A year and two weeks ago, I wrote Snow in Austin, Winter in America, based on a powerful song by Gil Scott-Heron. I think that post is some of my best work, not necessarily prize-winning, but in trying to capture a mood. (You should go read it now. I’ll wait.) The street poet, progenitor of rap, musician, and author was a voice of conscience regarding the state of Black people in America, among other things. He could also lay down some serious grooves to go with his strong words; Winter in America is in a minor key and has a great blues flute solo. I wrote that post right before coronavirus began its whirlwind tour of the US — just before it went viral. (Ha!) It was a few months before the modern-day lynching of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. (Not ha.) Scott-Heron died on May 27, 2011, a decade ago later this year. What would he have to say about Floyd’s killer, Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin still being out on bail awaiting trial and maybe even getting some justice for George (yeah, we’ll see about that)? Time marches on. But as Sting once sang,“History will teach us nothing.” The prophetic music and lyrics of Scott-Heron and others like him (Marvin Gaye comes to mind) are relevant — still. Maybe in GSH’s poetry we can find a little solace in these cold and dark days. Or maybe we’ll get pissed and take action somehow. It is Black History Month, but is there more to it than history?Continue reading
A Third Chat with Sophie the Fairdale Who Turned 15(,000 Miles) on Jan. 15th with a 15-Mile Ride
Back on April 14, 2020, I wrote a post I called “Another Chat with Sophie the Fairdale, Who Just Turned 10(,000 Miles).” Well, as you can see, we’ve just hit 15,000. So that’s worth a third chat, wouldn’t you agree? Good, I’m glad. Yes, I know you can’t really talk to bicycles. Well, you can, but they don’t answer. If they do, that would be news. Just play along, it’ll be fine, I promise. Jeez, so literal! By the way, Fairdale Bikes are an Austin company and I have to thank Fairdale Bikes, Bike Austin and Hill Abell with Bicycle Sport Shop for gifting me with Sophie in a raffle back in 2017. Be sure to check out my first post about Sophie: The Fairdale Weekender Archer: A Review of My New Bicycle I Won in a Raffle!Continue reading
¡Sábado Pequeño! Fotografía para Vos
As usual on book writing days, I’m posting photographs, for now at least. I hope you like them! Although I biked a total of 21 miles, I called this Small Saturday, taking off from the huge Mexican TV Show, Gigantic Saturday (Sabado Gigante). As always, you can access my bicycle riding stats, maps and other photos on the A Dude Abikes Strava feed. If you’re on Strava, you’re welcome to please follow me there as well as here. Thank you for visiting my blog! Y’all come back now, ya’ hea! (A common Texanism.) Continue reading
SXSW Day 8: Blood Fest, Doug Loves Movies and Rosemary & Garlic
I was going to title this post “A Comedy Podcast, Music Showcase and a Horror Film (Walk Into a Bar)” but then I decided the names were more interesting. And because many people wouldn’t get the bar joke. Also it’s really late — so late it’s no longer Friday — and I’m exhausted from attending six bands and a movie about a band on Thursday. On top of that, the internet seemed to have stopped working so I lost the first half draft of this post. So I’m not in the mood (for love or for redoing this.) Let’s just get right to it, shall we? Continue reading
BOOK REVIEW #1: Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley – An Easy Rawlins Mystery
The idea of reviewing books about bicycling has been in the back of my brain for a bunch of blogs. But I have Milly Schmidt from Australia (The Cat’s Write) and Shalini from India (Books, Reviews et al. by Shalini) to thank for reminding me that writing in different genres is perfectly acceptable (despite what some pro bloggers may say) and that reviewing books is a good thing to do for aspiring writers. I’ve just finished award-winning Walter’s Mosley’s Charcoal Joe: An Easy Rawlins Mystery, so don’t be blue. Without further ado, here is A Dude Abikes’ review. For you. It’s true! And brand new. Continue reading
Temas del Hoy: Movimiento, Cambio, y Casa o Hogar?
Mi Segunda Eferto Hacer Un Blog En Español
Esto es mi segundo post en español. Les pido que me disculpen los errores al principio. No sé por qué, pero hoy fue un día larga y difícil. Por eso, estoy cansado y aunque quisiera escribir una entrada breve. También, me da cuenta de que la palabra más popular en mis estadísticas es bici. Por supuesto, quiero atraer visitantes a mi blog quienes son de países de Latinoamérica y España, debido al mi historia en visitar Guatemala en dos ocasiones, México para pasar hasta Guate, y España. Algún día tal vez puedo visitar a otro país como Colombia, Ecuador o todo los demás. Mas que todo, necesito desarrollar mis habilidades hablar y escribir. Esto está hecho por mano, no por traductor, pero intento añadir acentos usando Word. Continue reading
A Dog, A Dude, A Day
In a week’s time I’ll be back in my room in the busy, noisy, stinking city. The car will be returned to its owners and the process of “re-dogging” will take place. Over four long days I’ll be volunteering for the very large South by Southwest convention (SXSW). That will allow me to see most of the shows except sold-out headliners for free and hopefully do some networking, learning and basically being a tourist in my own town. A luxury of which being employed full-time has deprived me for almost two decades. I’m due for a little fun, especially in the “Live Music Capital of the World.” My search for relevant, rewarding and non-boring work will continue. As will this blog, I hope, but in reduced form while I also hope to re-start working on my book of biking 10,000 miles in 2 years. With these changes on the horizon, it seemed like a good day to reflect.
News Flash: People of Color and Women Ride Bicycles, Too, Dammit!
Bikes Are Colorblind, They Just Want to Be Ridden
It’s Black History Month in the United States of America, so it would be bad form for a progressive to not pay homage to that (which I did earlier when mentioning the impact of the Black Panther movie) Some people have the mistaken belief that only rich white men in Spandex ride bicycles. They are wrong.
Where I live, I frequently see people of color riding bicycles, usually at night, apparently commuting home from work. They usually don’t have lights or helmets or fancy bikes. But they are cyclists just the same, risking their lives to go about their lives, which includes transporting themselves with their own people power. Leonel Hernandez, who died last month, was one of them.
Today, within the space of 10 minutes, I met a black dude named Ivory and a couple from Thailand named Nukul and Rung, each on a bike. You really meet the coolest people on bikes — of whatever color, status or nationality. You never would probably barely even see them from your motorized steel pollution cage.
Doubt, Embarrassment and Fear: How to Manage the 3 Frenemies
The Needle Keeps Skipping on My DEF Jam Records
(Doubt, Embarrassment Fear = DEF) I’ve had a lot of DOUBT about my abilities to bicycle very far or fast, and especially on this hilly road. This has been a source of EMBARRASSMENT to me as someone who was featured in the paper for riding his bike a long way, not to mention being a blogger about bicycling. And due to two recent deaths of people on bikes, I’ve had alot of FEAR. After yesterday’s post about faith, both religious and secular, I felt a parting in the metaphysical clouds, which mirrored those in the sky letting in enough sun to dry the road sufficiently as it also warmed the earth. So I got on my bicycle, and being A friendly Dude, I brought my friends along for the ride. You can come along too as I describe it.
In Bike I Trust: The Faith of an Agnostic Athiest Cyclist
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
– The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A Dude attended a presentation sponsored by his weekly job search group today. It was about how to make brain science work for, not against us. The presenter asked an attender if she had faith. She paused and said, “Well, if you mean like in organized religion, no.” The presenter said something like, “Well, do you have faith the sun is going to come up tomorrow?” “Of course,” she answered. And that got me thinking. (I have a thinking problem, actually. I’m trying to cut back. Ha ha!) Thinking usually leads to writing, and lately not journaling as much as weblogging. So in what do I have faith? Continue reading