Austin, Texas Bike Lanes and Sidewalks: A Few Updates

This makes my 10th post with a title including the words “bike lanes.” I’m generally a fan of anything that will separate cars from bikes and pedestrians, or in other words, will save my tuchus and that of other riders from being maimed or killed by cars. As a walker (not of The Walking Dead zombie variety — so far), I often use sidewalks when there are any. I also used them instead of biking on high traffic roads, so I don’t, you know, like, die. Several emails from the City about mobility improvement projects are clogging my email inbox, and with two personal examples, I figure it’s time for an update. Here are just a few of the many projects for intersections, bike lanes and sidewalks going on in Austin, Texas.

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Austin Bike News Roundup for June 8, 2021

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.

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I’ll Tell Ya What I’m Watchin’ on My Telly (Part 4)

It’s been a hot minute, which translates from slang into English as meaning a good long while, since I wrote about my television viewing. Originally it began last spring because, well, the pandemic. After a few installments, I felt like I should focus on my main issues and on more important topics, like Black Lives Matter. Every day I’m out there biking, walking, and in here reading, writing and doing yoga. But when I can, which is most days, I do like to enjoy some of what my grandmother used to call “your programs” to my brother and me. Write what you know, you know? So here we go with a trio of shows from HBO, which used to have this as their tag line: “It’s not television, it’s HBO.” Now it comes with new and improved HBO Max. I’ve also included one from NBC for good measure. Pop the corn and hand me the remote, will ya?

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600 Days in a Row of Bicycling

Back on February 23 I wrote 10 Techniques I Used to Bicycle 500 Days in a Row. With today’s ride I’ve added 100 more to that. Quite by accident, coincidence or kismet, the screen shot of the dates (below) was taken with 66% of my phone battery left at 6:00 pm. How cool is that? So yeah, every day for a whole year, seven months and 22 days, I’ve swung a leg over the top tube of Sophie the Fairdale Weekender Archer (and occasionally Sonnie the GT Arette) and pedaled away. But here’s the thing: I don’t recommend it, unless you enjoy a challenge like the one attributed to Jerry Seinfeld which he didn’t actually make up, called #DontBreakTheChain. It started on a lark accidentally, and I just kept going from there. Still a fathlete, so I’ve got to do something. And like George Costanza claiming to design the new addition to the Guggenheim, “Yeah, and It didn’t take that long, either.” Because as we all know, you can only live one day — and bike one pedal stroke — at a time.

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When Things Fall Apart: Fitness Goals and Life

Lately I’ve been slipping a bit with my exercise and health practices, and even writing this blog. It reminded me of When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, a book by American Buddhist nun Pema Chodron. I can’t recommend it because I’ve never read it; it’s sitting in a box in storage. At one point I may have even owned two copies. But the title speaks to me now after a mostly pretty shitty day and last few weeks. Even within the Tibetan Shambhala community, things fall apart. As with many religious, business, and entertainment leaders with unchecked power, last year their figurehead was accused of and apologized for sexual misconduct. It went on a while, but he’s still there.

However, reports suggest that Chodron as a senior leader and teacher may have enabled or ignored it. She even told a woman reporting abuse years ago that she didn’t believe her. So she’s not perfect, and she has resigned in protest but maybe also as an act of contrition although she wasn’t the abusive male with all the power. Point is, life doesn’t always or even often go the way we want it to. Defecation passes. We’re all humans here, right? Certainly there are more important things than fitness goals, but like the saying goes, “At least you have your health.” Well, what if you don’t, despite your best efforts? I guess you do your best.

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Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander Heritage Month… and Bicycles

May is Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, and coincidentally it’s Bike Month. Having written a number of times about racism in general, attending two Black Lives Matter movement bike rides / protests, and also about Native Americans, I’d be remiss if I didn’t touch on this community. As a white person, I certainly have no right to speak for them (and I’m not). But I can certainly show a few faces and amplify their voices one tiny bit. It’s always worth being curious, seeking understanding, and being part of the wider world by doing more than just eating ethnic cuisine if and when the opportunity arises. Here are a few things I learned, and let’s meet a few great cyclists as well.

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Another Day, Another Bike Ride

Here at A Dude Abikes, we (that is, the royal we) appreciate guts, intestinal fortitude, and chutzpah. That extends to anyone taking the chance, choice, and time to read. Though we know we’re no ex-Prince Harry, we do like to think of ourselves as having a quality that our former overlapping roommate said one day recently, i.e. intrepid. It’s been raining buckets here in Central Texas (a good thing because we’re behind for the year). I told the roomie, who’s quite a cyclist, that I was going for a walk, despite the chance of rain and not having slept a lot (partially because of his late and early packing racket). That’s when he said I was intrepid. I thought, “Hey, that’s pretty cool, like James Bond or something.” I’m not in possession of the sort of high-caliber intrepitude (if that wasn’t a word, it is now) that sprinters like Mark Cavendish do, I manage to climb the mountain of a number of good habits every day. Every day could be our last on the bike or other things, but I’m grateful that I was able and am glad to report that today was not the end. It was another day, another bike ride.

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Is It Possible to Ride Your Bicycle Too Much?

Back in November 2019 I wrote a post called The Bad Side of Good Habits. In it, I considered things that seemed good on the surface but looking deeper there were some negatives. Lately, I’ve been feeling pretty knackered (British English for tired) to the point where I can’t really ignore it. A quick search brings up the word “overtraining” and a host of replies with plenty of debate. As an amateur fathlete bicyclist, I’m not too worried about the semantics. You won’t see me entering any races, breaking any land speed records or running myself ragged biking up mountains. Yet my performance, such as it is, has been slipping downward in terms of average miles per hour and quantity of mileage. It’s not just on the bike where I’ve noticed changes, either. So maybe it’s time to consider a break. Or is it?

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Texas Mamma Jamma Ride Update: All Aboard the Big Pink Bus

Your bike dude here has participated in six charity rides, raising over $12,000. That’s my proudest accomplishment as a bike rider starting back in 2015 B.B. (Before Blog). Well, riding around the world in under five years probably ties that. Many of those miles came from TMJR and other training rides. Three of the charity rides were for the Texas Mamma Jamma Ride to raise funds for breast cancer treatment and services. Thanks to the coronavirus, the non-profit organization has had to adapt and reinvent itself to survive. And it’s done so quite smartly by becoming the fundraising arm for the Big Pink Bus, a project of the Lone Star Circle of Care (LSCC), which operates 24 health clinics in half a dozen Central Texas counties. This seems like important news and sharing is caring, so read on!

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