Dear Santa,

Dear Santa,

I know it’s a little early to write to you and give you my Christmas list this year but I figure you would be cool with it because Target already has Christmas decorations out in their store. I don’t always subscribe to the Target stores method of seasonal changes but I have quite list this year and some really expensive stuff so I thought I would give you as much advance notice as possible so you can reward my awesome “good behavior” over the last year. I know you are going to check that list twice and each time you will see my name on the very tippy top of the “good” and nary a mark will be found on the “bad” side….ok ok fine I know there was a time or two I misbehaved…your not going to begrudge me that are you? Ok here is my list and this year just like last year you can expect some gluten free, egg free vegan cookies and some almond milk at the bottom of my chimney. I am also going to leave you the E-2 book and an American Diabetes Association cookbook, to be frank and honest with you I have some deep concerns about your health.

You will notice that everything on this list is cycling related which should not come as a surprise to anyone really.

1.  I ride to work everyday now and when I leave in the morning it is quite dark still.  I could use some new lights for my bike just like the Mininewt.700

2.  Speaking of darkness I could really use a new monster bright jacket.  Mine has seen better days and is in need of retirement.  I would like the Sugoi Helium jacket….yellow please! 

3.  While your elves are stitching the Sugoi Helium jacket together why not have them also thow the Sugoi Neo in your sleigh as well?  It looks nice and warm and since Michigan winters rival North Pole winters I am sure you can appreciate a nice warm jacket? 

4.  I could really use some nice socks for those long winter commutes by bike.  My old smartwool socks are done…finished….kaput.  I like the socks this dude has.  The crazier the style the better I say…why be normal? 

5.  I was starting to think that all jersey makers pretty much sucked until I got my ADA Tour de Cure jersey….love that thing.  So I will pretty much take anything thing from here.

6.  I am pretty sure the Giro Prolight would look really good on me while protecting my melon.

7.  You can pick which one of these you want to give me:  this one -or- this one

8.  The Chris King “Dreadset”…..this requires no explanation.

Thanks a bunch,

Gene

Rad Shop, Rad Art

Good news everyone, in case you missed my barrage of Facebook posts and Twitters (is that the correct plural usage?)  Anyway, My Specalized Tricross underwent a serious operation at the hands of James and the crew at Cycletherapy.  James called me and said that the Tricross would be ready Saturday morning.  Now the repairs where expensive, at least they are to me I live on a meager public servant salary.  Two forces joined together to absorb a good majority of those costs.  I told you about the Brothers-N-Blue crew giving me a large chunk of the money which you can read HERE.  As promised here is the other part of what happened that got my bike back in my hands so quickly.   I am perhaps a little too attached to my bike, and for good reason.  I have spent countless hours and countless miles on that bike in the name of health and fitness.  It was, and is, my tool for losing weight, continued gains in fitness, a future of healthy living and a major factor in dealing with life’s stressors.  You could see why I would take expensive damage to this bike as a personal attack yes?  You can see why having to face repairs I simply cannot afford I would simply feel sick to my stomach at the thought of my bike resting on the hooks in the garage battered and un-repaired while I saved the money to have the repairs done right?  I thought so.

Now I walked into Cycletherapy with no illusions that this was going to cost me, I just didn’t know how much.  I handed the bike off to James the day after the “accident” when I was still limping, when I couldn’t raise my right hand above my waist, when the road rash was still burning like flaming hot pokers in my flesh.  He said he would get back to me after the crew went over the bike with a fine tooth comb and listed out what needed to be fixed and replaced.  I got the call and it was as bad, if not worse than I thought.  I was going to have to pick up the bike and hang it on the hooks.  James said “Let me see what I can do.”  A call back later I found out that a huge chunk of the labor was going to be absorbed by the shop.  Did they have to do that?  No they didn’t.  Did James have to go that extra mile for me?  No he didn’t but he did, the shop did and for that I can’t thank them enough.  Another thing that struck me is how they showed genuine concern for my well being asking repeatedly if I was ok etc etc.  Stand up guys every single one of them.  If you are in the area and in need of one seriously RAD shop go to Cycletherapy…tell em 100poundsago sent you. 

On a different note not entirely unrelated I asked James if he would save all of the pieces parts that had to be replaced so I could make a modern art masterpiece of the wreckage.  Work has begun on that masterpiece I have decided to name “Un-Attentive Driver”.  This is going to be the background of the piece.  In case you can’t tell what it is it is the back of the jersey I was wearing when I was hit.  Now before you go jumping all up in my grill about destroying a jersey I will tell you the hospital did that for me when they cut it off of me in the ER.   I have stenciled cars in black and red all over the back.  I know I know your face nearly melted off at such an awesome displayof artistic genius right? 

Complete with the three back pockets and reflective trim.

How It Really Began

Quick show of hands, who thinks they know the real story behind the start of the 100poundsago website?  I see a few in the back there, a few more…there is a couple.  Ok well I am betting (if I actually was a betting man) that you think you know but in reality most don’t, in fact there are just 2 people that actually know the story and the gaggle of e-mails that shot back and forth that led to the birth of this site. 

It was a night just like this one….er….ok so it was over a year ago and I was trying to lose weight.  I would frequent a website and post comments about my progress or lack thereof I would complain, I would boast, but mostly I just wrote insane posts trying (mostly in vain) to be funny and poke fun at myself.  A few people who where also trying the same suggested that we exchange e-mails and “motivate” one another.  It was a lot of fun, one of the guys was a runner another was a tri-athlete.  Did I happen to mention that they both where way out of shape and their athletic prowess was years behind them, caught in a cloud of beer, Big-Macs, and cigarettes?  I had posted something about a woman doing lunges across the gym I was working out at and everyone found it hysterical.  Suggestions came in that I should perhaps think about starting a Blog of sorts and write the stuff there that I was posting.  I did and for a really long time the site had 3 or 4 visitors and then something happened, I don’t really know what but it did.  People began to visit the site and I had no clue where they where coming from?  Oddly for a very long time I would post my ranting under a fake name even in cyber space I was embarrassed about how I looked, what I was feeling and what I needed to do to get the job done.

An inspiration?  I have been called that quite a few times over the life of the 100poundsago site existence.  I am going to go on record that I am highly uncomfortable with this.  I appreciate it yes, comfortable with it, no.  I would prefer to serve as a horrible warning to people.  Gather your kids around the computer screen and show them what I use to look like regale them with the stories of what I would eat and how much I smoked, tell them about my blood pressure and my cholesterol.  Make me out to be a nasty smelly ogre of a human…and then challenge them to never turn into me!  Tell them they simply do not want to go through what I have gone through to get to the point I am right now.  Let them be warned that a sedentary life full of lavish excess in the end is a shortened life, a miserable life a life that is void of the pleasures that a healthy body can bring you.   I will however tell you of a person that I think is a treasure trove of inspiration.  I have mentioned him before and I am going to mention him again and again because I have mad respect for him.  His name is Jon and you can find his story HERE.  Jon just completed a Century ride last weekend.  Big deal you say?  Read his story and see just what a big deal it was.  I double dog…nay…..I triple dog dare you to go to his site, read his story and NOT be inspired!   Its simply not possible!

Nice day for a ride today folks, get out and ride, or walk, or jog.  I guarantee you will find something in your neighborhood or park or city that you had no idea existed.  Its amazing what you discover when you slow down.   I will say it again, you dont need a fancy bike, or lycra, or fancy shoes, or a fancy helmet….just get out and do something!