Today’s post was going to be about an article in Bicycling magazine. But it turns out it’s a re-run of something from September. Then I was going to re-visit my 2019 stats. But since that post went over like a lead balloon, I shelved that for another time (maybe). Then I figured I could provide reportage on the City of Austin opening a 2-mile stretch of Shoal Creek redesigned bike lanes. But I didn’t make it to the gathering, so what to write about? How about a bike ride I did with a cycling friend on Shoal Creek later in the day? Ya sure, ya betcha!
When in Rome…
The University of Texas sports mascot is a real live longhorn cattle, nicknamed Bevo. Today’s ride involved a few up and back sections, and by the time it was done, it sure looked like the “Hook ‘Em Horns” symbol on the map. While some people meticulously plan out Strava art pieces, I drew this map with my legs quite by accident. But it’s fun to look at.
Ready to Ride, or Not?
The ride began a bit oddly. A spontaneous invitation from returning rider Saurabh gave me time for a nap, a nosh and to get ready. But S. was running late, the daylight and warmth were fading, and A Dude had miles to go before he slept. So I sent word that S. should call when arriving and then we’d try to meet up. And that’s just what we did. I took off, and he caught up. He plays basketball and this is only his third ride of the month, whereas it’s my 39th day in a row biking for this year (so far). If he really rides regularly, with being a decade younger and having a lighter, faster road bike, he’ll be smoking my older, non-basket playing butt soon. We’ll see about that. Not without a fight!
By the time we did meet, I had put in 10 miles. Shoal Creek and the nearby loop to the west called Great Northern are mostly flat and not horribly trafficked places to ride. With the new bike lanes hopefully there’s less chance of crashes with cars. After Saurabh drove to the Sun & Ski Sports shop, we found each other on the road. We backtracked down the street where real badass riders tend to do some sprinting practice.
Cruising up and down the newly double-sided bike lanes, meaning they were adjacent and one side went with traffic, the other against it. They were protected with either concrete circles on the ground, plastic bollards with reflective tape, or both. While the City had done what they could, there were still plenty of issues with the trail. To quote my brother “perfect is the enemy of good,” and if it gets more people riding and saves a life, it’s more than worth it, I think.
Artist in the Hood
The longhorns on my map weren’t intentional, but some people really do make intricate images. So maybe I did it unconsciously. Something I’ll have to look into. For now, enjoy this flipped map inmage.
The sun had set. The Saturday night party people were driving hither and yon. After chatting with the shop guys, S. headed off to his commitments. I pedaled home for a nice 24 miles, just shy of 100 miles for the week. Another bike ride in the bag for A Dude. Thanks for reading.