Two Years of Daily Bicycling: Simple, Not Easy

Something kinda big just recently happened, and I forgot to blog about it. What with that fellow blogger guy coming to town and my big birthday ride (which I’ll get to another time, I reckon), I sort of overlooked a major milestone: two years of riding every single day! That’s somewhere upwards of 12,000 miles. By now, the mileage goals I’ve set and met are almost like literal mileposts on a highway. I pass them by, and they’re in the rearview mirror. Not forgotten, but I’ve seen them and moved on. I suppose that’s what we do here at A Dude Abikes. We keep on bikin’. (And walkin’ and doin’ yoga, and, well that’s mostly it for exercise.) Writing about my journey makes it more real somehow. And 731 days of riding is very real, rest assured. Hmm, some rest would be in order by now, you’d think. And if you did, you’d’ve thunk correctly. But there’s no rest for the weary. So on we go. How I got from I to we, I/we don’t know. Let’s go to the next paragraph, shall we?

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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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Q3 2021: Third Quarterly Report of My Bicycling and Other Habits

Now that we’re 90 days from the end of 2021, it’s time for my third quarterly report. July, August and September are the hottest months in Texas, and that heat and stupidity tend to slow most dudes and dudettes down. (I meant humidity, which with the heat tends to make one stupid.) But, I never claimed to be smart, so I have gone on a bicycle ride every single day of the pandemic (and for a while before that). Regular readers know I’m like only 50% of that Cake lyric: “He’s going for distance, he’s (not) going for speed.” On top of that, I take a walk, do yoga, and got myself into some other daily activities, practices aka habits. Sure, it was stupid hot (though not as bad as last year), and I do not bike fast. However, although I don’t get a cent from it, you could say I’m in the bicycle riding business. And business is good.

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August 2021 Strava Stats – Still Summer

August is gone. Autumn’s approaching and with it pleasant weather conditions more favorable to bicycling and walking. Despite last month being wetter and cooler than usual, we only had three 100+ F days, one to end the month, and another two, two 99’s, and another 100 forecast to start September. So, it’s still summer in Central Texas. As I look back at my activity statistics, to the hottest month, I say this (quoting a former Texas governor who didn’t know the microphone was on): “Adios, mofo!” But hey, I’m not doing too poorly if you noticed I passed 30,000 lifetime miles the other day.

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30,000 Lifetime Miles I Bicycled on Strava

***NEWER POSTS BELOW**** Flavor Flav was and is the hype man for seminal rap group Public Enemy. Even if you don’t know their music or who Flav is, if you paid attention during the 80’s and 90’s or saw Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing with their hit, “Fight the Power,” there’s a good chance you heard of the guy wearing a big clock around his neck saying, “Yeah, boyeeeee!” Chuck D was and still is the main voice of serious political rap, but FF keeps it fun. Professional athletes, celebrities, and politicians also have paid hype people — publicists to trumpet their successes and explain away their losses or mistakes. This dude just has this little blog, and Strava the fitness app, through which to toot my own horn. So, it’s tootin’ time. And yeah, I just reached 30,000 miles of bicycling in five years, eight months, and 10 days. Not too shabby for a dude who’s old and flabby. It brings up some questions: How did it begin? How did I get here? What does this milestone mean? And what’s for dinner?

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My Strava Stats for July 2021

This post looks at my monthly stats from all my activities in July 2021 courtesy of Strava. As you can see from the images below, I was active all 31 days of the month, for 93 hours total exercise. Of that, 37% was biking, 31% walking, 30% yoga, and 2% swimming. I had hoped to do a lot more of the latter, but there is limited access to the only outdoor pool my gym has in town. Also, I don’t like sharing a lane, since I’m a lousy swimmer I need a whole one to myself. That and my ongoing energy deficit made it too difficult to get in. At least I got in the water twice. I’ve realized they have water aerobics, so I might consider that. But the struggle is real, and it continues.

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3,002 Miles Bicycled in 2021… So Far!

Tonight’s ride was a modest 10 miles, but it pushed me over 3,000. Round numbers make nice milestones — in my case, literally. Normally I do statistics at the beginning of a new month for the one proceeding. But this marker seemed worthy of a post. For one thing, it is a number that tells me I will have probably ridden my bike more than driven the car I was given in the last year. There’s something to be said for doing what one can to reduce one’s carbon footprint, given the very real and scientific consensus that climate change is killing the planet. (Naysayers can go put on their tin foil hats elsewhere like with the flat earthers.) Of course 15+ years with no car was better. But I digress. I may be slowing but I still manage to ride my bike. If you also bike, you know it’s fun. If you don’t, you should try it! Do you konw what’s also fun? Looking at my biking numbers.

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When Things Fall Apart: Fitness Goals and Life

Lately I’ve been slipping a bit with my exercise and health practices, and even writing this blog. It reminded me of When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, a book by American Buddhist nun Pema Chodron. I can’t recommend it because I’ve never read it; it’s sitting in a box in storage. At one point I may have even owned two copies. But the title speaks to me now after a mostly pretty shitty day and last few weeks. Even within the Tibetan Shambhala community, things fall apart. As with many religious, business, and entertainment leaders with unchecked power, last year their figurehead was accused of and apologized for sexual misconduct. It went on a while, but he’s still there.

However, reports suggest that Chodron as a senior leader and teacher may have enabled or ignored it. She even told a woman reporting abuse years ago that she didn’t believe her. So she’s not perfect, and she has resigned in protest but maybe also as an act of contrition although she wasn’t the abusive male with all the power. Point is, life doesn’t always or even often go the way we want it to. Defecation passes. We’re all humans here, right? Certainly there are more important things than fitness goals, but like the saying goes, “At least you have your health.” Well, what if you don’t, despite your best efforts? I guess you do your best.

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Another Day, Another Bike Ride

Here at A Dude Abikes, we (that is, the royal we) appreciate guts, intestinal fortitude, and chutzpah. That extends to anyone taking the chance, choice, and time to read. Though we know we’re no ex-Prince Harry, we do like to think of ourselves as having a quality that our former overlapping roommate said one day recently, i.e. intrepid. It’s been raining buckets here in Central Texas (a good thing because we’re behind for the year). I told the roomie, who’s quite a cyclist, that I was going for a walk, despite the chance of rain and not having slept a lot (partially because of his late and early packing racket). That’s when he said I was intrepid. I thought, “Hey, that’s pretty cool, like James Bond or something.” I’m not in possession of the sort of high-caliber intrepitude (if that wasn’t a word, it is now) that sprinters like Mark Cavendish do, I manage to climb the mountain of a number of good habits every day. Every day could be our last on the bike or other things, but I’m grateful that I was able and am glad to report that today was not the end. It was another day, another bike ride.

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Is It Possible to Ride Your Bicycle Too Much?

Back in November 2019 I wrote a post called The Bad Side of Good Habits. In it, I considered things that seemed good on the surface but looking deeper there were some negatives. Lately, I’ve been feeling pretty knackered (British English for tired) to the point where I can’t really ignore it. A quick search brings up the word “overtraining” and a host of replies with plenty of debate. As an amateur fathlete bicyclist, I’m not too worried about the semantics. You won’t see me entering any races, breaking any land speed records or running myself ragged biking up mountains. Yet my performance, such as it is, has been slipping downward in terms of average miles per hour and quantity of mileage. It’s not just on the bike where I’ve noticed changes, either. So maybe it’s time to consider a break. Or is it?

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