Some Downsides of the Car-Free Lifestyle

In my fourth annual post about living without a car, 14 Years Not a Slave to Cars, I talked about the obvious benefits of riding a bike and not having a car. Of course there’s helping the environment, getting exercise and Vitamin D, and getting to write blog posts that are read and celebrated by 10’s of people around the world. But there are downsides, too. Let’s talk about it!

NOTE 1: If you clicked on, read or liked my Southern Walnut Creek post, please feel free to do so again. I accidentally duplicated it so removed the post.

NOTE 2: You may have seen that sometimes I’m scheduling posts for early on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday. Normally I post late Monday, Wednesday or Friday. But I think I may be losing a few potential viewers the latter way, so I’m trying the former. What are your thoughts about the schedule? Please let me know in a comment.

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Austin, Texas Weekend Bike News: Around the Town

A Visitor of Some Renown

Dr Lugo in town.png

Dr. Adonia E. Lugo, (maybe I’ll call her Doctor Wheelgood), who is Affiliate Faculty in Urban Sustainability at Antioch University Los Angeles, was here in Austin for the Imagine Austin Speaker Series.  Her talk was called, “Mobility Justice: People Power & the Future of Urban Transportation.”   Those in attendance said it was quite good.  I wouldn’t know.

That’s because unfortunately, I didn’t hear about it until after the fact, which really bummed me out.  A guy who knew about it said he was sure I was the one who told him — until he noticed I wasn’t there.  Well, duh!  I actually blogged about her recently in The Invisible Or Utility Bicyclist An Ignored Population.  In it I reference her book (which I need to get and read and review here).  It’s called  Bicycle/Race: Transportation, Culture, & Resistance, a memoir about racial justice and sustainable transportation.  The good news is that her talk was recorded on video and will be forthcoming at this City of Austin link. Continue reading

The Austin Mobility Plan: Sounds Nice, but Will It Fly?

Today’s main local paper Austin American-Statesman had an article titled Austin’s strategic mobility plan hits home stretch.”  It looks at ways to improve bike lanes, sidewalks, public transit and even roads so that people can move about the city better.  The deadline for answering a poll about the plan is Sunday, January 13th, so the update is welcome.  It also reveals some cracks in the fuselage.  planes, trains and automobiles

(Is anyone getting my Planes, Trains and Automobiles reference?  Hello, anyone?  We miss you, John Candy.)  Minor things like how will it be paid for, and will people agree to give up car lanes.  A Dude has some thoughts, so let’s take off, eh, hosers? Continue reading

Keep Walking Even if It’s (Apparently) Not Doing Anything for You

Do the Walk of Life

walk of life
Source

Today I went on yet another 30 minute daily walk.  I try to go early because it’s so friggin’ hot and humid here in Austin, Texas in late June. Summer came early this year (thanks, global warming!).  While there are strategies for dealing with the heat that I outlined in a previous blog, acclimation – getting used to it – is inevitable if you want to keep up a fitness routine.  (Thanks to Julie78787 for reminding us of this important step.)

But I’m finding my walking is getting a little stagnant.  I’m not a morning person but that’s the best time to go to get some Vitamin D without too much harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.  It’s not led to any weight loss, noticeable gains in strength, or huge uplift in my mood.  But I keep doing it because I believe that it will pay long-term benefits.  Here are some: Continue reading

Bike Austin Wants YOU to Help Save Lives by Becoming an Individual or Business Member TODAY!

Volunteering to Make Austin’s Streets Safer for All

Bike Austrin logoToday A Dude visited the downtown Austin, Texas office of Central Texas’s leading bicycling and pedestrian advocacy and education non-profit organization, Bike Austin.   My goal?  To get trained by amazing Community Development Planner Shavone Otero on how to engage Austin businesses to become members to keep the group alive.  That’s her pointing at me in the photograph.  Together with the Bike Austin Education Fund, their mission is to:

“…improve quality of life for all of Austin and Central Texas by growing bicycling as a form of transportation, exercise, and recreation.”

Pretty simple, but not so easy to implement.  Austin traffic continues to worsen, with projected population growth.  Amazon is considering us for another headquarters, which would add 50,000 employees and their families to the roadways.  According to the INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard, Austin ranked 42nd worst traffic in the world.  Drivers spent almost two full days per year in their car.  That’s up 24 slots from 66th worst in 2016.  So bicycling is going to play a vital role in that whole… let’s just call it a mess. Continue reading