Bicycle Sport Shop / Bike Austin Ride Leader Training (Part 1)

Tonight I jetted over to a nice but sorta weird place for a bike meeting — a neighborhood emergency center — to learn how to lead group and bike shop rides.  It was organized by the active transportation (bike and walking) advocacy and membership non-profit organization for which I occasionally pitch in to volunteer, Bike Austin, led by new director Katie.  The training was given by Bicycle Sport Shop Road Captains DanielLaura Jane (LJ), and Stephanie and with some of the dozen of attendees contributing some amusing stories of what people do on their bikes.

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Bicycle Sport Shop staff who lead rides and the class

Mostly it was a Q & A about the various issues that come up when groups of riders of varying abilities, experience and confidence get together and go for a ride.   The classroom portion is Part I; the other two parts are rides.  On the first, I will observe and on the second, I’ll take a leadership role.

How well a ride is led — or not — could make the difference between someone coming back the next week or hanging their bike up and staying home or driving their car.  Or living or dying.  So in some ways, it’s actually a pretty big deal that involves some real responsibility. This post may be a little nerdy for the non-cyclist, but so what?  I like learning me some stuff, and assuming you do too.  So how about a quick night (re)cap? Continue reading

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Thursday Night Social Ride: Keep Austin Weird!

Check out my ride on Strava.

Since I’ve been feeling a good deal of discomfort and sometimes pain in a certain area on and off, and I am sick of the heat and thus waiting til evenings to ride (not to mention still watching tons of World Cup football matches on delay as well as the Tour de France), I’ve been biking about 12 miles every night this week.

For last night’s ride, I had it in mind to ride downtown to Town Lake and maybe join up with yjr Thursday Night Social Ride (TNSR),the weekly main event of Social Cycling Austin (SCA).  It’s a combination of anarchy / organized chaos, like a Critical Mass ride, and also in some ways it’s pretty relaxed if you just go with the flow.  I got a late start so figured I’d miss it.  I’m generally always happy to do my own ride, but wouldn’t you know it?  I crossed paths with the 300-strong group, so naturally I decided to join in the scary fun.

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Oh Yeah, It’s a Blog Post Day: On Writing Anyway, Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

Writing a blog three times a week may not seem like much work, but sometimes it is. Today is one of those days where I’m tempted to skip it, except so far this year I haven’t done that. I either write this blog or in my book for 30 minutes or 500 words, and it’s usually for an hour and over 1,000 words.  Or more time and words, depending how much looking up stuff, dealing with photos, and going down rabbit holes.  I just keep on doing my best to #Don’tBreakTheChain.  After six months and 11 days, I ain’t about to quit.  Or better put in tee shirt format:

Too Legit
LL Cool J rap song translated to white.

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Texan Lawson Craddock Breaks Scapula on Day 1 of Tour de France, Just Keeps Riding. Quelle Courage!

The first Texan to ride in the Tour de France since 2005, Gregory “Lawson” Craddock (Twitter,  Strava) who is from Houston but lives here in Austin, Texas first appeared in the TDF in 2016.  Returning after a not great 2017, on Saturday during on Stage 1, he crashed due to a water bottle in the road.  Diagnosed with a fractured scapula and gashes on his forehead and elbow, he received treatment en route and finished the ride.  After recovering some on Saturday and a tearful interview declaring he had come too far to give up so easily, he rode again Sunday and again today.  He’s using his misfortune to inspire others and for charity, too.  A Dude Abikes salutes his grit and gumption, so I had to give him a shout out from my little speck of the internet.  Go Lawson!

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The Little Blog That Could: Statistics from January – July 2018

This post is about the statistics of my blog, mostly over the last half a year.  Ironically, screen shots paint a better picture without too many words.  It comes as promised before my little rant about the U.S not living up to its ideals as a government or nation regarding its horrible, immoral immigration policy of separating children from their parents at the Texas border.   Agree or disagree, but I believe I’m on the right side of the law, history and human decency on this one.

While some may appreciate my view and others may not, fortunately we do still mostly have freedom of speech in the U.S.  And this blog is primarily an attempt to document my bicycle journey and to inspire others to do the same.  It’s also an experiment in writing that I started January of 2016 but have not worked on intensively until 2018.  That said, let me show you a look under the hood of http://www.ADudeAbikes.com (aka http://ADudeAbikes.WordPress.com)!

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We Are the World, Not Narrow-Minded, Nationalistic Neo-Nazis!

It’s Independence Day, or July 4th, in the United States of America.  A day when we are supposed to pause as a nation to reflect upon our history, throwing off our British oppressors, and founding a new nation that cherished the ideals of freedom, democracy, equality and much more.  But usually people set off fireworks, cook alot of meat, drink alot of beer, and don’t think anything of it.  And woe be to anyone like A Dude who declares himself a citizen of the world.  After all, the location of my birthplace was a completely random event.  I could be Swedish, Afghani, Congolese, Inuit, or even from New Jersey.  The horror!

Today’s blog was going to be a review of my statistics about my blog.  And that just seemed frivolous, as things do when you’re having deep thoughts.  So as I went on my 25-mile ride, with people setting off fireworks all around me, I couldn’t help but think about the dichotomy, contradiction even, between those historic ideals and present, very ugly realities.  With the backdrop of the World Cup on my mind, and given how few people still actually read my words, I decided to throw in my two cents about how wrong it is to treat immigrants like second-class citizens, and the dangerous path toward neo-fascism the U.S. appears to be on.

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