In this installment I’ll try and fail again to summarize what I’ve been up to for the last month. There’s too much to pack into one post. It seems the more I work on my book, and read other books, the more I realize that the art of writing is as much about what gets left in as what gets taken out. In his intriguing novel John Woman, Walter Mosley touches on this idea by having his eponymous protagonist (a professor with a checkered past and a troubled present), explore the deconstruction of history. His professor believes many things about his field, the main one as I understand it so far, is that it is not absolute. We are constantly creating history, our own and the larger world’s, Professor Woman teaches his students.Continue reading
8/8/2022: Biking While the Heat Is On in Austin
We’re on track to have the hottest summer EVER in Austin, Texas. (Climate science deniers ought to move along right now.) Texans are accustomed to the heat, but not like this. In 2011 we had 90 days over 100 F. So far in 2022, we’ve had 58 of those 100+ days. May, June, and July were record breaking hot. August is the worst month. Also, it’s barely rained, so we’re in an extreme drought. Many places from France and the UK to California are experiencing extra high temperatures. The hotness makes bicycling, as well as other important activities like standing up, breathing, and putting on pants a bit challenging.Continue reading
Someone Just Threw a Firecracker at Me on My Bicycle
Yes, you read that right. I was biking, and
some poor, misguided soul, correction, a major assclown in a car slowed down to throw a firecracker at my head. But that wasn’t all. The firecracker throwing happened after a guy in a truck sped through the turn at a red light without yielding in front me, which could have resulted in major pain or death were I not such a defensive rider and excellent bike handler. But shortly thereafter I came upon his shop where his loose barking dogs came at me. Usually my evening bike rides aren’t as eventful. This one saved all the excitement until the last 20 minutes. Let’s go to my Strava description.
Early Bird v. Night Owl: Which is Better for a Bicyclist?
There’s a poem I can’t find with a line I like that goes something like this: “The day makes promises but the night keeps secrets.” Hell, maybe I wrote that. For the last almost three years since I was liberated from a job through no fault of my own — “restructuring,” they called it — my open secret is that I’ve gravitated towards staying up late. Truth is, I’ve always been drawn toward the still, small hours. Ever since I was made to go to bed at 8 or 9 as a kid whilst the adults stayed up to play music or cards or just talk, I’ve felt like most of the cool shit in life happens after dark. Movies and television support this notion. And I’ve become something of a regular rider of bicycles at night to avoid the heat in Texas. So here are some of my thoughts on this subject.Continue reading
Verisimilitude: Leap Day Twenty Twenty Poem
Sitting at my keyboard wondering what to type college friend emails from India she ain't got no Skype Once did yoga on her lawn sun-drenched shorts of orange light dappled her auburn hair nothing rhymes with orange I've no right to write poetry just a simple bike ridin' dude but who says I can't rhyme and speak of verisimilitude? Barely rode my bike this week cuz of my damn temp job gotta pay the man rent, man or land on the street, a slob Have you heard the news today? oh boy, every day a new doozy while the tyrant rants and sycophants blather I'd really rather just take another snooze, see? It's sunny out there but pitch dark inside seconds, minutes, hours pass relentlessly time's on no one's side but its own never ever can shake this baby called ennui Can't get no satisfaction, though I try sometimes through time and space I move this body of girth endless campaign, killer virus, stock market crash Antarctica's melting; not to worry, people of Earth! Don't worry, be happy, this too shall pass worst form of government, 'cept all the rest - democracy real Americans do retail therapy, Netflix and chill problem is telling truth from lies, what's real from hypocrisy Honesty is hardly ever heard, word to your muthah zone out to your jams, take your medicine and sleep put on a happy face, fear not, and be of good cheer might as well jump to conclusions and take a faithful leap
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Can I Write a 500-Word Blog Post in 30 Minutes?
Sure. Will it be any good? I don’t know. When I recently wrote about writer’s block because I wasn’t sure what to write about, I got some compliments. Most days these posts take a couple of hours, and that’s just too much. Why so long? Thinking of an idea, maybe doing some research, which can lead down some rabbit holes, then there’s the writing, proofreading and editing, adding photos and links. It adds up. As The Dude said, you can call him “El Duderino, if you’re not into that whole brevity thing.” But being brief is all the rage these days with our short attention spans. So, here goes. That’s 4 minutes and 115 words.Continue reading
Meeting Bicyclists and Writers at a Poetry Reading in Austin, Texas
My first time at Malvern Books, a small independent store in Austin, Texas, was exactly what I expected and yet wholly surprising. The expected part was that people would come to hear the author and the poet, there’d be snacks before and Q & A plus schmoozing after. One Page Salon creator and host Owen Egerton had announced the reading of his good friend Walter Moore, who also read a page earlier in the week. When I bicycled over to the site formerly adjacent to Vulcan Video, I was greeted outside the door by Owen. He took a moment from his conversation with the smoking guest poet to smile at me. I thought he was opening the door but instead gave me a big hug. Sorpresa numero uno.Continue reading
Moontower Comedy Festival Pre-Show & Day 1: Seth Meyers & Nick Offerman
This blog is usually about my bicycling journey, including the people, places and things I see and thoughts I think while cycling. It’s also about writing my book and blog, creativity, and the occasional movie or book review or political observations. This post is about the Moontower Comedy Festival. I missed out last year and decided I could use a few more laughs plus I didn’t have enough t-shirts (just kidding on the latter). But after working for South by Southwest for two years, and seeing a good bit of the comedy which wasn’t many shows, I signed up for the much smaller, comedy-only festival. So far I’ve seen two headliners and it’s barely begun. Here are some thoughts about these shows.Continue reading
A Dude Abikes Likes: ABUS Ultra 410 + Loop Cable Bicycle Lock
I’ve mentioned bike products that I use and like before, but today you’re in luck: I’m starting a new feature here on A Dude Abikes: A Dude Abikes Likes. (Trademark pending.) Pretty catchy, right? Today I picked a lock… up, from the Bicycle Sport Shop Guadalupe location (formerly Ozone Bikes). It’s made by ABUS, Security Tech Germany, and if you have something you need to secure, this is a very good one. (NOTE: This is not a sponsored post. But hey, ABUS, if you like my post, email A Dude, and we’ll talk!) Please click on through to read my mini-review.Continue reading
What Is the League of American Bicyclists?
Like Steve Martin as Navin Johnson in the great 1979 movie The Jerk exclaimed gleefully, “The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here!” While not jumping up and down, I was similarly enthused. My membership to the League of American Bicyclists arrived in the mail. Who are they? What are they about? Are there any extraordinary gentlemen and copious amounts of Sean Connery’s beard involved? Why did I join? These are the burning questions I was yearning to be learning the answers to, as I’m sure you want to know as well. Well, A Dude Abikes is here to share them with you. It’s free of charge except for the time you spend reading, and you do have to pay some attention. I hope you’ll jump at the chance to go past the button for Continue Reading. Continue reading