After another convenience store stop to refill my water bottle with ice and water, have an indoor nature break, and to refuel, I began thinking about the modern day oasis. There’s many a night when I feel the need, the need for speed (or at least my slow version of it) and also get hungry, in other words, have a snack attack. Plus, I simply must get out of the Texas heat and humidity, and these little shops fit the bill. It occurred to me that these places and the people who run them are an important and overlooked part of the biking experience. The clerks, often young from India, Bangladesh, Mexico, and many other places play a crucial role for the bike casual rider and weekend warrior alike. So I thought it was high time to sing their praises.Continue reading
Being away from home and my bike for a day has put me in a contemplative mood. Mysterious recent health challenges have made bicycling harder than it should be. It’s already hard enough, in 100 degrees, being a fathlete, trying to not get dead by distracted drivers, not having a light bike with 27 gears anymore. For 19 months I’ve had the luxury to do daily walking, writing in my book or this blog, and doing yoga every day (the latter for much longer). And on most of the days of my life for the last 14+ years, but especially since 2015, I have ridden my bike. Over 20,000 miles since 2005, by my count. What if it all came to an end tomorrow?Continue reading
From the things that make you go mmmmmm department:
Mishap #1: Trash Cans, Trash Talk
Riding down a sidewalk of a busy four-lane road without bike lanes, I swerve to avoid recycling bins, miscalculate, and Sophie the Fairdale’s very wide handlebars catch them. I go down like a Christian thrown into the gladiator ring trying to save the lion with talk of Jesus. (Translation: Quickly.) But unlike those unlucky folks, I bounced right back up, apparently unharmed.Continue reading
I’ve been enjoying the 106th edition of Le Tour de France thus far, but I’m way behind watching it. I’m streaming it on NBC Sports, and just finished Stage 10, which was July 15th, the day after Bastille Day. If I can’t manage to watch five hours of cycling a day, imagine trying to ride as fast and over hill and dale as these guys do. For many it’s confusing, boring, or “they’re all on drugs.” Forget those negative nobodies and start watching it now.
Needless to say, the premier cycling race of the year on the planet has had its share of chills and spills. The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat. Strategy, bravado, risk-taking and raw emotion. Far better than any staged reality show, I could just go on and on about it. So I will. (I don’t like spoilers so will try to avoid them, but may be a few. If you haven’t started watching after 10 days, that’s on you, so be forewarned.)Continue reading
After the positive reception to my last post, The Bike Rider and the Farmer, it’s a little bit of a let-down to return to form. Little things, like that story inspired them to try a short story. Or by inviting someone to the Bike Curious social ride (in which I participated once again), they had to get their bike rack and bike in shape. Organizing a new bike gang is bringing in new people, too. But, writing about my biking, blogging, and book-writing, plus other random stuff, is mostly what I do (well, there’s a fair bit of complaining, too). So this is another brief collection of what’s up with A Dude Abikes (cue that SNL song “What Up With That?”)Continue reading
“Seems to me you got you two kinds of bicyclists in the world,” the old man in the straw cowboy hat said out loud to no one in particular, leaning on his beat up old Ford pick-up truck, sipping on a Big Red. “You got them dead ones, and then they’re the ones who are about to get dead.”Continue reading
Years ago, I was pedaling past the World War II era airplane hanger at Austin’s former Robert Mueller airport, which I recall flying into right over where I lived. (Not the recent special investigator.) Now, Mueller is the one-word name (like Bono, Prince, or Sting) for the new urban, high-density (and high-cost) neighborhood that now sits on the former airport. Back then, somehow I’d been able to rent a room in pretty new row house owned by a nice gentleman from Ethiopia. That’s another story.
I biked but not much. On that night, I found the ride quite by accident and joined in. It was fun and easy, but soon I went on my way and didn’t go back. Skip ahead many years in time to a couple of weeks ago, and I ran into a fellow rider at the grocery store, Jason. He reminded me about the ride, and since I was on a bike and curious about Bike Curious, I showed up. Needing a recovery ride from Saturday’s hot and tiring 45-mile Mamma Jamma training ride, I went again a second time. Lemme tell ya’ all about it.Continue reading