It’s been almost a year since my post The Winter of Our Discontent; Cool Bikings. There were some good ideas in there (of course) but not quite enough tips. And since we’ve had a few low temperatures approaching 40 F, which is the high in some places, I figure it’s time to stop turning a cold shoulder to this topic. I shouldn’t complain; 40 F is warm for many people in northern climes. WINTER IS COMING, so I’m trying to acclimate, that way I won’t be overdressed when the temperature does plummet.Continue reading
Something kinda big just recently happened, and I forgot to blog about it. What with that fellow blogger guy coming to town and my big birthday ride (which I’ll get to another time, I reckon), I sort of overlooked a major milestone: two years of riding every single day! That’s somewhere upwards of 12,000 miles. By now, the mileage goals I’ve set and met are almost like literal mileposts on a highway. I pass them by, and they’re in the rearview mirror. Not forgotten, but I’ve seen them and moved on. I suppose that’s what we do here at A Dude Abikes. We keep on bikin’. (And walkin’ and doin’ yoga, and, well that’s mostly it for exercise.) Writing about my journey makes it more real somehow. And 731 days of riding is very real, rest assured. Hmm, some rest would be in order by now, you’d think. And if you did, you’d’ve thunk correctly. But there’s no rest for the weary. So on we go. How I got from I to we, I/we don’t know. Let’s go to the next paragraph, shall we?Continue reading
After revisiting winter as a metaphor with my last post, I’m feeling a bit poetic. My first attempt at poetry (in this blog — I wrote plenty of sappy rhymes in my school days) was a tribute to nature titled Poem: Word to Your Mother (Earth). The second one was called Verisimilitude: Leap Day Twenty Twenty Poem; it dealt with a day in the life and went a little into politics including the environment. In case you missed them, or have forgotten, enjoy. As for today’s words, they’re about the longest period of subfreezing weather in Texas for a long time and the third heaviest snowstorm ever, resulting in power outages and water line breaks for millions across the state and many here in Austin. In fact, there’s an Austin water crew digging up the street to fix a leak as I write. This poem is also about life, politics and nature; I’m beginning to see a theme.
What does nature and political poetry have to do with pedaling a bike? As always, I think the best weapon against climate change is the bicycle. It was warm enough today I went out for a 10-mile ride. If it’s cold where you are but you’re brave and layered up enough, be safe out there. Or if you have one, get on your stationery bike or put your bike on a home trainer like I did the last few days. And if you’re amongst the hoi polloi, well, I doubt you’re reading this dude’s blog, but if so, have fun on your Peloton. We don’t judge. But before your pedaling, or after, here’s my poem. I don’t claim to be a good poet, but it’s like art: I don’t know much about it, but I know what I like. Hey, I’m no Ralph Waldo Emerson or Mary Oliver. I hope you like it.Continue reading
Someone asked me this, and I think it’s a good question. I don’t think about it much, and the answer(s) aren’t necessarily earth-shattering. But I may as well give it a shot. I also want to try to write 500 words in 30 minutes again, so this will probably be a list article. I’m allowed a listicle once in a while, especially in winter, right? Yes. Read on, won’t you please?Continue reading
Moving. That’s what I do on a bicycle most days. That’s in addition to a practice of yoga which I’ve done for over five years every day. For the last 20 months, I’ve also taken a daily walk. In the last half a year, I’ve had to do the other kind of moving, into a new place to live, several times, mostly not by choice. This weekend was one of those times, and now I find myself back in a place I used to be, albeit temporarily. The occasion of living in a different environment affords the opportunity to look at things with fresh eyes. While perambulating is often a chore through which I trudge, looking forward to what comes next, tonight’s walk was revelatory. So here is what I noticed on my walk in East Austin.Continue reading
Years ago, I was pedaling past the World War II era airplane hanger at Austin’s former Robert Mueller airport, which I recall flying into right over where I lived. (Not the recent special investigator.) Now, Mueller is the one-word name (like Bono, Prince, or Sting) for the new urban, high-density (and high-cost) neighborhood that now sits on the former airport. Back then, somehow I’d been able to rent a room in pretty new row house owned by a nice gentleman from Ethiopia. That’s another story.
I biked but not much. On that night, I found the ride quite by accident and joined in. It was fun and easy, but soon I went on my way and didn’t go back. Skip ahead many years in time to a couple of weeks ago, and I ran into a fellow rider at the grocery store, Jason. He reminded me about the ride, and since I was on a bike and curious about Bike Curious, I showed up. Needing a recovery ride from Saturday’s hot and tiring 45-mile Mamma Jamma training ride, I went again a second time. Lemme tell ya’ all about it.Continue reading
Returning readers recall relatively recent reflections recommending rest. After five days of riding my bike almost 90 miles, and knowing I would reach 100 miles last week, this weekend I did very little. My body, my left knee and quadricep muscle in particular, were very grateful. As usual I was having trouble getting myself going. So when a friend offered to come by and help with some errands in his car, I jumped, however gently, at the opportunity. Later, we went for a walk, and it got late. I could have forced myself to go put in some miles on the bicycle, but I did not. And it was glorious. Let me tell you.Continue reading
I rode the upper half of this trail again, and realized that although familiarity breeds contempt, I’ve never grown weary or bored of this trail. Maybe it’s because there are no cars, so one can relax and enjoy the ride. It could be the variety of sights from thick, evergreen trees to the distant skyline of downtown Austin. There’s occasional deer, rabbit, or armadillo (all of which I saw), not to mention birds, frogs, bugs and more. It’s also used by people walking, running, on rollerblades or even wheelchairs, since it’s 10 feet wide and paved. It’s great for all levels and types of cyclist: road, mountain or even kids (though the latter may not make it up the big hill). It’s been featured on many of my rides on Strava, but today it gets its own blog post. Hop on your bike and come with me on this virtual ride!Continue reading
Do the Walk of Life
Today I went on yet another 30 minute daily walk. I try to go early because it’s so friggin’ hot and humid here in Austin, Texas in late June. Summer came early this year (thanks, global warming!). While there are strategies for dealing with the heat that I outlined in a previous blog, acclimation – getting used to it – is inevitable if you want to keep up a fitness routine. (Thanks to Julie78787 for reminding us of this important step.)
But I’m finding my walking is getting a little stagnant. I’m not a morning person but that’s the best time to go to get some Vitamin D without too much harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. It’s not led to any weight loss, noticeable gains in strength, or huge uplift in my mood. But I keep doing it because I believe that it will pay long-term benefits. Here are some: Continue reading
After a few weeks in the country, today it was time to head back to the city. I’m still unpacking and will be for some time, but I really enjoyed the experience of living in a cabin in the woods with peace, quiet and a dog named Buddy. It was generally a great time and no coyotes or bobcats ate us, so that was great. While the reason for being there was not great at all, I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to have the time to write this blog and interacting with other bloggers. Thanks to everyone who has been liking, commenting and following, but more importantly, actually reading what I write. Continue reading