If you don’t know Mark Cavendish, aka Cav, aka the Manx Missile, allow me to make a brief introduction. One of the greatest sprinters of modern professional cycling, he has won A LOT of races. Cocky and full of confidence, with a sly English (from the Isle of Man) wit and a low-key, self-deprecating sense of humor in post-race interviews, he was pure lightning on the bike. But he got older, moved to different teams, got sick, then depressed, and has been trying to make a comeback for a while. After a three-year drought, he just got three wins in a row at the ripe old age (for pro cyclists) of 35. Everybody loves an underdog, and as a perpetually suffering, aging, and fathlete cyclist, I was thrilled for him at the news. Read on for more on MC putting the hammer down.Continue reading
Professional cycling’s biggest event was rescheduled from July to begin August 29, thanks to you know what. A few other pro racers have happened, and so there is hope Le Tour will start, and end, without problems. Of course there are always problems; it’s the nature of sport. Last year’s edition saw a huge storm blow up the last few stages with a landslide and flooding caused by snow and rain. This year is no different, except it’s completely different, again, thanks to coronavirus. Here are 10 changes and what to expect in 2020 with some of my commentary.Continue reading
Bastille Day, France’s independence celebrated July 14th, is a day when a French cyclist turns himself inside out to win this day’s stage in the Tour de France. But not this year. Due to you-know-what, it’s been postponed. How, and whether, it happens at all is a big question. Sites like Cycling News explain how testing, keeping team staff and riders away from fans, podium protocol to a minimum and so on will perhaps make it as safe as possible. But it’s up to the microscopic coronavirus and local health officials what happens. Let’ s hope Mother Nature and the government will, as the Cajuns in Lousiana say: Laissez les bons temps rouler.Continue reading
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
Hanging Out with Cool Cycling Celebrities
Today at the South by Southwest convention / festival / happening / big mess o’ people, I lucked into a podcast by three cyclists from Portland, Oregon. Anna Grace Christiansen, Annalisa Fish, and Abby Watson at www.WeGotToHangOut.com (which you should totes check out) have a funny and informative podcast about bicycling. Today’s guest was retired professional bike rider and now entrepreneur Ted King. He raced in the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana and was a domestique for star Peter Sagan, so he’s the real deal. So lucky for me, I got to ask a question on air and then meet and chat with all of them afterward. That made it a pretty easy decision to feature them in today’s A Dude Abikes blog! Readers: you’re welcome. Continue reading