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 develops 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.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

That time of winter.

     We've reached that point, a few weeks from spring, when freezing feels like a reprieve.  The temperatures almost got up to 32F yesterday and I felt like stripping to my shorts and rolling in the snow.   It probably wouldn't have been the right thing, so I restrained myself.  I wouldn't want my neighbors to think I am eccentric or anything.  They have just begun to accept the constant bike riding.  I was happy for one warm day on the weekend,
 we were back to sub-zero normality a couple of days later and people were asking the same old questions.  I'm going to get a t-shirt that says
YES
7 MILES
25 MINUTES
I HAVE A CAR!
Just so people won't ask.  I should probably add
 "AND A LICENSE" 
to be sure I'm not mistaken for a court appointed cyclist this time of year.

       There was light at the end of the horizon this morning and I was reminded that clear skies bring colder temperatures again.  It also means that days are getting longer and longer.  In two weeks we will experience daylight saving's time.  Club rides will officially hit the sloppy streets and a few brave spandex hamsters will emerge from hibernation having memorized all of Phil Ligget's commentary from last year's Tour while they watched the DVR from the comfort of their trainers.   The streets will no longer be mine and I will have to converse with others as well as the voices in my head. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Competing

Today, the cold had brought a solid crust on the top of the snow.
The bike path was freshly plowed and there were rivulets frozen into ruts beneath the snow.
I was riding downwind, the chill was no problem despite the single digits.
A squirrel burst from a bush beside me, exploded into a gallop.
He was desperate,
He rushed across snow crust as if on a track.
Surging ahead, he bolted up a tree near the trail,
and stared me square in the eye as I passed.


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Being Mr Magoo

I finally decided it was cold when I could not blink because my eye lashes froze to my brows.
I thought is was pretty humorous and continued through the cold spell.  I have to admit I am approaching my semi-retired stage of life in a positive way.   People think me insane, but I have been unconsciously developing a "cute eccentric" image.  Nobody believes this is fun, but for somebody who aspires to be Mr Magoo... well you get the idea. 
 I don't feel much in this weather and wouldn't have noticed at all if I could have blinked.
 This has been a weird winter.  It looks like Boston got our snow for the year.

   
   We are behind our normal snowfall for the year since December was so warm.  I suppose we had normal precipitation but December was mostly rain.  Now the temps are so volatile that the wind is out of control and I actually drove my car rather than deal with 30 mph gusts on icy roads.
    I have added a Mileage log to my blog page to track my auto mileage.  I happened to think of it when a local club member wanted to put together a log of biking mileage for the club.  I told him I had driven 1500 miles in 2014.  He replied "x-1500" will not work on his chart.  They don't have the right priorities, I think the bragging rights belong to those who replace auto use, not reach some imaginary athletic pinnacle.  Everybody ( but me) tracks the mileage on their bikes it seems.  Tracking how little you drive is the best way to stay sane.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

We should all be celebrating street crews and truckers!

Hot on the heels of my last post and comments to the local survey about bike infrastructure, I found this really well done video about Brussels.  We in the US automatically assume that European cities are all cycling literate and have well developed commuter cultures,
 but Brussels looks more like LA or Chicago at rush hour.  
The video is 20 minutes long but well worth it.  There are subtitles in some spots, because it was made in Belgium so some parts are spoken in their native Belch.  Two really impressive points are made; one that the "relentless promotion" of automobiles as a necessity has to stop, and cities must discourage auto use in order to reduce it.  
In the meantime I have been impressed with the service by both the road crews and park departments.
After this past blizzard the MUP's were cleared immediately
 and the roads were all passable right away.

The park departments did screw up when they piled snow all around the entrances.
This once was, as the sign says, a "barrier free" entrance.  Now...more barrier than free.
There was something else today which was  beyond the realm of decency in a perfect world.  I was commuting this morning in the dark and on the one stretch of busy thoroughfare I ride, I was passed by a semi-tractor and trailer.  The big ole' 16 wheeler went around me, then stopped, blocking my lane 2 blocks ahead.  Traffic was light and I eased around him and  his flashing emergency lights .  I must admit I was concerned and expecting some trucker diatribe to be leveled on me as I passed.  No.  He sat there as I continued on for 2 1/2 blocks, then when it was safe for me to take a left across 3 lanes and get off that street, he started back up and proceeded on.  
He was blocking for me!
I have never seen anybody that nice.  Yes, the world is changing.