For some odd reason, my blog post about sidewalks and bike lanes has been blowing up. I published Austin, Texas Bike Lanes and Sidewalks: A Few Updates on June 12th. As you can see from the following statistics chart, it did respectably well but then the last two days has skyrocketed to 248 posts — and it’s still climbing. I have no idea why, not knowing how to peek behind the curtain of the great and powerful Oz that runs the internet. It was an excellent post, like all of mine — literary in scope, evoking raw emotions, the gritty reality of bike life on the mean streets, but at its core a heartwarming tale of humanity.
Oh wait, I’m referring to my blog pal Sorryless’s and pal Joe Pesci’s review of the latest picture in the Conjuring series (the first two she was in were the second highest grossing horror movies ever at the time). All I know about those movies is two words: Vera f#$&ing Farmiga. They say that if the Oscar-nominated scream queen and goat farmer is in it and it’s still not good, well, that’s not on her. She’s a goddamn national treasure. Or at least a really good actress, attractive woman, and decent person as far as I can tell. Ukr
Well, I digress. So sue me. Or as Joe would say, “Fuggedhabout it!” Anyway, I’ll take the extra views and boost in my normally sad stats, though it has not generated more likes, comments and follows. Hopefully it’s not Russian hackers.
Next is an article in the alternative weekly Austin Chronicle titled “Will TxDOT’s Plans for Loop 360 Leave Cyclists and Pedestrians in the Dust?” In it, Bike Austin board member and former City Councilmember Chris Riley is quoted along with Active Transportation department head Laura Dierenfield, as well as Red Line Parkway head and Walk Austin board member Tom Wald. Basically, the state of Texas Department of Transportation is looking into making upgrades for pedestrians and bicyclists, but the advocates believe they don’t go far enough to make it safe.
What a shocker! Not really. Anyone with a passing knowledge of TexDoT knows they only care about three things: Cars, trucks, and motorcycles. When I had my crash on the shitty sidewalk of a service road to one of their pricey toll roads that used to be a free highway, I got passed back and forth between the city and the state; it took years for it to be fixed (by the city). So I wish those folks luck trying to work within the system to make roads more accessible and safe. Given the February 2018 death of Andrew Tilin (see my post about him here) and others on 360, TexDoT needs to do better and offer real protection to cyclists and walkers.
Social rides are back, baby! After my previous in this occasional series Austin bike news roundup for June 8, Ricardo with Social Cycling Austin let me know that folks are gathering again to ride together now that the coronavirus pandemic has been cancelled. Ha! Less than 50% of Texans have been fully vaccinated and the Delta variant is very scary, so take care out there! I know I am. However, the CDC has said masks and distancing are no longer required for bicycling, especially if you are vaccinated. At the recent Juneteenth Black History Social Ride, I saw only a few people with masks. Deep breaths.
One of those social rides is from a new group, Ride Bikes Austin. They meet Thursdays at 7:30 pm and Saturdays at 1:30 pm in East Austin. Check their info out online or send an email.
Sun and Ski Austin is having a short social shop ride Thursday, June 24 at 5 pm leaving from their store on West Anderson Lane off Burnet Road. You can also test an e-bike if you bring your own pedals, a credit card, ID and first born child.
Unless you’re trapped inside with no connection to the outside world (which makes me wonder how you’re reading this), you probably know that as of this past Sunday, June 20, it’s officially summer in the northern hemisphere. After the wet spring and milder temperatures, we’re back in drought territory: high humidity and temperatures in the 90’s with heat indices / real feel scores above 100 F.
That’s not like the 111+ forecast for the Pacific Northwest. I know firsthand from the few years I spent in Seattle that most places don’t have AC. So good luck to them, including gal pal Bike Goddess. There’s not much more to say about it, really, except that it sucks and will last until early October. I just saw my dermatologist who said I’m ok for now (i.e., no new skin cancers), but I should keep slathering on the sunscreen by day. I have been doing most of my errands with my slow lame riding at night when possible to beat the heat and the UV index. You can read all my articles about the heat by typing “heat” in the Search bar of the main page of this blog.
Bike Film Festival – Austin #2 is June 25-July 11. This is the 20th anniversary but the second time Bike Austin has brought it to Austin. It’s still all virtual, but with a sliding scale, $10-$20 (plus taxes), it’s a bargain. For that you get access to 90 minutes of short films. From their site:
Bicycle Film Festival has been celebrating bicycles through art, film, and music for the last 20 years with over 90 cities worldwide and a viewer audience of 1 million and growing. BFF Austin #2 is presenting an all-new international selection of the most important short films from the BFF collection. A diverse curation of filmmaking styles: narratives, documentaries, international award-winning filmmakers, and emerging directors all share equal billing. See an authentic and raw glimpse into:
- Two women who bring a town together around mountain biking and their pizza shop
- A relationship in 3 minutes
- Cycling as a response to knife crime epidemic in London
- A love between a father and his young BMX-rider son (produced by Lebron James)
- A brief history of the bicycle
- The incredibly stunning and thrilling view of the annual Tour De Rwanda
- The story of Julian Molina, the beloved, full-throttle one-legged cyclist
- First female BMX competition at a major sporting event
- A portrait of Bike Rides For Black Lives
- Access to education is opened up to young female students in Kenya after receiving bicycles
- and more!
Well, that’s plenty for this update. Ride safely, y’all!
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