Showing posts with label bicycle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bicycle. Show all posts

Ride Your Bike Week May 13 - 17, 2013

This week is ride your bike to work week, and this coming Friday May 17, 2013 is Ride Your Bike to Work Day. So far, I've ridden my bike every day and plan to ride the rest of the week as well. The weather here in FL is beautiful, so there is no excuse not to ride. Even if you can't ride to work, you can probably ride a bike to the grocery store or the bank or the library.

Five Steps to Riding Better

1. Follow the Rules of the Road
• Ride with traffic and obey the same laws as motorists.
• Use the rightmost lane that heads in the direction that you are traveling.
• Obey all traffic control devices, such as stop signs, lights, and lane markings.
• Always look back and use hand and arm signals to indicate your intention to stop, merge or turn.
2. Be Visible
• Ride where drivers can see you.
• Wear brightly colored clothing at all times.
• At night, use a white front light and red rear light or reflector. Wear reflective tape or clothing.

3. Be Predictable
• Ride in a straight line and don't swerve between parked cars.
• Make eye contact with motorists to let them know you are there.
• Do not ride on the sidewalk.
4. Anticipate Conflicts
• Be aware of traffic around you and be prepared to take evasive action.
• Learn braking and turning techniques to avoid crashes.
• Be extra alert at intersections.
5. Wear a Helmet
• Make sure that the helmet fits on top of your head, not tipped back or forward.
• After a crash or any impact that affects your helmet, visible or not, replace it immediately.
Follow the links to the right for a wealth of information for cyclist of all types and level of experience. If you don't find what you need under the main headings, visit the miscellaneous link for information on mountain biking, riding with kids, tandem bicycles, emergency maneuvers, and more!
If you are looking for courses to learn more, visit the Bike Education page and sign up for a League class!
 
Via Bike League

The Price You Pay For Your Life

 
Today I sat in eight hours of boring meetings, except for the twenty minutes when I gave my presentation of course. Except not really, mine was really boring too. It was all data and numbers that are purely speculative and not very meaningful to the manager's in the audience. They also were bad numbers about how thousands and thousands of cases are stuck in a status where they will not move without our clients cooperation. And that won't happen.
 
So, In addition to listening to the state of the world at work which was depressing and boring, some of the people (actually a lot of the people) spent over an hour in traffic commuting to our office for this big meeting. Some of the people actually work out of my office and drive over an hour, one lady drives 90 minutes! Just to get to our boring job! But, she's a manager and probably has hopes of climbing up the career ladder and attaining one of the few higher choice positions that will open up in a few years as people retire with their nice thirty years of service and a comfortable pension. But to do this she will have to drive fifteen hours a week(1.5 hr x10) times fifty weeks for a total of 750 hours/year (an equivalent of 18.75 work weeks). This is in addition to her work week of 40 hours, so effectively her work week is 55 hours.
 
To me this is absolutely ridiculous. There is no way in hell, I would drive more than thirty minutes to work anywhere. I've never done it and I never will. Don't people calculate the cost of the their time and cost of travel when they interview for a job? Maybe not. Maybe those pristine little ponds in their backyards are worth the drive, I don't know. But I do know that some jobs aren't worth the money. The golden handcuffs are not always shiny and bright. There is often a price that people sometimes pay, but forget to calculate into their costs - of their job. Its either the commute, or the stress, or the hours and the fact that you won't really just work the forty hours you're paid for its often more in corporate America. And all the office politics that come into play. It's exhausting. Then the crazy commute home with all those stressed out people texting and driving like they're drunk. It's madness that I want no part of.
 
Anyway, I enjoy my bike ride to work. It always the highlight of my day.

Expect The Unexpected

 
It was a beautiful cool morning (65F) for a bike ride. There is practically no chance of rain all week. Part of my route has been newly paved, so I can tolerate the bumpy gravelly surface of the torn up portions of the road. The last part of my ride is on a side road heading due east so I can coast and cool down and watch the sunrise. I was therefore a little surprised when my bike started getting squirrely on me as I rolled along. Looking down, I noticed I had a tire going flat. So, I hopped off and sure enough there was a big construction staple stuck in the side wall of my back tire. Of course, its the back - it always is.
 
Anyway, my Continental Touring Plus tire has done me good. I think its been about three years since I got a flat tire, thanks to that kevlar puncture protection layer. And believe me, I've pulled out glass, tacks, staples and such from the tire that actually haven't punctured the tire. Of course I've been carrying around tools, a spare tube and my mini pump for all these years and today I finally got to use the stuff. I also had the sense to protect the brand new 1 week old carpet in my office so chunks of black bike goo wouldn't get it dirty.
 
Always expect the unexpected and you'll be ready for it when it happens. You'll be self sufficient and able to get yourself out of a potential problem. In some cases, it won't even be a problem. Why is everyone so surprised when I tell them I had a flat tire and already fixed it, all by myself. Isn't that what it's all about?
 
Be ready for anything.

New or Old?

Today, one of my coworkers was asking where I got my panniers on my bicycle. They're thinking of getting some and couldn't find any in the bike shops they liked. I looked at my old CyclePro Countryside Originals and explained that these panniers are over 23 years old. They sag a little on the rack, and the main compartment zipper has been repaired numerous times, and the side pockets had a hole in them. But they are still better than what I could buy new. The old canvas is tough and resilient, whereas the new ones are nylon which is inferior for the purpose. With my daily use, they are showing their age and replacements or repairs are needed. Its one of those things that is always on my "list" to get when there's a deal, or in this case when I actually find some that are suitable - at any price. Meanwhile they do the job well.
 
But sometimes, new things are much better quality than old. I think electronic or electrical things actually are better with the advanced technology. DH has been complaining about his electric Remington shaver for a while. We got new blades for it a couple months ago, but it still was just not performing as expected. So I found a new shaver on Amazon that arrived yesterday. You have to know that DH does not really embrace change. He likes his routine and whenever something is different, he complains and fusses until he's settled in the new way. So of course, he whined that it charged different than the other one. He whined that the suction cups on the charger stuck to the table, but not the porcelain of the top of the toilet. But he did like that it was a lot quieter, and it was a lot smoother shave. So, now he's raving about it wanting to show me his close shave by snuggling cheek to cheek. I have to admit it really is a better shave, and something he should have switched out long ago.
 
Being frugal can sometimes make us hang on to stuff longer than we should. But it also keeps us using the durable, well made products that you can't buy quality anymore. You just have to know which is which.
 
Do you have a gem or a rock? 
 

Frugal Travel to Improve Your Health

Even though gas prices have stabilized, there is still great incentive to ride your bike as a means of commuting. Riding a bicycle is a great, frugal way to travel and also improves your health. Remember, your health is your greatest wealth. Having a bunch of money isn't that much fun if you aren't healthy to enjoy it.

If your destination is less than ten miles from your home, it wouldn't take much effort to bicycle as a regular occurrence. Five miles is only twenty minutes of riding and you don't get sweaty enough to negate the cleanliness of your morning shower. I do recommend you wear different biking clothes for the ride (preferably a high visibility color shirt, and your black spandex biking shorts for comfort) and just change clothes in the rest room or a private room when you get to your destination. It's also important to wear stiff, thick soled shoes like my Keen Commuters (which I absolutely love!!) which you can get for a discount with Shoebacca Coupons. Proper shoes will help avoid foot numbness from the road shock, along with biking gloves.

To make this bicycle commuting a healthy habit, it's important to have good solid equipment. Make sure your bicycle is tuned up and lubed, with fully aired tires. Also a strong rack is necessary so you don't have to wear a back pack with your stuff, which just makes you sweaty. Along with proper clothing, shoes, and equipment you need to wear your helmet. My hair is damp in the morning from my shower so when I get to work, I just comb it and it springs to life and looks great. With all the bike and motorcycle helmets I wear, it helps to have permed hair that bounces back from the helmet.
Its also important to make sure you know the rules of the road - ride with the traffic as far to the right as possible - but not on the sidewalk if you can avoid it. Your bike is considered a motor vehicle so make sure you follow all traffic signals at intersections, and give pedestrians the right of way. Signal with your arms to let drivers know you are turning, and use your bike bell to warn people you are coming along.
You will love the fresh air biking allows you to enjoy, get off your phone and get outside and live life.

How You Can Help Bicyclists & Walkers

Federal funding for bicycling and walking is in jeopardyWe need you to send a short email today to your members of Congress.
Today, Congressman John Mica of Florida, Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, outlined his plans for the new transportation bill and called for the elimination of dedicated funding for biking and walking programs, which he suggested, "do not serve a federal purpose."
In the Senate, James Inhofe of Oklahoma is leading a similar attack. Inhofe, a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said that one of his top-three priorities for the next multi-year federal transportation bill is to eliminate "frivolous spending for bike trails."
If Representative Mica and Senator Inhofe get their way, dedicated funding for three crucial programs — Safe Routes to School, Transportation Enhancements, and Recreational Trails — will be eliminated. The cost-effective federal investment in bicycling that is making our nation better will shrink dramatically. We can't allow this to happen.
That's why we are asking you to reach out to the two U.S. Senators and the U.S. Representative who represent you in Congress. Ask them to support ongoing, dedicated funding for biking and walking in the next transportation bill. (You can find your representatives and send your note directly from the website. Click here to review clear, basic, suggested text for your email. Feel free to customize it and/or add a personal story.)
Your simple messages will make a difference. You can help refute Representative Mica's and Senator Inhofe's unreasonable, counterproductive cuts. You can help assure that progress will continue in all 50 states to make bicycling safer and better for people of all ages.

The Downfall of An Impressive CV

A stunning story in the Toronto Star has me thinking about my choice to commute by bicycle on a daily basis. Apparently, this well provided for gentleman got in a tussle with a cyclist and dragged him down the street like a gangster movie. Now his impressive background is all for naught as he is charged with some pretty serious crimes since the bicyclist died (see picture above of cyclist).
 
Reminds me to follow the motto on my new bumper sticker WAG MORE, bark less