Teaser: This was going to be a book review. But I haven’t finished it yet. It’s a good one, too. When I do, I’m sure it will be awesome. Or adequate, or astute, or any number of other adjectives commencing with an “a.” One of those. I think; I don’t know this. But today, it’s not about a book, it’s about what I know. Whatever the hell that is. These days, it’s hard to really know what one knows. Ya’ know? I guess after a few years of biking my butt off, I do know a few things about bicycles, cyclists, biking, and the like.
Here’s something that I do know that I know: I was riding my bike here in Austin, Texas, as I have every day for over 10 months. I saw a dude I know. This particular dude was also riding his bike. He saw and recognized me too, so he crossed the busy street to come have a chat. It was mostly about bikes, of course: the bike shop he works in and bikes a long way to get to, and how he is in general. And a bit about me, too. He’s a young dude, and full of the confidence, ease and enthusiasm that comes with that. When you get older, you know there’s always more to know, so you know less. But it was great to see him. I told him that I was glad he got a chance to see me, a quippy quote my mother likes to say, and he laughed.
Why was it good to see him? Well, because this particular dude I’ve known literally his whole life. (Not the millennial version of literally, which they’ve fucked up to mean the opposite, but actually, really, truly.) OK, I wasn’t there at his birth to catch him and give him a newborn high five (which would be so awesome if babies did that!), but I was friends with his folks that had him. Well, SHE had him — in a home tub birth, actually, and I saw him soon after. The rest is history. For a spell there, I was kind of an honorary uncle type dude, and still consider myself to be, though we don’t see each other much. He’s pretty well all growed up, a grown ass man as some might say, though he’s still maturing.
As a cyclist, he was kicking ass at a young age. He was at one point a damn fine racer. He talked about maybe turning pro, until he got tired or more correctly bored of the long-ass team training rides. So now he bikes for commuting, and fun. Once he took himself out to the Hill Country to a friend’s place; it was only about 108 miles one way. He also has a bike podcast. This young dude has done well for himself. He’s a photographer (and a good one), in fact, has taken shots for me. I could go on about the dude, but there’s a lot I don’t know. Maybe someday he’ll appear as one of my profiles like David Walker and Dena Kinate.
Other things I think I know (I think):
- We finally got some rain here to break up the many days of 100+ degree heat. It’s one of the hottest summers on record for Austin. To quote the Cole Porter song, “It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s de-lovely!” Biking is soooo much more pleasant in reasonable climates. We’re already back to the hot, sticky mess of last week, but I enjoyed it while I could. One day of rain gives us hope that autumn still exists and will be here eventually.
- My bike is dirty so it runs less well. “A clean bike is a happy bike,” so I’ve been told. And the tire pressure keeps going down overnight, making me think I have a flat tire or a slow leak. I don’t think I do, I just have to remember to not overinflate it in the air conditioning then take it right out into the hot air. That could cause quite the kablooie! But I’m in need of a shop visit to buy some new gloves, so I’ll take it by Sun & Ski Sports to have it checked out.
- This month’s mileage goal was attained by around day 18. If you’re keeping score, 606 kilometers is 376 miles in old money. Strava has a higher monthly goal of 1,250 kms that is for the faster folks. It isn’t for mere mortal fathlete’s like moi. I’m not doing big long rides these days (see Item 1.), so I’m chipping away at my goals every day. Hoping I don’t get hit by a car, or struck with coronavirus, I should make it another 600 miles. Some day soon it will be over and maybe I can do other things with all the time in the saddle.
- Biking is still awesome, maybe moreso during the pandemic. Lots of people have figured this out, because there’s a worldwide shortage of lower-end cost bikes. With easing of restrictions and more traffic, some people may have curtailed their biking. But I still see lots of people out and about. Even infrequent pedaler Saurabh has gone out on his own or with a friend to do some 10-mile rides. Biking is what you make it, as hard or easy as you want. They don’t ride themselves, so if you want any benefits (better cardiac health, better mood, better overall fitness, less pollution), the good news is that relearning to do it is as easy as… riding a bike!
- I know I won’t be voting for the guy who’s against bikes. Apparently Tinyhands Orangehead, #45, the future ex-president, doesn’t like bikes. He’s afraid of getting hurt like Senator John Kerry and presidential also-ran (aka loser) did while negotiating the Iran nuclear deal (he broke his leg cycling into a curb.) The soon to be prisoner made fun of Kerry and also presidential hopeful Joe Biden, who was seen looking good riding a bike earlier this month. The best part of the article in Forbes is about a bike race called Tour de Trump, because one of the sponsors was a Dutch brothel. Irony is apparently still alive and well.
I know a few other things, like I’ve got stuff to do. So that’s all for now. Until next time, go ride your bike, or take a hike, or something.
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