The Journey Is the Destination: Meandering Thoughts from a Bike Dude

After many miles over the last four and a quarter years, I’d like to think I mostly know what I’m doing on a bicycle. There’s ways more to learn, of course. Still, it just takes one mistake and you could find yourself in a spot of bother, or should I say spot of splat. Today, I went on a ride with a friend that involved social distancing to avoid other riders, and there were many sidewalks. Towards the end, after about 20 miles at careful pace, a light turned green and I crossed a busy street — but it was the wrong light, not the crosswalk I was waiting for. Suddenly, I found myself in a lane where a car was coming by on either side. Fortunately there wasn’t a lot of traffic and my fellow rider told me I was wrong, so I quickly returned to the sidewalk. I was never in that much danger, as both cars slowed down. It wasn’t my best moment in what’s been a long journey, reminding me that being mindful in the present moment instead if the destination is one key to survival on the bike, as in life.

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Recent Days Biking and Walking in Austin, Texas as Told Through Photos and Words

Lacking some inspiration I looked back at the last week in photos.  They tell a tale of my ongoing journey cycling through Austin.

Yellow Bike Project chalkboard.

Tonight I went to Yellow Bike Project again to work on Sophie.  For the first time, I left with something that wasn’t better than went I arrived.  Disc brakes can be tricky and for some reason my rear one on the Fairdale isn’t working right.  I’ll need to return Monday when a coordinator more familiar with the brakes is there, but more likely I’ll head by a bike shop.  It’s it’s important to be able to stop!

I don’t mention my diet much these days, but below is one brunch I prepared.  Also, I worked nine days of early voting and the final election day.  Compared to the recent mid-terms with many questions on the ballot, only five races had runoffs, so turnout was very low.  It gave me time to do some reading.  A David Baldacci thriller The Fix, and parts of Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich.  I also got more into Tim Ferris’s The Four-Hour Work Week and the Austin Chronicle.  I do not fare well at crosswords.

It’s nice the word for “go vote” is spelled the same in Spanish and  English.

A brunch of eggs, turkey sausage, avocado, red and sweet potato, cheese, onion, salsa, and blue Powerade Zero. Blue’s a flavor, but unnatural.

On a walk before biking, I found this cool blue bike rack made to look like a bike.

I’m still doing my daily walking.  One way I make sure to get in my 30 minutes is to walk on my way somewhere and then bike the rest.  Or if I’m in a hurry and it’s close by, I bike there and then walk home.  It’s a handy trick and I often see something cool, like the above bike rack.  I don’t always put all the pictures here, though.  For that, you will need to follow me on Strava, the fitness app. That link will take you to my profile.

 

Chanukah at the house of two friends involved a number of brightly lit menorahs, a variety of foods, and hanging out and talking.  I missed the candle lighting and if there were any prayers, but it was not an orthodox religious event.  It’s nice to connect with that part of my heritage (which I wrote about in the post Bicyclists & Jews: Both Are Targets (But They Should Not Be) and hang out with others who may not be traditionally observant but who identify ethnically.  As one comedian put it, “(he’s) not a Jew, he’s Jew-ish.”  Joking aside, I think one can be both.  But speaking of that uniquely Jewish sensibility of humor, one person punned, “Some people light a ninth candle on Chanukah, but they’re in the menorah-ty.”  (For the goyem out there, there are only eight days of Chanukah.)

 

I snapped these two covers of books at Book People, the largest independent bookstore in Texas that’s in downtown Austin.  One speaks to the hope of what bicycles could do, the other reflects my ambivalence about why I am riding my bicycle an average of over 80 miles per week so far this year.  (See 4,000 Miles Biked This Year! + 3,000 Miles Total on Sophie the Fairdale.)

 

Nearby the book store is the international headquarters of a natural grocery chain.  They don’t need any press from me but friends and I have long called it the “food hole” or “whole paycheck.”  But they do have some cool stuff like an ice skating rink on the roof in the winter and this sign abbreviating Austin, Texas, which changes colors.  I had never snapped any pictures, so for your edification, here is a nice series.

The awesome, fun and inspirational monthly gathering of authors of all kinds who read called One Page Salon, hosted by Owen Egerton, had a huge turnout this month.  This was thanks to the Texas Writers League.  Shown with Owen is director Michael Nowlin, a nice guy, author and nice guy who encouraged me not to give up on the possibility of getting published.  It was cool to see a packed house although I only really talked to a few people I already knew.  The TWL is an organization I need to get involved with as I get closer to finishing the first draft of my memoir of two years of cycling quite a few miles.  (4,714 Miles Bicycled in 2017 = 10,000 in 2 Years! A Recap of My “Epic Velocimania” (Day 1)

 

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A jalopy bike I saw in East Austin after One Page Salon.  Notice the seat has no post and the wheel sizes are different. reminds me of the book title It’s Not About the Bike.

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An Imagined Chat with Sookie, My Fuji Silhouette Bicycle, Upon Her Forced Retirement

Hi Sookie, are you there?

Yes, Dude, I am.

Good! Well, Sookie, we need to talk.

Oh, that doesn’t sound good.

I’m afraid I have some news that you probably aren’t going to like.

I’m a big girl, lay it on me.

Do you remember when we were at the Sun & Ski Sports bike shop the other day?

Yes, I remember! I always enjoy seeing Mike in the bike shop and the other guys. And all those cool new bikes, including some of my decendants.

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I Exercise and Write 24+ Hours Every Week: An A Dude Abikes Round-Up

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