622 Miles Biked in July 2020: This Dude Is on Fiyah!

Alright, alright, alright. I don’t literally mean on fire. But it is a quote from Matthew McConaghey as Woody Wooderson in the Austin-area film Dazed and Confused. Matt is apparently one hell of a dude, citizen, University of Texas at Austin professor (really!), and he happens to live up the highway from me. Oh yeah, I guess he won an Oscar or something for acting in Dallas Buyers Club. That’s all a seque, because alright is how I performed on the bicycle in July of 2020.

Continue reading

A Dude, an Esthetician and a Monoplegic Get Into a Hot Tub…

I bet you didn’t expect to read that sentence today! I didn’t expect to write it, either, but that’s pretty much what happened at the gym last night. Life isn’t like a box of chocolates, because you do know what you’re going to get: chocolate (aka choccy as they say Down Undah, right Missy?) But going to the gym you never know who you’re going to meet. (True story, I once met Meatball, the rock legend. But that’s another story. Although I will say that he introduced himself as Meat, and I said, without missing a beat, “As in, Mr. Loaf?”) To be honest, I didn’t meet the man with one functioning arm. He was in the pool though, and I did chat with a skin care professional. Interesting people abound!

Continue reading

February 2020 Strava Stats: Bike, Walk and Swim

The shortest month of the year, albeit one with a Leap Day, was not as prolific as January, but by all accounts, still successful for your favorite aging, tired, undertall bicyclist blogger. There are two major reasons for that: I continued riding my bike every single day, with an eye on making at least 100 miles per week, and also the addition of swimming. So let’s have a look under the er, bottom bracket, shall we?

Continue reading

Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down: Onward Through the Fog

Austin awoke to a soggy, gray blanket of fog that only horror writers and car insurance agents love. I awoke with fog as well, but in my brain. Just as well that I have no job to be up for at the butt crack of dawn. There was also a ray of light: a note on my blog from a Seattle author I mentioned the other day, Paulette Perhach. An authot writing to A Dude is big deal, y’all! Later in the day, I got connected with another Seattle writer, Carol Tice, a ghostwriter who does coaching. Eventually, I got my cobweb-addled brain and body out for my walk and a bike ride… into the rain and mist I went.

Downtown on an errand, I ducked into a Starbucks (a tiny coffee company based in Seattle you may have heard about) for a tinkle and to use their free wi-fi. I used to live in Seattle. After a few years of suffering through miserable winter days like today, escaping often to the YMCA for what I dubbed a “shake n’ bake” — sauna, steam room, hot tub — I was chased out of town by the constant state of darkness and moisture. The Starbucks gestapo was also to blame since they rightly claimed I didn’t buy any coffee. All that’s to say that rainy days and Mondays always get me down. Except you can’t keep a good dude down for long.

Continue reading

Sophie’s Choice: Cold Night Bike Ride or Warm TV Watching?

Sophie is my Fairdale Weekender Archer, so this blog post is not about the 1982 movie in which Meryl Streep won the Oscar for best actor. Also unlike the movie, based on the book by William Styron, my bit of suffering is nothing like the dilemma of the character in the film. Yet I went on this bike ride despite not being fully prepared and got to thinking, “Why am I choosing this suffering when I could easily avoid it?” The short answer is “Because, goals.” The longer answer is a bit more complex.

Continue reading

Overcoming Resistance to Exercise: How I Do It & You Can, Too!

It’s happened to most people who exercise at some point. It’s time to go to the gym/yoga/karate/spin class or for a walk-run-swim-bike ride, and you’re just not feeling it. Maybe you didn’t sleep enough, you had a stressful day at work, forgot to eat enough or well, or all of the above. There could be a plethora of valid reasons to take it easy and park your butt on the couch. And some days, that’s exactly what you need (see my posts Rainy Day Blahg: The Value of Sleep and Rest Days for Cyclists and The Rest of the Story About Rest Days for Cyclists).

But when your tiredness is mental and you still have some gas in the tank, you should go for it. Getting yourself moving may feel like climbing Mount Everest, but it is doable. And you won’t even need crampons. Because those pointy shoe things look dangerous and probably give you cramps. Come on inside this post to find out how I make myself bike, walk and do yoga even when it’s the last thing I want to do. And Happy Spring Equinox and Super Moon, y’all!

Continue reading

Friday Night Fights: Fatigue v. A Dude Abikes + Winter Trail of Lights in Austin, Texas

Maybe biking 102 miles in 5 days in cold, grey and at times very windy conditions with my, Sophie’s and backpack weights combined, not lubricating the chain since the rain until Wednesday at Yellow Bike Project, a rear disc brake caliper that was rubbing on the rotor and slowing me down til Brandon figured it out at Sun & Ski Sports last night, plus being low on sleep and other stuff has something to do with being very tired. Nah, those are excuses. I think the reason is alien abductions. All their probing, er, I mean, questions are exhausting!  Point being, I’m biking alot to make my upwardly revised goal, and I’m tired.  But not too tired to complain — I mean write about it in my blog — and share some more photos and statistics. Continue reading

Austin Bicyclists’ Funny & Insightful Texts About Biking the Tour Das Hugel (Or Not)

Should I ride Das Hugel?  No.
 

Why shouldn’t I ride Das Hugel?  It’s extremely dangerous. Some of the descents are wickedly fast with winding turns. There’s grooved pavement, traffic, grumpy police, steep grades up that might leave you falling over in your clips, etc. Your doctor would advise against it unless your ticker is in top shape. Your spouse would force you to up your life insurance.

Really?  OK, it’s an unforgettable experience. Gorgeous scenery. And everyone is joined in the camaraderie of pain.

Continue reading

Fast, Furious, Foothillacious Friday Forty-Miler on the Fairdale

Bicycling is a violent sport.  I don’t mean falling off, crashing into trees or getting hit by cars.  (That stuff also happens.) I mean in the sense that, depending on how you ride, you are punishing your body in some form or fashion.  This is true of most physical activities and sports.  But when you go that extra mile, and push yourself beyond your comfort level, you are into suffering, pain and yes, violence.  The human body is quite resilient and can usually handle what an athlete (in my case, fathlete) throws at it, and it will eventually recover.  Tonight was one of those times where I was challenged quite a lot, and on a bad road, I was eventually dropped.  But the greater the challenge, the more one learns about oneself.  Tonight’s unexpected group ride (my third in about as many weeks!) was a prime example.  Come with me on this hairy, scary ride!  Continue reading at: https://wp.me/p75hY4-1JT

Continue reading

Love to Ride Austin Biking Challenge

It’s Monday’s deadline, and I still have not come up with a topic for this post. It’s rather embarrassing. Sure, I could write about the biking I did over the weekend. But it was nothing spectacular and if I have grown weary of doing that (riding and writing), I suppose readers of this blog may have, too. There’s the book I finished reading and two more movies I saw, but some say only write about your specific blog niche. I could talk about blogging itself, my book in progress, bikes in the news, my struggling job search, health updates, (another) horrific school shooting, or politics. But finally it came to me, Love to Ride! Read on to learn more.

Continue reading