The Journey Is the Destination: Meandering Thoughts from a Bike Dude

After many miles over the last four and a quarter years, I’d like to think I mostly know what I’m doing on a bicycle. There’s ways more to learn, of course. Still, it just takes one mistake and you could find yourself in a spot of bother, or should I say spot of splat. Today, I went on a ride with a friend that involved social distancing to avoid other riders, and there were many sidewalks. Towards the end, after about 20 miles at careful pace, a light turned green and I crossed a busy street — but it was the wrong light, not the crosswalk I was waiting for. Suddenly, I found myself in a lane where a car was coming by on either side. Fortunately there wasn’t a lot of traffic and my fellow rider told me I was wrong, so I quickly returned to the sidewalk. I was never in that much danger, as both cars slowed down. It wasn’t my best moment in what’s been a long journey, reminding me that being mindful in the present moment instead if the destination is one key to survival on the bike, as in life.

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Austin Bike News Roundup for February 18, 2019

There is always something happening related to bicycles in my little world, but there have been a number of bike-related headlines around the city in recent days.  On this day of closed post offices due to the 40 or so men who have resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, here are the stories that caught A Dude’s eye:

  • Keep Austin Weird:  Man charged with assault after Sixth Street fight with pedicab driver, police say (February 17, Austin American-Statesman)
  • Fortunately, he survived:  Man injured in bicycle crash in downtown Austin (same as above)
  • The investigation into the death of Anthony John Diaz, killed after apparently getting run over by a bus, continues: UT Austin police seeking Good Samaritan witness to fatal crash (February 13, 2019 KXAN News)
  • Former resident, cancer patient, and guy who did some other bike-related stuff:  Lance Armstrong becomes ‘charity chaser’ for Austin Marathon (February 14, KXAN News)
  • For a bonus, although happening 11 days ago and is slightly out of town in Burnet, Texas:  2019 FIRST CHAIR ALERT: Spider Mountain Bike Park Opening Day (February 4)
Let’s dive into the details, shall we?

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An Austin Cyclist Was Hit By Cars Twice in a Year; Lance Armstrong Settles With US Postal

In the April 8th edition of the local paper, there was an article about JoJo McKibben, who had a traumatic accident after being hit by an SUV while biking last summer. In fact, the cyclist became trapped under the SUV, and seven people actually had to lift the car off of her! The first driver was drunk and indicted but is free on bond and has yet to go to trial.

Earlier this month she was hit again, but fortunately was not hurt as badly. The second driver is in jail on a lesser charge. Both accidents show that while Austin has the image of being a bike-friendly city, and in some ways it is better than others (Dallas, Houston, San Antonio — I’m talking to you). But the reality is much different. I know, I bike most days and fear for my life multiple times because of distracted, bad or mean drivers.

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