Biking and Other Goals — When Will Power Isn’t Enough

Five months of 2023 are gone with seven to go. One may wonder–quite reasonably–where has the time gone? What have they accomplished thus far, and what’s to come? The year is almost half gone, so what is there to show for it? Only you can answer for yourself (and only YOU can prevent forest fires). In my case, it’s the usual, which is more than nothing, but it’s less than I’d like. Reflection can be good up to point (not great if you’re a vampire looking into a mirror). Action is what propels us forward. Into what, though? The breach? Good trouble, or the other kind? We can hope for the former, be realistic, and remain vigilant that bad luck may find us despite our best efforts to avoid it. We humans try to keep reevaluating and chipping away at our goals. But sometimes will power isn’t enough. Spoiler alert:  I don’t have all the answers, but I think it has something to do with doing your best.

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5/5/2023: 5 Things You *May* Want to Do in Bike Month

It’s that time of year in the USA when the sun has come out, the snow has thawed, and the flowers have bloomed. Basically, it’s the best time to, as Queen sang, “Get on your bikes and ride!” In Austin, Texas, it felt like 97 degrees thanks to the humidity coming up from the Gulf of Mexico. Your dude just managed to ride eight miles to the post office before a storm blew in some lighting, thunder, and rain. Summer in Austin often feels like you’re wearing a hot, wet blanket while you bicycle, but sometimes it’s nice after the rain with a breeze. Regardless of weather, biking is what we do here at ADudeAbikes.com, every damn day for over 3.5 years. Like they say, a rolling stone gathers no moss. By now, you MAY have gathered that National Bike Month is here, so here are five things to do in Austin but also beyond, if biking is your jam–or you want it to be. (Mmm, jam.)

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12/12/2022: Slow, but Still I Go — Biking, Walking, Etc.

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.

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9/9/2022: Sookie Shares with Sonnie; Autumn Approacheth; Failing Fast Forward

In this installment I’ll try and fail again to summarize what I’ve been up to for the last month. There’s too much to pack into one post. It seems the more I work on my book, and read other books, the more I realize that the art of writing is as much about what gets left in as what gets taken out. In his intriguing novel John Woman, Walter Mosley touches on this idea by having his eponymous protagonist (a professor with a checkered past and a troubled present), explore the deconstruction of history. His professor believes many things about his field, the main one as I understand it so far, is that it is not absolute. We are constantly creating history, our own and the larger world’s, Professor Woman teaches his students.

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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.

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5/5/2022: James Clear Is Killing Me With His Atomic Habits

At the end of last’s month’s post, Blog Post #666: The Blog In Which I Announce My Retirement from Blogging*, was a little-noticed * aka asterisk. Only one astute reader followed that to the denouement and figured out the meaning in these words, hidden in plain view: “Respectfully submitted on 01.04.22*, ADAB.” That’s European formatting, day first, month second. That reader was the ever-sharp Half Fast Cycling Club (say it out loud — it’s a fun pun) up in Wisconsin. Not only has he (I’m deducing that’s his pronoun) ridden his bicycle across most of the US (and he’ll correct me in the comments if I’m wrong about that), he’s fixin’ to do it again — at almost 70 years of age. Oh yeah, to do the trip, he’s resigning his hospital job as a literal lifesaver of COVID patients (mostly the ignorant “I did my own research on Facebook” variety). So kudos to Half Fast, and to the rest of you (except if you are in other countries where this peculiar American prank day is not celebrated), I say this: APRIL FOOLS, suckahs! Strap in, it’s going to be a long post.

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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.]

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I Can’t Drive 5,555.55 Miles, but I Bicycled Them! (6,056 Total with Walking in 2021)

It’s year six in the books, for those keeping count of both blog and bodacious bike riding (and four years of basically daily bipedaling, i.e., walking). As you know, 2020 was remarkable globally because of THE KILLER VIRUS, but it was memorable for me personally. I really got after it and as a result last year’s review post was titled A Devil of a Year: 6,666.66 Miles Bicycled in 2020 (7,278 Total with Walking)! So yes, I biked every day all year (one less due to leap year) — again — but for 1,111.11 miles less. That was intentional, since 18.21 miles a day was too much to repeat. But it was also necessary to do less, because, life. And I’m not a machine; I’m a dude. However, 15.22 miles a day is still pretty, pretty, pretty good, so Sophie the Fairdale and I are quite satisfied with it. Let’s get to the Strava images which best sum things up with aplomb. (Yum, a plum sounds delicious, but out of season.) After all, one must have a hint of color!

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8 Years of Consecutive Daily Yoga Practice

This past Saturday was a cause for celebration. Not because of that Jewish carpenter who, if he ever really lived at all, died over 20 centuries ago. It’s something else, of far less momentous import, than those old stories, if they are to be believed. This thing I’m talking about I did — every day, for eight years. That’s 2,922 days including two leap years, if you’re counting, as I obviously have been. This thing lasted for 30 minutes or more. More math:  that’s 87,660 minutes. Or the equivalent of 60.875 days. But while the numbers and math have surely have strong significance, what’s as if not more important is something Yoga with Adriene says: “Keep showing up for yourself on the mat.”

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Herculean Habits: Regular Routines or the Struggle of Streaks?

This is one of those nights when a sensible blogger who is not feeling well skips writing; instead, she/he/they takes a bath, drinks some sleepy tea and reads, or gets under the covers early. Lucky for you, I never claimed to be sensible. (I also didn’t say whether that is good or bad luck. It’s your call if you’re feeling lucky, punk. Well, are you?) Anyway, I’ve been writing daily since January 1, 2018, either in this blog, a journal, or my memoir. It would be easy, but not at all simple, for me to just skip a night. But so far, no matter how badly I might feel, I write. So, here goes un poquito blogito.

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