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.

Libra Time is About Seeking Balance

If you’re into astrology, you know the sign of Libras is the scales. We’re trying to balance things, and often failing. But we try. Some days we’re more successful than others. I’m no one special, I have the same struggles as most humans. The particulars may be different, but the struggle is real, as they say. Finding work to pay the bills. Staying warm, dry, fed and tbe able to move where we need to go with safety. Dealing with health challenges. Married or not, there are often family issues. There’s the wider world of politics that affects us all whether we care of vote or not. People in cars who appear to be trying to kill people on bicycles. Modern life is harried. But different in other cultures, where often, people with less and a slower pace of life, are often happier. What’s up with that?

It’s been clear to me for quite some time that my life is not as balanced as I’d like. I spend far too much time and effort on the bike stuff. So when Rafael came by to peak under the hood of this blog, make recommendations like, “You need a host!” or “You gotta get on Instagram, Dude!” and “Hey, I’m installing Google Analytics for you, cool?”, my first thought is “Oh no, how can I put anymore time or money into this hobby?” Lots to think about and learn in that arena. It was great of him to help but I’m not sure how or when to implement his ideas. I will take a wait and see approach because the basic needs must come first. However, the goal would be to be able to have my bike activities be financially sustainable. I don’t want to be a YouTube star, but at some point one has to re-evaluate. Reality intrudes and life can change on a whim. A wreck, an injury, an illness, that mythical unicorn known as Ms. A Dude Abikes finally appearing, or most likely, a full-time job

Biking: Exercise or Escape?

100718 ride with Rafael
A lesson in speed from Mr. Encarnacion. Plus I found some free used but good tires!

By the way, R is a pretty damn good bike rider, so I struggled to keep up with him. What’s embarrassing is that my bike has 27 gears, and he was riding a fixie (one-gear), and he was still dropping my fathlete ass on the hills. But since he’s such a nice guy, he told me I was “Doing great!” He also said this: “Go on group rides, Dude, because that’s how you get faster. You just lack confidence.”

Well, doy! Those words kind of rang true because I’ve not been doing group rides or hills, and just settle into my own pace. Which is fast for some but slow for many. But again, it’s balance. Biking 100 miles a week sucks time from pursuing Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. So I should just bike less (“I cain’t quit you, biking!”), not be on Strava so much, or watch less of last season’s The Walking Dead or Fargo TV shows, right? Well, yes to all of those, but I’m human. I need to know, what’s going on with Carl, ASAP!

say anything

Making rational choices is not easy when you have conflicting goals. I want to lose weight, but I also want to enjoy life a little with some Junior Mints. After biking 100+ miles in a week, that’s OK. Eating them every day is not. Watching good stories on TV may seem to inspire me to write a more compelling book, but the former sucks time from the latter. Getting a job means giving up all kinds of things, namely the freedom to create, but living under an overpass may make charging my laptop to blog and write the book kind of difficult. The list goes on ad nauseam. No one makes the best, smartest choice every time. Life is messy. We just keep working at it, hoping we suck a little less tomorrow.

Other Things

This post was going to be 500 words, but it’s already past that, as usual. So all the other things will have to come back up another time. Or just be let go. Today I learned that another health issue that’s been plaguing me requires more attention, namely physical therapy. There goes more time juggling something really important, but that takes away from something else. But I still health, which can’t be ignored. At least it doesn’t restrict my biking, except for when it hurts, which is often, though it also helps. But lets just say I won’t be pulling off John Cusack’s romantic move with the boom box from Say Anything any time soon.

The fundraising for the Mamma Jamma Ride to Beat Breast Cancer continues, although it naturally has slowed down. Several donors, from $10 to $100, have pushed my number above $2,000. A few are still out there with pledges. (Are you one?) So far, the internet an ethis blog’s readers save a few riders like Thomas and David have not come through, but there’s still time. Maybe my super ambitious goal of $3,500 is attainable. Time will tell. To donate, go to this link here and please give generously!

As f Bike Austin, things been quiet there. I discovered there’s a pre-requisite class to another bike class I wanted to take and had expressed interest in. But was never contacted ane then learned I wasn’t notified in time and now it’s full so I can’t do it. But the class it leads to didn’t have enough people so it was cancelled, and I couldn’t afford it anyway. But pretty disappointing nonetheless.

As for the birthday, the last few years I’ve ridden around town to get freebies, but I’ve also made it one mile per year of my life. That’s a goodly number of miles. We’ll see how it goes, and if anyone joins me. Either way I’ll have time to reflect on all these issues. It may take a while to figure it all out. If anyone else figures out all of your life, let me know the secret. I could use some enlightenment. Or maybe just some more Junior Mints. Have you tried them? They’re delicious. And they may help patients heal faster from surgery, if your surgery was done on Seinfeld.

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