Give Yourself Permission to Just Do Nothing!

Thomas Merton was a Catholic monk born in France who moved to Kentucky. He wrote over 60 books, encouraged inter-religious dialog with the likes of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh, and others and advocated for pacifism and social justice. He died in 1968 in his early 50’s when he accidentally was electrocuted stepping out of his shower where a running fan had fallen over. (Some say he was assassinated by the CIA.) While I’ve not read his work, I’ve seen this quote below before. And it seems more relevant than ever in 2019.

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1,213 Miles: First Quarterly Report of 2019

This is a summary of my bicycle riding statistics on the Strava app for January through March.  It shows my total miles biked so far for 2019 is 1,213.  At 13.47 miles per day over the first 90 days, that isn’t bad.  It’s only slightly off the pace of 13.75, which will put me at 5,000 for the year — IF I’m able to keep it up.  That’s always the question.  By the way, virtually all of these miles are being done on Sophie, the Fairdale Weekender Archer

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South by Southwest (SXSW) 2019 Days 5 & 6 = Walking. Weird. Wonderful.

After two more days of seeing films and comedy at South by Southwest, and walking well over 10,000 steps per day as a volunteer and then participant, I’m even more exhausted than last week.  But it’s Wednesday, so that means it’s time to tell y’all (who actually are reading this blog) what’s the big deal about SXSW. In addition to telling, I’ll do some showing. Continue reading

14 Years Not a Slave to Cars

In what’s become an annual post, now for the fourth year in a row, I am obligated contractually (by Mother Earth) to inform you that I am still carless.  Losing my car on January 25, 2005 was not my choice.  Continuing to do without one has been.  What does it all mean?  Well, I mostly bike (4,554 miles in 2018, to be exact).  I also walk to get around, though that’s more for exercise, 30′ a day.  I have also used the bus, ridden in friends’ cars, and twice last year I borrowed cars for extended periods.  So while I’m not 100% internal combustion engine-free, I still do not own a car.  I don’t want a medal, but I do think it’s an important accomplishment worth blogging about.  Thanks for reading.

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Addicted to Biking (and Sugar) or Just Committed to Goals (and Earning a Reward)?

I’ve been reflecting alot about my third mega-mileage year in a row, since I’m seeming to continue a daily amount of bicycling and walking.  5,143 Miles in 2018: 4,554 Biking + 589 Walking. Pretty, Pretty, Pretty Good for A Dude! I haven’t added or subtracted any New Year’s Resolutions, so I’m wondering if it’s still healthy for me.  Especially since I’m generally sleep-deprived and tired if not downright exhausted.  Also having a regular if not daily or more encounter with chocolately goodness going into my grocery hole.  Then I saw a National Geographic article about addiction and this post about exercise addiction from follower A Better Man 21.  It’s as good a topic as any so I’m going to address it, hopefully briefly.

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Recent Days Biking and Walking in Austin, Texas as Told Through Photos and Words

Lacking some inspiration I looked back at the last week in photos.  They tell a tale of my ongoing journey cycling through Austin.

Yellow Bike Project chalkboard.

Tonight I went to Yellow Bike Project again to work on Sophie.  For the first time, I left with something that wasn’t better than went I arrived.  Disc brakes can be tricky and for some reason my rear one on the Fairdale isn’t working right.  I’ll need to return Monday when a coordinator more familiar with the brakes is there, but more likely I’ll head by a bike shop.  It’s it’s important to be able to stop!

I don’t mention my diet much these days, but below is one brunch I prepared.  Also, I worked nine days of early voting and the final election day.  Compared to the recent mid-terms with many questions on the ballot, only five races had runoffs, so turnout was very low.  It gave me time to do some reading.  A David Baldacci thriller The Fix, and parts of Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich.  I also got more into Tim Ferris’s The Four-Hour Work Week and the Austin Chronicle.  I do not fare well at crosswords.

It’s nice the word for “go vote” is spelled the same in Spanish and  English.

A brunch of eggs, turkey sausage, avocado, red and sweet potato, cheese, onion, salsa, and blue Powerade Zero. Blue’s a flavor, but unnatural.

On a walk before biking, I found this cool blue bike rack made to look like a bike.

I’m still doing my daily walking.  One way I make sure to get in my 30 minutes is to walk on my way somewhere and then bike the rest.  Or if I’m in a hurry and it’s close by, I bike there and then walk home.  It’s a handy trick and I often see something cool, like the above bike rack.  I don’t always put all the pictures here, though.  For that, you will need to follow me on Strava, the fitness app. That link will take you to my profile.

 

Chanukah at the house of two friends involved a number of brightly lit menorahs, a variety of foods, and hanging out and talking.  I missed the candle lighting and if there were any prayers, but it was not an orthodox religious event.  It’s nice to connect with that part of my heritage (which I wrote about in the post Bicyclists & Jews: Both Are Targets (But They Should Not Be) and hang out with others who may not be traditionally observant but who identify ethnically.  As one comedian put it, “(he’s) not a Jew, he’s Jew-ish.”  Joking aside, I think one can be both.  But speaking of that uniquely Jewish sensibility of humor, one person punned, “Some people light a ninth candle on Chanukah, but they’re in the menorah-ty.”  (For the goyem out there, there are only eight days of Chanukah.)

 

I snapped these two covers of books at Book People, the largest independent bookstore in Texas that’s in downtown Austin.  One speaks to the hope of what bicycles could do, the other reflects my ambivalence about why I am riding my bicycle an average of over 80 miles per week so far this year.  (See 4,000 Miles Biked This Year! + 3,000 Miles Total on Sophie the Fairdale.)

 

Nearby the book store is the international headquarters of a natural grocery chain.  They don’t need any press from me but friends and I have long called it the “food hole” or “whole paycheck.”  But they do have some cool stuff like an ice skating rink on the roof in the winter and this sign abbreviating Austin, Texas, which changes colors.  I had never snapped any pictures, so for your edification, here is a nice series.

The awesome, fun and inspirational monthly gathering of authors of all kinds who read called One Page Salon, hosted by Owen Egerton, had a huge turnout this month.  This was thanks to the Texas Writers League.  Shown with Owen is director Michael Nowlin, a nice guy, author and nice guy who encouraged me not to give up on the possibility of getting published.  It was cool to see a packed house although I only really talked to a few people I already knew.  The TWL is an organization I need to get involved with as I get closer to finishing the first draft of my memoir of two years of cycling quite a few miles.  (4,714 Miles Bicycled in 2017 = 10,000 in 2 Years! A Recap of My “Epic Velocimania” (Day 1)

 

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A jalopy bike I saw in East Austin after One Page Salon.  Notice the seat has no post and the wheel sizes are different. reminds me of the book title It’s Not About the Bike.

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My August Biking and Walking Stats on Strava

This post is a brief review of my walking and biking in August through pictures, courtesy of the fitness tracking application, Strava.  Check ’em out, and enjoy all my sweaty efforts!  I’ve added alot of additional fun facts about my riding for those of you who geek out on numbers, or are just curious what a month of disciplined, diligent bike riding looks like.  Hopefully you had a few accomplishments too, and feel free to share them in the comments.  All images are Copyright Strava 2018.

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