attachment System
There was only one choice for attaching these Big Buckets of Doom to my rack: Arkel's Hook System! I've used Arkel's Utility Basket for grocery shopping and hauling books to class. I liked their hook system because is was very strong and wouldn't come loose even if the bungee was undone. So, I checked out their website to order just the hook system. Shock!! They had introduced their next generation hook system. Wow. This one is even stronger and fully adjustable! Much coolness!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2004


Micro Tour

I'm planning a micro tour to Camp Tuscoba during Labor Day weekend. Camp Tuscoba is a Christian Retreat located outside Tuscaloosa, AL. It's only about 9 miles from my apartment. I forgot to ask Jimmy, the camp's owner, if it's was okay to camp there over night. I'll have to call him.

I think I can do it. The bike I currently have is horrible for touring though. Even for little day ride this one. I can only do about 8 miles before my rearend feel like grated cheese. Maybe that's more info than any one needs to know but that is the inherent flaw in traditional "diamond frame" bicycle design. All my weight is being supported by the soft tissues between my legs. When you're 255lbs that can really be painful. Just Tuesday I did 9.45 miles. The pain wasn't much better. Things were swollen and I will leave it at that!

I don't see how Lance does it. Oh, he weighs about 100lbs less than me. Doh :) My point? I need a better bike!


Hey, Folks

This is my first blog. I found out about blogging on our church website. I'm interested in bicycle commuting/touring as well as helping people recover from addictions. Particularly, sexual addiction. So, this blog will be a combination of those two passions I have in life.

I've ridden bicycles every since I was a kid. My dad taught me how to ride. In fact, those days were some of the best memories I have. I didn't ride any during my teenage years. I started riding again in college during my sophomore year for exercise. That didn't last very long because someone stole my bike. It was a nice Diamondback WildWood. Nothing that will win X-Games but a fun little bike. After that I didn't ride for nearly 6 years.

Later, I found a Specialized Rock Hopper at a pawn shop for $100. I rode it for 3 months. The frame was just too small. I'm 6'2" so I needed a bigger frame. So, went more pawn shops and found a Trek 800 at a different pawn shop for $59. The frame is a much better fit. Actually, it's maybe a size to big. Anyway, I've been riding that one now for more than a year.

As far as the addiction goes I've struggled with sex addiction for about as long as I have ridden bicycles. Fortunately, the Lord has sent people in my life that specifically deal with that issue.

Sexual immorality has torn through or nation and even in the church many are falling prey to this addiction. This is perhaps Satan's most prized weapon. I saw an air show a couple years back and they had a B-2 Spirit fly over. The B-2 is the "stealth bomber" It looks like a UFO and it's quite. You'll never know its there until it right above you. By then it's too late. I think Satan in using pornography and particularly the internet pornography to achieve this stealth bomber effect on our nation. The true enemy of our nation is not hidden away in some bunker in Afghanistan, it's right here in the very minds of our fellow citizens.

Well, I've ranted long enough. I think I'm gonna ride my bike. Oops, it's raining. I rode in the rain yesterday test some new panniers I built. Oh, well, I'll play some Call to Duty instead.

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