Maybe biking 102 miles in 5 days in cold, grey and at times very windy conditions with my, Sophie’s and backpack weights combined, not lubricating the chain since the rain until Wednesday at Yellow Bike Project, a rear disc brake caliper that was rubbing on the rotor and slowing me down til Brandon figured it out at Sun & Ski Sports last night, plus being low on sleep and other stuff has something to do with being very tired. Nah, those are excuses. I think the reason is alien abductions. All their probing, er, I mean, questions are exhausting! Point being, I’m biking alot to make my upwardly revised goal, and I’m tired. But not too tired to complain — I mean write about it in my blog — and share some more photos and statistics. 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.
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.
The other day I was gifted the use of a car by a super nice friend during their extended summer vacation. It’s promising to be a hotter-than-usual summer here in Central Texas, USA (oh wait, it’s still only spring), so this is a real nice luxury for A Dude. Compared to me on my bike, cars are efficient, fast and comfortable. I can arrive places without being sweaty, tired and gross. Or transport stuff. Take Sunday drives. Drive getaway in exciting capers. (Just kidding!)
The down sides are, as most people know, that cars pollute, lots of other people have them and get in the way, and they cost a lot of money. A problem specific to less gifted bicyclists who gut out the miles anyway (like moi) is that getting out of an air-conditioned vehicle that takes little energy to operate and then onto a bike which takes alot of energy is quite difficult, psychologically speaking. Especially when you’re tired, which I seem to be most of the time these days. A First World dilemma for sure, but it’s real to me who put in seven 100+ mile weeks in a row. So what’s A Dude to do?
I think the title sums it up pretty well. It rained. Alot. I had to go to a job search class and didn’t have the time or patience for the bus. It was only a mile and a half so I rode, but the rains picked up. The skies were thundering and lightning, and I almost had to stop. It is Star Wars Day — May the Fourth Be With You — but gale force winds gusting over 25 mph were against me. It was a blah day, and I was tired as usual, but I pressed on, as I tend to do, for worse or for better. Continue reading
Wandering, Wondering, Writing
Today was one of those days when I just couldn’t even. I had to have a nap or was going to fall over. Later I managed a short ride to the post office and library, and then walked home. Something feels like it has been out of kilter for a while, more than just low iron. I won’t go into the whole thing but whatever it is is annoying and troublesome. Maybe the community health safety net will figure it out and heal me. Ha ha ha ha ha! Continue reading
Finally I made it out to ride my bike, but then it rained and I got a flat. I had a jacket and was warm enough, and could have replaced the flat myself, but I had a bike date, if you can believe that, so I couldn’t be late. Also, since I had just replaced the tube recently, I knew something was going on that required more expertise. Luckily I was literally stopped right outside a bike shop when I noticed the flat. Before I go any further, please click on this link to see a cool short map video of my ride: Continue reading