My 500th Blog Post: Thank You, Dear Readers!

When milestones come and go, as they do for us all, they serve as signposts on the journey of life. Some, like birthdays, just happen. Others, we made happen through an action in the past, like the anniversary of college graduation. And still more are things we create every day with our efforts. Such is the case for this, my 500th blog post. That’s a ton of words in five years if I may say so. (532,738 to be exact, not including this post.) That’s an average of 1,068 words per post, and maybe somewhere around five or six novels. But this is not all about statistics, it’s about what it all means.

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A Dude Abikes’ Blog: 2020 Stats So Far

Regular readers know I’m kinda into numbers, mostly how many miles I’ve biked in a given day, week, month or year. For better or worse, it’s a cornerstone of my bicycling career, such as it is. Usually I look at what I’m doing as measured by Strava, the fitness tracking app. But occasionally I’ll go behind the scenes with WordPress (the program this site runs off of) to look under the hood of this blog, and today is one of those days. I learned some stuff that was kinda interesting. Maybe you’ll find it so as well…

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Some of the Bike Blogs I Follow – Part 3

Catching up with some of my bike blog buddies, I dipped into the Reader function on WordPress. I see they are doing their thing, each in their own way, as they should. That by itself is inspiring, because it reminds me that I’m not really alone out there on the road pedaling away or in cyberspace writing about it. The words “bicycle community” are bandied about as if it’s a monolithic, coordinated effort, but it’s not either of those things.

Still, I believe there is a siblinghood (new word I just thought of — you read it here first!) of cyclists in the sense that if you ride a bike, you know the feeling of fun it can bring. So tonight instead of writing about myself again, of which I often grow weary, I’ll highlight a few of my fellow travelers. Check them out! I’m sure they won’t mind. And if you’re one of them I didn’t include, I hope to in a future edition.

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Is There a Blog Post from A Dude Abikes Today?

Well, that depends what you mean by blog post. Are there like, you know, letters, words, sentences, paragraphs strung together in some sort of understandable fashion? Perhaps some photos? I suppose that with that definition, this is a definite maybe. It’s too soon to tell, really. If you’re still here and reading this, maybe the chances are improving that yes, in fact, this might resemble an actual blog post. It could be a drill, a test, an experiment. Maybe a computer (ro)bot has composed this? It’s hard to tell these days who and what’s real, or not. And what of this A Dude Abikes character? Is he real, does he exist In Real Life? Just who the hell does he think he is to write three blogs a week for going on 30 months? So many questions, we might have to go to another paragraph.

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That Blinking Cursor: Thoughts on the Book, Welcome to the Writer’s Life

Every blogger, poet, journalist, novelist, copywriter, song writer, short story writer, screenplay writer, textbook writer, memoirist, novelist or author of any kind knows and fears it. Those with computers, at least. It flashes on and off the screen, steadily. Hide and seek. Come find me! He/She/It/They says, taunting, daring, challenging the would-be composer of word art. I dare you! Just do it! Write something, already, you hack! When the muse visits and the words come, the cursor dances across the screen, doing your bidding. But sometimes you’re stuck, sitting there at your desk, on your couch or bed or deck chair, at the school library or maybe your favorite coffeehouse. Waiting for inspiration. That blinking cursor, it mocks you, makes you question your abilities and perhaps, on a bad day, your entire existence. What is one to do? Well, writers write. So even if it’s crap (perhaps like this paragraph, you may be thinking), you plow through it. Like I just did.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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