A New Abode in Which to Abide for A Dude Abikes

A year ago today, on Cinco de Mayo, I wrote a post about having to move. I called it Moving A Dude’s Abode and Body: A Buddhist View. In it, I reflected on stuff, attachment, cravings, and even death. You might be expecting another installment, all kinds of new pearls of wisdom after a year of THE VIRUS!, but for the life of me, I can’t think of any at the moment. So I’m going to write about the things I will miss in this place. I know the title is about the new residence, and I can hear you saying, “That’s not what was advertised in the title.” To that I’d say, “Well, that’s just like, you know, your opinion, man!” But I’ll get to that, just cool your jets, pump your brakes, and slow your roll, OK? Good.

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Rents and Temperatures: Things That Are Rising in Austin

Spring in Austin, Texas is usually a short-lived affair. Now, after a week of rain, the heat is on, and the humidity is high. Or as I call it, the stupidity. If all the rich idiots from California moving here with their First World dollars did their research, they would not come here. It’s very hot (and not ofttimes, not a dry heat), there’s bad traffic, cedar fever, other rich Californian idiots, and oh yeah, the homeless. Our so-called liberal city chose on Saturday to ban camping, sitting, or even lying down in public again after 23 years. Hypocrites. It does nothing to house the houseless, which I’m always on the verge of becoming, as I recently detailed in my post Homelessness Has Him House Hunting; Hounds of Hell at Heels. With tempers flaring from that political battle and the rising thermometer, plus ample reasons for my own head to get hot, I figured I would blow off a little steam. Trigger warning: “Bad words” ahead!

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Sophie the Fairdale Gets a New Drive Train from Clown Dog Bikes (Again)!

If you’re a loyal reader of A Dude Abikes, this may seem like a little deja vu. On October 24, 2019, I wrote Sophie Gets a New Drive Train, and She Rides Like Buttah. Many thousands of miles later (6,666.66 in 2020 alone), she was past due for another replacement of some very worn and pretty filthy parts. You could say that Sophie has been a dirty girl. Grit and grime attach themselves to the oil on the chain, chain ring and cassette. The teeth or cogs wear down, the chain stretches, and tends to slip off when changing gears — especially on hills or high pressure. So I took her to the friendly neighborhood shop that’s been serving the University of Texas for about 20 years, and let the pros at Clown Dog Bikes take care of bidness.

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Lean Into It: When Bicycling and Life Throw You a Curve Ball

One day maybe a year or so ago — the pandemic has proven that time is a human construct and has lost all meaning — I was talking with my father, who are in another town in Texas. I must have been griping about some problem or another when he just blurted out, “Lean into it.” I was taken aback that he would know this phrase uttered more by hipper millennials. For a moment, I didn’t know what to say. I gathered my wits and said, “What do you mean?” I don’t remember the exact words but they were along the lines of “go with the flow,” or “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” possibly an explanation, “just accept that’s how things are and do your best, don’t worry about it.”

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What to Do When You Don’t Feel Like Writing Your Blog

You know how sometimes actors will look into the camera and talk to the audience? It’s called “breaking the fourth wall.” Well, this post is similar to that. I’m pulling back the curtain to say, sort of like when you’re out on a long bicycle ride and your body just isn’t up to the task and you turn to your fellow riders (or yourself) and say, “I just don’t have it, today, mates.” Everyone has off days; nothing wrong with that. We’re not human bicycling machines. (Yet.) Sure, I could come up with something bike-related, or talk about some picayune detail of cycling, but I’m just going to go wherever this writing about not knowing what to write takes me. I don’t know what you do when you don’t feel like writing your blog — of course, you do you. But I know what I do: I write my damn blog.

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The Writers League of Texas: Membership Has Its Privileges

After a number of years of hearing about WLT, attending some of their pre-pandemic Third Thursday events at Book People (the largest independent book store in Texas), and meeting some folks at Owen Egerton’s One Page Salon, I finally joined up. I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. I suppose it had to do a bit with the Wayne’s World motto: “We’re not worthy!” When actor-director Tate Donovan asked me at a OPS if I was a writer, I said yes for the first time. Hey, that makes me one degree of separation from Jennifer Aniston, whom he dated after playing her boyfriend on Friends. As we all know, she’s well known for her books. Strike that, reverse it. I mean looks! Humunuh humunuh! No, it’s her mad acting skillzl OK, that’s tangential, but it was diversionary. Mmm, more big wordz!

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Homelessness Has Him House Hunting; Hounds of Hell at Heels

In last Cinco de Mayo’s post Moving A Dude’s Abode and Body: A Buddhist View, I ruminated on what it means to have to go live somewhere else. Two abodes later, and I’m having to do it again, as I alluded in my previous post about Mark Cavendish. Who, by the way, put a cherry on the cake and made it four wins in eight stages at the Tour of Turkey. The alternative is homelessness, or more accurately, houselessness, both of which, like the hounds of hell, bite big time. What’s a dude to do? Well, keep on searching, for one thing. And write a blog about it for a little anger management and stress relief, for another.

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Resistance Is Fertile: Body Building with Bands

The great debate between lifting weights and using resistance bands comes down to personal preference, and whether you’re training to compete as a weight lifter. Basically, you can get a good workout from both. You can read an article at Livestrong and another article at Fit Simplify. Both cite studies and mention the pro’s and con’s. I’m just going to tell you a little about my experience over the last six weeks using the bands.

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Cyclist with an Injury Problem, or Injured with a Cycling Problem?

The body is wise. It will tell you when it needs to eat, sleep, evacuate, and stream the latest cool show. The trouble is we — our brains, minds, egos — often ignore these signals. We’ll skip breakfast, or have second helpings when we’re really just thirsty. Instead of a nap, we’ll drink caffeine to power through the afternoon lull. We stay up late looking at our blue light screens, not go to bed early. The unhealthy, too early start to the school day, working late or the swing shift, fitful sleep nights with a new baby, hospital helicopters, asshole dogs — we’re constantly bombarded by noise during what should be our restful hours. We’ll push through a workout because of the intense societal pressure to be thin and stigma against fat people — even though we’re the majority! No wonder so many people, at least in urban areas, are out of rhythm. The world keeps spinning, as do I with my legs and wheels. Inertia is not a good option, injured or not.

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A Decade of Knowing My Bicycle Mechanic

Bike mechanics, like many essential workers, have long been unsung, but make no mistake, they are heroes. That’s a strong word, but to those of us too lazy to learn to fix our own bikes, or who don’t have the tools, we rely on them to keep us rolling. Tonight I was at a shop, participating in the usual back and forth. First, there is the friendly but slightly tired question, “What’s going on?” A description of the issue from me. That is followed by a brief technical educational seminar complete with repeating main points, checking for understanding, and a hand drawing. Then, investigation of the bike and either repair, ordering parts, or other appropriate result is. Some low-grade insults from both sides are scattered in, said with a laugh to soften the blow. And we realized we’d known each other 10 years. “And you still can’t get rid of me!” I lampooned myself. Of course he sees many other people, so it’s a lopsided arrangement. But for a decade this guy has been in my life and that’s a lot more than I can say for most “friends.” Excuse me while I get a little verklempt here.

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