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Origins: A Dude Walks Into His Doctor’s Office…
One day A Dude Abikes was sitting in a doctor’s office (ear, nose and throat Doc Slaughter, as I recall). We’re talking bikes, since he rides a bit. Apologetically, he leans in, with a whisper, and says, “This is gonna sound a little wrong, but it’s a good thing. It’s when you ride your bike alot, it’s called ‘Time In The Saddle.'” I must have cocked my head to the side with a quizzical look on my face like some befuddled beagle. He grinned conspiratorially, and said, “Think about the acronym.” He waited a second for me to figure it out. I must have grinned back a little, because he relaxed when I realized what it spelled and wasn’t going to nail him for being a MCP (Male Chauvinist Pig). (Remember that phrase?)
I don’t remember what I said exactly, but it was something along the lines of “Yeah, well, you’re right, that sounds kinda sexist, but it is just an acronym, and you’re a doctor, so it’s ok. And I sure am putting in alot of T.I.T.S.!” (By the way, while the acronym is in jest, my pro-feminist credentials are legit: reared by a single feminist mother who attended bra-burning protests, a member of S.M.A.S.H. (Seattle Men Against Sexual Harassment), ally to breast cancer survivors, and actual and genuine respect for women in general — particularly bad-ass ones on bikes!).
And so it began, Dear Reader, a kernel, an aerola, nay a mere nipple of an idea that has now come to bloom and bust out all over into fruition. And here it is in its simple, sexy elegance, the A Dude Abikes Custom Jersey in all its glory for your sumptuous viewing pleasure:
Breast Cancer Sucks; Bike Riding to Fundraise Un-Sucks
Frequent readers of this infrequent blog (are you out there?) or those knowledgeable of A Dude’s bicycling journey (pun intended) know his first charity ride was the Hill Country Ride for AIDS. The Mamma Jamma Ride to Beat Breast Cancer was an off-shoot of the HCRA. It shared an office two blocks from my job, so I’d heard about it. Some riders asked if I was going to do it, and just seemed like a good way to keep up my training, have fun, and meet some actual lady people. (They’re often scare on group rides for obvious reasons. Dudes with too much, you know, un-Dudeness, aka aggression.)
With people close to me having either died from IT or surviving IT, the ride was a no-brainer. This was also about the same time an old friend gave me a used bike, which then led to my relationship with Sun & Ski Sports, who offered repairs at a 35% discount for registered riders. Some of the team names were: Titties and Beer, Save the Nipple, Beer and Boobs, and so on. So they had a little fun with a serious issue: 1 in 8 Women get IT. You probably know someone who had or has it. So I figured I could do my little bit.
And I did. I rode 57 miles (going back out after 40-something to add distance) and raised about $1,400. Not too shabby. But one point during the ride, I was bonking hard. I was on a long, straight, exposed stretch of road. It was late September in Texas and it’s still summer. Windy, hot, probably 35 miles in. There were literally vultures or buzzards circling above me — but no roadkill visible. I was sure I was about to become carrion myself. The vile birds pecking out my eyes with their pointy, razor-sharp beaks and then gobbling down my flesh with wild abandon as my screams go unheard into the scrub brush-covered fields.
Then a guy appears out of nowhere and asks if I’m alright. I said “Not really.” So he rode with me for a while until he saw I was going to make it to the next rest stop. Such is the nature of the bicycling community: there’s almost always someone there to offer you a fresh inner tube when you’ve punctured, or a snack when you’re out, or moral support to keep going. So I survived to tell this tale. I finished the ride. But many women (and some men) don’t survive. Breast cancer has come to visit other people I know, and at least twice a year I want to make the miles matter, to mean something. So now I’m doing it again. And I hope you’ll help.
And Now Let’s Hear… The Rest… of the Story
I previously wrote about T.I.T.S. in an early post on this blog, and I used to joke about it with two friends who used to ride with me fairly regularly. And anyone who would listen, really. I even said let’s have a team named that. One guy is now a seriously fast runner, and the other is off playing basketball and stuff. Both still ride here and there, but almost never with A Dude. But now I have the team and jersey to go with it anyway. Granted, only two other people are on the team, and only one of them is getting the jersey for this ride, but you’ve gotta start somewhere.
The other part was that I happened to see on a neighborhood list an ad from a guy who did his own t-shirts. I emailed to ask if he could do a bike jersey. He said yes. And we began communicating about what it would look like, cost, etc. One day, I was walking to the pool for one of my short 15′ swims (that’s all A Dude can handle without fatiguing — you have to use your arms, can you believe that?). And there’s a guy with a t-shirt factory set up in his garage. I say “Hey” and go, “Are you Joe?” And he says, “Yes. Are you A Dude?” And so I says to the guy, “Yes.” Thus began a number of emails and texts, and then a long art session, and finally ordering and printing, which led to the jersey you see before you. So although the concept and some of the design were mine like using a retro font, Joe found the Keep on Truckin’ one, a big huge thanks has to go to Design Dog Tees for making it so, numbah one. Git ‘er done!
Getting My T.I.T.S. Up
Alot could be said about my riding — how I have an injury I’ve been nursing myself back from (but have the doctor’s ok to do it. Not the same doc as above, but another one. One who has some very nice T.I.T.S. herself — Time In The Saucony’s. Because she’s a long distance runner who will go out to Big Bend or wherever and do 50 kilometers of trail running. That’s about 33 miles in old money. So, yeah, if she says it’s ok, it’s ok.) Or why I have not been writing blogs. A story for another time. Or not. But I can tell you that as of this writing, A Dude has these stats to the right. For now, since this blog is getting long, I’ll refer you to my Strava feed for my training rides, with lots of photos and fun titles. Here’s one in particular you might like: Dayum! Loop w/MJR $100 Donor Aaron Klijn. Like Tine. Stick a Fork in Me, I’m Done!
Be a Mensch and Buy a Jersey, Already, Why Doncha?
As for ordering your very own ADAB jersey, I don’t have that all set up yet, but if you’re interested, let me know. I’ve already sold a grand total of one to teammate Bill. But Joe will work with us. The price will be at cost plus a little to help keep A Dude in fresh bananas and bike snax. (Which reminds me, I may someday be able to be the proud owner of a Team Snacks kit. It’s an all women’s team but they do allow Snacker Backers. I can dream.)
Anyway, hell, I’ll even autograph the jersey for you for a little bit more. Not that anyone knows who I am, that I’ve done anything remotely autograph-worthy, or even that anyone who rides a bike who aren’t my parents are actually reading this. I’m sure that it’s going to be about as popular as US President #45’s recent speech threatening to blow up several countries at the United Nations. See? A Dude isn’t just about riding bikes or watching the new TV season to distract him from his day job. He’s topical!
Anyway, if you’re real and you really want one of my jerseys:
A) that’s a miracle,
B) you’re awesome, and
C) just reply to this blog post and we’ll figure it out.
Seriously: You Should Give $$$ to Support Survivors.
Here’s why, and where it goes:
Thanks for reading, if you did. If you didn’t, then does this sentence even exist? A Dude doesn’t know. Or if he does, he isn’t saying. By the way, did you know these blog posts take hours to write, insert photos, images and art, edit and try to make look decent and coherent? They do.
Bike on, or walk, or swim, or whatever you do!
— A Dude Abikes
Here’s my link to donate one more time:
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