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.
After saying in my last post I wasn’t always fond of posting statistics, I’m now going to do just that. Because, miles, baby! Turns out that I’m averaging 154 miles per week. Sunday was terrific weather here in Central Texas, so I took advantage of it and went for over half a century. If you’re just joining us late, I ride a bicycle. With my, um, age and weight “situation,” I’m bushed, even with the “extra” hour from the end of Daylight Savings Time. And yet I’m pretty proud of my work ethic cranking out the kilometers making up for some missing miles this summer while working and gasp! driving. Pride goeth before the fall, but let’s hope that’s not the case.
Sophie is my Fairdale Weekender Archer, so this blog post is not about the 1982 movie in which Meryl Streep won the Oscar for best actor. Also unlike the movie, based on the book by William Styron, my bit of suffering is nothing like the dilemma of the character in the film. Yet I went on this bike ride despite not being fully prepared and got to thinking, “Why am I choosing this suffering when I could easily avoid it?” The short answer is “Because, goals.” The longer answer is a bit more complex.
No clip in shoes. No shorts (well, no padded shorts; I may do my small part to Keep Austin Weird, but my mother didn’t raise no idiot). Just started doing errands and since conditions were perfect I Just. Kept. Pedaling. I had several extended stops as is obvious from the elapsed time, including getting refreshments, soaking up the sun (sitting on a park bench) sending emails, two short meetings plus a stop at home to recharge my lights and Garmin vivoactiv hr watch.
Still, I was pretty happy to meet my goal, even if I was a week late due to the rain, wind and cold on my actual birthday. And it was pretty good for a 9-speed heavy steel bike with non-skinny tires. I didn’t even have to get out of the saddle and stand up on the pedals on the very steep Highland Hills Drive, either. I probably could have kept going, but as the farmer said to the pig in the movie Babe, “That’ll do. That’ll do.”
As mentioned in the recent post Car-Free Dude Drives Borrowed Auto, Doesn’t Die, I’m working a lot and having to drive a car to do it. Since I’m in Austin, Texas (at least that’s where everyone keeps telling me I am), and it’s only mid-September, it’s still hitting 100 degrees many days. That’s true even if it’s not actual temperature because of the heat index (aka real feel) or humidity.
Point is, I ain’t biking much at all. It’s either miles or money, and since I’ve done plenty of the latter, it’s high time for the former. And that got me to thinking: What do you do when choice or circumstance keep you from your routine and goals? Come on inside this cozy post and A Dude’ll tell ya how he rolls. Or doesn’t.
I wasn’t planning that much bicycling. Yet there were places to go, things to do. I had no car to use, and a dislike of the bus. It was yet another in a string of 100-degree plus day. However, I knew I could stop in air conditioned places. Most importantly, I felt I had good legs. With that confidence, I headed out into the swamp that is Austin, Texas in August.
A while back I mentioned an important victory for bicyclists in Austin, Texas. It was the decision by the City, after the input by citizens, to add protected bike lanes to Shoal Creek Boulevard, a major road used by people on bikes. Today they sent notice that that process has begun. Additionally, it’s pretty hot in Austin, and that’s making biking hard if not downright unpleasant for for many people, self included. So we have the good, the bad, and well, if you’re hot and sweaty enough, that also covers the ugly.