These Austin Bike News Roundups appear sporadically, usually when I grow bored of writing about myself and notice enough newsworthy items to share. If I were a more organized writer (a planner, not a panstser) and a more energetic dude in general, I might solicit entries from local bike shops and groups and publish them on a regular basis. If I had more actual readers living in Austin, and some income from doing them (like sponsorships), then it would make more sense. And, if I were a rich man ya ba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dum… Of course I’m not rich, yet still I write this blog. Why? I cannot say. Oy vey.
Speaking of The Fiddler on the Roof, last night was the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days, meaning “Days of Awe.” The literal translation is “day of shouting or blasting,” and some Jews still use a shofar, or ram’s horn, is still blown. Which, if you read my recent post, Fart Club: Protocol for Pootin’ in the Peloton, you now know all about blasting out air your butt on a bike. Anyway, the holidays end with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. I’m not one to observe old time religion, unless you count yoga, which pre-dates Judaism by 1,000 years, and while derived from Hindu spirituality, in the West and for me is a practice. Which I do to help me with bike riding. Which is what this blog is mostly about — except when it’s not.
Austin World Naked Bike Ride Day (9/11)
The 9/11/2001 attacks in the USA killed close to 2,996 people and injured over 6,000 others. In contrast, beginning with a coup on 9/11/1973, General Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship saw the torture of 40,000 Chileans, with an estimated 10,000-30,000 people being killed, including the former President Salvador Allende. Declassified documents revealed the coup was backed by the CIA under its Director Richard Helms, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and President Richard M. Nixon.
In stark (naked) comparison, on 9/11/2021, the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) will be celebrated with an evening ride. in Austin. It’s an annual clothing-optional event held in cities around the globe, but apparently on different dates. “Participants gather and ride, (human powered transportation), together to protest the use of fossil fuels as well as to promote body positivity and bicycling!”
I doubt I’ll be there because, 1) chafing, 2) it’s still illegal to be bare-ass nekkid in Austin (despite organizers’ assurances APD won’t care), and 3) to quote Elaine Benes on Seinfeld, “Naked is not a good look on a man.” And frankly most people wear something, and unlike many other cities, it’s at night, which basically defeats the purpose of being visible on bicycles. Keep Austin Weird, I guess. Butt — more power to you if you go. To find out more, go to atxwnbr.com.
Mamma Jamma Ride (9/18)
There’s still time to register and fundraise the $300 minimum before the ride in Taylor, Texas. It benefits the Big Pink Bus which does mobile mammograms for Lone Star Circle of Care, a federally qualified health center that operates community clinics and which now owns the ride. I’ve got an excused absence and couldn’t make it in my condition, anyway, but I wish them well. You can also join them as a volunteeror a virtual rider. Here’s that link: MammaJammaRide.org.
Bike Night at COTA (9/14 & 9/21)
It runs in the spring and early summer, and is off in the heat of July and August. It was due to come back for three Tuesdays on September 7 with a Rolling Stones theme night. Due to inclement weather at the Formula 1 race track east of Austin, it’s been delayed a week. (I got to see the band the only other Austin appearance while drummer Charlie Watts was with them.) Pro tip: sign up by Monday night online and save some money. Get the whole season and save more. For info, see this here link.
ATX Walk, Bike and Roll Survey (by 9/26)
The City of Austin gummint (government, to you non-Texans) is asking for local area residents to answer some questions about how they’d like to see resources allocated for non-car transportation. The poll takes about 20 minutes and the deadline is September 26 — again, only if you live in Austin, Texas, USA.
2016 Mobility Bond Report Year 4 – 2020 Update
Another bit from the City is the 2016 Mobility Bond Annual Report, for Year 4 – 2020. Yours truly was happy to advocate for this back then with Bike Austin. Four years on, there have actually been a number of improvements. I’ll be biking down a road that used to have a faded white line of paint to demarcate the bike lane only to find a repaved street complete with stanchions and turtles to keep cars out of the space for bikes. It’s not the same as a fully protected or even separate place for people to ride bikes away from cars, but some protection is better than nothing. Also, improvements include upgrades at intersections for getting pedestrians, bikes, skateboarders, wheelchairs, strollers, scooters and the like across more safely. The graphic shows progress to date, which is fairly impressive. To view the report, go here.
Source: City of Austin
That’s a wrap for this edition! If you’re in the Austin area and have updates, send them to me by email.
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