Wondering and Wandering While Walking in East Austin

Moving. That’s what I do on a bicycle most days. That’s in addition to a practice of yoga which I’ve done for over five years every day. For the last 20 months, I’ve also taken a daily walk. In the last half a year, I’ve had to do the other kind of moving, into a new place to live, several times, mostly not by choice. This weekend was one of those times, and now I find myself back in a place I used to be, albeit temporarily. The occasion of living in a different environment affords the opportunity to look at things with fresh eyes. While perambulating is often a chore through which I trudge, looking forward to what comes next, tonight’s walk was revelatory. So here is what I noticed on my walk in East Austin.

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Shoal Creek Protected Bike Lanes in Progress; Dang It’s Hot in Austin, Texas!

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.

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Dribs and Drabs About My Biking and Blogging

After the positive reception to my last post, The Bike Rider and the Farmer, it’s a little bit of a let-down to return to form. Little things, like that story inspired them to try a short story. Or by inviting someone to the Bike Curious social ride (in which I participated once again), they had to get their bike rack and bike in shape. Organizing a new bike gang is bringing in new people, too. But, writing about my biking, blogging, and book-writing, plus other random stuff, is mostly what I do (well, there’s a fair bit of complaining, too). So this is another brief collection of what’s up with A Dude Abikes (cue that SNL song “What Up With That?”)

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Summer Is Coming: Surviving Cycling in Sunny Central Texas

If I had seen a second of that program about dragons and stuff on the Home Box Office channel, I could continue the allusion. But I haven’t so I can’t. But I can however tell you that the hotter-than-hell-fire breathing dragon that is summer in Central Texas is starting her terrifying approach. Temps are already topping out at the low 90’s in Austin, Texas. People, get ready, a lack of rain is comin’. I share my tips on how to deal. Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor in real life or TV. I’m just telling you how I deal with the heat. If you have or may have a medical condition that makes being outside dangerous, ask a real doctor, not a dude. This goes for everything on my blog. If my experience helps, great. But always use common sense, take responsibility, and you do you.

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20 Mile Bike Ride in the Austin Summer Sun

Hey there!  Yes, you, reading this blog.  Let me say thank you.  I really appreciate it.  You’re one of a select, special number of people who will see this.  That’s pretty cool.  Sure, it might be nice if thousands saw it, but I kinda like it like this.  It’s more intimate.  Although I’ve never met most of you, it’s like I’m telling a handful of friends about my bike ride.   So yeah, let me tell you about it. Continue reading

Hottest Day of the Year Bike Austin Group Ride + Half a Metric Century (50 km) Solo

Saturday I got myself down to Bicycle Sport Shop on South Lamar for Bike Austin’s 9th Annual Hottest Day of the Year Ride.  About 40 folks from a young age to not so young arrived to sample the mocktails, peruse Bike Austin t-shirts and brave the heat.  The good part was that the route was a short 10-miles and took us to two splash pads and two pools.  While technically not the hottest day, it was warm enough, 99 F heat index.  A Dude was serving as one of the ride leaders, and it was an eventful afternoon.  The next night I put in the first longer ride in a while, 31 miles total.  So let’s check them out. Continue reading

Surviving the Summer Heat on a Bicycle

As temperatures in Texas and around the world are heating up — Central Texas had the hottest May on record — dealing with it becomes even more important.  For cyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts, there are precautions that can be taken and practices implemented to mitigate the effects.  But as global warming increases (and I side with the 97% of scientists who use, well, SCIENCE, to prove that it’s real), there may come a day where cycling at any time of day and season will no longer be possible.  We have plenty of blistering hot days as it is that make biking untenable for many people. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are real risks, and you should learn the difference and seek help if you are suffering from either.  This is not an exhaustive scientific post, but below I will share a few of my approaches that may be good reminders or news to you.

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4 Appointments and 1 Funeral = 0 Miles Bicycled Today

The other day I was gifted the use of a car by a super nice friend during their extended summer vacation.  It’s promising to be a hotter-than-usual summer here in Central Texas, USA (oh wait, it’s still only spring), so this is a real nice luxury for A Dude. Compared to me on my bike, cars are efficient, fast and comfortable.  I can arrive places without being sweaty, tired and gross.  Or transport stuff.  Take Sunday drives.  Drive getaway in exciting capers.  (Just kidding!)

The down sides are, as most people know, that cars pollute, lots of other people have them and get in the way, and they cost a lot of money. A problem specific to less gifted bicyclists who gut out the miles anyway (like moi) is that getting out of an air-conditioned vehicle that takes little energy to operate and then onto a bike which takes alot of energy is quite difficult, psychologically speaking. Especially when you’re tired, which I seem to be most of the time these days. A First World dilemma for sure, but it’s real to me who put in seven 100+ mile weeks in a row. So what’s A Dude to do?

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543 Miles in May 2018: My Next Best Month on the Bicycle Ever!

To say that I rode my bike alot in May is an understatement. 543 miles is 125 miles per week and almost 18 miles per day. My activity app Strava, paired with my Garmin GPS watch, are fairly accurate. Believe me, I feel it in my bones. Also, this was the hottest documented month of May in Central Texas ever. So I’m feeling pretty happy about that accomplishment, seeing how my original goal for this year was 50 miles per week. It could all change in a moment, and there are some things on the horizon which may mean I’m spending less time on the bike. But that’s all fine. For now, I’m satisfied that I still have some legs. Oh, and I also walked 45 miles. Today is a well-deserved rest day, so let’s dig into the stats a bit, shall we?

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