Charity Cycling and Coronavirus: The Mamma Jamma Challenge 9/12-9/19/20

With the global pandemic of the coronavirus showing no signs of ending anytime soon, those with other illnesses like HIV/AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis still need support perhaps more than ever. One way this is achieved is through fundraising bike rides. A Dude was privileged to ride in half a dozen charity rides, raising $12,000 total over the six events. But nowadays getting people together to breathe hard, even outside, is problematic — especially for the immuno-compromised. Most charity rides have had to go virtual. This week, September 12-19, the good folks at the Texas Mamma Jamma Ride are having people ride bikes and do other activities and record them on Strava, the fitness app, while still raising funds for the one in eight women who get diagnosed with breast cancer.

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Early Bird v. Night Owl: Which is Better for a Bicyclist?

There’s a poem I can’t find with a line I like that goes something like this: “The day makes promises but the night keeps secrets.” Hell, maybe I wrote that. For the last almost three years since I was liberated from a job through no fault of my own — “restructuring,” they called it — my open secret is that I’ve gravitated towards staying up late. Truth is, I’ve always been drawn toward the still, small hours. Ever since I was made to go to bed at 8 or 9 as a kid whilst the adults stayed up to play music or cards or just talk, I’ve felt like most of the cool shit in life happens after dark. Movies and television support this notion. And I’ve become something of a regular rider of bicycles at night to avoid the heat in Texas. So here are some of my thoughts on this subject.

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9 Tips Why You Should Buy Tip Beer for Your Bicycle Mechanic

What? You’re not buying beer as a tip for your bicycle mechanics? Well, that’s a faux pas big time. If you think about it, whether you’re an amateur or avid cyclist, your bike and your life is in literally their hands. So if they’re having a shit day and you come in and dump more shit on them, guess what? The quality of your bike repair may also be quite defecatory in nature. Or not, if they’re real pros. And if you’re taking your bike to the shop, you need them. I’m not talking about a keg a day, of course; you don’t want him/her to be drunk all the time, especially while working on your bike. The repairs could be half-assed and life-threatening. But if you’re not doing anything, you need to jump on board the beer wagon.

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10 Months of Daily Bicycling. Every. Single. Day.

When I began this particular experiment in #DontBreaktheChain, I didn’t even know it. It just sort of happened and at some point I consciously decided to go for it. So now, ten months later, I’m glad I did, But oy vey! Am I tired. Because it also includes walking, yoga, writing/editing the book or this blog, plus the rest of my life. There’s something very gratifying about it, while also I’m very aware that’s its all a bit too much. It could end at any moment, but for today, August 11, 2020, I’ve got 306 days in the bag or in my legs. Two more months, if I can make it that long, will be a year. Not bad.

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Austin Bike News Roundup for August 6, 2020

I haven’t done one of these roundups in a while. Because, coronavirus. My last one was in May. Inspired somewhat by BikingInLA and TexBiker.net, a roundup hopes to serve up some useful tidbits of happenings around town in the bicycling world here in Austin. Sometimes, it’s news about infrastructure, not so sexy, but important. And other times it’s even sobering and sad, like the senseless suffering and death of a cyclist who was hit by a car (the first of 2020).

I suppose that last one is fitting, given that it’s the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima Day and Nagasaki Day on the 9th. These tragic attacks remind us that the United States is the other country to ever use nuclear weapons, at great human cost. A Dude says nukes must be abolished before we can ever have peace. There’s a treaty that only 40 countries have signed and shamefully, the US in not one of them. Alright, sermon concluded. On with the way more fun and much less important Austin bike news!

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Un-Lazy Sunny Sunday 2: Anatomy of My 42-Mile Bike Ride

At 5:47 PM on Sunday, August 2, 2020, I headed out on Sophie my trusty Fairdale after an appointment I had ridden six miles to get to. I thought I’d put in another 14 miles to make it another 20 for the day. But in the back of my mind was the thought, “I’ve got several 150-mile weeks in a row under my belt. If I stop now, I’ll break that chain.” And if you know A Dude, you konw he likes to #DontBreakTheChain (first noted in Jerry Seinfeld & The Juiceman Can Teach Us About Making Healthy Choices (Day 2). There had been a little rain to cool things down, I was feeling a little better, and as the title says, I found my 40-miler legs. Sounds easy right? Maybe I make it seem that way, but nope, it’s never easy. Allow me to explain.

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622 Miles Biked in July 2020: This Dude Is on Fiyah!

Alright, alright, alright. I don’t literally mean on fire. But it is a quote from Matthew McConaghey as Woody Wooderson in the Austin-area film Dazed and Confused. Matt is apparently one hell of a dude, citizen, University of Texas at Austin professor (really!), and he happens to live up the highway from me. Oh yeah, I guess he won an Oscar or something for acting in Dallas Buyers Club. That’s all a seque, because alright is how I performed on the bicycle in July of 2020.

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“Wassup, Killah?” and Other Random $hit People Say to Me on My Bicycle

Last night I was putting in some late night miles — 16.5 to be exact — to beat the heat and keep my stats up, you know, like I do. I approached a red light and came to a stop. Here’s what I wrote in my Strava ride summary: “Wassup, Killah?” Said the man at the bus stop, a descendant of Africa, pleasantly and with no malice, to the dude on the bicycle who is of the Caucasian persuasion. “I’m good, thanks. How ’bout you?” Also good. They then discussed how the weather wasn’t as hot as last night. The light changed, adieus were bid, and the dude rode on, an otherwise lackluster day made. “Huh, I guess I am kinda a killah on a bike!” He pedaled a little harder, his mph a bit faster. So yeah, that happened.

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510 Miles Biked in April & 2,012 in the First Third of 2020

Another month, another milestone. My bicycling has been a daily affair for some time now, and I’ve kept that streak alive. And that has made keeping my numbers consistently up from last year. I don’t want to leave big numbers to do at the end of 2020, and long rides aren’t a great idea in case of breakdowns or injuries. So I’m out there daily putting up the numbers. As I often do at the end of a month, I like to look at the statistics, so this is what this blog is about. No fake news here! Just A Dude’s journey by bike (non-motorized) through the streets of Austin, Texas.

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Another Chat with Sophie the Fairdale, Who Just Turned 10,000 (Miles)

Back on June 18, 2018, I wrote a post I called “An Imagined Chat with Sophie, My Fairdale Weekender Archer Bicycle.” Over the last three years, she and I have traveled a fair piece — to put it mildly and modestly. Now that it’s reflected in the Strava statistics of 10,000 miles, though, it is official. To commemorate and celebrate this major milestone in our journey, I asked Ms. S. if she’d fancy another chat, and she said sure. Weird, right? Well, things are pretty strange, these days. But I think you’ll enjoy this (imaginary? real? does it matter?) chat with Sophie.

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