The Kids Bikes in Stranger Things: Fighting Monsters, Freedom and Fun

I’ve just begun watching Stranger Things, the moody, spooky Netflix sci-fi series about a group of kids searching for one of their own who goes missing. And then the weird stuff transpires. Set in the 80’s, when I was a teen, the show has a very Stephen King vibe to it (there’s even a direct shout out to him). Season 3 is being released on July 4th, Independence Day, fittingly enough. Because like on the show, when you’re a kid, bikes mean the ability to feel free. The wind in your face and hair, and that feeling of almost flying, or floating. Luckily, grown-up kids get to recapture that sensation, too.

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Nostalgia for My Grandmother on Winter Solstice, the Longest Night of the Year

It’s winter solstice here in Austin, Texas, United States of America, and I’m feeling nostalgic. Not only because of the holidays, or working in a place with a long history here in town and in the country that’s closing down, or because a year ago I had ridden my bike alot more, and the year before that, even more. It’s mostly because my maternal grandmother died 20 years ago on December 22, 1998. This post is dedicated to her memory. (Check back after the holidays for more photos.)

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Conversation with Jim Sayer, Director of Adventure Cycling Association (Part 1)

When I got wind Jim Sayer was in town, I jumped onto my computer machine and using electronic correspondence, I requested a meeting.  Since I missed him on my trip to Missoula, Montana where ACA is headquartered on my epic trip there in 2016, and have been curious about bikepacking/touring ever since, I was keen to learn more about ACA.  He was kind enough to meet me at a coffee shop and chat.  He’ll be doing a talk Tuesday, November 13 at 6-8 pm at Bike Texas, so if you’re in Austin, come on down!  I’ll post a follow-up after that event to share more.  But let’s dive into what the ACA is about! Continue reading

Healthier Choices; Getting Out into the Community & Meeting Cool People (Day 4)

Wednesday’s 16 miles on the bike began with a ride to a downtown coffee shop to talk with a very interesting person.  I can’t reveal their identity or the purpose of the talk just yet, but it was a good experience for me, and I hope for them.  So we’ll see how that goes.  You’ll read about it here, assuming you keep coming back to read A Dude.

While I was there, I spotted someone else of note.  That person was Jim Hightower, the populist former Agricultural Commissioner of Texas who has gone on to be a voice for progressive politics in Texas and beyond.  My second favorite thing he ever said was at a Ralph Nader for President rally where he was a warm-up speaker.  The crowd was rambunctious, so he said, with a Texas inflection, “This rally is hotter than high school love.”  Hilarious!  My favorite thing he said was, “I was born recently, just not yesterday.”  I said hello, he was pleasant and polite but he didn’t remember me from Adam.  Funny thing, years ago he considered me to be too radical for his radio show.  Instead he got my friend on the air, largely because he was an Army veteran.  True story. Continue reading