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.

The first thing of note was biking to see the dermatologist. Because of that I titled my ride, “It Puts the Sunscreen on Its Body,” in reference to Silence of the Lambs. (That character and scene were unnerving 20 years ago 1991, and would be problematic and probably not even filmed now. Hey, I didn’t write the movie.) I last saw this doctor after a procedure to remove a non-malignant, but particularly invasive form of skin cancer. He’s a happy guy, and just says he’s “just the dumb guy with the knife.” I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a bicyclist.

I was there to see about him taking care of an area of epidermis that gets irritated while I bike. News flash! It turns out that health insurance in America is shitty and wouldn’t cover it. So he referred me to a general skin doctor (as opposed to a colonel or major, I guess?) for my regular check up. You see, A Dude happens to be of the Caucasian persuasion, and has to be careful about ultraviolet rays from the sun year round. I inquired about some Elta sunscreen, which is good stuff available only at dermatologist offices or the interwebs, I found it too pricey for my pretty thin artist’s wallet and will stick with the drugstore variety.

Moving on, I checked my mail. The maker of my activity tracking watch kindly sent me two sets of watch band holders for my Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music. Mine broke a while ago and I was just using a little blue rubber band from green onions. That was nice, and most importantly, they were free. Which reminds me, I want to see that new Ryan Reynolds movie called Free Guy. That could be my nickname. Who doesn’t like stuff gratis? He plays a guy who learns he’s just a background character in a live-action video game that looks a lot like real life. That’s some real Matrix shit right there. And that movie is one the most anticipated action flicks of the year along with the Dune remake, Maverick sequel and last outing for Daniel Craig as James Bond in the much-delayed No Time to Die.

Watch bands procured, I found myself passing by Trek Bicycles. It had been a minute since I was there so took the opportunity to say hello to the mechanics and fill up my bike tires.

Later, I was passing by another doctor’s office, another dude I see twice a year. Well, I alternate seeing the doc and a nurse practitioner. I was biking in one of my usual boxy loops, but arrived too late to check on something for my upcoming appointment. Then that nurse guy came out wearing a full Mellow Johnny biking kit. (That’s the shop owned by that former Austin resident who was disqualified as winner of seven Tours de France.) We chatted and he answered my question. I had newfound respect for the guy after learning he commuted to work. Good on him.

I re-mounted Sophie the Fairdale and continued on my way. I considered stopping at the Sun and Ski Sports shop, but had no business to conduct so As I neared home, there’s a street that merges down from two lanes to one. It was right at that pinch point a city bus driver chose to pass me with only a foot or two to spare. I kept my cool and stayed in my lane, quite literally. But after the bus stopped to let someone off, I went around and took the opportunity to communicate my, erm, feelings about this near-death experience.

While he was stoped, I took the lane, slowed down to make sure he got the point, and held up six fingers (yes, using both hands, riding without holding onto the handlebars; sometimes I can do that for a long way). Then I used a big sweeping motion to indicate passing me with plenty of space. This was to indicate that he needed to follow the law and pass me with six feet. It’s not like there wasn’t an empty middle turn lane, because there was, and he used it to turn left. I also gave him the evil eye.

Point made, once again I arrived alive at home. Twenty miles in the books, no tickets, being hit by a bus, or flat tires. And there you have it, numerous ways how biking is part of life, or life is part of biking. Hey, maybe I’m a character in some live-action video game about a fat dude who rides his bike around, and then blogs about it. Or maybe instead of Free Guy or the Matrix life is more like Stranger Than Fiction with Will Ferrell. He starts hearing the narrator of a book talk about him and then try to kill him with a wrecking ball through the apartment wall, and later… wait for it… a bus.

If only there were a way to know. I guess if Laurence Fishburne offers me a red pill or a blue pill, or I start hearing Emma Thompson in my head, I’ll


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