Random Thoughts from the Life of a Car-Free Bicyclist in Austin, Texas

Sometimes there’s no one unifying theme to a blog post, but even then, there is still a framework. Today, it’s that many factors affect my cycling, and also that there’s more to life than cycling. (Impossible, I can hear some of you saying!) Here are a few of those thoughts. As to whether they’re Deep Thoughts, you’d have to ask Jack Handy, which is an old Saturday Night Live skit. Basically he had short quotes that were inane, so I’m not claiming any wisdom. I am just sharing my experience in hopes it educates, inspires or at least amuses you as one of my millions of followers (any day now). Read on, it’ll be good, you’ll see. After all, I’m not The Dude, I’m just A Dude. And A Dude would never steer you wrong. That would be very un-Dude-like.

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Froomey Falls: 4-Time Tour de France Winner Blows His Nose… & His Chances

The sad news hit the cycling world that Christopher Froome, British rider for professional bicycle racing Team Ineos (formerly Team Sky), has broken his hip, femur, elbow and ribs and is out of 2019 Tour de France. “It’s just a bike race” he said after the terrorist truck attack killed 86 people and injured over 400 in Nice, France on Bastille Day during the 2017 Tour. What can we mere mortals learn from his epic fail? I’m so glad you asked. I’ll tell you if you click on “Continue reading.”

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Paul Sherwen, One Half of the Iconic Voices of the Tour de France, Has Died

I’m sitting here at my computer in Austin, Texas on a Monday night, staring at the title I just wrote, and now, the blinking cursor.  It’s taunting me to sum up in 500 words (usually many more, in my case), the life, times and relevance of Paul Sherwen.  He died at his home in Kampala, Uganda last night at the still relatively young age of 62, cause unknown.  The simple fact is that no one’s life can be summed up so tidily.  But in all the years I watched the Tour de France, it was his voice, along with that of Phil Liggett, that provided the narration to that epic race and many others.  He did it with style, grace and panache, and forever won the hearts of legions of pro bicycling fans.  He was also a racer himself, finishing five of the seven Tours he entered, and winning the British road racing championship twice.  Born in Kenya, but living in Uganda, he was a staunch advocate of African cycling, and a humanitarian to boot.  All I can do from my tiny corner of the internet is shine a little light on his life if you haven’t heard of him and to chime in. Continue reading

Always Meet Your Heroes! Like Lawson Craddock, Who Denies Being a Hero

I met Lawson Craddock tonight and was impressed. Not because he’s a hero or did something heroic (which he denies being or doing). But because he’s a human being who rides a bike and overcame adversity to accomplish his goal. And he has thus far maintained what seems to be an authenticity, humility, humor and quiet strength. And also because he’s community-minded, aware of his good fortune and support he has from friends and family and the wider world.  Many of those things resonate, inspire or apply to me, and maybe to you too.  So as so-called heroes go, he’s very relatable. That plus of course he’s a kick ass cyclist and a nice guy to boot. Continue reading

Speak Up, Legs! Slowly Easing Back Into Bicycling & Houston Bike Shooter Update

It has been five days since I got on my Fuji Silhouette bicycle and rode it.  So this evening as I finally worked up the guts to do just that and was mulling over a title for this blog, I thought of the words, “Shut Up, Legs!” This is the catchphrase of Jens Voigt, who rode the Tour de France 17 times, a record only beaten this year by Sylvain Chavanel.  He retired in 2014 the day after his 43rd birthday and setting a new one-hour bike record — the farthest anyone had ridden a bike in one hour.  You can see my ride today on Strava here.

While I’m slowly getting back to riding (I hope) and watching the Tour, Jens has been commentating on it for NBC Sports Network.  As mentioned in my previous post, about the Tour de France, Top 5 Reasons I Love Watching Le Tour de France and You Should, Too.  You should go read my post and then come back.  It’s really good!  I’ll wait here.  Done?  Great.  Let’s continue.

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Top 5 Reasons I Love Watching Le Tour de France and You Should Too

The Tour is over for this year, but you can still watch it by subscribing to NBC Sports Gold Cycling Pass.  (Go to this link to subscribe; it lasts for the whole year so you can watch La Vuelta a Espana and other races, but only in the US.)  I’m a little late to the party since I’m still watching it on a Roku donated to me by dear mum.  (So don’t spoil it by commenting on the winner or anything past Stage 11, please!  I however may spoil it if you are are on Stage 1.)  I am way behind because of life getting in the way but still enjoying it.  Like many Americans, I got into the Tour a few years after a certain famous Austin cyclist won it seven times in a row.  After that was, um, cancelled, I stopped watching for a few years (also like many Americans).  But I couldn’t stay away, so I’ve been watching it every year for a while now, and still think it’s worth it.  Here’s why I think you should watch it, too.

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