Showing posts with label biking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label biking. Show all posts

Bicycle Safety is No Accident

Maybe its the warm weather. Maybe its the time of day. But, some days drivers on the road are more erratic than normal. Today was one of those days. In the dark, early calm morning. With my handy dandy rear view mirror, I can tell when a driver spots me on my bike and speeds up to pass me before we come to a narrow area where there is definitely not enough room for a bicycle rider and a car, like a tight corner. I can also tell when a driver slows down to let me pass the situation (like today it was the garbage truck stopped in the oncoming lane).

I always think about close calls on my bike because I read about motorcycle crashes and bicyclists who were killed every day in the paper. Another grim reminder of the tragedy of biking, is the white ghost bike that was installed on my routes deadliest turn off 56th Street & Harney last week. I've always told my DH that if I get killed on my bike its going to be at that fork in the road. Drivers are speeding along and there are no signs to yield or slow or stop, just pick a direction right or left. I need to go right, crossing the left road in front of potentially left going vehicles.

Today the driver that tried to kill me was in a little red Kia or Corolla. I could tell they were going above the 25 mph speed limit and as I approached the downhill corner, I knew we both could not be there at the same time. So, I moved to the middle of the lane to capture my space so they didn't expect me to stay in the gutter to the right. That meant for them to pass me they went to the far left and then cut back in front of me, forcing me to the right into the gutter. Being the prudent biker, I moved aside rather than die.

Riding a bike to commute is not for everyone. Cars speeding 55 mph inches away from me, can be a little unsettling. It is a safe and healthy activity, made dangerous because of the drivers. I'm a driver too, sometimes. I know its a hassle to stop for a biker or walker. But it matters.

Here are some of the little things I do to help me stay safe on the road biking alongside traffic.
  • Be Seen - wear hi vis yellow or orange shirts or a safety vest. I wear a vest with reflective stripes when it is dark too.
  • Use Lights and MORE lights - I have a small Knog bike light that is super bright. It has a small rubber strap that clips on my front handlebar. It charges the battery with a regular USB plugin.
  • A super bright back red light. Its important to keep the batteries fresh on this one or the light is not quite so bright.
  • A lumos Helmet that has flashing front and back lights, and turn signals. I charge it once a week on my USB port of my laptop. 
  • A rear view mirror is critical to see whats coming up behind you, in the event you need to swerve into the lane of traffic to avoid a hazard such as dead animals, broken glass, piles of gravel, lumber debris or any other number of things that will impede your safe travels.
If you use all these safety features, you'll be seen by drivers and hopefully they will be the courteous ones who share the road.

Adventure OTS cruise, Boston, Massachusetts Day 10

Today our port of call was Boston, MA from 7am to 4:30 pm. It was mostly sunny, 14C (57F) with 25 mph winds. We were biking to Quincy Market area and going on a duck boat tour of the city. The duck boat cost $40 each.

 The Cheers bar in the TV show.
 A government building

 They asked if anyone wanted to drive the duck boat in the Charles River and of course Scott did.
 I decided I should drive too, when would I ever get the chance again?

A really old church. We toured all over the city for an hour - Beacon Hill, the Aquarium, Quincy Market, Granary Burying Ground, Boston Common, MIT, MOSI, and more.
Kilted Colin was a street performer in Quincy Market, he juggled and rode the unicycle while playing the bagpipes. Right at noon he wrapped up and another performer moved in. It is expensive to get permits to perform there, but they must do alright with the tips.

The Granary Burying Ground where many historical figures are buried including Sam Adams. Boston has many historical sites they have preserved in the city, they can be toured on foot by following the Freedom Trail.
 The city of Boston has great roads for bikers with marked lanes on the inside of parked cars. They were painting the bike lane green they day we were there. The drivers in the city are mean though. Boston does have a share bike program called Blue Bikes, they are $10 for unlimited 24 hour use for 2 hour periods. Use the app to check in and out. We'll do that next time.
After biking on our way back to the ship, we ran into our friends Mark and Jan on their way to have lunch. We stopped to join them at Legal Seafood on the water near the ship. They had spent the day with friends who live in Boston.
 Sailaway was interesting because we were tucked in a port and needed to back out quite a distance. It was definitely one of the trickier moves by the Captain. Approaching rain showers in the distance.
 Mark and Marie watching sail away from the Diamond Lounge

Fort Independence on Castle Island, one of a number of forts that protected the city of Boston.
 Kevin Johnson, ventriloquist with Clyde and Matilda was the headliner show for the evening. We remembered him from Summer Nights at Busch Gardens in 2008 and were excited to see him again. We skipped dinner in the MDR so we could see both shows at 7pm and 9pm. We ate in the windjammer which was the only night we did that, but it was really good. Our dinner friends were more fun though.  Anyway, Kevin Johnson did not disappoint.
 There was another event later in the evening, the Love and Marriage Show. It was funny on this cruise, there were no newlyweds, the newest married couple to be found was married 6 years.

This was our last port, so we could pack up our folding bikes now. Still two more days of the cruise.

Adventure OTS cruise, Portland, Maine Day 9

Our port of call today was Portland, Maine from 7am to 5:30 pm, a full day. The weather was mainly sunny 11C (52F) with winds up to 35 mph. We planned on biking the bike trails around the city. Its still very cold and windy, but the sunshine was a nice mood lifter.

Pano of Fort Allen Park lookout

Tug Boats in the Harbor off Commercial Street

Here's our progress so far, we're in the home stretch, one more port tomorrow then two days at sea to arrive in Port Canaveral, FL.

Selfie at Fort Allen Park in Portland, ME

When we were back in our room in late afternoon, parents were dropping off their kids for something.  Sailing club.  They were practicing maneuvering by following the leader in and around the many moored boats in the marina next to the ship.
After biking around the Eastern Promenade, East End Beach, Bayside Trail, Back Cove Park, Fort Allen Park, Casco Bay Bridge we met our friends for a beer at RiRa Irish Pub.
 After a dip in the hottub we went up to the Diamond Lounge for sailaway, and of course our favorite server Beverly was there. She sure worked the ship, she went to every venue whenever there was an event - Schooner Bar for trivias, Casino in between, Diamond Lounge for happy hour, the Imperial Lounge or Lyric Theatre for shows. Nice gal.

 The Norwegian Gem was in port with us today, and sailed away just before us.
No shows tonight since we've seen the ice skating show already, just dinner at the MDR.
Boston is tomorrow.

Adventure OTS cruise - Bar Harbor, Maine Day 8

Arrival in port at 7am however we have to be processed by U.S. Customs and Immigration and this is a tender port. We anchored near 7am but a letter dropped in our cabin stated to be in the MDR on deck 5 at 7:45am based on our deck.  Non-U.S. Citizens were instructed to go to the Imperial Lounge for processing.  Permanent residents were to go to the MDR with U.S. Citizens

Today was a long day in port, form 7am to 6:30 pm at 13C (55F), with winds up to 29mph. It was partly cloudy in the morning, and rain showers moving in around 2 pm.

We had to tender by using local boats to get to Bar Harbor. Here is the first one bringing the ramps.

Sunrise in Bar Harbor, ME
 We brought our bikes to shore and it was simple on the tender boat, they let us hang in back with the bikes, first one and first off.

Once on land again we had intended to get an Uber to the top of Cadillac mountain and ride our bikes down. But there were no Uber drivers and the taxis wanted tour groups not to give one way rides to the top of the mountain. So we opted to lock up the bikes and took an hour tour on Ollie's Trolleys for $25 each. They drove us up to the top of  Cadillac mountain and told us the history of the area.
1763 French Indian war, in 1688 Antionne Cadillac was an original landowner in New France. Bar Harbor is a 108 sq mile island, second largest in area behind Long Island.

 Acadia National Park, home of Cadillac Mountain
 View of RCL Adventure of the Seas just off of Bar Harbor, from Cadillac Mountain
 Scott, Mark, Kathy, Marie, Chrissy at the top of Cadillac Mountain
 On the Top of Cadillac Mountain - Mark, Kathy, Marie, Chrissy, Joel
 Our full dinner group - Mark, Chrissy, Joel, Jan, Scott, Mark, Kathy, Marie
 The bar in Bar Harbor, its a sand bar
 A nice Halloween decoration
 Pano on the top of Cadillac mountain
 Biking on the Shore Path along coast, Grant Park and Agamont Park.
 A lobster roll from the Deli, only $16.95
 This Pedego shop rents our electric bikes which could make it up the mountain on the carriage roads, only $59 for 4 hours. They have a tandem to rent too! 
 We stopped at the Stadium Pub for a $6 draft of Blueberry Maine craft beer. Yum!

We got back on the ship before the rain picked up and enjoyed another evening in the Diamond Lounge. We talked Arnold and his friend Barbara, they hail from Toronto on their way to Marco Island for the winter. He was 91 years old and quite the character, offered us a ride in his Bentley which is being shipped to Florida.
 The Motown show was our evening entertainment "Marcus Terrell & the Serenades".

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