Another month has gone by since my last post, and just a few weeks are left in the year. As the weather cools and holidays and a new year approach, thoughts turn inward, toward retrospection, and to the future. There’ll be time for a review of the year come January, though. For now, what has gone on since 11/11? Work, for one. It has involved a lot of walking, which has been surprisingly exhausting. Seven or eight miles when you’re used to the equivalent steps of three miles, and standing for long hours in between, is a change. Other things like rain, health stuff, and perhaps some existential ennui have slowed me down, too. In the past month, I’ve alternated between 80-110 miles per week riding my bicycle. Not great, but not horrible.Continue reading
11/11/2022: 4,000 Miles + Longest Ride of the Year = Tired, But Still Pedaling
As silly season, aka the US election drama (or trauma, depending on your point of view) continues, I vote for something all Americans can get behind: a nap. That’s because I’m bushed from bicycling a lot. (Insert a joke about everyone in the US being tired after George Sr. was elected and then his son the Shrub also became president, tired, aka bushed.) Read on, it gets better.Continue reading
8/8/2022: Biking While the Heat Is On in Austin
We’re on track to have the hottest summer EVER in Austin, Texas. (Climate science deniers ought to move along right now.) Texans are accustomed to the heat, but not like this. In 2011 we had 90 days over 100 F. So far in 2022, we’ve had 58 of those 100+ days. May, June, and July were record breaking hot. August is the worst month. Also, it’s barely rained, so we’re in an extreme drought. Many places from France and the UK to California are experiencing extra high temperatures. The hotness makes bicycling, as well as other important activities like standing up, breathing, and putting on pants a bit challenging.Continue reading
7/7/2022: 1,000 Days in a Row Bicycled, Humbly Submitted by A Dude Abikes
It began October 19, 2019 for no particular reason. The thousandth day was yesterday, July 6, 2022. Why I did it is still a mystery. How isn’t that hard to explain. I just kept at it every day for a few months shy of three years. What does it all mean? I really have no clue. I just ride, man.Continue reading
6/6/2022: What’s Been Going On, Dude?
I’m out of retirement, but I’m tired. Long story, but not time to tell it all. Let’s just say life has intervened and conspired to reduce my availability for kicking ass, taking names, and doing chores. So a short monthly post is all I can and care to must for now. A little dab o’ Dude’ll do ya, right?Continue reading
Blog Post #666: The Blog in Which I Announce My Retirement from Blogging*
Welp, after almost two-thirds of 1,000 blog posts, it seems like a good time to take the pause that refreshes. Which the astute observer would have noticed that I’ve been sorta doing for the last couple of months already, anyway. Spring has sprung in Central Texas, so it’s a good time to examine where I’ve been, and where I’m going, not just with blogging, or biking, yoga-ing, walking, reading, fluting, etc., but life. A little metaphorical housecleaning, so to speak. (Actually clean house? Pshaw! That’s for suckers.) And who could begrudge a dude the chance to step back after six years and six hundreds of blogs? So forthwith, posthaste, and inmediatamente, let’s get skippy with it. (By the way, after this mention, this post will be Will Smith and slap-free. I’m Team Chris Rock all the way. Fuck you for ruining the Oscars, Little Willie. Get your face offa my TV and movie screens and go for some goddam anger management!)Continue reading
SOPHIE STOLEN! Beloved Bicycle Boosted by Brazen Burglar! (+ How You Can Help!)
The evening of Saturday, January 8, 2022, I was inside a big box store talking to a clerk about replacing my over four-year-old cell phone. I had parked Sophie, the Fairdale Weekender Archer, a bicycle who has been my trusty sidekick since I won her in a Bike Austin raffle in 2017, a mere 10 feet away in the small vestibule for shopping carts. Since I was so close and regularly looking right at her, I did not use my u-lock and cable lock — a fatal mistake I’ll never make again. At 6:30 pm, a brazen thief walked into the little lobby, stood there for 20 seconds, then walked out with my bicycle while I wasn’t looking. The next time I looked up, Sophie was gone, and with her, a piece of my soul.
FILM REVIEW: Slacker (1991, Austin, and I)
Did you miss me? Absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all. After writing over 660 blog posts in six years, it was time for a break, so I took it. I’m not sorry I did. Some might say that makes me a slacker, defined in the pejorative sense: “A person regarded as one of a large group or generation of young people (especially in the early to mid 1990s) characterized by apathy, aimlessness, and lack of ambition” (Wikipedia). I may be guilty as charged, or at least I resemble that remark. But director Richard Linklater had a more positive meaning in mind when he made his influential, independent, experimental yet really interesting and fun film, Slacker:
“Slackers might look like the left-behinds of society, but they are actually one step ahead, rejecting most of society and the social hierarchy before it rejects them. The dictionary defines slackers as people who evade duties and responsibilities. A more modern notion would be people who are ultimately being responsible to themselves and not wasting their time in a realm of activity that has nothing to do with who they are or what they might be ultimately striving for.”
Fighting Fat Phobia in the Cycling Community
Readers of this blog know that I use the word fathlete frequently. I didn’t invent it, but it’s one small way I resist the outdated, discriminatory, and just plain wrong notion that one cannot be overweight and still exercise. I’m not promoting anyone should try to be overweight. But I am saying that there is plenty of weight stigma in the world, and that includes people who ride bicycles, and I’m also saying it should stop. While that’s unlikely anytime soon, I believe it is worth saying again. Because there are already plenty of obstacles to bicycling (horrible car drivers, unsafe or missing bike lanes, new bikes that are unaffordably priced for many). We don’t need any less reasons for people to bike, we need more. Let’s explore this problem and what can be done about it.
[My previous posts Some Surprising Ways Weight Supports Sports and Un-Fat Is Not All That: Being Overweight May Have Some Health Benefits contain some of my thoughts on this subject.]Continue reading
Actually, I’ve Bicycled About 45,000 Miles in 17 Years
The week began slowly. I only managed to average about 12 miles a day when I’m meant to do 15. For 2022, I haven’t set any new goals or made any New Years resolutions. I’m just sort of coasting on auto-pilot from last year. After 5,555.55 miles in 2021, and 6,666.66 in 2020, and riding every day for over 800 days in a row, I have now passed 32,000 miles in just over six years on Strava*. (I started in very late December 2015 and it took five days of 2022 to hit that number, so call it six years and two weeks). That got me to thinking about what I did pre-Strava. The actual total mileage I estimate is much higher. Actually, I’ve bicycled about 45,000 miles in 17 years. (As for whatever I did in childhood and adolescence, into college and young adulthood, I’ve no clue. I could guess 5,000, but it would be a total guess.)Continue reading