Foggy Morning

You smell that? Do you smell that? Fog, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of fog in the morning.1Do I really need to cite the source of this “quote”?!

Condensation formed on my handlebars during this morning’s ride. Either that, or the fog was a lot thicker than I thought.

Regardless, the fog was dense enough to smell. Mmm… I love that. :-)

Why Bikes Make Smart People Say Dumb Things

Why Bikes Make Smart People Say Dumb Things. A good discussion on why those who drive cars think those who ride bikes are scofflaws and some good arguments why we’re not. Money quote: “The likely conclusion is that people riding bikes don’t break more laws or fewer laws than when they drive cars, but they do break different laws.” Well worth a read, whether your drive or bike.1Yeah, this article is almost a month old (though I did tweet about it when it came out). I ran across it again today and felt it was worth sharing here.

Dear Motorist

While biking to work this morning, a white pickup truck nearly ran me over. It would have been his1Her? I never saw the driver. fault and done while he was breaking the law.2ORS 811.340 Fortunately I saw it (him) coming3It’s amazing how many stupid driver tricks I’ve been able to predict or detect and avoid. I guess it’s true: the one that gets you is the one you don’t see. and was able to avoid the collision.

I considered a chase,4Adrenaline is an amazing performance-enhancing drug. but know road rage never goes well for anyone. Instead, I noted the truck pulled into a parking lot near where I work. I wrote a short letter, printed and signed it,5Yes, there was a real human being on that bike. Not some anonymous nobody. then walked and stuck it under the truck’s wiper blade.

July 1, 2014

Dear motorist,

Your life almost got a lot more complex this morning. Mine could have ended.

When you turned left from 48th Avenue onto Cornell you were in the left turn lane. There was a car to the right of you, which is a lane that can either turn left or go straight. I was behind that car on my bike.

The car in front of me went straight. Maybe that confused you into thinking that yours was the only lane that turned. Maybe you knew both lanes could turn left but only saw the car beside you go straight so you thought you had a clear path. You knew you wanted to turn right on Elam Young Parkway and had limited distance to merge right. So you did it in the intersection.

In either case, it’s clear that you didn’t see me, on a bike, turning left, next to you. Only because I braked and veered6I’ve replayed this incident over and over in my head, trying to remember exactly what happened. It’s still fuzzy, and I’m unlikely to make it more clear. My normal route is from the middle lane (the rightmost lane that turns left) across the intersection and ending up in the bike lane exiting the intersection. It’s normally a fun intersection on the bike because Cornell’s banking makes this route downhill. I don’t know how much I had to veer to avoid a collision, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. For example, a couple of weekends driving up the Gorge, a vehicle driving next to us drifted into our lane. Next thing I knew, we were moving left, automatically and without thought. The brain is crazy cool that way. This morning I remember looking left and seeing the truck really close. This was confusing as normally there’s nearly a full lane of blank space between me and the car to the left as I turn. Veer, dodge, just luck? I don’t know? did you not run over me.

Please be more careful next time.

Sincerely,

I hope this makes the motorist think,7And I hope this blog post makes you think. Let’s be careful out there. and maybe, just maybe, be a little more careful next time.

Biking Recap for June 2014

It’s the end of the month and time for me to recap how far I’ve biked this month and any major accomplishments. Sorry, but this was a fairly boring month on the bike. A little midday rain stopped me from riding as much during lunch,1I don’t like having wet feet at work and don’t have dedicated cycling shoes. yet I didn’t get rained on during commuting, just a little heavy misting on a couple of mornings.

My June Bicycling Accomplishments

Mileage Summary

DistanceTime / Bike
306Biked in June23,291 – 2,985
1,369Biked in 201433,291 – 1,922
3,366Biked on Sage42,985 + 75

How is your 2014 so far on the bike?

Keep pedaling!

One Year On Sage

One year ago, my family surprised me with a new bike for Fathers’ Day. They’re pretty awesome that way. :-)

Since then, I’ve ridden “Sage” quite a bit1I guess I’m awesome that way… ;-) and bragged2Or “shared personal accomplishments with close friends and family.” I like it! quite a bit on the way. Here’s my year in review.

  • I biked 3,207 miles. The number seemed really big to me, but then I looked at some math. At nine miles each round trip, I get more than 2,100 miles just on my daily commute. With lunch rides and a family vacation where I rode 200 miles in a week, the miles really add up.
  • I went through some parts: 1.5 sets of tires, 1.5 sets of brakes, and a chain. Rotating the tires probably could have made them last longer, but it’s amazing how much broken glass was embedded in my tires3And not causing flats. Bike commuting tires are awesome these days. by the time I swapped them out. I probably should have gone through more brake pads. I’ve heard of going through a chain, but had never done it before. I do clean and oil my chain at least once a month, but in the winter, I probably should do it a lot more often. Oh, and I broke a spoke. When I had it repaired, they were surprised it had been my first.4I didn’t take it as a weight comment, I’m just tall. And I’ve stopped jumping so many curbs.
  • We went “low car.”5Well, as low car as a family can go when all the kids have their own cars. But they use them. When our family minivan finally died after 295,502 miles, we didn’t replace it. Suzi now drives the CRV; I bike.
  • I slowed down a bit. I used to think I commuted at 15-18 mph. Yeah, maybe. But that was in a more hunched down, uncomfortable posture. Now I sit up and enjoy the view. I stop at Starbucks on the way.6Yeah, I’ve done that for a while, not just the last year… I take a bunch of pictures.7Ditto. And when someone blows by me, I think of Linda Ronstadt.8Yup, and her song, “Blew By You.”

Year two starts now. I wonder where Sage will take me. :-)

Portland to Portland

Today, I passed another milestone on my new bike:1Well, it was new almost one year ago. Two more days to go. 3,198 miles! What is the significance of that number, you might ask? Perhaps I’m a pair of miles premature for my pride?2No, that will be another opportunity to share personal accomplishments with close friends and family, in other words, brag. :-D

No, my fine friend, because 3,192.7 is the distance from Portland, Ore. to Portland, Maine.3According to Bing maps. Sometime this morning, on my ride to work, I was figuratively riding off the Maine State Pier into the Portland harbor. Splash!

3,004 Miles, So Far

Last Fathers’ Day, my family surprised me with a new bike. Since then, I’ve been riding “Sage” for commuting and for exercise. Last December, I was proud to report that I had biked 2,162 miles in 2013.

A few weeks ago, I realized that I could start my year anywhere, not just January 1. If I started my year at Fathers’ Day, 2013, 3,000 miles was in reach. As of today, I have biked 3,004 miles and all of it on Sage.1Yes, I know the bike computer says 2,929 miles. I broke my last computer with 75 miles already on Sage. That’s about the distance from Portland, OR to Orlando, FL. And there’s still some time before this year is up. Maybe I could go from Portland, OR to Portland, ME.

Biking Recap for April 2014

My April Bicycling Accomplishments

  • April is my best month of the year, so far: 220 miles. :-)
  • I have biked 592 miles this year. Last year at this time, I’d only biked 95 miles, and the year before, 189 miles.

Mileage Summary

DistanceTime / Bike
220Biked in April12,514 – 2,101
592Biked in 201422,514 – 1,922

How is your 2014 so far on the bike?

Keep pedaling!

Biking Recap for March 2014

Three months in, and I’m still averaging more than 100 miles per month.1How’s that for positive spin? ;-)

My March Bicycling Accomplishments

  • March was a lighter month on the bike for me. Between getting sick, a couple of business trips, some vacation, and some days just not feeling like getting on the bike, biking didn’t have much of a chance. And I’m fine with that. I still probably biked more than you did. :-p </snark>
  • I put the shorts back on. I was starting to think I was slowing down over the winter, which seemed strange because I was still biking quite a bit. Then, a week ago, I put on some new “dress” shorts with a nice shirt2Could this be the clothing equivalent of a mullet? Business on the top; party on the bottom… and rode to work. It was still brisk in the morning, so I wore my rain pants over top. But at lunch and on the way home, just the shorts — and I was fast!!3Well, at least faster. Fast enough.

Mileage Summary

DistanceTime / Bike
60Biked in March42,294 – 2,101
372Bike in 201452,294 – 1,922

How is your 2014 so far on the bike?

Keep pedaling!