On the eve of the US mid-term elections, at which I will work a 14-hour day, many thoughts are swirling for A Dude. Will the pendulum swing back a smidge to the left? Who will win and who will lose? Will it really matter to the average dude? Those are rhetorical until the results are in. But I have burniong questions of a more personal nature for myself, too. How were my stats in October? What are my goals for November? I’m having a new ache, could it be related to my brake? And most importantly, What’s for supper? So here’s a short post addressing some of these pressing queries.
It was no September, but I still put in a solid month. Note that the 507.1 mile total includes my daily walk of about 1.3-1.7 miles, so cycling was 460-ish. I also went uphill a total of over 13,123 feet. Notice the time? I spent 64 hours friggin’ biking and walking (the latter was 16 hours of that). Add that to my daily half hour of yoga (another 16 hours), writing (at least that, as this or my book certainly take more than the 30 minutes I plan to write), and that’s a serious time I’m investing. While I’m not getting paid back in money, and maybe never will, I’m still doing 2018 like a champ. I’m fighting to continue creating even as the wolves of rent money, food money, medical money and so on are circling the camp.
The main thing to know about my biking is that while I’m not winning any awards for speed, distance or elevation, I’m within a few hundred miles of spitting distance of my revised goal of 4,000 miles. I’ll probably pass that, too. So November will be more of the same, as will December, but factoring in weather, holidays, etc. We shall see. Bills must be paid. And that will be the major question that I continue to struggle with for the rest of this year into next: How do I balance my activities that I want to do with reality?
Nine Photographs from My Weekend
Breakfast of spinach, turkey bacon, poached eggs, salsa, potatoes (technically today but still weekend for me); “Elect a clown, expect a circus” bumper sticker (with Purple Heart veteran’s license!) – so don’t elect clowns; and my neighborhood library branch re-opened after months of refurbishment.
Your friendly blogger next to an iconic Big Boy statue, which was quite a find and a fun picture; Francesca from Dolce Basio, half an Italian couple that makes delicious gelato; and Saurabh in front of El Chilito (that dude will pick eating tacos over cycling every single time), but I had a bowl of pork, beans and onions (no tortillas).
Brilliant sunset over Southern Walnut Creek Trail, which I rode solo Sunday night 25 mi.; a pond with reflected clouds and sunset further up the SWCT; and Sophie the Fairdale Weekender Archer posing on a bridge over Town Lake, Austin, Texas.
I just wrote about it in my last post. I have to be up at the ass-crack of dawn to cycle five miles to work 14 hours and get paid not that much. But I believe it’s a worthy effort, despite all the hype, campaign money, negativity and stress. Because while voting for national and state candidates may have little bearing directly on my life and that of those around me, or even those overseas, it may very well. Politics DO matter, even if they’re distasteful to watch or listen to on a regular basis. “Think globablly, act locally” is still a good idea, not just a bumper sticker. That’s what I’ll keep in mind when I consider my moment in the voting booth for parks, housing, schools, bike lanes and sidewalks, and so on.
So yes, voting, and what you vote for, matters quite a lot. Much will be written and said about who “wins,” but only history can really say. The best we can hope for is some “harm reduction” — what social workers dealing with behaviors like addiction call making better choices. Clean your needle before sharing it. Work towards getting into recovery later.
Anyway, hopefully those of us in the US and anywhere else there are elections get to exercise your franchise safely, peacefully and nonviolently. While you’re at it, why not vote with your legs and bike to the polls? A Dude Abikes certainly will be. And what will you do on November 7th? Go volunteer for your local bike advocacy group to make biking and walking safer with improved infrastructure. Sign up for a charity fundraising bike ride. Join as a member of the League of American Bicyclists. What you do isn’t as important that you DO SOMETHING. Voting is one day. Society still needs us the other 364.
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