A Chat with Sophie the Fairdale at 20,000 Miles + 800 Consecutive Days of Bicycling

It’s a pair of milestones this time for A Dude Abikes and his trusty steed, Sophie, the Fairdale Weekender Archer. I won her in a raffle from Bike Austin back in 2017, though I didn’t start riding her exclusively until January of 2018. On Sunday, we passed 20,000 miles, according to the Gear setting on Strava, the fitness app (which means “to strive” in Swedish.) As it turned out, it happened the day after 800 days I bicycled in a row. Two years, two months and 10 days if you’re wondering.

There was some major effort involved, and with that some pain and suffering, that’s for sure. They’re all part of attaining these big numbers and worth commemorating. I’m not really tooting my horn here as much as I’m just reporting the facts. It’s another step on my journeys both on the bike and here in the pages of this blog.

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6 Similarities Betwixt Stand-Up Comedy and Sit-Down Cycling

How are we doing out there tonight, Poughkeepsie? (Puzzled looks.) You’re really a lovely crowd, I mean it. Please remember to tip your waiters. I gotta tell ya’, biking and comedy are two totally different disciplines, am I right? Anyone ride their bike here to the comedy club tonight? No? Well, shame on you for hating your Mother Earth. I biked here because I’ve got a lousy agent. He didn’t rent a car for me to get here from the hotel. And I know this agent is lousy, because it’s me! I’m my own agent. I gotta do everything for myself. So after biking here to do my set at Bananas Comedy Club, where some hack named James Fallon started, I found out — and this is true – the club relocated to Rutherford, New Jersey for the summer. Freakin’ Jersey! Fugghedaboud it! That’s why you looked at me like I was bonkers when I said Poughkeepsie. It’s a long ride: 77 miles, to be exact. Anyway, I should fire that agent, but I can’t. Well, let’s get to my set. Here’s how biking a joking are similar, like almost the the same exact thing.

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Fart Club: Protocol for Pootin’ in the Peloton

The first rule of Fart Club is that you never talk about Fart Club. The second rule of Fart Club is that you should never fart while bicycling in a group — unless you can figure out how to do it and not get caught. (For you Chuck Palhaniuk purists, when CP wrote Fight Club, he was talking about fighting, not farting, so rule two is what I say it is.) The latter is a taboo subject (tab-poo?), but I’m gonna go ahead talk about it. But I must include this disclaimer: I’ve never farted on a bike ride, like ever. I’m too classy. This is all data I heard from other people. Anyway, I’ll understand if this ain’t yo cuppa tea, however, I think you’ll find it refreshing. If you don’t, well, to quote the Fresh Prince of Belair: “Yo homes, smell ya later!” I hope you’ll stick around. Like a bad, well, you know…

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A Fool, A Weirdo, and an Idiot on My Bike Ride: Really!?

“Keep It Weird” has been one of Austin’s slogans for a while now. I’d like to report to you that the tradition is alive and well. Except these three interactions weren’t with Leslie, the former bearded and homeless celebrity drag queen who was famous for wearing a g-string around town. Once I was behind him walking downtown on Sixth Street. Burned into my brain that I can’t ever unsee were his ass cheeks adorned with the words “APD (Austin Police Department) Kiss My Ass.” Pretty weird, but also pretty harmless.

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A Blog Post About Something, but First…

… lemme tell you about my day. A Tuesday, it ’twas. And boy, what a doozy! Actually, it really wasn’t that much of a doozy. I just enjoy using the word doozy. Which makes me think about whoopsie daisy. Can you have a doozy of a whoospie daisy? Or a whoopsie daisy doozy? wonder if anyone has ever written those two sentences. Probably, there’s nothing new under the sun. Oh, yeah, you’re right: tell you about my day. Speaking of the sun, it was hot. It only got to 98 degrees, so that wasn’t a doozy, but I did get dizzy on my walk. I went over to the Orifice Despot to make some copies. I was standing at the copy machine, makin copies. And I printed some things, too. Well, the copy machine did. It’s like a transformer, it turned into a printer, though I noticed no changes. And then I walked home. Even hotter. And then…

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Rents and Temperatures: Things That Are Rising in Austin

Spring in Austin, Texas is usually a short-lived affair. Now, after a week of rain, the heat is on, and the humidity is high. Or as I call it, the stupidity. If all the rich idiots from California moving here with their First World dollars did their research, they would not come here. It’s very hot (and not ofttimes, not a dry heat), there’s bad traffic, cedar fever, other rich Californian idiots, and oh yeah, the homeless. Our so-called liberal city chose on Saturday to ban camping, sitting, or even lying down in public again after 23 years. Hypocrites. It does nothing to house the houseless, which I’m always on the verge of becoming, as I recently detailed in my post Homelessness Has Him House Hunting; Hounds of Hell at Heels. With tempers flaring from that political battle and the rising thermometer, plus ample reasons for my own head to get hot, I figured I would blow off a little steam. Trigger warning: “Bad words” ahead!

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Another Day in the Life of a Bike Dude

Something woke me up. Normally it’s construction, the hospital helicopter, highway traffic, barking dog, full bladder, or all of the above. Sometimes it’s a dream but they fade from memory quickly. Oh wait, I remember. It was pain in my hip from overdoing it with the resistance bands two days ago. I applied an ice pack and went back to sleep. Woke up, repeated. Felt better, but still sore. I resolved to take it easy today. Which if you know me I’m all about easy, but I also kick my own ass via exercise on the regular. Before getting out of making the bed, I remembered words Arianna Huffington told me (ok, it was a few thousand of us) on an Action for Happiness webinar the day before. When you wake up, don’t immediately turn on your phone, which should be charging and off in another room. Set your intention for the day, journal, think of some things you’re grateful for. So I did that. Take ‘er easy, thankful for ice and other things. More on that later in this post.

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Bus in the Bike Lane: A Recipe for…

Ingredients:

  • 40,000 pound city transit bus
  • Lazy-ass or law-breaking bus driver (see if you can find one that’s both)
  • One 28-pound steel-framed sea foam green Fairdale Weekender Archer bicycle named Sophie (substitutions allowed)
  • Experienced person on said bicycle, vulnerable to said buses
  • Narrow traffic and bike lanes on most dangerous section of road in Austin for bikes
  • Friday evening rush hour
  • Big pot of history of near misses with city buses for the bicyclist
  • Memory of John Anthony Diaz, a cyclist killed by same bus company (separate into two portions)
  • Kettle full of road rage for the bus driver
  • Add a pinch, a soupçon, or a schosche of irritating, smelly bus riders into the mix
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