Wheel full 70px As I ride along, I’m using the Audible and Downpour apps on my iPhone to listen to a selection of audiobooks.  I’ve either read or listened to most of them before, but “Razor Girl” is Carl Hiaasen’s newest and “Debt to Pay” is Reed Farrell Coleman’s just released Spenser novel.  I’ve attached an almost weightless Bluetooth speaker to a bike helmet strap and I can hear the reader just fine over all but the loudest traffic or wind noise.


Wheel full 70px Here’s the list so far.

Mortal Stakes, Robert B. Parker
The Coming Plague, Laurie Garrett
Razor Girl, Carl Hiaasen
The Scarlet Ruse, John D. MacDonald
The Shepherd’s Crown, Terry Pratchett
The Black Marble, Joseph Wambaugh
The Choirboys, Joseph Wambaugh
Red Square, Martin Cruz Smith
Polar Star, Martin Cruz Smith
Debt to Pay, Reed Farrell Coleman
Early Autumn, Robert B. Parker
Free Fall in Crimson, John D. MacDonald

Wheel full 70px Another beautiful day today.  I should wind up near Bucksport, Maine for the night.


Thinking outside the (pill)box

Wheel full 70px I take a lot of pills.  All recommended by my various docs, but “a lot” just about sums it up.  Here’s a week’s worth.


That box is 9x2x1 inches/22.5x5x2.5 cm.  A month’s worth of my meds in four of these boxes fills about a third of a front pannier.

So two questions:  First, take a look at the list of what is in each day’s compartment.

Daily (prescription)

  • Allopurinol (for gout)- one 300 mg tablet.
  • Atorvastatin (for high cholesterol) – one 20 mg tablet
  • Azor (for high blood pressure) – one 10-40mg tablet
  • Bystolic (for high blood pressure) – one 5 mg tablet
  • Torsemide (for high blood pressure) – one 20 mg tablet
  • Dexilant (for acid reflux) – one 60 mg capsule or Famotidine two E40 mg tablets (alternate every 90 days)
  • Januvia (for Type 2 diabetes) – one 100 mg tablet
  • Invokana (for Type 2 diabetes) – one 300 mg tablet
  • Niaspan (for high cholesterol) – one 500 mg ER tablet
  • Synthroid (for hypothyroidism)- one 200 mcg tablet
  • Fenofibrate (for high triglycerides) – one 160 mg tablet
  • Cyanocobalamin (for Vitamin B12 deficiency) – one 1000 mcg tablet

Weekly (prescription)

  • Vitamin D (for Vitamin D deficiency) – three 50,000 unit capsules


  • Aspirin – one 325 mg tablet per day
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin – two tablets per day
  • Potassium gluconate – one 595 mg tablet
  • Vitamin B complex – one tablet per day
  • Vitamin E – one 1000 unit capsule every day

Wheel full 70pxI’ll note that my endocrinologist wants me to stop the Invokana when I start the ride, as he doesn’t believe I will need it at that level of activity and he is concerned about its side effect of causing dehydration.  That leaves me on one diabetes med: Januvia.  My GP doc wants me to stop the Torsemide at the same time, based on the same concern about dehydration.

Wheel full 70pxSo what about the others?  I trust my docs (and my GP is an avid bike rider), but I doubt either of them is on any of these meds.  Does anyone reading this have any real life experience with taking one or more of these meds and bicycling to excess?  I’d appreciate your feedback.

Wheel full 70pxQuestion two is: how can I ditch the boxes. I need my meds separated into daily doses, as some of the pills are quite similar in appearance.  I am also concerned about keeping each day separate from a cross-contamination standpoint.  I think it would be a good idea to just handle one day’s worth of pills at a time.

Wheel full 70pxSo small zip-loc plastic bags?  Individual daily packets made with a Food Saver heat sealer?

Food Saver 800px

Something proprietary I don’t know about?  Your recommendations are very welcome- thanks in advance.

David Edgren

The Fourth


Wheel full 70pxHere’s to a great day for everyone, wherever you might be.

Wheel full 70pxIt’s a weigh-in day, and I’m hoping to wrap up getting everything that needs to be ordered ordered.  I also owe a bunch of responses to all the great comments you’ve left.  Readership of this blog has been steadily increasing- thanks so much for being a part of the Beach 2 Beach ride!

David Edgren


Wheel full 70pxIf you had asked me what was the most common shared experience had by young people in the United States (after finding out the bad news about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, I suppose) I would have immediately spoken up, “Learning to ride a bicycle.”  When I was growing up in the Chicago ‘burbs in the 1950s and 60s, every kid over the age of, say five or six had a bike.  When I’d go visit my grandparents or family friends, every kid I’d meet there had a bicycle.  Even the rural kids in Southern Indiana where my maternal grandparents owned a farm all had bikes.  Getting your first 24 or 26 inch bike was the nation’s equivalent of a coming of age ritual.  But apparently no longer.

Inconceivable 800px

Wheel full 70pxA recent survey undertaken by YouGov and reported by FiveThirtyEight here [linkie] confirmed what I had already believed to be true- that a little over half the country isn’t currently riding a bike.  I can see that- up ’til a month or so ago I hadn’t been on a bicycle in a decade.  But I was shocked to learn that almost 10 percent of young people nowadays have never learned to ride a bicycle at all.  That’s three times as many as the cohort that includes me and my generation.  I almost can’t comprehend being a kid and not having a bike to ride.  Is it because of the decline of “free range” parenting?  The ubiquitous availability of video games and other non-active entertainment?  The growing racial and ethnic diversity of the USA?

Wheel full 70pxWhatever it is, I think it’s a damn shame.

David Edgren

The Bike that Beat the Baja

Wheel full 70pxI needed a bike to train on in Alaska for the couple of weeks before I head to Florida to pick up my Surly.  My son Jon had my Trek 7000, which he has been riding off and on…


…for much of the last decade.  He was in “off” mode this summer and had taken the bike to the Anchorage Trek Store for a tune-up he didn’t have the money to pay for, so


I’m back on the bike I rode the length of the Baja with- 1,000 miles/1,600 kilometers from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas- in 1994.

Wheel full 70pxI’m sad to say that Jon has let this great bike get into pretty fugly shape…


…but there wasn’t anything that several hundred dollar bills couldn’t take care of. I had to get a new seat and seatpost


a Bontrager saddle on a no-name seatpost

and the shop had already replaced the nice shifters I had back in the day with some low-end Shimano dreck.


Soft-Ride handlebar suspension – those were the days

I also had the shop put on the pedals I bought for my upcoming ride.


Wheel full 70pxMan, this bike does not weigh anything.  You drive the Surly.  You fly this particular Trek.

Crash and Burn?

Wheel full 70pxIt sounds like this guy’s ride across the country [linkie]

is toast, if I’m interpreting his most recent webcast [linkie] correctly.  It looks like Eric Hites is back in Indiana with his wife, his dog, his RV and his bike after spending over $15,000 of other peoples’ money saying that he was “riding across America” for the past year.  The comments folks left him on the webcast are, err… interesting, to say the least.

Wheel full 70pxI’m trying hard not to be judgmental, but Mr. Hites said at various times he was riding to “win back his wife (who had apparently left him for another man),” “get a new start to his life,” “lose weight (he started at over 500 pounds/`225 kg),” “find religion,” “get material for a book,” along with a bunch of other reasons.  Never once, though, have I heard that he said he was doing it for the sheer joy of riding his bike a very long, long way.  Some call what he has been doing a scam [linkie – not for the faint of heart].  I just think the guy never set his priorities in line with what he was ostensibly setting out to do.

Wheel full 70pxAnd he shouldn’t have expected to do it with other peoples’ money.

David Edgren

RIP Kalamazoo Bicyclists

Wheel full 70pxDamn it. Just damn it.

Kalamazoo Bike Murders 800px

Image credit:

Wheel full 70pxOn Tuesday of this week some geefus driving his pickup truck with a blood alcohol level likely just this side of Everclear ran down a group of nine bike riders on a country road near Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Five of the cyclists died at the scene.  Four were seriously injured.  The geefus tried to leave the scene, but his pickup truck wasn’t up to helping him get very far.

Kalamazoo Bike Murders 02 800px

Image credit:

Wheel full 70pxHe probably thought he’d hit a squirrel or something.

Wheel full 70pxYesterday the driver of the truck was charged with five counts of Second Degree Murder.  Hanging, as far as I’m concerned, is too good for him.  I was going to segue into writing about the relative safety of long-distance touring on a bike on a trip like mine, but lost heart when I saw a couple of the national press stories, which in the sternest tones have…

…admonished bicycle riders to wear helmets and follow the rules of the road.

Wheel full 70pxYeah, you read that correctly.  There is no report that indicates that the cyclists, who were members of a Kalamazoo area bicycling club out for a regularly scheduled group ride, were doing anything other than riding safely*.  I’m all for wearing a bicycle helmet, but look again at that picture of the truck.  Now look at it again.  That truck plus the driver probably weighed something short of two tons/1,800 kilograms.  That damage was caused by hitting nine objects in succession each weighing an average of about 200 pounds/90 kilograms.  “Wear helmets” my ass.

Wheel full 70pxI have other posts waiting to go up.  I’m just too bummed out to post them today. My thoughts right now are with the cyclists who were struck down, both alive and dead, and with their loved ones. So very sad. So very needless to have happened.

David Edgren

*The coverage of this terrible situation by the web news site has been excellent and thorough. A summary through today of the stories is here [linkie].

I’m on the way across the country…

…no, not on the bike.  On the train.


Wheel full 70pxMy wife and I left Boston yesterday and pulled in to Chicago this morning. We are now on the Empire Builder leaving Milwaukee and due in Seattle on Wednesday.


Wheel full 70pxI had hoped to complete several posts while on the train, but there is no wi-fi except for my iPhone hotspot. That is proving difficult to use. I’ll be working offline and see what I can get done that way. Lots on the way.

David Edgren