The fourth season is upon us, and my mind and mood have turned pensive and inward upon themselves. Navigating the chilling winds of winter by bicycle, or metaphorically, each have their challenges. Even though it’s still near record temperatures and shorts weather, the university students have decamped to their hometowns, lending a quiet to the city. Yet there is all the busy-ness of the haul-idays, people be shopping like fiends. People will tell you this season is about one particularly religious holiday. Others will says it’s just winter, and still more think it’s about being neighborly. But really, let’s be honest here. Isn’t supporting the American economy — particularly it’s multinational corporations — what Christmastime is really about?Continue reading
Something kinda big just recently happened, and I forgot to blog about it. What with that fellow blogger guy coming to town and my big birthday ride (which I’ll get to another time, I reckon), I sort of overlooked a major milestone: two years of riding every single day! That’s somewhere upwards of 12,000 miles. By now, the mileage goals I’ve set and met are almost like literal mileposts on a highway. I pass them by, and they’re in the rearview mirror. Not forgotten, but I’ve seen them and moved on. I suppose that’s what we do here at A Dude Abikes. We keep on bikin’. (And walkin’ and doin’ yoga, and, well that’s mostly it for exercise.) Writing about my journey makes it more real somehow. And 731 days of riding is very real, rest assured. Hmm, some rest would be in order by now, you’d think. And if you did, you’d’ve thunk correctly. But there’s no rest for the weary. So on we go. How I got from I to we, I/we don’t know. Let’s go to the next paragraph, shall we?Continue reading
These Austin Bike News Roundups appear sporadically, usually when I grow bored of writing about myself and notice enough newsworthy items to share. If I were a more organized writer (a planner, not a panstser) and a more energetic dude in general, I might solicit entries from local bike shops and groups and publish them on a regular basis. If I had more actual readers living in Austin, and some income from doing them (like sponsorships), then it would make more sense. And, if I were a rich man ya ba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dum… Of course I’m not rich, yet still I write this blog. Why? I cannot say. Oy vey.Continue reading
Half-descended from a nomadic people, and with the high, High, HIGH cost of rent in Austin(tatious), Texas, I tend to move around a lot. Realizing that would be my lot when I first returned here after surviving Y2K, I rented a mail box at the downtown post office. No matter where I was living (always within a five mile radius north or east), I figured it would also force me to hop on my bicycle and ride down to El Centro at least once a week. (“It’s ALL downtown, George,” said Jerry on Seinfeld.) It was on Guadalupe Street for many years, but a while back it moved to Congress Avenue. And anything named after that junction of dysfunction — Congress being the opposite of Progress — is bound to have problems. I saw one tonight.Continue reading
People ask me what kind of business I’m in, and I say books… and business is good. OK, not really. I’m just an amateur still working on mine. Well, maybe I’m an unreliable narrator because here I am yet again, writing another blog post instead of doing revisions. A new writer friend who’s also working on a memoir whom I met online first at a Writers League of Texas event invited me to a coffee shop. He asked me why not pause the blog to focus on the manuscript? I said that wasn’t a bad idea but that I can’t seem to quit blogging. Maybe he’s right. Or not. Because any guy who suggests meeting in a suburb called Pflugerville (the p is silent), but who doesn’t drink coffee and knows I don’t either, must be a little touched in the head. Just kidding, it was a pferectly pfine pflace to pfontificate about the pfiner pfoints of pfublishing and such.Continue reading
Spring in Austin, Texas is usually a short-lived affair. Now, after a week of rain, the heat is on, and the humidity is high. Or as I call it, the stupidity. If all the rich idiots from California moving here with their First World dollars did their research, they would not come here. It’s very hot (and not ofttimes, not a dry heat), there’s bad traffic, cedar fever, other rich Californian idiots, and oh yeah, the homeless. Our so-called liberal city chose on Saturday to ban camping, sitting, or even lying down in public again after 23 years. Hypocrites. It does nothing to house the houseless, which I’m always on the verge of becoming, as I recently detailed in my post Homelessness Has Him House Hunting; Hounds of Hell at Heels. With tempers flaring from that political battle and the rising thermometer, plus ample reasons for my own head to get hot, I figured I would blow off a little steam. Trigger warning: “Bad words” ahead!Continue reading
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.Continue reading
“No news is good news,” it is said. Well, maybe not if you’re in the business of providing news or views people can use. Like, say, in a blog. What may be my favorite TV show Seinfeld was reputed to be “a show about nothing.” But that was just bullcrud made up by the press because of a line said by George in the “show within a show.” The real one was about how comedians get their material. How do bloggers get their material? Well, as this blog is (mostly) about bicycling, there’s usually no shortage of people, places or things to talk about. Except like now, when nothing comes to mind. Please indulge me as I write a blog… about something. I know, how about Rocketman?Continue reading
There’s alot of bike stuff happening in Austin, Texas. Woom Bikes, which is a company that makes bicycles for children, is having a big event this weekend. The City of Austin is starting a roll-out to provided dockless bikes and scooters with special parking “boxes” to try to get them out of harm’s way. Next weekend is the Texas Bicycle Advocate Summit organized by Bike Texas, with people coming from Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Yours truly was offered to attend as a representative of Bike Austin. The next day is Cyclists in Suits, where riders go to members of the Texas Legislature to promote better safety for bike riders. That night will be the Pedicab Parade, with a marching band playing from the pedicabs. Check back here for news and views you can use next week. But meanwhile, I want to talk about an important subject: jerks.
Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.
— Theodore Roosevelt
Bike Life Is Hard; The Struggle is Real
Bicycling on average of almost 100 miles a week for the last two years, totaling 10,020, was damn hard. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to really put in words what I went through to accomplish it. Yes, there’s much more serious suffering in the world, and I’m not comparing war, poverty, disease, accidents or having to even look at or listen to US President #45. However, when I put “suffering” in my posts as a key word, I am not kidding. I often truly suffered while biking. But I’m grateful for making the choice to push myself far beyond my limits or expectations of others who believe people with excess adipose can’t kick some serious ass. Wrong!
Some people say biking IS suffering. Strava has a “Suffer Score.” From saddle sores, to wrecks, muscle pain and cramps, nearly getting hit, maimed or killed by shitty drivers every single day, cold, wind, rain, snow, 100+ degree Fahrenheit Texas summers, and hills – gott im himmel, the hills! – and of course being on a bike for 10 hours riding 100 miles in a day four different times, twice back to back — is super [expletive] challenging. Even more so when you’re overweight, not so young anymore, and a full-time desk jockey until I was laid off a few months ago. (Anyone wanna hire A Dude?) So yes, the struggle is real, as those who do any sport at some distance and intensity know. But it’s nothing to be afraid of: Suffering forges you into a better, tougher, fitter you. And that’s way (weigh? whey?) more important than a number on a scale.