The Heat Is On, Again

Summer again approaches Austin, America and well the northern hemisphere. With a 100 degree day forecast, the heat is on, again. It’s been almost a year since my post Surviving the Summer Heat on a Bicycle. While full of useful advice about not just hydration but acclimation and other stuff, there’s no need to repeat it, but feel free check it out. Even knowing what to do to minimize the effects doesn’t change the fact that it’s just sweaty and uncomfortable. In addition, I’ve attended several protests and demonstrations for Black Lives Matter (see posts here and here). One involved a march that was in the hottest part of the day. People were ducking into the shade, and numerous volunteers were handing out water. Add into that the increasing temperatures from global warming, and it’s that least wonderful time of year: summer. How can we make it less of a bummer?

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Hey Austinites! Advocate for Protected Bike Lanes on Burnet Road and Congress Avenue

The advocacy and education organization with which I’ve volunteered over the last four years, Bike Austin sent out two recent messages about protected lanes on two major streets. Regular bike lanes are just painted lines on the road. As such, they provide only some protection from cars only if the drivers respect them. (Many do, plenty don’t.) Lanes that use some sort of barrier to separate cars and bikes offer riders protection. For many riders, that is the difference between riding their bike on the street or letting it collect dust in the shed. Because car drivers cannot be trusted, I’m generally for protected lanes, even when they aren’t the most fun or convenient. While they may not be as urgent as other issues, bike lanes can also be a matter of life or death.

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Bicycle Bites, Motion Morsels and Transportation Tidbits

I must have been hungry when I wrote this post, going by the title. But this is not about food you eat while riding your bike. It’s one of those posts wherein I list various random bike stuff, thoughts and news. It’s usually a combination of stuff I did, saw or read about that isn’t enough for its own separate post. The blurbs can be educational, factual, just a slice of life, or even a rant. I bet you’ll find at least one of them interesting. I think I’ll go have a small snack while you keep reading. If you do, thanks!

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Longhorn Strava Art / Shoal Creek Saturday with Saurabh

Today’s post was going to be about an article in Bicycling magazine. But it turns out it’s a re-run of something from September. Then I was going to re-visit my 2019 stats. But since that post went over like a lead balloon, I shelved that for another time (maybe). Then I figured I could provide reportage on the City of Austin opening a 2-mile stretch of Shoal Creek redesigned bike lanes. But I didn’t make it to the gathering, so what to write about? How about a bike ride I did with a cycling friend on Shoal Creek later in the day? Ya sure, ya betcha!

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This Bicycle Rider Is Going Places

Literally and figuratively, I’m always going somewhere. Today was partly virtual, in that my blog post 15 YEARS NOT A SLAVE TO CARS! was shared by TexBiker.net. It is an excellent collection of you guessed it! Bike news from around Texas. Thanks to Rick in Houston for doing that and for all he does! Another step in my diabolical plan to become internet famous. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha! Yeah, sure Dude, whatever you say.

Vision Zero ATX held its first monthly meeting in a while at the Austin History Center. The small group is sponsored by a non-profit which has staff working on reducing all traffic deaths to zero whether they are people in cars, on bikes, by foot or even scooters. They are looking for volunteers to help rebuild their cause. Austin’s deaths increased last year, so there is work to be done to persuade city government to really allocate funds for better bike lanes and more. To learn more visit VisionZeroTexas.org.

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Austin Bicyclist 2019 Death #4: Merry Daye, 45 – On the Very Road Where Bike Austin is Calling for Protected Lanes

At 2:25 am on Monday, December 16, 2019, Merry Daye, a black woman aged 45 and a male were riding their bikes south on Cameron Road. Her bike had a trailer, and she was working on it while in the bike lane. The man was on the sidewalk. A silver Dodge Ram truck (the irony of the name is not lost on me) veered into the bike lane, crashing into Merry, bike and trailer. The truck then did a hit and run and left the scene. Emergency medical services was called and came to the crash site. They found Merry without a pulse, but were able to restore her heartbeat. She was transported to the hospital where she died. For her, family and friends, it will be Christmas without Merry. Sources: CBS Austin, KXAN, Austin Police Department

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North East Austin Texas Bike Group Ride #3 to Find Bad Bike Infrastructure

Dear Austin, Texas: We know, you’re the Live Music Capital of the World. You like to Keep it Weird. You’re the People’s Republic of Austin. You got a Gold rating from the League of American Cyclists in 2015. And yes, you are making some improvements with Mobility Bond money. To be sure, you are way ahead of Dallas or Laredo or many other places. But you can’t sit on your laurels. So, A Dude respectfully disagrees about the bike lanes being paved with gold. That’s because I ride your streets practically every day, and from where I sit (on my bike seat), you have a LONG way to go. Let’s talk about one small step we in the tiny but mighty North East  Austin Texas Bicycle Group took for bicycling kind.

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Bike Lanes on Cameron & Dessau Roads – City of Austin Listening Session

This past Thursday the City of Austin (Texas) Active Transportation Department had a gathering for interested citizens to come give their input about bike lanes. These roads are really the same, they just change names. After passing one highway, it becomes a six-lane death trap from hell, if you’re on a bicycle. As a cyclist who volunteered numerous times on a committee for just this cause, I was keen to go and see this project finally start to come to life. It’s always interesting to participate in the process of something that could save your own life and that of friends and neighbors. Isn’t that something every bike rider should get behind?

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2019 World Day of Remembrance for Victims of Traffic Violence

This somber event first was commemorated in the United Kingdom in 1995, later expanding to other countries. Here in Austin, Texas, USA, those who died in the past year in cars, on bikes, or on foot, are remembered with speeches, flowers, a silent walk and exhortations to stop the epidemic of car-nage. Despite a very sore knee, I made my way downtown to join the 50 or so participants, pay my respects to the 70+ people who died since last November, and hope that I’m not on the list next year. While “only” three bicyclists died, that’s still three too many. Read their stories here: Anothony Diaz, Jessica Saathoff and Anthony Williams.

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