I Eliminated 99% of Flour Products from My Diet for 18 Months, and Guess What Happened?

Nothing. That’s right: bupkis, nada, niente, zero, zilch. I lost 0 pounds of weight. In fact, I’ve gained a little lately, more from knee pain caused by biking my ass off (metaphorically — see my post coming up Wednesday). But after foregoing all the tasty treats, delicious delights and amazing amuse bouches out there for an entire effing year and a half, I really have nothing to show for it. It’s really quite unfair. Perhaps there are other health markers that are a better gauge, but the point was to reduce simple carbs to virtually nothing and eat whole grains. Of course I wasn’t perfect with it, and still have a major problem with sugar, but it’s no where near enough to make up for all the bread and stuff I used to eat. So, I’m gonna kvetch about this.

Continue reading

What Are You Willing to Give Up (for Lent)?

Today was Ash Wednesday in the Christian Catholic tradition. Numerous believers around the world went to church and got a cross made of ash drawn on their foreheads. While A Dude Abikes is not Catholic, and by no means can offer an authoritative treatise on Lent, some of my ancestors were. A number of people today and last night at One Page Salon talked about this practice of renouncing something, which is only one part of a religious of taking 40 days to prepare for Easter Sunday. Somehow this one part of a solemn spiritual ceremony “went viral” and became a sort of New Years resolution do-over. For lapsed Catholics and others who just like the idea, it is a worthwhile endeavor to renounce something “sinful” or a “vice.” It could be cigarettes, alcohol, or something stronger, like candy. Or a behavior like watching TV. In any case, I began thinking, “What am I willing to give up?”

Continue reading

How I Bicycled 22 Miles in a Thunderstorm and Tornado Watch (Shark-Free)

After two days out of town and off the bike for the holidays with family, I returned to Austin ready to get back to bidness.  I needed to take my computer into the shop and to retrieve my mail, so I had two destinations.  There was some light rain but the temperature was in the high 60’s, not much wind.  A little rain never hurt anybody (except the Wicked Witch of the West), so I suited up and headed out.  So it was not all storm all the time.  But soon after errand number one, I had to put on my poncho and shoe covers.  For a while it was fine.  And then, it wasn’t.  I felt the wind pick up from the north and with it, the temperatures dropped and gusts increased.  There was also that part about a tornado watch.  Did I wisely throw in the towel and head straight home?  No.  Here’s why and how. Continue reading

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?

Continue reading

This Is My 100th Blog Post — The Year in Review So Far

Well, I’ve done it!  I’ve made it to the mythical 100th blog post.  It’s my 69th of 2018, and I’ve totalled over 102,000 words since I began blogging on January 1, 2016.  It’s been an interesting, fun, exhausting experiment telling my story as a bicyclist as well as exploring other topics like health, politics, culture and more.  In this post I’ll review my progress thus far this year and look at what I still need to work on.  I stayed in today and unpacked more, organized alot, and cooked, and so I’m itching to go on at least a metaphorical ride.  Got your helmet on?  Good, let’s go! Continue reading