Surviving the Summer Heat on a Bicycle

As temperatures in Texas and around the world are heating up — Central Texas had the hottest May on record — dealing with it becomes even more important.  For cyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts, there are precautions that can be taken and practices implemented to mitigate the effects.  But as global warming increases (and I side with the 97% of scientists who use, well, SCIENCE, to prove that it’s real), there may come a day where cycling at any time of day and season will no longer be possible.  We have plenty of blistering hot days as it is that make biking untenable for many people. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are real risks, and you should learn the difference and seek help if you are suffering from either.  This is not an exhaustive scientific post, but below I will share a few of my approaches that may be good reminders or news to you. Continue reading

4 Appointments and 1 Funeral = 0 Miles Bicycled Today

The other day I was gifted the use of a car by a super nice friend during their extended summer vacation.  It’s promising to be a hotter-than-usual summer here in Central Texas, USA (oh wait, it’s still only spring), so this is a real nice luxury for A Dude. Compared to me on my bike, cars are efficient, fast and comfortable.  I can arrive places without being sweaty, tired and gross.  Or transport stuff.  Take Sunday drives.  Drive getaway in exciting capers.  (Just kidding!)

The down sides are, as most people know, that cars pollute, lots of other people have them and get in the way, and they cost a lot of money. A problem specific to less gifted bicyclists who gut out the miles anyway (like moi) is that getting out of an air-conditioned vehicle that takes little energy to operate and then onto a bike which takes alot of energy is quite difficult, psychologically speaking. Especially when you’re tired, which I seem to be most of the time these days. A First World dilemma for sure, but it’s real to me who put in seven 100+ mile weeks in a row. So what’s A Dude to do?

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Coaching Your Self With Compassion Instead of Criticism

The other day I had a rare headache, and someone near me said, “Why not try some alternate nostril breathing?”  I did, and it helped.  Then the little voice in my head kicked in, and I started kicking myself.  “Why didn’t you think of that before?” it mocked.  “Why don’t you do more pranayam every day?” it jeered.  And so on.  If you’re at all like me, the inner critic is never far from bursting through the front door of our conscious mind and raining on our parade, to mix metaphors.

Have you ever noticed that we don’t have a name for the inner compassionate person?  But we should.  Our inner Dalai Lama, perhaps, or whatever spiritual teacher may appeal to you.  But after my last post about yoga, I’ve been thinking about the other limbs of the yogic path, and self-compassion is a big one.  So here are some thoughts that might help you, whether it’s starting or maintaining a regular practice of writing, walking, yoga, cycling or whatever, just being better with your self.  Or maybe becoming the next President of the United States, a job which should be coming open pretty soon, from the looks of it.  A Dude can dream. Continue reading

4.5 Years of Daily Yoga Practice: How It Helps My Bicycling and Can Help Yours

1,634 days is a long time to do something consecutively, but today, June 6, 2018, marks that anniversary for me.  Back on December 6, 2013, I began a regular yoga practice of 30 minutes per day.  (It was actually 12/4/13, but I missed two days early on so I move the anniversary date up two days. If you want to get technical my anniversary is 12/25.)  The point is that I have continued practicing yoga ever since, every day – without interruption – at all.  I resolved to follow some advice I didn’t have words for at the time:  Don’t Break The Chain, when I blogged about forming habits back on January 2.  It’s ironic to be proud of what at heart is an humbling and internal practice.  But important milestones bear acknowledgement, and since a major thrust of this blog is to try to inspire people, my yoga is a major component of that goal, as well as my life.  Continue reading

Paul Simon: Poet, Musician, Legend

Paul Simon and his band played the large concert Frank C. Erwin Jr. Center in Austin, Texas tonight.  I hesitate to even attempt to review the show, but I can certainly try to put in words the emotions his music evoked and other thoughts that come to mind.  Even that is hard, because he is such an important part of American music for over 60 years.  He’s a winner of countless awards, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, 13-time Grammy winner, actor, had music featured in movies (notably The Graduate) and much more.  There are popular musicians who become famous, but some are at the next level, and he’s one of the greats for sure. Continue reading

543 Miles in May 2018: My Next Best Month on the Bicycle Ever!

To say that I rode my bike alot in May is an understatement. 543 miles is 125 miles per week and almost 18 miles per day. My activity app Strava, paired with my Garmin GPS watch, are fairly accurate. Believe me, I feel it in my bones. Also, this was the hottest documented month of May in Central Texas ever. So I’m feeling pretty happy about that accomplishment, seeing how my original goal for this year was 50 miles per week. It could all change in a moment, and there are some things on the horizon which may mean I’m spending less time on the bike. But that’s all fine. For now, I’m satisfied that I still have some legs. Oh, and I also walked 45 miles. Today is a well-deserved rest day, so let’s dig into the stats a bit, shall we?

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