It has been five days since I got on my Fuji Silhouette bicycle and rode it. So this evening as I finally worked up the guts to do just that and was mulling over a title for this blog, I thought of the words, “Shut Up, Legs!” This is the catchphrase of Jens Voigt, who rode the Tour de France 17 times, a record only beaten this year by Sylvain Chavanel. He retired in 2014 the day after his 43rd birthday and setting a new one-hour bike record — the farthest anyone had ridden a bike in one hour. You can see my ride today on Strava here.
I was going to write about how I’m unable to bike for a while, or the heat wave (109 F forecast for Monday!), or possibly put up pictures of my collection of bike t-shirts. Then I saw this sad news that made me do a double-take because it’s just crazy. There’s not much to know at this point until they catch the guy who did it. And what’s making this more news than it might be otherwise is that the victim was Dr. Mark Hausknecht, a cardiologist to former US President George H.W. Bush. Houston, we have a problem. It’s you. Quelle bizarre!
Meanwhile, in the crazy-good Houston bike news department, Lawson Craddock, whom I wrote about recently (Texan Lawson Craddock Breaks Scapula on Day 1 of Tour de France, Just Keeps Riding. Quelle Courage!), is still riding in the Tour de France and donating $100 for every stae. His GoFundMe page, which you should definitely contribute to, has now brought in over $114,000 for the Alkek Velodrome damaged in Hurricane Harvey. Since it’s used to train the next generation of cyclists, it’s a good cause. Read more about both these crazy stories below!
The first Texan to ride in the Tour de France since 2005, Gregory “Lawson” Craddock (Twitter, Strava) who is from Houston but lives here in Austin, Texas first appeared in the TDF in 2016. Returning after a not great 2017, on Saturday during on Stage 1, he crashed due to a water bottle in the road. Diagnosed with a fractured scapula and gashes on his forehead and elbow, he received treatment en route and finished the ride. After recovering some on Saturday and a tearful interview declaring he had come too far to give up so easily, he rode again Sunday and again today. He’s using his misfortune to inspire others and for charity, too. A Dude Abikes salutes his grit and gumption, so I had to give him a shout out from my little speck of the internet. Go Lawson!
As returning readers may know, last April 29-30, I bicycled 202 miles in two days from Houston to Austin, Texas. That was extremely challenging for A Dude, but I did it, even adding 30 miles to get the “double century.” I’m also very proud of the fact that I obtained donations totalling $2,167 for treatment and research for the degenerative disease. That was also challenging, since I didn’t (and still don’t) have social media available as tools to reach people. But all the effort, suffering and training and even cramping on the ride was totally worth it, because in the end, I kicked butt both on and off the bike.
Today, the National MS Society had a gathering to thank us “Superstars” for last year. I received a spiffy silky-smooth grey tech-t-shirt. They had a nice spread with beverages We’re having nicer weather, so I got in a bike ride to do errands get downtown. At the gathering I met some biking friends, and a few of us went out to play pool after. It was a perfect ending to my half-birthday. Then I biked home, making for a decent 20-mile day. I know that’s not a real holiday, but it’s harmless fun. I hope you enjoy the photos. Continue reading