Worlds Collide: A Midnight Rider Visits A Dude Abikes

OK, the truth is he didn’t come to Austin, Texas just to visit me, he came to see his son. But since he asked, I couldn’t get out of town in time, I couldn’t weasel out of it. Just kidding. A Midnight Rider hails from Southeastern Massachusetts, and from the moment he exclaimed “Dude!” I was taken back to my college days in Vermont. That New England accent ain’t heard too much around these parts, but it was welcome to my ears. If you’re not familiar with it, the letter “r” in certain words is a lot softer. So “Park the car in the yard” sounds like “Pahk the cah in the yahd.” Anyway, here’s a little recap of our get together.

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A 50-Mile Bike Ride, Longest of 2021 (So Far)

I rode my bike for half a century (50 miles) on a recent sunny Sunday, the details of which you can see on Strava. Especially if you’re the sort who needs some proof. Or just don’t believe that guy who’s in the same decade of years as miles, with an extra amount of weight, can do that. Although it was challenging given my condition(s), it wasn’t so brutal that I was wrecked the next three days. It’s no work of art (well, the Strava map kinda is), but this snippet of dialog from Seinfeld sums it up well:

Lois:  Have you designed any buildings in New York?
George Costanza:  Have you seen the new addition to the Guggenheim?
Lois:  You did that?
George Costanza:  Yep. And it didn't take very long either.
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Q3 2021: Third Quarterly Report of My Bicycling and Other Habits

Now that we’re 90 days from the end of 2021, it’s time for my third quarterly report. July, August and September are the hottest months in Texas, and that heat and stupidity tend to slow most dudes and dudettes down. (I meant humidity, which with the heat tends to make one stupid.) But, I never claimed to be smart, so I have gone on a bicycle ride every single day of the pandemic (and for a while before that). Regular readers know I’m like only 50% of that Cake lyric: “He’s going for distance, he’s (not) going for speed.” On top of that, I take a walk, do yoga, and got myself into some other daily activities, practices aka habits. Sure, it was stupid hot (though not as bad as last year), and I do not bike fast. However, although I don’t get a cent from it, you could say I’m in the bicycle riding business. And business is good.

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Raining, Riding, Ruminating

The rain, absent for weeks, began slowly. Forecasts seemed unreal; the wishful thinking of bored meteorologists. Heat can be somewhat managed on a bicycle, but the rain is much trickier. I thought I could beat it before it began, but I couldn’t, so I joined it. With shoe covers, bib shorts, white t-shirt, dayglo orange safety vest I found under a cheap yellow poncho, my cell phone in a plastic bag ensconced in my hip pouch, and the willingness to get wet, I set out on my trusty Fairdale Weekender Archer. Just a short bike ride in the rain, not my first rodeo, y’all.

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6 Similarities Betwixt Stand-Up Comedy and Sit-Down Cycling

How are we doing out there tonight, Poughkeepsie? (Puzzled looks.) You’re really a lovely crowd, I mean it. Please remember to tip your waiters. I gotta tell ya’, biking and comedy are two totally different disciplines, am I right? Anyone ride their bike here to the comedy club tonight? No? Well, shame on you for hating your Mother Earth. I biked here because I’ve got a lousy agent. He didn’t rent a car for me to get here from the hotel. And I know this agent is lousy, because it’s me! I’m my own agent. I gotta do everything for myself. So after biking here to do my set at Bananas Comedy Club, where some hack named James Fallon started, I found out — and this is true – the club relocated to Rutherford, New Jersey for the summer. Freakin’ Jersey! Fugghedaboud it! That’s why you looked at me like I was bonkers when I said Poughkeepsie. It’s a long ride: 77 miles, to be exact. Anyway, I should fire that agent, but I can’t. Well, let’s get to my set. Here’s how biking a joking are similar, like almost the the same exact thing.

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All the Road’s A-Rage, and We Are Merely Cyclists

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that riding a bicycle on urban streets is a risky proposition in most cities in America. In my city, Austin, Texas, we have a decent amount of bicycle infrastructure. Better than some, worse than others. Amsterdam it’s not, and we still have to contend with all manner of things that could drive one to drink. Number one is drunk or otherwise distracted drivers. And a lot of those people aren’t swigging booze, they’re guzzling down the rage-ahol. And sometimes when things go badly, we cyclists get plenty angry, too. To quote the original Dr. Bruce Banner to the reporter Jack“Mr. McGee, don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

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Austin Bike News Roundup for September 7, 2021

These Austin Bike News Roundups appear sporadically, usually when I grow bored of writing about myself and notice enough newsworthy items to share. If I were a more organized writer (a planner, not a panstser) and a more energetic dude in general, I might solicit entries from local bike shops and groups and publish them on a regular basis. If I had more actual readers living in Austin, and some income from doing them (like sponsorships), then it would make more sense. And, if I were a rich man ya ba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dum… Of course I’m not rich, yet still I write this blog. Why? I cannot say. Oy vey.

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August 2021 Strava Stats – Still Summer

August is gone. Autumn’s approaching and with it pleasant weather conditions more favorable to bicycling and walking. Despite last month being wetter and cooler than usual, we only had three 100+ F days, one to end the month, and another two, two 99’s, and another 100 forecast to start September. So, it’s still summer in Central Texas. As I look back at my activity statistics, to the hottest month, I say this (quoting a former Texas governor who didn’t know the microphone was on): “Adios, mofo!” But hey, I’m not doing too poorly if you noticed I passed 30,000 lifetime miles the other day.

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30,000 Lifetime Miles I Bicycled on Strava

***NEWER POSTS BELOW**** Flavor Flav was and is the hype man for seminal rap group Public Enemy. Even if you don’t know their music or who Flav is, if you paid attention during the 80’s and 90’s or saw Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing with their hit, “Fight the Power,” there’s a good chance you heard of the guy wearing a big clock around his neck saying, “Yeah, boyeeeee!” Chuck D was and still is the main voice of serious political rap, but FF keeps it fun. Professional athletes, celebrities, and politicians also have paid hype people — publicists to trumpet their successes and explain away their losses or mistakes. This dude just has this little blog, and Strava the fitness app, through which to toot my own horn. So, it’s tootin’ time. And yeah, I just reached 30,000 miles of bicycling in five years, eight months, and 10 days. Not too shabby for a dude who’s old and flabby. It brings up some questions: How did it begin? How did I get here? What does this milestone mean? And what’s for dinner?

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What’s Up With Austin Bicycle Community Groups?

We’re deep in the heart of Texas and COVID-19’s fourth wave, with allegedly only two (2!) ICU beds available for an 11-county, 2.3 million person region. That news is real and dire, but somehow the beds seems to expand when more staff become available. But with the Governor Hey Abbott! getting infected with the virus himself this week, after his horribly out-of touch, anti-science, and anti-mask mandate law, it’s strange days indeed. Almost enough to write a follow-up to The Coronacles of Blarneya, Part II. Instead of that unpleasantness, it’s best to go outside and exercise those lungs in the fresh air and sunshine — the latter being the best disinfectant, after all. Anyway, it occurred to me to do a little update on a few of Austin’s community groups that help get butts on bikes.

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