AROUND THE WORLD IN 1,770 DAYS (24,901 MILES): 5-YEAR GOAL ACCOMPLISHED !!!

*NEWER POSTS ARE BELOW.* Yes. I did it. I finally finished the equivalent of bicycling one lap of Planet Earth at the equator. Pretty awesome, if you ask me. Or even if you didn’t ask. Let me tell you about it. You’re already here, right? May as well keep reading. It’s a lot easier than biking around the world, I can assure you of that!

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How Did Lawson Craddock and Team USA Do at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics?

Texan professional racer Lawson Craddock rode in the Olympic road race and time trial in Japan. In my previous post about Lawdog, I got the date and time for the first event correct but not which one. The very long 146-mile road race came first. I missed the time trial, which isn’t as fun to watch. In both cases the Houston native acquitted himself well. I answer the question below, and there are spoilers including one about the Tour de France.

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The Art of Taking the Lane on a Bicycle

“Get yo’ bitch ass offa the road!” yelled the guy in the truck at me. That’s because I was in the middle of the narrow car lane, since there was no room for cars to safely pass me a bike lane or alternative road, and the sidewalks suck. I was in Southeast Austin, Texas in a neighborhood called Govalle (a Swedish, not Spanish word). It’s a less wealthy part of town near the airport that billionaire Elon Musk is transforming with a huge Tesla manufacturing plant. (Teslas are still cars, and they still pollute, albeit less than a standard gas engine car. And those lithium batteries are hugely wasteful to make, even if recycled.) Anyway, it’s a car-centric neighborhood. Traffic wasn’t heavy, so I chose to take the lane — which is completely legal in Texas. Anyway, it was not a pleasant interaction and it got me thinking about how and when to take the lane.

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Building New Habits, 15 Minutes at a Time

If you’re new here, I’m a dude who has been working on some habits, with some pretty good results. If you’re old, well, me, too, and thanks for sticking around. If you read my previous post you’ll see I covered 3,002 miles in seven and a half months. I accomplished this by riding my bicycle every day this year. But I didn’t just start and get to that point this year; I’ve been doing it a while before that, and I built up to it. A major reason I was able to do this was that I was introduced by my brother to James Clear who writes about habits. His book Atomic Habits has sold 4 million copies. So he knows a few things.

© James Clear
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3,002 Miles Bicycled in 2021… So Far!

Tonight’s ride was a modest 10 miles, but it pushed me over 3,000. Round numbers make nice milestones — in my case, literally. Normally I do statistics at the beginning of a new month for the one proceeding. But this marker seemed worthy of a post. For one thing, it is a number that tells me I will have probably ridden my bike more than driven the car I was given in the last year. There’s something to be said for doing what one can to reduce one’s carbon footprint, given the very real and scientific consensus that climate change is killing the planet. (Naysayers can go put on their tin foil hats elsewhere like with the flat earthers.) Of course 15+ years with no car was better. But I digress. I may be slowing but I still manage to ride my bike. If you also bike, you know it’s fun. If you don’t, you should try it! Do you konw what’s also fun? Looking at my biking numbers.

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Lawson Craddock in Time Trial and Road Race at Tokyo Olympics

Houston, Texas native and Austin transplant pro cyclist Lawson Craddock (who lives nearby me in Austin when he’s here but mostly in Girona, Spain) is headed for Japan. After winning the US men’s time trial with others on Team EF Education Nippo in third and fifth places) in Knoxville, Tennessee in June, and coming in fifth in the road race, he’ll feature in both disciplines in Tokyo next week. You can see my previous blogs about him by typing Lawson into the Search box on my home page.

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Staying Safe Cycling City Streets

A Dude hasn’t biked as far as he has, mostly here in Austin, Texas, and remained above ground without taking safe cycling seriously. Some people don’t do that, so they pay the price with injury or worse. Others do play by all the rules but drivers of cars don’t. The smart money is on doing everything you can to be “oh, oh, oh stayin’ alive” so you can “live to ride another day,” as Sam says. I know what I’m talking about because I am currently still alive after almost 30,000 verified Strava miles. I also took the League Cycling Instructors course (I’m short a few exercises of being a full-fledged LCI). Here are 10 tips off the top of my — what word for brain starts with t.

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Thieves Drive Truck Through Front Door of The Peddler Bike Shop in Austin, Texas

There’s been a lot of bicycle theft showing up in my Next Door feed over the last year. Global pandemics with their concomitant economic hardships have put all kinds of strain on people. But this brazen act takes the cake. Robbers literally broke through the front door of The Peddler Bike Shop in Hyde Park area of Austin, Texas with a probably stolen truck. I happened to see it on the website for the news station where I get my weather, and I was aghast. It is the closet shop to me, and I’ve been going there longer than any shops here. I also know the owner a bit. (Ironically, my first real bike that I ever bought myself I got from here, was stolen on Xmas Eve maybe 10 years ago.) This was very sad news so on my daily ride I stopped by to pay my condolences.

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Writers’ League of Texas Summer Writing Retreat

For those new here, I’ve written a manuscript. It’s about the period covered by the first two years of this blog. It took a year to write the book, alternating days that I write this blog. Another year passed while I edited it. I was sitting in a virtual drawer for a while, then I found a couple of people to do beta reading. While that process continues, this opportunity came along after I recently joined the Writers League of Texas. Membership has its privileges, and one of them is discounts on programs like this class on revision. (Many are free.) Although not cheap, I realized it’s a bargain and that I couldn’t really afford NOT to take the class. Although the goal — to write a book — was accomplished, if I ever want to get this book done and out into the world somehow, it’s going to take a lot more work. After all, as they say, writing IS revising. I’m thinking of it as an investment. Who knows? Maybe it’ll make me some money some day. (Unlikely, but possible).

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2021 Resolutions: My Check In, and How YOU Doin’?

Half the year’s gone, plus five days, so it’s a good time to check in with my various fitness and other habits. I wrote about my June bicycling in my previous post, June 2021 Strava Bicycling Stats. It’s been a challenging time I’m sure for everyone. There was that riot and uncertainty about US democracy itself surviving the long-needed change in presidents and administrations. The pandemic hasn’t just disappeared, thanks largely to the maskholes who think they know more than medical doctors and those unwilling to get vaccinated for usually specious reasons. The economic recovery may be great for Wall Street, but for many on Main Street, low wages that simply doesn’t pay the bills, continued exposure to the risks of COVID, competition for jobs, and problems like high cost of child care and housing, make it a difficult time. For this dude, numerous obstacles have made progress difficult, but I’ve persisted with my various activities as I am able. So here’s my update, for what it’s worth.

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June 2021 Strava Bicycling Stats

News flash: I rode my bicycle in June. Here’s some numbers and words about them. Also I hope you like orange, black and white, because those are Strava’s colors. It’s like Halloween without the candy. Actually, it’s like working off the candy. Great, now I want candy. I’m hungry because I rode my bicycle in June. But you already read that, because I already wrote that. Feel free to report me to the Department of Redundancy Department (thank you, Monty Python for that brilliant idea). I actually once put those magic words on the door of my office (yes, I know they are fighting words in a government bureaucracy). I was not kept around after the six month probation was ended. Just like June 2021 did. It’s over, done with, gone. You’ve heard of circular logic, like beans are a magical fruit so all fruit is beans? Well, that is not true. For me, circular logic means turning the wheels by pedaling my bicycle. Still with me? Let’s go to the numbers.

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