Here at A Dude Abikes, we (that is, the royal we) appreciate guts, intestinal fortitude, and chutzpah. That extends to anyone taking the chance, choice, and time to read. Though we know we’re no ex-Prince Harry, we do like to think of ourselves as having a quality that our former overlapping roommate said one day recently, i.e. intrepid. It’s been raining buckets here in Central Texas (a good thing because we’re behind for the year). I told the roomie, who’s quite a cyclist, that I was going for a walk, despite the chance of rain and not having slept a lot (partially because of his late and early packing racket). That’s when he said I was intrepid. I thought, “Hey, that’s pretty cool, like James Bond or something.” I’m not in possession of the sort of high-caliber intrepitude (if that wasn’t a word, it is now) that sprinters like Mark Cavendish do, I manage to climb the mountain of a number of good habits every day. Every day could be our last on the bike or other things, but I’m grateful that I was able and am glad to report that today was not the end. It was another day, another bike ride.Continue reading
Back in November 2019 I wrote a post called The Bad Side of Good Habits. In it, I considered things that seemed good on the surface but looking deeper there were some negatives. Lately, I’ve been feeling pretty knackered (British English for tired) to the point where I can’t really ignore it. A quick search brings up the word “overtraining” and a host of replies with plenty of debate. As an amateur fathlete bicyclist, I’m not too worried about the semantics. You won’t see me entering any races, breaking any land speed records or running myself ragged biking up mountains. Yet my performance, such as it is, has been slipping downward in terms of average miles per hour and quantity of mileage. It’s not just on the bike where I’ve noticed changes, either. So maybe it’s time to consider a break. Or is it?Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (1 April, 2021, San Francisco, CA): The leading fitness tracker for running, cycling and dozens of other sports, Strava, announces the next exciting step in their technology’s evolution. The global coronavirus pandemic that began in 2020 and continues into 2021 showed that exercise enthusiasts would not be deterred from achieving their fitness and sporting goals (to the extent allowed by local health code). More people got outside and got moving than in other any year since the product’s launch in 2009 for both their physical and mental health.
Obviously, the other major force that has reshaped society in the USA and abroad in the last year is the quest for racial justice and police accountability. In keeping with both these movements toward a healthier and more just society, Strava is releasing a parallel version of their software called Strava S.O.F.T. — Slow, Old, Fat, Tired. This change is a major step forward to make the fitness world more inclusive of our many speed-challenged, mature, differently-sized, and fatigued athletes. At Strava (which means strive in Swedish), we pride ourselves on meeting challenges just like our 70 million customers do in the app. Strava S.O.F.T. is the next wave of exercise and a key to the future of sport itself!Continue reading
Today was a day that I could have biked, but I didn’t. I could use the sleet and tiny hail that fell on Austin streets today and the cold weather for excuses. But the precipitation didn’t stick to the roads, and it’s not like I’m in Fargo, North Dakota or somewhere actually very cold. With enough layers it can be done. There was my headache, probably due to a lack of sleep. For the latter, I can blame the excellent film Sicario: Day of the Soldado which I stayed up to watch on DVD. Or there was being busy: two friends were over to help start packing for my move, and they gave me a ride to the second half of a how to start your own business class. I walked almost two miles and then just wasn’t feeling like going back out. So I didn’t. It was nice to, um, just chill out.
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?
I think the title sums it up pretty well. It rained. Alot. I had to go to a job search class and didn’t have the time or patience for the bus. It was only a mile and a half so I rode, but the rains picked up. The skies were thundering and lightning, and I almost had to stop. It is Star Wars Day — May the Fourth Be With You — but gale force winds gusting over 25 mph were against me. It was a blah day, and I was tired as usual, but I pressed on, as I tend to do, for worse or for better. Continue reading
Alternate Your Training to Recover and Avoid Burnout
After 2016’s average 100 miles per week of cycling (see 5,306 Miles in 2016: A Dude Abikes’ Year of Bicycling Vigorously), I received some very good advice from bad-ass bicyclist buddy Bryce who rode over 6,000 miles last year, helped A Dude out on part of an 80-mile ride New Year’s Eve of 2016 — while he was sick! — as well has contributed to a number of my charity rides, is activity with Please Be Kind to Cyclists, and organizes their annual Ride of Silence honoring cyclists killed by cars. I don’t remember the exact words, but they were something like:
“Take some time off the bike. If you don’t really miss it, maybe do some other things. If you do, then get back on.”
Sage words indeed. I did that last year, but not this one. Thanks to my depleted iron stores, I’ve been forced to slow down now. Exercise-induced anemia is a real thing, as this scientific extract from the British Journal of General Practice shows. Apparently my “Epic Velocimania” (4,714 miles in 2017) wore me out more than I knew. The week of severe restriction to fruit, nuts and seeds did not help A Dude’s energy. Continue reading
Today I walked, talked, (but listened more), biked, job searched and now am blogging. I have yet to yoga-cize, but I will, even if I must take a sivasana siesta first. But I’m tired. Partially that’s because of having extra energy from the cleaner eating, which leads to doing more than I should (like spending too long on this blog), staying up too late, and then fatigue. Although I’m eating super healthy, it’s insufficient in quantity and diversity.
Also, I’ve started to notice a craving for fats, which I’ve somewhat managed to address with almonds or walnuts, seeds or avocado in my smoothie or soup, and peanut butter with an apple. I’m not having any grains, which is a big shock to the system. So my plan is to survive the seventh day then reassess what all I can and want to eat but also NEED to eat. I’ve had an image of a delicious pink/orange piece of baked wild salmon. Yum! (I guess you’d call that salmon-colored.)