Bike Lanes on Cameron & Dessau Roads – City of Austin Listening Session

This past Thursday the City of Austin (Texas) Active Transportation Department had a gathering for interested citizens to come give their input about bike lanes. These roads are really the same, they just change names. After passing one highway, it becomes a six-lane death trap from hell, if you’re on a bicycle. As a cyclist who volunteered numerous times on a committee for just this cause, I was keen to go and see this project finally start to come to life. It’s always interesting to participate in the process of something that could save your own life and that of friends and neighbors. Isn’t that something every bike rider should get behind?

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This Bike Blog Post is About a Poetry Reading. Huh?

Normally I write about my biking, and also the people, places or things I go do or see while on the bicycle. I would have biked there but today a big cold front blew into Austin, so I had to abort my ride after two miles. It got considerably chilly and wildly windy quite quickly. There’s always time for that, and this blog is also about A Dude’s other activities and interests, like writing. And fortunately good ol’ friend Bruce agreed to drive us in his eco-friendly Prius to a poetry reading. Herewith and posthaste is my report.

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Is Living Car-Free Bad for Your Social Life?

Back in May, I wrote a post about the downsides of a car-free lifestyle. I only touched on the social aspect, and lately I’ve been thinking about it (especially now that I’m back to longer solo bike rides.) So, it depends who you ask. My roommate is sort of car-free, in that he commutes to work, but he shares a car with his wife. For him, it’s not an impediment. Some people in big cities have never known otherwise, so they have nothing to compare it to. So these things are hard to measure objectively. Subjectively, let’s explore.

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Neighborhood Bicycle Activism: Think Globally, Bike Locally

The neighborhood I moved to almost two decades ago is one that I’ve lived in for much of the time since. Although as I detailed in my previous post, I’m in an older, funkier area. In fact, I was living nearby here the very first time I moved to Austin, long ago. Back in my usual digs, the Neighborhood Association (NA) is very organized, and it in turn has a Transportation Committee (TC). Recognizing it as a possible avenue to explore issues of Connectivity, Caution (Safety) and Cleanliness, I attended the meeting Tuesday. That’s what this is about.

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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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Minor Mishaps, Major Moments and Medical Mysteries

From the things that make you go mmmmmm department: 

Mishap #1: Trash Cans, Trash Talk

Riding down a sidewalk of a busy four-lane road without bike lanes, I swerve to avoid recycling bins, miscalculate, and Sophie the Fairdale’s very wide handlebars catch them.  I go down like a Christian thrown into the gladiator ring trying to save the lion with talk of Jesus.  (Translation:  Quickly.)  But unlike those unlucky folks, I bounced right back up, apparently unharmed.

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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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