Bicycle T-Shirts from My Collection, Part 1

Sometimes a t-shirt is just a t-shirt. Other times, they are hard-earned — paid in sweat by riding my bike and raising money, or by volunteering. Each one has a story behind it. Here are a few to begin.

I’ve been a volunteer with Bike Austin since I realized they advocate for people like me who bike and walk. As an advocate for many good causes over the years, I decided to join as a member and pitch in to help not just myself but others. It was out of enlightened self-interest that I became involved over four years ago.

This shirt was given to me a great guy named Miller, former Organizing Director for Bike Austin. He went on to a prestigious graduate school and then a role with a mobility company back east. I joined a committee he led to agitate for the City of Austin to install protected bike lanes on two dangerous streets near where I live. I biked to work on one of them for 11 years, actually, except usually I took the sidewalk because it was and still is dangerous. I like that it’s kind of whimsical, and it reminds me of my origins with the group. We’re finally seeing the plan for those lanes take shape.

Around this time there was also a Mobility Bond up for a vote in the Austin, Texas 2016 election. It passed and lined up funds for projects like for the streets mentioned. I was working with another staff member to get people to pledge to vote for it. We did block-walking, tabling at community events, and hung out by the huge bike parking lot for the Austin City Limits Festival. Julia gave me this shirt to wear while volunteering. I like the phrase and I think it does get people’s attention and remind them that cyclists and pedestrians are people, too.

The image is words. Cool!

This shirt is hard to appreciate but is cool because the image is made up of words. They are from streets, parks, trails and landmarks of Austin. It came to me when riding in the Hottest Day of the Year Ride one year. I recall that ride because it was indeed hot, and I was a volunteer sweeper. Several people had flat tires or were just struggling getting up the hill or down the road. So I offered practical and moral support. We stopped at several splash pads and a swimming pool and had drinks and snacks at the end. It also features the updated logo with “sharrows” for the “A” in Austin. Fun!

High-viz reflective lettering is great.

My last in my Bike Austin collection is more formal — classic black with just the name/logo. I’m not sure, but I think I got this during the successful drive for protected lanes on Shoal Creek Boulevard. It was led by Adam, a fellow volunteer who’s a cheerful chap from Britain. I went to an open house and tried to spread the word. Much progress has been made on this project. While everyone has something about it they don’t like, one could argue they are safer than just a thin line of paint on the road. I don’t know how they got it to reflect, but high visibility is a good thing. I probably wouldn’t wear a black at night, though.

Well, that’s it for Part 1. I hope you’ll check back for future installments.

What’s your favorite of these four shirts? Do you have a bicycle t-shirt collection? Any good stories from them?

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10 thoughts on “Bicycle T-Shirts from My Collection, Part 1

  1. My wife and kids hijacked about 30 of my shirts 6 years ago and had them made into a patchwork quilt. God I love that thing! Have got more than enough again for another quilt….just looking for a seamstress. BTW…we do a fundraising ride every year for the 501c3 formed when my wife passed away. All proceeds go directly to giving summer music camp scholarships to at risk kids. We have several leftovers. Message me sometime with your address and i can add to your collection!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh yes, my roommate is a Dudeist Priest. I’ve considered it but I admire His Dudeness, Duder or El Duderino if you’re not into that while brevity thing in my own way. Perhaps someday I’ll be worthy.

      Liked by 1 person

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