A Dude hasn’t biked as far as he has, mostly here in Austin, Texas, and remained above ground without taking safe cycling seriously. Some people don’t do that, so they pay the price with injury or worse. Others do play by all the rules but drivers of cars don’t. The smart money is on doing everything you can to be “oh, oh, oh stayin’ alive” so you can “live to ride another day,” as Sam says. I know what I’m talking about because I am currently still alive after almost 30,000 verified Strava miles. I also took the League Cycling Instructors course (I’m short a few exercises of being a full-fledged LCI). Here are 10 tips off the top of my — what word for brain starts with t.Continue reading
- 40,000 pound city transit bus
- Lazy-ass or law-breaking bus driver (see if you can find one that’s both)
- One 28-pound steel-framed sea foam green Fairdale Weekender Archer bicycle named Sophie (substitutions allowed)
- Experienced person on said bicycle, vulnerable to said buses
- Narrow traffic and bike lanes on most dangerous section of road in Austin for bikes
- Friday evening rush hour
- Big pot of history of near misses with city buses for the bicyclist
- Memory of John Anthony Diaz, a cyclist killed by same bus company (separate into two portions)
- Kettle full of road rage for the bus driver
- Add a pinch, a soupçon, or a schosche of irritating, smelly bus riders into the mix
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.Continue reading
I’ve been thinking about helmets recently. Ever since eagle-eyed Mike in the bike shop at Sun & Ski Sports noticed mine has a crack in it, the need to replace it has been in the back of my mind. The one I got a while ago has MIPs – the inside slides around and if you make impact is supposed to cushion your brain even more. I got it on sale but full price is $150, and that’s a bit rich for my blood right now. On the other hand, protecting my brain, such as it is, is pretty important. I could make do with a cheaper one. And then I thought, do they really work? Do I need one at all? Turns out, there’s a lot of opinions about bike helmets. I’ll touch on a few and share my own helmet journey.Continue reading
There’s always something going on in the world of bicycling in Austin.
- For example, a City Councilmember known for bicycling to work won the runoff I just worked (against his sister, no less!). I mentioned Pio Renteria in my post Presentation by Jim Sayer, Director of Adventure Cycling Association (Part 2).
- The City of Austin’s Active Transportation Department is often holding meetings about street improvements, like to Slaughter Lane or the Longhorn Dam even.
- Starting just a few days ago, Austin Parks and Recreation is now allowing electric bikes and scooters on certain trails. A pilot project will track speed, complaints, and the inevitable crashes.
- The upcoming Texas Legislature meets in downtown Austin in the state capitol building. Folks will be advocating for bills for Safe Passing, Safe Routes to School, Distracted Driving (a ban on cell-phone use while driving) and Slower Neighborhood Streets. (I wrote about the latter in 2018 World Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Traffic Violence: Texas Vision Zero Vigil.)
As a public service – a big part of what we’re about here at www.ADudeAbikes.com and on WordPress – I thought I’d touch on a few of these issues for your reading pleasure. A Dude ain’t nuthin’ if not educatin’ the masses ’bout bikes n’ stuff!
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.
This post is not about San Diego, but it is about a class. Tonight was the first of three sessions of the League of American Bicyclists class. That’s right! A Dude is attempting to become a League Cycling Instructor (LCI). This is a follow-up to the Smart Cycling class, which I wrote about last month. I also blogged about the League in this post. Taken together, you can learn a few things about bicycling safety and education. I won’t repeat much of the content, though. For that you can and should sign up for a Smart Cycling or LCI class yourself! Because it’s an intensive weekend, this will be a more brief post than usual (that’s a good thing). I’ll post a follow-up on my usual next day, which is Monday. OK, time to open your notebooks! Ready, begin.
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
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