600 Miles Biked in August and 4,325 So Far in 2020

Another month, another 600 miles. I eked out the last 20 or so late on the last night of the month, after being forced to slow down due to the heat — 29 days of 100 degrees F or more! — and the accumulated tiredness. But I got ‘er done, somehow. And that’s the thing, when it comes to goals, you either meet them or you don’t. Or put another way by famed peacemaker and Nobel Prize winner and President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, “I never lose. I either win, or I learn.” winner Of course, they’re arbitrary and frivolous, we can all agree on that during the global pandemic. But biking is still legal here in Central Texas, and it helps A Dude to keep moving. If exercise is like a drug, then cycling is my medicine of choice. So herewith, posthaste, and without further ado are my August and 2020 statistics on the bicycle.

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What Should You Do When You Hit an Exercise Plateau?

You’ve heard the term. It’s when, despite your best efforts, to improve your [insert exercise – in my case, biking, walking and yoga], you don’t get any better. It’s frustrating. You may want to take an extended break, or even quit. No one would blame you if you did. All that effort seemingly gone up in smoke. I’m no sports psychologist, though I certainly touch on it since it is a big part of the point of this blog is to try to inspire other older, overweight or just less active folks to try doing more. So let’s examine this whole plateau notion, shall we? Well, not in whole, just a few parts. As always, consult a medical professional before doing anything risky for you.

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But I Would Bike 500 Miles, And I Would Bike 500 More

Does it surprise you that I’m still riding my bicycle around 17 miles a day, which totals 500 for the month? It surprises me a little, even though I’m the one who decided to “make it so.” That’s because it’s a lot of effing work. Like most everyone, I’m having to deal with how our long international nightmare is impacting life. And a big part of my life is bicycling. I also had to move residences mostly by myself, have been having knee pain, had a fall and although minor the road rash just finally healed, and I am not exactly sleeping better these days. Somehow I just can’t give up the biking habit — at least not yet. So another 500 miles in the bag, for over 2,000 for the year. Not bad.

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510 Miles Biked in April & 2,012 in the First Third of 2020

Another month, another milestone. My bicycling has been a daily affair for some time now, and I’ve kept that streak alive. And that has made keeping my numbers consistently up from last year. I don’t want to leave big numbers to do at the end of 2020, and long rides aren’t a great idea in case of breakdowns or injuries. So I’m out there daily putting up the numbers. As I often do at the end of a month, I like to look at the statistics, so this is what this blog is about. No fake news here! Just A Dude’s journey by bike (non-motorized) through the streets of Austin, Texas.

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The Fine Art of Finessing Follower Features on Strava

Strava, the fitness tracking app, has been a useful repository of rides, walks, swims and photos thereof, a good source of data, and a fun place to encourage others and to be encouraged. Unlike many social media sites (so far in my experience, and as I’m told), it’s a pretty positive place. This post explores a few of the features relating to followers. If you’re a cyclist not on the app, you may want to consider it, and these tips can help even if you are and may not be aware. And, before I forget, kudos to you for reading this post!

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On Resilience: Bicycling Through Life and the Pandemapocalypse

It’s hard to not write about the elephant in the room when it’s far, Far FAR! bigger than that. Coronavirus is like sunlight, or water — except that it’s poisonous for many, and deadly for some. There are I’m sure much more eloquent attempts to explain and interpret what’s going on. After all, I’m just A Dude who rides a bicycle and blogs about it. My tiny corner of the internet is just one example of something a few humans think is kinda cool, or interesting, or important, but in reality is not. It’s frivolous, navel-gazing distraction.

And yet, we each do what we can to cope, to survive, and maybe again even to thrive. So I’m writing this blog. And it occurred to me that maybe I’ve learned a few lessons from biking 100-175 miles a week for 22 weeks in a row that might help me and you get through this. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. (I’m not really suggesting you do that; please don’t.)

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Je Suis Fatigué: When You’re Stuck in the Spin Cycle

Possible titles for this post included (the humorless should skip the intro):

  • Biking Is Good for Getting In Shape to Escape the Zombie Hordes
  • Coronavirus; Things Will Get Worse Before They Get Worse (Lily Tomlin)
  • Can My Bicycle Get Coronavirus?
  • Rome Is Burning — Like Literally, People Have Fevers
  • COVID-19 – The Movie: Will Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Finally Portray the President?
  • We’re All Gonna Die, So May As Well Ride Your Bike
  • Anyone Know How “The Walking Dead” Ends?
  • Coronavirus, Some Coronavirus, and Also More Coronavirus

I’ve decided to go in another direction, though, and write about something related, still health-related and less apocalyptic.

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175 Miles: Reflections About Another Strong Week in My Cycling Journey

Biking 25 miles in one day can be challenging or easy depending on your abilities and how you feel. Then there’s the weather like wind, rain, cold or heat to contend with. Traffic can be very scary even if you’re used to riding in it. Also important are the quintessential questions that come up riding a bike like: what to wear, what to eat, where to go? I must have figured all that out because I managed to make it another seven days in a row for the 10th week. This past week I totaled 175 miles, which is huge – 25 miles a day if you’re counting. Or a mile for every hour of the week (168) plus seven. So what follows are some thoughts on my pretty stupendous week (or stupid, depending how you look at it; maybe it’s a little of both.)

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Overcoming Resistance to Exercise: How I Do It & You Can, Too!

It’s happened to most people who exercise at some point. It’s time to go to the gym/yoga/karate/spin class or for a walk-run-swim-bike ride, and you’re just not feeling it. Maybe you didn’t sleep enough, you had a stressful day at work, forgot to eat enough or well, or all of the above. There could be a plethora of valid reasons to take it easy and park your butt on the couch. And some days, that’s exactly what you need (see my posts Rainy Day Blahg: The Value of Sleep and Rest Days for Cyclists and The Rest of the Story About Rest Days for Cyclists).

But when your tiredness is mental and you still have some gas in the tank, you should go for it. Getting yourself moving may feel like climbing Mount Everest, but it is doable. And you won’t even need crampons. Because those pointy shoe things look dangerous and probably give you cramps. Come on inside this post to find out how I make myself bike, walk and do yoga even when it’s the last thing I want to do. And Happy Spring Equinox and Super Moon, y’all!

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My Recent Bike Riding: Stats and Feelings

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.

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