A Way of Life

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I have no clue what my life would look like if I did not ride bikes. It may be extreme to say I would be a fat slob, but before cycling I never really exercised regularly. As a kid I never lifted weights, ran, and the only sport I played consistently was golf. I have never been able to understand how anyone could enjoy running. There are probably plenty of people that would say the same thing about cycling. As for me, I have not been able to stop riding since I started during my Sophomore year in college. It is my drug of choice. It is my escape.

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Now I won’t say I have “fun” during my rides. It is hard for me to even describe what cycling is for me. Maybe I enjoy it because of the challenge, or maybe it is just that I love being outside. Riding may be one of the hardest things I do, and I think it takes a different person to enjoy it. Most of the time my rides are not full of laughs, but of pain and suffering. Cycling is about pushing myself both physically and mentally. It is almost more of a mental struggle than physical for me. I have to conserve energy, but at the same time push myself as hard as I think my body can go. Some days it is simply about surviving till the end. I think the German professional cycling Jens Voight summed up cycling best with the saying “Shut up legs”. Sure being in shape or having nice gear helps, but cycling is mainly about seeing how much agony you can put up with. Sometimes all I can do is just think about each pedal and hope that I have that extra internal gear.

Remedy7That being said, finishing a ride is so fulfilling. Sure I am not riding the Tour de France, but for me each ride is a personal milestone. It is another chance for me to feel the breeze in my face, and for me to experience life. Some rides are just about getting out on the greenway to see others enjoy their passion of riding. Rarely is it about the competition, if ever for me. I don’t ride to be on a podium, not that I could even if I tried. I have never been a competitive person, so I would hate to waste something like cycling with the stresses and frustration of competition. I think that would ruin it for me.

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I am sure I am being picky when I say this, but I hope to meet a woman someday who can share my passion. The thought of riding next to the woman I love sounds amazing. It may be too much to want this, but why wouldn’t I want to share this with other people. If I could get everyone to enjoy cycling, I would.

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I want to ride to go places. See new spots and try new hills. I ride for the sweat, pain, and personal gratification of pushing myself further than I thought my legs could take me. Maybe one day I will not be riding, but until then I look forward to the next ride the second I get off my bike. I can’t wait for the next hill, and for the enjoyment of riding up it faster than the previous week. Or even for the pain of my legs not wanting to go on.

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Summer Is Here

Just a warning, this could be long….you have been warned

I guess before I start off with some pictures I should give a life update. After 3 years of being a Transportation Planner at Kroger I decided that it was time to move on. I had been looking for a replacement job for probably a year but never very seriously. Over the past few months I was starting to get very frustrated at work. Due to the schedule I had almost no life outside of my job. It was impossible for me to plan anything. I was working holidays, most weekends with long hours, and I couldn’t attend church on Sundays except every few weeks. This was a problem since I have been trying to get more involved. Hard to truly get to know people if you can only be there every 3 weeks or more.

So I was unhappy and it was starting to show in my life. After weeks/months of praying for a change it finally happened. Enter March when I started the stressful search. With some help I was told about an open position with OHL as a Transportation Analyst. For quite awhile I had wanted to have a job like that. I applied since it was starting to look like Kroger was not going to lead to any opportunities like this. After a few interviews and an Excel test I found out on May 23rd that I got the job. I can’t even explain how happy I was when I turned in my two weeks notice. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate everything the people did for me at Kroger. They were the ones that gave me a shot first. I had some great memories, but I wanted something more. I always wanted to be happy.

So on June 9th I started working for OHL (Ozburn Hessey Logistics), which is a 3rd party logistics company. We specialize in managing the transportation, warehousing, etc for many companies. Some of our core customers are Red Bull, Apple, and Starbucks. I have been there almost a month and each day I realize how blessed I am to work with/for a company like this. It amazes me each day how great of a culture this company has, along with how helpful/educated the people are that I work with. As an analyst I will be responsible for optimization studies, looking at on-time %, reviewing the key performance indicators, etc. It has been challenging so far, but I have already seen a large improvement in my Microsoft Excel/Access knowledge. (which is where we spend 90% of our time) Moving to a job in Brentwood has brought on some other challenges, but nothing I can’t overcome. I started the process of looking for places in the area, so I hope one day I will be updating everyone about that.

Just a few pics from our employee cook-out last week. It was employee appreciation week, and OHL knows how to make someone feel valued. Even if they have only been there a few weeks.
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We also finally had Alex’s graduation party awhile ago. Everybody from my dad’s side of the family drove down from Kentucky and we met at a cool pub in the Gulch.
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Over the past month I have moved in with my Uncle/Aunt. Their house is just about 2 miles from my office, which is a much shorter commute than 29 miles. I have been dog sitting for them some since they have had to go up to Burlington/Boston to help out the Davenports. Their daughter was given birth to twins and Hudson the boy had some heart issues so he had some surgery after birth. I have definitely enjoyed getting to spend time with Barkley again.

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My Uncle has a garden in the backyard which some gigantic sunflowers. They are probably around 7 feet tall, if not more.

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Friday was July 4th, and it was great having a holiday off. This is probably one of my favorite holidays, mainly because I love freedom. And I also love fireworks. Back when I worked at Bike Pedlar we would always have a large group rides downtown to the show. So I have tried my hardest to continue the tradition. It is difficult though since many of the people I did it with have moved away and I don’t know as many that ride anymore. That being said, Alex and I headed downtown to watch the show. Not going to lie, but it was a tad sketchy since it was just the two of us. The previous years it seemed like I would always see tons of other cyclist doing the same thing. But this year we didn’t pass anyone on Shelby Bottoms. It was just us and the night skies. Glad I had two bright lights to show us the way.

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The show was amazing as usual. Evidently Nashville was rated as the #2 show in the country behind NYC. I don’t have anything to compare it to, but it certainly was a good show. It started around 9:55 and ended at about 10:25. So once it ended Alex and I rode back to Two Rivers park. It was great getting to ride by all the cars stuck in traffic.

Saturday was a great day for the family because we were able to meet Harper and Hudson. The Davenports are moving back south, so they are in town for a few days. Hudson has had a tough few weeks, but he was such a calm baby. I think all he did while we were there is just sleep. Harper evidently was jealous that Hudson got so much attention at the beginning, because she loves to have the attention now haha. I will admit that I am not comfortable holding a kid. I have a fear that whenever I hold them they will cry and I always assume it was my fault. However, I do enjoy just seeing how small their toes and fingers are. So everyone say hi to Harper and Hudson.

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Bailey has also been at the house the past week or so. I am much more comfortable being around two dogs than kids.
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Outside of all this I have “tried” to ride my bike. But it has been one of the worst summers in years when it comes to cycling. Without going into much detail, I will just say that I have had some issues with my right leg. It kept me off my bike for about a month. Physical therapy helped, but it still is not the same. Hopefully over time though everything will be back to normal and I will get to enjoy riding. It is something I have a passion for, and it is my escape. That being said, it hasn’t stop me from spending money on my bikes. I have a fancy new gold chain for my single speed conversion. I was a tad skeptical at first, but it has grown on me. I also had some wheels built up for my road bike, so I put the old ones on the SS.

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