On September 22nd, I biked 40 miles for a good cause. (40-Mile Charity Ride for Breast Cancer: No Need to SAG). Tonight, I cycled down to the Livestrong building. Yep, it’s the one named for the cancer foundation started by an Austin cyclist and former seven-time winner of the Tour de France. That group still exists, a shadow of its former self, but more importantly to A Dude, it’s where the Mamma Jamma Ride to Beat Breast Cancer rents office space. This year, it hosted the Bucks to Beneficiaries — the annual awarding of the monies raised for the bike ride held back on September 22nd. A few dozen riders, sponsors, board members and supporters were in attendance. Over $300,000 was given to the seven non-profits helping women and their families with breast cancer. A Dude Abikes was part of that, coming in 9th place as individual fundraiser at $2,502. So this blog post is to wrap it all up, and to especially thank everyone who donated. Continue reading
Well, I did it! I met my revised goal of 4,000 miles, and I did it 28 days early. I went into statistics a good bit in my recent post, My November Strava Stats; One Month to Go on My 2018 Goals. But this number is icing on the cake. (Which I stopped eating this year along with all kinds of processed grains, and it hasn’t mattered one lick for my weight. That’s for another post.) Anyway, as a fellow rider who is much stronger (and younger) than A Dude commented that he “loves milestone days.” They are pretty special. If the goal involves a number, and you hit or pass it, it’s sort of like a big weight has been lifted off your shoulders. And if you’re wondering, 4,000 miles is like riding from Austin, Texas to La Paz, Bolivia and then a bit. Or, from West Glacier, Montana (a place I’ve been), to the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border. It’s ok, you may allow yourself to be impressed. I know I am, and I’m the one who did it! So let’s explore this YOOGE accomplishment a bit.
I’m sitting here at my computer in Austin, Texas on a Monday night, staring at the title I just wrote, and now, the blinking cursor. It’s taunting me to sum up in 500 words (usually many more, in my case), the life, times and relevance of Paul Sherwen. He died at his home in Kampala, Uganda last night at the still relatively young age of 62, cause unknown. The simple fact is that no one’s life can be summed up so tidily. But in all the years I watched the Tour de France, it was his voice, along with that of Phil Liggett, that provided the narration to that epic race and many others. He did it with style, grace and panache, and forever won the hearts of legions of pro bicycling fans. He was also a racer himself, finishing five of the seven Tours he entered, and winning the British road racing championship twice. Born in Kenya, but living in Uganda, he was a staunch advocate of African cycling, and a humanitarian to boot. All I can do from my tiny corner of the internet is shine a little light on his life if you haven’t heard of him and to chime in. Continue reading
The eleventh month of 2018 is in the bag, and I thought I’d do a little recap for loyal readers and newcomers alike. It wasn’t the best or worst month ever. It’s a bit better when compared to last November, the first month after I was laid off my job (that ironically I had for 11 years). There have been four elements challenging my progress: 1) the loss of Sookie the Fuji; 2) what feels like less sleep and more fatigue than usual; 3) cooler temperatures coupled with sometimes intense cold intolerance for some reason; and 4) going back to work part-time has shrunk the available hours to be out there doing activities. Even with these things slowing me down, I still put in a pretty respectable month on bike and foot. For the number nerds, the data dweebs, git ‘er done geeks and so on, click on through to learn more of what A Dude Abikes has been up to.
Hi Sookie, are you there?
Yes, Dude, I am.
Good! Well, Sookie, we need to talk.
Oh, that doesn’t sound good.
I’m afraid I have some news that you probably aren’t going to like.
I’m a big girl, lay it on me.
Do you remember when we were at the Sun & Ski Sports bike shop the other day?
Yes, I remember! I always enjoy seeing Mike in the bike shop and the other guys. And all those cool new bikes, including some of my decendants.
On a Friday evening in November, just after dark, a young Asian teenager was riding his bike in North Austin. The road dead-ended into a very fast, four-lane road with a median. He made it half-way across, and then for some reason, didn’t stop to yield to traffic that had a speed limit of 60 miles per hour. A blue Toyota hit him, and the driver stayed at the scene. The victim, whose name was Minh-Tan Pham, died later in the hospital. Another young life was extinguished in mere moments due to more traffic violence. He was the 67th traffic fatality on Austin roads in 2018… so far.
This gathering happened Sunday to commemorate an international day organized by the United Nations. It was a somber reminder that cars can and do kill. Not just people in other cars, but also people using bicycles and who are walking. Sponsored by Vision Zero Texas and a number of local organizations promoting traffic safety, the goal is to eliminate deaths from traffic. How to do that is the million dollar question. But the gathering gave a forum and a face to supporters of safer roads, and recieved some media attention as well. As a cyclist whose life is at risk on a daily basis, I have an enlightened self-interest in seeing this law pass. Here’s a short review of the second half of the event I attended at the Texas State Capitol.