Neighborhood Bicycle Activism: Think Globally, Bike Locally

The neighborhood I moved to almost two decades ago is one that I’ve lived in for much of the time since. Although as I detailed in my previous post, I’m in an older, funkier area. In fact, I was living nearby here the very first time I moved to Austin, long ago. Back in my usual digs, the Neighborhood Association (NA) is very organized, and it in turn has a Transportation Committee (TC). Recognizing it as a possible avenue to explore issues of Connectivity, Caution (Safety) and Cleanliness, I attended the meeting Tuesday. That’s what this is about.

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Wondering and Wandering While Walking in East Austin

Moving. That’s what I do on a bicycle most days. That’s in addition to a practice of yoga which I’ve done for over five years every day. For the last 20 months, I’ve also taken a daily walk. In the last half a year, I’ve had to do the other kind of moving, into a new place to live, several times, mostly not by choice. This weekend was one of those times, and now I find myself back in a place I used to be, albeit temporarily. The occasion of living in a different environment affords the opportunity to look at things with fresh eyes. While perambulating is often a chore through which I trudge, looking forward to what comes next, tonight’s walk was revelatory. So here is what I noticed on my walk in East Austin.

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4 Rides, 40 Miles: An Anatomy of A Dude Abikes’ Day

Strava is handy for tracking my progress, or lack thereof.

I wasn’t planning that much bicycling. Yet there were places to go, things to do. I had no car to use, and a dislike of the bus. It was yet another in a string of 100-degree plus day. However, I knew I could stop in air conditioned places. Most importantly, I felt I had good legs. With that confidence, I headed out into the swamp that is Austin, Texas in August.

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Jake Johannsen, Comedian & E-Bicyclist Returns to Austin & I Meet a Seinfeld Writer

I got to see, hear and touch (just a handshake, mind you), professional funnyman and human being Jake Johannsen after participating in, well, just attending, his first show of a four-night stint 8/14-17 at at Capitol City Comedy Club. A couple of friends and I were fortunate enough to see his show. I wrote about his hilarious stand-up comedy act last year. Some of his material was the same (but just as funny!), and quite a lot was new. Many jokes were laugh til you almost cry funny. One woman even slapped her leg while laughing, and he commented on that, comicly, of course. And then we got to meet and chat after. Very cool. More after the More bar…

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Greeting an Austin City Councilmember and Smart Trips Austin Bike Ride

Saturday brought me several opportunities as a bicyclist and advocate.  First up was the appearance at the neighborhood association by one of the 10 City Council members of Austin, Texas.  His name is Gregorio Casar, the son of Mexican immigrants, but he goes by Greg.  He really knows his stuff, is genuine, friendly, and not pretentious at all.  I believe he is the youngest Council member ever.  Second was a Smart Trips Austin ride.  It’s a City program to encourage people to use alternative modes of transportation including walking, the bus, and of course bikes.  It was super hot, so it was sparsely attended, but I wanted to check it out and meet the two young staff people just the same.  Third was I added 27 miles for a 30-mile ride. ‘Twas a pretty good day, if you ask me. Oh, you’re asking me? OK, I’ll tell you about it, then!

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Shoal Creek Protected Bike Lanes in Progress; Dang It’s Hot in Austin, Texas!

A while back I mentioned an important victory for bicyclists in Austin, Texas. It was the decision by the City, after the input by citizens, to add protected bike lanes to Shoal Creek Boulevard, a major road used by people on bikes. Today they sent notice that that process has begun. Additionally, it’s pretty hot in Austin, and that’s making biking hard if not downright unpleasant for for many people, self included. So we have the good, the bad, and well, if you’re hot and sweaty enough, that also covers the ugly.

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Fun With My Strava Bike Ride Titles & Recent Stats

Ever since I got Strava, the fitness tracking app with social media component, I’ve tried to make the titles of my rides entertaining, or at least descriptive. Sometimes I’ll link to a ride, but I don’t usually list them. However, I’ve been using them because they have been very helpful in writing my book. It’s a memoir of a two-year period wherein I rode many, Many, MANY! miles on the bike. Being able to look back at the collection of Strava rides has been invaluable in re-creating my experiences. I thought it might be fun to go into this little but significant part of my practice of riding my bicycle usually 100 miles a week.

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