The other day I wrote about my take on the perennial struggle that many writers and other creators of art face: how to pay the bills while making their stuff. Well, today, that arm wrestling came into stark relief as I reported for duty at my new, albeit temporary, job. As a result, I’m getting to this blog quite late, later than usual even. Aside from throwing a wrench into my schedule, and reducing my bicycling time, I still did my walking and yoga. But the job had some positive things about it, too. Maybe you’ll relate.
What does any of that have to do with bicycles? Well, everything and nothing. Readers of this blog know that I can and have linked a bicycle to Mohandas Gandhi,Martin Luther King, Jr., and actor/director Tate Donovan, to chocolate, and to racism. (I’m still not sure but I’m really, REALLY hoping that it’s not racist to use the words chocolate and racism in the same sentence.)
The fact is, that work is for most people not in the 1% (like future ex-US President Tinyhands Orangehead), an inevitable part of life. A Dude is no exception. For almost a year, his work has been this blog and a book in progress, biking his ass off (though it’s still there), daily walking and yoga-ing, volunteering, among other things. But today, he rinally had to join the working class again and get the dreaded J-O-B. He rode there on his bike, of course.
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.
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.
Darren Rowse, the Australian founder of ProBlogger and co-author of the book by the same name, recently wrote “his most personal post in years.” (You can find the article at this link on Medium.) It got me to thinking, what is the appropriate amount of sharing? Allow me to share my answer. Because sharing is caring, and if nothing else, A Dude Abikes cares. About some things some times. Right now, it’s about finishing this awesome blog to watch more Tour de France (yes, still, I know, it’s almost Vuelta a Espana time!). But all seriousness aside, this is a good question to ponder. Continue reading →
When Pam LeBlanc interviewed me for a profile in the Austin American-Statesman that was published on January 15, 2018, it set into motion a series of most fortunate events that are still bearing fruit. When I first suggested the idea to her by email in late 2016, it fell flat. I guess the 5,306 milesI bicycled in 2016 was not that impressive. But I kept riding, and I kept writing this blog, albeit irregularly. And I managed 4,714 miles in 2017. So riding 10,000 miles in two years did catch her attention.
Then Pam, who is a total badass herself I hope to interview one day, expressed interest in putting me in her Fit City blog. After that, her editor wanted to run the piece in the print edition of the newspaper with photos, I was happily surprised. My persistence of pedaling and pontificating had paid off. But the main thing I learned was that if my bicycling story was interesting to the mainstream newspaper of the 11th largest city in the United States (or at least the lifestyles editor), then other peoples’ stories would also have value.
Writing a blog three times a week may not seem like much work, but sometimes it is. Today is one of those days where I’m tempted to skip it, except so far this year I haven’t done that. I either write this blog or in my book for 30 minutes or 500 words, and it’s usually for an hour and over 1,000 words. Or more time and words, depending how much looking up stuff, dealing with photos, and going down rabbit holes. I just keep on doing my best to #Don’tBreakTheChain. After six months and 11 days, I ain’t about to quit. Or better put in tee shirt format: