Another Day, Another Bike Ride

Here at A Dude Abikes, we (that is, the royal we) appreciate guts, intestinal fortitude, and chutzpah. That extends to anyone taking the chance, choice, and time to read. Though we know we’re no ex-Prince Harry, we do like to think of ourselves as having a quality that our former overlapping roommate said one day recently, i.e. intrepid. It’s been raining buckets here in Central Texas (a good thing because we’re behind for the year). I told the roomie, who’s quite a cyclist, that I was going for a walk, despite the chance of rain and not having slept a lot (partially because of his late and early packing racket). That’s when he said I was intrepid. I thought, “Hey, that’s pretty cool, like James Bond or something.” I’m not in possession of the sort of high-caliber intrepitude (if that wasn’t a word, it is now) that sprinters like Mark Cavendish do, I manage to climb the mountain of a number of good habits every day. Every day could be our last on the bike or other things, but I’m grateful that I was able and am glad to report that today was not the end. It was another day, another bike ride.

© Strava

The ride took me on one of my usual geometric shapes east, south, west, north, and east again. Before that could happen though, I had to take Sophie to The Peddler Bike Shop for a new tire and tube. She’s had a few flats recently and although the wear indicator — two small holes on the tire — showed it had some life left, this flat was the last straw. Previously my nearest shop was Clown Dog Bikes, which has done me a number of solids. But since my move, I’m closer to The Peddler. I like to support my LBS’s (Local Bike Shops), but there are a plethora from which to choose, so I try to spread the love.

In this case, the friendly voice of good old Garrett (formerly of Bicycle Sport Shop, Sophie’s birthplace, now Trek Bikes Austin) greeted me on the phone late in the day. He checked and had the type of tire (Continental Gatorskins) in the size I wanted (32 — not the skinniest, but close), and said they would have time to throw them both on if arrived quickly. I scurried right over, and like a NASCAR pit stop, Walter had the job done, and I was out of there lickety split. Findley the manager was there too.

What’s cool is that all three guys recognized me under the mask. Maybe it’s the bike, but it’s good to have these relationships. They’re called bona fides — people you know but maybe aren’t the best of friends that you hang out with (yet), but then again, you would notice if they were gone.

Sookie showing off her new back Gatorskin tire

While there, I chatted with a transplanted Brit named Russell. He seemed like a decent cyclist and nice guy. I told him how I had noticed on that fellow blogger, Strava user, pretty good cyclist, photographer, and decent chap Idlecyclist had biked through Letterkenny near his home in Ireland. I thought it was the same town which shares the name of a TV show on Hulu. Turns out, that’s Letterkenny Ontario, Canada. (Check out IC’s latest post which has a cool video he made of a hike with his dog Bessie here.)

It was an inconsequential chat, but it reminded me that the pandemic has decimated the sense of community one gets from being around other cyclists. I used to go on group bike rides that met early mornings at The Peddler. Now that I don’t have the 27-speed Fuji Silhouette Sookie and simply can’t even do sunrise, I miss that. But maybe I’ll consider joining some slower (and funner) social rides now that things are getting safer and like a good dog, I’ve long had my shots.

The bike ride itself was unremarkable except for two things: my average miles per hour speed was up a bit from the miserably low level it has been. And two, for reasons I don’t understand (maybe my new doctor will), I can be laying about feeling pretty exhausted, but I get energized by bicycling.

Stop by the shop in Austin

Of course I do get tired by the biking, but it’s almost as if the effort gives me more energy than it takes. I don’t think it’s all in my head, either, but the human body is a mystery. I can’t imagine my usual middling 15 miles at 9-10 miles an hour is the cause of my malaise, but we’ll find out. I still think it could be eyelash cancer. Let’s hope not.

Sophie’s happy with her new tire, so let’s hope the glassholes and street sweepers that actually make bike lanes worse many times by funneling debris INTO the lane, leave us alone for a while. Of course, I didn’t realize it until now! The royal we is actually two of us — Sophie and I. We thank you for stopping by A Dude Abikes and wish you a good night and a pleasant tomorrow.

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7 thoughts on “Another Day, Another Bike Ride

  1. Do you think it’s true that street sweepers make the bike lane worse? My assumption has been that the street sweepers push all the debris off the road or into the far edge near the curb. (although I’ve never seen one on the roads in AZ which I’m cycling). It’s when they don’t sweep that the cars push all the debris into every part of the bike lane. Am I wrong?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it depends on the angle of the area the bike lane esp the part that is actually part of the curb. Sure, they often get debris up when it’s flat. But often they aren’t flat. Or maybe the truck gets too full and starts ejecting what it collects like a backed-up vacuum cleaner. I’ve been behind them when they do that more than once. All I know is there is glass and crap all over many bike lanes in Austin, and flat tires suck.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Also cool to see and hear you, I always enjoy hearing a dents other than Texan. Plus my roommate left some Irish butter so I had some on my sweet potato in your honor.


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