Drive My Bike


Warmer Weather Means Less Stuff!
May 14, 2009, 8:58 am
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With the warmer weather I recently hit two milestones in my Spring commuting. First, last week I started wearing shorts for the ride to work in the morning. Second, warmer weather means less outerwear needed, so this week I made the transition back to a single pannier. Both of those things sure are nice!

RollingShadow

It sure is nice to be able to leave the cold weather gear at home. I found myself struggling with that a bit, thinking paranoid “what if” thoughts…

“What if it gets really cold and you don’t have a fleece layer?” "What if it rains?” “What if… What if…What if… Oh stop it!”

One of the reasons I started riding my bike was to simplify my life, and now here I was stressing over what I was going to bring with me. I took a look at the weather report, reminded myself how warm it really was, and remembered how cold it was NOT… and decided to relax and leave stuff at home. The only cold weather thing I’ve taken for the last week or so has been my pullover windbreaker that I always bring. I find that it will keep me warm enough down into the low 50’s, especially once I get huffing and puffing a bit. I’ve been plenty warm, and it has been wonderful to enjoy the breeze.

So, in celebration of the warmer weather (and fingerless gloves that I can hold a camera with) I bring you some more riding pictures that I shot on the way home the other day…

Shadow in the crosswalk, stopped at a light

CrosswalkShadow 

Same light, almost green…

FrontWheelCrosswalk

Green… and go… (I was leaning way down, holding the camera to the side of the forks. I think the motorists were probably trying to figure out what I was doing)

ThruFrontSpokes

Just think, I could be waiting in that line of cars.

LineOfCars

There was a bicyclist coming up behind me. If you look in the distance you can see him over my shoulder. I noticed him in my mirror, and decided to put the camera away and get to riding. He didn’t catch me. 🙂

PursuitOverShoulder

I think this is my favorite picture of the set. These are so “accidental” because I can’t see a thing I’m shooting. It’s just “hold the camera in the air and push the button”. I really liked how the shadow fit in the wheel, and the spokes were blurred with motion.

SpinningSpokesShadow 

I hope that you’re able to enjoy this warmer weather and have some great rides!

Note: In case any of you care, I’m working on that next post about shoes for clipless pedals, and I’ll probably be putting it up in the next couple of days.

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Spring Springeth!

Our Utah weather is always a bit crazy this time of year. We had a few days of warmth, and then we got almost record amounts of snow this April, and Spring seemed like it was never going to show up. Based on my ride home today I am thinking it might finally be here!

TrekSpring3 

It was 38 degrees (F) when I left this morning. But it was sunny, and I really wanted it to be warm. I had my shorts on, and I really didn’t want to add any extra layers. Alas, sanity finally took hold as I stepped out the door, and I decided that I really needed a bit more of the uniform. So I put my Novara rain pants on, and added a microfleece pullover under my windbreaker.

The ride in was nice, and before long things had warmed up to the mid 60’s. I made it outside several times during the day, and each time I was thinking that the ride home sure was going to be nice.

I was right.

It was about 67 degrees (F) when I left the office. For the first time in a long time there was no headwind going home, and I was loving it. I felt really strong and it was the best ride home I’ve had in a long time. The hardest part of the trip was packing all my morning cold weather gear into my pannier… squish! 🙂

A couple of months ago I picked up a small rectangular pouch that fits under the front of my seat, just the perfect size for my camera. It has a wide mouth and Velcro flap that I can easily get into and out of while I’m riding. It has been too cold to use the camera since I’ve had full finger gloves on, but today I figured I’d try to take some riding pictures. A few turned out alright, so I’ll share them with you…

TrekSpring2

In this picture you can see my clipless setup that I mentioned in my last post

TrekSpring1

Hmm… probably need to clean that fender off under there…

TrekSpring4

Doing the picture taking thing, whilst pedaling mightily in rush hour traffic, whilst not crashing, seems to be an art form. I’ve seen some great bike photo blogs out there, and I’ve got a ways to go, but I’ll get it figured out.

I hope your rides are getting warmer too. Stay safe. (Even if you are a bit crazy and decide to try to take pictures while you’re riding) 🙂



Friendly Guy – A Hard Core Veteran Commuter
September 29, 2008, 2:54 pm
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Inspired by folks like Tom, Kate, and Noah, I got a new pocket sized camera last week so that I could take pictures on my commutes. That made for a new adventure on my ride today, as I tried to juggle my new camera while I rode. Yeah, taking pictures while riding is probably a dumb idea, and I don’t recommend it, but here’s one from this morning’s ride…

FriendlyGuy

Now, don’t judge me too harshly by the quality of this picture. I was trying to capture a picture of a guy I met this morning, and he was rapidly pulling away as I was trying to get my camera out, powered on, zoomed, and focused, while not damaging the camera or myself. This guy was hands down the friendliest cyclist I’ve met in my bike commuting experiences! Here’s how the conversation went:

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Me: (hearing that familiar sound of someone on a bike coming up behind my left shoulder, I look over and begin to say “Hello”, but before I can get a word out…)

FriendlyGuy: “Good Morning!” (I’ve never had anyone else start the conversation first. FriendlyGuy looks to be a little older than me, and has a big smile on his face.)

Me: “Howdy! Nice day today!”

FriendlyGuy: “Oh yeah, beautiful day! Have a Good One!” (He smiles again, and passes me effortlessly. I notice that he’s got a nice road bike, but with fenders. He’s got a backpack on, a biking jersey, long fingered gloves, and long thermals on legs and arms. Clearly a serious commuter, not the normal road bike racer boy.)

Thinking that it would be great to commemorate this FriendlyGuy moment, I fumble to get out my camera and take a picture. This causes me to lose speed, and FriendlyGuy quickly pulls away, until I can just barely see him in the distance. I take the picture, stow the camera, and try to pick up my lost speed. After a mile or so, I’m coming up on a red light, and I notice a biker waiting at the light… and it’s FriendlyGuy!

I pull up behind him, stop, and this time he looks over his shoulder and smiles again…

FriendlyGuy: “Hey again. Looks like we’ve got the old Tortoise and Hare thing going on this morning” (This is said with a smile, and a friendly manner, so it’s not taken as any kind of competitive statement. He’s just making good conversation)

Me: “Yeah, well you’re geared a bit differently than me.”

FriendlyGuy: “Yes, I guess that’s true” (The light turns green, but instead of just pulling away, FriendlyGuy pulls out slowly and actually waits for me to come along side of him. Imagine that… a stranger that could easily leave me in the dust is waiting to have a conversation!)

FriendlyGuy: “How far you going?”

Me: “Oh, about five miles. Just into Murray by 215”

FriendlyGuy: “Oh, that’s great.”

Me: “You been doing this long?”

FriendlyGuy: “Yeah, a few years now”

Me: “How about you, how far are you going?”

FriendlyGuy: “Oh, into downtown Salt Lake” (Now, this is impressive, because we are a good ways from downtown)

Me: “Wow, so what is that, about ten miles or so?”

FriendlyGuy: “About 17. Yeah, it’s a great ride!” (Wow, 17 miles… very impressive)

Me: “WOW! That is really great! Good for you!” (I’m in complete amazement at this point, having never been face to face with someone so committed to Bike Commuting. My mind is racing as to how to respond… and the only thing I come up with is…)

Me: “Well you have a really good day!” (Wow… that was weak, but he’s really nice and the traffic is heavy, and I don’t want to cause problems with his commute today.)

FriendlyGuy: “You too!” (We are coming up to a stretch of road that can be a bit nasty due to some construction equipment in our lane, and there is lots of traffic. FriendlyGuy quickly pulls away, barely skirts a construction barrier, and then he’s off, and I’m not catching him this time.)

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FriendlyGuy, I’m guessing you probably talk to a lot of people as you ride, so if you read this, I was the guy on 7th East, in the bright yellow windbreaker, on the not so fast Schwinn hybrid. Thanks for making my commute better this morning, and I hope to see you again sometime.