2020 was to be the year of plenty. For me, I was planning for better health, a tolerable job, and a decent and steady place to live. I hoped to create a stronger body, smarter mind, better relationships and improved community. Instead, I’m like everyone else — suffering and struggling through absurd days that seemed unimaginable two months ago (outside of the movies). Wearing masks, cowering in our houses staying away from people, anxious about what’s next is how it is now. Life in the time of COVID-19 can be described by the lesser known, more derogatory use of the word for an Irish town with a famous castle and stone. Parts of me come from somewhere over there in Eire. Point is, it’s a bunch of blarney. Uh.
Despite trying not to, we constantly consume the mostly bad news, like massive unemployment and poverty raising its ugly head to bite more people every day. Most of all, there’s the very palpable and justifiable fear of painful death that might be lurking in the shadows, possibly coming for people we care about and even ourselves. Over 2.6 million people have become infected and 183,000 have died, all in less than a sporting season. All this from a tiny microscopic virus that’s invisible to the naked eye. We know this is happening and try as we might to look away, we have yet to fully comprehend and make sense of it. Every day, Dorothy Parker’s question is worth asking: “What fresh hell is this?” There is no manual, but there is blog.
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.)
The sad news hit the cycling world that Christopher Froome, British rider for professional bicycle racing Team Ineos (formerly Team Sky), has broken his hip, femur, elbow and ribs and is out of 2019 Tour de France. “It’s just a bike race” he said after the terrorist truck attack killed 86 people and injured over 400 in Nice, France on Bastille Day during the 2017 Tour. What can we mere mortals learn from his epic fail? I’m so glad you asked. I’ll tell you if you click on “Continue reading.”
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 →
Today was to be a book-writing day so only photos for the blog, and maybe a bike ride map and stats from Strava and short map video from Relive. As you might deduce, that didn’t happen. I got my walk and yoga in, but not the writing. Then my doctor’s appointment took three hours instead of one, most of it waiting. I was not a very patient patient. Continue reading →