As usual on book writing days, I’m posting photographs, for now at least. I hope you like them! Although I biked a total of 21 miles, I called this Small Saturday, taking off from the huge Mexican TV Show, Gigantic Saturday (Sabado Gigante). As always, you can access my bicycle riding stats, maps and other photos on the A Dude Abikes Strava feed. If you’re on Strava, you’re welcome to please follow me there as well as here. Thank you for visiting my blog! Y’all come back now, ya’ hea! (A common Texanism.) Continue reading
Good news! I just saved a bunch of money on car insurance! That’s because I don’t have a car! There is more in the good news department, according an article on Gizmodo, “A Lifetime of Cycling Keeps the Immune System Young, Study Finds.” First published in Aging Cell, the study tested older people who were active and inactive, as well as inactive young people. The immune systems of what the scientists called “non-elite older individuals (master cyclists)” and the younger sedentary ones were similar. Hey I like the sound of that, “master cyclist!”
I’m beginning to wonder if posting photos on my book-writing days is worthwhile. It steals focus from my last written post. But it’s nice to have something posted every day. Some people put up one picture, a 17-word haiku or even less than that, and that’s it. Plus I like sharing photos and snippets of my day for those who are interested. But it’s hard to tell what interests you, Dear Reader. Continue reading
It was a dark and rainy morning. After a late night re-creating my blog that the crappy wifi connection ate (I’ve since installed a wifi extender), I awoke to thunder and lightning. So I padded over to the toilet, the one that is inside the shower stall, Asian-style. Job done, I stumbled back to the cubby hole that my bed is in, drew the curtains, and slept as long as I could. I dreamt vividly, but of what is now shrouded in the folds of my hippocampus. Which always sounds like a university for hippopotamuses. Or hippopotami, to use the correct Latin. I awoke in a foul mood.
Today was another day of walking, yoga, and writing, as well as biking to an appointment and a movie. Since every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday for now) are book writing days, I’m normally just posting a few photos. But I cain’t quit you, WordPress! So here are a few tidbits. Continue reading
Dale Thele is an author. If there’s one thing I took away from the very generous amount of time we spent together at a coffee shop today, is that to think of oneself as an author (or writer, if you prefer), is important. No, it does not make you good, or increase your chances of publication.
But, thinking of oneself that way is one key to behaving that way. Writers write, right? (Do authors auth?) Luckily, I took away alot more than that one thing, and as Dale was happy to share them with me, he’s happy for me to share them with all 168 of my followers and any new visitors.
I’ve seen other bloggers do this and am intrigued. Here are the guidelines as I see them; if you have better ideas let me know.
1. It has to be about a bicycle. Can be fiction, but better would be if you went on a bike ride and took a few pictures. Continue reading
Sun & Ski Sports has been one of A Dude Abikes’s go-to shops since he participated in the Mamma Jamma Ride to Beat Breast Cancer in 2015. A representative of the store was at a training ride and offered a really generous discount on repairs and parts for participants. I took him up on that and found that my old mechanic from a local shop was now was there.
So it felt like kismet, and they always treat me right, so I keep going back. In this post I’ll have some photos of the shop and let you know a few things about it. By the way, if this sounds like a commercial, it is not a sponsored post — I actually do shop here and believe in the store and everything I’ve written below. But hey, Sun & Ski, if you love this, let A Dude know!
Origins, Selection and Locations
Sun & Ski started in 1980 as Tennis & Ski as mostly a snow sports shop. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, and now with 30 stores from Colorado to Massachusetts, they have a wide selection. From bikes and accessories (sunbelt) and patio furniture (northeast), outdoor clothing, camping gear, swimwear, running apparel, Garmin, Go Pro and other technology, sunglasses, and lots more, you’ll find it. For the full selection, see www.SundandSki.com and here’s a full list of brands.
One of the benefits to shopping at Sun & Ski is that because of their size, they can get good pricing from suppliers. But unlike big box stores, they don’t carry every single sporting item under the sun. This combination of a good selection and good pricing makes them a better option for many items. I got a great pair of Vasquez hiking boots for my big trip up north in 2016. (See my blog post Mountain Time: Biking and Hiking the Dakotas, Montana and Wyoming.)
Good Customer Service Really Is Important
On top of selection and price is customer service. I’ve never had a bad experience at this store, at least not one I can remember. A few times when it was really busy, I’ve waited longer than I wanted, but that’s life. All the workers there are friendly and knowledgable. Nobody’s perfect, but they do their best to do a good job and often go above and beyond.
Mike the bike shop manager takes time to explain any issues. He’ll make suggestions on what my options are for either parts, repairs or accessories knowing that I’m on a low budget. If he thinks I can save money by buying the part and fixing something myself, he’ll tell me. And sometimes I do go to Austin Yellow Bike Project. But usually I’d rather have a pro do it. This is not always the case at some other bike shops, I’ve noticed. I’ve given shout outs to other great local shops before, though.
Another perk is is the return policy. They will work with you to come up with a good solution if you buy something that doesn’t work. Of course, save that receipt and don’t wait too long!
Repair is Top Notch
The shop has a variety of service levels for different needs. They won’t overcharge you for a full tune-up if you just need a new tire. I’ve had wheels rebuilt, drive train overhauled, wheels trued, brake and shifter cables replaced, and plenty of other work done to the old Fuji Silhouette. I ended up putting alot more miles on it than anyone expected, but they were still happy to work on the bike.
So they are definitely NOT “bike snobs” who will only talk to you if you have a really expensive bike. Because of their good work, buying a new bike has not been needed. Of course I want a way fancier bike than my budget allows. They do have a layaway and credit programs if that interests you.
In Summation (Or Sunnation, if You Prefer)
There’s alot more to say about the store, like the other departments, directions, hours, and so on. Alot of that you can find on their website. But I mostly just know about the bike shop, so I’ve limited my comments to that. Overall, it’s a great place that I enjoy visiting when I’m cycling by on my way to Shoal Creek as I was tonight or to other parts west, even when I don’t need to buy something.
If you’re near a Sun & Ski and haven’t checked one out before, you might want to go on by. If not, you can look at their website and see if they have anything you want. Tell ’em A Dude sent ya! Of course if it’s not in Austin they’re going to say who?
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Book writing day again.
Copyright 2018 A Dude Abikes. All rights reserved.