The City Cyclist’s Friend: Convenience Store Clerks

After another convenience store stop to refill my water bottle with ice and water, have an indoor nature break, and to refuel, I began thinking about the modern day oasis. There’s many a night when I feel the need, the need for speed (or at least my slow version of it) and also get hungry, in other words, have a snack attack. Plus, I simply must get out of the Texas heat and humidity, and these little shops fit the bill. It occurred to me that these places and the people who run them are an important and overlooked part of the biking experience. The clerks, often young from India, Bangladesh, Mexico, and many other places play a crucial role for the bike casual rider and weekend warrior alike. So I thought it was high time to sing their praises.

Continue reading

Random Thoughts from the Life of a Car-Free Bicyclist in Austin, Texas

Sometimes there’s no one unifying theme to a blog post, but even then, there is still a framework. Today, it’s that many factors affect my cycling, and also that there’s more to life than cycling. (Impossible, I can hear some of you saying!) Here are a few of those thoughts. As to whether they’re Deep Thoughts, you’d have to ask Jack Handy, which is an old Saturday Night Live skit. Basically he had short quotes that were inane, so I’m not claiming any wisdom. I am just sharing my experience in hopes it educates, inspires or at least amuses you as one of my millions of followers (any day now). Read on, it’ll be good, you’ll see. After all, I’m not The Dude, I’m just A Dude. And A Dude would never steer you wrong. That would be very un-Dude-like.

Continue reading

Stillness

After Friday’s more reflective post about managing your energy (brahmacharya, in yogic terms), the long weekend in the US gave me the opportunity to retreat. Not the kind like giving up in a war. I hate war, but this is not a post about that. And I don’t mean a fancy spa (I wish!) or escaping to a meditation center, though I’ve done the latter. I mean I’m house and petsitting, which is a nice chance to do less outward activity and to do other things that have been neglected. Go within, reflect, journal, rest and read. To experience something many of us forget is there all around us and within us. Stillness.

Continue reading

I Didn’t Ride My Bicycle Today, and I’m Okay With That

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

Give Yourself Permission to Just Do Nothing!

Thomas Merton was a Catholic monk born in France who moved to Kentucky. He wrote over 60 books, encouraged inter-religious dialog with the likes of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh, and others and advocated for pacifism and social justice. He died in 1968 in his early 50’s when he accidentally was electrocuted stepping out of his shower where a running fan had fallen over. (Some say he was assassinated by the CIA.) While I’ve not read his work, I’ve seen this quote below before. And it seems more relevant than ever in 2019.

Continue reading

No Bike for You! 24 Degrees and Sleet Win

Today was a day that I could have biked, but I didn’t.  I could use the sleet and tiny hail that fell on Austin streets today and the cold weather for excuses.  But the precipitation didn’t stick to the roads, and it’s not like I’m in Fargo, North Dakota or somewhere actually very cold.  With enough layers it can be done.  There was my headache, probably due to a lack of sleep.  For the latter, I can blame the excellent film Sicario:  Day of the Soldado which I stayed up to watch on DVD.  Or there was being busy:  two friends were over to help start packing for my move, and they gave me a ride to the second half of a how to start your own business class.  I walked almost two miles and then just wasn’t feeling like going back out.  So I didn’t.  It was nice to, um, just chill out.

Continue reading

A Random Rest Day Potpourri Post After a 153-Mile Week on the Bicycle

It’s blog deadline time again.  Usually I have no problem coming up with a topic.  Tonight I kind of did.  I notice my posts tend to fall in several categories:  a status report on my biking / walking / yoga / dieting / blogging / book-writing; something educational, entertaining or informative about bicycling; something off-topic but tangentially related to riding a bike; and then the totally random rave, rant or other piece like a movie review.  This one is kind of a mix of the first and last.  I’m as curious to see where it goes as hopefully you are, and  I hope you like the smell of potpourri! Continue reading