Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Bought for $2 at a yard sale, I liked the visibility of its bright yellow, but everytime I saw my reflection, it looked like I had a yellow bucket over my head, so I discarded it in favor of a $10 helmet subsidized by my employer (of course with company logo). Left it one day on a bus; never seen again (that's it on my bike in the commuter train on the right)
Then a nice white helmet belonging to my son who is now a subway commuter. But I figured he'd need it again some day and wouldn't appreciate a few years of my sweat. So I went to REI (not always my favorite bike store--that's another post--but on my way home), and found a not so visible but adequate black helmet. Maybe if I attached a light on the back.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Today Seattle, tomorrow Boise and dopodomani the world. Congratulations to Pamela Braden, mild mannered gifted education teacher, who has abandoned her car in favor of a bicycle for her 6 mile commute. Click on the title for a link to BSU's commuter cycling advise.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
A long day. Up at 5am to catch the 5:30 but it was inexplicably on "divert," so I had to wait for the 6:00. Finally left the hospital at 8:40pm, arriving at bus stop (a major terminal) around 8:50, bus due at 9. There's another cyclist who's looking a schedules, so he might be waiting for my bus, or another, who knows. If the bus arrives with an empty bike rack, there will be room for both of us. If there is one bike already on, then only one of us will make it. Assuming the latter scenario, I have three choices:
1. Bus arrives; I gesture to him to load his bike since he has been waiting longer than me. I'll wait for the 9:30.
2. I stand close to where the bus will stop thereby establishing myself at the "front of the line."
3. I ride upstream to catch the bus at an earlier stop, avoiding a potential confrontation but the moral question remains.
What do you think I did?
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Quick, which invention of the past 50 years has made the most impact on your life?
Personal computer, anti-lock brakes, cell phone, wide-body tennis racket, digital camera, waterbed?
Easy answer for me: bus bicycle rack. Originated in 1970's in Seattle, now in 400 transit systems.
But what happens when a bus rolls up and the rack is full? I peddle downstream to a relatively safe bus stop and leave my bike locked up for the day or night. It helps that I don't have an expensive bike and that it only happens a couple times a year (less often now with newer racks that carry 3 bikes). Though it is with mixed reaction that I meet new commuter cyclists: fellow travelers? or competitors for an increasingly scarce resource?
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Click on the title to read this NPR report on the 28,000 NYC bicycle commuters who face the same problems we all do:
Safety (mainly from cars but also from other cyclists, road hazards, etc.)
Security (will my bicycle still be there when I come back)
Sweat (if I don't have a shower at work....)
Monday, September 7, 2009
To everything there is a season. We have abruptly entered the time of rain and darkness. Friday it was dark when I left and dark when I got home. And raining the past two days. Somewhere in the garage there's a fender I should put on. And my front light. I think know where that is. As for clothes: "There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing." (a Norwegian saying). I do have good rain gear. I'm ready--bring it on.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Waiting for the traffic to clear so I can make a left turn. An oncoming care turns right without signalling. I'm annoyed; with a signal I could have turned in front of him--I need to get to the office--I have a lot of work to do! So he turns and I turn, following him. Then again without a signal he makes a u-turn, forcing me to make a sudden stop. I start up and and ride in front of him so he has to stop. I pull up on his right side and rap on the passenger window. He doesn't roll down the window as I expect, instead he gets out of the car. He must be 6-6 with a shaved head, looking like he got lost on the way to the Seahawks training camp. He's about to say something, when I calmly inform him that one of his signal lights must not be working. Surprised, he looks down at the front of his car. I ride away, rather quickly, turning the corner and ducking into the office parking garage. I'll think twice before doing something like that again.