For those new here or who’ve forgotten, this blog is an outgrowth of all my bicycling. In turn, that has spawned a manuscript. Books don’t just publish themselves, and it’s an epic battle to get it done and revised, and like a war to get it published. So I spent most of the past weekend at a nice hotel in downtown Austin on the south shore of Town Lake at the Writers League of Texas conference. This is my summation.Continue reading
Writers’ League of Texas Summer Writing Retreat
For those new here, I’ve written a manuscript. It’s about the period covered by the first two years of this blog. It took a year to write the book, alternating days that I write this blog. Another year passed while I edited it. I was sitting in a virtual drawer for a while, then I found a couple of people to do beta reading. While that process continues, this opportunity came along after I recently joined the Writers League of Texas. Membership has its privileges, and one of them is discounts on programs like this class on revision. (Many are free.) Although not cheap, I realized it’s a bargain and that I couldn’t really afford NOT to take the class. Although the goal — to write a book — was accomplished, if I ever want to get this book done and out into the world somehow, it’s going to take a lot more work. After all, as they say, writing IS revising. I’m thinking of it as an investment. Who knows? Maybe it’ll make me some money some day. (Unlikely, but possible).Continue reading
A Mellow Evening at Austin’s Cool Community Yellow Bike Project
A friend who did me a big solid (aka favor) the other day has had a bike in a shed collecting cobwebs for a while. He’s been wanting to fix it up but was a little intimidated by going to the community shop, Austin’s own Yellow Bike Project. So I figured I’d help him out by assessing the situation and then get him going on repairs while I paid some attention to the neglected brakes of Sophie, my Fairdale. He’s shy and didn’t want his photograph or name mentioned, but I can still talk about the evening.Continue reading
5 Unexpected Perks of Being a Bicyclist in Austin, Texas
Sophie Gets Me Compliments
“Dude! That’s a sweet bike you’ve got there,” says a random person on a bike every week or two at a stoplight or while I’m locking or unlocking my bike. They’re talking about Sophie the sea foam Fairdale Weekender Archer, my main squeeze these days. “Yeah, she is, thanks. I won her in a raffle from Bike Austin,” I counter.
“Really? Wow, that’s great!” they say. “I love that color too, it’s really pretty.” I reply, a skosh sardonically, “Yes, she’s pretty, just like me. And she was worth $850 new! Lucky me, right?” That’s usually the extent of it. Some car people talk about their cars in a similar fashion, but it doesn’t seem the same. Back when I had one, 14 years ago, I didn’t have such conversations. It wasn’t pretty, it just got me from point A to point B.
BENEFIT #1: For me, these little chats are specific to being out on a bike. It’s a small thing, but they brighten my day. (Sophie loves it too.)Continue reading
Froomey Falls: 4-Time Tour de France Winner Blows His Nose… & His Chances
The sad news hit the cycling world that Christopher Froome, British rider for professional bicycle racing Team Ineos (formerly Team Sky), has broken his hip, femur, elbow and ribs and is out of 2019 Tour de France. “It’s just a bike race” he said after the terrorist truck attack killed 86 people and injured over 400 in Nice, France on Bastille Day during the 2017 Tour. What can we mere mortals learn from his epic fail? I’m so glad you asked. I’ll tell you if you click on “Continue reading.”Continue reading
South by Southwest (SXSW) 2019 Day 1: A Dude Abikes Meets Yoga With Adriene!
South by Southwest (SXSW), the annual, huge, internationally-famous smorgasbord at the intersections of technology, creativity, business, and more began today in Austin, Texas. After four days volunteering for the educational conference (SXSW EDU), I was already exhausted. But having mostly earned my free platinum all-access badge, I wasn’t going to sit home all day and miss out. Although I got a slow start, I found my way downtown (by bicycle, of course) to join the festivities. Herein is my report.Continue reading
A Dude Attends the League Cycling Instructor Seminar (Part 2)
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.
A Dude Attends the League Cycling Instructor Seminar (Part 1)
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.
What Is the League of American Bicyclists?
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
Smart Cycling Complete Class in Austin, Texas
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