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!
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.
Does 167 miles seem like a long distance to ride your bicycle in a week? If not, and you can easily rattle off that distance in a single day, then this post (and blog) will probably bore you. Good on you! Thanks for stopping by and not being all judgy. (Like Rootchopper, currently doing 300+ miles per week on his big ass No Name Tour.) Does 167 miles in a week seem impossible? Well, if so, this may also not be for you. Of course you’re welcome to come along for the virtual ride.
But what if you’re in between those extremes and have ridden 100 miles in a week before? Maybe you’re thinking, “Hmm, if this middle-aged fathlete (who isn’t the typical skinny cyclist stereotype) can put up some pretty big numbers, then I wonder if I can, too?” Well, this is for you.
Today was my last chance to add to my mileage and extend my goal of bike-riding x number of miles for 2018. So I took the opportunity of a decently mild Central Texas winter day and did just that. First, I took Sookie to Performance Bikes, since they’re a Fuji dealer, to see if they could do anything about her cracked frame. However, they couldn’t, because their parent company is going out of business. But at least I got yet another confirmation (the fifth?) that she is no longer rideable. While not unexpected, it reminded me of how much I’ll miss this bike. After that… Continue reading
October is the time when my birthday arrives, and I got myself an early present: I met my (original) bicycling mileage goal for the year! Actually, it was 2,600, for 50 miles per week, so I could cut my riding time in half and devote those hours to writing this blog and the book that is in progress. As for the rather long and unwieldy title, it got longer when the Clash song came to mind (Annie Lennox version). Alliteration appeals, apparently. Despite a decent bit of discomfort and alot of precipitation, the work paid off. I did the Mamma Jamma breast cancer ride, which was rewarding, and that might not have been possible without doing putting in more time. So it’s been a good month, and year so far. I delve a little into the statistics for those into such things. That’s you!
As I alluded to Monday, I have the opportunity to participate in my third Mamma Jamma Ride to Beat Breast Cancer this Saturday, September 22. Previously I have ridden 57 miles in 2015 and 65 miles in 2017, raising over $2,500. But this time I have waited to the last minute to decide, so I need your help. What do you think? The important thing is that if you are interested in pledging your support to let me know that, and how much, ASAP, today, because I can’t do the ride without raising a minimum of $300 by Friday. Leave a comment [which provides your email], or send me an email, which is on the About page. Thanks for your interest. More information is included below, so I hope you’ll read on.
The Tour is over for this year, but you can still watch it by subscribing to NBC Sports Gold Cycling Pass. (Go to this link to subscribe; it lasts for the whole year so you can watch La Vuelta a Espana and other races, but only in the US.) I’m a little late to the party since I’m still watching it on a Roku donated to me by dear mum. (So don’t spoil it by commenting on the winner or anything past Stage 11, please! I however may spoil it if you are are on Stage 1.) I am way behind because of life getting in the way but still enjoying it. Like many Americans, I got into the Tour a few years after a certain famous Austin cyclist won it seven times in a row. After that was, um, cancelled, I stopped watching for a few years (also like many Americans). But I couldn’t stay away, so I’ve been watching it every year for a while now, and still think it’s worth it. Here’s why I think you should watch it, too.