No clip in shoes. No shorts (well, no padded shorts; I may do my small part to Keep Austin Weird, but my mother didn’t raise no idiot). Just started doing errands and since conditions were perfect I Just. Kept. Pedaling. I had several extended stops as is obvious from the elapsed time, including getting refreshments, soaking up the sun (sitting on a park bench) sending emails, two short meetings plus a stop at home to recharge my lights and Garmin vivoactiv hr watch.
Still, I was pretty happy to meet my goal, even if I was a week late due to the rain, wind and cold on my actual birthday. And it was pretty good for a 9-speed heavy steel bike with non-skinny tires. I didn’t even have to get out of the saddle and stand up on the pedals on the very steep Highland Hills Drive, either. I probably could have kept going, but as the farmer said to the pig in the movie Babe, “That’ll do. That’ll do.”
Over the last six days I’ve biked 112 miles, including my abbreviated, rainy-cold-windy birthday ride. I haven’t been very fast, but that’s always been true and is to be expected coming off of driving a car for work for the last while. It’s been an adjustment from having the luxury of a automobile to having to make the effort to get the legs going on the bicycle. Being in between jobs makes it far easier to find the time, although I frequently did 100+ miles per week with a full-time job. Cooler temperatures (on some days) have also helped. So if you’ve been in a similar spot, you probably know that it’s not easy. But is possible to get back in the groove. Remember the tortoise and the hare: fast and furious may be fun, but slow and steady wins the day.
Roadblocks happen and make you go in a different direction. Frequently, the efffing Force is just not with you, friend. Sometimes, schtuff simply happens. When life hands you lemonades, you’ve got two choices: Make lemonade or lie down in a corner drinking water. In other words, roll with the changes, or they’ll roll over you. You get the point. My thesis is that there’s only so much time and one person can only do so much, and doing your best sometimes mean stepping back.
I wasn’t planning that much bicycling. Yet there were places to go, things to do. I had no car to use, and a dislike of the bus. It was yet another in a string of 100-degree plus day. However, I knew I could stop in air conditioned places. Most importantly, I felt I had good legs. With that confidence, I headed out into the swamp that is Austin, Texas in August.
Ever since I got Strava, the fitness tracking app with social media component, I’ve tried to make the titles of my rides entertaining, or at least descriptive. Sometimes I’ll link to a ride, but I don’t usually list them. However, I’ve been using them because they have been very helpful in writing my book. It’s a memoir of a two-year period wherein I rode many, Many, MANY! miles on the bike. Being able to look back at the collection of Strava rides has been invaluable in re-creating my experiences. I thought it might be fun to go into this little but significant part of my practice of riding my bicycle usually 100 miles a week.
May is the fifth month, the last one until October when we Texans can hope for a few cool, low humidity days. Melinda May – she goes by just May – is the name of kick-butt ABC television show MARVEL’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. played by Ming-Na Wen. I didn’t know it had come back on so I got caught up on the first four episodes. Silly, outlandish, preposterous, and not exactly the height of the performing arts, I enjoy it because of all that — it’s fun. And may also means you might. So I might have kicked butt on the bike-book-blog-walking-yoga this month, or maybe it all kicked mine. Let’s look at the numbers to see. But here at A Dude Abikes, having the dedication to keep on showing up is half the game.