Category Archives: Smoking

Quitting Smoking

Stupid Blog Disease

Tex infected me with this silly blog nonsense. It’s contagious, evidently.

First, the background.

  1. Post the rules of the game at the beginning
  2. Each player answers the questions about themselves
  3. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names
  4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer
  5. Create an arbitrary rule to keep with the whole fives theme.

What were you doing 5 years ago?

  • 5 years ago, I was smoking 2 packs a day, eating meat, and not riding a bicycle. I associated primarily with crass bar-people. I considered myself a libertarian, and earned my keep by working for evil corporate overlords.
  • Nowadays I don’t smoke, don’t eat meat, ride a bike sometimes, and associate with crass bike people. I consider myself politically confused, and earn my keep working for generally non-evil, non-corporate overlords

What are five things on your to-do list for today?

  1. Finish this blog entry
  2. suggest a Guy Fawkes ride on the HBG Critical Mass blog
  3. Figure out how to get to Jazz Under the Stars in Lancaster
  4. Ride my bike
  5. Read Siddhartha

What are five snacks you enjoy?

  1. Troegenator
  2. Appalachian Jolly Scot
  3. Ace hard Cider
  4. Hornsby’s Hard Cider
  5. Lancaster Milk Stout

What are five things you would do if you were a billionaire?

  1. Two chicks at the same time.
  2. Buy a shit load of farmland and start my own religious cult. Kind of like the Amish, but replace the Christianity with a Secular Soto Zen Buddhism and get rid of all the farm animals — It’ll be all veganic farming and bicycles instead of horses and buggies.
  3. Go to space
  4. Donate a little bit to some worthy charities.
  5. Sponsor a mission to build 1/6 scale models of Stonehenge and the Pyramids of Giza on the surface of the moon. When space aliens come to Earth in a million years, that’ll give their archaeologists something to talk about.

What are five of your bad habits?

  1. Running this blog
  2. Eating too much
  3. Using enormous amounts of profanity in polite company
  4. Spending too much time in the internet
  5. fantasizing about doing cool things someday, when I could be dong them now

What are five places where you have lived?

  1. I lived 7 different places during the first 20 years of my life, but none was ever more than 6 miles from where I was born
  2. 10 years ago, I moved about 70 miles downstream to the Harrisburg area. I moved 5 times since then, but was always within bicycling distance of work.
  3. I’ve averaged 2.5 years per residence
  4. I’ve never, in my whole life, lived more than 6 miles from the Susquehanna River, and I think that if I ever move away from it, I will lose all of my supernatural powers, and turn into an asshole.

What are five jobs you’ve had?

  1. Paperboy – Milton Standard Journal – Got my first drop-bar ten speed to deliver newspapers
  2. Bus Boy – Good Wils Restaurant – Cleaning up after miserable Bucknell Students
  3. Burger Flipper – Wendy’s – cooking burgers for miserable Bucknell Students
  4. Macintosh ‘Computer’ Salesman – Bucknell University Bookstore (at this point I was a miserable Bucknell Student myself)
  5. Network Administrator – various evil corporate masters

I tag:

  1. Stankertanker
  2. Doc
  3. The Donut Guy
  4. end pavement
  5. analstormtrooper1996

52 Weeks

There it is, bitches! One year without a smoke! Who’s the man?I intend for this to be the last time I talk about smoking here on, so let’s have a quick look at how this all went down:


I started smoking my freshman year of college. I was up to a pack-a-day in a few months and stayed there.


I got a real job and moved away from home. Lots of stress, and lots of binge drinking/partying. I was up to about 1.25 pack/day, but on nights out, I would sometimes burn through two packs.


Finally had enough of it, and managed to quit for about 6 months. An ill-fated trip to New Orleans broke my resolve. The French Quarter has a way of making all manner of dastardly deeds seem perfectly alright.


Up to 1.5 packs/day. A friend of mine announced that he had esophageal cancer. I continued at 1.5 packs/day.

My friend died.

All of us at work went outside for a smoke break to discuss this news.
It seemed like a pretty fucked up thing to do, given the circumstances.

One week later, I decided to quit smoking and to get my ass into good enough shape to ride in a cancer charity ride. I started this blog to track my progress.

After a few false starts, I smoked my last cig on August 23rd 2004.

The Bottom Line

  1. Smoking is fucking lame.
  2. Don’t do it. It will kill you.
  3. If you are already doing it, stop it.
  4. I smoked for 11 years, and I quit, so you can too.
  5. I have not had the slightest craving for a smoke in probably 4 or 5 months, so it is possible to return to normal.

Now that the sermon is over…

When I started this blog, I said that I wanted

  1. to quit smoking
  2. and to get into shape

I defined ’shape’ rather loosely as the ability to ride my bike 100 miles in one shot. That definition probably needs some work, but for today, I’m happy to have one of those two items crossed off my list.



It was one year ago today that I dug the old Diamondback out of the shed, threw a pack of smokes in the seat pack, and went for a 14 mile ride.My stated goal was to get in shape by quitting smoking, and riding my bike 100 miles. My longest ride so far was 41 miles, and I haven’t had a smoke in 49 weeks.It would take a serious butt-load of self-deception to think of myself as “in shape” today, but I can ride 41 miles without hacking up a lung now, and that’s something I couldn’t do a year ago.Many thanks to all if you, my Jihadis, and many thanks to the pagan elder gods, for a successful year.

Better than Nothing

Well, all my insane preparation payed off. I rode in to work. So that’s 6 miles of Jihad. Assuming I go home, and assuming you count lunch, it’ll be 24 miles.That’s already much better than last week’s zero miles.

The location of my new apartment means that I’ll save almost a gallon of gas per day if I ride my bike. Gas is $2 a gallon (more or less), and there are 20 work days per month (more or less). That’s $40/month!

Add that to the $150 bucks/month I’m saving by not smoking anymore, and we’re up to $190/month!

Now I don’t feel so bad about buying so much silly stuff from the Rivendell Catalog 🙂

Ride Home:

There are several ways to get home. I thought I had a cool route that would make the sharp hill at the end of my commute a little shallower, but no such luck. I had to get off and push. I really need to take the Trek to the LBS and get the inner chainring repaired.

The Trek came with really lame gearing. The chainrings are 50-44-28. I have never needed the 50-tooth ring for anything. and I use the 44 for almost everything now, so effectively, I have a 6-speed bike. I’m thinking about getting a 48-38-28 set for it. That way, the big ring is still 4 more teeth than I ever use, the middle ring will be a bit more useable, and I’ll have the 28-toother for climbing the hill loaded up with groceries. (The grocery store is at the bottom of the hill.)

Anyone have an experience changing chainrings on old touring bikes? Can a mechanical dumbass such as myself tackle a job like this? Do I need any special tools? (I’m assuming I need a crank puller and a hex wrench).

I may convert to bar-end shifters while I’m at it. I think one of the reasons I never use the big ring is that it would only come in handy on fast descents, and I’m too chicken to reach for the downtube shifters at those times.

I use the big ring on the Lemond all the time (it’s fun to blast down hills). The Lemond has STI though, so it’s easy.

No ride today

I have a cold (or maybe the flu?) . I am home today, so no ride. This is the first time I’ve had a chest cold since I quit smoking. Wierd, when I wake up with a tight chest my brain still says “man, I gotta quit smoking.” It takes a few seconds for “oh yeah, I already did” to follow.Since I’m sitting here all bored and stuff, I think I might try to upgrade the website to the latest version of WordPress. I’m running version 1.2.1, and version 1.5 has been out for a while. WordPress is supposed to have “Dead simple upgrades and installation.”

We’ll see. I wouldn’t be surprised if everything gets all messed up for a while.


The wordpress upgrade was a flaming disaster. was annihilated temporarily. I got everything restored from backup, and I think everything works. We are still at 1.2.1…

23 Weeks

The new Trek arrived from Ebay, but I haven’t had a chance to ride it yet. It came all torn apart, and I was unable to re-assemble it myself, so I took it to the bike store to let them do it for me.I rode 17.46 miles this week. I would have ridden more, but I’m having some lower back problems. I think I may have the saddle adjusted too high on the Lemond. I’m going to lower it before I ride again.Yesterday was the official 6 month anniversary of me starting to keep track of my bike rides and attempts to quit smoking. I declared my intentions and went for a 14 mile ride to Mechanicburg on July 30, 2004.“But 23 weeks isn’t 6 months!” you say. No, indeed not. The weekly update numbers are the number of weeks since I last had a cigarette, not since I first started blogging. The numbers don’t match up, because I had a few relapses with the smokes in the early days.

Jihad Update:

According to my calculations, I have commuted to work 11 times so far, and I have ridden 20.4 miles doing errands.

This means that I have saved 88+20.4=100.4 miles

100.4 / 28 = 3.59 gallons saved!
Take that, jackass!