Not that beast. I mean beast mode. I’m not a believer in magical numbers (unless my lottery tickets finally pay off). It was my second longest month ever, after the 731 I did in April 2017 including 202 Miles in 2 Days for the MS 150. Given my lack of a day job at the moment, I made it my bidness (as some people actually pronounce “business” in Texas) to bike my butt off (it’s still there, though). And bidness is goooood! That’s because I averaged 150 miles per week. Well, I guess it’s volunteering if I’m not getting paid.
It’s surprising that I accomplished this since it takes me longer than it used to. I could blame Sophie, the 28-pound steel bike with nine gears I’m riding, or the prematurely colder, windy and wet weather, but I’m just not moving very fast these days. Some people I know rode Das Hugel, an unsanctioned sufferfest that’s over a century and 10,000 feet elevation (I wrote about it last year.) A Dude doth not Das Hugel. However, compared to everyone who’s home sitting on the couch, I’m friggin’ Speed Racer. So perhaps my efforts are inspirational to somebody out there reading this. You don’t have to believe me, let’s look at the Strava stats.
My first time at Malvern Books, a small independent store in Austin, Texas, was exactly what I expected and yet wholly surprising. The expected part was that people would come to hear the author and the poet, there’d be snacks before and Q & A plus schmoozing after. One Page Salon creator and host Owen Egerton had announced the reading of his good friend Walter Moore, who also read a page earlier in the week. When I bicycled over to the site formerly adjacent to Vulcan Video, I was greeted outside the door by Owen. He took a moment from his conversation with the smoking guest poet to smile at me. I thought he was opening the door but instead gave me a big hug. Sorpresa numero uno.
After two more days of seeing films and comedy at South by Southwest, and walking well over 10,000 steps per day as a volunteer and then participant, I’m even more exhausted than last week. But it’s Wednesday, so that means it’s time to tell y’all (who actually are reading this blog) what’s the big deal about SXSW. In addition to telling, I’ll do some showing. Continue reading
After a number of bike news posts, it’s time for a personal update. This blog is meant to educate, inform, inspire and motivate. But it is also to shine a light on one bicyclist’s journey (literal and figurative), not just the good, but also the bad and ugly. Regarding the latter, lately the engine room has not been firing on all cylinders. But truth be told, it’s been that way since I can remember, just different degrees.
As I recently told a fellow rider on Strava, “I’m only as good as last night’s sleep.” Since that generally isn’t great, my biking suffers accordingly. There are plenty of reasons for that, and while some are under my control, most are not. So I do my best. The question is what to do about it, besides the obvious: stop blogging late at night and do what those celebrities like Jennifer Garner said in hilarious videos of a book with the same title: “Go the F*(& to Sleep!” However, if I did that, you wouldn’t have anything to read.
Last night I attended my first Third Thursday free event held by the Texas Writers League. I’d heard of the League, but it took me hearing their director Michael Nolin speak and also met him at another event, the One Page Salon, to get me to a TWL event. After the panel, I went to a book release party for OPS host Owen Egerton, who has helped inspired me to keep on writing and to call myself a writer. At the latter event I met a couple involved in the Austin film industry, and had a good long conversation with them about their art. And then a fellow blogger made a really heartfelt comment about a recent post of mine. A day later I still find myself energized by this synchronicity. So I gotta write about it.
…I’m Still Ready for My Close-Up
That’s right, A Dude Abikes was featured in the local newspaper. I blogged about it on January 15, 2018, and since it’s exactly a year later today, it seems appropriate to remind older readers, new followers and visitors, too. The blog is titled “Read All About It! A Dude Abikes Featured in the Austin American-Statesman.” While it did not catapult me to stardom or anything, I thought it was a pretty decent write-up. It was by the now former reporter and author of the Fit City blog, Pam LeBlanc. (She continues to write about her travel and fitness adventures at this link.) In the year since that post came out, I have continued on my own journey. Please click on through to read more!
Although this is predominantly a blog about biking, it’s also about anything excellent (raves) as well as things I think suck (rants). Sometimes it’s chocolate, movies, or soccer. Sometimes it’s racism, jerks in cars, and politicians. Definitely in the rave column, a while ago, I went to see Paul Simon on his farewell tour, naturally called Homeward Bound, which I blogged about here. In thinking about what to write for this blog while on tonight’s 25-mile bike ride, I used title of a song from “Rhymin’ Simon’s” highly influential world music-infused album Graceland. If you guessed that this post is a rant, you win! (Your prize is continuing to read this post.) Let’s dig into the mind of A Dude, shall we? Continue reading
The Tour is over for this year, but you can still watch it by subscribing to NBC Sports Gold Cycling Pass. (Go to this link to subscribe; it lasts for the whole year so you can watch La Vuelta a Espana and other races, but only in the US.) I’m a little late to the party since I’m still watching it on a Roku donated to me by dear mum. (So don’t spoil it by commenting on the winner or anything past Stage 11, please! I however may spoil it if you are are on Stage 1.) I am way behind because of life getting in the way but still enjoying it. Like many Americans, I got into the Tour a few years after a certain famous Austin cyclist won it seven times in a row. After that was, um, cancelled, I stopped watching for a few years (also like many Americans). But I couldn’t stay away, so I’ve been watching it every year for a while now, and still think it’s worth it. Here’s why I think you should watch it, too.
When Pam LeBlanc interviewed me for a profile in the Austin American-Statesman that was published on January 15, 2018, it set into motion a series of most fortunate events that are still bearing fruit. When I first suggested the idea to her by email in late 2016, it fell flat. I guess the 5,306 miles I bicycled in 2016 was not that impressive. But I kept riding, and I kept writing this blog, albeit irregularly. And I managed 4,714 miles in 2017. So riding 10,000 miles in two years did catch her attention.
Then Pam, who is a total badass herself I hope to interview one day, expressed interest in putting me in her Fit City blog. After that, her editor wanted to run the piece in the print edition of the newspaper with photos, I was happily surprised. My persistence of pedaling and pontificating had paid off. But the main thing I learned was that if my bicycling story was interesting to the mainstream newspaper of the 11th largest city in the United States (or at least the lifestyles editor), then other peoples’ stories would also have value.
As promised in I Exercise and Write 24+ Hours Every Week: An A Dude Abikes Round-Up, I deliver the news of my progress for the first half of 2018. You can see all my activities on Strava.