Fighting Fat Phobia in the Cycling Community

Readers of this blog know that I use the word fathlete frequently. I didn’t invent it, but it’s one small way I resist the outdated, discriminatory, and just plain wrong notion that one cannot be overweight and still exercise. I’m not promoting anyone should try to be overweight. But I am saying that there is plenty of weight stigma in the world, and that includes people who ride bicycles, and I’m also saying it should stop. While that’s unlikely anytime soon, I believe it is worth saying again. Because there are already plenty of obstacles to bicycling (horrible car drivers, unsafe or missing bike lanes, new bikes that are unaffordably priced for many). We don’t need any less reasons for people to bike, we need more. Let’s explore this problem and what can be done about it.

[My previous posts Some Surprising Ways Weight Supports Sports and Un-Fat Is Not All That: Being Overweight May Have Some Health Benefits contain some of my thoughts on this subject.]

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Actually, I’ve Bicycled About 45,000 Miles in 17 Years

The week began slowly. I only managed to average about 12 miles a day when I’m meant to do 15. For 2022, I haven’t set any new goals or made any New Years resolutions. I’m just sort of coasting on auto-pilot from last year. After 5,555.55 miles in 2021, and 6,666.66 in 2020, and riding every day for over 800 days in a row, I have now passed 32,000 miles in just over six years on Strava*. (I started in very late December 2015 and it took five days of 2022 to hit that number, so call it six years and two weeks). That got me to thinking about what I did pre-Strava. The actual total mileage I estimate is much higher. Actually, I’ve bicycled about 45,000 miles in 17 years. (As for whatever I did in childhood and adolescence, into college and young adulthood, I’ve no clue. I could guess 5,000, but it would be a total guess.)

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I Can’t Drive 5,555.55 Miles, but I Bicycled Them! (6,056 Total with Walking in 2021)

It’s year six in the books, for those keeping count of both blog and bodacious bike riding (and four years of basically daily bipedaling, i.e., walking). As you know, 2020 was remarkable globally because of THE KILLER VIRUS, but it was memorable for me personally. I really got after it and as a result last year’s review post was titled A Devil of a Year: 6,666.66 Miles Bicycled in 2020 (7,278 Total with Walking)! So yes, I biked every day all year (one less due to leap year) — again — but for 1,111.11 miles less. That was intentional, since 18.21 miles a day was too much to repeat. But it was also necessary to do less, because, life. And I’m not a machine; I’m a dude. However, 15.22 miles a day is still pretty, pretty, pretty good, so Sophie the Fairdale and I are quite satisfied with it. Let’s get to the Strava images which best sum things up with aplomb. (Yum, a plum sounds delicious, but out of season.) After all, one must have a hint of color!

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The Last Bike Ride (of 2021): Rolling with Rhodney

The year began like it ended, with your humble correspondent throwing a leg over the top tube and pedaling. Neither far nor fast, but flat. Nothing remarkable, save for the fact that I have this platform from which to remark about it. After all, bicycling is a relatively simple act that hundreds of millions of people around the world do. Many much “better” than I. But as someone reminded me, everyone has their story, and here I’ve tried to tell mine, for what it’s worth. Everyone also has obstacles in their life, be they genetic, disability or health-related, environmental, social, economic, or political, and there are many other things that make it “hard”. I try not to focus on these challenges, although I do grouse at times. (It’s my blog and I’ll whinge if I want to.) In the end, one hopes that something good comes out of their efforts, or at least nothing too bad. Just a simple bike ride is its own reward, though.

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A Chat with Sophie the Fairdale at 20,000 Miles + 800 Consecutive Days of Bicycling

It’s a pair of milestones this time for A Dude Abikes and his trusty steed, Sophie, the Fairdale Weekender Archer. I won her in a raffle from Bike Austin back in 2017, though I didn’t start riding her exclusively until January of 2018. On Sunday, we passed 20,000 miles, according to the Gear setting on Strava, the fitness app (which means “to strive” in Swedish.) As it turned out, it happened the day after 800 days I bicycled in a row. Two years, two months and 10 days if you’re wondering.

There was some major effort involved, and with that some pain and suffering, that’s for sure. They’re all part of attaining these big numbers and worth commemorating. I’m not really tooting my horn here as much as I’m just reporting the facts. It’s another step on my journeys both on the bike and here in the pages of this blog.

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Cold Weather Bike Riding Tips: Don’t Be Silly With the Chilly

It’s been almost a year since my post The Winter of Our Discontent; Cool Bikings. There were some good ideas in there (of course) but not quite enough tips. And since we’ve had a few low temperatures approaching 40 F, which is the high in some places, I figure it’s time to stop turning a cold shoulder to this topic. I shouldn’t complain; 40 F is warm for many people in northern climes. WINTER IS COMING, so I’m trying to acclimate, that way I won’t be overdressed when the temperature does plummet.

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Writing a Book Is Like, Hard, and Stuff; A Partner Helps

My bicycle memoir, a book that’s been in process for several years now, is going like my bike rides — ever so slowly, relatively speaking. I like to blame the Writers League of Texas revision class teacher’s fault for blowing up my structure. It was 24 chapters over two years; she said ditch that for hanging things on half a dozen or so major events. The League director pretty much said the same. So not only did I write it, go back and revise it, then try to have some beta readers look at it, now I have to go back and re-re-re-do it? Apparently, yes. But I may have found a shovel to start digging myself out of this hole. That shovel is actually a person. I’ll explain.

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October 2021 Strava Stats

Somehow, summarizing September Strava statistics seems skipped since… Sorry! I just ran out of “s” words. But I bet you haven’t seen a whole sentence, fragmented as it was, starting with the same letter lately. So, points to me. I guess I get a little tired of reporting my fitness activity numbers, and more than one reader does, too. Yet, this is (predominantly) a blog about bicycling, so producing posts pertinent to that topic is important, I suppose. Some people claim that if it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen. And since Strava’s colors are black and orange, just like Halloween, it seems like a good time to start doing this report again. So, posthaste and forthwith is all the data you’re dying to digest about how much I walked, yoga-ed, and bicycled last month. Shall seeing said stats satisfy some subconscious salaciousness ?

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