463 Miles in 3 Weeks Ending with a 53-Mile Ride: I’m Spent, but Happy

After saying in my last post I wasn’t always fond of posting statistics, I’m now going to do just that. Because, miles, baby! Turns out that I’m averaging 154 miles per week. Sunday was terrific weather here in Central Texas, so I took advantage of it and went for over half a century. If you’re just joining us late, I ride a bicycle. With my, um, age and weight “situation,” I’m bushed, even with the “extra” hour from the end of Daylight Savings Time. And yet I’m pretty proud of my work ethic cranking out the kilometers making up for some missing miles this summer while working and gasp! driving. Pride goeth before the fall, but let’s hope that’s not the case.

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Sophie’s Choice: Cold Night Bike Ride or Warm TV Watching?

Sophie is my Fairdale Weekender Archer, so this blog post is not about the 1982 movie in which Meryl Streep won the Oscar for best actor. Also unlike the movie, based on the book by William Styron, my bit of suffering is nothing like the dilemma of the character in the film. Yet I went on this bike ride despite not being fully prepared and got to thinking, “Why am I choosing this suffering when I could easily avoid it?” The short answer is “Because, goals.” The longer answer is a bit more complex.

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54.89-Mile (86.90 Km) Belated Birthday Ride. Boom! Still Got It.

No clip in shoes. No shorts (well, no padded shorts; I may do my small part to Keep Austin Weird, but my mother didn’t raise no idiot). Just started doing errands and since conditions were perfect I Just. Kept. Pedaling. I had several extended stops as is obvious from the elapsed time, including getting refreshments, soaking up the sun (sitting on a park bench) sending emails, two short meetings plus a stop at home to recharge my lights and Garmin vivoactiv hr watch.

Still, I was pretty happy to meet my goal, even if I was a week late due to the rain, wind and cold on my actual birthday. And it was pretty good for a 9-speed heavy steel bike with non-skinny tires. I didn’t even have to get out of the saddle and stand up on the pedals on the very steep Highland Hills Drive, either. I probably could have kept going, but as the farmer said to the pig in the movie Babe, “That’ll do. That’ll do.”

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Slow and Steady: Six Days of Strava Stats in October 2019

Over the last six days I’ve biked 112 miles, including my abbreviated, rainy-cold-windy birthday ride. I haven’t been very fast, but that’s always been true and is to be expected coming off of driving a car for work for the last while. It’s been an adjustment from having the luxury of a automobile to having to make the effort to get the legs going on the bicycle. Being in between jobs makes it far easier to find the time, although I frequently did 100+ miles per week with a full-time job. Cooler temperatures (on some days) have also helped. So if you’ve been in a similar spot, you probably know that it’s not easy. But is possible to get back in the groove. Remember the tortoise and the hare: fast and furious may be fun, but slow and steady wins the day.

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Using Setbacks to Keep Moving Forward

Roadblocks happen and make you go in a different direction. Frequently, the efffing Force is just not with you, friend. Sometimes, schtuff simply happens. When life hands you lemonades, you’ve got two choices: Make lemonade or lie down in a corner drinking water. In other words, roll with the changes, or they’ll roll over you. You get the point. My thesis is that there’s only so much time and one person can only do so much, and doing your best sometimes mean stepping back.

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Birthday Bike Ride 2019 – 36.64 Mi / 58.97 Km

Birthday. The word strikes joy in a child’s heart but apathy or fear in adults. As we age, it seems more and more people care less and less about celebrating birthdays, either theirs or others’. Presents, gifts and cards dwindle. After just ending a very tiring job earlier in the week, and with rain and wind arriving as part of a cold front the morning of my special day, I had not made many plans.

But I still wanted to set out on my now fourth annual quest to bike my age in miles while collecting freebies. While I didn’t hit my goal, I did manage to complete my longest day in the saddle since August 15th (about when the job really kicked off) and my longest ride since June 30th. What follows are some images and info about my day.

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Lazily Leaning Lightly Into the Low Lulls

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.

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