What Are You Willing to Give Up (for Lent)?

Today was Ash Wednesday in the Christian Catholic tradition. Numerous believers around the world went to church and got a cross made of ash drawn on their foreheads. While A Dude Abikes is not Catholic, and by no means can offer an authoritative treatise on Lent, some of my ancestors were. A number of people today and last night at One Page Salon talked about this practice of renouncing something, which is only one part of a religious of taking 40 days to prepare for Easter Sunday. Somehow this one part of a solemn spiritual ceremony “went viral” and became a sort of New Years resolution do-over. For lapsed Catholics and others who just like the idea, it is a worthwhile endeavor to renounce something “sinful” or a “vice.” It could be cigarettes, alcohol, or something stronger, like candy. Or a behavior like watching TV. In any case, I began thinking, “What am I willing to give up?”

Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: Real Artists Don’t Starve, by Jeff Goins

Jeff Goins is a successful blogger, podcaster, coach and author of five books including The Way of Art. In Real Artists Don’t Starve, he draws numerous examples from history and modern times to illustrate his points. You can read all about Jeff at his web site: https://goinswriter.com. Also, this book has its own site: https://dontstarve.com.

This book came to my attention due to a note from Nori Rose, the Bluebonnet Witch. Thanks, Nori! As a temporarily unpaid writer, I checked it out for free from the Austin Public Library. What a socialist institution if I ever heard of one! Free books that you take home, read and return? Outrageous! But I digress, as I’m wont to do. Here are some of my thoughts on his book.

Continue reading

My Recent Bike Riding: Stats and Feelings

After a number of bike news posts, it’s time for a personal update. This blog is meant to educate, inform, inspire and motivate. But it is also to shine a light on one bicyclist’s journey (literal and figurative), not just the good, but also the bad and ugly. Regarding the latter, lately the engine room has not been firing on all cylinders. But truth be told, it’s been that way since I can remember, just different degrees.

As I recently told a fellow rider on Strava, “I’m only as good as last night’s sleep.” Since that generally isn’t great, my biking suffers accordingly. There are plenty of reasons for that, and while some are under my control, most are not. So I do my best. The question is what to do about it, besides the obvious: stop blogging late at night and do what those celebrities like Jennifer Garner said in hilarious videos of a book with the same title: “Go the F*(& to Sleep!” However, if I did that, you wouldn’t have anything to read.

Continue reading

Texas Bike Advocate Summit & Cyclists in Suits Lobby Day

The last three days I spent participating in these two events were a slice of bicyclist advocate heaven. Although I’m not being literal (read my post In Bike I Trust: The Faith of an Agnostic Athiest Cyclist for my thoughts on all that), it was a smorgasboard of education, networking, lobbying, and of course, bike riding. The first-ever event hosted by the board, staff and volunteers of Bike Texas brought 40 people together from many parts of Texas. I volunteered to attend as one of three representatives of Bike Austin. The summit was held Saturday-Sunday and the lobby day was today, Monday. If you’ve read this far, you may as well keep going to read the rest. You know you wanna!

Continue reading

My New Bicycling Magazine Is Here! My New Bicycling Magazine Is Here!

Not since Navin Johnson (played by Steve Martin) got overly jazzed about the arrival of the new phone books in The Jerk (a film I’ve referenced as recently as my post Jerks in Cars Messing Up My Bike Rides) has a printed and bound document been quite so anticipated and well-received. Well, maybe that’s kind of a little bit of a possible smidgen or a skosh of hyperbole. Sure, when I became a member of the League of American Bicyclists, and Bicycling was was offered as a perq, I was glad to hear it. Just not jumping around shouting it to the whole street glad — only to my blog readers. Anyway, after four long months of anticipation, the last four weeks or so have brought incessant emails from the publisher but not actual magazine, it finally arrived. Let’s take a look under the hood.

Continue reading

Breaking Down My 25-Mile Bike Ride

Today the weather was sunny and warmer than it has been, with little wind, a perfect day to bike. I wasn’t feeling perfectly, and in fact was laying outside trying to get some Vitamin D on my skin. I had to go to the post office so at 4:59 I finally got on Sophie the Fairdale Weekender Archer. Errand complete, we headed towards my familiar stomping on the pedal grounds, the Southern Walnut Creek Trail. Let me tell you about it.

Read more