Three Decades Since A Dude First Landed, Bikeless, in Austin

March 3, 1991. The first Gulf War had just ended. I was out of college a few years and had been traveling and moving around a bit. I grew weary of that, so I did the logical thing and went home. After a year slinging Southern cooking and helping out dear ma a bit, I bought a lightly used car. I went to one last steak night with my dad and brother, and moved in with a friend in Austin, Texas. Today her eldest turned 22, so I stopped by for a COVID-safe outdoor birthday. People trickled by, and I told one about the mom,“She’s my oldest friend in Austin. Looks pretty good for 85, don’t she?” (She’s much less.) With that history and my anniversary percolating in my brain the last two weeks, I figured it’s time for a little trip down memory lane.

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A Walking Dude: The World Outside

Walking is to exercise what the insurance is to business: pretty damn boring, but it’s actually pretty beneficial. I’ve been at it 30 minutes every day since 1/1/2018 (minus a couple days, which I more than made up for). It turns out that walking doesn’t have to be, um, lame. Because there’s usually one or more of the following: something new to see, errands to run, people to chat up, music to listen to, or thoughts to think. You don’t need a gym membership, a swimming pool, a tennis/basketball court or soccer/baseball/football field, or a bicycle. Except for some good shoes, which can cost a bundle, there’s little money involved. For those of us fortunate to still be mostly able-bodied, it’s the easiest, most accessible, and reliable health habit we can do. So why don’t more people do it?

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Some Surprising Ways Weight Supports Sports

Normally on or about the 11th of the month, I write about how I’ve bicycled another month every single day in a row. You can read the latest big milestone in 10 Techniques I Used to Bicycle 500 Days in a Row. But this post seemed more interesting. Millions of people struggle with overweight, obesity, fatness, or as I like to call it: being undertall. But being fat ain’t all that. In many, if not most ways, it is not good for you. When it comes to sports, though, there are some notable exceptions. I don’t encourage myself or anyone to be overweight, but if you are, you can probably do more than you realize (which is the central thesis of this blog in one sentence). Let’s dig right in! (Puns happen.)

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Chats with Strangers Whilst Bicycling in Austin, Texas

A guy driving a truck is about to turn into the bike lane. ADAB stops to avoid getting hit.

ADAB: (Yelling.) “Hey, I’m right here in front of you!”
Guy:  (Looks left and right, doesn’t see me.)
ADAB:  (Slaps hood hard; yells louder.) “I’m right fucking here, asshole!”
Guy:  (Surprised. Says nothing.)
ADAB:  (Leaves in disgust, hoping he doesn’t follow, veer into him or shoot.)
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Bus in the Bike Lane: A Recipe for…

Ingredients:

  • 40,000 pound city transit bus
  • Lazy-ass or law-breaking bus driver (see if you can find one that’s both)
  • One 28-pound steel-framed sea foam green Fairdale Weekender Archer bicycle named Sophie (substitutions allowed)
  • Experienced person on said bicycle, vulnerable to said buses
  • Narrow traffic and bike lanes on most dangerous section of road in Austin for bikes
  • Friday evening rush hour
  • Big pot of history of near misses with city buses for the bicyclist
  • Memory of John Anthony Diaz, a cyclist killed by same bus company (separate into two portions)
  • Kettle full of road rage for the bus driver
  • Add a pinch, a soupçon, or a schosche of irritating, smelly bus riders into the mix
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And It Was All Yellow: Bananas for Bicycling

If you’re like me, exercise is a great time to think. Bicycling is like my office, so it’s probably my favorite place to put my thinking cap on. Even more so than thinking while in that other “office,” which if you know what I’m talking about has a lot to do with some certain orifices. Anywho, tonight’s thoughts come from bananas, because I stopped off at a convenience store and bought a couple of the tasty fruits. I mostly needed to pee, as you know, also often a shade of yellow, but let’s not dip back into toilet humor. Point is, I was thinking that nanners, and the color yellow, have more than a few things in common with bicycles. I didn’t say it was a deep thought. You’re probably just jealous you didn’t think of it first. Yes, I know that the Cavendish variety is green before ripening, and there are other color varieties of the fruit. Work with me on this, people. By the way, Mark Cavendish is a legendary pro sprinter from the Isle of Man. Moving on.

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60 Days of New Years Resolutions: How YOU Doin’?

Happy First Day of International Women’s Month. (Is it bad that I can’t get Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It”) out of my head?) Here in the States we were hoping 2021 would suck a lot less than the dumpster fire fluster cuck that was 2020. But it’s been a year already: insurrection at the US Capitol; inauguration of the lawfully elected 46th President (who quickly began steering the ship of state away from the rocky shores with some pretty righteous executive actions); impeachment without conviction of the ousted one for inciting said riot; the vaccine rollout happening but mostly botched (largely due to the last guy); and the new guy before bombing some places in Iraq. (Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, at least when it comes to war and the military.) Then there was epic Winter Storm Uri (a Russkie?) which led to ultra cold temperatures, blackouts (the weather kind and I’m sure booze-related ones, too), near record snow, ice, and in Texas especially, the loss of electricity, heat, and then water for millions. Yeah, pretty sucky, 2021.

But hey, there ain’t much a dude can do about all that but to survive and Just Keep Livin’. And that means doin’ some stuff, makin’ moves, and what not. Thanks to the boss man over at Sorryless saying I inspired him to take 10,000 steps every day but starting Februrary 1st, now that March has arrived, I figure it’s time to review my vows to suck a little less. It’s a lot to hope for, but maybe some of my very modest but important marginal gains will rub off on y’all, and on the year at large. OK, suck it up, we got some stats to update. I’ll try to keep it short.

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Book Review: Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope

Naked in a hot tub with an author is not a situation I find myself in often. In this case, it was a quite a while ago when I spent a summer at a yoga center. I didn’t know it at the time, but the writer in question was about to publish a book he must have been working on during my summer there. I’m not in the book, and the whirlpool nudity isn’t germane to the review, but I thought it might be a fun way to grab your attention. Anyway, I finally got around to re-starting and finishing his work. Yoga is an ancient tradition spanning thousands of years, and I eventually got into a daily practice, so while I doubt the author remembers me or will ever see this review, if he does, I trust he will forgive me for the tardy book report.

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Practices & Products for Painful Pedaling

I’ve been grousing about a body part that’s been plaguing me for a while. It was an issue in the past, but cropped up recently again toward the end of bicycling 500 days in a row (which I’ve pushed past — for now). Also, I’m no spring chicken anymore, although I often think I am. Most of the points I wanted to mention were already included in my post After the Fall: What to Do When You Come Off Your Bicycle, But that was November of 2019, so some updates are worth noting. Let’s dive right in. There’s water in the pool, so it’ll be painless, I promise!

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