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#1 Re: Other » GoFundMe campaign provides bikes for kids makes me uneasy » 2017-05-21 21:10:55

Michael, you're thinking too much. Or not thinking too much in the right direction. Getting kids on bikes is a wonderful thing....IF, you also provide education with it on how to ride safely. And that's not some bullshit stuff I've seen kids taught before, e.g. only ride on sidewalks, always wear a helmet, etc.

When I got my kids on bikes commuting to school, I rode with them and taught them how to be a defensive driver, how to avoid a right hook, how to signal, how to be assertive and visible, how to take a lane, how to watch for danger spots like gaps between cars stuck in traffic, how to stand on their pedals and bounce up and down when they're approaching a car creeping out on a side street, how many directions and how many times they needed to look at different kinds of intersection crossings. And as an adult, I would teach them that if they ride at night they need to be lit up like a Griswald xmas tree. And most important, I taught them not to be afraid.

It will be hard enough for them to ride as much as possible in their future lives with work, kids, errands, weather, etc. So the goal should be the make them not afraid to ride as much as they can.

No amount of education and awareness will stop some tragedies, like drunken drivers hitting bicyclists in bike lanes at night, or medicated old people plowing into recreational cyclists on a shoulder. And no amount of common sense will stop someone texting and driving and plowing head on into a church van killing 13 people.

Just remember what I wrote to you long ago, when you were obsessive about trying to calculate the risk factors of cycling v. driving, or the energy consumption comparisons for both, primarily related to food use for cyclists. Remember that the overall benefits of bicycling are immeasurable, not just in transportation savings, less pollution, health benefits, the fact that you're likely to be a better citizen promoting sustainable practices if you're a transportation bicyclist and on and on. They're immeasurable because of the joy you experience, and the thrill of living as someone with an open-eyed and open-aired view of the world around you. Not someone flitting their foot between the gas pedal and brake in traffic or whizzing by the world at high speeds. I'm sorry that bad experiences have created a fear that has taken that benefit away from you.

#2 Re: Organizations » Bike Texas endorsement controversy, and 11/16 elections » 2016-09-22 13:31:06

I assume Bike Austin will weigh in. Or at least have a process of its board on whether to.

I didn't recall Bike Texas making local endorsements, except for perhaps bond issues, but then I read they started to when 10-1 came around...I didn't recall it. They are taking grief for it on their Facebook page.

#3 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Councilmember Don Zimmerman's campaign ad ridicules cyclists » 2016-09-21 22:15:27

Oversight should mean being strategic about your investments. Zimmerman just say's "No," to everything.

But he finds time to be proactive in getting in a dig at little Hispanic kids: … o-audience

#4 Re: Organizations » Should I accept the award from Bike Texas? » 2016-09-21 13:19:19

I'd say you were a pretty important influence in bicycle advocacy in the past, and the listserv--although outdated somewhat now with social media--provided a focal point for activists to share and communicate with each other that was crucial at the time.

You also were very vocal about justice issues, and you made some compelling arguments before council. So yeah...accept it!

#6 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Homicidal/idiot driver vs. cyclist (silver Honda #843 YTZ, 7/29/14) » 2014-08-03 11:36:15

I've posted about it several times on this forum---and it's been talked about for years. Colorado keeps an aggressive driver database. Austin could certainly do it, but no one in power is pushing it. This would be a simple and great organizing campaign for Bike Austin. Then again, I'm not doing anything about it but bitching on why no one else is doing anything.

#7 Re: Other » Pull the plug on » 2014-04-21 15:58:08

MichaelBluejay wrote:

What form would that take?  And how would we get groups to actually use it?

Oh's an example. I find NextDoor to be extremely effective in keeping me plugged in on what's happening with my neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods, better than the traditional listserv. But it's just one more thing I have to sign up for, monitor, have an app for, etc. It's built kind of like Facebook, but obviously separate. And then you have Facebook to deal with as well. Google calendars work great in that I can do something like simply subscribe to my kids' school calendars...but you can only subscribe to so many calendars before it gets silly and unwieldy.

If there were something that automatically pulled in content from various organizations to one place, with options on how you interact with that content, it would be great. I'm not talking about the old push toward portals with user generated options for content, or just feeds either...but something that the user had to actually go to and engage. It's in my head, but I can't quite describe it, as you can tell by this post!

#8 Re: Other » Pull the plug on » 2014-04-21 12:27:54

Whatever you do, please keep this forum (and whole site) archived! There is a wealth of info here that needs to be accessible, even if some links end up bad.

What's been great for Austin bicycling, also creates a problem....e.g. many groups and interests all with their own ways to communicate them. Back when I was active in advocacy, I would pepper every vehicle I could to get the word out on events/releases and such. But covering all that ground was time consuming, so I can understand why many organizations don't cover all the bases by posting with what you created.

I think this vehicle--the forum--is a bit outdated for the ways a lot of people communicate. Then again, I always thought forums were outstanding for searching for old information. And I wish there was a centralized place that plugged in all the different organizations automatically.

So in a nutshell, the forum still has value, but much less an impact than it used to. So I'll understand whatever direction you go.

On the Bike Austin deal, just a note that you pegged it perfectly with your other post noting: "Yeah, it might have been nice had I heard from anyone in Bike Austin before they chose that name.  But no, I didn't.  Then again, I'm not sure it would have helped anyway:  They wanted the name Bike Austin, and I would have been loathe to change the Bicycle Austin name I've used for many years."

When the discussion came up, I said that someone needed to contact you. But the response I got was, "what difference will it make?" Still, I believe in open communication, and there are always ways to point people in the right direction, like "Looking for ...?" Or simply promoting each other.

#9 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » APD's on the bike lane » 2014-01-09 22:56:22

I nominate Alonso to talk with APD. But in all seriousness, yes, report it to APD, and if they don't respond, I will volunteer to call higher up of talk with Bike Ped and/or Bike Austin.

#10 Re: Commuting/Routes » Does Ben Wear own a bicycle? » 2014-01-09 22:47:51

He wrote a column at one point about commuting into the statesman with Annick.  But I can't seem to find it online.

#11 Re: Organizations » Bike Austin and Austin Cycling Assoc. to merge?! » 2013-12-13 14:01:53

Actually, 501(c)(3) is a huge issue, not necessarily for members, but for when you're out there trying to get bigger contributions. A lot of times it doesn't matter much for things like event sponsorship, because businesses can simply write it off as marketing, but there will be occasions, hopefully, when a c-3 status could impact whether someone gives a large amount of money.

Regardless, the way to go is to have an arm on each side--whether it's like Tim mentioned with an offshoot that's an education foundation, or the other way with an offshoot for political work. c-3s can do almost everything a c-4 does. But MBJ, that's incorrect on the lobbying issue. C-3s can lobby all they want. (There is an IRS stipulation that the money spent on lobbying can't be substantial, but with a simple election filed with the IRS, you then can spend a lot, e.g. 20% of the first 500k in your revenue, with further definitions of spending as you go up.)

But one big difference is that c-4s can endorse candidates and directly work to ask people to vote for candidates, and c-3s can't, thus the possible need for a c-4 arm, or possibly a formal PAC.

Since I've faded from the scene working with Bike Austin, I don't know anything about the particulars of this proposal. My main concern is a loss of focus on more, shall we say "strident" advocacy, that ACA is not known for. Then again, I think we lose a lot by having the energy and resources of two organizations separate. So I'm neutral at this point, but have always expressed support for what Tom and Bike Austin Board are doing....exploring, discussing and now, negotiating, to see if its workable and supported by the membership.

MBJ. Yes, Bike Austin is obviously similar to this site. But it's valuable name structure, since so many other cities around the country are adopting the same nomenclature with their advocacy orgs. The merger definitely be an interesting discussion.

#13 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-08-28 08:44:03

Mike, you're exaggerating the potential conflict. Didn't you see that one of the six transit peds in the foreground actually looked behind them into the cycletrack? (I couldn't tell with the ones farther back.)

Actually, thanks for being persistent on this. Those videos do illustrate the problem. I wonder if COA or Cap Metro is out with a video camera, or at least observing? I'd like to see some footage of a bike actually entering as the peds are exiting.

#14 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Shoal Creek Trail Closed from 3rd to Cesar Chavez » 2013-08-23 09:36:05

I haven't even been down there in a long time. What do you do if you're going eastbound on the LAB when you get to San Antonio?

#15 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-08-12 23:47:14

I went on vacation on July 26 and intentionally didn't check email. Seeing this now, I almost feel like laughing....almost. How could no one know about this?

This seems pretty fishy to me. Am I missing something here on lengthy threads and discussion? It would be impossible for someone to design this without someone at some point saying, "I wonder what cyclists think about this." This looks like willful exclusion to me.

As for the "facility" itself, I share a lot of Mike's concerns. I'm not saying this is totally unworkable--yet--but CMTA and COA seem to have some explaining to do.

#16 Equipment (Discussion, For sale) » German Road Bike for Sale » 2013-07-14 15:59:06

Replies: 2

Our exchange student returned to Germany and is gloating about German success in the Tour.

And not wanting to pay another hefty shipping cost, he left his bike here for me to sell for him. Let me know if there are any interested tall people out there.

Brand: Carver (made in Germany)
Size: 61
Carbon fork
4 years old
No crashes
Brake: Shimano dura ace
Rear/front derailleur: Shimano Dura ace
Wheel: Mavic ksyrium elite
Pedal: shimano 105
$785 obo

#17 Re: Helmet Laws/Other legislation » Safe Passing and Complete Streets bills die » 2013-05-16 11:03:35

The cops sure are having fun nowadays. Used to be that they had to dress like prostitutes to catch Johns on South Congress. Now they get to don bicycle attire and ride around all day. As well as the infamous PESTs

#18 Re: Rides and Events » Resurrecting the Austin Bicycle Calendar » 2013-05-04 13:51:16

I've been out of the bike world for awhile, with the exception of riding one. But I got the invite and probably will be paying attention and contributing starting in late June or July. Thanks MBJ!

#19 Re: Other » Do we need more police for hike and bike trails? » 2013-04-09 15:37:54

This says about 24: … ers/nW74m/

Also See: … ils/nWKzr/

But this from a department that felt compelled to have at least 6 officers standing around watching the occupy movement at City Hall.

#20 Re: Helmet Laws/Other legislation » Free "Helmet Good, Law Bad" shirt, from Austin 1996 » 2013-03-18 09:45:25

Just caught this. It's funny, I found mine last Monday while doing spring cleaning. Thought about tossing it, but wore it down to Port Aransas in stead! I guess that means I'll keep mine for awhile longer.

#21 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » History of bicycle infrastructure » 2013-02-17 22:44:04

Unfortunately, one of the earliest people who coordinated infrastructure for the city, just died. The obvious starting place on this would be Annick Beaudet at the city.

#22 Re: Rides and Events » Getting to Circuit of the Americas* » 2012-11-16 17:10:02

Good to hear on this: "The shuttle route from there to the site is on transit-only lanes, so it should be an easy connection." I don't think this was communicated well, or I missed it. I'm thinking of taking this route just for the fun of it...not that I care about F1, but will be interesting to see who else is riding.

#23 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Laws concerning going in front of cars while stopped at red lights » 2012-11-02 11:13:55

I don't know, Mike. The definition of passing doesn't mention that. But if that were the case, it seem like passing on the right as a bike would be even more legitimate, since the intention may not be to merge.

#25 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Bee Caves after Construction » 2012-10-26 12:43:54

I saw this too and was very concerned. I`m actually at a bike workshop with TxDOT folks and will inquire.

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