If you ride your bicycle regularly, you may have noticed that lots of little stuff happens that probably doesn’t happen for people dependent on cars to get around. Sometimes it’s big stuff, like you: go on a long ride, compete in a race, get a new bike, set a personal best on that Strava segment. The little stuff that goes on, while not as headline-worthy, is just as interesting, to me at least. There is often more than meets the eye if one is willing to look deeper. Let’s take a look at four things that happened to A Dude and find out.
Thursday was my birthday, and for the fourth year in a row, I pulled off a bike ride (one year was on the weekend instead of the actual day). It was a nice, cool day, and I was joined by one friend in the morning and another in the afternoon. Since it was a workday others were busy (or just not into it). Dinner and dessert happened with the first rider and some other friends. And along the way I picked up some freebies. Some of them are good for a few weeks, so the celebration continues. Traditions are nice.
He awoke early with the sun for a change. Groggily, from a late night when sleep did not come, as it often did not. He waited for slumber to arrive like a spouse waiting on the partner who had to work late: restlessly. To pass the time before her return, he watched a digital video recording of thin, super strong young men riding their bikes across Spain. A place he’d been many years ago and found himself pining for. He pined a fair bit these days, to anyone who would listen. About his underappreciated, unpaid blog and book writing. Or the aches and pains of an aging cyclist. And his unwillingness to settle for another low-paying job with a boss and all that jazz, while he struggled to start being an self-employed contractor. He couldn’t figure out how to do the job without a car but paradoxically he needed money from a job to get a car. After 13 years since his vehicle was smashed by a reckless driver, a car seemed like it would be nice. Yet it could also mean certain death to whatever modicum of fitness he had, he thought, because biking is sweaty, hard and uncomfortable, and driving a car is easy. And easy is boring. Which rhymes with snoring, which is what he should be doing, he mused.
200 Followers: I’d Like to Thank the Academy
I recently received the awesome news that my count of blog followers has hit 200! (Actually, it’s now 209, thanks to one more and those getting it through email.) It’s not a huge number compared to many, but I’m really grateful, since I started the year at 20 followers. So thanks to everyone, especially if you are actually reading my stuff! You know who you are. My intention was to list followers 101-200 in a post, as I did with the first 100, but there’s not an easy way to do that. If anyone knows how to download one’s follower list in a spreadsheet format, please let me know!
Well, I’ve done it! I’ve made it to the mythical 100th blog post. It’s my 69th of 2018, and I’ve totalled over 102,000 words since I began blogging on January 1, 2016. It’s been an interesting, fun, exhausting experiment telling my story as a bicyclist as well as exploring other topics like health, politics, culture and more. In this post I’ll review my progress thus far this year and look at what I still need to work on. I stayed in today and unpacked more, organized alot, and cooked, and so I’m itching to go on at least a metaphorical ride. Got your helmet on? Good, let’s go! Continue reading
Whole Lotta Bikin’ Goin’ On
4,714 miles in 2017 and 5,306 in 2016 total 10,020 miles — that’s what A Dude Abikes bicycled in two years. The numbers don’t lie (if you believe my Garmin vivoactive hr, Strava and GeoPositioning Satellites, that is). But I don’t need technology to tell you that I definitely biked 40% around the equator (all the way is 24,901 miles). Any way you look at it, it’a alot of damn miles. Not easy with my various challenges. But I did it.
So what, you might ask? Lots of people ride farther and faster. True, but I ain’t them, and they can get their own damn blog. I often wonder why, too. In one sense, it’s just what I do. Also, I’m approaching 13 years of being car-free. (Not care-free — I wish!) So if I want to go anywhere, biking is usually the most efficient way. Cars are expensive and pollute. Lastly, the only race I’m in is the human one. Continue reading
Full Catastrophe Biking
Wrecks, injury and fatigue are just some of the distractions that have kept A Dude Abikes from biking and blogging as much as he would like since his personal best doing the MS 150 back in April. There have been devastating hurricanes and other natural disasters, the unnatural disaster of a president stoking things like possible nuclear war, elimination of health care benefits for millions of people, arrest and deportation of many immigrants who came here as children, and plenty more scandals. The shooting in Las Vegas. Bombings all over the place. The never-ending parade of humanity in all its sick splendor and glory gory. Of course good things happen all the time too. Riding my bike with a few hundred others, in my case 65 miles, to raise almost $1,000 for breast cancer charities is a positive contribution. You can and should make such a contribution yourself here: http://Fundraisers.MammaJammaRide.Org/ADudeAbikes.