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
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.
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
Getting Back on the Horse (aka Bicycle) After a Medical Break + Janeane Garafolo
Ten days off the bike is the longest break I’ve had since I can remember. It’s possibly the longest stretch sans bici since I began doing long distances back in January of 2015, pre-Strava. It has been hard, sad, relaxing, and other things — just a weird time. And I’m not out of the woods in terms of the medical situation that put me there. Of course, I’m not the only person who’s had to stop activity for a health challenge, of course, and it could be far worse. Some people have crashes (Tour de France, on parle de toi!), surgery, or life-altering issues. I hope I’m not one of them. Physically, there are changes, and there are also psychological ones. That’s what this post is about, so click on through and check it out, already! Continue reading
Eight Days a Week… Off the Bicycle: Viewing Setbacks Through a Buddhist Lens
It’s been eight days since I’ve ridden a bicycle. Why? Heat. Illness. Lastimas. Life. (Lastimas is wounds or injuries in Spanish. So that spells H.I.L.L, doesn’t it? I meant to.) When thought of in this way, it’s another set of obstacles, another rise in the road to climb, something that tests you but also makes you stronger. Part of me is relieved, and lucky to have use of a car. Another part of me is pissed off that I’m losing whatever fitness and form I had. Another is panicking that I may not get it back, or get back to it, or even be able bike at all without more injury or at least pain. Breathing in deeply, I notice I am not riding my bicycle. Breathing out, I notice that I am writing a blog post about not riding my bicycle. Continue reading
An Imagined Chat with Sophie, My Fairdale Weekender Archer Bicycle
What? Hi, who’s talking?
It is I, your Fairdale Weekender Archer bicycle sitting next to you, leaning on this pile of boxes.
Oh, really? I had no idea you – or any bicycle – could speak!
Well, I can’t. It’s really all just in your head.
Am I going crazy?
No, not at all.
Then what’s happening? What’s this about?
Well, I’ve been sitting here for a while, very patiently I might add, and I just evolved into having consciousness and telepathic ability. And I guess I’m just wondering something.
Yeah, what’s that?
4 Appointments and 1 Funeral = 0 Miles Bicycled Today
The other day I was gifted the use of a car by a super nice friend during their extended summer vacation. It’s promising to be a hotter-than-usual summer here in Central Texas, USA (oh wait, it’s still only spring), so this is a real nice luxury for A Dude. Compared to me on my bike, cars are efficient, fast and comfortable. I can arrive places without being sweaty, tired and gross. Or transport stuff. Take Sunday drives. Drive getaway in exciting capers. (Just kidding!)
The down sides are, as most people know, that cars pollute, lots of other people have them and get in the way, and they cost a lot of money. A problem specific to less gifted bicyclists who gut out the miles anyway (like moi) is that getting out of an air-conditioned vehicle that takes little energy to operate and then onto a bike which takes alot of energy is quite difficult, psychologically speaking. Especially when you’re tired, which I seem to be most of the time these days. A First World dilemma for sure, but it’s real to me who put in seven 100+ mile weeks in a row. So what’s A Dude to do?