May is the fifth month, the last one until October when we Texans can hope for a few cool, low humidity days. Melinda May – she goes by just May – is the name of kick-butt ABC television show MARVEL’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. played by Ming-Na Wen. I didn’t know it had come back on so I got caught up on the first four episodes. Silly, outlandish, preposterous, and not exactly the height of the performing arts, I enjoy it because of all that — it’s fun. And may also means you might. So I might have kicked butt on the bike-book-blog-walking-yoga this month, or maybe it all kicked mine. Let’s look at the numbers to see. But here at A Dude Abikes, having the dedication to keep on showing up is half the game.
It Was… a Month
Here are the high and low points:
- I passed 2,000 miles on the bike for the year.
- I’m about 80 miles behind if I’m going to make my 2019 goal of 5,000.
- Weekly average, speed and elevation are all down (but not out).
- One word why: knees.
- I’m still at it, doing what I can to crank out the distance.
Strava says I covered about 422.5 miles total. About 370 of that was biking and 50 was walking. It took almost 60 hours and I ascended almost 10,000 feet. Last year, May was my third biggest month ever of 543 miles. Every week was over 100, and one week was 185 miles. So does this year pale in comparison? (Well, since A Dude happens to have been born Caucasian, I’m always a whiter shade of pale. Don’t hate!) But yes, this year isn’t so great (yet) and that’s cool with me, because I am not just out on a hunt for a quantity of miles. I want quality, too. Maybe some enjoyment. But for now, I’m just getting by surviving, not thriving. Put another way, dude, I’m tired! I’m not totally sure why, either. As the French say, Kest Lah Vay! (Is that right Sheree? She’s a Brit in France who bikes and bakes. Check out her blog at View From the Back; the link goes to a post about homemade strawberry jam with a twist. Yum!
Poetry in Motion
And that’s alright. If I’ve learned anything about my literal and figurative journey on the bicycle, it’s this, in poem form.
There are ebbs, and there are flows
One day may suck, while another blows
Sometimes you’re high, others you have lows
Whither the road, you can’t follow the flight of crows
How it all ends, nobody fucking knows– #BestBikePoemEver by A Dude Abikes
You can see the rise and fall. Sometimes it’s due to low sleep (let’s be honest, that’s often), allergies, weather, or being busy. It’s interesting to note I only took two rest days. And my longest ride was “only” 22 miles. Lame. Literally. It’s like an old friend Cinque who move away used to say, “Life is like the stock market. Sometimes you’re stock is up, sometimes it’s down.” In his essay on fierce individualism, “Self Reliance,” transcendentalist and Unitarian philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson had this to say about doing the same thing day in and day out:
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”-remind you of anyone who might be like, president of the United States?
It’s Already June, So Soon
As I wrote in my previous post, Summer Is Coming: Surviving Cycling in Sunny Central Texas, one must pace themself. So maybe it will continue to be a down time as I try to limit my exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays that have already given me three (benign) skin cancers and more pre-cancers. Yet, we need Vitamin D, but the supplement alone doesn’t really cut it. I’ve got places to do and things to go. Strike that, reverse it. Plus, I still like bike.
My point is, I’m less attached to my goal but I still want to meet it if I can. But maybe I won’t be able to. This will be a struggle for this fathlete, even if I can get some relief from knee pain. There are things I can try to alleviate it, but it’s looking like it will be ongoing. It too ebbs and flows. But there’s also the stress of earning money, finding housing, moving and not having as much energy as I want or need. June has even more heat and sun, and is also the beginning of the shortening of daylight. So while I’m still trying to acclimate, I’m also enjoying plenty of time in the conditioned air.
For now, I have to think like a shark: Keep moving forward. May we all follow its leader. (Can you name that movie reference?)
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