One of the blogs I follow is one I find hard to read. That’s because it seems like most days BikingInLA usually has coverage of a bicyclist fatality . It’s a major downer for me, and I’m sure everyone. But it’s important to hold the City of Angels and car drivers’ feet to the fire. Also, the author has a ton of other good stuff in there. If you can get past the gloom and doom, it’s worth a read. Here are a few Texas stories I found and thought I’d share with y’all. Thanks, BikingInLA! Keep fighting the good fight.Continue reading
Update: The bus driver who apparently murdered Anthony John Diaz was arrested for manslaughter. The woman was fired from Capital Metro and will have to answer for taking four prescription drugs that had side effects of drowsiness. Let’s hope there is some justice. For more about this developing story, see this Austin American-Statesman article. You can read my two posts about him here: First Austin Bicyclist Death of 2019 – Anthony John Diaz and also here: Ride of Silence to Ghost Bike for Anthony John Diaz – Presente!. For more, and cheerier, Austin cycling news, keep on reading!Continue reading
The last three days I spent participating in these two events were a slice of bicyclist advocate heaven. Although I’m not being literal (read my post In Bike I Trust: The Faith of an Agnostic Athiest Cyclist for my thoughts on all that), it was a smorgasboard of education, networking, lobbying, and of course, bike riding. The first-ever event hosted by the board, staff and volunteers of Bike Texas brought 40 people together from many parts of Texas. I volunteered to attend as one of three representatives of Bike Austin. The summit was held Saturday-Sunday and the lobby day was today, Monday. If you’ve read this far, you may as well keep going to read the rest. You know you wanna!Continue reading
Bikes Came Before Cars & Will Be Here After Them, Too
Today’s post is about a meeting I attended put on by the City of Austin Active Transportation Department. They were reporting back on improvements to two streets in East Austin. The headline for me was that adding bike lanes and reducing car lanes from four to three did not increase travel time. In fact, travel time was decreased, because traffic signals were synchronized and optimized. This was measured with Bluetooth technology so it is not subjective.
Still, naysayers and disbelievers will convince themselves or anything to reinforce their narrow paradigm that only cars deserve to be on the roads. To me that’s just illegal, wrong and backwards. Such is politics. It didn’t matter to me when I just tooled around for short periods. Now that I’ve been out there biking over 13,000 in three years, saving my life and the lives of other people on bikes is more important. Continue reading
Cycling Is Great for Your Health but Hazardous to Bikes
The sun is shining, there’s little wind on a crisp but warming winter’s day. I mount up my bike and my feet start pushing the pedals like a thousand times before. The legs are pumping as if through jello. My lungs are lit on fire; every breath burns. I’m going as fast as I can, but it feels like I’m barely moving. Looking around, none of my fellow riders are with me. But this time is different. I’m not in a race, leading or last place. I just have cedar fever. And I’m only on my way to a community clinic to sign up for health care, since Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) health insurance is prohibitively costly. And as if today’s natural air pollution wasn’t hard enough, I encountered another of bicyclists’ worst enemies: people who throw their glass bottles on the ground. A Dude Abikes calls them “glassholes.” Continue reading
Volunteering to Make Austin’s Streets Safer for All
Today A Dude visited the downtown Austin, Texas office of Central Texas’s leading bicycling and pedestrian advocacy and education non-profit organization, Bike Austin. My goal? To get trained by amazing Community Development Planner Shavone Otero on how to engage Austin businesses to become members to keep the group alive. That’s her pointing at me in the photograph. Together with the Bike Austin Education Fund, their mission is to:
“…improve quality of life for all of Austin and Central Texas by growing bicycling as a form of transportation, exercise, and recreation.”
Pretty simple, but not so easy to implement. Austin traffic continues to worsen, with projected population growth. Amazon is considering us for another headquarters, which would add 50,000 employees and their families to the roadways. According to the INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard, Austin ranked 42nd worst traffic in the world. Drivers spent almost two full days per year in their car. That’s up 24 slots from 66th worst in 2016. So bicycling is going to play a vital role in that whole… let’s just call it a mess. Continue reading
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.