Belated resolutions

In thinking about approaching 2016 I had random scattered thoughts for things I would like to do or change. As I prioritized the hustle and bustle of the holidays as well as the chillaxing family time, I am just articulating my thoughts now.

My thoughts on own 2016 resolutions are as follows:

  • Eliminating the use of single use plastic bottles – It is easy to grab a single use plastic chocolate milk bottle when at Kwik Trip or a plastic soda bottle from a vending machine, but transitioning to carrying a reusable water bottle with me to ail my thirst will improve my bottom line and waistline. When I need a soda, I will choose an aluminum can or to fill my reusable at the fountain machine. I can do the same at Caribou or the hockey rink when I need something warm. Part of what is driving this desire to mitigate any use of plastic bottles is my disgust over Nestle and the way water is becoming privatized. In the midst of California’s historic drought, Nestle Waters (the largest bottler of water in the world) continues to draw water from the San Bernardino National Forest and other public lands around the world. Their permit for San Bernardino expired in 1988 and yet they continue to take the water uncontested by the Forest Service. I would encourage you to take a few minutes and watch the top two videos on this page and think about how you can reduce giving in to single use plastic bottles.
  • Getting Fat II – As I mentioned in my previous post, I purchased a fat tire bike and have been riding it quite a bit. For 2016, I have decided to set an annual goal for miles ridden of 1,000. I plan to track this on my band and it will give me the flexibility to not ride on some days and ride more miles on others. I am all geared up for winter riding, night riding, and have even used my bike for one errand so far since I now have a lock.
  • Volunteering – My schedule allows time for volunteering and working on different causes. For 2016 I plan to streamline those efforts and focus more in areas where I feel I am providing a valuable impact. Sometimes my passion and persistence to help an organization in need has resulted in a one sided effort where I end up cajoling the organization in to accepting help. That is frustrating and I need to put my energy in to places that are appreciative and desiring help.
  • No plastic bags – Our family owns plenty of reusable shopping bags. For 2016 my intent is to not use a single disposable shopping bag to get items home from a store. If I forget to bring reusable bags, I will need to just carry stuff or go get the reusable bags. I have been at 90% on this effort, but my goal for 2016 is 100%.

I am certain I am missing some items I thought of previously and will likely still add some other 30 day challenges to the year.

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30 day challenge: Getting Fat

In my last blog entry, I recalled the joy of having speakers strapped to my handle bars as a kid for long bike rides. That got me to thinking about what I could do to stay active this winter. I struggle with finding pleasure on a treadmill or elliptical so a new 30-day challenge began to take shape. I purchased a fat tire bike at the end of October and am now 35 days in to riding it every day. I am fortunate to have trails right near my house that are pretty amenable for riding. Having a goal to ride every day has led to some challenges; including riding late at night and during some interesting weather but having that variability has been a part of the fun.

I am still learning many things but here is a quick recap of a few things that I have learned so far:

  • Eye protection is important for visibility, especially during heavy rain
  • 4 inch tires are nice but do not provide as much traction as a 4×4 truck
  • A good headlamp makes night trail rides more fun
  • If downwind and carrying good speed, you can really scare the hell out of a deer (and yourself)
  • The bike store sells chaffing balm for a reason, always wear good undergarments

Currently, I am enjoying improving my cardio and getting to see some wildlife in the process. Longer term, I hope to use the bike for some errands and thus have asked Santa for a bike lock and a few other essentials to make that possible.