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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Early Bird v. Night Owl: Which is Better for a Bicyclist?

There’s a poem I can’t find with a line I like that goes something like this: “The day makes promises but the night keeps secrets.” Hell, maybe I wrote that. For the last almost three years since I was liberated from a job through no fault of my own — “restructuring,” they called it — my open secret is that I’ve gravitated towards staying up late. Truth is, I’ve always been drawn toward the still, small hours. Ever since I was made to go to bed at 8 or 9 as a kid whilst the adults stayed up to play music or cards or just talk, I’ve felt like most of the cool shit in life happens after dark. Movies and television support this notion. And I’ve become something of a regular rider of bicycles at night to avoid the heat in Texas. So here are some of my thoughts on this subject.

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Turn It Up to 11… Months of Daily Bicycling

Oops, I did it again. I rode my bike every day over the last month. That makes it 11, and as everyone who has ever seen This Is Spinal Tap knows, 11 is just louder than 10. One month from now, assuming I am able to complete this self-created challenge, I’ll have a full year of biking every day. My average has been around 17 miles or so. Some days was just a bit, but sometimes it was quite a bit more. No matter how you slice it, homey, it’s an accomplishment to be sure. What it means, if anything, is debatable these days. But the fact is I did it so it means something to me. So I blog about it. I know, some people are bored by stats. But they represent effort, will power, discipline, motivation — all the sports psychology that ideally should be motivating you to hop on your bike or take a walk or something. Right? So read on and get inspired already!

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Bike Austin Says the Healthy Streets Program Is Under Threat

An email from Bike Austin arrived in my in box recently. Forced to cancel events by the virus like many volunteer-run non-profits, they must do most of their work in cyber space. The email is about the take-over of certain streets by the Austin Transportation Department. Basically they set up plastic barrels and barriers that slow down cars and have signs instructing motor vehicles that the road is for local use only. The goal is to allow people to more easily walk, bike, skate, etc. with social distancing during pandemic times and maybe beyond. Is that such a bad thing? A Dude thinks not, I think.

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600 Miles Biked in August and 4,325 So Far in 2020

Another month, another 600 miles. I eked out the last 20 or so late on the last night of the month, after being forced to slow down due to the heat — 29 days of 100 degrees F or more! — and the accumulated tiredness. But I got ‘er done, somehow. And that’s the thing, when it comes to goals, you either meet them or you don’t. Or put another way by famed peacemaker and Nobel Prize winner and President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, “I never lose. I either win, or I learn.” winner Of course, they’re arbitrary and frivolous, we can all agree on that during the global pandemic. But biking is still legal here in Central Texas, and it helps A Dude to keep moving. If exercise is like a drug, then cycling is my medicine of choice. So herewith, posthaste, and without further ado are my August and 2020 statistics on the bicycle.

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9 Tips Why You Should Buy Tip Beer for Your Bicycle Mechanic

What? You’re not buying beer as a tip for your bicycle mechanics? Well, that’s a faux pas big time. If you think about it, whether you’re an amateur or avid cyclist, your bike and your life is in literally their hands. So if they’re having a shit day and you come in and dump more shit on them, guess what? The quality of your bike repair may also be quite defecatory in nature. Or not, if they’re real pros. And if you’re taking your bike to the shop, you need them. I’m not talking about a keg a day, of course; you don’t want him/her to be drunk all the time, especially while working on your bike. The repairs could be half-assed and life-threatening. But if you’re not doing anything, you need to jump on board the beer wagon.

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You’ve Got a Friend in Cheeses!

The former improv comic at Esther’s Follies said this to me without missing a beat. It was right after I had gone on and on about how much I loved cheese. Here in the Southern, predominantly Christian area of the US, that joke is extry hee-larry-us. Because, Jesus. Chees-us. Get it? Got it? Good. The same jokester once handed me a small piece of wood and said, “Feeling a little bored?” Which is also a great pun, but only relates to this post because cheese is often served on one. Anywho, I’ve had a lifelong love of the creamy stuff. And now cheese gets its own blog. Hey bicycles! If you don’t like it, you can suck it!

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Write What You Know, In My Case, Bike Stuff

Teaser: This was going to be a book review. But I haven’t finished it yet. It’s a good one, too. When I do, I’m sure it will be awesome. Or adequate, or astute, or any number of other adjectives commencing with an “a.” One of those. I think; I don’t know this. But today, it’s not about a book, it’s about what I know. Whatever the hell that is. These days, it’s hard to really know what one knows. Ya’ know? I guess after a few years of biking my butt off, I do know a few things about bicycles, cyclists, biking, and the like.

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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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Some of the Bike Blogs I Follow – Part 3

Catching up with some of my bike blog buddies, I dipped into the Reader function on WordPress. I see they are doing their thing, each in their own way, as they should. That by itself is inspiring, because it reminds me that I’m not really alone out there on the road pedaling away or in cyberspace writing about it. The words “bicycle community” are bandied about as if it’s a monolithic, coordinated effort, but it’s not either of those things.

Still, I believe there is a siblinghood (new word I just thought of — you read it here first!) of cyclists in the sense that if you ride a bike, you know the feeling of fun it can bring. So tonight instead of writing about myself again, of which I often grow weary, I’ll highlight a few of my fellow travelers. Check them out! I’m sure they won’t mind. And if you’re one of them I didn’t include, I hope to in a future edition.

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