On a Friday evening in November, just after dark, a young Asian teenager was riding his bike in North Austin. The road dead-ended into a very fast, four-lane road with a median. He made it half-way across, and then for some reason, didn’t stop to yield to traffic that had a speed limit of 60 miles per hour. A blue Toyota hit him, and the driver stayed at the scene. The victim, whose name was Minh-Tan Pham, died later in the hospital. Another young life was extinguished in mere moments due to more traffic violence. He was the 67th traffic fatality on Austin roads in 2018… so far.
This gathering happened Sunday to commemorate an international day organized by the United Nations. It was a somber reminder that cars can and do kill. Not just people in other cars, but also people using bicycles and who are walking. Sponsored by Vision Zero Texas and a number of local organizations promoting traffic safety, the goal is to eliminate deaths from traffic. How to do that is the million dollar question. But the gathering gave a forum and a face to supporters of safer roads, and recieved some media attention as well. As a cyclist whose life is at risk on a daily basis, I have an enlightened self-interest in seeing this law pass. Here’s a short review of the second half of the event I attended at the Texas State Capitol.
The League of American Bicyclists class is over, but the learning continues and the process of me becoming a teacher of bike riders is just beginning. I wrote about the first evening of the class previously here in Part 1, Today I write about all day Saturday and a chunk of Sunday. A combination of theory in the classroom and practice on the bike, it was challenging. There is a lot of information to cover and not alot of time to do it. So alot was crammed into the heads of we the students that may take some time to process. But the upshot is that after completing a few more steps, I’ll be able to pass on my knowledge to kids and adults alike. The goal? To get more bikes on butts — safely. It’s a pretty cool and beautiful idea. Read on to hear the details.
This post is not about San Diego, but it is about a class. Tonight was the first of three sessions of the League of American Bicyclists class. That’s right! A Dude is attempting to become a League Cycling Instructor (LCI). This is a follow-up to the Smart Cycling class, which I wrote about last month. I also blogged about the League in this post. Taken together, you can learn a few things about bicycling safety and education. I won’t repeat much of the content, though. For that you can and should sign up for a Smart Cycling or LCI class yourself! Because it’s an intensive weekend, this will be a more brief post than usual (that’s a good thing). I’ll post a follow-up on my usual next day, which is Monday. OK, time to open your notebooks! Ready, begin.
Like Steve Martin as Navin Johnson in the great 1979 movie The Jerk exclaimed gleefully, “The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here!” While not jumping up and down, I was similarly enthused. My membership to the League of American Bicyclists arrived in the mail. Who are they? What are they about? Are there any extraordinary gentlemen and copious amounts of Sean Connery’s beard involved? Why did I join? These are the burning questions I was yearning to be learning the answers to, as I’m sure you want to know as well. Well, A Dude Abikes is here to share them with you. It’s free of charge except for the time you spend reading, and you do have to pay some attention. I hope you’ll jump at the chance to go past the button for Continue Reading. Continue reading
Early on Saturday I attended a 4-hour League of American Bicyclists Smart Cycling Complete Class. Four other students and I assembled in a parking garage to learn how to teach people new to bicycling how to complete some standard drills. But even an old dog like A Dude Abikes can learn new tricks. And some of what we learned is stuff that we’d been doing unconsciously and, in some cases, incorrectly. So here’s a little overview of the experience. Continue reading
Lately I’ve had a string of bad luck with holes in my tires. It’s like Jack Alehurst of Life Behind Bars said, if he were Jerry Seinfeld: “Doncha hate it when you’ve been off your bike for a while and finally decide to go for a ride, only to find it has a flat tire?” Or maybe Robin would say to the caped crusader: “Holy holes, Batman!” Well that’s been a factor for me this last week. Some mysterious, one my fault, and well, it gets frustrating and expensive. So here’s a little recap and then a little advice.