If I had seen a second of that program about dragons and stuff on the Home Box Office channel, I could continue the allusion. But I haven’t so I can’t. But I can however tell you that the hotter-than-hell-fire breathing dragon that is summer in Central Texas is starting her terrifying approach. Temps are already topping out at the low 90’s in Austin, Texas. People, get ready, a lack of rain is comin’. I share my tips on how to deal. Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor in real life or TV. I’m just telling you how I deal with the heat. If you have or may have a medical condition that makes being outside dangerous, ask a real doctor, not a dude. This goes for everything on my blog. If my experience helps, great. But always use common sense, take responsibility, and you do you.Continue reading
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
After meeting Jim Sayer of Adventure Cycling Association on Monday (see my conversation with him), I cycled in the cold to attend his talk on Tuesday. So it was still a conversation, but with about 75 people, not just me. The evening was hosted at the in a big room at the offices of Bike Texas. As you might deduce from the name, it’s a group that works to make cycling safe and appealing in a variety of ways, from lobbying, pressing for infrastructure improvements, and education like Safe Routes to Schools. The evening began with schmoozing, beverages and snacks. I enjoyed the hot apple cider after my chilly ride. Some familiar faces were visible, including one rider I invited. Many were not, but were long-time supporters of the group. For Austin it’s colder than usual for this time of year, so before I continue I’m going to heat up some of that extra cider I brought home in my water bottle. Yum! 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 post was going to be about an open house held by the City of Austin Transportation Department which I attended. It was about the redesign of a nearby street to have bike lanes, sidewalks, trees and parking. Not terribly exciting, yet pretty interesting at the same time. But then this happened. So I’ll save that for another day (or not), and tell you about this crazy, wild-ass, scary, dangerous, and fun ride.
Saturday I got myself down to Bicycle Sport Shop on South Lamar for Bike Austin’s 9th Annual Hottest Day of the Year Ride. About 40 folks from a young age to not so young arrived to sample the mocktails, peruse Bike Austin t-shirts and brave the heat. The good part was that the route was a short 10-miles and took us to two splash pads and two pools. While technically not the hottest day, it was warm enough, 99 F heat index. A Dude was serving as one of the ride leaders, and it was an eventful afternoon. The next night I put in the first longer ride in a while, 31 miles total. So let’s check them out. Continue reading
Since I’ve been feeling a good deal of discomfort and sometimes pain in a certain area on and off, and I am sick of the heat and thus waiting til evenings to ride (not to mention still watching tons of World Cup football matches on delay as well as the Tour de France), I’ve been biking about 12 miles every night this week.
For last night’s ride, I had it in mind to ride downtown to Town Lake and maybe join up with yjr Thursday Night Social Ride (TNSR),the weekly main event of Social Cycling Austin (SCA). It’s a combination of anarchy / organized chaos, like a Critical Mass ride, and also in some ways it’s pretty relaxed if you just go with the flow. I got a late start so figured I’d miss it. I’m generally always happy to do my own ride, but wouldn’t you know it? I crossed paths with the 300-strong group, so naturally I decided to join in the scary fun.
After 1984’s Footloose, which your blogger certainly saw at the time but doesn’t recall his reaction to, Kevin Bacon was very popular. He chose to follow up a decent movie with one about a broker who loses his shirt in the stock market and becomes, quite logically, a bike messenger! There’s drama, action, love interests, an 80’s cheestastic soundtrack, and lots of bikes. The Alamo Drafthouse, which is known for showing all kinds of wacky movies, hosted, and Bike Austin Education Fund was the beneficiary. A Dude loves cheese a bit too much and also bacon, though I have mostly low-sodium turkey variety in my fruitless quest for health. (Well, I eat a lot of fruit, actually.) So bikes, cheese and a big helpin’ o’ Bacon (Kevin, that is)? Sign me up!
Today was one of those days that in retrospect was pretty fine. Not a totally perfect day by all means. Nor just one perfect moment like Anthony’s blog, Today’s Perfect Moment, which you could check out. It was a collection of moments, feelings, experiences, thoughts and more that together were really quite nice. Any day that includes a beautiful stranger rubbing oil on your sore muscles, a hilarious movie, and bikes, well, that’s one fine day. Do you want me to tell you about it? OK, since you insist.
Off to the Races!
Thursday evening I moseyed on down the Southern Walnut Creek Trail to a small racecar track in southeast Austin. It was bike night, and the races were on. I rolled up to a small sea of cyclists milling about, and a group of maybe 60 riding on the .62-mile track. Held from April to September each year, the Driveway Series (or just the Driveway, in Austin) was selected as the best races in the United States, according to a chat I had with the congenial and sometimes funny announcer Logan. A former racer, he’s very familar with the sport and most of the riders, and was happy to share details between laps.
Sanctioned by USA Racing, these are the real deal. There are different levels, 4/5 (beginners), 1/2/3, Masters (over 35), and Pro for men (which some women race in) as well as the same for women. But it’s also a festive atmosphere with beer and food trucks, repair vans, sponsor tents, and music playing on the loudspeakers. There were serious-looking cyclists from the not so fit to the super skinny lean young guys, and the super-strong beasts and some very nice and expensive bicycles. Come along for a short lap!