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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Actually, I’ve Bicycled About 45,000 Miles in 17 Years

The week began slowly. I only managed to average about 12 miles a day when I’m meant to do 15. For 2022, I haven’t set any new goals or made any New Years resolutions. I’m just sort of coasting on auto-pilot from last year. After 5,555.55 miles in 2021, and 6,666.66 in 2020, and riding every day for over 800 days in a row, I have now passed 32,000 miles in just over six years on Strava*. (I started in very late December 2015 and it took five days of 2022 to hit that number, so call it six years and two weeks). That got me to thinking about what I did pre-Strava. The actual total mileage I estimate is much higher. Actually, I’ve bicycled about 45,000 miles in 17 years. (As for whatever I did in childhood and adolescence, into college and young adulthood, I’ve no clue. I could guess 5,000, but it would be a total guess.)

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The Last Bike Ride (of 2021): Rolling with Rhodney

The year began like it ended, with your humble correspondent throwing a leg over the top tube and pedaling. Neither far nor fast, but flat. Nothing remarkable, save for the fact that I have this platform from which to remark about it. After all, bicycling is a relatively simple act that hundreds of millions of people around the world do. Many much “better” than I. But as someone reminded me, everyone has their story, and here I’ve tried to tell mine, for what it’s worth. Everyone also has obstacles in their life, be they genetic, disability or health-related, environmental, social, economic, or political, and there are many other things that make it “hard”. I try not to focus on these challenges, although I do grouse at times. (It’s my blog and I’ll whinge if I want to.) In the end, one hopes that something good comes out of their efforts, or at least nothing too bad. Just a simple bike ride is its own reward, though.

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A Chat with Sophie the Fairdale at 20,000 Miles + 800 Consecutive Days of Bicycling

It’s a pair of milestones this time for A Dude Abikes and his trusty steed, Sophie, the Fairdale Weekender Archer. I won her in a raffle from Bike Austin back in 2017, though I didn’t start riding her exclusively until January of 2018. On Sunday, we passed 20,000 miles, according to the Gear setting on Strava, the fitness app (which means “to strive” in Swedish.) As it turned out, it happened the day after 800 days I bicycled in a row. Two years, two months and 10 days if you’re wondering.

There was some major effort involved, and with that some pain and suffering, that’s for sure. They’re all part of attaining these big numbers and worth commemorating. I’m not really tooting my horn here as much as I’m just reporting the facts. It’s another step on my journeys both on the bike and here in the pages of this blog.

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Worlds Collide: A Midnight Rider Visits A Dude Abikes

OK, the truth is he didn’t come to Austin, Texas just to visit me, he came to see his son. But since he asked, I couldn’t get out of town in time, I couldn’t weasel out of it. Just kidding. A Midnight Rider hails from Southeastern Massachusetts, and from the moment he exclaimed “Dude!” I was taken back to my college days in Vermont. That New England accent ain’t heard too much around these parts, but it was welcome to my ears. If you’re not familiar with it, the letter “r” in certain words is a lot softer. So “Park the car in the yard” sounds like “Pahk the cah in the yahd.” Anyway, here’s a little recap of our get together.

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A 50-Mile Bike Ride, Longest of 2021 (So Far)

I rode my bike for half a century (50 miles) on a recent sunny Sunday, the details of which you can see on Strava. Especially if you’re the sort who needs some proof. Or just don’t believe that guy who’s in the same decade of years as miles, with an extra amount of weight, can do that. Although it was challenging given my condition(s), it wasn’t so brutal that I was wrecked the next three days. It’s no work of art (well, the Strava map kinda is), but this snippet of dialog from Seinfeld sums it up well:

Lois:  Have you designed any buildings in New York?
George Costanza:  Have you seen the new addition to the Guggenheim?
Lois:  You did that?
George Costanza:  Yep. And it didn't take very long either.
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