Category Archives: Health

Distance Cycling

IMG_0352Back from Sierra to the Sea Saturday afternoon, and just logged my ride data into the laptop. The ride is an organized tour for about 130 paying riders from Bear Valley in the Sierra to San Francisco, 420 miles over 7 days, for an average of about 60 miles / day.

My main response to the ride is mild surprise at how easy and straightforward it was. Granted- I did some training beforehand, with 60 mile weeks and as much climbing as I could fit in, and I have a pretty good bike. But it’s not like I was out riding 6 of 7 days for 150 miles, nor did I prep for more than a few weeks. I’d previously pictured trips like that as only for the studly. Who knew?

Am also a little surprised there weren’t any real issues. Got two flats from the same bit of glass (missed pulling it out the first time). Left my sleeping bag out too late the night of the wine and cheese party and it got wet with dew, so sleeping was uncomfortable. Had sinus issues the last night that made it hard to sleep as well, but not too serious.

Pictures are up on Flickr. Most of the images are of people — it’s not much fun to shoot scenery any more. Maybe the pocket camera doesn’t handle it, or maybe I’ve just taken too many pictures of trees and lakes.

My workout software claims I burned an additional 18,000 calories or so, yet I think I gained a couple pounds. I was intentionally eating more, but… almost twice as many calories as usual?

Cheap on-line drugs

I don’t have much need for pharmaceuticals (unlike, apparently, a large percentage of the population). I need a prescription maybe every couple years or so for a sinus or skin infection, do the Walgreens thing, and am done.

But I got a prescription a couple days ago for (let’s say) VitaminX that I need to pay for myself. And it ain’t cheap- $135 at Yikes. So, says I, Canadian pharmacies are the way to go for these pricey prescriptions, right? OK, so which one?

Turns out that’s a hard question to answer.

Google is both your friend and your enemy in figuring things out. Searching on “best Canadian pharmacy” brings up a plethora of links, most of which are bogus. turns out to be a front organization linked to dozens of spammish domains, except that trying to get info leads you into spammish “help” pages that increase one’s suspicion at least as much as they inform. Other sources explain how formal approvals are faked, legitimacy is faked, sponsorship is faked…

So what about the FDA? No help whatsoever. The FDA has a stated policy that any re-importation of prescription drugs into the US by anyone other than the original manufacturer is illegal. Even if you blame them as supporting high drug prices by US-based manufacturers, it’s hard to argue much given the some of the sleazy sources on the web.

So… let’s find some certifying organization with a list of approved online pharmacies. Blech. Search around and you end up with obscure legislative and bureaucratic pages that lead nowhere. Other links lead to real, formal organizations with no relevance (Safeway Canada won’t ship a prescription to me in California).

The only relevant sources seem to be various state government organizations with links, like Minnesota, Washington, and Nevada. OK, it’s information with some legitimacy, but WTF? Nevada ignores the fact that brand-name versions of drugs like VitaminX cost MORE ($186 shipped) than through, say, The cheapness comes from generic substitution, which isn’t legal yet for VitaminX.

What a PITA… this has turned into the hardest shopping task yet. Harder than computers, more convoluted than kitchen remodeling. There’s more, but I can’t reconstruct the real search path I spent hours working through.

So my current thinking… I can get prices at least as good, and maybe better, on brand-name VitaminX at my local Walgreens versus anything on-line, with the benefit of walking in with a prescription form and walking out 20min later with drugs. Am going to check Costco and Walmart, too. Still, for me in this case, local is better.

Overall, though… what a frigging zoo.