It’s been eight days since I’ve ridden a bicycle. Why? Heat. Illness. Lastimas. Life. (Lastimas is wounds or injuries in Spanish. So that spells H.I.L.L, doesn’t it? I meant to.) When thought of in this way, it’s another set of obstacles, another rise in the road to climb, something that tests you but also makes you stronger. Part of me is relieved, and lucky to have use of a car. Another part of me is pissed off that I’m losing whatever fitness and form I had. Another is panicking that I may not get it back, or get back to it, or even be able bike at all without more injury or at least pain. Breathing in deeply, I notice I am not riding my bicycle. Breathing out, I notice that I am writing a blog post about not riding my bicycle. Continue reading
I was going to write about how I’m unable to bike for a while, or the heat wave (109 F forecast for Monday!), or possibly put up pictures of my collection of bike t-shirts. Then I saw this sad news that made me do a double-take because it’s just crazy. There’s not much to know at this point until they catch the guy who did it. And what’s making this more news than it might be otherwise is that the victim was Dr. Mark Hausknecht, a cardiologist to former US President George H.W. Bush. Houston, we have a problem. It’s you. Quelle bizarre!
Meanwhile, in the crazy-good Houston bike news department, Lawson Craddock, whom I wrote about recently (Texan Lawson Craddock Breaks Scapula on Day 1 of Tour de France, Just Keeps Riding. Quelle Courage!), is still riding in the Tour de France and donating $100 for every stae. His GoFundMe page, which you should definitely contribute to, has now brought in over $114,000 for the Alkek Velodrome damaged in Hurricane Harvey. Since it’s used to train the next generation of cyclists, it’s a good cause. Read more about both these crazy stories below!
One of the themes of this blog is that bicycling is both a solo sport and then again, it’s not. You pedal your own bike, unless you’re chilling out on the back of a tandem. But from the people that made your bike, all the gear and accessories, the roads, the food, the beer… it’s all connected into part of what we tend to call “the bike community.” And by “we” I mean people, usually white ones, with the privilege to go to happy hours. (You could say opposing racism and xenophobia are also one of my sub-themes.)
But hey, don’t even white people who happen to bike deserve to live in a bikeable, walkable city that works well, and not get killed in the process? Yes! So when I heard that the advocacy and membership group A Dude is part of, Bike Austin, partnered with the Congress for the New Urbanism Central Texas Chapter (CNU-CTX) for their monthly gathering, I got myself down there to check it out. What follows is my short report, with plenty of pictures. Continue reading
If you haven’t already, please read Part 1 first. It is at this link: Engineering a Comeback from a Life-Altering Event.
Lying on his back in Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, Texas in October 1981 after losing most of his right leg in a railroad accident, David Crittenden Walker was scared. Of dying. Of never walking again. Of the pain. About the look of worry on the faces of his family and friends. They were staying overnight with him for the first week. He was getting Demerol shots every four hours, and they were “wonderful,” he said, because it blocked the pain. But that last hour before the next shot was excruciating. He would get loopy, then pass out. Because it’s so addictive (think opioid crisis), he had to be weaned off it as soon as possible. He also started having some hallucinations which freaked him out. His brain had to make sense of his new reality. David was 17 years old, and all of a sudden, he only had one leg. How the fuck does anyone live with that? Continue reading
EDITORIAL NOTE: These are the facts *as I heard them*, but any opinions or errors are mine. A better way of putting it is that this is a story, not word-for-word reporting. As with all writing of stories, there is no such thing as absolute fact and objectivity, as much as we may strive for it or fool ourselves into thinking there is. Not only was there no way to check many of the facts, and I took the subject at his word, there is the passage of time, choice of words, fading of memory and downright embellishment. The story as told by the interviewee is filtered through the lens, bias and experience of the interviewer. So is it true? Who knows? Everyone knows David’s a big fat liar. But we hope you’re entertained and inspired anyway. Continue reading