During my ongoing spins around town, at least my neck of the woods, I’ve passed by a few local bike shops (LBS). Given the government shut-down of all non-essential business, it seemed most of the LBS’s were forced to close. Many operate on thin margins, so it’s not good news. But I began thinking: If auto dealers, car repair and auto parts shops are open, isn’t it discriminatory against the car-less and poor to close down the LBS’s?
However, bicycling is an exempt activity from the health department order to stay home. And if you ride a bike, you know you will eventually need new tubes or a professional repair. A reputable source told me that LBS’s are now being considered as important enough to be allowed to stay open, thanks to some advocacy. So I was curious who was open. This is not an exhaustive or authoritative list, and it’s subject to frequent changes. Your mileage may vary — quite literally. Check their websites, social media or call first before biking there.
Austin, Texas — The Mayor, in cahoots with the chief of Public Health (aka the SARS Czar is requiring residents to Shelter in Place starting today, but just for two weeks. (Yeah, right!) It’s also known as staying the fuck home, a curfew, being on lockdown with a few exceptions, and martial law lite (New! With scary virus features!) But because of a silent but deadly killer (no, not farts, it’s coronavirus), the land of the free and the home of the brave is having a major hissy fit. Some are asking what it all means to cancel everything including our Bill of Rights. Really, ‘merikuh? Suspend the US Constitution? WTF?
Strava, the fitness tracking app, has been a useful repository of rides, walks, swims and photos thereof, a good source of data, and a fun place to encourage others and to be encouraged. Unlike many social media sites (so far in my experience, and as I’m told), it’s a pretty positive place. This post explores a few of the features relating to followers. If you’re a cyclist not on the app, you may want to consider it, and these tips can help even if you are and may not be aware. And, before I forget, kudos to you for reading this post!
It’s hard to not write about the elephant in the room when it’s far, Far FAR! bigger than that. Coronavirus is like sunlight, or water — except that it’s poisonous for many, and deadly for some. There are I’m sure much more eloquent attempts to explain and interpret what’s going on. After all, I’m just A Dude who rides a bicycle and blogs about it. My tiny corner of the internet is just one example of something a few humans think is kinda cool, or interesting, or important, but in reality is not. It’s frivolous, navel-gazing distraction.
And yet, we each do what we can to cope, to survive, and maybe again even to thrive. So I’m writing this blog. And it occurred to me that maybe I’ve learned a few lessons from biking 100-175 miles a week for 22 weeks in a row that might help me and you get through this. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. (I’m not really suggesting you do that; please don’t.)
I’ve attempted two previous bicycle humor posts: A Bicyclist Rides Into a Bar: Some Bike Jokes I Wrote Just for You and When I Can’t Pedal I Get Crank-y. Bike Puns for Fun. Given the times we’re living in right now, I figured I’d give number three a shot. How funny you think a joke is I suppose is a matter of taste and opinion. I just watched a stand-up comedy special and it looks so easy I figure anyone can do it. (I’m kidding!) As they say in the O’Henry Pun Off, it doesn’t have to be funny to be a pun. So let’s see what I can come up with on the spot. Hopefully it tickles your funny bone, provides some levity, or at least gets you laughing at me.
Possible titles for this post included (the humorless should skip the intro):
- Biking Is Good for Getting In Shape to Escape the Zombie Hordes
- Coronavirus; Things Will Get Worse Before They Get Worse (Lily Tomlin)
- Can My Bicycle Get Coronavirus?
- Rome Is Burning — Like Literally, People Have Fevers
- COVID-19 – The Movie: Will Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Finally Portray the President?
- We’re All Gonna Die, So May As Well Ride Your Bike
- Anyone Know How “The Walking Dead” Ends?
- Coronavirus, Some Coronavirus, and Also More Coronavirus
I’ve decided to go in another direction, though, and write about something related, still health-related and less apocalyptic.
I’m putting this out into the blogosphere and universe to see what happens. Could be nothing, could be something, could be everything. The thing is this: your humble, currently unemployed (I prefer sans portfolio) blogger, bicyclist, book writer and other b-words cannot currently conjur the coins to enter himself into this contest. So, I’m thinking that perhaps perfectly pleasant people perusing these pages permutate into patrons.
That is, they (YOU) sponsor me to join the Texas Writers League and their Manuscript Contest – TODAY! (3/20/20) The benefis for me are having a snippet of my book reviewed professionally and even better, a shot at an awesome prize: free admittance to WLT’s Agents and Editors Conference. So if you want to learn about this and might want to pitch in, keep on reading.