My Recipe for Losing Weight

There are three types of problems.  A simple problem, such as following a recipe, might require some knowledge or mastery of certain techniques, but generally carries with it a high assurance of success.  Complicated problems, like sending a rocket into space, while not being as easy to master, can still be broken down into many simple problems.  Once one addresses issues of coordination and scale, they, too, are likely to succeed upon repetition.  In contrast, complex problems, such as raising a child, depend on multiple interconnected relationships, making each instance unique.  Losing weight, it would appear, is a complex problem.  While there are certain immutable principles, such as calories in < calories out, what works for some may not work for others.  Having said that, now that I’ve figured out what works for me, I’d like to share it with the world in case anyone happens to be in a similar predicament.

A quick reminder of how I looked on my first bike ride in years.

How I looked on my first bike ride in years.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Kayak Commuting

Here is what the Oru kayak plus all my gear look like loaded up on the bike.  While the kayak is not all that heavy, it is a bit awkwardly shaped for my rack.  Coincidentally, it fits perfectly squeezed under my seat and tends to stay put when secured using bungee cables.

Here is what the Oru kayak plus all my gear look like loaded up on the bike. While the kayak is not all that heavy, it is a bit awkwardly shaped for my rack. Fortunately, it squeezes under my seat just right and tends to stay put when secured using bungee cables.

Last Friday I loaded the Oru Kayak onto my bike in the morning for only the second time and headed out to work.  It was to be my first round trip kayak commute.  Given the tricky logistics of a one-way kayak commute, I was very much looking forward to getting in some more paddling without having to carry the kayak half a mile into my office first.  Predictably, the process of setting up and dismantling the boat in Manhattan always attracts a crowd of curious onlookers with myriad questions.  I’ve also gotten quite a few questions from friends and colleagues both online and in real life.  Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions I’ve received.

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Tips for Cool Weather Bicycle Commuting

This post is part of my advice series. For other posts in the series see

We’re now in the midst of fall in New York City, which means the leaves are turning color and the temperature is dropping. We’ve had an unusually warm fall so far. Not a single day has had a high temperature below 60 degrees. The warm temperatures have meant that the amount of cycling I see on the greenway each morning is still sky-high. Even in the morning, temperatures have yet to drop below 50 degrees by 7 AM, and afternoon commutes are typically quite pleasant in the upper 60s to low 70s. Unfortunately, this is certain not to last, but with a few tips and some small purchases, you can extend your cycling well into November or beyond.

Central Park. Credit: chrisschoenbohmm/Flickr CC.

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Tips for Novices for Long-Distance Bike Rides

It was not too long ago that I was clueless about riding a bike any longer than about 5 miles.  As I mentioned before, I’ve ridden somewhat long distances in the past, but always very slowly and never regularly.  Commuting at least 11 miles each way every day successfully requires a bit more knowledge and preparation. Continue reading

The Route

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked how I get to the Hudson River Greenway from Riverdale, which is such a shame because it’s actually so close and requires traveling down very few streets with very light traffic. Conversely, I also see many cyclists stopping at the Northern terminus of the Greenway and turning around.  A few days ago a couple of skinny cyclists on fast bikes wearing expensive kit stopped me and asked me if there was any worthwhile cycling to be had at the bottom of the stairs.  Truth is, cycling to Riverdale will have a lot more going for it once the Parks Department paves the Putnam Trail, but even before that opens, Riverdale has a lot of scenic and quiet streets for anyone not afraid of doing some hill climbing. Continue reading