One of My Favorite Bikes – Things I Like

 

The paint on the tank reminds me of nimbus grey, an Audi TT color I used to love in high school.


Black and White Kitchen – Things I Like

 

I really like the simple color scheme in this kitchen. To me, it also does a great job of making “old” feel “new” and clean without having to incorporate a bunch of stainless steel or dramatic materials.


Dark Harley – Things I Like

 

Only thing I’d change on this bike would be the rear light/license plate. I especially like the oversied front tire with the undersized and set-back headlight.


Open Office – Things I Like

 

The only thing that could make this setup nicer would be if the wood for the desk more closely matched the floor and continued with the arrangement of the floor more seamlessly so that it looked as though the floor and desk were all a single, connected unit.


Reversed Harley Tank – Things I Like

Love the tank and exhaust on this one.


Weighted Carries With Sand

One of the most neglected, yet important, training movements is the weighted carry. I won’t get into any of the functional vs.  non-functional arguments, but I think both sides can agree that weighted carries are extremely beneficial.

Carrying loads is such a basic human movement that there is no denying the benefits of becoming proficient at it. The sheer number of muscles that must be used during a weighted carry make it great for building strength, improving conditioning, stability, and a lot more than I could ever identify.

In addition to incorporating sprints (cycling and foot) into my routine, I’ve also added weighted carries. During the winter, it’s tough to do these at home as I live in a small apartment. Once it’s nice outside, it’s easy enough to carry some sand into the driveway.

I start pretty simple. I grab two 60lb bags of sand. I only have extra large, military-style duffles, so each duffle has a lot of extra material. I do six walks, with minimal rest, holding a bag in each hand (farmer’s walk). For these first sets I just bunch the duffle material up and try to grip it. It’s a lot of material, probably closer to the mass of a fat-grip implement. Six or eight sets are about all I can do before my grip gives out on me. Then I start looping my wrist through a handle on the bag and gripping in the same way as the first sets. The wrist through the handle allows me to perform another 6-8 sets. After that, I pick up one bag and hold it straight over my head (in an overhead press stance) for another 3-4 sets. Distance, time, rest periods will all depend on a lot of factors. There’s no need to really over-think these.


Biking to Work (and why most don’t)

For the past two years I have biked to work in the Spring and Summer. I don’t do this every day, in fact, in a typical week I only ride my bike to the office a couple times. The two biggest reasons that I don’t ride on any given day are client meetings and my motorcycle. I’ve often thought that I should let go of one of my two-wheeled past-times, but haven’t been able to do so.

People are always interested when they hear that I ride my bike to work. Without fail, 90+% of people also follow that up by saying “I’d love to ride to work, but there aren’t showers at my office.” Neither do I. And guess what? I’m probably the most disgustingly sweat-prone person I know. I’m also a bit of a clean freak that takes multiple showers a day. If I can do it, anyone can. In fact, my wife realized that she had no excuse herself and sold her scooter and has been riding in to work almost every day this season.

Granted, I don’t have a 30 mile commute. But I still get to the office on most mornings dripping with sweat. In order to make myself presentable I have a collection of items that I keep in a drawer. I wear cool, quick-drying clothes (under armour, etc), and bring a change of clothes. If I really wanted to be efficient, I could just keep a change of clothes at the office rather than bringing stuff with me every time I ride.

Showering in the morning is probably the most important part. Some people are tempted to hop on their bike because it seems silly to shower right before getting sweaty. However, showering before you leave for work will make clean-up at the office significantly more effective. Once I get in, I rehydrate and sit in front of my fan for five minutes to start cooling down. Then I lock myself away in the handicap bathroom and clean up. I use very damp paper towels first, then wet ones, and I also use sensitive skin cleaners for my face. I hand wash my shorts, spandex, and sometimes the shirt I wore right in the sink. I also keep anti-perspirant and some hair product at work. I have a bottle of sports deodorizer that I spray on my clothes and shoes. Back at my desk, I put my desk fan on the floor and drape my wet clothes over it until they’re dry.

Keeping some extra basics at the office (underwear, socks, shoes, etc) minimizes the amount of stuff I need to bring with me in the mornings. All in all, I feel like I’ve got a pretty good system that works for me. Would an on-site shower make everything easier? Absolutely. But I’m a sincere believe that some people will always have an excuse. There is always a reason not to ride to work, to skip a lift, to sit on the couch, or take a weekend off. As much as I can, I try not to let excuses get in the way of things I think I should be doing. As Dan John says, “if it’s worth doing, do it every day.” If something isn’t worth doing, I don’t stress about it. If it is worth doing, I’m not going to let inconveniences get in the way.