Charity Cycling and Coronavirus: The Mamma Jamma Challenge 9/12-9/19/20

With the global pandemic of the coronavirus showing no signs of ending anytime soon, those with other illnesses like HIV/AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis still need support perhaps more than ever. One way this is achieved is through fundraising bike rides. A Dude was privileged to ride in half a dozen charity rides, raising $12,000 total over the six events. But nowadays getting people together to breathe hard, even outside, is problematic — especially for the immuno-compromised. Most charity rides have had to go virtual. This week, September 12-19, the good folks at the Texas Mamma Jamma Ride are having people ride bikes and do other activities and record them on Strava, the fitness app, while still raising funds for the one in eight women who get diagnosed with breast cancer.

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622 Miles Biked in July 2020: This Dude Is on Fiyah!

Alright, alright, alright. I don’t literally mean on fire. But it is a quote from Matthew McConaghey as Woody Wooderson in the Austin-area film Dazed and Confused. Matt is apparently one hell of a dude, citizen, University of Texas at Austin professor (really!), and he happens to live up the highway from me. Oh yeah, I guess he won an Oscar or something for acting in Dallas Buyers Club. That’s all a seque, because alright is how I performed on the bicycle in July of 2020.

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Garmin Is Down – How to Upload Your Bike Rides to Strava

I’m not retracting my recent rave review about my Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music smart watch. On tonight’s 26-mile ride, it told me how far away I was from home, mere seconds after I was asking myself that very question. How cool is that? Maybe a little spooky, too. However, Garmin.com and Garmin Connect, the app that syncs with your phone and uploads your activities to Strava the bike and fitness tracker, are down. The word is Garmin were the target of a ransomware attack on Thursday. It’s now early Saturday. If you’re like A Dude, whose goals are tied to tracking data points (especially miles), it’s a big deal. Assuming Garmin fixes things, those activities will be uploaded then. But if you don’t want to wait for Garmin to get its act together, Strava has come to the rescue with an easy way to get your data transferred. Courtesy of A Dude Abikes. You’re most welcome.

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3,100 Miles Pedaled in 6 Months: A New Personal Best

When I began bicycling more than i ever thought possible, in 2015, I estimated I covered the distance from LA to Boston, about 3,000 miles. It was an educated guess based on Google maps, training rides for two charity rides, and general commuting. Now, it seems I’ve doubled my pleasure, and doubled my money (spent on bike stuff). That’s no big deal to pros, racers, and the generally faster. For me, it’s pretty good. But like my blog buddy back East, I’m working to Be Sorry… Less. By riding every day since last fall, I’ve given myself a better shot at attaining a higher mileage goal for the year. So now it’s time to look at the first half of the year’s stats.

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Bicycle Bites, Motion Morsels and Transportation Tidbits

I must have been hungry when I wrote this post, going by the title. But this is not about food you eat while riding your bike. It’s one of those posts wherein I list various random bike stuff, thoughts and news. It’s usually a combination of stuff I did, saw or read about that isn’t enough for its own separate post. The blurbs can be educational, factual, just a slice of life, or even a rant. I bet you’ll find at least one of them interesting. I think I’ll go have a small snack while you keep reading. If you do, thanks!

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The Fine Art of Finessing Follower Features on Strava

Strava, the fitness tracking app, has been a useful repository of rides, walks, swims and photos thereof, a good source of data, and a fun place to encourage others and to be encouraged. Unlike many social media sites (so far in my experience, and as I’m told), it’s a pretty positive place. This post explores a few of the features relating to followers. If you’re a cyclist not on the app, you may want to consider it, and these tips can help even if you are and may not be aware. And, before I forget, kudos to you for reading this post!

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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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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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Fun With My Strava Bike Ride Titles & Recent Stats

Ever since I got Strava, the fitness tracking app with social media component, I’ve tried to make the titles of my rides entertaining, or at least descriptive. Sometimes I’ll link to a ride, but I don’t usually list them. However, I’ve been using them because they have been very helpful in writing my book. It’s a memoir of a two-year period wherein I rode many, Many, MANY! miles on the bike. Being able to look back at the collection of Strava rides has been invaluable in re-creating my experiences. I thought it might be fun to go into this little but significant part of my practice of riding my bicycle usually 100 miles a week.

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Austin, Texas Weekend Bike News: Around the Town

A Visitor of Some Renown

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Dr. Adonia E. Lugo, (maybe I’ll call her Doctor Wheelgood), who is Affiliate Faculty in Urban Sustainability at Antioch University Los Angeles, was here in Austin for the Imagine Austin Speaker Series.  Her talk was called, “Mobility Justice: People Power & the Future of Urban Transportation.”   Those in attendance said it was quite good.  I wouldn’t know.

That’s because unfortunately, I didn’t hear about it until after the fact, which really bummed me out.  A guy who knew about it said he was sure I was the one who told him — until he noticed I wasn’t there.  Well, duh!  I actually blogged about her recently in The Invisible Or Utility Bicyclist An Ignored Population.  In it I reference her book (which I need to get and read and review here).  It’s called  Bicycle/Race: Transportation, Culture, & Resistance, a memoir about racial justice and sustainable transportation.  The good news is that her talk was recorded on video and will be forthcoming at this City of Austin link. Continue reading