There’s alot of bike stuff happening in Austin, Texas. Woom Bikes, which is a company that makes bicycles for children, is having a big event this weekend. The City of Austin is starting a roll-out to provided dockless bikes and scooters with special parking “boxes” to try to get them out of harm’s way. Next weekend is the Texas Bicycle Advocate Summit organized by Bike Texas, with people coming from Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Yours truly was offered to attend as a representative of Bike Austin. The next day is Cyclists in Suits, where riders go to members of the Texas Legislature to promote better safety for bike riders. That night will be the Pedicab Parade, with a marching band playing from the pedicabs. Check back here for news and views you can use next week. But meanwhile, I want to talk about an important subject: jerks.
I found a picture of both Sookie and Sophie, my two bikes. (A third bike is elsewhere; that one was ridden pre-blog/Strava.) The photograph was taken at a community event sponsored by Bike Austin that I helped with. It was attended by several dozen people concerned about bike lanes and sidewalks on two busy and dangerous roads and Austin City Councilmember Greg Casar in April of 2017. Why on earth did I have two bikes at the same event? Well, former BA Campaigns Manager Miller Nuttle forgot his bike, so needed to borrow mine. Something inspired me to snap this shot, and I really like it alot. With the recent news about Sookie, the Fuji Silhouette (left) having a fatal crack in her frame, causing me to have to ride Sophie, the Fairdale Weekender Archer all the time, it got me thinking more about my journey. Keep reading to hear more about this passing of the torch.
Early on Saturday I attended a 4-hour League of American Bicyclists Smart Cycling Complete Class. Four other students and I assembled in a parking garage to learn how to teach people new to bicycling how to complete some standard drills. But even an old dog like A Dude Abikes can learn new tricks. And some of what we learned is stuff that we’d been doing unconsciously and, in some cases, incorrectly. So here’s a little overview of the experience. Continue reading
Today I took an intentional rest day off the bike, the first in 21 days. It rained alot, so I got a ride, took the bus, and got another ride. There was a doctor’s visit that was important to figure out an issue that has been affecting my quality of life. There’s my birthday on Thursday; for the last three years I have ridden my bike around one mile per year of life to get free stuff, so I’ll probably do that again. (Gmail me if you live in Austin and are interested in joining for all or part.) I’m spending time on Strava, giving kudos, making comments, letting people on flybys know that I write this blog. I spend a lot of time fundraising for the Mamma Jamma breast cancer ride, which led to another $150 in donations today. I did my yoga and walking as usual, to keep me limber for my riding. I’ve been thinking about the blog advice I got this weekend from a fellow cyclist. There were conversations with people about what’s going on with Bike Austin. (Short answer: transition. Again.) Writing this blog. And book. Etc.
So yeah, there’s a whole lotta biking stuff going on.
The other day I checked my Strava stats and found that I had biked 10,100.7 miles on my Fuji Silhouette since Janurary 1, 2016. I knew that I was honing in on this milestone but was surprised that it snuck up on me. It’s a pretty awesome achievement — another notch in the belt of my amateur bicycling story. Not too shabby! In fact, that’s awesome! So in this blog I’ll cover some of the thoughts I’ve had after reaching this pretty incredible achievement. Continue reading
Saturday I got myself down to Bicycle Sport Shop on South Lamar for Bike Austin’s 9th Annual Hottest Day of the Year Ride. About 40 folks from a young age to not so young arrived to sample the mocktails, peruse Bike Austin t-shirts and brave the heat. The good part was that the route was a short 10-miles and took us to two splash pads and two pools. While technically not the hottest day, it was warm enough, 99 F heat index. A Dude was serving as one of the ride leaders, and it was an eventful afternoon. The next night I put in the first longer ride in a while, 31 miles total. So let’s check them out. Continue reading
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
Tonight I jetted over to a nice but sorta weird place for a bike meeting — a neighborhood emergency center — to learn how to lead group and bike shop rides. It was organized by the active transportation (bike and walking) advocacy and membership non-profit organization for which I occasionally pitch in to volunteer, Bike Austin, led by new director Katie. The training was given by Bicycle Sport Shop Road Captains Daniel, Laura Jane (LJ), and Stephanie and with some of the dozen of attendees contributing some amusing stories of what people do on their bikes. So listen up kids, class is in session! Professor A Dude Abikes is on the mic, talkin’ trikes, and safety things he likes… Continue reading
After 1984’s Footloose, which your blogger certainly saw at the time but doesn’t recall his reaction to, Kevin Bacon was very popular. He chose to follow up a decent movie with one about a broker who loses his shirt in the stock market and becomes, quite logically, a bike messenger! There’s drama, action, love interests, an 80’s cheestastic soundtrack, and lots of bikes. The Alamo Drafthouse, which is known for showing all kinds of wacky movies, hosted, and Bike Austin Education Fund was the beneficiary. A Dude loves cheese a bit too much and also bacon, though I have mostly low-sodium turkey variety in my fruitless quest for health. (Well, I eat a lot of fruit, actually.) So bikes, cheese and a big helpin’ o’ Bacon (Kevin, that is)? Sign me up!
Today was one of those days that in retrospect was pretty fine. Not a totally perfect day by all means. Nor just one perfect moment like Anthony’s blog, Today’s Perfect Moment, which you could check out. It was a collection of moments, feelings, experiences, thoughts and more that together were really quite nice. Any day that includes a beautiful stranger rubbing oil on your sore muscles, a hilarious movie, and bikes, well, that’s one fine day. Do you want me to tell you about it? OK, since you insist.