Fart Club: Protocol for Pootin’ in the Peloton

The first rule of Fart Club is that you never talk about Fart Club. The second rule of Fart Club is that you should never fart while bicycling in a group — unless you can figure out how to do it and not get caught. (For you Chuck Palhaniuk purists, when CP wrote Fight Club, he was talking about fighting, not farting, so rule two is what I say it is.) The latter is a taboo subject (tab-poo?), but I’m gonna go ahead talk about it. But I must include this disclaimer: I’ve never farted on a bike ride, like ever. I’m too classy. This is all data I heard from other people. Anyway, I’ll understand if this ain’t yo cuppa tea, however, I think you’ll find it refreshing. If you don’t, well, to quote the Fresh Prince of Belair: “Yo homes, smell ya later!” I hope you’ll stick around. Like a bad, well, you know…

Continue reading

30,000 Lifetime Miles I Bicycled on Strava

***NEWER POSTS BELOW**** Flavor Flav was and is the hype man for seminal rap group Public Enemy. Even if you don’t know their music or who Flav is, if you paid attention during the 80’s and 90’s or saw Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing with their hit, “Fight the Power,” there’s a good chance you heard of the guy wearing a big clock around his neck saying, “Yeah, boyeeeee!” Chuck D was and still is the main voice of serious political rap, but FF keeps it fun. Professional athletes, celebrities, and politicians also have paid hype people — publicists to trumpet their successes and explain away their losses or mistakes. This dude just has this little blog, and Strava the fitness app, through which to toot my own horn. So, it’s tootin’ time. And yeah, I just reached 30,000 miles of bicycling in five years, eight months, and 10 days. Not too shabby for a dude who’s old and flabby. It brings up some questions: How did it begin? How did I get here? What does this milestone mean? And what’s for dinner?

Continue reading

Going Postal: Apparently We All Can’t Get Along

Half-descended from a nomadic people, and with the high, High, HIGH cost of rent in Austin(tatious), Texas, I tend to move around a lot. Realizing that would be my lot when I first returned here after surviving Y2K, I rented a mail box at the downtown post office. No matter where I was living (always within a five mile radius north or east), I figured it would also force me to hop on my bicycle and ride down to El Centro at least once a week. (“It’s ALL downtown, George,” said Jerry on Seinfeld.) It was on Guadalupe Street for many years, but a while back it moved to Congress Avenue. And anything named after that junction of dysfunction — Congress being the opposite of Progress — is bound to have problems. I saw one tonight.

Continue reading

What’s Up With Austin Bicycle Community Groups?

We’re deep in the heart of Texas and COVID-19’s fourth wave, with allegedly only two (2!) ICU beds available for an 11-county, 2.3 million person region. That news is real and dire, but somehow the beds seems to expand when more staff become available. But with the Governor Hey Abbott! getting infected with the virus himself this week, after his horribly out-of touch, anti-science, and anti-mask mandate law, it’s strange days indeed. Almost enough to write a follow-up to The Coronacles of Blarneya, Part II. Instead of that unpleasantness, it’s best to go outside and exercise those lungs in the fresh air and sunshine — the latter being the best disinfectant, after all. Anyway, it occurred to me to do a little update on a few of Austin’s community groups that help get butts on bikes.

Continue reading

A Bike, A Dude, A Day

As an amateur bicycle rider, I don’t have a team, manager, sponsors, massage therapist, or any expectation to ride at all except for my own. And I’m a rank amateur at that – does that mean smell bad? Because it’s summer in Texas, it’s hot, I sweat, so yes, I guess that definition of rank means I do. But because I’m fathlete, I’ve been getting out their every day for over 666 days in a row. Some days are more eventful than others. So here’s a little slice of life, on and off the bike.

Continue reading

My Salad Days: Streakus Interruptus

Two weeks shy of 180 days, almost six months after I began a daily habit aka streak, something completely shocking happened: I forgot to eat a salad. At first I was incredulous, like “How the hell did I let that happen?” But it realitiy, it is not that big a deal. I mean, the country of Afghanistan just lost its government and is now being taken over by an army of pissed off religious zealots with some beliefs that are culturally very different to mine, like girls shouldn’t go to school. I’m among the majority of people in the US who are for getting out of that fruitless $85 billion, 20-year old war i.e. quagmire. It’s not our country to run. So yeah, there are more important things than some dude’s salad streak. But this is a lifestyle blog of a fathlete, so I’m going to get back to my lane and stay in it. And if you don’t like it [insert a salad-centric insult popularized by comedian Chris Rock here].

Continue reading

Thoughts on Reaching 600 Blog Followers and 50,000 Views

These two statistics appeared recently in my WordPress statistics page. Thanks to everyone who’s signed up as a follower on WP or by getting emails over the last 2,050 days. It’s not a big number when looking at bigger sites, but I’m no celebrity, so that’s to be expected. Of course the vast majority of followers (90%?) don’t read much or at all. But I am also grateful for all the views. That works out to be 24.4 view per day, which seems like a pretty incredible number given that some days it’s far less than that. Included in that number are probably all the times that I’ve looked at the blog myself. Nonetheless, these are milestones along the road and worth pointing out.

Continue reading

What I’m Reading in Summer 2021, by A Dude Abooks

People ask me what kind of business I’m in, and I say books… and business is good. OK, not really. I’m just an amateur still working on mine. Well, maybe I’m an unreliable narrator because here I am yet again, writing another blog post instead of doing revisions. A new writer friend who’s also working on a memoir whom I met online first at a Writers League of Texas event invited me to a coffee shop. He asked me why not pause the blog to focus on the manuscript? I said that wasn’t a bad idea but that I can’t seem to quit blogging. Maybe he’s right. Or not. Because any guy who suggests meeting in a suburb called Pflugerville (the p is silent), but who doesn’t drink coffee and knows I don’t either, must be a little touched in the head. Just kidding, it was a pferectly pfine pflace to pfontificate about the pfiner pfoints of pfublishing and such.

Continue reading

666 Consecutive Cycling Days: The Devil Is in the Details

Well, that just happened. Riding my bike for 666 days in a row is a benchmark I figured would eventually pass if I just kept going. As for those who think the number has some special significance, or to the members of the Church of Satan, who are skeptical atheists who do NOT worship Satan or believe the devil is a real entity but rather “…as an archetype of pride, individualism, and enlightenment”: no offense. I just like the symmetry of the number. That should be evident from my biking 6,666.66 miles in 2020. I called it the Double Devil, because of Coronavirus and POTUS #45. Read all about that at this link.) That’s a lot of days in a row to do anything. In my case, bicycling for almost two years is a fairly decent accomplishment.

Continue reading

Summary of the Sumptious Summer Writing Retreat with Writers League of Texas

The month flew by and so did the class I took for the Writers League of Texas Summer Writing Retreat. “Layering: A Structured Approach to Revision” with Chaitali Sen was at various time challenging, enlightening, vexing, and interesting. I’m still processing it and will need to review some of the things I missed. And then put them into practice. There were also other events, like an hour-long lunch hour meet and greet, two of them had Q & A’s with authors and a Thursday night meet and greet with classmates. All in all it was a gratifying experience. I wonder how much cooler it would have been if it were held in person instead of all on Zoom.

Continue reading