30,000 Lifetime Miles I Bicycled on Strava

***NEWER POSTS BELOW**** Flavor Flav was and is the hype man for seminal rap group Public Enemy. Even if you don’t know their music or who Flav is, if you paid attention during the 80’s and 90’s or saw Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing with their hit, “Fight the Power,” there’s a good chance you heard of the guy wearing a big clock around his neck saying, “Yeah, boyeeeee!” Chuck D was and still is the main voice of serious political rap, but FF keeps it fun. Professional athletes, celebrities, and politicians also have paid hype people — publicists to trumpet their successes and explain away their losses or mistakes. This dude just has this little blog, and Strava the fitness app, through which to toot my own horn. So, it’s tootin’ time. And yeah, I just reached 30,000 miles of bicycling in five years, eight months, and 10 days. Not too shabby for a dude who’s old and flabby. It brings up some questions: How did it begin? How did I get here? What does this milestone mean? And what’s for dinner?

Continue reading

Autumn Has Fallen: 100 Days to Go in 2021

September 22 was the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s the first day of the coolest, if not the coldest, season. That’s because leaves turn colors and fall off the trees, my birthday falls within it, not to mention Halloween, Thanksgiving, and things like the Texas Book Festival, Austin City Limits Festival (too expensive but still cool), and the Moontower Comedy Festival. The latter began tonight and I was there to volunteer, as I did at this past weekend’s Writers League of Texas Agents & Editors Conference, which I wrapped up in this post.

Continue reading

Writers League of Texas Agents & Editors Conference 2021 Wrap-Up

For those new here or who’ve forgotten, this blog is an outgrowth of all my bicycling. In turn, that has spawned a manuscript. Books don’t just publish themselves, and it’s an epic battle to get it done and revised, and like a war to get it published. So I spent most of the past weekend at a nice hotel in downtown Austin on the south shore of Town Lake at the Writers League of Texas conference. This is my summation.

Continue reading

Si, Se Bici: Yes, Latinx People Ride Bicycles

Texas used to be part of Mexico, and 40% of its inhabitants are Hispanic. for our neighbor to the immediate south, Mexico, which celebrated its independence from Spain on September 16. The day before was Independence Day in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month in the US. Since I’ve written about Asian Americans, African Americans, Native Americans in relation to cycling, it’s high time I highlighted Hispanics who bike.

Continue reading

All the Road’s A-Rage, and We Are Merely Cyclists

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that riding a bicycle on urban streets is a risky proposition in most cities in America. In my city, Austin, Texas, we have a decent amount of bicycle infrastructure. Better than some, worse than others. Amsterdam it’s not, and we still have to contend with all manner of things that could drive one to drink. Number one is drunk or otherwise distracted drivers. And a lot of those people aren’t swigging booze, they’re guzzling down the rage-ahol. And sometimes when things go badly, we cyclists get plenty angry, too. To quote the original Dr. Bruce Banner to the reporter Jack“Mr. McGee, don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

Continue reading

Solo v. Group Cyclists: Sad and Lonely, or So Happy Together?

For some time even before the Great Plague of 2020-20??, I mostly rode my bicycle by myself. When Coronavirus hit, and health rules didn’t prevent bike riding but discouraged doing so with others, nothing much changed for me. Sure, I’d go to the occasional social cycling ride, or a friend might join me sometimes. But for the most part, I was Forrest Gump on a two-wheeler. I Just. Kept. Bicycling. Things sort of relaxed, with some people getting vaccines (including moi), then they got worse again with the Delta variant. Still, I have ridden every day of the pandemic and then some — 23 months straight as of 9/11/2021. But am I happy or sad about being on my own? As usual, it’s not a simple answer.

Continue reading

Austin Bike News Roundup for September 7, 2021

These Austin Bike News Roundups appear sporadically, usually when I grow bored of writing about myself and notice enough newsworthy items to share. If I were a more organized writer (a planner, not a panstser) and a more energetic dude in general, I might solicit entries from local bike shops and groups and publish them on a regular basis. If I had more actual readers living in Austin, and some income from doing them (like sponsorships), then it would make more sense. And, if I were a rich man ya ba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dum… Of course I’m not rich, yet still I write this blog. Why? I cannot say. Oy vey.

Continue reading

August 2021 Strava Stats – Still Summer

August is gone. Autumn’s approaching and with it pleasant weather conditions more favorable to bicycling and walking. Despite last month being wetter and cooler than usual, we only had three 100+ F days, one to end the month, and another two, two 99’s, and another 100 forecast to start September. So, it’s still summer in Central Texas. As I look back at my activity statistics, to the hottest month, I say this (quoting a former Texas governor who didn’t know the microphone was on): “Adios, mofo!” But hey, I’m not doing too poorly if you noticed I passed 30,000 lifetime miles the other day.

Continue reading

Fart Club: Protocol for Pootin’ in the Peloton

The first rule of Fart Club is that you never talk about Fart Club. The second rule of Fart Club is that you should never fart while bicycling in a group — unless you can figure out how to do it and not get caught. (For you Chuck Palhaniuk purists, when CP wrote Fight Club, he was talking about fighting, not farting, so rule two is what I say it is.) The latter is a taboo subject (tab-poo?), but I’m gonna go ahead talk about it. But I must include this disclaimer: I’ve never farted on a bike ride, like ever. I’m too classy. This is all data I heard from other people. Anyway, I’ll understand if this ain’t yo cuppa tea, however, I think you’ll find it refreshing. If you don’t, well, to quote the Fresh Prince of Belair: “Yo homes, smell ya later!” I hope you’ll stick around. Like a bad, well, you know…

Continue reading

Going Postal: Apparently We All Can’t Get Along

Half-descended from a nomadic people, and with the high, High, HIGH cost of rent in Austin(tatious), Texas, I tend to move around a lot. Realizing that would be my lot when I first returned here after surviving Y2K, I rented a mail box at the downtown post office. No matter where I was living (always within a five mile radius north or east), I figured it would also force me to hop on my bicycle and ride down to El Centro at least once a week. (“It’s ALL downtown, George,” said Jerry on Seinfeld.) It was on Guadalupe Street for many years, but a while back it moved to Congress Avenue. And anything named after that junction of dysfunction — Congress being the opposite of Progress — is bound to have problems. I saw one tonight.

Continue reading