The Coronacles of Blarneya, Part I

2020 was to be the year of plenty. For me, I was planning for better health, a tolerable job, and a decent and steady place to live. I hoped to create a stronger body, smarter mind, better relationships and improved community. Instead, I’m like everyone else — suffering and struggling through absurd days that seemed unimaginable two months ago (outside of the movies). Wearing masks, cowering in our houses staying away from people, anxious about what’s next is how it is now. Life in the time of COVID-19 can be described by the lesser known, more derogatory use of the word for an Irish town with a famous castle and stone. Parts of me come from somewhere over there in Eire. Point is, it’s a bunch of blarney. Uh.

Despite trying not to, we constantly consume the mostly bad news, like massive unemployment and poverty raising its ugly head to bite more people every day. Most of all, there’s the very palpable and justifiable fear of painful death that might be lurking in the shadows, possibly coming for people we care about and even ourselves. Over 2.6 million people have become infected and 183,000 have died, all in less than a sporting season. All this from a tiny microscopic virus that’s invisible to the naked eye. We know this is happening and try as we might to look away, we have yet to fully comprehend and make sense of it. Every day, Dorothy Parker’s question is worth asking: “What fresh hell is this?” There is no manual, but there is blog.

Continue reading

500 Followers on My Blog: An Occasional Blog About This Blog

Since starting ADudeAbikes.com on WordPress January 1, 2016, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. At the end of 2015 I had just obtained a cell phone and biked about 3,000 miles. It began as a way to document my journey — both figurative and literal. And I suppose I’ve accomplished a few things. Sometimes I like to look at those statistics and reflect upon it all.

Continue reading

Can I Write a 500-Word Blog Post in 30 Minutes?

Sure. Will it be any good? I don’t know. When I recently wrote about writer’s block because I wasn’t sure what to write about, I got some compliments. Most days these posts take a couple of hours,  and that’s just too much. Why so long? Thinking of an idea, maybe doing some research, which can lead down some rabbit holes, then there’s the writing, proofreading and editing, adding photos and links. It adds up. As The Dude said, you can call him “El Duderino, if you’re not into that whole brevity thing.” But being brief is all the rage these days with our short attention spans. So, here goes. That’s 4 minutes and 115 words.

Continue reading

Commerce and Creativity: The Struggle is Real

Arriving home, I caught a new article on Wired, “Jack Conte, Patreon, and the Plight of the Creative Class.” Earlier this year, I heard Jack’s talk at South by Southwest, a sort of origin story cum sales pitch. Many of us would love to get paid for blogging, and I’d love to get paid for editing and publishing my book in progress. Yet the struggle between having to work a job and pay the bills is one that’s been going on for a long time. Ever since the first caveperson started drawing on the walls instead of hunting, I would imagine. How to be creative in whatever your endeavor(s) may be keep a roof over your head and food on the table is an ongoing issue. Spoiler alert: I won’t solve it here today. But maybe you’ll relate to some of my thoughts and have some comments.

Continue reading

Writers Block: Real or an Excuse?

You’re staring at a blank screen. The cursor blinks at you, tauntingly. Thoughts scurry across your mind like (insert whatever scurrying thing comes to mind here). Nothing seems good enough to press publish, interesting or worth writing about. Yet, you have a deadline, external or self-imposed. It’s time to blog and nothing comes to mind that is blog-worthy. What do you do?

Continue reading

What Some Other Bicycle Bloggers Are Doing

I grow weary of writing about myself at times. This is particularly true when my bicycle riding is not as consistently prolific as usual, for one reason or another. Illness, injury, work, heat, Tour de France are unto themselves each a good reason to take some time off my bike activities, but all at once is a super good excuse, ahem, reason. But since my bike activities include writing this blog (although it often veers off into other subjects), I still feel I must publish (or perish!) thrice weekly. Today is no different. By the way, I’d love to know about some bike blogs by women riders, if anyone has seen any good ones they’d recommend. Posthaste and herewith are some snippets from fellow bicycle bloggers, in no particular order. Enjoy and go visit and like their blogs too. Tell ’em A Dude Abikes sent you.

Continue reading

What If It All Came to An End Tomorrow? Buddha’s Five Remembrances

Being away from home and my bike for a day has put me in a contemplative mood.  Mysterious recent health challenges have made bicycling harder than it should be.  It’s already hard enough, in 100 degrees, being a fathlete, trying to not get dead by distracted drivers, not having a light bike with 27 gears anymore.  For 19 months I’ve had the luxury to do daily walking, writing in my book or this blog, and doing yoga every day (the latter for much longer).  And on most of the days of my life for the last 14+ years, but especially since 2015, I have ridden my bike.  Over 20,000 miles since 2005, by my count. What if it all came to an end tomorrow?

Continue reading