Today was Bike to Work Day in Austin as in many cities worldwide. I didn’t make to any of the morning fueling stations or the gathering and speechifying at City Hall. My excuse? I don’t have a job. Well, aside from the job of being A Dude Abikes, and lemme tell ya’, it ain’t easy bein’ me. Or green. Or green me. But I do work my ass off every day, actually, I’m just not getting paid for it! I’m either researching, writing and editing this blog or my book, walking, and doing yoga… every damn day for over 16 months now (the yoga goes back over 64 months). Then there’s biking almost every single day — about 100 miles per week (sometimes less and slower lately with knee pain, but I’m still doing it). Plus I’m looking for work and housing, not to mention volunteering for Bike Austin. I did make it to the after-party like last year, so here’s my recap.Continue reading
May is Bike Month around the US and world, and theoretically there are more things happening than usual. Yet, every month is bicycle-centric for me and thousands of bike riders in Austin, so it’s not that noticeable. But here are a few of the great events going on in case you’re in town and want to get involved. If not in Austin, check out your local bike group, shop or government transportation office to see if they have anything going. Or, start your own event!Continue reading
Last night I attended my first Third Thursday free event held by the Texas Writers League. I’d heard of the League, but it took me hearing their director Michael Nolin speak and also met him at another event, the One Page Salon, to get me to a TWL event. After the panel, I went to a book release party for OPS host Owen Egerton, who has helped inspired me to keep on writing and to call myself a writer. At the latter event I met a couple involved in the Austin film industry, and had a good long conversation with them about their art. And then a fellow blogger made a really heartfelt comment about a recent post of mine. A day later I still find myself energized by this synchronicity. So I gotta write about it.
Tonight as I was out dutifully putting in some miles to finish up my yearly goal, I encountered a man stopped in East Austin, near downtown. He was working on his bicycle, and observing the unwritten code of bike riders, I stopped to ask if I might help. He had a screw driver and was adjusting his rear reflector while enjoying an adult beverage. He was also worried about his front light, which was red (illegal). There wasn’t much I could do, but we chatted a bit. He was friendly, perhaps due to the aforementioned drink. He introduced himself as Tommy, I replied with my name, and he proferred an ungloved hand for me to shake in the cool temperatures. He also said that he is homeless. It got me thinking about the large number of people who ride bikes as transportation, but are not connected with bicycle advocacy organizations. So here are a few thoughts. Continue reading
After riding my bicyle to three different locations over the last seven days in a row to work as a clerk for the county elections office during early voting, I have some observations. Chief among them is that having a job again is both gratifying and exhausting, kind of fun but kind of annoying. Another is that Austin is still a place that still has a whole lot of white people in it, especially due the high rents of downtown, which limits some people of color. But where there is diversity, it is quite varied. Third, for the most part Austinites are a very well-behaved, clever and mellow bunch.
Fourth, voting is one of few times where people of all political stripes come together to exercise their right to participate in democracy, and that’s a beautiful thing whether you agree with voting or not. And a fifth is that while voting is something that some people deride, some ignore, and others celebrate, it’s still a fascinating experience to be part of the process. There are more things you might learn as I did if you just click on that little Continue Reading button. It’s like voting! Please vote to read the rest of this blog! Vote for A Dude Abikes! Continue reading
Saturday it wasn’t raining for a change, and I was heading tired and home from some errands near the Peddler Bike Shop when I saw a group ride approaching. I inquired what it was about, and one woman said, “Join us!” Always looking for more miles to ride and new people to meet, I obliged. Turned out, it was a women’s group ride, but since it was a special occasion, they made it co-ed. And since most group rides tend to be other dudes, and while I enjoy hanging with other bros, I saw it as a rare opportunity to “ride like a girl.” By that I mean just as awesome as a guy but backwards in heels, like Ginger Rogers. Just kidding. Continue reading
This evening I headed over to the Austin Yellow Bike Project again. After all the pucking functures of innertubes on my bikes lately, and needing to be frugal, I decided to save money on buying new ones when the ones I had were perfectly good, except for the holes. Finally the weather has turned and we got back into the 60’s, which is really refreshing to we Texans used to 90 degree days and more. It was a delicious temperature to bike in, although only about 4 miles. And since the shop is a big warehouse, it’s good wrenchin’ weathah, to borrow a turn of phrase from my Vermonter friends. Continue reading