The idea of reviewing books about bicycling has been in the back of my brain for a bunch of blogs. But I have Milly Schmidt from Australia (The Cat’s Write) and Shalini from India (Books, Reviews et al. by Shalini) to thank for reminding me that writing in different genres is perfectly acceptable (despite what some pro bloggers may say) and that reviewing books is a good thing to do for aspiring writers. I’ve just finished award-winning Walter’s Mosley’s Charcoal Joe: An Easy Rawlins Mystery, so don’t be blue. Without further ado, here is A Dude Abikes’ review. For you. It’s true! And brand new. Continue reading
Mi Segunda Eferto Hacer Un Blog En Español
Esto es mi segundo post en español. Les pido que me disculpen los errores al principio. No sé por qué, pero hoy fue un día larga y difícil. Por eso, estoy cansado y aunque quisiera escribir una entrada breve. También, me da cuenta de que la palabra más popular en mis estadísticas es bici. Por supuesto, quiero atraer visitantes a mi blog quienes son de países de Latinoamérica y España, debido al mi historia en visitar Guatemala en dos ocasiones, México para pasar hasta Guate, y España. Algún día tal vez puedo visitar a otro país como Colombia, Ecuador o todo los demás. Mas que todo, necesito desarrollar mis habilidades hablar y escribir. Esto está hecho por mano, no por traductor, pero intento añadir acentos usando Word. Continue reading
In a week’s time I’ll be back in my room in the busy, noisy, stinking city. The car will be returned to its owners and the process of “re-dogging” will take place. Over four long days I’ll be volunteering for the very large South by Southwest convention (SXSW). That will allow me to see most of the shows except sold-out headliners for free and hopefully do some networking, learning and basically being a tourist in my own town. A luxury of which being employed full-time has deprived me for almost two decades. I’m due for a little fun, especially in the “Live Music Capital of the World.” My search for relevant, rewarding and non-boring work will continue. As will this blog, I hope, but in reduced form while I also hope to re-start working on my book of biking 10,000 miles in 2 years. With these changes on the horizon, it seemed like a good day to reflect.
Bikes Are Colorblind, They Just Want to Be Ridden
It’s Black History Month in the United States of America, so it would be bad form for a progressive to not pay homage to that (which I did earlier when mentioning the impact of the Black Panther movie) Some people have the mistaken belief that only rich white men in Spandex ride bicycles. They are wrong.
Where I live, I frequently see people of color riding bicycles, usually at night, apparently commuting home from work. They usually don’t have lights or helmets or fancy bikes. But they are cyclists just the same, risking their lives to go about their lives, which includes transporting themselves with their own people power. Leonel Hernandez, who died last month, was one of them.
Today, within the space of 10 minutes, I met a black dude named Ivory and a couple from Thailand named Nukul and Rung, each on a bike. You really meet the coolest people on bikes — of whatever color, status or nationality. You never would probably barely even see them from your motorized steel pollution cage.
The Needle Keeps Skipping on My DEF Jam Records
(Doubt, Embarrassment Fear = DEF) I’ve had a lot of DOUBT about my abilities to bicycle very far or fast, and especially on this hilly road. This has been a source of EMBARRASSMENT to me as someone who was featured in the paper for riding his bike a long way, not to mention being a blogger about bicycling. And due to two recent deaths of people on bikes, I’ve had alot of FEAR. After yesterday’s post about faith, both religious and secular, I felt a parting in the metaphysical clouds, which mirrored those in the sky letting in enough sun to dry the road sufficiently as it also warmed the earth. So I got on my bicycle, and being A friendly Dude, I brought my friends along for the ride. You can come along too as I describe it.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
– The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A Dude attended a presentation sponsored by his weekly job search group today. It was about how to make brain science work for, not against us. The presenter asked an attender if she had faith. She paused and said, “Well, if you mean like in organized religion, no.” The presenter said something like, “Well, do you have faith the sun is going to come up tomorrow?” “Of course,” she answered. And that got me thinking. (I have a thinking problem, actually. I’m trying to cut back. Ha ha!) Thinking usually leads to writing, and lately not journaling as much as weblogging. So in what do I have faith? Continue reading
A Dude Abikes Likes: Some Nutrition Bars
Much has and will be written about sports nutrition. Your mileage with various sports bars may quite literally vary based on which tyipe and how many you stuff down your grocery face hole, age, weight, hydration, genes, favorite color, etc. Point is, this is a just one dude’s blog post with a few tips, not an exhaustive scientific review. Hopefully they will be of some use to you. If you have other experiences or ideas, please share them in the comment section. Continue reading
The Downsides of Country Livin’
- Solitude is nice — unless you’ve caught the cabin on fire, a coyote is making a meal of your leg, or you’re out of salsa.
- Well water, especially the hot stuff, literally smells like rotten eggs, because it has sulfur in it.
- You can’t find your own ass after dark without a flashlight. Some scenes from the classic 1974 horror movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre were filmed not 10 miles from here. See the dark picture up there? Spooky. ‘Nuff said!
- Save for that one time the neighbors showed up on their daily walk and I was dead asleep in a nap, the roar of airplanes, the howling of coyotes, the very loud rain on the tin roof, and even louder electric or fire hazard gas heaters, it’s really mellow and safe out here.
- Speaking of heaters, it’s cold or hot until you turn something on. So peeing in a bucket at night is what you do to avoid a chilly trip to the bathroom.
- Tonight I couldn’t find a plug for a light in the dark, and hit my forehead on a shelf I forgot was there. Then I tepped off the raised floor in the living room and nearly fell over. Still couldn’t find a light. Stumbled into the bedroom. Cabins!
- The road is gravel, dirt, clay and mud — bad for cars and horrible for bikes. It’s getting really boring walking back and forth.
- You can literally be up the creek. Because of the steep incline, you could be trapped here in a gullywasher. (That’s the scientific term in Texan for flash flood.)
- The paved road to get in has no shoulder but does have hairpin turns, crazy hills, and speeders, drunks, or speeding drunks. Not fun for cycling although people do it. You gotta have a car out here and once you’re on the highway, it’s always a drive and rush hour is a big hot mess.
- The neighbors are all polite so far, and a few are model citizens who help with the dog or house, or give a city boy advice. But some are pretty private or their dogs don’t play well with others. I’m also still waiting on that first home-made pie. Like Waiting for Godot, I imagine.
- Coyotes, bobcats and snakes, oh my! Haven’t seen any of them, have heard the wild dogs, but I did see a mouse in the house.
The Upsides of Livin’ in the Country
- Things and time do move more slowly. I’m good with that!
- Peeing outside is pretty cool, especially if you’re a dude.
- Nobody cares if you’re nekkid. Elaine on Seinfeld is still right though, “Naked is not a good look for a man.”
- Peace and quiet, very little traffic noise. Nothing compared to where I stay in the city with its garbage trucks waking you up at 7 am, cop/fire/EMS sirens and Jehovah’s witness.
- All the comforts of home, heat, wi-fi, running water, electricity, but none of the pollution.
You don’t need to lock the doors; if there’s crime I haven’t heard about it.
- Being surrounded by the natural world of trees, dirt, birds, and wildlife is how we’re supposed to live.
- “The stars at night / are big and bright / [clap clap clap clap] / deep in the heart of Texas.” (It’s the fight song of the University of Texas Longhorn sports teams.)
- Compost right in the garden, or anywhere.
- There’s a lot less to distract you so you tend to do more walking, thinking, resting and reading, and a lot less stress eating, tv-watching, or going on wasted trips to fast food or convenience stores.
- Buddy the dog may be the happiest dog around and he’s what his owner called strong medicine. I need my Buddy prescription refilled please, doctor!
I could go on but I think you get the point: I really like the number 11. (Well, it’s true, I do! Because one plus one makes two!) But seriously, it’s different, but it’s still life.
- No biking, still too cold and wet, and I wimped out on a trainer ride, using how it bothers the dog as a reason/excuse. That means tomorrow I’ll have to do SOMETHING.
- Mosley’s book is really good; I feel like I know the characters and they have something to say about the time and place — black people in Los Angeles in the late 1950’s. I didn’t consciously check this book out of the library because he’s an African-American author and it’s Black History Month (yes, the shortest one, but perhaps the most powerful becauese of that!), but it’s interesting timing along with just seeing the reception of the movie Black Panther.
- There has been conversation about it serving as a real role model for young kids of color who usually don’t have a super hero who looks like them on the big silver screen. I’m also in touch with a Kenyan blogger, Twalha Fakhi, who lives in Kenya. I’ve really enjoyed a few of her posts and her nice comments about mine. Go check out her blog, Cafe ave Twali!
- Speaking of Kenya, the movie, and Africans and African-Americans, here’s a link to an interesting Washington Post interview with Larry Madowo by Karen Attiah, Global Opinions Editor. He’s a Kenyan journalist and broadcaster.
- Cleaner diet, higher energy and better sleep, plus catching some TV shows and movies, and of course bicycling are things still not happening as much as I’d like.
- Walking, yoga, work searching and networking, reading, blogging and engaging with other bloggers, plus typing for a friend — all these things are happening. As a Libra, I’m always searching for balance. Soon, having to work will probably wipe out alot of my extracurricular activities. Such is life. C’est la vie. Asi es la vida.
- Or, to quote Austin-area resident, Lincoln talks-to-himself spokesmodel and Oscar-winner Matthew McConaghey: “Just keep livin’.”
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Newer fellow bloggers may find this of interest, and more experienced ones may have something to chime in about. I can publish a blog, but that’s about it. Hiring a webmaster is not in the budget, so unless one jumps out of the bushes (a distinct possibility out here in the country – but probably something creepier), learning how to improve www.ADudeAbikes.com is up to me. So I attended a class. I also had an interesting conversation with a mentor from SCORE, a program of the Small Business Administration that I will summarize. And oh, I received my 100th follower of my blog today! Continue reading
NOTE: Many folks may not have seen my Sunday, February 18th post, which I had inexcplicably moved to the trash and didn’t notice all day. I restored it and would love for you to read it, so here is the link for “27-Mile Brushy Creek Trail Ride + Peddler Bike Shop Stop.” After all, a blog mostly about bikes needs some ride reports sometimes!
Andrew Tilin: Rest In Peace
Today’s post is more bad news, I’m very sorry to report. Yet another Austin cyclist, Andrew Tilin, was killed on Saturday, February 17, the same day I wrote about Leonel Hernandez, who was killed under mysterious circumstances back on January 29. There isn’t even a picture of Hernandez available yet that I can find. There are photos of Tilin, still young and in the prime of his life in his 40’s. I didn’t know him but I’m heartbroken for those who did. Continue reading