A Blog About My Blog: January-September 2018 Stats

My blog is doing well, for something that I don’t promote elsewhere or spend as much time as I would like to engaging with other bloggers. I started in 2016 and through the end of 2017 I had written just 31 posts and had only about 20 followers. Now I have written 173 more posts and have 313 followers. Naturally, publishing regularly has been helpful in making it more visible. So I’m grateful for the readers and support I have received, while also realizing there are lots of things I’m probably doing wrong or not at all that would help. Still, progress is good, so here’s a short post with the statistics of what’s been going on behind the curtain in A Dude Abikes land.

Continue reading

How Vulnerable Should You Be in Your Blog?

Darren Rowse, the Australian founder of ProBlogger and co-author of the book by the same name, recently wrote “his most personal post in years.”  (You can find the article at this link on Medium.)  It got me to thinking, what is the appropriate amount of sharing?  Allow me to share my answer.  Because sharing is caring, and if nothing else, A Dude Abikes cares.  About some things some times.  Right now, it’s about finishing this awesome blog to watch more Tour de France (yes, still, I know, it’s almost Vuelta a Espana time!).  But all seriousness aside, this is a good question to ponder. Continue reading

Some Thoughts on My Upcoming Interviews with Bicyclists in Austin, Texas

When Pam LeBlanc interviewed me for a profile in the Austin American-Statesman that was published on January 15, 2018, it set into motion a series of most fortunate events that are still bearing fruit.  When I first suggested the idea to her by email in late 2016, it fell flat.  I guess the 5,306 miles I bicycled in 2016 was not that impressive.  But I kept riding, and I kept writing this blog, albeit irregularly.   And I managed 4,714 miles in 2017.   So riding 10,000 miles in two years did catch her attention.

Then Pam, who is a total badass herself I hope to interview one day, expressed interest in putting me in her Fit City blog.  After that, her editor wanted to run the piece in the print edition of the newspaper with photos, I was happily surprised.  My persistence of pedaling and pontificating had paid off.  But the main thing I learned was that if my bicycling story was interesting to the mainstream newspaper of the 11th largest city in the United States (or at least the lifestyles editor), then other peoples’ stories would also have value.

Continue reading

Oh Yeah, It’s a Blog Post Day: On Writing Anyway, Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

Writing a blog three times a week may not seem like much work, but sometimes it is. Today is one of those days where I’m tempted to skip it, except so far this year I haven’t done that. I either write this blog or in my book for 30 minutes or 500 words, and it’s usually for an hour and over 1,000 words.  Or more time and words, depending how much looking up stuff, dealing with photos, and going down rabbit holes.  I just keep on doing my best to #Don’tBreakTheChain.  After six months and 11 days, I ain’t about to quit.  Or better put in tee shirt format:

Too Legit
LL Cool J rap song translated to white.

Continue reading

The Little Blog That Could: Statistics from January – July 2018

This post is about the statistics of my blog, mostly over the last half a year.  Ironically, screen shots paint a better picture without too many words.  It comes as promised before my little rant about the U.S not living up to its ideals as a government or nation regarding its horrible, immoral immigration policy of separating children from their parents at the Texas border.   Agree or disagree, but I believe I’m on the right side of the law, history and human decency on this one.

While some may appreciate my view and others may not, fortunately we do still mostly have freedom of speech in the U.S.  And this blog is primarily an attempt to document my bicycle journey and to inspire others to do the same.  It’s also an experiment in writing that I started January of 2016 but have not worked on intensively until 2018.  That said, let me show you a look under the hood of http://www.ADudeAbikes.com (aka http://ADudeAbikes.WordPress.com)!

Continue reading

What Two African Muslims Taught Me About Ramadan, Bicycling and Blogging

Ramadan is the month-long holiday of day-time fasting, prayer and other practices observed by people of the Muslim faith.  It ended yesterday, making today Eid al-Fitr.  What does that have to do with me and bicycling?  I’m glad you asked, so I’ll tell you.  Recently I wrote about self-compassion.  And then I met a man on a bike ride who was only riding at night.  When asked why, he said it was because he was observing Ramadan.  No water or food until nightfall, and then biking?  To me that was impressive because it showed some serious dedication to both his religion and his sport.  He’s a Nigerian living in Texas.

What does Ramadan mean
Source:   Oregon Public Broadcasting You Tube channel

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world in Kenya, a fellow blogger posted a story about encountering a poor woman on the street.  She too is an African Muslim who was observing Ramadan.  But despite the blogger being charitable and giving away some of her money, the beggar still berated her, and told her it was not enough.  One of the teachings of Islam is to be additionally generous during this month, and so she grappled with doing that but not receiving the gratitude she expected.  The two encounters were too coincidental not to share.

Continue reading

4.5 Years of Daily Yoga Practice: How It Helps My Bicycling and Can Help Yours

1,634 days is a long time to do something consecutively, but today, June 6, 2018, marks that anniversary for me.  Back on December 6, 2013, I began a regular yoga practice of 30 minutes per day.  (It was actually 12/4/13, but I missed two days early on so I move the anniversary date up two days. If you want to get technical my anniversary is 12/25.)  The point is that I have continued practicing yoga ever since, every day – without interruption – at all.  I resolved to follow some advice I didn’t have words for at the time:  Don’t Break The Chain, when I blogged about forming habits back on January 2.  It’s ironic to be proud of what at heart is an humbling and internal practice.  But important milestones bear acknowledgement, and since a major thrust of this blog is to try to inspire people, my yoga is a major component of that goal, as well as my life.  Continue reading

Conversation with an Author: Michael Barnes

If you live in Austin and have read the local newspaper in the last 30 years, you probably know of Michael Barnes.  He’s been covering arts, entertainment, culture, history, the city and its people and changes and more in some form or another in the Austin American-Statesman for most of that time.  He’s also written two books, performed and taught theater at the University of Texas and St. Edwards University among other things for many years.  He has a diverse presence on the internet with several blogs and social media sites, and probably alot of other things I’m sure I don’t know about.  He also has a doctorate in theater, and oh, by the way, last year he was 2017 Best Journalist in the Austin Chronicle Readers Poll.  So when I casually invited him to connect and he did, and then he invited me to meet him for coffee, what was A Dude going to say?  I said yes, of course! Continue reading

First Third of 2018: Round-up, Progress and Challenges

Today, May 2, 2018, I quietly observed my 18th year anniversary of moving back to Austin.  It was also the first day of the rest of my life since being laid off / liberated from my job of 11 years, the last day of which was six months and a day ago, on November 1st.  Accompanying those two milestones is the end of the first four months of the year.  With all of that, it seems like a good time to reflect upon where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m heading.  Get out those oranges and reading glasses, because A Dude’s a-fixin’ to do some navel gazin’!  (Note to my non-US followers:  If you are not in the US, navel oranges are a common variety here, because they look like they have a belly button, aka navel.  And navel gazing — staring at one’s belly button — is a metaphor for self-rumination.  We don’t actually stare at it.)  Orange you glad I explained that? Continue reading