Bike to Work Day 2019 Party

Today was Bike to Work Day in Austin as in many cities worldwide. I didn’t make to any of the morning fueling stations or the gathering and speechifying at City Hall. My excuse? I don’t have a job. Well, aside from the job of being A Dude Abikes, and lemme tell ya’, it ain’t easy bein’ me. Or green. Or green me. But I do work my ass off every day, actually, I’m just not getting paid for it! I’m either researching, writing and editing this blog or my book, walking, and doing yoga… every damn day for over 16 months now (the yoga goes back over 64 months). Then there’s biking almost every single day — about 100 miles per week (sometimes less and slower lately with knee pain, but I’m still doing it). Plus I’m looking for work and housing, not to mention volunteering for Bike Austin. I did make it to the after-party like last year, so here’s my recap.

Continue reading

Study Says Painted Bike Lanes Aren’t Enough; Two Close Calls in Two Days Confirm It

The study, done by Monash University of cyclists in Victoria, Australia, found that painted bike lanes do not deter car drivers from coming too close to bicycles. And people ride their bikes less when they do not feel safe. The answer is clear: bike lanes must be protected in order to create true safety for bike riders.

Here in Austin, Texas, as in many places around the United States, we’re lucky if we even get those white lines. Which we now know do not work well enough. Nearly getting hit by cars while I was in the bike lane twice in the last two makes this a hot topic for me, one that I’m hot under the collar about. Why? Because I spoke to both drivers, and they’re responses were infuriating. Come on inside this post and I’ll tell you about it.

Continue reading

Five Bike News Stories from Around Texas

One of the blogs I follow is one I find hard to read. That’s because it seems like most days BikingInLA usually has coverage of a bicyclist fatality . It’s a major downer for me, and I’m sure everyone. But it’s important to hold the City of Angels and car drivers’ feet to the fire. Also, the author has a ton of other good stuff in there. If you can get past the gloom and doom, it’s worth a read. Here are a few Texas stories I found and thought I’d share with y’all. Thanks, BikingInLA! Keep fighting the good fight.

Continue reading

Helmets, Schmelmets: Should You Wear a Brain Bucket on a Bicycle?

I’ve been thinking about helmets recently. Ever since eagle-eyed Mike in the bike shop at Sun & Ski Sports noticed mine has a crack in it, the need to replace it has been in the back of my mind. The one I got a while ago has MIPs – the inside slides around and if you make impact is supposed to cushion your brain even more. I got it on sale but full price is $150, and that’s a bit rich for my blood right now. On the other hand, protecting my brain, such as it is, is pretty important. I could make do with a cheaper one. And then I thought, do they really work? Do I need one at all? Turns out, there’s a lot of opinions about bike helmets. I’ll touch on a few and share my own helmet journey.

Continue reading

Austin Bicyclist 2019 Death #2: Jessica Saathoff, 28, Hit by a Car

This sad news came across my screen, and I just sat and stared at it. She was 28 years old, hit by a car Thursday night. Now, gone. The details are scant and will trickle in. Here’s an updated story from the NBC affiliate, KXAN: “Cyclists push for change after fatal MLK Blvd crash.” The story says she wasn’t wearing a helmet and the car driver stayed on the scene. Despite this tragedy, riding a bike in Austin is still very safe compared to driving and walking. That won’t help Jessica, but maybe it will help others of us who do still bike.

Continue reading

Texas Bike Advocate Summit & Cyclists in Suits Lobby Day

The last three days I spent participating in these two events were a slice of bicyclist advocate heaven. Although I’m not being literal (read my post In Bike I Trust: The Faith of an Agnostic Athiest Cyclist for my thoughts on all that), it was a smorgasboard of education, networking, lobbying, and of course, bike riding. The first-ever event hosted by the board, staff and volunteers of Bike Texas brought 40 people together from many parts of Texas. I volunteered to attend as one of three representatives of Bike Austin. The summit was held Saturday-Sunday and the lobby day was today, Monday. If you’ve read this far, you may as well keep going to read the rest. You know you wanna!

Continue reading