60 Days of New Years Resolutions: How YOU Doin’?

Happy First Day of International Women’s Month. (Is it bad that I can’t get Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It”) out of my head?) Here in the States we were hoping 2021 would suck a lot less than the dumpster fire fluster cuck that was 2020. But it’s been a year already: insurrection at the US Capitol; inauguration of the lawfully elected 46th President (who quickly began steering the ship of state away from the rocky shores with some pretty righteous executive actions); impeachment without conviction of the ousted one for inciting said riot; the vaccine rollout happening but mostly botched (largely due to the last guy); and the new guy before bombing some places in Iraq. (Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, at least when it comes to war and the military.) Then there was epic Winter Storm Uri (a Russkie?) which led to ultra cold temperatures, blackouts (the weather kind and I’m sure booze-related ones, too), near record snow, ice, and in Texas especially, the loss of electricity, heat, and then water for millions. Yeah, pretty sucky, 2021.

But hey, there ain’t much a dude can do about all that but to survive and Just Keep Livin’. And that means doin’ some stuff, makin’ moves, and what not. Thanks to the boss man over at Sorryless saying I inspired him to take 10,000 steps every day but starting Februrary 1st, now that March has arrived, I figure it’s time to review my vows to suck a little less. It’s a lot to hope for, but maybe some of my very modest but important marginal gains will rub off on y’all, and on the year at large. OK, suck it up, we got some stats to update. I’ll try to keep it short.

Continue reading

Book Review: Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope

Naked in a hot tub with an author is not a situation I find myself in often. In this case, it was a quite a while ago when I spent a summer at a yoga center. I didn’t know it at the time, but the writer in question was about to publish a book he must have been working on during my summer there. I’m not in the book, and the whirlpool nudity isn’t germane to the review, but I thought it might be a fun way to grab your attention. Anyway, I finally got around to re-starting and finishing his work. Yoga is an ancient tradition spanning thousands of years, and I eventually got into a daily practice, so while I doubt the author remembers me or will ever see this review, if he does, I trust he will forgive me for the tardy book report.

Continue reading

We Don’t Need No Resolutions: My January 2021 Bicycling, Etc. Stats

January 2021 was a challenging month for the USA. After the worst attack on democracy since the war of 1812, we finally got rid of the old neo-fascist, proto-racist, fake billionaire POTUS #45. And the social media companies finally grew a pair and de-platformed him. At least that part of our long national nightmare is over. POTUS #46 was inaugurated — a new (and real) president who actually cares about other people and wants to and knows how to govern. Whether the crazies on the red team will let him do so is unlikely, but many of them are going to prison for the attempted insurrection on the Capitol on January 6th. Also in the win column is people have been getting vaccinated for the coronavirus, though not nearly as many that could or should be by now. As for lil’ ol’ A Dude Abikes, I did what I could to keep my health and sanity to the extent possible by biking and doing some new or different things. Not resolutions exactly, because who needs that pressure? Let’s go to the stats, stat!

Continue reading

New Year, New Dude, New US?

Since it’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I’ll also remind folks of an older post with a photo of The Rev. Dr. King on a bicycle. Thanks to the pandemic, there was no rally with speakers and then march. I’ve attended them on an off over the years here in Austin and was at a huge gathering and march after the police killings of George Floyd, Breona Taylor and other Black people. I was fortunate to be able to participate in some Black Lives Matter protests last summer and a pair of Black History Bicycle Rides.

Even though this blog is mostly about biking and my other fitness pursuits, I feel strongly about the evils of racism and have written about them before. It must really piss off the white supremacists that it’s a federal holiday. King was assassinated by one of their ilk on April 4, 1968. As they say, SAY HIS NAME! and, Presente! It boggles the mind that almost 53 years later the US (if not the world) is having a resurgence of racial hatred. Education is key and perhaps with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, we will have better role models than the outgoing asterisk president. Adios, Tinyhands Orangehead, ya big loser!

With no rally and march, I continued my daily activities. Biking less has allowed me more time for other things. It’s as good a time as any to do a quick check-in about what I’m up to both on and off the bike.

Continue reading

How Yoga With Adriene’s 30-Day Program Can Help Start or Improve Your Yoga

Each January Austin, Texas yoga teacher Adriene (Mishler) — personal friend of mine (a quote from somewhere, though I did meet her once) — puts out a themed set of videos for the New Year. Smartly capitalizing on the resolution crowd, she also uses the opportunity to earn more adherents. With 9,000,000 followers now on her YouTube channel, Yoga With Adriene, clearly she has a recipe for success. During the coronavirus global pandemic, even more people are turning to stress-reducing practices and at-home fitness. Whether you currently have a practice like old A Dude Abikes here (seven years every day as of this past Christmas), used to but quit yoga due to lockdowns, or maybe have always wanted to try it, well, I recommend you give young Ms. Mishler’s current program — BREATH – A 30-Day Yoga Journey — a try. I’ll tell you why I am doing it, and why you’ll be glad you did if you do, too.

Continue reading

7 Years of My Consecutive Daily Yoga Practice

It’s Christmas Day here in Austin, Texas, USA. And you know what that means for this Jewd (Jewish + Dude = Jewd — Trademark me!): Another year of daily 30 minutes (or more) of yoga has come to a close, and another begins. Lucky number seven. Yoga is second nature to me now, but in those first days and weeks, I didn’t know how long I would continue, or if it would stick at all. I was just taking it a day at a time, and in a way, I still do. But it has stuck (sort of like my sticky mat), for over 2,500 days, which is nothing short of a miracle for A Dude. Which needs replacing, and Harry Hanukkah and that other guy with the red suit didn’t bring me one… again. Sigh… deep breath in, deep breath out. But given my other streaks in biking, walking and writing, all that yoga is no small thing and deserves some recognition, I think you’ll agree.

Here’s what I wrote about today’s event in my Strava fitness app notes:

Continue reading

The Heart of the Matter

It was the end of a cool autumn day, and I was sitting on my yoga mat. I thought back to the morning (albeit late morning); my ablutions were complete and I got out on my daily constitutional. (That means walk for those not in the American South.) Walking is good for the heart, I thought, and then I remembered that I was supposed to have some heart tests this year. They were too expensive without insurance, so I didn’t have the tests. What with the pandemic and not getting younger, I’ve been wrestling with the beast that is U.S. health insurance (and losing). So after my walk, I read some stuff on the internet and called some people.

On one of those calls, I got some bad news from a friend, a colleague, really. They were pretty ill, but getting through it. Although I wasn’t raised to pray to a deity, this person was and has a good heart; I’ve always admired their sunny disposition. I’ve also known some Quakers and always appreciated their practice of sitting in silence, and their concept of “holding someone in the light.” So tonight after my bike ride and daily yoga, I flipped my Insight Meditation Timer app over to meditate and chose a five-minute one about compassion in honor of my friend. Usually I wait until I’m hitting the hay to meditate, so I tend to pass out before it’s done, or it doesn’t make much of an impact. Today, for some reason, it stuck with me.

Continue reading

My Yogaversary Began 7 Years Ago Today, but My History With Yoga Goes Way Back

December 4, 2013 is when I started to do yoga every day. On the 23rd and 24th of that year, I was recovering from a minor medical test and was too out of it to practice. So nowadays I count the beginning date of my streak as December 25. And it was the starting of it all that was of utmost importance. “A journey of 1,000 steps begins with one,” Confucius said. What’s interesting to me, and hopefully to you, Dear Reader, is reflecting back on how it all began — my introduction to yoga and the ensuing years since. Why do I do it so religiously (especially since in most other senses, I’m an agnostic atheist)? Why did it take so long for me to develop a regular practice? What does it mean to me and do for me? And am I as bendy as Phoebe Buffet claims she is to Chandler on Friends?

Continue reading

2,500 Consecutive Days of Yoga: Streaking Towards 7 Years

Back on May 30, 2019, I wrote a post titled 2,000 Consecutive Days of Yoga: Oh Yes, I Did It! Now I’ve come to another round number, over a year later. As of October 28, 2020 (my mother’s birthday — congratulations to her for her milestone!), I completed 2,500 days of yoga in a row. I began on December 6, 2013, but since I had to take two days off a few weeks later, my true anniversary is Christmas Day. I didn’t begin tracking it until several years later with Insight Meditation Timer. It took many years after spending a summer at a yoga center, but I finally developed a regular yoga practice and somehow, miraculously, have stuck with it. Starting streaks and maintaining them is kinda what we do here at A Dude Abikes, so grab your sticky mat and stick with me while we talk about my sticking with yoga.

Continue reading

Why Are Exercises Called Activit-Ease When They’re So Hard?

I joke, but it’s true. Exercise is work. That’s why it’s called a work out. Used to be, you could only do it outside. Then some lazy people said let’s invent air conditioning, and then the exercise fanatics said let’s work in. But that term never caught on so they called them Jim Nayseeums. To not embarrass their founder, they spelled it differently, to make people think it was the Greeks. Oh, I’m just being told that is really was the Greeks. Never mind.

Continue reading