February 2020 Strava Stats: Bike, Walk and Swim

The shortest month of the year, albeit one with a Leap Day, was not as prolific as January, but by all accounts, still successful for your favorite aging, tired, undertall bicyclist blogger. There are two major reasons for that: I continued riding my bike every single day, with an eye on making at least 100 miles per week, and also the addition of swimming. So let’s have a look under the er, bottom bracket, shall we?

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Can Meditation Improve Your Bicycling?

We humans are always looking to improve, make progress, get ahead. If we can find a short cut, a hack, a trick, we’ll more often than not take it. The path of least resistance isn’t necessarily laziness either. There’s a fine line between sloth and smart. When it comes to cycling, whether you ride 5,000 miles a year (as I did in 2019) or 500, the easier the better. Mindfulness is all the rage now, although meditation has been around for thousands of years. So, can meditation improve your bicycling?

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What’s It Like to Bike 90 Days in a Row for a Total of 1,985 Miles?

My recent year-end recap, 5,633 Miles in 2019: 5,006 Biking, 627 Walking — My Longest Year Yet!, did not completely capture the immense efforts I put out to reach that biking goal. I don’t say that to brag; it’s just the fact. I began back on October 11th and up to January 8th, I rode for three months, biking every single day. I pedaled on average 22 miles per day. I can assure that is a lot of work, but if I can do it, it’s doable for many people. (For confirmation, check out my Training Log on Strava.) For more numbers and what they mean, do keep on keepin’ on. That’s what I did, and you can, too.

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5,633 Miles in 2019: 5,006 Biking + 627 Walking = My Longest Total Year Yet!

Oops, I did it again! I beat last year by 490 miles! (See 2018’s recap at 5,143 Miles in 2018: 4,554 Biking + 589 Walking. Pretty, Pretty, Pretty Good for A Dude!) Almost all of that difference, 452 miles, was by bike. It came down to the wire, too, since I didn’t make it until the last day of the year. Seeing how my beginning goal was 4,000 miles by bike, adding another 1,000 — most of it (712) in December alone — was a ton of hard work every day. Let’s take a look at the numbers. You may find them instructive, interesting, or maybe even inspirational. Or another word starting with the letter I. And remember, there’s no I in team, but there is meat. Mmm… meat.

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On New Years Day of 2020, I Make Resolutions to… Hey, Is That Chocolate?

It’s the year 2020, a catchy number, and the start of a new decade. It’s a natural time to turn over a new leaf and start up some new habits. Lose weight, get organized, write that novel. But if you’re like most humans, after a few weeks most New Years resolutions have gone the way of holiday wrapping paper. A bold proclamation is now just a broken Hanukahmass toy sitting sadly in the corner. So why bother? Well, for some folks, they work. And as readers of A Dude Abikes know, I’ve had a fair bit of success with some changes. So here’s what I’m doing — and not doing — in 2020.

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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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2,191 Days (6 Years) of Daily Yoga Practice 12/6/19: Let’s Twist Again, Like We Did Last Summer

December 6 may be the most special day of the year for me, right after my birthday and of course Festivus. But seriously, it’s very important, because it’s when I celebrate my yogaversary. My as yet unbroken daily yoga habit started as a challenge from my sister-in-law in 2013. Then it became a test to see if I could keep going. In turn it transmogrified into a streak (as in #DontBreakTheChain). Now it’s a non-negotiable. But there’s really just one basic point: I just do yoga every day.

Pretty simple. All the other words I have, could and will say about it pale in comparison to that simple phrase. The additional descriptions are so much chatter in the mind. And maybe therein lies a deeper truth about the practice: it changes you, but in subtle ways, and at a body level so that talking about it doesn’t even really get to the point. It’s a feeling. If you do it you know, but if you don’t, you ought to try it – you might like it, even if it’s not daily.

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Mode of the Beast: 666.6 Miles Bicycled in 31 Days

Not that beast. I mean beast mode. I’m not a believer in magical numbers (unless my lottery tickets finally pay off). It was my second longest month ever, after the 731 I did in April 2017 including 202 Miles in 2 Days for the MS 150. Given my lack of a day job at the moment, I made it my bidness (as some people actually pronounce “business” in Texas) to bike my butt off (it’s still there, though). And bidness is goooood! That’s because I averaged 150 miles per week. Well, I guess it’s volunteering if I’m not getting paid.

It’s surprising that I accomplished this since it takes me longer than it used to. I could blame Sophie, the 28-pound steel bike with nine gears I’m riding, or the prematurely colder, windy and wet weather, but I’m just not moving very fast these days. Some people I know rode Das Hugel, an unsanctioned sufferfest that’s over a century and 10,000 feet elevation (I wrote about it last year.) A Dude doth not Das Hugel. However, compared to everyone who’s home sitting on the couch, I’m friggin’ Speed Racer. So perhaps my efforts are inspirational to somebody out there reading this. You don’t have to believe me, let’s look at the Strava stats.

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After the Fall: What to Do When You Come Off Your Bicycle

Crash, wreck, accident – these words all conjure up unpleasant images. That’s because falling off your bike can really, Really, REALLY hurt. A saying in bicycling goes “It’s not a matter of if you’re going to fall, it’s when.” I’ve had one fairly serious incident, and a few minor mishaps. I’m thinking about this topic because I experienced one of the latter the other night. It was a relatively minor scrape (yes, a pun) with a weird, free-standing curb the other night. Here’s what happened and what I did that might be entertaining, educational or both. Yes, definitely both.

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The Bad Side of Good Habits

It’s taken me a lot of time. effort and an indescribable amount of will power and discipline to establish and maintain the good habits which are the four main pillars of this blog, and in some ways a good chunk of my life: Biking, Walking, Writing and Yoga. I am approaching six years of daily yoga (yes, you read that correctly), four years of bicycling an average of 13 miles per day, two years of daily walking, and two years of daily writing, Let’s not forget two years of eliminating almost all processed grains. As 2019 winds down, the pressure to come up with New Years resolutions for 2020 looms large. So I’m reflecting on the nature of habits because sometimes, what seems good may sometimes also have a bad side.

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