Austin Bike News Roundup for September 7, 2021

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.

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Going Postal: Apparently We All Can’t Get Along

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.

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What I’m Reading in Summer 2021, by A Dude Abooks

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.

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Rents and Temperatures: Things That Are Rising in Austin

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!

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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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A Blog About Something… and Inspiration from Rocketman

“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?

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Jerks in Cars Messing Up My Bike Rides

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.

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My Journey Toward Being a Little Less of a Fathlete (Day 5)

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.

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Equanimity & 499 More Words in 30 Minutes (Day 3)

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A statue epitomizing equanimity during a rare recent snow

Today’s blog is a writing exercise.  A Dude wants to see if he can write 500 words in 30 minutes.  He can tend to be long-winded, and while that may appeal to some readers, it may dissuade others.  Since I intend to write daily for some period, perhaps even the whole of January, it behooves me to be brief.

It’s refreshing to hear from people who read my blog recently.  One is a fellow cyclist who bikes in the winter — in Finland!  Thank you all!  This blog was intended to be an experiment, and I have a lot to learn about doing it well.  New Year resolutions being what they are – much sound and fury signifying nothing – I’m not making many hard and fast rules for myself right now. Continue reading

What Jerry Seinfeld & The Juiceman Can Teach Us About Making Healthy Choices (Day 2)

If you can walk to work or take your bike on a daily basis, I think that’s just about the coolest thing that there is. 

                   -Jerry Seinfeld, on a 2015 Reddit Ask Me Anything thread

Such is the Winter of Our… Bad Habits

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Bicycles make even Jerry Seinfeld smile

About 11 years ago, comedian Jerry Seinfeld (if you didn’t know it already, A Dude loves the Sein!) was said to have revealed the secret of his success.  It was four words (five if you don’t count the contraction):  Don’t Break The Chain (DBTC).  By that he meant writing jokes for 10 minutes a day, no matter what.  Seeing the red x’s accumulate on the big all-year wall calendar would supposedly motivate him to keep going.  Eventually the jokes would get better.  Turns out that was bogus; he didn’t invent it or really do it.  But he sure did work hard and continuously to become one of the most successful comedians ever.  Plus, he walks and bikes to work, how cool is that?!  If you haven’t already, check out his documentary, Jerry Before Seinfeld, on Netflix.

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