Someone Just Threw a Firecracker at Me on My Bicycle

Yes, you read that right. I was biking, and some poor, misguided soul, correction, a major assclown in a car slowed down to throw a firecracker at my head. But that wasn’t all. The firecracker throwing happened after a guy in a truck sped through the turn at a red light without yielding in front me, which could have resulted in major pain or death were I not such a defensive rider and excellent bike handler. But shortly thereafter I came upon his shop where his loose barking dogs came at me. Usually my evening bike rides aren’t as eventful. This one saved all the excitement until the last 20 minutes. Let’s go to my Strava description.

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Bike Austin Says the Healthy Streets Program Is Under Threat

An email from Bike Austin arrived in my in box recently. Forced to cancel events by the virus like many volunteer-run non-profits, they must do most of their work in cyber space. The email is about the take-over of certain streets by the Austin Transportation Department. Basically they set up plastic barrels and barriers that slow down cars and have signs instructing motor vehicles that the road is for local use only. The goal is to allow people to more easily walk, bike, skate, etc. with social distancing during pandemic times and maybe beyond. Is that such a bad thing? A Dude thinks not, I think.

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9 Tips Why You Should Buy Tip Beer for Your Bicycle Mechanic

What? You’re not buying beer as a tip for your bicycle mechanics? Well, that’s a faux pas big time. If you think about it, whether you’re an amateur or avid cyclist, your bike and your life is in literally their hands. So if they’re having a shit day and you come in and dump more shit on them, guess what? The quality of your bike repair may also be quite defecatory in nature. Or not, if they’re real pros. And if you’re taking your bike to the shop, you need them. I’m not talking about a keg a day, of course; you don’t want him/her to be drunk all the time, especially while working on your bike. The repairs could be half-assed and life-threatening. But if you’re not doing anything, you need to jump on board the beer wagon.

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Austin Bike News Roundup for August 6, 2020

I haven’t done one of these roundups in a while. Because, coronavirus. My last one was in May. Inspired somewhat by BikingInLA and TexBiker.net, a roundup hopes to serve up some useful tidbits of happenings around town in the bicycling world here in Austin. Sometimes, it’s news about infrastructure, not so sexy, but important. And other times it’s even sobering and sad, like the senseless suffering and death of a cyclist who was hit by a car (the first of 2020).

I suppose that last one is fitting, given that it’s the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima Day and Nagasaki Day on the 9th. These tragic attacks remind us that the United States is the other country to ever use nuclear weapons, at great human cost. A Dude says nukes must be abolished before we can ever have peace. There’s a treaty that only 40 countries have signed and shamefully, the US in not one of them. Alright, sermon concluded. On with the way more fun and much less important Austin bike news!

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“Wassup, Killah?” and Other Random $hit People Say to Me on My Bicycle

Last night I was putting in some late night miles — 16.5 to be exact — to beat the heat and keep my stats up, you know, like I do. I approached a red light and came to a stop. Here’s what I wrote in my Strava ride summary: “Wassup, Killah?” Said the man at the bus stop, a descendant of Africa, pleasantly and with no malice, to the dude on the bicycle who is of the Caucasian persuasion. “I’m good, thanks. How ’bout you?” Also good. They then discussed how the weather wasn’t as hot as last night. The light changed, adieus were bid, and the dude rode on, an otherwise lackluster day made. “Huh, I guess I am kinda a killah on a bike!” He pedaled a little harder, his mph a bit faster. So yeah, that happened.

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Coronavirus Cycle Commuting: Survival Tips for Your Trips

For the last few weeks I’ve been biking to a job. This isn’t new, as I’ve been 15 years not a slave to cars. But recently I’ve not had work to go to, so a daily ride to a workplace, and then returning home during the still surreal situation we’re all in, is a bit odd. The global coronavirus pandemic is a huge tragedy that will be with us for a while until there’s a vaccine and maybe longer. One small consolation is that it has reduced traffic and pollution. This is good for bike riders, but there are still plenty of hazards so cyclists should remain vigilant. Here a few challenges I’ve noticed and tips for things you can do to make your ride to work as good and as safe as possible.

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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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