I met Lawson Craddock tonight and was impressed. Not because he’s a hero or did something heroic (which he denies being or doing). But because he’s a human being who rides a bike and overcame adversity to accomplish his goal. And he has thus far maintained what seems to be an authenticity, humility, humor and quiet strength. And also because he’s community-minded, aware of his good fortune and support he has from friends and family and the wider world. Many of those things resonate, inspire or apply to me, and maybe to you too. So as so-called heroes go, he’s very relatable. That plus of course he’s a kick ass cyclist and a nice guy to boot. Continue reading
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
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.
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!