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.Continue reading
Bike Austin Says the Healthy Streets Program Is Under Threat
An email from Bike Austin arrived in my in box recently. Forced to cancel events by the virus like many volunteer-run non-profits, they must do most of their work in cyber space. The email is about the take-over of certain streets by the Austin Transportation Department. Basically they set up plastic barrels and barriers that slow down cars and have signs instructing motor vehicles that the road is for local use only. The goal is to allow people to more easily walk, bike, skate, etc. with social distancing during pandemic times and maybe beyond. Is that such a bad thing? A Dude thinks not, I think.Continue reading
Austin Bike News Roundup for April 16, 2020
It’s an odd time to be writing one of these blog posts. You’d think there’s not a lot of news. But there is and it could be of interest, so here it is. For more about these organizations, see my post 12 Bicycle-Related Groups in Austin, Texas You Should Know About.Continue reading
Next Steps for the St. Johns Bikeway in Austin, Texas
Last month your faithful cyclist and semi-regular bicycle activist (moi) attended a City of Austin open house. Today they sent out a follow-up notice, and I’m sharing it with you. It has some interesting approaches to making this street safer, but they aren’t a done deal yet. We have to make sure Austin doesn’t give up and cede the road back to cars. Even if you don’t live here, you might find the way they (we) do things here to improve safety for walkers and bicyclists interesting.
Sorry, with coronavirus rearing its ugly head, even leading to the cancellation of South by Southwest for the first time in its 34-year history, I should say pedestrians. Walkers are what the survivors call the zombies in The Walking Dead. I didn’t get any good shifts and was going to sit out SXSW anyway, but I have mixed feelings about it. That’s because there are 0 reported cases in Austin. Well, let’s just hope there are more of us in The Cycling Alive group when it’s all over.Continue reading
15 YEARS NOT A SLAVE TO CARS!
This is my fifth annual post about being car-free since 1/25/2005. Technically I’m car-light, since I drove borrowed cars for a job for part of last summer also visited relatives over the holidays. On the other hand, I managed my best year ever combined and walking and biking – 5,633 miles.
I did that while on a bike that has 67% fewer gears and is 25% heavier steel (Sophie) than my old aluminum steed (Sookie). I’m no Greta Thunberg, but I do think reducing car use is a good thing. Not everyone can do it, but some people might be able to try it. That’s all I’m saying. Well, in this paragraph at least.Continue reading
Shoal Creek Protected Bike Lanes in Progress; Dang It’s Hot in Austin, Texas!
A while back I mentioned an important victory for bicyclists in Austin, Texas. It was the decision by the City, after the input by citizens, to add protected bike lanes to Shoal Creek Boulevard, a major road used by people on bikes. Today they sent notice that that process has begun. Additionally, it’s pretty hot in Austin, and that’s making biking hard if not downright unpleasant for for many people, self included. So we have the good, the bad, and well, if you’re hot and sweaty enough, that also covers the ugly.Continue reading
Friday Night Lightning: A Chat with A Quiet Austin Bicycling Luminary
It was a bit humid but not too hot for an August evening in Austin. With warm temperatures and lightning illuminating the night sky and holding the possibility of much-desired rain, I went to a nearby house for a long-standing Friday night gathering. The Green Man Coffee House is a rotating, rag-tag collection of friends, co-workers and neighbors. They bring snacks and drinks, sit around and talk around the back porch, with music playing in the background, and the occasional mosquito or firefly. A dozen or so mostly grey-haired folks were there, some came, others went. I had watermelon and cantaloupe, grapefruit mineral water and popcorn. Jethro Tull tooted away. Cue the crickets, lemonade and mellow vibes, and you can imagine yourself there with us. Continue reading
Cadence & Speed Sensors; Proposed Bike Lanes; and My Verified Iron Deficiency
Part I: More Data from Garmin Gadgets
I finally made it to Sun & Ski Sports for the sensors. Once I figured out how to sync then with my Garmin vivoactive hr watch, they were easily installed by Mike the Mechanic. Speed is already measured by the watch, but now it can be measured on the home trainer. That is, if we don’t blink and miss Austin’s short winter and I don’t need to pedal inside. However, clearly, I do. The X-Files has been back on for over a week and I hadn’t seen either episode. Such Scully-y and Mulder-y goodness! If you’re not a fan, you have no idea. I’m sure the paranormal investigating FBI agents are cyclists when not busy hunting conspiracies or aliens and such.