Social distancing is not all bad

I’m still keeping as isolated as possible, as my wife’s exposure to second hand smoke as a child has her at high risk. Other than picking up groceries, and occasion visits to our octogenarian mothers (hers locked up in the house, and mine, locked up in an assisted living center), the only thing we ever do is hike or ride bikes. I have over 12 hundred miles on the road bike since this started; that and cooking very healthily has allowed me to FINALLY lose the 25 lbs. I had put on in the previous decade traveling regularly for business.

Yesterday, I (almost) completed my earliest Kamas to Bald Mountain Pass ride ever. Had it not been for the 3 feet of snow on the road, the last mile or so, I would have made it. The snow however gives me an excuse to go back and do it again in a couple of weeks.

We have some spectacular scenery within a very short distance here in northern Utah, and some EPIC road bike rides. I’m going to finally ride the Mt. Nebo loop this year, as soon as it opens.



Congratulations on losing the 25 lbs, that will have a big positive impact on your long-term health.

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Thanks! And yes, it is making a world of difference. My blood pressure is down, cholesterol and triglycerides are down, acid reflux is virtually gone, I sleep better, feel 15 years younger, have a lot more energy, and it’s a LOT easier to haul my (not quite so fat) a$$ over some of these climbs.

Wish I had done it years ago.

Only downside - my pants keep falling down… and I’m not ready to start shopping for new clothes.


Great story, couldn’t agree more. I’ve lost 30 lbs over the past 5-7 years, mostly by just eating smarter, and hiking. My “wheels” are much happier under 190 lbs, and everything else you mentioned, it all improves.

Hopefully this will be the great silver lining of Covid - Americans in general can improve their health a TON without any procedures, medications. My own physician has been really impressed. I wasn’t unhealthy before, but all the “borderline” parts of metabolic syndrome have all disappeared. A large portion of our high medical costs are due to horrendous diets and lack of exercise. I think we could reduce the per capita costs by 30%, fairly easily.

On top of that, we live in the Disneyland of outdoor things to do.

3 feet of snow a mile down from Bald Mountain pass? That means about 3 weeks, maybe a month before I can hike Bald Mountain. Last year it was stunning how fast the last layer of snow disappeared.


That is the truth. I remind my kids all the time how lucky we are to live where we do. On my lunch break today I was able to take a quick hike to a waterfall. Not many places are as nice as SLC.


Congrats on the weight loss and the health wellness initiatives in your life!
Obviously COVID excludes this option at this time - but may I encourage you to look into Jiu Jitsu as a means a fitness as well as stress relief and personal strengthening?
While I’ve never been overweight, I was pleasantly surprised how my body changed by grappling and I don’t have to spend time “counting to 10” over and over in a gym…
I’m stronger more flexible and more aware of my strengths and vulnerabilities than ever. I also have a kindred relationship with so many men and women from a plethora of economic, and socially diverse backgrounds. When I travel, I “roll” in local gyms and I am always struck by the opportunity to engage with the community in ways that I really can’t in a bar restaurant: as well as the warm-hearted welcome that I receive as a member of the grappling community.
I wish you the best. Stay safe out there on that bike

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Thanks! Your note was a reminder of a fitness alternative I’ve never tried. I’ve been irritated that I cannot go to the gym during this pandemic, but it may be a long time before that will be a safe activity.

My father was into Jiu Jitsu, when he was in his 40s/50s as were my younger brothers, at the time, but I have never tried it. Sounds like a good alternative; Thanks for the suggestion.

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One of my gym-rat buddies once said “Jiu Jitsu is one of the rare opportuni:es in life to both receive and extend grace towards another.”

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This time of year we normally see a lot of cyclists - the situation has more folks hitting the roads than normal, a higher percentage of rookies.

I get a kick out of seeing folks on E-Bikes, passing legit cyclists, half the cadence, one arm wiping sweat from their brow, commenting to the cyclists they pass by, “this sure is a tough hill, huh?

Even the pudgy kid, pushing his beater bike up the sidewalk looks at me, like “what the …?”


I remember, about 10 years ago, when I bought my last road bike, I made the decision to go to a triple derailer. At the bike shop that I bought it from the guy was like, “Uh, you really don’t want a triple do you?” and I was like “Yeah brah, I want a triple.” “Really?” “Affirmative.”
I still sometimes get the odd glance/frown at my triple.
But now, I’m honestly considering getting an e-bike for the future.
I love biking so much, but I’m basically putting off a neck fusion for as long as I can, apparently progressive arthritic changes are attributable to years in the saddle. It’s apparently quite common.

A few days ago, in the heat of the day, I was passed on a slight incline by a 20 something blond, in full glamour queen attire, with enough hairspray the wind wasn’t affecting her hair, posing upright, not breaking a sweat. But it was, as you mention, her cadence that gave away the E-bike beneath her.

What an odd sight.

Early E-bike



Tried an e-bike the other day. Loved it. We live on a steep hill – steep enough that even the good riders are challenged. The e-bikes that come up the hill fly right by. In fact, at my age, in our current home, I wouldn’t even consider anything but an e-bike. Wife has even considered commuting on an e-bike.

There is something both funny and discouraging to be maxing out and have some old lady pass you by up the hill on an e-bike. I know it is an e-bike but my competitive streak makes me want to keep up with them.

Like you, social distancing has improved my health dramatically. Just timed my resting heart rate at 50bpm, which at my age I’m pretty happy about (my fitness prime it was 42).

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I’ve always liked the feeling of bicycling with the wind blowing in your face and hair (through a helmet of course). But I hate climbing uphill and live smack dab in the middle of a hill that tour de Utah riders like to train on. I had to give up my full suspension bike because it would sap all my energy dragging my fat 250+ lb butt up the street. I’m intrigued by this e-bike shortcut so I can regain this freedom without much commitment to getting fit enough for steep slopes.

One can enjoy the ride tremendously without the satisfaction of working hard for it. Especially when you’re done with the up and go DOOOOWWWWWWNNNNNN.

I am slightly intrigued by BJJ though I don’t think I have the build for it (6’2" 250 lbs, never been and never will be lanky). I do have expensive hearing aids and wonder how hard it would be to learn/train completely deaf.

I also count to 10 repeatedly lifting weights but it is in my home gym with my own equipment. It’s not too bad an option when you don’t have a monthly subscription draining the bank

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My instructor is 6’4" 300+lbs. (Does he even need it? :joy:)
He’s also done a great deal of judo - which is pretty devastating, but harder to train without injury I think as we get older.
The beauty of Jiu Jitsu is there is no favorable body type per se.
It’s all about technique. One can only gain tecnique over great time and effort. Just like any musical instrument…They just don’t hand out belts either - especially higher belts - unless people are deserving. So while a very short person who is lighter clearly has a disadvantage against a much larger person (which is always the case and why there are weight divisions) The proven reality is that a person with significantly better technique will dominate a uninitiated, larger person.
That’s all well and good for fighting your way out of a bar I suppose, but in reality, none of us do that. People who routinely do that are in prison.
Truth is, it’s really just a lot of fun. It’s like mental chess. There’s no end to the opportuniies to develop oneself and there’s different gyms have different “vibes”
Different fighters display or react to different movements. Its a deep well.
I’ve been doing it for 2.5 years and I feel I’m truly only scratching the surface. Just starting to develop a vocabulary without even being conversant

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I’ve actually been very seriously considering buying my own weight training equipment. I’ve paid for a good set of equipment several times over after 30+ years of paying gym memberships. The thing that keeps me from doing it, is lack of space to set anything significant up. I may have to settle for a small set of dumbbells and a bench.