A Bike, A Dude, A Day

As an amateur bicycle rider, I don’t have a team, manager, sponsors, massage therapist, or any expectation to ride at all except for my own. And I’m a rank amateur at that – does that mean smell bad? Because it’s summer in Texas, it’s hot, I sweat, so yes, I guess that definition of rank means I do. But because I’m fathlete, I’ve been getting out their every day for over 666 days in a row. Some days are more eventful than others. So here’s a little slice of life, on and off the bike.

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My Salad Days: Streakus Interruptus

Two weeks shy of 180 days, almost six months after I began a daily habit aka streak, something completely shocking happened: I forgot to eat a salad. At first I was incredulous, like “How the hell did I let that happen?” But it realitiy, it is not that big a deal. I mean, the country of Afghanistan just lost its government and is now being taken over by an army of pissed off religious zealots with some beliefs that are culturally very different to mine, like girls shouldn’t go to school. I’m among the majority of people in the US who are for getting out of that fruitless $85 billion, 20-year old war i.e. quagmire. It’s not our country to run. So yeah, there are more important things than some dude’s salad streak. But this is a lifestyle blog of a fathlete, so I’m going to get back to my lane and stay in it. And if you don’t like it [insert a salad-centric insult popularized by comedian Chris Rock here].

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Thoughts on Reaching 600 Blog Followers and 50,000 Views

These two statistics appeared recently in my WordPress statistics page. Thanks to everyone who’s signed up as a follower on WP or by getting emails over the last 2,050 days. It’s not a big number when looking at bigger sites, but I’m no celebrity, so that’s to be expected. Of course the vast majority of followers (90%?) don’t read much or at all. But I am also grateful for all the views. That works out to be 24.4 view per day, which seems like a pretty incredible number given that some days it’s far less than that. Included in that number are probably all the times that I’ve looked at the blog myself. Nonetheless, these are milestones along the road and worth pointing out.

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What I’m Reading in Summer 2021, by A Dude Abooks

People ask me what kind of business I’m in, and I say books… and business is good. OK, not really. I’m just an amateur still working on mine. Well, maybe I’m an unreliable narrator because here I am yet again, writing another blog post instead of doing revisions. A new writer friend who’s also working on a memoir whom I met online first at a Writers League of Texas event invited me to a coffee shop. He asked me why not pause the blog to focus on the manuscript? I said that wasn’t a bad idea but that I can’t seem to quit blogging. Maybe he’s right. Or not. Because any guy who suggests meeting in a suburb called Pflugerville (the p is silent), but who doesn’t drink coffee and knows I don’t either, must be a little touched in the head. Just kidding, it was a pferectly pfine pflace to pfontificate about the pfiner pfoints of pfublishing and such.

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666 Consecutive Cycling Days: The Devil Is in the Details

Well, that just happened. Riding my bike for 666 days in a row is a benchmark I figured would eventually pass if I just kept going. As for those who think the number has some special significance, or to the members of the Church of Satan, who are skeptical atheists who do NOT worship Satan or believe the devil is a real entity but rather “…as an archetype of pride, individualism, and enlightenment”: no offense. I just like the symmetry of the number. That should be evident from my biking 6,666.66 miles in 2020. I called it the Double Devil, because of Coronavirus and POTUS #45. Read all about that at this link.) That’s a lot of days in a row to do anything. In my case, bicycling for almost two years is a fairly decent accomplishment.

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Summary of the Sumptious Summer Writing Retreat with Writers League of Texas

The month flew by and so did the class I took for the Writers League of Texas Summer Writing Retreat. “Layering: A Structured Approach to Revision” with Chaitali Sen was at various time challenging, enlightening, vexing, and interesting. I’m still processing it and will need to review some of the things I missed. And then put them into practice. There were also other events, like an hour-long lunch hour meet and greet, two of them had Q & A’s with authors and a Thursday night meet and greet with classmates. All in all it was a gratifying experience. I wonder how much cooler it would have been if it were held in person instead of all on Zoom.

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My Strava Stats for July 2021

This post looks at my monthly stats from all my activities in July 2021 courtesy of Strava. As you can see from the images below, I was active all 31 days of the month, for 93 hours total exercise. Of that, 37% was biking, 31% walking, 30% yoga, and 2% swimming. I had hoped to do a lot more of the latter, but there is limited access to the only outdoor pool my gym has in town. Also, I don’t like sharing a lane, since I’m a lousy swimmer I need a whole one to myself. That and my ongoing energy deficit made it too difficult to get in. At least I got in the water twice. I’ve realized they have water aerobics, so I might consider that. But the struggle is real, and it continues.

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How Did Lawson Craddock and Team USA Do at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics?

Texan professional racer Lawson Craddock rode in the Olympic road race and time trial in Japan. In my previous post about Lawdog, I got the date and time for the first event correct but not which one. The very long 146-mile road race came first. I missed the time trial, which isn’t as fun to watch. In both cases the Houston native acquitted himself well. I answer the question below, and there are spoilers including one about the Tour de France.

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The Art of Taking the Lane on a Bicycle

“Get yo’ bitch ass offa the road!” yelled the guy in the truck at me. That’s because I was in the middle of the narrow car lane, since there was no room for cars to safely pass me a bike lane or alternative road, and the sidewalks suck. I was in Southeast Austin, Texas in a neighborhood called Govalle (a Swedish, not Spanish word). It’s a less wealthy part of town near the airport that billionaire Elon Musk is transforming with a huge Tesla manufacturing plant. (Teslas are still cars, and they still pollute, albeit less than a standard gas engine car. And those lithium batteries are hugely wasteful to make, even if recycled.) Anyway, it’s a car-centric neighborhood. Traffic wasn’t heavy, so I chose to take the lane — which is completely legal in Texas. Anyway, it was not a pleasant interaction and it got me thinking about how and when to take the lane.

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Building New Habits, 15 Minutes at a Time

If you’re new here, I’m a dude who has been working on some habits, with some pretty good results. If you’re old, well, me, too, and thanks for sticking around. If you read my previous post you’ll see I covered 3,002 miles in seven and a half months. I accomplished this by riding my bicycle every day this year. But I didn’t just start and get to that point this year; I’ve been doing it a while before that, and I built up to it. A major reason I was able to do this was that I was introduced by my brother to James Clear who writes about habits. His book Atomic Habits has sold 4 million copies. So he knows a few things.

© James Clear
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