February 2020 Strava Stats: Bike, Walk and Swim

The shortest month of the year, albeit one with a Leap Day, was not as prolific as January, but by all accounts, still successful for your favorite aging, tired, undertall bicyclist blogger. There are two major reasons for that: I continued riding my bike every single day, with an eye on making at least 100 miles per week, and also the addition of swimming. So let’s have a look under the er, bottom bracket, shall we?

Continue reading

How Are Your Pool Workouts Going, Dude? Splendid, Sublime, and Swimmingly!

Thick white fog hung over the East Texas lake early that sultry, steamy summer morning. The ground clouds mirrored the layer of gauze of sleep over my still slumbering eyes. We’d been awakened at the butt crack of dawn a bit too gleefully by the Scoutmaster or one of his slightly sadistic and sycophantic Scout leaders. It was the Big Day. The one we’d been dreading, anticipating, and otherwise talking about all week. It was time for mission impossible: the Mile Swim.

Slowly our shivering selves made our way to the shore, shedding shirts, shoes, and sleepy heads. Safety spelled out in a speech, suddenly it was sink or swim and shut the hell up time. The rest is mostly a blur, but somehow I and most of my Scout siblings, suffering silently in solidarity, finished the damn thing. One thing is crystal clear though: there were some alligators in that water. I swear I shit you not… seriously!

Continue reading

124 Consecutive Days of Bicycling… and Counting

After a couple of days off the bicycle, I began riding daily on October 11, 2019. Every day since then, I’ve mounted my trusty steel steed Sophie, the Fairdale Weekender Archer to go places. Some days just a few miles were traversed; most days it’s closer to 20 miles, and a few even more. There have been no true rest days, as I am still walking and doing yoga daily, and now I’ve added an occasional lap swimming into the mix. It’s all rather exhausting, even if a particular ride isn’t taxing. The cumulative effect seems to be taking its toll. What’s A Dude with no car and #BikeGoals to do? Take the bus? Pshaw!

Continue reading

What’s It Like to Bike 90 Days in a Row for a Total of 1,985 Miles?

My recent year-end recap, 5,633 Miles in 2019: 5,006 Biking, 627 Walking — My Longest Year Yet!, did not completely capture the immense efforts I put out to reach that biking goal. I don’t say that to brag; it’s just the fact. I began back on October 11th and up to January 8th, I rode for three months, biking every single day. I pedaled on average 22 miles per day. I can assure that is a lot of work, but if I can do it, it’s doable for many people. (For confirmation, check out my Training Log on Strava.) For more numbers and what they mean, do keep on keepin’ on. That’s what I did, and you can, too.

Continue reading

175 Miles: Reflections About Another Strong Week in My Cycling Journey

Biking 25 miles in one day can be challenging or easy depending on your abilities and how you feel. Then there’s the weather like wind, rain, cold or heat to contend with. Traffic can be very scary even if you’re used to riding in it. Also important are the quintessential questions that come up riding a bike like: what to wear, what to eat, where to go? I must have figured all that out because I managed to make it another seven days in a row for the 10th week. This past week I totaled 175 miles, which is huge – 25 miles a day if you’re counting. Or a mile for every hour of the week (168) plus seven. So what follows are some thoughts on my pretty stupendous week (or stupid, depending how you look at it; maybe it’s a little of both.)

Continue reading

A Walk a Day for Almost Two Years

My daily walking habit began on January 1, 2018, and I haven’t looked back since. I may have missed one day but I often do more than the allotted 30 minutes. I make sure I hit 1.5 miles, and some days it’s 2.0 or more miles, or even two walks. I don’t write about it much because it’s not that remarkable, but to me it’s a good habit for life that I wish I’d established many years ago. It’s not easy when you’re busy, sick, tired, injured, it’s cold, windy and wet outside. Somehow, I have found the discipline. And what the rewards are subtle, they are worth considering starting your own walking practice if you don’t have one.

Continue reading

2,191 Days (6 Years) of Daily Yoga Practice 12/6/19: Let’s Twist Again, Like We Did Last Summer

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.

Continue reading

November 2019 Strava Stats: 581 Miles on My Bicycle

After another 20-mile day today getting disc brake pads for Sophie the Fairdale, and then putting them on at Yellow Bike Project, I thought I’d write about that. But it seemed somewhat familiar, so guess what? It turns out I already did a post about brakes for Sookie the Fuji. So I’ll write about the month that just passed instead, which means eleven months down, one to go. I didn’t take a day off as I certainly have earned, because, goals. (Though a couple of days I only biked a mile or two, I’ve been riding daily since my birthday October 11.)

I also continued my habits of doing yoga and walking as well as of course writing this blog or editing and revising my book daily. As for all the biking, it was to make up time from this summer (presents are still accepted). Anyway, 581 miles is very good for me, especially with an injury that really slowed me down. So I had a good month on the bicycle despite of that. Herewith are the numbers for your reading pleasure.

Continue reading

Mode of the Beast: 666.6 Miles Bicycled in 31 Days

Not that beast. I mean beast mode. I’m not a believer in magical numbers (unless my lottery tickets finally pay off). It was my second longest month ever, after the 731 I did in April 2017 including 202 Miles in 2 Days for the MS 150. Given my lack of a day job at the moment, I made it my bidness (as some people actually pronounce “business” in Texas) to bike my butt off (it’s still there, though). And bidness is goooood! That’s because I averaged 150 miles per week. Well, I guess it’s volunteering if I’m not getting paid.

It’s surprising that I accomplished this since it takes me longer than it used to. I could blame Sophie, the 28-pound steel bike with nine gears I’m riding, or the prematurely colder, windy and wet weather, but I’m just not moving very fast these days. Some people I know rode Das Hugel, an unsanctioned sufferfest that’s over a century and 10,000 feet elevation (I wrote about it last year.) A Dude doth not Das Hugel. However, compared to everyone who’s home sitting on the couch, I’m friggin’ Speed Racer. So perhaps my efforts are inspirational to somebody out there reading this. You don’t have to believe me, let’s look at the Strava stats.

Continue reading

The Bad Side of Good Habits

It’s taken me a lot of time. effort and an indescribable amount of will power and discipline to establish and maintain the good habits which are the four main pillars of this blog, and in some ways a good chunk of my life: Biking, Walking, Writing and Yoga. I am approaching six years of daily yoga (yes, you read that correctly), four years of bicycling an average of 13 miles per day, two years of daily walking, and two years of daily writing, Let’s not forget two years of eliminating almost all processed grains. As 2019 winds down, the pressure to come up with New Years resolutions for 2020 looms large. So I’m reflecting on the nature of habits because sometimes, what seems good may sometimes also have a bad side.

Continue reading