A Devil of a Year: 6,666.66 Miles Bicycled in 2020 (7,278 Total with Walking)!

6,666.66 miles:  That’s how far I bicycled in 2020. Add in about 611 miles of walking, and that’s 7,278 miles I traveled on my own power. (By the way, almost 4 miles were swimming, which I started right before, you know, IT.) By IT of course I mean the novel coronavirus pandemic, aka COVID-19, which might quite possibly be the work of Satan, if he exists (I’m not a believer). But the other Devil in my analogy is the person in charge of getting the United States of America through this mess, which instead he made worse. He dropped the ball big-time, and is about as far away from godliness as you can get. So he’s the other evil one: Future Ex-President Tinyhands Orangehead. Whether you’re a religious person or not, I think we can all agree that 2020 was a Devil of a year (or two Devils).

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Happy Native American Heritage Day, on Black Friday, After White(wash) Thursday

November is Native American Heritage Month in the US, and the fourth Friday in November is Native American Heritage Day. Unfortunately, it’s known more for being the biggest shopping day, aka Black Friday (which has nothing to do with African-Americans). And it comes on the heels of Thanksgiving, aka Un-Thanksgiving or National Day of Mourning. In the 2010 Census, almost 3 million Americans identified as indigenous, and another 2 million said they were indigenous and another race. I’m well aware I’m a white person writing about people of color, so before I go any further, here’s a good interview with Simon Moya-Smith, an Oglala Lakota journalist. Go give that a quick read and then come back. I’ll wait.

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The Coronacles of Blarneya, Part II

Back when the coronavirus which becomes the disease COVID-19 pandemic was just six weeks old (the length of the lockdown in Austin, Texas), I wrote Part I of this title. If you were here for that long, rambling and meandering post (or go read It now), you may recall a sense of aimless wandering. You might have been right about that. In many ways, we as a human race were doing that long before this outbreak. Now we are clearly fumbling our way through this waking nightmare, bad movie, or really, just stark reality. So as the band War sang,

Take a little trip, take a little trip
Take a little trip and see
Take a little trip, take a little trip
Take a little trip with me

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I Bicycled Every Day for an Entire Year: Lessons Learned

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.

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Charity Cycling and Coronavirus: The Mamma Jamma Challenge 9/12-9/19/20

With the global pandemic of the coronavirus showing no signs of ending anytime soon, those with other illnesses like HIV/AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis still need support perhaps more than ever. One way this is achieved is through fundraising bike rides. A Dude was privileged to ride in half a dozen charity rides, raising $12,000 total over the six events. But nowadays getting people together to breathe hard, even outside, is problematic — especially for the immuno-compromised. Most charity rides have had to go virtual. This week, September 12-19, the good folks at the Texas Mamma Jamma Ride are having people ride bikes and do other activities and record them on Strava, the fitness app, while still raising funds for the one in eight women who get diagnosed with breast cancer.

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The Tour de France Departs in 10 Days from Nice. Nice! 10 Changes in 2020

Professional cycling’s biggest event was rescheduled from July to begin August 29, thanks to you know what. A few other pro racers have happened, and so there is hope Le Tour will start, and end, without problems. Of course there are always problems; it’s the nature of sport. Last year’s edition saw a huge storm blow up the last few stages with a landslide and flooding caused by snow and rain. This year is no different, except it’s completely different, again, thanks to coronavirus. Here are 10 changes and what to expect in 2020 with some of my commentary.

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Do You Have Fitness Goals? Or Do They Have You?

First time readers, welcome. Repeat offenders, thanks. Today’s blawg is about overdoing it, aka overexercising. Which is a bizarre concept in today’s world, populated as it is with overweight people. I’m a member of that tribe, the people of girth. Or as I call it, fathlete. So when the idea of doing less exercise pops into my head, usually because some body part, brain or the whole thing protests, I tend to ignore it and push through. The result of that and all the biking, walking and yoga I do every day gets to be exhausting, especially if it’s a day without enough sleep. So as I sit here eating a bowl of kale, squash, other mystery vegetables to which I added ground beef, brown rice and quinoa, I’m pondering if it’s time to revise the plans. Maybe my questioning my fitness goals will shed some light on the subject for you. And as always, I enjoy reading comments.

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Austin Bike News Roundup for August 6, 2020

I haven’t done one of these roundups in a while. Because, coronavirus. My last one was in May. Inspired somewhat by BikingInLA and TexBiker.net, a roundup hopes to serve up some useful tidbits of happenings around town in the bicycling world here in Austin. Sometimes, it’s news about infrastructure, not so sexy, but important. And other times it’s even sobering and sad, like the senseless suffering and death of a cyclist who was hit by a car (the first of 2020).

I suppose that last one is fitting, given that it’s the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima Day and Nagasaki Day on the 9th. These tragic attacks remind us that the United States is the other country to ever use nuclear weapons, at great human cost. A Dude says nukes must be abolished before we can ever have peace. There’s a treaty that only 40 countries have signed and shamefully, the US in not one of them. Alright, sermon concluded. On with the way more fun and much less important Austin bike news!

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I’ll Tell Ya What I’m Watchin’ on My Telly (Part 3)

Because I’m riding 125-166 miles per week lately, I was thinking about sharing more of my stats cycling about town. Or some news about the City of Austin Healthy Streets program expanding and taking public comment. The St. John’s bike lane project and outer lane closures downtown on Congress Avenue making temporary bike lanes are noteworthy. There hasn’t been a bicyclist die in a car crash yet this year (that I know of), which is great. I could do something about saddle sores, how bike shops are still short on inventory, or a piece about another bicycle website here in A-town. There’s bicycle seat adjustment, more about my Garmin watch (their site crashed today), or any number of other bike-related news that you can use. But nah, I’m gonna write about TV. Because, coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic. There are plenty of dystopian future movies and shows, but one in particular seems exactly right for this moment in history in which we find ourselves.

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“Wassup, Killah?” and Other Random $hit People Say to Me on My Bicycle

Last night I was putting in some late night miles — 16.5 to be exact — to beat the heat and keep my stats up, you know, like I do. I approached a red light and came to a stop. Here’s what I wrote in my Strava ride summary: “Wassup, Killah?” Said the man at the bus stop, a descendant of Africa, pleasantly and with no malice, to the dude on the bicycle who is of the Caucasian persuasion. “I’m good, thanks. How ’bout you?” Also good. They then discussed how the weather wasn’t as hot as last night. The light changed, adieus were bid, and the dude rode on, an otherwise lackluster day made. “Huh, I guess I am kinda a killah on a bike!” He pedaled a little harder, his mph a bit faster. So yeah, that happened.

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