6/6/2022: What’s Been Going On, Dude?

I’m out of retirement, but I’m tired. Long story, but not time to tell it all. Let’s just say life has intervened and conspired to reduce my availability for kicking ass, taking names, and doing chores. So a short monthly post is all I can and care to must for now. A little dab o’ Dude’ll do ya, right?

I was going to call this the Bike Up, in response to Sorryless’s excellent Run Down. But it doesn’t work, so I’m just using what you see. Not sorry. But the concept is the same, if not achieving the quality take downs and inspirational stories that my East Coast blog brother does.

One thing that happened was Safe Streets Austin had it’s debutante ball, as it were. A merger of Bike Austin, Walk Austin, and Vision Zero, some politicos came out and made speeches, including Hizzoner himself and our one black City Council Member. (Thanks tothe racist “gentleman’s agreement” that’s still sort of in place, although Natasha Harper-Madison is a she [I’m supposing her pronouns, I know.]) Here are some photos.

The food was good, as was the fellowship with fellow active transportation activists, some of which I’d not seen since the Before Times. As for the words and all, well, they sounded nice. We need more bike lanes, better sidewalks, fewer traffic deaths. But Natasha, the black Council Member in the blue dress said it well, “Which of these things is not like the other?” referring to the sea of white people . And she’s right, the organization is mostly white. That has to change if it wants to be relevant to all communities who use the roads. By the way, why is the name about streets, not people, being safer? And why does the logo not even have cyclists or pedestrians, but no people at all? Weird is our middle name here, but still.

Trusted ride buddy Rhodney was back from his sabbatical and were were also joined Alan, former lord of the land for A Dude. The latter did errands and is camera shy anyway, but the Rhod-man isn’t. Food was eaten, convos were had, and plans made. Free food never hurts.

In other news, I’m still doing all my daily activities: biking, walking, yoga, flute practice, reading, writing (book is going, but slowly), eating a salad not eating bread products. Someday I hope swim and lift weights. But not until I can get my mojo back.

In other news, we had a bike rider with the last name Armstrong do something very bad and illegal. It’s a woman who allegedly murdered a pro bike rider Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson, who had dated her boyfriend, noted gravel racer Gavin Strickland, for like a week. Caitlin apparently flew into a jealous rage, killed Mo, was questioned by the Austin Keystone Cops, to whom she admitted it looked bad that her car rolled up at the murder scene 1 minute (!) after the victim arrived, then the AKC let her go on a technicality (wrong birthday on form), then she flew the coop to New York state, where she remains at large.

Anyhoo, life goes on a pace for the rest of us. Rents in Austin, Texas (and beyond) are skyrocketing due to demand, so the shortage of affordable housing is at a crisis level. Time to make some bank so I’m not one of the unlucky urban explorers, though it could happen. Time will tell.

Check back in a day or two, I bet I’ll think of something more to add.


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What’s Up With Austin Bicycle Community Groups?

We’re deep in the heart of Texas and COVID-19’s fourth wave, with allegedly only two (2!) ICU beds available for an 11-county, 2.3 million person region. That news is real and dire, but somehow the beds seems to expand when more staff become available. But with the Governor Hey Abbott! getting infected with the virus himself this week, after his horribly out-of touch, anti-science, and anti-mask mandate law, it’s strange days indeed. Almost enough to write a follow-up to The Coronacles of Blarneya, Part II. Instead of that unpleasantness, it’s best to go outside and exercise those lungs in the fresh air and sunshine — the latter being the best disinfectant, after all. Anyway, it occurred to me to do a little update on a few of Austin’s community groups that help get butts on bikes.

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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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Austin Bike News Roundup for August 6, 2020

I haven’t done one of these roundups in a while. Because, coronavirus. My last one was in May. Inspired somewhat by BikingInLA and TexBiker.net, a roundup hopes to serve up some useful tidbits of happenings around town in the bicycling world here in Austin. Sometimes, it’s news about infrastructure, not so sexy, but important. And other times it’s even sobering and sad, like the senseless suffering and death of a cyclist who was hit by a car (the first of 2020).

I suppose that last one is fitting, given that it’s the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima Day and Nagasaki Day on the 9th. These tragic attacks remind us that the United States is the other country to ever use nuclear weapons, at great human cost. A Dude says nukes must be abolished before we can ever have peace. There’s a treaty that only 40 countries have signed and shamefully, the US in not one of them. Alright, sermon concluded. On with the way more fun and much less important Austin bike news!

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Silent Ride of Remembrance for Merry “Cookie” Daye: ¡Presente!

The rain stopped, clouds parted, and the sun came out on a winter Saturday in Austin. Fifty or so bicyclists gathered underneath the Browning Hangar, the first of its kind, a now refurbished WWII era structure built with wooden trusses. A sense of history was fitting for the somber purpose: to celebrate the life and commemorate the death of Merry “Cookie” Katheryn Daye. She was the fourth Austin Cyclist to die in 2019 in a crash, in this case a hit-and-run with a truck. We rode slowly and quietly to the crash site and had a gathering, and then returned. It was a fitting event.

The tragedy still hurts for the family members and strangers alike who didn’t know her but felt the pain and loss, even indirectly. This gathering was a step toward healing, community and preventing further senseless deaths. Perhaps, some justice will come out of this. That is why I initiated the idea for this ride and facilitated conversations to make sure it happened. At the end of the day, while the ride was a success due to no incidents and some media coverage, Cookie is gone. And that is just wrong, and it hurts. But her memory lives on.

[POST IN PROGRESS, MORE PHOTOS LATER]

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A Rainy, Restful Day on the Eve of Solstice for a Bike Ridin’ Dude in Austin, Texas

Late autumn conditions have been dry, mostly sunny and not too cold here in Central Texas. Waking to some light rain and grey skies was a welcome change, just in time for winter which officially begins tomorrow. For a car-less dude like me, going places generally means getting on Sophie the Fairdale Weekender Archer bicycle and dealing with whatever Mother Nature throws at me. While I was prepared to ride in the rain, it turned out that I didn’t need to and so I chose not to take advantage and rest.

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Bicycle Stuff Roundup and Rest Days Photographs

While I am off the bike for a few days, not really by choice, I’m searching for something to blog about. At least I’m getting some rest. Maybe I’ll try a stationary bike or try to ride anyway. I’m tempted to take a rest day from blogging, too, but obviously I’m not. What follows is a rather random brain dump of bike stuff. Just one by itself isn’t enough for a single blog, but together they add up to one. I think it’s interesting, so maybe you will too.

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Dribs and Drabs About My Biking and Blogging

After the positive reception to my last post, The Bike Rider and the Farmer, it’s a little bit of a let-down to return to form. Little things, like that story inspired them to try a short story. Or by inviting someone to the Bike Curious social ride (in which I participated once again), they had to get their bike rack and bike in shape. Organizing a new bike gang is bringing in new people, too. But, writing about my biking, blogging, and book-writing, plus other random stuff, is mostly what I do (well, there’s a fair bit of complaining, too). So this is another brief collection of what’s up with A Dude Abikes (cue that SNL song “What Up With That?”)

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