Friday Night Fights: Fatigue v. A Dude Abikes + Winter Trail of Lights in Austin, Texas

Maybe biking 102 miles in 5 days in cold, grey and at times very windy conditions with my, Sophie’s and backpack weights combined, not lubricating the chain since the rain until Wednesday at Yellow Bike Project, a rear disc brake caliper that was rubbing on the rotor and slowing me down til Brandon figured it out at Sun & Ski Sports last night, plus being low on sleep and other stuff has something to do with being very tired. Nah, those are excuses. I think the reason is alien abductions. All their probing, er, I mean, questions are exhausting!  Point being, I’m biking alot to make my upwardly revised goal, and I’m tired.  But not too tired to complain — I mean write about it in my blog — and share some more photos and statistics. Continue reading

Recent Days Biking and Walking in Austin, Texas as Told Through Photos and Words

Lacking some inspiration I looked back at the last week in photos.  They tell a tale of my ongoing journey cycling through Austin.

Yellow Bike Project chalkboard.

Tonight I went to Yellow Bike Project again to work on Sophie.  For the first time, I left with something that wasn’t better than went I arrived.  Disc brakes can be tricky and for some reason my rear one on the Fairdale isn’t working right.  I’ll need to return Monday when a coordinator more familiar with the brakes is there, but more likely I’ll head by a bike shop.  It’s it’s important to be able to stop!

I don’t mention my diet much these days, but below is one brunch I prepared.  Also, I worked nine days of early voting and the final election day.  Compared to the recent mid-terms with many questions on the ballot, only five races had runoffs, so turnout was very low.  It gave me time to do some reading.  A David Baldacci thriller The Fix, and parts of Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich.  I also got more into Tim Ferris’s The Four-Hour Work Week and the Austin Chronicle.  I do not fare well at crosswords.

It’s nice the word for “go vote” is spelled the same in Spanish and  English.

A brunch of eggs, turkey sausage, avocado, red and sweet potato, cheese, onion, salsa, and blue Powerade Zero. Blue’s a flavor, but unnatural.

On a walk before biking, I found this cool blue bike rack made to look like a bike.

I’m still doing my daily walking.  One way I make sure to get in my 30 minutes is to walk on my way somewhere and then bike the rest.  Or if I’m in a hurry and it’s close by, I bike there and then walk home.  It’s a handy trick and I often see something cool, like the above bike rack.  I don’t always put all the pictures here, though.  For that, you will need to follow me on Strava, the fitness app. That link will take you to my profile.

 

Chanukah at the house of two friends involved a number of brightly lit menorahs, a variety of foods, and hanging out and talking.  I missed the candle lighting and if there were any prayers, but it was not an orthodox religious event.  It’s nice to connect with that part of my heritage (which I wrote about in the post Bicyclists & Jews: Both Are Targets (But They Should Not Be) and hang out with others who may not be traditionally observant but who identify ethnically.  As one comedian put it, “(he’s) not a Jew, he’s Jew-ish.”  Joking aside, I think one can be both.  But speaking of that uniquely Jewish sensibility of humor, one person punned, “Some people light a ninth candle on Chanukah, but they’re in the menorah-ty.”  (For the goyem out there, there are only eight days of Chanukah.)

 

I snapped these two covers of books at Book People, the largest independent bookstore in Texas that’s in downtown Austin.  One speaks to the hope of what bicycles could do, the other reflects my ambivalence about why I am riding my bicycle an average of over 80 miles per week so far this year.  (See 4,000 Miles Biked This Year! + 3,000 Miles Total on Sophie the Fairdale.)

 

Nearby the book store is the international headquarters of a natural grocery chain.  They don’t need any press from me but friends and I have long called it the “food hole” or “whole paycheck.”  But they do have some cool stuff like an ice skating rink on the roof in the winter and this sign abbreviating Austin, Texas, which changes colors.  I had never snapped any pictures, so for your edification, here is a nice series.

The awesome, fun and inspirational monthly gathering of authors of all kinds who read called One Page Salon, hosted by Owen Egerton, had a huge turnout this month.  This was thanks to the Texas Writers League.  Shown with Owen is director Michael Nowlin, a nice guy, author and nice guy who encouraged me not to give up on the possibility of getting published.  It was cool to see a packed house although I only really talked to a few people I already knew.  The TWL is an organization I need to get involved with as I get closer to finishing the first draft of my memoir of two years of cycling quite a few miles.  (4,714 Miles Bicycled in 2017 = 10,000 in 2 Years! A Recap of My “Epic Velocimania” (Day 1)

 

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A jalopy bike I saw in East Austin after One Page Salon.  Notice the seat has no post and the wheel sizes are different. reminds me of the book title It’s Not About the Bike.

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Mamma Jamma Ride Wrap-up and Huge Thanks to My Donors of $2,502!

On September 22nd, I biked 40 miles for a good cause. (40-Mile Charity Ride for Breast Cancer: No Need to SAG). Tonight, I cycled down to the Livestrong building. Yep, it’s the one named for the cancer foundation started by an Austin cyclist and former seven-time winner* of the Tour de France. That group still exists, a shadow of its former self, and does good work for all canver survivors. Relevant to A Dude, it’s where the Mamma Jamma Ride to Beat Breast Cancer rents office space. This year, it hosted the Bucks to Beneficiaries — the annual awarding of the monies raised for the bike ride held back on September 22nd. A few dozen riders, sponsors, board members and supporters were in attendance. Over $300,000 was given to the seven non-profits helping women and their families with breast cancer. A Dude Abikes was part of that, coming in 9th place as individual fundraiser at $2,502. So this blog post is to wrap it all up, and to especially thank everyone who donated.

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1,826 Days (5 Years) of Daily Yoga: A Demi-Decade of A Downward A Dude

It’s another awesome milestone for A Dude Abikes, five years of consecutive bendy-ness!  Simultaneously remarkable and by now, just another day on the mat, it’s too momentous on occasion to not write about, even though this is predominantly a blog about bicycling.  It’s also about my health journey, and yoga is an important part of that.  A new blogger and follower who is curiously named uptightprettygirl said she found me by searching for blogs about yoga.  That and my yogaversary made me realize that one reason I keep writing about my practice is to keep inspiring myself.  Another is to inspire people who also do not fit the mold of a skinny, muscled, super-bendy young man or woman (aka fathlete) but whose bodies can definitely benefit from yoga.  Inside this post you will find a few pearls of wisdom about yoga and how it can help you  Or maybe those are crumbs.  Yes, definitely crumbs of some useful information.   Continue reading

4,000 Miles Biked This Year! + 3,000 Miles Total on Sophie the Fairdale

Well, I did it!  I met my revised goal of 4,000 miles, and I did it 28 days early.  I went into statistics a good bit in my recent post, My November Strava Stats; One Month to Go on My 2018 Goals.  But this number is icing on the cake.  (Which I stopped eating this year along with all kinds of processed grains, and it hasn’t mattered one lick for my weight.  That’s for another post.)  Anyway, as a fellow rider who is much stronger (and younger) than A Dude commented that he “loves milestone days.”  They are pretty special.  If the goal involves a number, and you hit or pass it, it’s sort of like a big weight has been lifted off your shoulders.  And if you’re wondering, 4,000 miles is like riding from Austin, Texas to La Paz, Bolivia and then a bit.  Or, from West Glacier, Montana (a place I’ve been), to the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border.  It’s ok, you may allow yourself to be impressed.  I know I am, and I’m the one who did it!  So let’s explore this YOOGE accomplishment a bit.

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Paul Sherwen, One Half of the Iconic Voices of the Tour de France, Has Died

I’m sitting here at my computer in Austin, Texas on a Monday night, staring at the title I just wrote, and now, the blinking cursor.  It’s taunting me to sum up in 500 words (usually many more, in my case), the life, times and relevance of Paul Sherwen.  He died at his home in Kampala, Uganda last night at the still relatively young age of 62, cause unknown.  The simple fact is that no one’s life can be summed up so tidily.  But in all the years I watched the Tour de France, it was his voice, along with that of Phil Liggett, that provided the narration to that epic race and many others.  He did it with style, grace and panache, and forever won the hearts of legions of pro bicycling fans.  He was also a racer himself, finishing five of the seven Tours he entered, and winning the British road racing championship twice.  Born in Kenya, but living in Uganda, he was a staunch advocate of African cycling, and a humanitarian to boot.  All I can do from my tiny corner of the internet is shine a little light on his life if you haven’t heard of him and to chime in. Continue reading