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!
I 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
In the April 8th edition of the local paper, there was an article about JoJo McKibben, who had a traumatic accident after being hit by an SUV while biking last summer. In fact, the cyclist became trapped under the SUV, and seven people actually had to lift the car off of her! The first driver was drunk and indicted but is free on bond and has yet to go to trial.
Earlier this month she was hit again, but fortunately was not hurt as badly. The second driver is in jail on a lesser charge. Both accidents show that while Austin has the image of being a bike-friendly city, and in some ways it is better than others (Dallas, Houston, San Antonio — I’m talking to you). But the reality is much different. I know, I bike most days and fear for my life multiple times because of distracted, bad or mean drivers.
If you haven’t already, please read Part 1 first. It is at this link: Engineering a Comeback from a Life-Altering Event.
Lying on his back in Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, Texas in October 1981 after losing most of his right leg in a railroad accident, David Crittenden Walker was scared. Of dying. Of never walking again. Of the pain. About the look of worry on the faces of his family and friends. They were staying overnight with him for the first week. He was getting Demerol shots every four hours, and they were “wonderful,” he said, because it blocked the pain. But that last hour before the next shot was excruciating. He would get loopy, then pass out. Because it’s so addictive (think opioid crisis), he had to be weaned off it as soon as possible. He also started having some hallucinations which freaked him out. His brain had to make sense of his new reality. David was 17 years old, and all of a sudden, he only had one leg. How the fuck does anyone live with that? Continue reading
There are few topics in cycling, at least professional, that are more perennial than doping, the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Especially in Austin. Need I say more? I think not. (If you’re confused, read this.) The good news is that there are plenty of legal and safe substances that non-professional riders have tried to make the rigors of long-distance bicycling more tolerable and less damaging to our bodies. Forthwith and posthaste, here are five of A Dude Abikes’ favorite over the counter sports aids. DISCLAIMER: While someone who used to know me called me Dr. Feelgood, I am not a physician, so please check with an actual medical doctor or nutritionist before taking anything new. Continue reading
EDITORIAL NOTE: These are the facts *as I heard them*, but any opinions or errors are mine. A better way of putting it is that this is a story, not word-for-word reporting. As with all writing of stories, there is no such thing as absolute fact and objectivity, as much as we may strive for it or fool ourselves into thinking there is. Not only was there no way to check many of the facts, and I took the subject at his word, there is the passage of time, choice of words, fading of memory and downright embellishment. The story as told by the interviewee is filtered through the lens, bias and experience of the interviewer. So is it true? Who knows? Everyone knows David’s a big fat liar. But we hope you’re entertained and inspired anyway. Continue reading
Alternate Your Training to Recover and Avoid Burnout
After 2016’s average 100 miles per week of cycling (see 5,306 Miles in 2016: A Dude Abikes’ Year of Bicycling Vigorously), I received some very good advice from bad-ass bicyclist buddy Bryce who rode over 6,000 miles last year, helped A Dude out on part of an 80-mile ride New Year’s Eve of 2016 — while he was sick! — as well has contributed to a number of my charity rides, is activity with Please Be Kind to Cyclists, and organizes their annual Ride of Silence honoring cyclists killed by cars. I don’t remember the exact words, but they were something like:
“Take some time off the bike. If you don’t really miss it, maybe do some other things. If you do, then get back on.”
Sage words indeed. I did that last year, but not this one. Thanks to my depleted iron stores, I’ve been forced to slow down now. Exercise-induced anemia is a real thing, as this scientific extract from the British Journal of General Practice shows. Apparently my “Epic Velocimania” (4,714 miles in 2017) wore me out more than I knew. The week of severe restriction to fruit, nuts and seeds did not help A Dude’s energy. Continue reading