Write What You Know, In My Case, Bike Stuff

Teaser: This was going to be a book review. But I haven’t finished it yet. It’s a good one, too. When I do, I’m sure it will be awesome. Or adequate, or astute, or any number of other adjectives commencing with an “a.” One of those. I think; I don’t know this. But today, it’s not about a book, it’s about what I know. Whatever the hell that is. These days, it’s hard to really know what one knows. Ya’ know? I guess after a few years of biking my butt off, I do know a few things about bicycles, cyclists, biking, and the like.

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Bicycle Bites, Motion Morsels and Transportation Tidbits

I must have been hungry when I wrote this post, going by the title. But this is not about food you eat while riding your bike. It’s one of those posts wherein I list various random bike stuff, thoughts and news. It’s usually a combination of stuff I did, saw or read about that isn’t enough for its own separate post. The blurbs can be educational, factual, just a slice of life, or even a rant. I bet you’ll find at least one of them interesting. I think I’ll go have a small snack while you keep reading. If you do, thanks!

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Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down: Onward Through the Fog

Austin awoke to a soggy, gray blanket of fog that only horror writers and car insurance agents love. I awoke with fog as well, but in my brain. Just as well that I have no job to be up for at the butt crack of dawn. There was also a ray of light: a note on my blog from a Seattle author I mentioned the other day, Paulette Perhach. An authot writing to A Dude is big deal, y’all! Later in the day, I got connected with another Seattle writer, Carol Tice, a ghostwriter who does coaching. Eventually, I got my cobweb-addled brain and body out for my walk and a bike ride… into the rain and mist I went.

Downtown on an errand, I ducked into a Starbucks (a tiny coffee company based in Seattle you may have heard about) for a tinkle and to use their free wi-fi. I used to live in Seattle. After a few years of suffering through miserable winter days like today, escaping often to the YMCA for what I dubbed a “shake n’ bake” — sauna, steam room, hot tub — I was chased out of town by the constant state of darkness and moisture. The Starbucks gestapo was also to blame since they rightly claimed I didn’t buy any coffee. All that’s to say that rainy days and Mondays always get me down. Except you can’t keep a good dude down for long.

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Shoal Creek Protected Bike Lanes in Progress; Dang It’s Hot in Austin, Texas!

A while back I mentioned an important victory for bicyclists in Austin, Texas. It was the decision by the City, after the input by citizens, to add protected bike lanes to Shoal Creek Boulevard, a major road used by people on bikes. Today they sent notice that that process has begun. Additionally, it’s pretty hot in Austin, and that’s making biking hard if not downright unpleasant for for many people, self included. So we have the good, the bad, and well, if you’re hot and sweaty enough, that also covers the ugly.

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I Raised $1,364 in Two Days for the Mamma Jamma, and I Haven’t Even Biked 65 Miles in the Rain and Wind Yet!

Well, apparently the hordes have spoken, and there is support for me to ride this event, and then some!  It will be my third Mamma Jamma Ride.  n fact, two generous souls even put in for the whole minimum amount of $300.  It’s all for a good cause, to help women in my area (Central Texas, USA), survive and thrive after a diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer.  I’ve also raised $100 for my registration and bike(s) repair and had help from friends and two bike shops.  I say bikes, because I don’t even know which one I’ll ride yet!  So there’s lots to do and not much time, but below are a few more details of what it’s like doing a charity ride.  And a way for you to donate if you can.

Give here:  https://Fundraisers.MammaJammaRide.org/ADude-Abikes

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How to Safely Ride Your Bike in the Rain

The Carolinas are getting pummeled with Hurricane Florence, and clearly no sane person is biking in that.  There’s not much to do from here about it except to watch the news and just hope that people, pets and stuff make it through.  Perhaps donate if you’re a person of means.  Meanwhile, although it’s nothing like Hurricane Harvey that hit Houston and the Gulf of Mexico coast last year, we’ve been having a wet September here in Central Texas.  I am grateful because of the lower temperatures and the relief to drought-stricken lakes, rivers, plants, pets and people.  Biking is delicious when it’s not 100 degrees!

But rain does make riding a bike tricky, if not actually more dangerous than it already is.  Some people won’t do it at all.  A Dude Abikes however loves to ride in the rain on his Fairdale Weekender Archer named Sophie, because she’s got wider wheels and a heavy steel frame that make her more stable.  I thought it might interest all tens of my readers to hear what I do to keep the rubber side down.  Hop on!  (Actually, don’t.  I have enough weight to carry already.) Continue reading

Rainy Friday Blahg Post: The Value of Sleep and Rest Days for Cyclists

workintexas rain ride.pngI think the title sums it up pretty well.  It rained.  Alot.  I had to go to a job search class and didn’t have the time or patience for the bus.  It was only a mile and a half so I rode, but the rains picked up.  The skies were thundering and lightning, and I almost had to stop.  It is Star Wars Day — May the Fourth Be With You — but gale force winds gusting over 25 mph were against me.  It was a blah day, and I was tired as usual, but I pressed on, as I tend to do, for worse or for better. Continue reading

I’ve Biked 1,000 Miles This Year. So What?

And I would walk five hundred miles
And I would walk five hundred more
Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles
To fall down at your door

–The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”

Occasionally I tend to geek out on what I’m doing number-wise with my bicycle.  Today, it was passing 1,000 miles for 2018 thus far.  Not too shabby, but not as much as in 2016 (where I rode 5,306 miles) or in 2017 (where I rode 4,714 miles).  At this rate, by the end of 2018, I’ll end up just shy of riding 3,200 miles.  With the weather warming up, I expect I will increase my weekly goal from 50 miles to 75 or even 100.  But as my unemployment money dwindles, I will find myself scrambling for income, and that could diminish my activity level significantly.  A Dude’s gotta eat and have a roof.  But the numbers and what’s behind them are interesting, so click on to read the rest of this post. Continue reading

Dreaming in Daylight, Riding on a Rainy Night

“I awoke last night to the sound of thunder

How far off I sat and wondered

Started humming a song from 1962

Ain’t it funny how the night moves

When you just don’t seem to have as much to lose

Strange how the night moves….”

Night Moves by Bob Seger

He awoke this morning from a deep slumber, face down, lines engraved on his face from the pillow. The unemployed, aging cyclist trudged to the bathroom then back to bed for a much-needed snooze after another late night staring at screens. Before the alarm went off, something outside the drafty casita woke him for good this time, and gingerly, he rolled out of bed. Not ready to face the wind and likely rain on his bicycle, he texted a fellow attender of the weekly job club, pleading for a ride. The gangly and kindly grad student (who may or may not have been spying on him for his thesis) agreed.

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