Monday, May 20, 2013

Update; Bike to Work Day; Viva Streets Austin

Hi!  Hope everyone is doing okay!  It's been getting pretty warm here in Austin.  A few people complain about the heat, but I really like summer, so I don't mind it so much.  Plus, I've been living in Texas since about 2nd grade, and at some point I decided that the ability to just sort of deal with the heat is part of what sets Texans apart.  I greet the heat each summer like the return of an old, surly friend.  Sometimes he can be agreeable (e.g., at Barton Springs or when sitting in the backyard on a breezy summer night), but sometimes he can be a pain in the butt (e.g., certain years of ACL Fest and walking around downtwon on a workday in my suit).

The weekend was fairly decent.

On Friday it was Bike to Work Day here in Austin.  It's part of a national Bike Month, and it promotes exercise, green energy transportation, and fun.  At my office I've been sort of trying to informally organize a bit of an effort to have some showers installed in our building now that they're doing renovations.  Bike to Work Day seemed like one great way to show people that it's entirely possible to use bikes to commute (there was some question about whether anyone would actually do this, even if they got us our showers).
(Hello!  I'm the weird guy
who's been slowing down traffic!)
Anyway, BTW Day involved various "hubs" set up around the city that had food, drinks, music, and some small giveaway promotional items (I got a cloth bag that says "Bike to Work Day" on it).  On the way home they had more of the same, plus some beer giveaways for bike happy hour.
I rode in Friday morning, and as I was passing a church in my neighborhood on Bannister, I noticed a group of cyclists eating breakfast tacos and getting ready for a group ride.  They waved me over and invited me to ride into downtwon with their group.  I've never done a group ride before, but they had breakfast tacos and orange juice, so, warily, I joined them.
It was fun!  We rode into downtown and over to city hall where they had more juice and food and free stuff for giveaways.  I met a couple of nice people and got some tips on how the whole group ride thing works (it involves a bit more in terms of hand signals and hollering and riding two by two).
Riding to work was fun.  It would be nice to have a shower in the building.  I cleaned up in the bathroom, and it worked okay, but a shower would have helped.
Friday afternoon I rode home from work.  Also fun.  I rode with a friend from work to hit afternoon hubs at Mellow Johnny's and Bibcycle Sport Shop.  Had some free beer at each place and listened to a little bit of live music.  I ran into one of the people from my morning ride group at Bicycle Sport Shop in the afternoon.

Friday night Amy got off work kind of late.  I think we went out to eat.  I can't really remember.

Saturday we got up and I went to the grocery store, and Amy went to work.  I got home and exercised and made a chicken tomatillo dish in the crockpot.  It came out pretty well.  First time I ever used a food processor.  In the afternoon I went suit shopping with my dad.  I bought a suit, and we stopped off afterward and had a beer.  By the time I got home, Amy was home.  Saturday night we just sort of hung out and ate dinner and relaxed.  It was nice.
On Sunday we went out to breakfast at Central Market.  We ran a couple of errands.

(why have you brought me here,
and what is happening?)
After that we rode downtown on our bikes to check out Viva Streets Austin.  It was fun to see people out and about, but the event itself was kind of weird.  As I told Amy, it felt a little like a festival in search of an identity.  There were some vendors (mostly just kind of advertising booths, really- not people selling food or art or anything), and there were a few performers (not very many), but there didn't seem to be much of a theme.  It was advertised as a street festival, but there just wasn't much to it.  Mostly just people wandering around in the street.  I'm not upset that I went, but I wouldn't really bust my butt to make it down there again next year.
All in all, though, we had a good bike ride to the festival and back and a pleasant time.  Sunday was one of our warmer days so far this year, so it was good to get out and ride around and acclimate to a little sun and heat.

Afterward we got home and relaxed for a while.  Amy made some really good tortilla soup for dinner (spicy!!), and after dinner we watched some more of the Ken Burns Jazz documentary on Netflix.
It was a really nice day.

That was about it!  Hope everyone else had a decent weekend.

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