Bicycle Bites, Motion Morsels and Transportation Tidbits

I must have been hungry when I wrote this post, going by the title. But this is not about food you eat while riding your bike. It’s one of those posts wherein I list various random bike stuff, thoughts and news. It’s usually a combination of stuff I did, saw or read about that isn’t enough for its own separate post. The blurbs can be educational, factual, just a slice of life, or even a rant. I bet you’ll find at least one of them interesting. I think I’ll go have a small snack while you keep reading. If you do, thanks!

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Austin Bike News Roundup for May 23, 2020

Despite dire and difficult times, bicycling is still happening. In so.emeays, things are looking up. My last roundup was April 16, 2020. While I don’t claim to know or represent the entire bike scene(s), of course there are still some things to repirt. Here are a few updates on what’s going on in the bike world of Austin, Texas as Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial launch of summer begins.

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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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Greeting an Austin City Councilmember and Smart Trips Austin Bike Ride

Saturday brought me several opportunities as a bicyclist and advocate.  First up was the appearance at the neighborhood association by one of the 10 City Council members of Austin, Texas.  His name is Gregorio Casar, the son of Mexican immigrants, but he goes by Greg.  He really knows his stuff, is genuine, friendly, and not pretentious at all.  I believe he is the youngest Council member ever.  Second was a Smart Trips Austin ride.  It’s a City program to encourage people to use alternative modes of transportation including walking, the bus, and of course bikes.  It was super hot, so it was sparsely attended, but I wanted to check it out and meet the two young staff people just the same.  Third was I added 27 miles for a 30-mile ride. ‘Twas a pretty good day, if you ask me. Oh, you’re asking me? OK, I’ll tell you about it, then!

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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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North East Austin Texas Bike Group (NEATXBG) Potluck and Night Ride #2

A few weeks ago, I accidentally (on purpose) may have started a bike gang. After some scheduling difficulties, a handful of us gathered for a potluck and another night time bike ride. Although small in number, each person brought an interesting perspective and passion to some aspect of bicycling as transportation, recreation and fun. So here are a few thoughts and images about this interesting experiment in neighborhood and community organizing for better and safer biking and walking in yes, Austin, Texas.

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City of Austin Transportation Department Community Conversation: Data Doesn’t Lie

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

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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