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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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