Monday, November 29, 2010

Cuz baby it's cold outside

10 whole days passed without one two-wheeled moment for me. I started feeling itchy. Restless. Depressed, even!

So Saturday around sunset, I headed out with no particular destination. The sky was beautiful and the air delicious.

I rode down the hill. West on the path to the river. North along the river. I made it to Hawthorne when the hail started, a huge grin on my bike-deprived face.

Ladd Circle and up the hill to home where I felt like my normal self again. Aahhh.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rain & wind

...and an orange warning triangle on my desktop weather gadget.

Still glad I rode in today.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lights

Safety is KEY, especially at this time of year as we head into a few months of dark and wet conditions. Sigh. You probably have a bunch of safety gear and rules that you follow already. But, there's always more to learn!

I drive a car as well as ride a bike. Yeah, I know. It's not sustainable or green or community friendly or eco blah blah blah. I can tell you why I need it and how I try to limit its use but nah.

Anyway, driving the car has given me a whole new insight into cyclists' visibility. I actively look for cyclists and still often don't see them if they are, say, wearing dark colors and don't have lights on their bike.

My recent favorite was a guy in black toting his two young kids on a sustainable cargo bike with no lights and no reflectors. And his helmet in his basket. Yeesh.
A simple reflective ankle strap or pedal reflectors would've made a big difference as one of the most visible things from inside the evil death-mo-bile is the unmistakable movement of a pedal stroke.

The almost-incident that really taught me something, though, was the guy with a really nice bright head light and tail light mounted on his helmet. They are at a height beyond visibility from the driver's seat of a sedan. He had no other reflective gear or reflectors or lights and was wearing all black. So, even with a keen eye out for bikes, I had a near-miss because his lights literally went "over my head". Just sayin.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nature Ride

We took the bike path to the train station, hopped aboard (after experiencing some complicated ticket and platform bureaucracy) and jumped off at the end of the line.

Then we rode northbound and down a huge hill. We were supposed to be headed southbound, so we went back up the huge hill.

Luckily, we found a little village called Sushiopolis and spent some time there recuperating.

Then to the bike path again and the gorgeous countryside that surrounds it. We saw ducks, peacocks, chickens, goats, horses and a mama muskrat with her two babies. I swear they were not voles. How do I know? Because they looked exactly like this:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mileage Mania!

Did you notice the little number in the upper left? That's my mileage for 2010 so far, which is updated at the end of each month. As you can see, I'm on track (fingers crossed!) to reach 4000 by the end of the year.

My lifetime annual max of 6000 happened in '99 during ye olde messenger days in SF. My annual max in Oregon is 5000 and happened in '02 while riding my bare bones track bike all over Eugene and back.

In my current incarnation as bicycle dork-xtrodinaire, I ride a cush steel road bike with fenders and bells and whistles galore. (Unless it's summer, then I ride the steel Torpado with white heart-shaped lugs between the bubble gum pink tubes. But that's not relevant, merely beautiful).

Much of the riding I do now is with my bike club, which is not exactly local. They're in Vancouver and I'm in outer Southeast. Back in January, a club buddy and I agreed to compete for overall mileage. We've been neck and neck all year.

The stakes? Steaks. At the January '11 club meeting, I hope to be sitting down to a steak dinner especially prepared by Laird. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Early thanksgiving thankfullness

...for two dry days in a row. Warm! Leafy! Fragrant! Glad I'm able to ride to work.