Combating Cynicism Through Active Commutes

Today I was reading David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech “This is Water.”  In it, he addresses the theme of selfishness, as well as the tedious aspects of adult life and how we all construct and view our life experiences.

Our challenge, he says, is to step outside ourselves, take an active role in interpreting our surroundings, and not succumb to that everyday tediousness.

I call this fighting cynicism. In recent years, the importance of this challenge has been very present in my own mind. It’s easy for me to become irritated by the day-to-day administrative functions of my life as I fume about how they hold me back from a potentially “rad” existence. I’ve been hearing that word “rad” a lot lately, and I hate it, so I’m using it here. Cynicism! Wait, where was I?

As I read David Foster Wallace’s speech, I thought that it would have benefitted from a paragraph suggesting that one of the best ways to stave off cynicism is through actively commuting, whenever you can. Continue reading Combating Cynicism Through Active Commutes

BikeDC Commutes 2014: The Months in Photos

As I was assembling my recent post about 12 months of running in D.C., I realized that I wanted a memory of the past year’s bike commutes in the city.

Considering I spent much of the year feeling blasé about the urban bike experience, my photos make it seem like it wasn’t so bad. As if I enjoyed it, even. Continue reading BikeDC Commutes 2014: The Months in Photos

The Wheelman’s Song

Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have noticed that I’ve been perusing old issues of The Wheelman and Good Roads.

Both magazines were publications of the League of American Wheelman, which is now the Bike League, and date back to the late 1800’s, when people’s fascination with the bicycle was just beginning to take hold in the United States.

The excitement and novelty of riding a bicycle permeates these editions. From tour recounts to illustrations and poems, men (mostly men, as women are unfortunately largely absent from these publications) unabashedly adored bike riding.

An example of this appreciation for the bike is found in the poem below, “Wheelman’s Song, ” written by Will Carleton in 1884. It seemed a fitting way to end one year and help inspire the next. Continue reading The Wheelman’s Song

Dig Deep. Flow Like Water: Goals Met and Unmet in 2014

As each calendar year begins, I consider the activities I’d like to accomplish and how I want to go about them. I record my intended approach as a theme.

The emergence of a year’s theme is based partly on anticipation, a bit on what’s transpired in the past, and my mood at the time. I usually flesh it out in January, when Felkerino and I are plotting vacations, brevets, marathons, and things.

A theme can also be like a like a mantra, used to underly the year’s activities and any goals I’ve set.

The theme for 2014 was “Dig Deep. Flow Like Water.” Initially, the ideas of digging deep and flowing like water struck me as contrary, but as I reflect on the year I see how they played out together. Continue reading Dig Deep. Flow Like Water: Goals Met and Unmet in 2014

Rounding Out 2014 With The Hains Point 100

For the third consecutive year, Felkerino and I pedaled around with our #BikeDC peeps to support the Hains Point 100, an event hosted by Megan (and friends) to raise money and awareness for WABA’s Women & Bicycles program.

Nelle of WABA, with pre-ride announcements
Nelle of WABA, with pre-ride announcements

Felkerino and I have come to view this event not only as a fundraiser, but also like a holiday kickoff. Held close to Christmas week, it’s the last weekend before people scatter in earnest until we ring in the New Year. Continue reading Rounding Out 2014 With The Hains Point 100

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2014: Unofficially Official

When I announced the list of 2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge Finishers, reader and original coffeeneur Vannevar asked me about my own coffeeneuring for the year.

While I am a big fan of riding one’s bike in the pursuit of a good cup of coffee, there is at least one year where I did not officially complete the challenge.

Too many rules! Busy weekends! Ran out of time! You know the excuses of which I speak. In those instances, I’ve quietly awarded myself an honorable mention. E for effort!

This year, though, I’m pleased to announce that I followed all the rules and successfully crossed this year’s Coffeeneuring Challenge finish line. Below is my report for your review and enjoyment. Continue reading Coffeeneuring Challenge 2014: Unofficially Official

Coffeeneuring Achievement Badges

Hi all. This post is for those coffeeneurs who ordered patches. The patches have arrived!

Coffeeneuring Patches

I will be sending them out over the holidays. If you think you earned a patch, there is still a small window of time to send your coffeeneuring documentation to me.

Continue reading Coffeeneuring Achievement Badges

2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge Finishers and Honorable Mentions

The 2014 edition of the Coffeeneuring Challenge shows that people’s dedication to riding bikes and drinking coffee (or similar beverage substitutes) while also following a general set of rules remains strong.

After the homologation of results, the season ends with 175 Finishers and 4 people securing an Honorable Mention spot.

This year was exciting, not only for the increase in participation, but the geographic reach. The United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, and Canada all represented this year.

People in states heretofore unrepresented made sure their state was counted in 2014. New coffeeneuring states include Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah.

Continue reading 2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge Finishers and Honorable Mentions

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