After 104 Miles, 50 Are a Walk in the Park

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.

                                — Seinfeld, “The Race”

After last month’s personal best of 104 miles in one day, it turns out that going on a 50-mile social ride isn’t that exciting to do or write about.  The century ride took 10 hours, and it took a lot out of me at all levels.   I expected fatigue and a bit of a let-down emotionally, so I was glad for the break.  After two days completely off the bike both before and three days off after that 130-mile week, including the Hill Country Ride for AIDS, I still put together a decent 105 miles the next week, including the 50-miler.

This was with the Bike Austin group that rides on Sundays from The Peddler, and it was notable for four reasons: Continue reading

My First Century: 104 Miles Biked for AIDS Charities

Friday, April 29, 2016, 10:16 am – The Day Before

It’s less than 24 hours to the biggest bicycle ride of my life, and A Dude Abikes is rushing around in order to relax. I’m getting a massage and reflexology treatment with my friend Richard. First I have to go to work to borrow a car; I’m not biking the day before, especially in the rain. Later, after the painfully pleasant massage, mostly on my legs, Richard offers to discount the rest of his fee if I’ll pick up a used recliner at a second-hand store. The lure of easy money is irresistible, plus I like to help. With the savings I pick up two necessities at a bike shop on the way — a rain jacket for the downpour forecast for the morning, and sunproof arm sleeves for the hot and sunny afternoon predicted to follow. But being stuck in Austin traffic stresses me out, and undoes alot of the relaxation. Whatever, my legs feel great, like heavy weights have been lifted from them.  Little did I know how important the session would be for my lesgs, tight from 1,600 miles of training since January.  Something major is coming.

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The Wheel of Life: Biking with the Ghosts of AIDS

To donate to my Hill Country Ride for AIDS effort on April 30th, please email me at <ADudeAbikes AT gmail >

The Wheel of Life

It’s early morning on a cloudy Sunday in the Hill Country town of Dripping Springs, Texas.  Fifty cyclists trickle into the empty school parking lot slowly, as if arriving at a wake.  They spill out of Subarus and Priuses (Prii, my high school Latin teacher’s voice echoes from the past), weird clowns in brightly colored costumes, but tight and made of Spandex, shoes not floppy, clicking on the ground.  Aliens looking down would be perplexed by this bizarre parade.  Their faces still show signs of sleep, coffee tumblers clutched closely in hands that would soon be covered in fingerless gloves.  There was banter and hugging friends, and talk about the chance of rain, while mentally they were each preparing themselves for 22 or 44 miles of relentless pedaling up and down country roads.


The Hill Country Ride for AIDS “Joy Ride”, they call their training outings.  But underneath the frivolity and anticipation of just another weekend sporting event being replicated around the world, an air of solemnity hung over this group.  Despite my staunch atheism I can’t help but shake an eerie feeling.  It’s as if the ghosts of people lost to that damn fucking virus — so many lives lost, and still without a cure — are also gathered in that parking lot with us.  Brothers, sisters, lovers, husbands, wives, partners, mothers, sons and daughters.  They were there, watching and waiting, their energy drawn to the event, simply by virtue of being remembered.  I imagine a silently cheer emanates from the ghosts of HIV victims past, urging the living riders to go on in their names. Continue reading