Which Austin, Texas Bike Shops Are Open During the COVID-19 Shelter in Place?

During my ongoing spins around town, at least my neck of the woods, I’ve passed by a few local bike shops (LBS). Given the government shut-down of all non-essential business, it seemed most of the LBS’s were forced to close. Many operate on thin margins, so it’s not good news. But I began thinking: If auto dealers, car repair and auto parts shops are open, isn’t it discriminatory against the car-less and poor to close down the LBS’s?

However, bicycling is an exempt activity from the health department order to stay home. And if you ride a bike, you know you will eventually need new tubes or a professional repair. A reputable source told me that LBS’s are now being considered as important enough to be allowed to stay open, thanks to some advocacy. So I was curious who was open. This is not an exhaustive or authoritative list, and it’s subject to frequent changes. Your mileage may vary — quite literally. Check their websites, social media or call first before biking there.

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Sophie Gets a New Drive Train, and She Rides Like Buttah

After pedaling 6,860 miles on Sophie, my Fairdale Weekender Archer, she was due for an overhaul. Shifting gears wasn’t hard, but the teeth on the cog were beginning to look like shark teeth — a key indicator they were wearing out. So I took her by Sun and Ski Sports and got a new chain ring, cassette and chain. (A new derailleur is probably next.) This is that story.

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Patching Punctures Practice at the Project (Austin Yellow Bike)

This evening I headed over to the Austin Yellow Bike Project again.  After all the pucking functures of innertubes on my bikes lately, and needing to be frugal, I decided to save money on buying new ones when the ones I had were perfectly good, except for the holes.  Finally the weather has turned and we got back into the 60’s, which is really refreshing to we Texans used to 90 degree days and more.  It was a delicious temperature to bike in, although only about 4 miles.  And since the shop is a big warehouse, it’s good wrenchin’ weathah, to borrow a turn of phrase from my Vermonter friends. Continue reading

More Pucking Functures! Five Fixes for Frequent Flats Free From Frustration

Lately I’ve had a string of bad luck with holes in my tires. It’s like Jack Alehurst of Life Behind Bars said, if he were Jerry Seinfeld: “Doncha hate it when you’ve been off your bike for a while and finally decide to go for a ride, only to find it has a flat tire?” Or maybe Robin would say to the caped crusader: “Holy holes, Batman!” Well that’s been a factor for me this last week. Some mysterious, one my fault, and well, it gets frustrating and expensive. So here’s a little recap and then a little advice.

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Toolin’ Around at Austin Yellow Bike Project

For some time now, my left crank has not matched my right crank.  It was making me a little cranky!  So tonight I took a spin again to see my friends at the Austin Yellow Bike Project, www.AustinYellowBike.org.  The free shop has evening hours and is staffed by helpful volunteers called CoordinatorsPete, Zack and Conti were there to offer pointers.  But it’s very much a Do It Yourself affair.  Come peek under the hood! Continue reading

Replacing My Brakes at Austin Yellow Bike Project

Tonight I took my old Fuji bicycle to the free community shop, Austin Yellow Bike Project. The brakes were very worn, which I consider a point of pride, because it means I’ve ridden my bike a shit ton of miles.  That’s right, I used a curse word. So sue me! I’m just trying to spice things up a bit. Actually, please don’t sue me. Normally A Dude Abikes is a family friendly blog.  We still have free speech here in ‘Merrikuh, don’t we?  But biking 10,000 miles in two years was so much work, one swear word doesn’t even begin to do that justice.  Anyway, YBP is cool, so let me tell you about it. Continue reading