Smart Cycling Complete Class in Austin, Texas

Early on Saturday I attended a 4-hour League of American Bicyclists Smart Cycling Complete Class.  Four other students and I assembled in a parking garage to learn how to teach people new to bicycling how to complete some standard drills.  But even an old dog like A Dude Abikes can learn new tricks.  And some of what we learned is stuff that we’d been doing unconsciously and, in some cases, incorrectly.  So here’s a little overview of the experience. Continue reading

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53-Mile Birthday Ride to Get Free Stuff!

Thursday was my birthday, and for the fourth year in a row, I pulled off a bike ride (one year was on the weekend instead of the actual day).  It was a nice, cool day, and I was joined by one friend in the morning and another in the afternoon.  Since it was a workday others were busy (or just not into it).  Dinner and dessert happened with the first rider and some other friends.  And along the way I picked up some freebies.  Some of them are good for a few weeks, so the celebration continues.  Traditions are nice.

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Patching Punctures Practice at the Project (Austin Yellow Bike)

This evening I headed over to the Austin Yellow Bike Project again.  After all the pucking functures of innertubes on my bikes lately, and needing to be frugal, I decided to save money on buying new ones when the ones I had were perfectly good, except for the holes.  Finally the weather has turned and we got back into the 60’s, which is really refreshing to we Texans used to 90 degree days and more.  It was a delicious temperature to bike in, although only about 4 miles.  And since the shop is a big warehouse, it’s good wrenchin’ weathah, to borrow a turn of phrase from my Vermonter friends. Continue reading

What’s Going On: My Life is Biking, and Biking is My Life

Today I took an intentional rest day off the bike, the first in 21 days. It rained alot, so I got a ride, took the bus, and got another ride. There was a doctor’s visit that was important to figure out an issue that has been affecting my quality of life. There’s my birthday on Thursday; for the last three years I have ridden my bike around one mile per year of life to get free stuff, so I’ll probably do that again. (Gmail me if you live in Austin and are interested in joining for all or part.) I’m spending time on Strava, giving kudos, making comments, letting people on flybys know that I write this blog. I spend a lot of time fundraising for the Mamma Jamma breast cancer ride, which led to another $150 in donations today. I did my yoga and walking as usual, to keep me limber for my riding. I’ve been thinking about the blog advice I got this weekend from a fellow cyclist. There were conversations with people about what’s going on with Bike Austin. (Short answer: transition. Again.) Writing this blog. And book. Etc.

So yeah, there’s a whole lotta biking stuff going on.

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A Blog About My Blog: January-September 2018 Stats

My blog is doing well, for something that I don’t promote elsewhere or spend as much time as I would like to engaging with other bloggers. I started in 2016 and through the end of 2017 I had written just 31 posts and had only about 20 followers. Now I have written 173 more posts and have 313 followers. Naturally, publishing regularly has been helpful in making it more visible. So I’m grateful for the readers and support I have received, while also realizing there are lots of things I’m probably doing wrong or not at all that would help. Still, progress is good, so here’s a short post with the statistics of what’s been going on behind the curtain in A Dude Abikes land.

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Wandering, Wishing and Wondering on a Dreamy, Drowsy Day

He awoke early with the sun for a change. Groggily, from a late night when sleep did not come, as it often did not. He waited for slumber to arrive like a spouse waiting on the partner who had to work late: restlessly. To pass the time before her return, he watched a digital video recording of thin, super strong young men riding their bikes across Spain. A place he’d been many years ago and found himself pining for. He pined a fair bit these days, to anyone who would listen. About his underappreciated, unpaid blog and book writing. Or the aches and pains of an aging cyclist. And his unwillingness to settle for another low-paying job with a boss and all that jazz, while he struggled to start being an self-employed contractor. He couldn’t figure out how to do the job without a car but paradoxically he needed money from a job to get a car. After 13 years since his vehicle was smashed by a reckless driver, a car seemed like it would be nice. Yet it could also mean certain death to whatever modicum of fitness he had, he thought, because biking is sweaty, hard and uncomfortable, and driving a car is easy. And easy is boring. Which rhymes with snoring, which is what he should be doing, he mused.

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3,000 Miles Biked in 3 Quarters of 2018: Pain & Rain, But I Did Not Train in Vain

October is the time when my birthday arrives, and I got myself an early present:  I met my (original) bicycling mileage goal for the year!  Actually, it was 2,600, for 50 miles per week, so I could cut my riding time in half and devote those hours to writing this blog and the book that is in progress.  As for the rather long and unwieldy title, it got longer when the Clash song came to mind (Annie Lennox version).  Alliteration appeals, apparently.  Despite a decent bit of discomfort and alot of precipitation, the work paid off.  I did the Mamma Jamma breast cancer ride, which was rewarding, and that might not have been possible without doing putting in more time.  So it’s been a good month, and year so far.  I delve a little into the statistics for those into such things. That’s you!

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