Moving A Dude’s Abode and Body: A Buddhist View

It was moving day. Again. Or days, rather, because who would I ask to help in these times? As a perpetually underpaid and underemployed renter in high-priced Austin, Texas, when my lease is up, it’s time to move on. And these days have been hot ones, too. On the thermometer it was 93 — tying the record. With high humidity it felt much hotter, 101, which is a lot for early May. The average high is 10 degrees cooler, at 89. I feel both the burns, from sun and in the muscles. But importantly, I still got some stuff moved. And moving my abode and my body as much as I do are worth some rumination.

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Frederic Chopin’s Classical Music: The Soundtrack to My Bike Ride

Before you read this, if you can, put on your favorite streaming service, CD or album (or imagine) something by Frédéric Chopin. Something like Nocturne No.2 In E Flat, Op. 9 No. 2 performed by Vladimir Ashkenazy from Chopin: Favourite Piano Works. Because that’s what I’m listening to as I write this, and the music seems perfectly suited to my ride and state of mind. Given that it was a grey Friday evening in Austin, Texas after some light rain had fallen, and the pandemic stay at home order, traffic was extremely light.

The surreal experience of biking down Austin’s main street, Congress Avenue, with hardly any traffic put me in a reflective mood. Cue Chopin, that master of the melancholy from France by way of Poland. His quieter works may not get your RPM up very high, but they put your mind in a calm and meditative place. And that’s not a bad head space to be in these days, biking or otherwise.

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BE HERE NOW, Because Time Is Not on Our Side

For a professional cyclist, one hundredth of a second can mean winning or losing a race. For a jobless commuter / weekend warrior / fathlete such as myself, I really could not care less about speed. Which is good because I’m not fast. As in, lately most of my rides are around 10 miles per hour. However, the first quarter of the year went by and I rode 1,501 miles. But with the world having a prettay, prettay, prettay bad year, who cares about bicycling goals, right? We are all having to consider (or try to avoid) facing the one thing that truly unifies us: our finite existence. I know I have thought about it, because if there’s one thing I have in spades while biking, it’s time.

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Can Meditation Improve Your Bicycling?

We humans are always looking to improve, make progress, get ahead. If we can find a short cut, a hack, a trick, we’ll more often than not take it. The path of least resistance isn’t necessarily laziness either. There’s a fine line between sloth and smart. When it comes to cycling, whether you ride 5,000 miles a year (as I did in 2019) or 500, the easier the better. Mindfulness is all the rage now, although meditation has been around for thousands of years. So, can meditation improve your bicycling?

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On New Years Day of 2020, I Make Resolutions to… Hey, Is That Chocolate?

It’s the year 2020, a catchy number, and the start of a new decade. It’s a natural time to turn over a new leaf and start up some new habits. Lose weight, get organized, write that novel. But if you’re like most humans, after a few weeks most New Years resolutions have gone the way of holiday wrapping paper. A bold proclamation is now just a broken Hanukahmass toy sitting sadly in the corner. So why bother? Well, for some folks, they work. And as readers of A Dude Abikes know, I’ve had a fair bit of success with some changes. So here’s what I’m doing — and not doing — in 2020.

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The Big Lebowski: 21 Years Later, The Dude Still Abides

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. 
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.

Source: The Bid Lebowski

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.

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Lazily Leaning Lightly Into the Low Lulls

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.

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When Life Gets in the Way of What You Really Want to Do

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.)

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What If It All Came to An End Tomorrow? Buddha’s Five Remembrances

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?

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