Saturday, April 25, 2009

Of Depression

I know this is off topic for my cycling blog. But, had to comment.

Some of my friends know that I have suffered depression. After my stroke and heart valve replacement surgery, the hospital gave me some information about depression and ways to recognize it, I qualified by several factors. Ended up seeing a Psychologist.

He verified my depression, brought on by PTSD and health problems. He prescribed me an anti-depressant. I was on that for a year or more. Now, that medication helped keeping from getting so depressed. The problem was that I wasn't really happy, either. I was just “there”.

I have become an avid cyclist. After my Cardiac Rehab, I knew that I needed to get active. Cycling has done that. The side benefit is that my depression seemed to be lightening. Rides by myself, specially in the woods, have had a relaxing effect on me.

Another big thing I have done is to be more positive. That's easier said than done.

My speech rehabilitation requires regular conversation. I have learned that if I don't use it, I lose it. To practice my conversational skills, I meet about 3-4 mornings a week with friends over coffee or breakfast. This works well, until folks start complaining.

You know what the best thing is to know what you can't change (don't worry about it), know what you can change (and work to change things). Too few people don't know the difference. After enough of negative comments, complaining, I have to get out. Get way from the conversation, go do something else.

The thing is, get involved. Just complaining doesn't help. If its a political issue, write letters, volunteer with a campaign. If there is a deficiency in your area, find a group (or start a group) that advocates solving the deficiency.

Now, I have no idea how many folks read my blog, look at my web site, or really care about what I write. But it helps ME.

What have I done?

1: Found a passion – riding my bicycles. Riding in the woods – a sweet singletrack.
2: Get regular exercise. (Even that I don't really think of riding my bike as “exercise" - it is!)
3: Eat more healthy. I need to do that anyway (needed for my blood pressure, cholesterol, medications, etc., anyway).
4: Replace negatives with positives. Associate with positive people. Get out of negative conversations.
5: Got involved. I volunteered in the last election. Keep busy with several organizations.
6: Manage my stress. I have been leaning to recognize my stress limits. Stay way from stressful situations, back off when things get stressful.

The benefits?

I am off of the anti-depressant. My health is much better. I am enjoying life more. Life is good again!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lots of Riding, Little Blogging

Over the last several week, I have been riding a lot - just not much blogging. Lets see - the news...

Made my first ride from Silver City to Malvern. The Trace was in pretty good shape. Four deadfalls need to be removed. There are also some deep ruts from a ATV or some such in the area of Janke Rd. Rode the hardtail - had a good ride.

We had a trail night work session at Lake Manawa. The trail was lopped and some dirt bike ruts were repaired. Work was done in No Second Chance - 2 log crossings/rides. Riding Friday there, saw lots a tracks. Many peeps riding the trail there.

Word is that the DOT had paved the Indian Creek Trail under Hwy 92. GREAT! No more mud under that bridge!

More tweeks of the shifters on the Fuel EX7. Blaine reworked the whole drive train. About a week from its first birthday, with nearly 1600 miles! The hardtail (Trek 4300) now has over 3500 miles! With the ergonomic handlebar grips, I am riding more with the hybrid (Trek 7200FX).

On my ride Friday, I hit the 700 miles mark for the year. I just keep pedaling.

Friday, April 17, 2009

April Full Moon Ride

I have been a little lax with blogging. Last Friday about 20 riders headed out from Xtreme Wheels for the April Full Moon Ride. We rode to Lake Manawa, re-assembling at the river parking lot.

From there, the fat tires headed into the woods for a dirt ride. Skinny tires rode around the lake. Everyone eventually ended at the Spillway for eats and/or libations.

My photos of the ride are on my photo store -

Monday, April 6, 2009

Indian Creek Trail

Friday I took a ride over to Indian Creek Trail. Wanted to check out the trail condition under Hwy 92 -- the mud pit/ice rink.

Wonders - a lot of gravel has been spread under the bridge! Thanks to the City of Council Bluffs - who contacted the DOT to rectify the problem. Now, wondering when the contractor will get the rest of the work done - pavement under the bridge and re-paved trail along Hwy 92 (so we don't have to ride through trailer park).

Friday, April 3, 2009

Manawa Dirt Ride

Today I was able to ride all of Manawa. It was the first full lap since the snow.

With the March winds we have had, there are some trees, limbs, and branches are down on the trail. I have forwarded information to the Trail Leader. There is a planned trail day at Lake Manawa in the 14th.

The trails here are in good shape. The ruts left by the motorbike are starting to heal. Some spots will need some human intervention (shovel/rake, etc). Trail surface is firming up nicely. For my ride (1 1/2 laps) I averaged 7.4 mph. Pretty good for me, at this time of the season, and with the trail conditions.

Weather was good. I worked up a sweat, rode over 11 miles, and ended up tired. Legs are a little sore this morning.