Austin Black History Social Bike Ride #2

After the previous Sunday’s smaller ride, Bike Ride for Black Lives Matter… I somehow heard about another one even though it was organized on Facey Spacey. I happened to be awake and I’m always in need of more miles. Rather than stand around looking at the police station or state police, I decided to join in and try to learn something. The organizers expected 50 people, and they got at least 500. It was a huge event and lasted four hours in the hot Texas sun, but it was a cool thing that is hoped will catch on in other cities.

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This Day in Cycling History #1

For some reason, I got curious about the history of bicycling and found this website, OnThisDay.com. As it turns out, there were two events important to cycling this weekend. I’m giving you double your pleasure, double your money. The founding of an American cycling association happened May 30, 1868 and the first bike race ever* happened May 31, 1880. So I figured why not delve into them a wee bit? No reason.

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Bicycle Stuff Roundup and Rest Days Photographs

While I am off the bike for a few days, not really by choice, I’m searching for something to blog about. At least I’m getting some rest. Maybe I’ll try a stationary bike or try to ride anyway. I’m tempted to take a rest day from blogging, too, but obviously I’m not. What follows is a rather random brain dump of bike stuff. Just one by itself isn’t enough for a single blog, but together they add up to one. I think it’s interesting, so maybe you will too.

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My New Bicycling Magazine Is Here! My New Bicycling Magazine Is Here!

Not since Navin Johnson (played by Steve Martin) got overly jazzed about the arrival of the new phone books in The Jerk (a film I’ve referenced as recently as my post Jerks in Cars Messing Up My Bike Rides) has a printed and bound document been quite so anticipated and well-received. Well, maybe that’s kind of a little bit of a possible smidgen or a skosh of hyperbole. Sure, when I became a member of the League of American Bicyclists, and Bicycling was was offered as a perq, I was glad to hear it. Just not jumping around shouting it to the whole street glad — only to my blog readers. Anyway, after four long months of anticipation, the last four weeks or so have brought incessant emails from the publisher but not actual magazine, it finally arrived. Let’s take a look under the hood.

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Biking to Mexico (Maybe), a Chat with Driver Who Nearly Hit Me, and Free Goodies from Sun & Ski

Should I Go to Ol’ Mexico? I Dunno

I was talking with a young woman today who told me she was going to Austin’s Yellow Bike Project to work on her bike.  She would be taking it to Mexico in May as part of Bikes Across Borders.  A couple of dozen anarchists ride for a couple of weeks to a town where they have relationships with people there, donate the bike, and take the bus home.  Sounds fun, scary, dangerous, hard, and maybe a bit crazy.  Oh yeah, inefficient.  Why not just send the bikes by truck?  Well, that would be boring and harder to raise money for. Continue reading

2018 World Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Traffic Violence: Texas Vision Zero Vigil

This gathering happened Sunday to commemorate an international day organized by the United Nations.  It was a somber reminder that cars can and do kill.  Not just people in other cars, but also people using bicycles and who are walking.  Sponsored by Vision Zero Texas and a number of local organizations promoting traffic safety, the goal is to eliminate deaths from traffic.  How to do that is the million dollar question.  But the gathering gave a forum and a face to supporters of safer roads, and recieved some media attention as well.  As a cyclist whose life is at risk on a daily basis, I have an enlightened self-interest in seeing this law pass.  Here’s a short review of the second half of the event I attended at the Texas State Capitol.

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A Dude Attends the League Cycling Instructor Seminar (Part 2)

The League of American Bicyclists class is over, but the learning continues and the process of me becoming a teacher of bike riders is just beginning. I wrote about the first evening of the class previously here in Part 1, Today I write about all day Saturday and a chunk of Sunday. A combination of theory in the classroom and practice on the bike, it was challenging. There is a lot of information to cover and not alot of time to do it. So alot was crammed into the heads of we the students that may take some time to process. But the upshot is that after completing a few more steps, I’ll be able to pass on my knowledge to kids and adults alike. The goal? To get more bikes on butts — safely. It’s a pretty cool and beautiful idea. Read on to hear the details.

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What Is the League of American Bicyclists?

Like Steve Martin as Navin Johnson in the great 1979 movie The Jerk exclaimed gleefully, “The new phone books are here!  The new phone books are here!”   While not jumping up and down, I was similarly enthused.  My membership to the League of American Bicyclists arrived in the mail.  Who are they?  What are they about?  Are there any extraordinary gentlemen and copious amounts of Sean Connery’s beard involved?  Why did I join?  These are the burning questions I was yearning to be learning the answers to, as I’m sure you want to know as well.  Well, A Dude Abikes is here to share them with you.  It’s free of charge except for the time you spend reading, and you do have to pay some attention.  I hope you’ll jump at the chance to go past the button for Continue Reading. Continue reading

Smart Cycling Complete Class in Austin, Texas

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

Bicycle Sport Shop / Bike Austin Ride Leader Training (Part 1)

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 DanielLaura 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