My name is the Cycling Dude. I also fancy myself The Mad Houstonian. I have bicycled all my life and, up until last September, that was all in southern California. In 2003 I began one of the earliest bike blogs in America and while that blog ended in 2010, I still write about my cycling adventures. I am a poet, storyteller, commentator, photographer and safe cycling advocate and, now, I look forward to exploring my new home on 2 wheels.
Houston, you are a huge ol’ place, you cover a lot of ground. You started small, but now you have grown so big that motor vehicles compete to make the loudest sound. It’s said you give bicyclists lots of space to ride around alongside bayous, large and small.
Multi-use trails do abound but I ask, is that all? Is that the only option for me to saddle up and pedal toward? Can I also safely share the road with motorists and trust my precious life on your many, varied, city streets?
When I began one of the earliest bike blogs in America in 2003 I had no illusions that I was any sort of expert on too many cycling related issues, and practices, to list. My mission was, and still is, to write about bike rides I take, and share news stories of interest to me, as well as my thoughts on city and county cycling issues.
Houston and Harris County is my new backyard.
It is where I will commute to work once I find a job, as well as where I shop.
It is where I ride for exercise, and to relax on a day off.
What happens here concerns me, and should concern all city and county cyclists, whether an activist, a club rider, a racer, an active daily rider, or a part-time cyclist just out to ride a few miles, wherever, once, or twice, a month.
One thing that concerns me is how best to use mass transit, in tandem with my bike, to explore the outer reaches of this city and county, where busses don't go, something that I, coming from a place where cyclists have access to an interconnected 5 county bus and commuter rail system to help us explore farther from home, am not used to.
A few months back I could only take a bus just so far before I had to ride my bike 14 miles to and from one of the most important historical venues in the state of Texas and, next week the bus will take me within a short ride's distance of old town Spring (Time permitting I just might ride Gessner from Willowbrook Mall, to Richmond Ave., on the way home!).
In 2006 I learned that safe cycling is an important issue, finding many stories to write about in Orange County, my former home, and learning that cyclists are not entirely innocent victims.
I realized that I was in the unique position of being able to do something to bring these stories to my fellow cyclists attention in a venue that many were, and some still are, entirely unfamiliar with, but will thus be introduced to thru whatever I am able to do in the way of covering these stories.
If you like the writing you discover here and on my other blog, The Opinionated Pussycat, or even exploring my old bike blog, then I hope you stick around.
I expect that I, and you, will learn things about cycling in Houston and Harris County along the way, and that is the most important thing of all.
Share the road, and trail: Safety matters! (A 3 yr. archive on the Cycling Dude)
Soon: My thoughts on a January Houston Chronicle article and one in today’s paper, on the disturbing lack of safe cycling and share the road laws in Houston.
Also: My first serious adventure - Westheimer, from its origin to the County Line Bar & Grill, beyond the Harris County line