I had a friend over tonight and we watched my deluxe collectors edition of the 1998 film The Big Lebowski. If you weren’t aware, a quote from the movie inspired the name of this blog and my nom de plum (and also my nom de velo – to be clear, it’s an homage).
The Dude: Yeah, well. The Dude abides. Source: The Bid Lebowski
The Stranger: The Dude abides. I don’t know about you but I take comfort in that. It’s good knowin’ he’s out there. The Dude. Takin’ ‘er easy for all us sinners. Shoosh. I sure hope he makes the finals.
I had only seen it a couple of other times, but it seemed to me just about as awesome as the first time I saw it. Almost, because come on, the first time is just pretty mind-blowing. So here are some of A Dude Abikes’ thoughts about this classic movie by Ethan and Joel Coen, starring Jeff Bridges as The Dude.
As mentioned in the recent post Car-Free Dude Drives Borrowed Auto, Doesn’t Die, I’m working a lot and having to drive a car to do it. Since I’m in Austin, Texas (at least that’s where everyone keeps telling me I am), and it’s only mid-September, it’s still hitting 100 degrees many days. That’s true even if it’s not actual temperature because of the heat index (aka real feel) or humidity.
Point is, I ain’t biking much at all. It’s either miles or money, and since I’ve done plenty of the latter, it’s high time for the former. And that got me to thinking: What do you do when choice or circumstance keep you from your routine and goals? Come on inside this cozy post and A Dude’ll tell ya how he rolls. Or doesn’t.
As if exhaustion from being out in the Austin, Texas heat wasn’t enough of a sign that I should stay in this evening, I just dropped something heavy on my foot. Now I’m sitting here with ice on it. I was going to have to miss the only open shop night at Yellow Bike Project anyway because I thought it was yesterday and went there for nothing. So while I’ve been out walking a bit more, I’m also getting plenty of heat exposure. I call it sun poisoning, or Vitamin D overdose. So, my bicycling is sucking.
I am writing this post because that’s what I do every Wednesday, Monday and Friday night for over a year — for now). I’ll have a much-needed shower, do my half hour of gentle yoga (probably all on the floor) and hopefully collapse into bed for a full night of rest. But what do you do when life gets in the way of what you really want to do? Whether it’s ride your bike, write your book or blog, etc., how can we do it all? (Hint: You can’t.)
Being away from home and my bike for a day has put me in a contemplative mood. Mysterious recent health challenges have made bicycling harder than it should be. It’s already hard enough, in 100 degrees, being a fathlete, trying to not get dead by distracted drivers, not having a light bike with 27 gears anymore. For 19 months I’ve had the luxury to do daily walking, writing in my book or this blog, and doing yoga every day (the latter for much longer). And on most of the days of my life for the last 14+ years, but especially since 2015, I have ridden my bike. Over 20,000 miles since 2005, by my count. What if it all came to an end tomorrow?
Returning readers recall relatively recent reflections recommending rest. After five days of riding my bike almost 90 miles, and knowing I would reach 100 miles last week, this weekend I did very little. My body, my left knee and quadricep muscle in particular, were very grateful. As usual I was having trouble getting myself going. So when a friend offered to come by and help with some errands in his car, I jumped, however gently, at the opportunity. Later, we went for a walk, and it got late. I could have forced myself to go put in some miles on the bicycle, but I did not. And it was glorious. Let me tell you.
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.