Bike Therapy: Casual Friday Group Ride of Two

There aren’t a lot of evening social rides in my part of town, and I’d been noticing this new one for a while. Today after heading out late in the afternoon of a chilly, windy day, I decided to join the ride. It’s a good thing I did, too, since the few regulars chose to skip it. I arrived right on time at the meeting spot — a parking lot next to a deli near where I used to live, and was greeted by Dave, the organizer. After waiting a bit in case of stragglers, we headed out on a relatively relaxed ride.

Continue reading

Bike Curious? Here’s the Perfect Pedal for a Slow Sunday Cycle in Austin

Years ago, I was pedaling past the World War II era airplane hanger at Austin’s former Robert Mueller airport, which I recall flying into right over where I lived. (Not the recent special investigator.) Now, Mueller is the one-word name (like Bono, Prince, or Sting) for the new urban, high-density (and high-cost) neighborhood that now sits on the former airport. Back then, somehow I’d been able to rent a room in pretty new row house owned by a nice gentleman from Ethiopia. That’s another story.

I biked but not much. On that night, I found the ride quite by accident and joined in. It was fun and easy, but soon I went on my way and didn’t go back. Skip ahead many years in time to a couple of weeks ago, and I ran into a fellow rider at the grocery store, Jason. He reminded me about the ride, and since I was on a bike and curious about Bike Curious, I showed up. Needing a recovery ride from Saturday’s hot and tiring 45-mile Mamma Jamma training ride, I went again a second time. Lemme tell ya’ all about it.

Continue reading

Random Thoughts from the Life of a Car-Free Bicyclist in Austin, Texas

Sometimes there’s no one unifying theme to a blog post, but even then, there is still a framework. Today, it’s that many factors affect my cycling, and also that there’s more to life than cycling. (Impossible, I can hear some of you saying!) Here are a few of those thoughts. As to whether they’re Deep Thoughts, you’d have to ask Jack Handy, which is an old Saturday Night Live skit. Basically he had short quotes that were inane, so I’m not claiming any wisdom. I am just sharing my experience in hopes it educates, inspires or at least amuses you as one of my millions of followers (any day now). Read on, it’ll be good, you’ll see. After all, I’m not The Dude, I’m just A Dude. And A Dude would never steer you wrong. That would be very un-Dude-like.

Continue reading

Fast, Furious, Foothillacious Friday Forty-Miler on the Fairdale

Bicycling is a violent sport.  I don’t mean falling off, crashing into trees or getting hit by cars.  (That stuff also happens.) I mean in the sense that, depending on how you ride, you are punishing your body in some form or fashion.  This is true of most physical activities and sports.  But when you go that extra mile, and push yourself beyond your comfort level, you are into suffering, pain and yes, violence.  The human body is quite resilient and can usually handle what an athlete (in my case, fathlete) throws at it, and it will eventually recover.  Tonight was one of those times where I was challenged quite a lot, and on a bad road, I was eventually dropped.  But the greater the challenge, the more one learns about oneself.  Tonight’s unexpected group ride (my third in about as many weeks!) was a prime example.  Come with me on this hairy, scary ride!  Continue reading at: https://wp.me/p75hY4-1JT

Continue reading

Biking Betties 7th Anniversary Co-Ed Ride and Party

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

Fast & Furious Fun: Ethan’s Going Away Alley (Oops!) Night Ride

 

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.

Check out this ride on Strava.

Continue reading

Thursday Night Social Ride: Keep Austin Weird!

Check out my ride on Strava.

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.

Continue reading