For some riders, 4,000 miles is not alot. For me, it’s no joke, and a milestone worth noting. I’ve had Sophie the Fairdale Weekender Archer bicycle for two years this month, actually. But to reach 10,000 miles on my lighter Fuji Silhouette bike named Sookie (on whom I finally pedaled almost 13,000 miles before she developed a fatal crack in her fragile aluminum frame), I gave the steel commuter and light touring bike a rest for seven months. The other day I was asking about getting new disc brake pads, and it turns out that after a while of frequent braking, they wear out. Well, that’s because I’m riding her all the time now that Sookie has been forced into retirement. Nothing lasts forever. But while the ride still lasts, it’s important to acknowledge the accomplishments and share them with you.
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.
On the eve of the US mid-term elections, at which I will work a 14-hour day, many thoughts are swirling for A Dude. Will the pendulum swing back a smidge to the left? Who will win and who will lose? Will it really matter to the average dude? Those are rhetorical until the results are in. But I have burniong questions of a more personal nature for myself, too. How were my stats in October? What are my goals for November? I’m having a new ache, could it be related to my brake? And most importantly, What’s for supper? So here’s a short post addressing some of these pressing queries.
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.
Lately I’ve had a string of bad luck with holes in my tires. It’s like Jack Alehurst of Life Behind Bars said, if he were Jerry Seinfeld: “Doncha hate it when you’ve been off your bike for a while and finally decide to go for a ride, only to find it has a flat tire?” Or maybe Robin would say to the caped crusader: “Holy holes, Batman!” Well that’s been a factor for me this last week. Some mysterious, one my fault, and well, it gets frustrating and expensive. So here’s a little recap and then a little advice.
This post was going to be about an open house held by the City of Austin Transportation Department which I attended. It was about the redesign of a nearby street to have bike lanes, sidewalks, trees and parking. Not terribly exciting, yet pretty interesting at the same time. But then this happened. So I’ll save that for another day (or not), and tell you about this crazy, wild-ass, scary, dangerous, and fun ride.
The Carolinas are getting pummeled with Hurricane Florence, and clearly no sane person is biking in that. There’s not much to do from here about it except to watch the news and just hope that people, pets and stuff make it through. Perhaps donate if you’re a person of means. Meanwhile, although it’s nothing like Hurricane Harvey that hit Houston and the Gulf of Mexico coast last year, we’ve been having a wet September here in Central Texas. I am grateful because of the lower temperatures and the relief to drought-stricken lakes, rivers, plants, pets and people. Biking is delicious when it’s not 100 degrees!
But rain does make riding a bike tricky, if not actually more dangerous than it already is. Some people won’t do it at all. A Dude Abikes however loves to ride in the rain on his Fairdale Weekender Archer named Sophie, because she’s got wider wheels and a heavy steel frame that make her more stable. I thought it might interest all tens of my readers to hear what I do to keep the rubber side down. Hop on! (Actually, don’t. I have enough weight to carry already.) Continue reading