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#1 Re: Equipment (Discussion, For sale) » Where to recycle bicycle tires? » 2020-10-01 13:10:32

Bicycle Sport Shop used to take old tires.  Not sure if they still do.

#2 Train, Bus, Transit » Metro Rail uniforms » 2020-09-22 09:19:19

Replies: 1

Yesterday I took the train for the first time since February. The ticket inspectors were wearing very different uniforms from the Before Times.  They now seem a lot more appropriate for the job. I used to wonder why exactly a ticket inspector needed to wear tactical gear and look like a storm trooper.  Does anyone know what prompted the change?  I was wondering if it was recent events and the demand for a less militarized police. Or maybe CapMetro just got a good deal on different outfits.

#3 Other » City of Austin Repair Series » 2020-08-24 17:08:11

Replies: 1

The city is putting on a series of repair clinics about all kinds of topics. I signed up to do a basic bike repair presentation.  It'll be on 9/1 at 4:30 pm.  The link to register is:

I'm just going to go over some pretty basic side-of-the-road repair stuff as well as some basic routine maintenance.  Probably everyone on here already knows as much or more than me, but if you get a chance to pass this along to someone who might benefit, please do.

I like trying to fix things before I just give up and buy a new one. When I fix a washing machine or dishwasher, or anything, I feel like I stuck it to the man just a little bit.  A little victory over a wasteful system of planned obsolescence.

#4 Re: Equipment (Discussion, For sale) » Coronavirus bike boom? » 2020-05-25 20:42:58

Yeah, the other day I was pulling my 100+ lbs trailer packed with groceries home from HEB. My left crank arm just plain fell off in the middle of the parking lot.  A few seconds later and I would have been crossing Parmer lane (in the same spot I was once hit), so I guess it could have been worse. And it could have been raining.

I called Bicycle Sport Shop to see about a replacement crank arm fixing bolt. They aren't even taking calls!  I was directed to send an email to their sales people.  I never heard back so I ordered the part, and a few other things, from Nashbar.  And most of that is on backorder.

Good thing I thought to have a whole garage full of bikes!  I never expected there to be such a bike boom.  I figured with the drop in the price of gas, in a state without strict stay-at-home policies, there would be even more cars on the road - even if they didn't have a place to go.

#5 Rides and Events » Ride of Silence - North Austin 5.20.2020 » 2020-05-16 12:41:27

Replies: 0

The North Austin Ride of Silence is on again this year, but limited to me and the people I already share airborne water droplets with everyday.  This is the recommendation of the organizers ( I'm not sure if Social Cycling is doing anything downtown this year, but I guess anyone who wants to organize their own RoS with family members could just do that.

So, we'll be riding around the Parmer Lane, Metric, and Wells Branch area puling a trailer with a sign. I'll ride my recumbent tadpole trike, which always gets attention.   If you see us out there, give us a wave!

#6 Cars / Gas / Energy » Pandemic can lead to some positive change » 2020-04-30 09:54:24

Replies: 0

Looks like France is getting smart about promoting cycling.

For all the suffering from the pandemic, it would be great to see something good come of it.

I know that at my job we are all working from home - and doing just fine. I have heard other people finally asking what I have been asking for years - How many of these products do we have to sell to pay the rent on this stupid office building and parking lot?

#7 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths » 2020-04-14 10:08:02

I just got off a video call with my doctor. The original appointment was scheduled for a month ago, but because of the pandemic it was delayed, and then turned into a tele- appointment.  It was all just for a simple prescription refill.

When we got done talking meds, I told my doctor that I think these video appointments are the way to go, whenever possible, even after the pandemic.  He completely agreed and told me that lots of doctors are pushing for the rules to be changed permanently to allow these calls. It was interesting, because one of his reasons was to keep people off the roads.

Let's hope we can use some of the tactics from surviving the pandemic to reduce driving unnecessarily later.

#8 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Justin Lewis threatens Austin cyclist w/screwdriver 9/25/2019 » 2020-02-27 15:20:26

A checklist is a fantastic idea.  When things go crazy, in any situation, it can be hard to keep a clear head and make the most of the time.

Checklist ideas:  Make it small and waterproof, maybe attach it to the bike frame so it is always there.  Include:
Write down licence plate number, make, model, and color of car
Description of the driver
Get names and phone numbers of any witnesses
Time of day and Road conditions
Reminder to not say anything that can be used against you later
Take a picture of your bike and what you are wearing, especially when you have multiple lights and hi-viz clothing on so you can establish that you were not 'invisible'

What else?

Also, when you get a chance to write up your story, please consider submitting it to Cyclist Video Evidence.

#9 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Justin Lewis threatens Austin cyclist w/screwdriver 9/25/2019 » 2020-02-02 20:22:41

Being a felon is no little thing. My GF is a felon, and believe me, having that on your record makes life much harder than you might think. Sure, granted, she made some poor choices early in life, but she was also a victim of our stupid fascist drug laws largely devised by that traitor and war criminal R. Nixon. In a civilized country, a person with a drug addiction is treated as a person with a health problem, not as a hardened criminal that needs to be destroyed and kept down in the cycle (see how I worked cycling into the rant) of poverty and despair. America is NOT a civilized country by any reasonable measure, and the constant conveyor belt of injustice proves that every day.  And your case is just one more example of how we are just a stupid place run by morons. And damn to hell every republican and go-along-to-get-along democrat for helping keep it so.

#10 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Justin Lewis threatens Austin cyclist w/screwdriver 9/25/2019 » 2020-02-02 11:42:55

One good reason to push for a felony conviction for scum bags like this is to make it harder for them to possess a firearm.  Yeah, I know, we're in Texas where you can just about trade in your HEB Buddy Bucks to get a gun, but every little bit helps.  This guy is not the kind of stable genius we need with a conceal carry permit - which he could not get as a felon.

I agree it's a good idea to see if this guy already has a record. I'll bet he does, and I'll also bet it's not for some victim-less drug crime.

#11 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Justin Lewis threatens Austin cyclist w/screwdriver 9/25/2019 » 2020-01-17 23:24:52

btrettel wrote:

I got the impression that their defense attorney wasn't aware of the video either, so they might be in for a surprise, despite the fact that the suspect acknowledges that he's being recorded in the video...

Smarter people, please set me straight if I am wrong, but I thought that the prosecution was required to provide all the evidence ahead of time so that the defense could NOT be taken by surprise (because of the presumption of innocence which is the basis of Western Civilization)

But don't get me wrong, I think the bastard who threatened Ben should hang in a gibbet until the crows pick his bones clean.

My understanding is that, while the defense might introduce new evidence, the prosecution could not. Am I wrong?

#12 Justice Issues / Collisions » Memorial Silent Ride in memory of Merry Katheryn Daye 1/18/20 » 2020-01-13 15:03:30

Replies: 0

There will be a memorial ride for Merry Katheryn Daye who was killed in a hit and run on December 16th, 2019.  She was the 84th person to die on our Austin roads last year.

Ride details:
Saturday, January 18 2020
Mueller Lake Park by the hangar.
Wheels down at 4:45 sharp

From the KXAN story:  "Cyclist Ms. Daye was killed in a hit and run on Cameron Road on December 16th 2019.  The victim, Merry Daye, 45, was attending to a mechanical issue with her bike in the designated bike lane when she was hit." … -her-bike/

The KXAN page does not include an update to say if the driver was ever found, although it says the police think they identified the truck and searched it.

This is being organized by Social Cycling, which I don't belong to. I was just asked to post it.  If you belong, and details change, please let us know.

#13 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Justin Lewis threatens Austin cyclist w/screwdriver 9/25/2019 » 2020-01-10 14:16:12

The course I mentioned could be used for ticket dismissal in Austin and San Marcos a few years ago.  Not that I took it for that reason.

#14 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Justin Lewis threatens Austin cyclist w/screwdriver 9/25/2019 » 2020-01-04 16:19:15

Jack wrote:

I'm not a member of Bike Austin but I think that a hands-on LAB-type cycling safety class can be arranged through Bike Austin   

Sending a message through that link is like when they put that gold record on the side of the Voyager spacecraft. Leaving Star Trek aside, it is just as likely to ever get a response.

I wouldn't waste time on Bike Austin. It is essentially dead, other than putting on weekly rides. Last year I volunteered to be on the Education Committee and as far as I know it did just about nothing. I was laid up for 4 months after surgery, so I couldn't do much to help.  Yes, there are lots of LAB certified LCIs around.  I'm one, but having watched Ben's helmet cam video I don't think I could stand to be around that guy.  Go the LAB website to find an instructor:

Honestly, the best online bike safety course I ever took is here:

It was much better than the LAB live class. The LAB class mainly focused on avoiding tennis balls laid out on the ground. It was circus tricks compared to the Situational Awareness you really need to learn to survive the roads.

LAB does offer a Bike Friendly driver course that might be good: … ining-page

#15 Re: Traffic Laws » Cyclists can now treat Stop signs as Yield signs in Oregon » 2020-01-02 12:08:13

MichaelBluejay wrote:

In Texas, where the governor vetoed the non-controversial Safe Passing Bill multiple times, and where the state legislature canceled Austin's no-handheld-device law, I don't expect to get an Idaho Stop here any time soon.

Yeah, I agree there is no real hope here. It's just wishful thinking.

Wait, they cancelled the no-handheld law?  Just recently?  This means people can now legally drive around Austin while operating a cell phone?  I missed that news!  I know they got rid of red light cameras last year.

#16 Re: Traffic Laws » Cyclists can now treat Stop signs as Yield signs in Oregon » 2020-01-02 09:48:08

Getting the Idaho Stop here would be one of the best things we could do. It would undercut that whole stupid thing about 'cyclists not respecting the law'.

I argue that in many cases (not all) it is safer to keep some momentum while riding a bike through a stop.  You can't change gears on a stopped bike and you are inherently unstable on two wheels. Yeah, you should have geared down ahead of time, but you might not have gone far enough. And yeah, you can learn to do a track stand, but why should you have to. Slow to a walking pace and your cone of perception is just as good at 0.1 mph as it is at 0 mph, so why spend extra time getting through an intersection? And that's not about being fast but about spending less time where most crashes occur. On a bike you don't have the kinds of blind spots you have in a car. If the coast is clear - then the coast is clear. You can't get hit by a car if there aren't any cars around. Go before a car gets there. 

That said, I try to do a full stop if anyone is around just to avoid adding fuel to the fires of hatred. But, at 0530 on some quiet neighborhood street - no I am not wasting energy.   We need laws that make sense for the mode of travel.

#17 Re: Cars / Gas / Energy » Google's driverless cars have special considerations for bicyclists » 2019-12-16 17:06:56

Looks like this article is a few years old, but wow, the folks at Mercedes don't play around:

"When they crash, self-driving Mercedes will be programmed to save the driver, and not the person or people they hit. " … the-driver

What REALLY shocks me is that the story isn't about BMW!

#18 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Justin Lewis threatens Austin cyclist w/screwdriver 9/25/2019 » 2019-12-09 21:49:23

Thank you for sharing this with me earlier today, for posting it here, and also for going to the BAC a couple of months ago with the data you collected.  It was a shame we couldn't get the video to work. Yes, please do get this on CVE when you are ready. 

I am beyond livid right now and the next time someone mentions 'Vision Zero' or how 'bike friendly' Austin is I am afraid I will lose it completely.

That your video evidence, which clearly shows your assailants face, was not good enough for APD (fighters for the status quo), is bullshit at the highest level. The system is so clearly rigged against everyone not in a car, and this story shows that.

Yes, please do write up what you learned from this so we can all learn what we can and adjust our thinking for the future.  Like I said in my email earlier, you did a great job dealing with it. Screw anyone who says you shouldn't confront the driver. You were polite and direct and left when it became dangerous. Bonus points for calling out the license plate in case the video didn't pick it up.

Let us know how it goes.  My guess is that he will take a plea deal at the last minute on the advice of his lawyer when they see you show up at the court house. I wish I could adjust my vacation days to see it.  I hope others can make it.

#19 Train, Bus, Transit » New Benefit for Travis County employees » 2019-10-02 18:05:35

Replies: 0

My daughter just told me about this new Travis County program to encourage their employees to drive less.  It's called CLIP, and it just started.  Neither of us work for the county, so we don't know much more than what I copying and pasting below.  It doesn't specifically mention cycling, but it sounds like that could be included.  Has anyone tried this yet?  Can it include cycling?  I wish my employer did this!

Travis County is excited to announce a new program for employees called the Commuter Leave Incentive Program (CLIP) that begins Oct 1.    This new program, CLIP, rewards employees who walk, telework, work a compressed work week, or use public transportation for their daily commute to and from work.  With each sustainable commute you accumulate points that will translate into leave (see website for details).  For the first 3 months (Oct-Dec) you will earn double the points!  That’s right!  So be sure to sign up soon!

The goal of CLIP is to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality so everyone wins.  Employees can find more information about how to participate in this exciting new program by visiting traviscentral/clip.

#20 Re: Cars / Gas / Energy » Cost of Car2Go vs. car ownership » 2019-09-30 10:48:48

I have not used a Car2Go for a few years, and I have never used Uber or Lyft.  How does the cost of Car2Go compare to Uber and Lyft?  If about the same, I would guess that the hassle of driving and parking would make Car2Go less attractive to people.  Also, to use Car2Go you might have to walk to get to one.

Has anyone claimed that the rise of scooters was a contributing factor?

#21 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Shoal Creek, part trois (?) » 2019-09-21 11:15:50

MichaelBluejay wrote:

The City reports that they've installed the protected bike lanes between Foster Lane and 183, and are trimming trees for the lower part of Shoal Creek Blvd.

Didn't most or part of this section already have buffered bike lanes on both sides?  I guess the 'protected' parts are the flexible plastic posts designed to easily fold over when hit by a car. 

Leaving aside the argument about the usefulness of this bike lane, this seems like yet another BS City of Austin measure.  Make 'em out of concrete if you want to call it a 'protected'.

#22 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Amazon deliveries yield carnage on the road, abuse of drivers » 2019-09-12 08:11:23

I have noticed an increase in bad driving involving these delivery drivers.  (3 just yesterday on the commute home) They are like pizza delivery drivers only worse because they are in larger vehicles with more blind spots.  I rank them just between BMW drivers and Lexus drivers as likely road hazards.

#23 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Shoal Creek, part trois (?) » 2019-08-12 22:42:02

And it looks like the city will be using chip seal on the new Shoal Creek surface. … c3762d773a

I hate cars, but they are at least useful for tamping down chip seal.  So, we will have to wait for drivers who are distracted or drunk to drive into the bike lane to help squish down the loose gravel.  Of course, SCB residents will surely help by putting their trash cans in the bike lane too.

So, for a little while the new bike lane will be a gravel grind!  Very cool.  Very trendy!  I will buy a new gravel bike so I can ride it before the drunks ruin it.

#24 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Drivers never yield at bike and ped crossings » 2019-06-04 18:07:28

btrettel wrote:
MichaelBluejay wrote:

That's quite a project, btrettel.  What do you plan to do with your data?

I might take RedFalcon up on his offer to help present this to the BAC. I attended one of their meetings in the past and thought it was a waste of time to be honest.

BAC meetings do sometimes feel like a waste of time, but presenting the data and getting a resolution passed would get the problem on the record.   Good idea to have a solution to propose at the same time. Sounds like you have ideas about that too.

#25 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Drivers never yield at bike and ped crossings » 2019-06-04 09:16:11

btrettel wrote:

I've actually started collecting data on the I-35 crossings on Dean Keeton.

It would be a great idea to gather this info together, including videos, and bring it to the attention of the Bicycle Advisory Council.  I can help you with that.  This is exactly the kind of thing we need to be doing.

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