She walked onto the patio like she was walking off her yacht. I was waiting for her at the back of a coffee house overlooking Lake Travis. It was a rainy, lazy day, and she had texted to tell me that she had just awakened from a nap and was running a little late. Dena was sporting a long mane of naturally curly hair (never combed except in the shower), brown with blond highlights), a plaid shirt with a few buttons undone, short shorts and canvas shoes. She gave a cute, shy little wave and then came around to the picnic table to give me a polite but gentle hug. Thus began a fascinating interview, series of calls, texts, emails and a photo shoot that would lead to this profile. Continue reading
…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!
True story: Yesterday I was out for my morning walk near a downtown Austin, Texas cemetery, since I’m cat and housesitting. I had on my Elmer Fudd hat that covers my ears and neck, headphones tuned to the classical radio station. I was heading south and in the distance, I saw a flash of pink heading toward me. It got bigger, and I recognized after watching the Tour de France: it was Lawson Craddock. He became famous due to getting a broken scapula on Stage 1 and fundraising almost $200,000 for the Houston Alkek Velodrome, where he trained as a youth.
Lawdog, as he’s known, wasn’t going too fast, but I didn’t have time to get out my camera or think of anything brilliant to say. So I just said, “Hey, buddy! It’s A Dude Abikes!” Like a puppy dog quizzically cocking its head to the side when confused with something, he looked right at me. A flash of recognition may have been there, or maybe not, since I’ve been posting notes on his Strava page. The moment passed, and he kept on riding. How can I not blog about that? Continue reading
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.
Today in Austin, Texas, there was some rain, so it was a good day to relax and reflect. This blog post is one of my occasional round-ups of thoughts and things about your sometimes somewhat humble blogger. Although in 10 days we’ll be at the mid-point of 2018, and I’ll be taking a closer look at my data from the walking, writing (blog and book), yoga and of course, bicycling, I wanted to update faithful readers, family and friends of just what is up with A Dude Abikes. Continue reading
If you haven’t already, please read Part 1 first. It is at this link: Engineering a Comeback from a Life-Altering Event.
Lying on his back in Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, Texas in October 1981 after losing most of his right leg in a railroad accident, David Crittenden Walker was scared. Of dying. Of never walking again. Of the pain. About the look of worry on the faces of his family and friends. They were staying overnight with him for the first week. He was getting Demerol shots every four hours, and they were “wonderful,” he said, because it blocked the pain. But that last hour before the next shot was excruciating. He would get loopy, then pass out. Because it’s so addictive (think opioid crisis), he had to be weaned off it as soon as possible. He also started having some hallucinations which freaked him out. His brain had to make sense of his new reality. David was 17 years old, and all of a sudden, he only had one leg. How the fuck does anyone live with that? Continue reading
EDITORIAL NOTE: These are the facts *as I heard them*, but any opinions or errors are mine. A better way of putting it is that this is a story, not word-for-word reporting. As with all writing of stories, there is no such thing as absolute fact and objectivity, as much as we may strive for it or fool ourselves into thinking there is. Not only was there no way to check many of the facts, and I took the subject at his word, there is the passage of time, choice of words, fading of memory and downright embellishment. The story as told by the interviewee is filtered through the lens, bias and experience of the interviewer. So is it true? Who knows? Everyone knows David’s a big fat liar. But we hope you’re entertained and inspired anyway. Continue reading