The Invisible or Utility Bicyclist: An Ignored Population

Tonight as I was out dutifully putting in some miles to finish up my yearly goal, I encountered a man stopped in East Austin, near downtown.  He was working on his bicycle, and observing the unwritten code of bike riders, I stopped to ask if I might help. He had a screw driver and was adjusting his rear reflector while enjoying an adult beverage.  He was also worried about his front light, which was red (illegal).  There wasn’t much I could do, but we chatted a bit.  He was friendly, perhaps due to the aforementioned drink.  He introduced himself as Tommy, I replied with my name, and he proferred an ungloved hand for me to shake in the cool temperatures.  He also said that he is homeless.  It got me thinking about the large number of people who ride bikes as transportation, but are not connected with bicycle advocacy organizations.  So here are a few thoughts. Continue reading

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MLK on a Bike, the Struggle for Justice & My First Bicycle Consulting Client

April 4, 2018 marks 50 years from when The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior was assassinated by a racist.  Imagine how different the world might be if he were allowed to live.  The movement to end the US war on Vietnam, the Poor People’s Campaign, the overall condition of the African-American in the US, and many more were issues he advanced, making life better for all of us;  they all could have been successes.

How much more could he have accomplished?  Lives saved?  Dignity restored?  Barriers broken down?  It breaks my heart to think these thoughts and to write these words.  As well it should.  We lost a true American hero that day.  But to cheer us up, here is a picture of him on a bicycle a year before his death, yes, riding a bicycle on Fire Island.  A Dude can link ANYTHING to bicycling! Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW #1: Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley – An Easy Rawlins Mystery

The idea of reviewing books about bicycling has been in the back of my brain for a bunch of blogs.  But I have Milly Schmidt from Australia (The Cat’s Write) and Shalini from India (Books, Reviews et al. by Shalini) to thank for reminding me that writing in different genres is perfectly acceptable (despite what some pro bloggers may say) and that reviewing books is a good thing to do for aspiring writers.  I’ve just finished award-winning Walter’s Mosley’s Charcoal Joe:  An Easy Rawlins Mystery, so don’t be blue.   Without further ado, here is A Dude Abikes’ review.  For you.  It’s true!  And brand new. Continue reading

News Flash: People of Color and Women Ride Bicycles, Too, Dammit!

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.

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Car Hits Truck, Which Kills Austin Cyclist, Racer, Author & Dad on a Group Ride Saturday

NOTE:  Many folks may not have seen my Sunday, February 18th post, which I had inexcplicably moved to the trash and didn’t notice all day.  I restored it and would love for you to read it, so here is the link for “27-Mile Brushy Creek Trail Ride + Peddler Bike Shop Stop.”  After all, a blog mostly about bikes needs some ride reports sometimes!

Andrew Tilin:  Rest In Peace

Andrew Tilin
Source:  Mark Matson for the Austin American-Statesman

Today’s post is more bad news, I’m very sorry to report.  Yet another Austin cyclist, Andrew Tilin, was killed on Saturday, February 17, the same day I wrote about Leonel Hernandez, who was killed under mysterious circumstances back on January 29.  There isn’t even a picture of Hernandez available yet that I can find.  There are photos of Tilin, still young and in the prime of his life in his 40’s.  I didn’t know him but I’m heartbroken for those who did. Continue reading