Drive My Bike


Choose To Ride
June 19, 2010, 11:19 am
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I had a choice this week… Ride or Drive.

I chose to ride, and it was great. 🙂

Young Boy

I managed to ride to work two days this week, which is quite a jump from the no days schedule in recent months.

Wednesday night I planned ahead to ride Thursday morning, and it was confirmed when my wife asked if she could take my car to drop a friend off at the airport. The weather is getting warmer, and I was concerned that Thursday morning would be a bit chilly, but instead it turned out to be quite nice. I wore a jacket, but started unzipping about halfway to the office. The ride home after work was a good workout, and I was feeling pretty good about myself and my one day of bike commuting for the week.

Thursday night came and I thought about riding again on Friday, but I talked myself out of it. “Don’t want to do too much in a single week yet”, I told myself. Yeah right.

So Friday morning comes, I’m getting ready for work, and I’m conflicted. I’m feeling conservative and thinking I shouldn’t ride again, but there’s a little voice inside that tells me I’m being ridiculous, that I used to do this all the time, and that it is only five miles to the office, so no big deal. I caved, and changed into my riding gear.

It was about the most gorgeous morning for riding that I could imagine. The temperature was perfect, just cool enough for comfort. There was a gentle breeze, but not enough that it was a fight to ride against. Blue skies. Close to perfection. Great ride!

So it’s a long day at work on Friday and the end of the day finally comes about 7:30, and I’m still at the office. My daughter has a softball game on the other side of town in 30 minutes, at 8:00. She’s already at the ballpark with my wife and other daughter. I can ride five miles home and then drive to the ballpark… or I can go into unknown territory and ride to the ballpark. I’d driven there plenty of times, but had never ridden out that way, and I estimated the distance to be about ten miles.

Once again, I chose to ride… and it was a fun adventure. It was about ten miles of urban riding, the last five of which were on a major road with no shoulder (Redwood Road for you locals), so I had to “take the lane” and hold my own in traffic. The traffic wasn’t too heavy, and I only had one person pass me really close. All in all it was a good ride, and the start of the game was delayed a few minutes, so I even made it there in time for the first pitch.

This morning I’m a little stiff and can tell that I rode more this week than I have in a long time, but it was worth it.

Choose to ride.



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) 🙂



Top 10 Reasons to Be A Bike Commuter
September 11, 2008, 7:52 am
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j0202174

  1. You feel pretty green, and green is good.
  2. Passing cars that are stuck in rush hour traffic is awesome.
  3. It’s fun watching the people around you come up with excuses why they can’t bike commute.
  4. Getting back at all of those people that said you were crazy when you told them you were going to start riding your bike to work.
  5. Riding around on a bike makes you remember how fun it was when you did that as a kid, only now you look a lot cooler.
  6. Seeing the look of amazement on the grocery store clerk’s face when you ask her to put your groceries in your panniers, and she says "You rode your bike here?"
  7. Realizing that you can ride a lot farther than you think you can.
  8. Spandex is optional.
  9. Doing something fun and getting exercise at the same time – "Accidental Fitness".
  10. Getting to your destination with less stress than you started with.

I’ve had this list brewing for a while. It’s not perfect, but I finally tweaked it enough that I figured I’d go ahead and post it.

What do you think? What would you put on your top 10 list of reasons for bike commuting?



Learn To Bicycle Safely!
August 27, 2008, 1:46 pm
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j0402293

I just found the best site I’ve ever seen about bicycling safely in city traffic. This site does a great job of explaining the most common risks, as well as giving several strategies to avoid them. The diagrams and explanations are clear and easy to understand. Stop by and take a look at BicycleSafe.com because it just could save your life.

Really… do it… I was able to read most everything in about 10 minutes… and that 10 minutes could mean the difference between life and death on your next ride.

Thanks to the Crazy Commuting Cyclist for his post about bicycle safety.



A New Measurement: BPM = "Bicyclists Per Mile”

Wow… it was almost crowded on my ride in to work this morning! I saw eleven other bicyclists on the road, over the five miles that I ride from home to work. I have never really kept track of how many I see, but I’m sure that is a new record!Measurement

I have been bike commuting for almost two months now, and I’m sure the number of bicyclists on my route has at least doubled, if not tripled.  I remember the first couple of days it seemed like I was lucky if I saw two or three other cyclists on the road.

All this got me thinking that it might be fun to actually start tracking that number to see if I can put some data behind the trend. So… I propose a new unit of measurement: BPM or “Bicyclists Per Mile”. Coming up with that figure is relatively simple… Count the bicyclists you see on your commute, add one for yourself, then divide that total by the number of miles in your commute.

So for today I would have 11 + 1 = 12, 12 divided by 5 = 2.4 Bicyclists Per Mile (BPM)

So, I would ask all of you who read this blog to start tracking BPM when you ride. I’m going to do this, and see how things change over the next few weeks.  Is this scientific?… Are you kidding? We’re having fun here, remember?

Now go figure out the BPM for your next ride! 🙂



Be Careful Out There!
July 17, 2008, 8:33 am
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Wow… I saw this on the news last night, and it’s a good reminder to all of us that spend time in traffic on our bikes. In Portland, a bicyclist and a motorist exchanged words, and the situation escalated into the motorist ramming the cyclist, with the cyclist ending up hanging onto the hood of the car. The motorist then drove off with the cyclist still on the hood of the car, and continued to drive wildly trying to throw the cyclist off of the hood. A witness got some shocking video as the car sped by with the cyclist on the hood. The motorist was later arrested.

Remember that a car is much bigger than you are, and it will always win versus your bike. Even if you are in the right, it is not worth dying to try to save face, or advance the cause of cycling. Ride safely. Watch your temper in traffic. Be careful out there!



A Great Day After All
July 8, 2008, 7:44 am
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Yesterday was one of those mornings when I just did not want to ride. I’m not sure why, but when I woke up I was coming up with all kinds of excuses not to ride my bike to work. It was helpful that I had prepared the night before, and I had my bag packed and everything ready to go, so I just went into autopilot and started preparing to ride… grumbling to myself most of the way.

Now, I did a lot of running in high school, both cross country and track & field, so I should remember that sometimes it seems like I feel the worst right before some kind of performance breakthrough. Well, yesterday was also one of those days.

I didn’t really notice it until I got to the mild hill that is near the end of my ride in to work. Usually I have to drop down 3-4 gears and lose a bunch of speed to make it up that hill, but yesterday it just seemed like I was able to keep going. I eventually did drop 2 gears by the time I hit the top, but I had never felt that strong before.

The ride home was even better, as I have to face the other side of that hill on my way home. This time I was able to make it over the top dropping only one gear, and it felt so great to crest that little hill with a good head of steam. It also helped that the vehicle traffic was backed up for blocks due to some road construction, so I was passing all the cars that were stuck in the stop and go situation.

Yesterday turned out alright after all… it was a good day to be on a bike!