This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Too bad it's about 2 months late.  This year in Michigan we have missed all the snow going south.  What little we have gotten has melted off quickly with the 40 degree temperatures we have enjoyed  during the days.
This morning we enjoyed a few inches and I was able to claim the first tire print running through the trail before it got trampled up and icy.  I always count on this time of year to change the riding style to mountain biking over the rutted frozen trails, bike lanes and parking lots.  This year has been different, and probably won't last more than a month now. 

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Grasping the obvious.

       I was talking to a few students this week about cycling.  One of them brings it up every day, but this time a group of high school freshmen, who had been exposed to the cycling program in their eighth grad PE program asked a few detailed questions about safety.   Of course their parents had always convinced them it was safer to ride on sidewalks.  They were visibly shocked to find out that sidewalks are more dangerous.  I referred them to the State Police who have told me that reports show 5 times more injuries from cyclists riding sidewalks than riding on the streets.  After explaining that using a street and following the rules of the road like any motorist is better, it occurred to me that they are likewise unaware of cycling infrastructure available.
I used Google Maps to show them the general area where we live.

Then I chose the option to highlight the dedicated bike infrastructure in the area.They were likewise shocked.  The map shows an area 5-6 miles in diameter and all the bike lanes, trails and mup's that are currently developed.  The fortunate thing is that the local jurisdictions are determined to continue developing this network until it is interconnected.  In our area, it is conceivable to go anywhere in town on a bike within 30 minutes.  They had no idea, from sitting in the back seat of cars playing video games, that anything like that even existed. The kids are finally starting to see that it can be more convenient to use a bike in the city. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Another decade down.

  ... and I don't feel any older.  Most people don't think I look much older either, I think cycling has kept the scars on the inside.   It seems that I did hardly any cycling because I took no week long trips this past year.  That is how I have come to measure my life.  Family and personal life can interfere and hopefully the spell that was dry of adventure is behind me and I can move ahead.  Things progressed despite  lacking long distance travel and riding daily was still the norm.  Although I did rack up more drive time it was still only 3K miles and much less than anybody I know.  
      I noticed that last year I started by talking about the regional map of commuter routes proposed here.  I am pleased that it has been accepted by all the municipalities involved.
What is more important is that all but the largest two have committed to having the signage in place before the end of 2020.  Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope they succeed despite the bureaucratic morass they face.  
It will be the first such commuter network
 I have heard of in this country, maybe it'll set a trend.  
      The most interesting group ride I encountered all year was the memorial ride for Randy Smolinski a former frame builder from Grand Rapids.  His work is still beautiful and the ride brought together classic bike enthusiasts from the upper Midwest. 
      I received an e-mail from David Haywood late in the summer.  He completed circumnavigating the globe by bicycle.  He had stayed with me one night in October 2018 as a Warmshowers guest.  I was just glad to be part of it all.  Good luck David, I'm sure you will make the rest of your life an adventure. 
      The only other notable event in my most boring year of cycling yet, was THAT DAY.  One 24 hour period when just too damn much happened.  It all ended up for the better.  I now have a bike that can survive the Michigan winters better, a lighter quicker commuter and, after weeks of considering carlessness, an Italian/American sports car that is a butt load more fun to drive when I rarely do.

Oh yeah, with the time off the adventure road, I wrote a book. 

Friday, December 20, 2019

      Winter is coming, the signs are showing up.  Christmas decorations have been placed around the city and the festivals of giving have begun.  I can't help but think of how my new bike fits in the festive landscape with reflective tires.   They show up so well I'm beginning to think they should be on all sidewalls.
      Soon the snow will be flying around here and I will be left on the streets alone with all the court appointed cyclists.