Sunday, June 22, 2008

Pumpkin Time

A friend and I rode the 22 mile route of the Pumpkin Vine Bike Ride yesterday. It was a beautiful morning for a ride with clear skies after a rain in the pre-dawn hours. Mist hung in the air as we rode to the starting point in Abshire Park. The night before, I stripped down the X to it's bare frame, leaving looking a bit like a vintage motorcycle. That lopped off several extra pounds and made the ride astoundingly easy for me. Maybe next year I'll try the 42 mile route, but I'm also thinking about helping my son train for the 22 mile route. He's really taken to his "new" Giant MTX 225 (w/rigid fork) and can easily keep up with Carol and I at a moderate pace. If I can find a set of slicks for it, he'll really fly along.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rude Awakening

I biked to work today in the early morning rain. It was a light rain and the air temp was about 67. I consciously worked at enjoying the experience and had prepared for it by wearing light, quick drying clothes and closed toe sandals.

An aside, I've recently realized a nice transition of driving/riding awareness: I sometimes forget I'm in a car and want to go park where I'd normally park my bike. I sometimes forget I'm on my bike and forget I'm exposed to the elements. This last experience leads me to what happened today.

My ride was going very well this morning. I was enjoying the rain, staying safe, and making good time. As I got close to work, I crossed into the left lane on the state route that passes the grounds of my workplace, Oaklawn Hospital. I'd checked behind me and there were no cars coming. I looked ahead and waited for traffic to pass before turning left into the drive. As I waited, a semi-tractor trailer appeared in the oncoming traffic. Remember the rain? I was completely caught off-guard as I caught the full spray from the truck as it passed me by. The spray felt like a blanket of fine water drops drenching the entire front of my body. Luckily, I had my old Oakley Factory Pilots protecting my eyes. I stayed upright and could make the turn safely.

What a rude awakening! I was suddenly shocked by the reminder of just how vulnerable I am to the weather and to cars/trucks. While I can laugh at it now, I will remember this experience for a long time and be better prepared the next time.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Two for one or One for Two?

I picked up a used Giant MT 225 for Benjamin yesterday from our local bike shop. It was 1/3 the price of a new bike. We checked out a new bike last Saturday and he absolutely fell in love with it. However, I balked at the price when I found out that a cleaned up and freshly tuned up used bike was available and was actually a better fit for him. So, I made the frugal choice and waited three days for the work to be done. Benjamin loves it and want to go out riding. It's wonderful to see him able to keep up with me at a decent pace. Hooray! We can go riding together!

Rode only 3 miles yesterday and only about 1.5 today. Hope to commute tomorrow.

good night!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Cycling for Everyone

Just got a chance to view a few minutes of this wonderful video. I plan to make time to watch the whole thing:

Cycling for Everyone: Lessons for Vancouver from the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany
John Pucher, professor of planning and public policy, Rutgers University
May 15, 2008, Vancouver

This is long, but may be very useful for bike advocacy. Notice this is by a professor of planning and public policy.