Category Archives: Personal stuff

When all else fails (and it did), another picture of West Old LaHonda

Tuesday. Can we just forget Tuesday? Dragging my sorry butt up Kings defined lack of style or finesse or even skill. Skill climbing would mean optimizing everything for speed, and it got to the point I didn’t even care that I could develop more watts sitting than standing. I let perception rule over truth, and I failed the hill. It was the ultimate “high gravity” day, as Kevin Keenan (ex-pilot) would say. I watch Kevin and Kevin ride away, and all I could do was wait for one of those few spots where you can see someone way up ahead, and, well, hope that I’d see them. They finished the climb in just over 30 minutes, while was was almost 3 minutes behind.

I did gradually recover as the ride went on, and it did end as yet another ride (as are nearly every ride ever) that I felt better about doing than staying home. Somehow I stayed on Kevin & Kevin’s wheels the rest of the way. Fueled by pride? But the rest of the day I felt a bit off; I never attained that post-ride glow. 🙂

Today? Thursday? Just Kevin (not Kevin ex-pilot), and he played nice and rode with me the whole way up. It still wasn’t pretty (well, actually it was pretty everywhere you looked, with a fog layer at maybe 800 feet that we climbed through) but it was better than Tuesday. Looking at the scale afterward, some of the reason is obvious… 162 is a good 4 pounds heavier than my post-ride weight should be right now. I can be happy with 159.5, but once it’s at 160 or above?

Some of the issue is distraction; there are a ton of moving pieces to the vacation I’m taking my wife on late-October/early-November, and it includes something I swore I’d never do- a real live cruise ship. Doing a 7-night Greek Island on Norwegian. I’ve always thought of cruise ships as floating virus factories (hello norovirus!) but ironically, the extent to which operations have changed to deal with Covid actually makes me feel like a cruise ship is a pretty safe place to be right now. NCL (Norwegian) requires 100% vaccination of passengers and crew, and requires negative tests of everyone 3 days prior and again just before boarding. Lots and lots and lots of things to figure out; shore excursions and dining at the fancier restaurants on board need to be reserved ahead of time.

But two weeks off a bike? Yikes. And the shore excursions are early enough in the day that it’s not like I’m going to be going to the gym and riding an exercise bike. And all that food. I mean really, all…that…food. It looks pretty amazing.

I need to lose some weight ahead of time!

The odds still favor the vaccinated, even for Delta

We learn as we go. That’s a good thing; that’s what science is all about. It’s not like changing a political position to get votes. You keep an open mind so that, as new information comes in, you arrive at a more-informed place and can make better decisions and recommendations. It’s too bad that it’s so hard to get the relevant info though. My question was simple- how well do current vaccines protect against Delta. I finally found some really solid, trustworthy data here. The graphic below is from that link, and shows the odds of getting Delta if unvaccinated, vaccinated with Pfizer, or vaccinated with Moderna (curiously very different results from Pfizer and Moderna), vs how long ago you were (or weren’t) vaccinated.

This is solid, actionable data. It tells us that we’re a lot better off vaccinated than not, but protection against Delta is not binary. You are far better off vaccinated, but you can’t depend (especially with Pfizer and likely J & J) on a negative test when traveling. You might relatively-easily get it with the only symptom, if any, being a loss of smell or taste. From a practical standpoint, this means any chance I’d consider eating “inside” in the near future is out the window. It also means I’m going to try and figure out the timing of a “booster” shot to maximize effectiveness for an upcoming vacation with my wife, so I have minimal risk of a positive test that keeps us from getting on board a cruise ship (Greek Islands, yes, I’m finally going to do something I said I’d never do, ironically because I always considered ships to be floating virus factories) or returning home. Normal life still seems to be a very long way away.