Monday, May 18, 2015

I ride

I have been riding at lunch for a couple of weeks now and the rides have been quite a lot of fun. Where I work is just made for a nice lunch-time ride, lots of interesting things to see and great little places to stop for lunch. 

But that isn’t what I want to talk about.

Today I stayed home (it is saturday) it was supposed to rain and the ride I had planned fell through. I figured since I was riding at lunch most of the week it would be ok, After all I had things I needed to take care of. I went grocery shopping, cleaned the living room and played with Spyke. It was a rather full day

So I thought. It seems I was wrong

I started watching Murder of Couriers.and the movie kept pausing. so I gave up and hopped on the macho man and headed down to the nearby school to ride some laps. That is when it started raining. And that is when I started to really enjoy the ride, It wasn’t a long ride maybe 14 or 15 laps, nothing to write home about.

Still, as the rain fell and I rode those circles I felt almost reborn. Like the rain washed away the funk. I really enjoyed the ride, the more the rained the more I liked it. I felt like I was the only one out there (It was raining so I was the only one out there) Even as I sit here and write this I have to wonder why I felt this way. I can’t really explain it. I can’t explain how I feel about riding or why I love it so much. 

But I’ll try

Today at work I got my bike and went for my nice 30 min ride at lunch, I had to talk myself into going on the ride knowing that as soon as I got out of the parking lot I was going to enjoy the ride. Knowing that it is only when I am on my bike that I no longer care what other think about me. I don’t care what I look like being a big fat guy on a bike. Because no matter what people think. I’m on a bike and you’re not,

That may be what it is all my life I have been a fat guy. All my life I have felt out of place and looked down on. But when I’m on my bike you can think anything you want.

I can’t hear you with the wind in my ears.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I don't care

Let me start out this post by saying I try very hard to put forth a positive view of cycling and cyclists. Some days however... I just want to carry around a ball peen hammer that I can use on people who start any statement with

"You know the Problem with people on bikes?"

The desire to peen the living daylights out them before they can answer their own question can be almost overwhelming. If you are a non-cyclist reading this let me take a moment to explain somethings Saying the sentence listed above is like standing up and screaming


You should also know that no-one hears anything you say past the "Problem". I will clear up a few things.

Cyclists don't follow all the traffic rules. Now now before you get all huffy and self-righteous we learned it from drivers. The same people who view a Speed Limit as a Speed Minimum and red lights as optional have a problem with someone acting the exact same way, just without a car. Cyclist don't want to die but we're not the ones driving 2000 pounds guided missles. Telling someone to "ride on the bike trail" is a joke unless you only drive your car on parkway or turnpike. We don't care what you think about us because you have proven over and over again that you don't care about us.

So I have to wonder what would happen if each of us stopped putting up with in-bred questions that come from people who think being in a car makes "attempted murder" into "Teaching that guy on a bike a lesson" and started giving them a gift like the one on the shirt above.

Thursday, April 30, 2015


Say hello to my #Workbike.  She is a nice bike and I have felt bad that since I got here I haven't ridden her much. Since she is a single speed and I am a big fat guy it seems like I had made a huge mistake by picking a sweet little thing like her. Between BOB and the Macho Man, I never really found an excuse to take her out riding. She has sat patience in a dark closet just waiting for her time to shine.

That time has come.

I work for Heyl & Patterson (sorry about the talking sales pitch) designing some really cool machines. In August we moved from Robinson to Carnegie. Carnegie is pretty flat. i.e. Perfect for my sweet little single speed to really shine.  One of the cooler things about horking for H&P is that I can keep my bike inside in a secure room so I never have to worry about it. So when Lunch time comes

Off I go.

It is a great feeling to head out for 30 min of pedaling in the middle of the day, off to discover what I can about the area around our new building. So far I have found churches, graveyards, parks and playgrounds, murals and memorials.

In other words, some cool stuff

It is interesting to look forward to the middle of the day and wonder what I will see on my ride. No more sitting at my desk eating pb&j and watching youtube. Instead I get air, people, and usually smiles. I see a mom with a stoller and a puppy. I see other people on bikes, clearly not out for a ride but running errands. I ride and find the Professional & Amateur Pinball Association. Which is very cool looking place to find. So if you happen to be in Carnegie at lunch and the sun is shining look around you might just see me go zooming past you.

Ill be the fat guy smiling

Monday, April 6, 2015

It Seems

Well it seems like I have something to say after almost an entire year of silence. A lot has gone on in the last year but more than anything I ask you all to forgive me. I never meant to just abandon all of my friends. It was just something that happened and before I realized I found myself so far away that I no longer felt like I was part of this group.

Stop laughing.

I realize just how stupid that was. I stopped down at OTB a couple of months ago and was reminded over and over again just how wrong I was, as one person after another reminded me that I was not forgotten and I was still welcomed. And people still wonder why Pittsburgh has such a lively Cycling community. I know why.

Because you are part of it.

Anyway this last week with what I am going to call a break in the weather I got back on my big orange Bike (BOB) and managed to do a small amount of riding (enough to realize just how out of shape I am as well as enough to remember just why I love being on the Bicycle. FREEDOM!) So now I am on the long road back and kicking myself for missing the Viking Ride. 

I for one can't wait to see all of you again. I truely miss you all.

More soon.
Terry Bruce (Fatguy Orangebike)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Kindred Cycles

the other day I was taking a beautiful Saturday  and was riding down Penn in the district when I noticed what I thought was a new bike shop called Kindred Cycles, so I stopped to check it out. Let me give you my first thoughts before we get into any details. The shop is beautiful if a little small, still it is a well thought out space and I managed to find everything you might need in a glance. I also liked that the mechanical area is right in the middle of the shop. Part of my favorite thing when I go to a bike shop is to watch and talk to the bike mechanics. (you can learn a lot that way)

You can see when I was there there were still unpacking and getting set up. The two who were there when I came in Aaron and Katharine were happy to talk to me and proud to show off the shop (Rightly so). This is a great local shop in a good location. Penn Ave through the strip district is main artery for cyclist.

So now lets get down to the nuts and bolts of the shop.

Bikes an’at
Kindred Cycles offers a varied selection of bikes:

I for one have already fallen in love with the “Fairdale Parser” in Blood Orange (of course). The selection is very good for a shop this size and I would be surprised if you couldn't find a bike that fits your needs here. They also stock a full range of accessories from Brooks Saddles to helmets, gloves, chains, tubes and just about everything you could need. From their Facebook page I see they also have DZR shoes and Ortleib Outdoor equipment.  I also have no doubt that they can get you whatever you need as well.  With the growth in cycling in pittsburgh I believe that a shop like kindred cycles is just what the Strip district needs.

The event page on their website says simply “Just you wait... We’re gonna do lots of fun stuff. Keep Posted.” I’m very excited about this. I feel that the local bike shops should be the epicenter of group rides.

Read this as EPIC Center (but that is a thought for another day)

So I hope that Kindred Cycles organizes some great group rides. I don’t know how many rides I will be able to get to but the more rides there are in and around town the better chance I have of making it to some of them. As I have said many times before Pittsburgh has an exceptional bike community and I have no doubt that all the group rides are one of the main reasons that our bike community is as awesome as it is.

What’s a bike shop with out a wall of park tools and the lingering scent of chain lube?

Sad, Very Sad.

Kindred Cycles is not a sad shop. In fact one of things I like the best about the shop is that the service area is right in the middle of the shop so you can watch the work as it is happening. From what I saw as I watched Katharine work on a bike, and what little I know of bike mechanics. It is clear to me that I was watching experience in action. I’m no schlub when it comes to fixing my bike, and I can usually manage most tasks. What I can’t do it is make it look easy.

She made it look easy.

It is about now that I would talk about Aaron and Katharine and what great people they are and how the shop has a great vibe and a friendly environment. Do I really need to do that? Its a local Bike shop, Of course Aaron and Katharine (and everybody else there) Love bicycles and love riding.

They opened a Local Bike Shop!

And as far as the great vibe and friendly environment... Its a Local Bike Shop! Maybe I have been lucky in my experiences with Local Bike Shops in and around Pittsburgh but I have yet to be at one that wasn't run by people who loved bikes and deeply believed that this world would be a better place if everyone rode a bicycle. So yes I found the people at Kindred Cycles to be friendly and I found the shop to be a welcoming place.

I’m sure you will as well. If you’re down in the strip stop by and welcome them. Tell them “Fatguy Sent you”.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New Cyclists

Yesterday I took my bike to work so that I could go riding after work and so that maybe, just maybe it would improve my mood. Even the guys at work tell me that I am a nicer person when I bring my bike in.

This is a Good Thing.

As I rode through station square, southside, hot metal bridge, jail trail, smithfield st bridge, and back to the south side via station square I began to notice something. There were a lot of what I took to be “New Cyclists” on the trails. Now before I go on allow me to define “New Cyclists”. What we are talking about here is usually a new bike and new looking gear (shiny helmet) and an intense look of uncomfortable concentration on their faces. Couple this with a slightly (or not so slightly) wobbly riding style and I think all of you reading this know just what I am talking about. Having introduce several of my friends to cycling I have seen these looks. I know them all to well.

Again, This is a Good Thing.

I can even be pretty sure that these “New Cyclists” are the very reason that many of you would rather take the street instead of the Bike Trail. I know I have done just that especially the station square to 18th section of the South Side Trail. As I passed some of these people on the Jail Trail I began to think to myself how much happier I was with them behind me where I didn’t have to worry about them than in front of me where I had to try and guess what they were going to do next.

This is not a Good Thing.

You see I had forgotten what it was like back in 2006 when I first started riding my bike in order to lose some weight and not die. For weeks I could only do laps in my neighborhood. my first ride was less than a mile and I thought I was going to die on the machine I had bought to save my life. Oh the Irony. But I didn’t die and after a few weeks of riding around my neighborhood I decided to take a longer trip. From East Pittsburgh to the Beehive in the Southside.

This is a Good Thing?

I was prepared. I had a backpack with 5 extra inner tubes a toolkit, energy bars, two bottles of water on my bike, Headlights, tail lights, bike lock, map, satellite photo of bike trail, and a fully charge cell phone. Just in case. The ride down took my two hours (stop laughing) and as I was walking my bike next to the train tracks (oh yeah no complete bike trail for me) I was sure I had just made the biggest mistake of my life. Still I pressed on, riding down the South Side Trail with everyone else on a warm Saturday. Every Time someone passed me I was sure I was going to wreck. Everytime I passed someone (not that often) I felt stupid yelling “ON YOUR LEFT!” as loud as I could, cause you know, that’s what you’re suppose to do.

I eventually made it to the Beehive and had a pot of tea while thinking how amazing it was that I could just hop on my bike and actually go somewhere instead of just riding around my neighborhood. It was the first of several pivotal moments in my cycling life.  That was the day I fell in love with cycling. Even after the ride home, which included several hills I enjoyed riding down on the way out but were less than fun on the way back. I can still remember how it felt to have my eyes opened like that.

It was a Good Thing.

And I want to share that Good thing, I want everyone to feel what I felt that day. I did something I was afraid to do, something I wasn’t sure I could achieve, and in doing it I found out that I can do so much more than the world says a fat guy can do, I can do more than my friends and family thought I could do. Most importantly I learned that I can do more than I ever thought I could do. So when I see a “New Cyclist” I try to give them a little extra room, a lot of extra encouragement, and I hope they see the wonder I see every time I climb into the saddle.

And that is a Very Good Thing.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Freedom again

I sit here and wonder why I feel so melancholy? Why my weight loss has has come to screeching halt. Why I rush home instead of hanging around in town for the express purpose of seeing my friend and getting my steps in (only around 7000 today). I come home and sit at my desk and wish I had something write about since it seems clear that I’m not going to be riding today. (GRRRR)

So I did the only thing I could think of. I put the Mandolin away and decided to write about the fact that I’m not only not doing two of my favorite things but I’m all upset about not doing them and clueless as to why I am mad about it.

Yes Virginia I really can be that clueless at times.

I mean I know why I feel this way. I need to get out and go riding. I need to start raising money for the ms150 that I am really starting to have doubts about being able to complete. (like I need that hanging over my head)

I just don’t know what to do about how I feel, other than take my bike out tomorrow and ride until I feel my mind clearing.

Then ride some more.

Then we will see how I feel.