The evening of Saturday, January 8, 2022, I was inside a big box store talking to a clerk about replacing my over four-year-old cell phone. I had parked Sophie, the Fairdale Weekender Archer, a bicycle who has been my trusty sidekick since I won her in a Bike Austin raffle in 2017, a mere 10 feet away in the small vestibule for shopping carts. Since I was so close and regularly looking right at her, I did not use my u-lock and cable lock — a fatal mistake I’ll never make again. At 6:30 pm, a brazen thief walked into the little lobby, stood there for 20 seconds, then walked out with my bicycle while I wasn’t looking. The next time I looked up, Sophie was gone, and with her, a piece of my soul.
I’ve titled this sad post the same as the ride for Anthony John Diaz, because it was very similar. A bunch of people show up at a pre-arranged place, they chat, there are some announcements, and the ride begins without people speaking unless needed for safety. The group rides around East Austin with leaders stopping car traffic or the riders as needed, and eventually it arrives at the scene of the victim’s death. There is a bike painted all white: a ghost bike. Somber words are spoken, people reflect, and the ride continues. It then ends at a park after about 10 miles, where people are thanked and more words are spoken. It’s sad, and it’s supposed to be, like a funeral procession. But now what?
NOTE: Many folks may not have seen my Sunday, February 18th post, which I had inexcplicably moved to the trash and didn’t notice all day. I restored it and would love for you to read it, so here is the link for “27-Mile Brushy Creek Trail Ride + Peddler Bike Shop Stop.” After all, a blog mostly about bikes needs some ride reports sometimes!
Andrew Tilin: Rest In Peace
Today’s post is more bad news, I’m very sorry to report. Yet another Austin cyclist, Andrew Tilin, was killed on Saturday, February 17, the same day I wrote about Leonel Hernandez, who was killed under mysterious circumstances back on January 29. There isn’t even a picture of Hernandez available yet that I can find. There are photos of Tilin, still young and in the prime of his life in his 40’s. I didn’t know him but I’m heartbroken for those who did. Continue reading →
Guns Don’t Kill People, the National Rifle Association Does
A Dude Abikes does not live in a vacuum. That would be weird, dark and gross and would literally suck. OK, that’s a bad pun about a literal vacuum. I don’t watch much TV news, but the heartbreaking information that 15 kids and two teachers were shot to death on Valentine’s Day by a former student at a high school in southern Florida still made it to me. There’s not alot I can add to the debate over guns. So I will do my thing and write about my day using a bike trainer. But I do so with a heavy heart and deep awareness that perspective is key and believe that attention must be paid to this national disgrace. There’s an epidemic of car violence that kills cyclists and pedestrians, too. But it’s not as sexy when only one person dies at a time. Continue reading →