I’m sitting outside a 7-11 late on a Wednesday, just down the street from the huge football stadium on the University of Texas campus. It’s where a cyclist, aged 39, with a helmet and lights on both the front and back of his bike, was hit, dragged under and trapped by a Capital Metro bus Monday night. It was there that he died. I just learned about this horrible tragedy tonight, and so I biked over here – a place I ride by regularly. I’m mad and sad, yet relieved it was not me. Because it could have been me. That doesn’t help Anthony, his friends, family and others who knew him. Continue reading
Today’s main local paper Austin American-Statesman had an article titled “Austin’s strategic mobility plan hits home stretch.” It looks at ways to improve bike lanes, sidewalks, public transit and even roads so that people can move about the city better. The deadline for answering a poll about the plan is Sunday, January 13th, so the update is welcome. It also reveals some cracks in the fuselage.
(Is anyone getting my Planes, Trains and Automobiles reference? Hello, anyone? We miss you, John Candy.) Minor things like how will it be paid for, and will people agree to give up car lanes. A Dude has some thoughts, so let’s take off, eh, hosers? Continue reading
Bikes Are Colorblind, They Just Want to Be Ridden
It’s Black History Month in the United States of America, so it would be bad form for a progressive to not pay homage to that (which I did earlier when mentioning the impact of the Black Panther movie) Some people have the mistaken belief that only rich white men in Spandex ride bicycles. They are wrong.
Where I live, I frequently see people of color riding bicycles, usually at night, apparently commuting home from work. They usually don’t have lights or helmets or fancy bikes. But they are cyclists just the same, risking their lives to go about their lives, which includes transporting themselves with their own people power. Leonel Hernandez, who died last month, was one of them.
Today, within the space of 10 minutes, I met a black dude named Ivory and a couple from Thailand named Nukul and Rung, each on a bike. You really meet the coolest people on bikes — of whatever color, status or nationality. You never would probably barely even see them from your motorized steel pollution cage.
Cyclist Dies, No One Goes to Jail. Again.
The local newspaper reported yesterday, February 15, 2018, that “Bicyclist found lying injured in Southeast Austin yard was likely hit by car, police say.” The piece quoted heavily from a statement by the Austin Police Department:
“A bicyclist who died last month was likely struck by a hit-and-run driver.”
Bikes Came Before Cars & Will Be Here After Them, Too
Today’s post is about a meeting I attended put on by the City of Austin Active Transportation Department. They were reporting back on improvements to two streets in East Austin. The headline for me was that adding bike lanes and reducing car lanes from four to three did not increase travel time. In fact, travel time was decreased, because traffic signals were synchronized and optimized. This was measured with Bluetooth technology so it is not subjective.
Still, naysayers and disbelievers will convince themselves or anything to reinforce their narrow paradigm that only cars deserve to be on the roads. To me that’s just illegal, wrong and backwards. Such is politics. It didn’t matter to me when I just tooled around for short periods. Now that I’ve been out there biking over 13,000 in three years, saving my life and the lives of other people on bikes is more important. Continue reading
Cycling Is Great for Your Health but Hazardous to Bikes
The sun is shining, there’s little wind on a crisp but warming winter’s day. I mount up my bike and my feet start pushing the pedals like a thousand times before. The legs are pumping as if through jello. My lungs are lit on fire; every breath burns. I’m going as fast as I can, but it feels like I’m barely moving. Looking around, none of my fellow riders are with me. But this time is different. I’m not in a race, leading or last place. I just have cedar fever. And I’m only on my way to a community clinic to sign up for health care, since Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) health insurance is prohibitively costly. And as if today’s natural air pollution wasn’t hard enough, I encountered another of bicyclists’ worst enemies: people who throw their glass bottles on the ground. A Dude Abikes calls them “glassholes.” Continue reading
People on Bikes and Lanes for Them Are Here to Stay
Today I was going to post about a Safe City Cycling Class, but due to cedar fever, my body was devoid of most energy. So I posted up in my bed to take an extended siesta. I’m still feeling as if I were run over by a truck, so bear with me. I hope to attend the next class on Saturday and report on that then. Looking around for a topic, I realized the Next Door War on Cyclists going on today would be a “fun” one. Not being sure about permissions and copyrights, I will just quote from there instead of put whole posts. When someone brings out the word “douche” and they’re not French or talking about a shower or feminine hygiene, let’s just say it gets pretty heated.