BE HERE NOW, Because Time Is Not on Our Side

For a professional cyclist, one hundredth of a second can mean winning or losing a race. For a jobless commuter / weekend warrior / fathlete such as myself, I really could not care less about speed. Which is good because I’m not fast. As in, lately most of my rides are around 10 miles per hour. However, the first quarter of the year went by and I rode 1,501 miles. But with the world having a prettay, prettay, prettay bad year, who cares about bicycling goals, right? We are all having to consider (or try to avoid) facing the one thing that truly unifies us: our finite existence. I know I have thought about it, because if there’s one thing I have in spades while biking, it’s time.

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Which Austin, Texas Bike Shops Are Open During the COVID-19 Shelter in Place?

During my ongoing spins around town, at least my neck of the woods, I’ve passed by a few local bike shops (LBS). Given the government shut-down of all non-essential business, it seemed most of the LBS’s were forced to close. Many operate on thin margins, so it’s not good news. But I began thinking: If auto dealers, car repair and auto parts shops are open, isn’t it discriminatory against the car-less and poor to close down the LBS’s?

However, bicycling is an exempt activity from the health department order to stay home. And if you ride a bike, you know you will eventually need new tubes or a professional repair. A reputable source told me that LBS’s are now being considered as important enough to be allowed to stay open, thanks to some advocacy. So I was curious who was open. This is not an exhaustive or authoritative list, and it’s subject to frequent changes. Your mileage may vary — quite literally. Check their websites, social media or call first before biking there.

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Goodbye America, Nice Knowing You

Austin, Texas — The Mayor, in cahoots with the chief of Public Health (aka the SARS Czar is requiring residents to Shelter in Place starting today, but just for two weeks. (Yeah, right!) It’s also known as staying the fuck home, a curfew, being on lockdown with a few exceptions, and martial law lite (New! With scary virus features!) But because of a silent but deadly killer (no, not farts, it’s coronavirus), the land of the free and the home of the brave is having a major hissy fit. Some are asking what it all means to cancel everything including our Bill of Rights. Really, ‘merikuh? Suspend the US Constitution? WTF?

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On Resilience: Bicycling Through Life and the Pandemapocalypse

It’s hard to not write about the elephant in the room when it’s far, Far FAR! bigger than that. Coronavirus is like sunlight, or water — except that it’s poisonous for many, and deadly for some. There are I’m sure much more eloquent attempts to explain and interpret what’s going on. After all, I’m just A Dude who rides a bicycle and blogs about it. My tiny corner of the internet is just one example of something a few humans think is kinda cool, or interesting, or important, but in reality is not. It’s frivolous, navel-gazing distraction.

And yet, we each do what we can to cope, to survive, and maybe again even to thrive. So I’m writing this blog. And it occurred to me that maybe I’ve learned a few lessons from biking 100-175 miles a week for 22 weeks in a row that might help me and you get through this. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. (I’m not really suggesting you do that; please don’t.)

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Je Suis Fatigué: When You’re Stuck in the Spin Cycle

Possible titles for this post included (the humorless should skip the intro):

  • Biking Is Good for Getting In Shape to Escape the Zombie Hordes
  • Coronavirus; Things Will Get Worse Before They Get Worse (Lily Tomlin)
  • Can My Bicycle Get Coronavirus?
  • Rome Is Burning — Like Literally, People Have Fevers
  • COVID-19 – The Movie: Will Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Finally Portray the President?
  • We’re All Gonna Die, So May As Well Ride Your Bike
  • Anyone Know How “The Walking Dead” Ends?
  • Coronavirus, Some Coronavirus, and Also More Coronavirus

I’ve decided to go in another direction, though, and write about something related, still health-related and less apocalyptic.

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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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A Dude, an Esthetician and a Monoplegic Get Into a Hot Tub…

I bet you didn’t expect to read that sentence today! I didn’t expect to write it, either, but that’s pretty much what happened at the gym last night. Life isn’t like a box of chocolates, because you do know what you’re going to get: chocolate (aka choccy as they say Down Undah, right Missy?) But going to the gym you never know who you’re going to meet. (True story, I once met Meatball, the rock legend. But that’s another story. Although I will say that he introduced himself as Meat, and I said, without missing a beat, “As in, Mr. Loaf?”) To be honest, I didn’t meet the man with one functioning arm. He was in the pool though, and I did chat with a skin care professional. Interesting people abound!

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