Tapering means resting and recovering by biking less often, less distance, or less intensity. Usually the term is reserved for people are resting up before a big race, and if you’re a purist well, thanks for stopping by to point this out. As Kate McKinnon as Dr. Weknowdis said recently on Saturday Night Live, “We know dis.” I’m claiming the word because I’ve been riding my bike every damn day since October 11, 2019. (Only one of those rides to date was indoors on a trainer, during the pandemic by the way, to which fortunately I have not as yet succumbed.) If you want to read an article with technical information, this is not it. But if you do want something a bit more science-y, go look at Bike Radar for one that is. Anyway, I’m tired. While I’ll never truly get tired of riding a bicycle, there is a time to taper. Call it reducing, resting or whatever you want, but as 2020 ends, that time for me is now. Maybe you too?Continue reading
Month: December 2020
7 Years of My Consecutive Daily Yoga Practice
It’s Christmas Day here in Austin, Texas, USA. And you know what that means for this Jewd (Jewish + Dude = Jewd — Trademark me!): Another year of daily 30 minutes (or more) of yoga has come to a close, and another begins. Lucky number seven. Yoga is second nature to me now, but in those first days and weeks, I didn’t know how long I would continue, or if it would stick at all. I was just taking it a day at a time, and in a way, I still do. But it has stuck (sort of like my sticky mat), for over 2,500 days, which is nothing short of a miracle for A Dude. Which needs replacing, and Harry Hanukkah and that other guy with the red suit didn’t bring me one… again. Sigh… deep breath in, deep breath out. But given my other streaks in biking, walking and writing, all that yoga is no small thing and deserves some recognition, I think you’ll agree.
Here’s what I wrote about today’s event in my Strava fitness app notes:Continue reading
5 Years of Using the Strava Fitness App
Late in December 2015, I finally got a cell phone. At the same time, a cycling friend said I had to get Strava (strive in Swedish). I’d never heard of it, but figured why not. So the friend and I met for a ride, and I started recording all of my bike journeys ever since. At that time, I had to use the phone because I didn’t have a Garmin watch. Without Strava, or some other similar situation, I would not really know how far I’ve gone, and all the other data it captures. And man, have I gone far (better than being far gone). I mean, if you consider my having biked the equivalent of around the entire planet at the equator as far. I sure think 24,901 miles is a good, far piece. And what a long, strange trip it’s been.Continue reading
A Day in the Life of a Bike Dude
Woke up late, still thinking about last night’s viewing of Lucy in the Sky, written by fellow Austinite Noah Hawley of the TV show Fargo. Based on true events, Natalie Portman returns from 10 days in space and finds that life on earth is just, well, meh. She has an affair with fellow astronaut Jon Hamm and things get a bit less boring. Inventive cinematography, beautifully filmed, interesting story, and well-acted, but not greatly reviewed. Who cares about what critics think? I liked it. That has nothing to do with biking, except A Dude likes movies after his bike rides.Continue reading
Two Weeks Left in 2020 to Meet My Bicycling Goal
Tonight’s ride was planned to be 20 miles again and began after dark because I required a siesta. Someone pounded on the door this morning while I was still slumbering away, getting my beauty sleep. And I resisted going because it was chilly. Still, I found the correct combination of layers the allow me to not be too drenched in sweat or freezing. For Texas, at least. But my ride ended early because I was on a sidewalk of a busy street with narrow bike lanes full of debris. A small car lot had blocked the way, so I had to go off a curb. And that gave me the “snakebite” puncture. I’d forgotten that my pump didn’t work the last time I flatted, so I gave up and hopped on a bus then walked the rest of the way home. I was eight miles short today, so I’ll make that up easily. And then it occurred to me: only 14 days remain in this most unctious, horrid and foul year. That’s a good thing.Continue reading
The Heart of the Matter
It was the end of a cool autumn day, and I was sitting on my yoga mat. I thought back to the morning (albeit late morning); my ablutions were complete and I got out on my daily constitutional. (That means walk for those not in the American South.) Walking is good for the heart, I thought, and then I remembered that I was supposed to have some heart tests this year. They were too expensive without insurance, so I didn’t have the tests. What with the pandemic and not getting younger, I’ve been wrestling with the beast that is U.S. health insurance (and losing). So after my walk, I read some stuff on the internet and called some people.
On one of those calls, I got some bad news from a friend, a colleague, really. They were pretty ill, but getting through it. Although I wasn’t raised to pray to a deity, this person was and has a good heart; I’ve always admired their sunny disposition. I’ve also known some Quakers and always appreciated their practice of sitting in silence, and their concept of “holding someone in the light.” So tonight after my bike ride and daily yoga, I flipped my Insight Meditation Timer app over to meditate and chose a five-minute one about compassion in honor of my friend. Usually I wait until I’m hitting the hay to meditate, so I tend to pass out before it’s done, or it doesn’t make much of an impact. Today, for some reason, it stuck with me.Continue reading
14 Months of Consecutive Daily Bicycling
For 426 days beginning October 11, 2019, I have swung a leg over the top tube, fired up the Garmin watch, and pedaled my bike around Austin, Texas. Starting and maintaining several other daily habits like walking and writing back on January 1, 2018 eventually led me to do the obvious one for a bike rider and blogger. Although I’ve traveled the equivalent of around the equator, and surpassed this year’s bike goal (and several other goals since), for some reason I keep at it. Why, you might ask? Well, stopping a streak would be very easy, but getting here was extremely hard. So I just keep on keeping on, so far, for now. Doing my small part to help Keep Austin Weird.Continue reading
My Top 10 Bicycling Holiday Gift Wish List
A while ago I wrote a post about “manifesting abundance” — whether it really works or is horse manure. As with matters spiritual I’m an agnostic atheist, so in this case I’m going to say the jury is still out. So it occurred to me with Chanukah and other holidays around the corner that there is a lot of stuff I need for my bicycle habit. In case the Universe, Elon Musk or someone is listening, I’ve complied a list.
You never know, maybe there are some secretly rich fans out there with wads of cash money burning big holes in their pockets who weren’t aware that I’m not burdened with the filthy lucre. (As for whether I’ve been naughty or nice, well, whatever the gift-giving goddesses need to hear is the correct answer.) My go-to shops are Sun & Ski Sports, The Peddler Bike Shop, Clown Dog Bikes and Bicycle Sports Shop. After all, wasn’t it Jesus himself who said, “Ask, and you shall receive”? You don’t want to go against that guy, right? But totally seriously, here’s my list, y’all. One thing’s for sure: Biking sure ain’t cheap.Continue reading
Now Is the Winter of Our Discontent: Cool Bikings
Austin, Texas, where A Dude Abikes abides, is not known for extremely cold winters. But the last two years, I’ve been much less resistant to cool temperatures. I’m not sure if that’s because I got in a freezing cold river in Vermont on a dare while visiting in 2017, the very hot summers have permanently thinned my blood, or something else. As one ages, resistance to cold is more common. But I’m not that old; nor has my skin thinned, nor have I lost a lot of body weight. Whatever is causing it, I wish I were warmer. To paraphrase Matthew McConaughey, “It’d be a lot cooler if I was.” (Interesting note: You know you’ve really made it big when spellcheck knows to put a u in there.)Continue reading
My Yogaversary Began 7 Years Ago Today, but My History With Yoga Goes Way Back
December 4, 2013 is when I started to do yoga every day. On the 23rd and 24th of that year, I was recovering from a minor medical test and was too out of it to practice. So nowadays I count the beginning date of my streak as December 25. And it was the starting of it all that was of utmost importance. “A journey of 1,000 steps begins with one,” Confucius said. What’s interesting to me, and hopefully to you, Dear Reader, is reflecting back on how it all began — my introduction to yoga and the ensuing years since. Why do I do it so religiously (especially since in most other senses, I’m an agnostic atheist)? Why did it take so long for me to develop a regular practice? What does it mean to me and do for me? And am I as bendy as Phoebe Buffet claims she is to Chandler on Friends?Continue reading