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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3,100 Miles Pedaled in 6 Months: A New Personal Best

When I began bicycling more than i ever thought possible, in 2015, I estimated I covered the distance from LA to Boston, about 3,000 miles. It was an educated guess based on Google maps, training rides for two charity rides, and general commuting. Now, it seems I’ve doubled my pleasure, and doubled my money (spent on bike stuff). That’s no big deal to pros, racers, and the generally faster. For me, it’s pretty good. But like my blog buddy back East, I’m working to Be Sorry… Less. By riding every day since last fall, I’ve given myself a better shot at attaining a higher mileage goal for the year. So now it’s time to look at the first half of the year’s stats.

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I Upgraded Strava: Membership Has Its Privileges

Recently the founders of the activity tracking software Strava (“strive” in Swedish) sent out a blog saying they had yet to make money after a decade of offering a free and a premium service. So they decided to make free members pay up to get some of the features that were previously gratis. Predictably, there was an uproar, including from frugal types like moi. But once I looked into it, I saw they’re point. And having hooked me on things like Training Log, Monthly Progress and some other stuff, I caved and bought in. At $8 a month it’s a decent deal; I got it for $5 a month plus two month’s free. So let’s see what you get.

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REVIEW: Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music Watch

As I wrote recently, my Garmin activity tracker watch stopped allowing me to record bike rides and walks. Those are my two main activit-ease, so I had to do something besides record everything as a run then edit it. My Strava friends were beginning to think I had taken up running. A Dude Don’t run. I can’t have people believing that! I have a reputation to ruin, sully, destroy, etc. So, after much Libra back-and-forthing it, I couldn’t pass up the steep discount offered for an upgrade. And voila! (or as we say in Tejas “voy-luh”) the new watch arrived. And it is GOOD!

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Why Are Exercises Called Activit-Ease When They’re So Hard?

I joke, but it’s true. Exercise is work. That’s why it’s called a work out. Used to be, you could only do it outside. Then some lazy people said let’s invent air conditioning, and then the exercise fanatics said let’s work in. But that term never caught on so they called them Jim Nayseeums. To not embarrass their founder, they spelled it differently, to make people think it was the Greeks. Oh, I’m just being told that is really was the Greeks. Never mind.

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Bike Brakes, Gears, Tires and Watch Problems – Ka-ching!

In the last week or so, I’ve had a bunch of things go wrong with Sophie the Fairdale. Several flats required professional intervention. Now I’m having to get more puncture-resistant tires and they’er not cheap. Ka-ching. My trusty Garmin watch has finally begun to give out because I basically broke the walk and bike functions by using it so much. I’m able to upgrade it even though the warranty is out. More ka-ching. The bike also needed adjustment to the gearing and brakes needed new pads. The Sun & Ski Sports bike shop mechanics say I ride a lot. Apparently I’m in the 90th percentile of people biking. I suppose I do, but I always thought they were being nice, since I know there are plenty of people doing more. One of my mantras is “Comparison is the death of joy,” said the Buddha, but sometimes that’s hard to follow. Anyway, if you ride your bike, repairs and replacement of parts are inevitable.

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Austin Black History Social Bike Ride #2

After the previous Sunday’s smaller ride, Bike Ride for Black Lives Matter… I somehow heard about another one even though it was organized on Facey Spacey. I happened to be awake and I’m always in need of more miles. Rather than stand around looking at the police station or state police, I decided to join in and try to learn something. The organizers expected 50 people, and they got at least 500. It was a huge event and lasted four hours in the hot Texas sun, but it was a cool thing that is hoped will catch on in other cities.

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The Women I Saw Today

International Women’s Day was back on March 8, part of Women’s History Month. But isn’t every day women’s day? When noodling about for today’s topic, I realized the incredible variety and diversity of female human people I crossed paths with today. As a lifelong male who happens to play on Team Straight, I’ve devoted my fair share of time contemplating the opposite sex. I’ve been single a while, so apparently I haven’t learned very much. But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate them. So while this is predominantly a bicycle and assorted lifestyle blog, today’s post is about da ladeez.

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Job Sucks Soul Out of Cyclist; A Dude (and World) Keep Spinning

It’s been two days on my new temporary job and my body is already exhausted and my spirit crushed. After a fairly good amount of time off, now it’s the moment for making money. I owe, I owe, so off to work I go. The average Joe or Jo would probably give up or severely curtail her or his extracurricular activities. But I’ve never been called average, mediocre perhaps, so I keep on walking, yoga-ing, writing and the big time suck, biking. I’ve been watching my programs, too — and currently it’s the last six stages of last year’s Tour de France. That counts as bike-related education, right?

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The Heat Is On, Again

Summer again approaches Austin, America and well the northern hemisphere. With a 100 degree day forecast, the heat is on, again. It’s been almost a year since my post Surviving the Summer Heat on a Bicycle. While full of useful advice about not just hydration but acclimation and other stuff, there’s no need to repeat it, but feel free check it out. Even knowing what to do to minimize the effects doesn’t change the fact that it’s just sweaty and uncomfortable. In addition, I’ve attended several protests and demonstrations for Black Lives Matter (see posts here and here). One involved a march that was in the hottest part of the day. People were ducking into the shade, and numerous volunteers were handing out water. Add into that the increasing temperatures from global warming, and it’s that least wonderful time of year: summer. How can we make it less of a bummer?

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