Does Austin Need a Bicycle Guidebook?

I got a notice about the new Austin Environmental Directory, and that got me to thinking. As I tend to think a lot while bicycling, this thought must have percolated in the back of my mind. When it was done reuminating, it spit this idea out. Of course, the AED is free, which would not be ideal for putting together a detailed account of all things cyclist in Austin. Although the eco book is free, A Dude would need to recoup the costs of his time and effort for creating it. So this is me thinking aloud about it. Come along for the ride!

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Turn It Up to 11… Months of Daily Bicycling

Oops, I did it again. I rode my bike every day over the last month. That makes it 11, and as everyone who has ever seen This Is Spinal Tap knows, 11 is just louder than 10. One month from now, assuming I am able to complete this self-created challenge, I’ll have a full year of biking every day. My average has been around 17 miles or so. Some days was just a bit, but sometimes it was quite a bit more. No matter how you slice it, homey, it’s an accomplishment to be sure. What it means, if anything, is debatable these days. But the fact is I did it so it means something to me. So I blog about it. I know, some people are bored by stats. But they represent effort, will power, discipline, motivation — all the sports psychology that ideally should be motivating you to hop on your bike or take a walk or something. Right? So read on and get inspired already!

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A Dude Abikes’ Blog: 2020 Stats So Far

Regular readers know I’m kinda into numbers, mostly how many miles I’ve biked in a given day, week, month or year. For better or worse, it’s a cornerstone of my bicycling career, such as it is. Usually I look at what I’m doing as measured by Strava, the fitness tracking app. But occasionally I’ll go behind the scenes with WordPress (the program this site runs off of) to look under the hood of this blog, and today is one of those days. I learned some stuff that was kinda interesting. Maybe you’ll find it so as well…

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Bike Austin Says the Healthy Streets Program Is Under Threat

An email from Bike Austin arrived in my in box recently. Forced to cancel events by the virus like many volunteer-run non-profits, they must do most of their work in cyber space. The email is about the take-over of certain streets by the Austin Transportation Department. Basically they set up plastic barrels and barriers that slow down cars and have signs instructing motor vehicles that the road is for local use only. The goal is to allow people to more easily walk, bike, skate, etc. with social distancing during pandemic times and maybe beyond. Is that such a bad thing? A Dude thinks not, I think.

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You’ve Got a Friend in Cheeses!

The former improv comic at Esther’s Follies said this to me without missing a beat. It was right after I had gone on and on about how much I loved cheese. Here in the Southern, predominantly Christian area of the US, that joke is extry hee-larry-us. Because, Jesus. Chees-us. Get it? Got it? Good. The same jokester once handed me a small piece of wood and said, “Feeling a little bored?” Which is also a great pun, but only relates to this post because cheese is often served on one. Anywho, I’ve had a lifelong love of the creamy stuff. And now cheese gets its own blog. Hey bicycles! If you don’t like it, you can suck it!

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175 Miles: Reflections About Another Strong Week in My Cycling Journey

Biking 25 miles in one day can be challenging or easy depending on your abilities and how you feel. Then there’s the weather like wind, rain, cold or heat to contend with. Traffic can be very scary even if you’re used to riding in it. Also important are the quintessential questions that come up riding a bike like: what to wear, what to eat, where to go? I must have figured all that out because I managed to make it another seven days in a row for the 10th week. This past week I totaled 175 miles, which is huge – 25 miles a day if you’re counting. Or a mile for every hour of the week (168) plus seven. So what follows are some thoughts on my pretty stupendous week (or stupid, depending how you look at it; maybe it’s a little of both.)

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Photographs and Memories: A Weekend in the Biking Life in Austin, Texas

Like many people in the modern era who are privileged enough to have a smart phone, electricity and mobility, I take a lot of pictures. Some good, some not, a few great. Who’s to say, though? If you like them, great. If not, move along. Trouble is, I don’t use that photo platform named after your grandmother, so when I’m riding my bicycle and take a pic, it goes either here, on my Strava fitness app (follow me there if you’re a bikester) or doesn’t see the light of day. Occasionally I post a blog with a lot of photos and some words to explain them. This is one of those times. Enjoy the whole “picture paints a thousand words” thing, yada yada.

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Slow and Steady: Six Days of Strava Stats in October 2019

Over the last six days I’ve biked 112 miles, including my abbreviated, rainy-cold-windy birthday ride. I haven’t been very fast, but that’s always been true and is to be expected coming off of driving a car for work for the last while. It’s been an adjustment from having the luxury of a automobile to having to make the effort to get the legs going on the bicycle. Being in between jobs makes it far easier to find the time, although I frequently did 100+ miles per week with a full-time job. Cooler temperatures (on some days) have also helped. So if you’ve been in a similar spot, you probably know that it’s not easy. But is possible to get back in the groove. Remember the tortoise and the hare: fast and furious may be fun, but slow and steady wins the day.

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Dreaming in Daylight, Riding on a Rainy Night

“I awoke last night to the sound of thunder

How far off I sat and wondered

Started humming a song from 1962

Ain’t it funny how the night moves

When you just don’t seem to have as much to lose

Strange how the night moves….”

Night Moves by Bob Seger

He awoke this morning from a deep slumber, face down, lines engraved on his face from the pillow. The unemployed, aging cyclist trudged to the bathroom then back to bed for a much-needed snooze after another late night staring at screens. Before the alarm went off, something outside the drafty casita woke him for good this time, and gingerly, he rolled out of bed. Not ready to face the wind and likely rain on his bicycle, he texted a fellow attender of the weekly job club, pleading for a ride. The gangly and kindly grad student (who may or may not have been spying on him for his thesis) agreed.

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