As mentioned in the recent post Car-Free Dude Drives Borrowed Auto, Doesn’t Die, I’m working a lot and having to drive a car to do it. Since I’m in Austin, Texas (at least that’s where everyone keeps telling me I am), and it’s only mid-September, it’s still hitting 100 degrees many days. That’s true even if it’s not actual temperature because of the heat index (aka real feel) or humidity.
Point is, I ain’t biking much at all. It’s either miles or money, and since I’ve done plenty of the latter, it’s high time for the former. And that got me to thinking: What do you do when choice or circumstance keep you from your routine and goals? Come on inside this cozy post and A Dude’ll tell ya how he rolls. Or doesn’t.
As if exhaustion from being out in the Austin, Texas heat wasn’t enough of a sign that I should stay in this evening, I just dropped something heavy on my foot. Now I’m sitting here with ice on it. I was going to have to miss the only open shop night at Yellow Bike Project anyway because I thought it was yesterday and went there for nothing. So while I’ve been out walking a bit more, I’m also getting plenty of heat exposure. I call it sun poisoning, or Vitamin D overdose. So, my bicycling is sucking.
I am writing this post because that’s what I do every Wednesday, Monday and Friday night for over a year — for now). I’ll have a much-needed shower, do my half hour of gentle yoga (probably all on the floor) and hopefully collapse into bed for a full night of rest. But what do you do when life gets in the way of what you really want to do? Whether it’s ride your bike, write your book or blog, etc., how can we do it all? (Hint: You can’t.)
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.
From the things that make you go mmmmmm department:
Mishap #1: Trash Cans, Trash Talk
Riding down a sidewalk of a busy four-lane road without bike
lanes, I swerve to avoid recycling bins, miscalculate, and Sophie the Fairdale’s
very wide handlebars catch them. I go
down like a Christian thrown into the gladiator ring trying to save the lion
with talk of Jesus. (Translation: Quickly.)
But unlike those unlucky folks, I bounced right back up, apparently
Sometimes there’s no one unifying theme to a blog post, but even then, there is still a framework. Today, it’s that many factors affect my cycling, and also that there’s more to life than cycling. (Impossible, I can hear some of you saying!) Here are a few of those thoughts. As to whether they’re Deep Thoughts, you’d have to ask Jack Handy, which is an old Saturday Night Live skit. Basically he had short quotes that were inane, so I’m not claiming any wisdom. I am just sharing my experience in hopes it educates, inspires or at least amuses you as one of my millions of followers (any day now). Read on, it’ll be good, you’ll see. After all, I’m not The Dude, I’m just A Dude. And A Dude would never steer you wrong. That would be very un-Dude-like.
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. (LikeRootchopper, 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.