Goodreads: A Social Site for Book Lovers

There’s nothing like reading a good book, getting lost in another world while sitting at home and never moving out of your chair or exchanging pants for pajamas. I used to be a voracious reader, although the advent of Netflix sure hasn’t helped. Sometimes I still am. Given my penchant for recording my activities like bicycling, doing yoga, and walking, it makes sense to record what I read, too. Goodreads is a site for just that, a digital bookshelf, and much more. If you’re a reader, you probably know about it, but if you don’t, it’s worth a gander.

Continue reading

12 Bicycle-Related Groups in Austin, Texas You Should Know About

On this Martin Luther King Day, I’m still thinking about the death of an African-American cyclist, Merry “Cookie” Daye. She was killed in the bike lane in a hit and run in December. On the 50th anniversary of MLK’s death, I wrote a blog about him (MLK On a Bike, The Struggle for Justice, and My First Bicycle Consulting Client). Transportation justice is a real thing, since we cyclists are treated like second-class citizens. In Cookie’s case, the authorities have still not found the murderer.

I’ve been thinking about the fact that there appears to be little coordination among the various non-profit bike groups here in Austin, Texas. The group of advocates seems like a small community; the things I get to tend to have the same few advocates. And many do different things. But as a first step to possibly bringing them together in a coalition, I thought I would list the ones I know.

Continue reading

Bike Therapy: Casual Friday Group Ride of Two

There aren’t a lot of evening social rides in my part of town, and I’d been noticing this new one for a while. Today after heading out late in the afternoon of a chilly, windy day, I decided to join the ride. It’s a good thing I did, too, since the few regulars chose to skip it. I arrived right on time at the meeting spot — a parking lot next to a deli near where I used to live, and was greeted by Dave, the organizer. After waiting a bit in case of stragglers, we headed out on a relatively relaxed ride.

Continue reading

Is Living Car-Free Bad for Your Social Life?

Back in May, I wrote a post about the downsides of a car-free lifestyle. I only touched on the social aspect, and lately I’ve been thinking about it (especially now that I’m back to longer solo bike rides.) So, it depends who you ask. My roommate is sort of car-free, in that he commutes to work, but he shares a car with his wife. For him, it’s not an impediment. Some people in big cities have never known otherwise, so they have nothing to compare it to. So these things are hard to measure objectively. Subjectively, let’s explore.

Continue reading

Bike Curious? Here’s the Perfect Pedal for a Slow Sunday Cycle in Austin

Years ago, I was pedaling past the World War II era airplane hanger at Austin’s former Robert Mueller airport, which I recall flying into right over where I lived. (Not the recent special investigator.) Now, Mueller is the one-word name (like Bono, Prince, or Sting) for the new urban, high-density (and high-cost) neighborhood that now sits on the former airport. Back then, somehow I’d been able to rent a room in pretty new row house owned by a nice gentleman from Ethiopia. That’s another story.

I biked but not much. On that night, I found the ride quite by accident and joined in. It was fun and easy, but soon I went on my way and didn’t go back. Skip ahead many years in time to a couple of weeks ago, and I ran into a fellow rider at the grocery store, Jason. He reminded me about the ride, and since I was on a bike and curious about Bike Curious, I showed up. Needing a recovery ride from Saturday’s hot and tiring 45-mile Mamma Jamma training ride, I went again a second time. Lemme tell ya’ all about it.

Continue reading

Intro v. Extro: What Type of Vert Are You?

Many years ago, when I was living in our nation’s cesspool, I mean capitol, I had the occasion to retake the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This personality test, based on ideas by famous Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, shows you what your tendencies and preferences are in 16 different areas. One of the main categories is whether you are internally focused or externally focused, or introverted or extroverted.

I told the person grading the test they did it wrong, because my results were always the same, and I was right. I’m pretty much in the middle, but on the introverted sign. Working as a volunteer at SXSW EDU the last four days, I’ve been reminded that I need alot of down time to recharge from interacting with other people, whereas for extroverted people, they are energized by being with other people. So I thought it an interesting topic worth exploring a bit.

Continue reading