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’ve written about One Page Salon before, where local authors read from a work in progress. But after missing one or two in recent months, I biked downtown to be sure I attended tonight. Once again rewarded by being inspired by fellow writers, having interesting conversations with musicians and other creative people, and in general enjoyed being part of a community of like-minded folks. Sure, I could write about the election again, but you can read about that elsewhere. So I’m going to write about writing, and since I rode my bike there, it’s relevant. Protocol be damned!
“I have one of two choices – stay in the post office and go crazy … or stay out here and play at writer and starve. I have decided to starve.
-Chatles Bukowski, from Jay Dougherty, Introduction to Charles Bukowski
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.
Today I had the pleasure to make the virtual acquaintance of former Austinite, now Denver-area, soon to be Pittsburghian writer Lauren Modery. Her blog is Hipstercrite, and her latest post To Geoffrey Owens —Thank You on Behalf of Working Class Artists. It draws on the experience of former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens, who was shamed, then praised, for having a “day job.”
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.
October is the time when my birthday arrives, and I got myself an early present: I met my (original) bicycling mileage goal for the year! Actually, it was 2,600, for 50 miles per week, so I could cut my riding time in half and devote those hours to writing this blog and the book that is in progress. As for the rather long and unwieldy title, it got longer when the Clash song came to mind (Annie Lennox version). Alliteration appeals, apparently. Despite a decent bit of discomfort and alot of precipitation, the work paid off. I did the Mamma Jamma breast cancer ride, which was rewarding, and that might not have been possible without doing putting in more time. So it’s been a good month, and year so far. I delve a little into the statistics for those into such things. That’s you!