It’s been a while since I did one of these round ups, mostly because of that pesky little virus doohickey. Meaning that things are happening, but one is less likely to hear about them since we’re living with that thingamabob. But bike life goes on despite the whatchamacallit. Also, here’s a shout out to my dad on his birthday. Sis-in-law too, though I got the date wrong, but it’s soon. It’s relevant because the cycle of life, you know? Anyway, here are a few items of note in the Austin, Texas bicycling scene.
Juneteenth Ride and Barbecue. On Saturday 6/19/21at 10:00 am at the Texas African American History Memorial, (Congress at 11th on the Capitol Grounds) there will be a Black History Bike Ride. After the ride there will be Texas BBQ. This will again be organized by Talib, I was honored to join this ride last year, Austin Black History Social Ride #2. For more information, see his Instagram page or the website below the photo. Mmm, barbecue!
“Juneteenth is a day of reflection, a day of renewal, a pride-filled day. It is a moment in time taken to appreciate the African American experience. It is inclusive of all races, ethnicities and nationalities – as nothing is more comforting than the hand of a friend. On Juneteenth we think about that moment in time when the enslaved in Galveston, Texas received word of their freedom. We imagine the depth of their emotions, their jubilant dance and their fear of the unknown.”Talib
Some regular social rides are back. Several of the recurring longer, faster, harder group rides lead by the usual hammerheads are listed on the Bike Austin website. I can’t tell if Social Cycling Austin is having their more chillaxed group rides or not. I’ve seen people out with lights and weird bikes, but my sense is that they’re informal and unsanctioned. But I’ve also noticed riders I follow on Strava riding together, like Team Taco Deli. So they’re out there, which is good since the CDC said face masks are no longer required for riding bikes, in the US at least. Since I’m feeling like shite lately, don’t have a fast bike or legs, or the gene that makes waking up at oh-dark-thirty for early mornings possible without feeling like I’m dying, I’m ok with going solo or the occasional ride with a friend. When slow social rides return in afternoons and evenings I may consider joining in. Be safe out there!
Parts is parts, except when there aren’t any. Next up is actual news from NBC affiliate KXAN. The title sums it up well: “Bicycle shortage affecting Austin may continue for another year.” Citing BRAIN, the Bike Retailer and Industry News, parts and bikes will be in short supply well into 2022. This jibes with what I reported in my March 30 post What’s Up With the Global Bicycle Parts Problem? One Dude’s Story. This was also confirmed at REI the other day. A friend needed a light and while there we chatted with the staff. They even had a graphic with the days required to wait for different parts; most were over 365.
So, yeah, it’s good news is that more new people are bicycling, but it’s bad news that the supply chain has yet to catch up. Inside word is that Giant Bikes (maker of Giant, Cannondale and other brands) has bought up a ton of parts to build their new bikes, along with some random dudes on the internet are stockpiling stuff. So go look on Amazon or wherever you can to find what you need before you need it. I’m grateful I was able to get the parts I needed for Sophie the Fairdale.
Bike Night at COTA is back (again). On Tuesdays you can pay $10 (it used to be $6!) and ride around the Formula 1 race track way east of town. All speeds and abilities are pretty much welcome. I don’t know why they keep having starts and stops, holidays, I guess, but whatever. I’m not planning to go again myself soon — why drive a car and then pay to ride a bike? However, except for that first big hill, which you can skip, it’s decent fun and a good workout, especially if you want to join the hammerheads. The pelotonitos of jacked team riders is kind of a buzzkill and hazard in my mind, but more power to them. All types can hang out afterward with old and new friends, eat grub from the food trucks and drink beer, if that’s your jam. Mmm… jam!
New in 2021:
- Observation Deck Access: Take a pit stop during your ride and see The Circuit and Downtown Austin from 251 feet in the air! $10 extra, naturally.
- Theme Nights: Each month, they’ll host a theme ride! Get out your costumes, purchase a limited-edition Bike Night themed shirt, enjoy an all-new curated playlist and other surprises that await.
- Healthy Food Options: In addition to Southside Flying Pizza, new grab-and-go healthy food items including wraps, chicken salad snack platters and vegetable/fruit cups will be available for sale.
- Bike Night Merchandise: They’re debuting an all-new array of signature Bike Night items. You’ll be able to ride in style with new shirts, kits and more. New merchandise items will be added throughout the season.
- Tailgate Games: Corn hole (heh heh, they said corn hole), giant connect four, sponsor activations and other surprises await in their new post-ride celebration area.
- Strava Challenge: Join Ascension Texas Sports Performance Cycling Club on Strava to win prizes like: best lap times, improvements in fitness across the season, most miles completed at COTA, best themed outfit and more.
For more info, see this link.
Well, that’s al for this edition. If you’re in Austin, do A Dude a solid and please spread this around to all your bike friends, shops and so on!
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