We’re on track to have the hottest summer EVER in Austin, Texas. (Climate science deniers ought to move along right now.) Texans are accustomed to the heat, but not like this. In 2011 we had 90 days over 100 F. So far in 2022, we’ve had 58 of those 100+ days. May, June, and July were record breaking hot. August is the worst month. Also, it’s barely rained, so we’re in an extreme drought. Many places from France and the UK to California are experiencing extra high temperatures. The hotness makes bicycling, as well as other important activities like standing up, breathing, and putting on pants a bit challenging.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
Gratitude Journaling: Helpful Tool or Waste of Time?
You’ve probably heard this advice from well-meaning magazine articles, self-help gurus, or spiritual advisers. Maybe you’ve even accepted it as the gospel truth: cultivate an attitude of gratitude, and it will change your brain, make you a happier, better-sleeping, nicer person who can leap tall buildings in a single bound, yada yada. Google it and up comes all manner of scientific studies proving it to be true. But is it? I mean, it seems like a no-brainer, right? Simply write things down you’re grateful for every day and through the magic power of gratitude your life will be better. Well, wait just a minute there. I’m going to call bullshit. Or at least for a time-out.Continue reading
Poem: Word to Your Mother (Earth)
After my recent post Autumn Is Here But It’s Still Hot: Thanks Climate Change! and being out in the countryside a lot lately, and also hearing a poet read at One Page Salon, I thought I’d try something a little different. Here’s a poem for our planet.Continue reading
The Science of Exercise: Sugar, H.I.T.T. & Stuff
This is not a scientific post. I’m not dropping any science on you. It’s a topic of interest to A Dude and probably to many. Tonight on the way home from an errand, I ran into another bicyclist (he’s OK). Turns out he’s a student at the University of Texas. He was a super nice guy who had just come from a soccer game and wasn’t wearing a bike helmet. He was stopped at the sign near where Anthony Diaz was killed by a bus driver, and I asked him what happened to the ghost bike. He didn’t know, but guessed it was an upcoming marathon.
That mystery unsolved, the conversation shifted to him talking about his work in kinesiology. Which if you don’t know is the study of kinesi (whatever the heck that is). But seriously, he works on measuring oxygen in the blood, studies how horrible sitting is for your metabolism, what is more efficient for muscle-building, and so on. I learned some stuff in layperson’s terms since I frequently am fighting gravity and aging and other sciencey things. I figured I’d share with all 12 of you who might actually read this. Because he’s getting a master’s Degree… in SCIENCE, he actually blinded me with …. SCIENCE! Or maybe that was his bike light, I’m not sure.Continue reading
Sitting Is the New Cancer — Unless You’re On a Bicycle Seat
Good news! I just saved a bunch of money on car insurance! That’s because I don’t have a car! There is more in the good news department, according an article on Gizmodo, “A Lifetime of Cycling Keeps the Immune System Young, Study Finds.” First published in Aging Cell, the study tested older people who were active and inactive, as well as inactive young people. The immune systems of what the scientists called “non-elite older individuals (master cyclists)” and the younger sedentary ones were similar. Hey I like the sound of that, “master cyclist!”