Super Bowl LV (55, which like singer Mr. SamuelHagar, I cannot drive) happened, and I watched almost all of it. I missed some of the first quarter because I was out riding my bicycle. Usually I don’t bother to watch millionaires try to knock the tar and feathers out of each other, but since I’m biking less I had the time and heard it would be a good game, I tuned in. Love him or hate him (this article explains why), it seems pretty clear to me that with more Super Bowl wins than anyone else including his former team, Thomas “Tom”Edward Patrick Brady Jr. truly is the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) quarterback of professional American footballer. It’s good to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneer fan right now; not so much for the New England Patriots.
As it relates to this blog, it turns out he also rides a bike: He does a charity bike event every year for folks with disabilities, the Best Buddies Challenge. Also, he rides around town with his wife, a kid on the back, or his dog in a basket on the front.or alongside on a leash. He’s even taken teammates on mountain bike trips to Montana. So what can mere mortals like you and I learn from an elite athlete like him? Let’s see.
Here’s the thing: I didn’t set out to bike 366 days in a row. If you had a crystal ball and told me my future a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. I just went on my birthday ride, a mile per year of life, as I have done the last several years. But instead of taking the next day or more off to rest like a normal person, I became more like Forrest Gump: I just kept bike-ing and bike-ing and bike-ing… Except there was no Robin Wright as Jenny yelling, “Bike, A Dude, bike!”
The Energizer bunny I’m not. I’m just a middle-aged, slightly overweight (aka fathlete), regular guy who chose the bicycle as his vehicle for his mid-life crisis mobile. I can’t tell you why I did this, except at some point it was simply to see if I could do it. And now I have. Don’t believe me? Check my Strava activity log – it’s all there. But this isn’t really about me. Here’s the main thing I want to tell you: If I can do it, most of you can, too.
December 6 may be the most special day of the year for me, right after my birthday and of course Festivus. But seriously, it’s very important, because it’s when I celebrate my yogaversary. My as yet unbroken daily yoga habit started as a challenge from my sister-in-law in 2013. Then it became a test to see if I could keep going. In turn it transmogrified into a streak (as in #DontBreakTheChain). Now it’s a non-negotiable. But there’s really just one basic point: I just do yoga every day.
Pretty simple. All the other words I have, could and will say about it pale in comparison to that simple phrase. The additional descriptions are so much chatter in the mind. And maybe therein lies a deeper truth about the practice: it changes you, but in subtle ways, and at a body level so that talking about it doesn’t even really get to the point. It’s a feeling. If you do it you know, but if you don’t, you ought to try it – you might like it, even if it’s not daily.
After saying in my last post I wasn’t always fond of posting statistics, I’m now going to do just that. Because, miles, baby! Turns out that I’m averaging 154 miles per week. Sunday was terrific weather here in Central Texas, so I took advantage of it and went for over half a century. If you’re just joining us late, I ride a bicycle. With my, um, age and weight “situation,” I’m bushed, even with the “extra” hour from the end of Daylight Savings Time. And yet I’m pretty proud of my work ethic cranking out the kilometers making up for some missing miles this summer while working and gasp! driving. Pride goeth before the fall, but let’s hope that’s not the case.
Today was my last chance to add to my mileage and extend my goal of bike-riding x number of miles for 2018. So I took the opportunity of a decently mild Central Texas winter day and did just that. First, I took Sookie to Performance Bikes, since they’re a Fuji dealer, to see if they could do anything about her cracked frame. However, they couldn’t, because their parent company is going out of business. But at least I got yet another confirmation (the fifth?) that she is no longer rideable. While not unexpected, it reminded me of how much I’ll miss this bike. After that… Continue reading →
After two days out of town and off the bike for the holidays with family, I returned to Austin ready to get back to bidness. I needed to take my computer into the shop and to retrieve my mail, so I had two destinations. There was some light rain but the temperature was in the high 60’s, not much wind. A little rain never hurt anybody (except the Wicked Witch of the West), so I suited up and headed out. So it was not all storm all the time. But soon after errand number one, I had to put on my poncho and shoe covers. For a while it was fine. And then, it wasn’t. I felt the wind pick up from the north and with it, the temperatures dropped and gusts increased. There was also that part about a tornado watch. Did I wisely throw in the towel and head straight home? No. Here’s why and how. Continue reading →
Well, I did it! I met my revised goal of 4,000 miles, and I did it 28 days early. I went into statistics a good bit in my recent post, My November Strava Stats; One Month to Go on My 2018 Goals. But this number is icing on the cake. (Which I stopped eating this year along with all kinds of processed grains, and it hasn’t mattered one lick for my weight. That’s for another post.) Anyway, as a fellow rider who is much stronger (and younger) than A Dude commented that he “loves milestone days.” They are pretty special. If the goal involves a number, and you hit or pass it, it’s sort of like a big weight has been lifted off your shoulders. And if you’re wondering, 4,000 miles is like riding from Austin, Texas to La Paz, Bolivia and then a bit. Or, from West Glacier, Montana (a place I’ve been), to the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border. It’s ok, you may allow yourself to be impressed. I know I am, and I’m the one who did it! So let’s explore this YOOGE accomplishment a bit.
Well, apparently the hordes have spoken, and there is support for me to ride this event, and then some! It will be my thirdMamma Jamma Ride. n fact, two generous souls even put in for the whole minimum amount of $300. It’s all for a good cause, to help women in my area (Central Texas, USA), survive and thrive after a diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. I’ve also raised $100 for my registration and bike(s) repair and had help from friends and two bike shops. I say bikes, because I don’t even know which one I’ll ride yet! So there’s lots to do and not much time, but below are a few more details of what it’s like doing a charity ride. And a way for you to donate if you can.
Well, I’ve done it! I’ve made it to the mythical 100th blog post. It’s my 69th of 2018, and I’ve totalled over 102,000 words since I began blogging on January 1, 2016. It’s been an interesting, fun, exhausting experiment telling my story as a bicyclist as well as exploring other topics like health, politics, culture and more. In this post I’ll review my progress thus far this year and look at what I still need to work on. I stayed in today and unpacked more, organized alot, and cooked, and so I’m itching to go on at least a metaphorical ride. Got your helmet on? Good, let’s go! Continue reading →
Wrecks, injury and fatigue are just some of the distractions that have kept A Dude Abikes from biking and blogging as much as he would like since his personal best doing the MS 150 back in April. There have been devastating hurricanes and other natural disasters, the unnatural disaster of a president stoking things like possible nuclear war, elimination of health care benefits for millions of people, arrest and deportation of many immigrants who came here as children, and plenty more scandals. The shooting in Las Vegas. Bombings all over the place. The never-ending parade of humanity in all its sick splendor and glory gory. Of course good things happen all the time too. Riding my bike with a few hundred others, in my case 65 miles, to raise almost $1,000 for breast cancer charities is a positive contribution. You can and should make such a contribution yourself here: http://Fundraisers.MammaJammaRide.Org/ADudeAbikes.