Stepping Up My Walking Practice (Sort Of)

For many years, the magic number of walking for health, fitness and weight loss was 10,000 steps per day. But it was just marketing, not science, courtesy of a Japanese pedometer company’s promotional campaign that started back in the mid-60’s. A Canadian study shows that it’s just not one size fits all. But obviously if you’re overweight, have health conditions, are used to sitting down all day for work staring at a computer screen, starting with whatever you can do is the best course of action.

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I’ll Tell Ya What I’m Watchin’ on My Telly (Part 2)

When I wrote Part 1, I was wondering in the back of my mind if I would ever get around to Part 2. After all, it took me almost a year to complete the profile of bad-ass cyclist Dena Kinate. It always bugged me a little that comic genius Mel Brooks never made a sequel to History of the World Part I. (It’s good to be da king!”) But in the postlude, there was a short snippet of a spaceships in the shape of Stars of David piloted by rabbis. The suggestion was maybe there’d be a movie called “Jews in Space”. But there wasn’t. However, there was Spaceballs, so we’ll settle for that. I digress. Read on.

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Using Setbacks to Keep Moving Forward

Roadblocks happen and make you go in a different direction. Frequently, the efffing Force is just not with you, friend. Sometimes, schtuff simply happens. When life hands you lemonades, you’ve got two choices: Make lemonade or lie down in a corner drinking water. In other words, roll with the changes, or they’ll roll over you. You get the point. My thesis is that there’s only so much time and one person can only do so much, and doing your best sometimes mean stepping back.

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Random Thoughts from the Life of a Car-Free Bicyclist in Austin, Texas

Sometimes there’s no one unifying theme to a blog post, but even then, there is still a framework. Today, it’s that many factors affect my cycling, and also that there’s more to life than cycling. (Impossible, I can hear some of you saying!) Here are a few of those thoughts. As to whether they’re Deep Thoughts, you’d have to ask Jack Handy, which is an old Saturday Night Live skit. Basically he had short quotes that were inane, so I’m not claiming any wisdom. I am just sharing my experience in hopes it educates, inspires or at least amuses you as one of my millions of followers (any day now). Read on, it’ll be good, you’ll see. After all, I’m not The Dude, I’m just A Dude. And A Dude would never steer you wrong. That would be very un-Dude-like.

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Little Pleasures and Pains in the Life of a Bicyclist

If you ride your bicycle regularly, you may have noticed that lots of little stuff happens that probably doesn’t happen for people dependent on cars to get around.  Sometimes it’s big stuff, like you:  go on a long ride, compete in a race, get a new bike, set a personal best on that Strava segment.  The little stuff that goes on, while not as headline-worthy, is just as interesting, to me at least.  There is often more than meets the eye if one is willing to look deeper.  Let’s take a look at four things that happened to A Dude and find out.   

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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

Bicyclists & Jews: Both Are Targets (But They Should Not Be)

I AM A JEW.  I’m out of practice, in that I haven’t been to shabbat services in many suns.  It is more accurate to say that I’m Jew-ish. I was also simultaneously brought up in another faith tradition, Unitarian Universalism.  As far as ethnicity and identity go, Judaism, being the parent of Christianity, is much more well known than UU’s.  Jews are 1.5% of the US population; UU’s are far fewer.  I’m also an atheist, or if you can’t handle that, an agnostic (which I wrote about here).  But I’m also a bicyclist.  And we are legion, but still a minority compared to car drivers.

After the heinous hate crime that murdered 11 Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Saturday, October 27, I  realized two things.  First, writing a blog about biking seemed, well, frivolous.  It many ways, it is.  But also, I noticed that there are parallels between Jews and bicyclists.  Both groups are minorities.  Both are hated irrationally.  Both are targetted victims of violence.  Vehicular violence isn’t as “sexy” (newsworthy) as gun violence, but it’s still violence that ruins and destroys lives.  This post explores the intersections (pun intended) of this topic. Continue reading

Vision Zero ATX Wants to Stop Traffic Violence — But How?

Vision Zero ATX (www.VisionZeroATX.org) is based on an idea that came from Sweden:

Vision zero is the simple idea that every death and serious injury in traffic is preventable. People will make mistakes, but those mistakes should not lead to anyone losing their life or being severely hurt.

Simple, but not easy.  So far this year (as of August 1st), 40 people have died on roads in Austin, Texas — the US’s 11th biggest city.  Most are vehicles versus other vehicles.  More than a few involve pedestrians.  Just a few involve bicyclists.  Compared to many cities, that’s not alot, but according to Vision Zero ATX, we can do better.

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Eight Days a Week… Off the Bicycle: Viewing Setbacks Through a Buddhist Lens

It’s been eight days since I’ve ridden a bicycle.  Why?  Heat.  Illness.  Lastimas. Life.  (Lastimas is wounds or injuries in Spanish. So that spells H.I.L.L, doesn’t it?  I meant to.)  When thought of in this way, it’s another set of obstacles, another rise in the road to climb, something that tests you but also makes you stronger.  Part of me is relieved, and lucky to have use of a car.  Another part of me is pissed off that I’m losing whatever fitness and form I had.  Another is panicking that I may not get it back, or get back to it, or even be able bike at all without more injury or at least pain.  Breathing in deeply, I notice I am not riding my bicycle.  Breathing out, I notice that I am writing a blog post about not riding my bicycle. Continue reading

Houston Bike-By Shooter Kills Another Cyclist, but Houston’s Lawson Craddock Still in Tour & Has Raised $114,000+

I was going to write about how I’m unable to bike for a while, or the heat wave (109 F forecast for Monday!), or possibly put up pictures of my collection of bike t-shirts.  Then I saw this sad news that made me do a double-take because it’s just crazy.  There’s not much to know at this point until they catch the guy who did it.  And what’s making this more news than it might be otherwise is that the victim was Dr. Mark Hausknecht, a cardiologist to former US President George H.W. Bush. Houston, we have a problem.  It’s you.  Quelle bizarre!

AlkekLogoSmallOrgMeanwhile, in the crazy-good Houston bike news department, Lawson Craddock, whom I wrote about recently (Texan Lawson Craddock Breaks Scapula on Day 1 of Tour de France, Just Keeps Riding. Quelle Courage!), is still riding in the Tour de France and donating $100 for every stae.  His GoFundMe page, which you should definitely contribute to, has now brought in over $114,000 for the Alkek Velodrome damaged in Hurricane Harvey.  Since it’s used to train the next generation of cyclists, it’s a good cause.  Read more about both these crazy stories below!

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