BikeCommuters.com

Tag Archive: Commute

DJ on the Bike – More Tickets?

Caught in Amsterdam by the Prudent Cyclist on flickr

As a follow up to Elizabeth’s article on TWB (Texting While Biking) I have always wondered about Biking With Headphones (BWH)!  There are several methods of executing the BWH for bike commuters.  Some wear equipment that would be impossible to wear with a helmet (perhaps they are commuting to their job as jackhammer/leafblower testing facility), some use tiny earbuds, and there’s always the one-in and one-out set up.  I’ve tried commuting before with one-in and one-out earbud shenanigans with my crappy ibroke, but I usually ended up shoving it in a side pocket and singing out loud instead.  Like acapella karaoke commuting.

But Holy Moly Me Oh My, Montreal police have taken steps towards “enforcing” the no BWH laws as described by this article from July 2011, titled Cyclists Warned that Headphones Illegal in Quebec. The article cited that in 2010, the police ticketed 296 cyclists for this infraction.  At a price of $52 (Canadian) per ticket, that’s a whole lotta cash for poutine!

At least the cops are on their bikes, right?

Quebec’s highway safety code prohibits riding a bicycle while wearing a personal stereo headset or earphones. It’s the only Canadian jurisdiction where it’s illegal to ride while listening to headphones.

In the U.S., Florida and Rhode Island have made it illegal to use headsets while cycling. California, Maryland and Delaware also regulate use of headphones or earbuds. In those states, cyclists must leave one ear uncovered while riding.

…Police will continue to warn cyclists about the hazards of riding with earphones in July and expect to start handing out more tickets in August…Police said Wednesday that headphones make it more difficult for a cyclist to be aware of their surroundings as they move through traffic and pedestrians.

Oregon attempted to pass a similar bill HB 2602 that would fine cyclists using headphones a whopping $90!  No dice in passing the bill just yet according to BikePortland.org.

Then there’s the California Legislation where riding with one headphone is okay, but two will put you in the hole for $189 according to the Davis Wiki Bicycling Tips. Or there’s this girl who’s found a loophole:

Anyway bike commuters, whaddya think?  People drive cars and listen to their stereos all the time while stuck in traffic.  Plus cycling to music can be some good old fashioned fun.   Are headphones in the same “danger zone” as texting while cycling?  And, if so, does it warrant $189 fine?  I know the state is broke and all, but that’s a lot of In-n-Out cash right there.

At What Point Do You Replace Your Bike?

I was talking to my buddy today about his bike. He had told me that he was experiencing some mechanical problems and considered parting out his bike. As I dug deeper, he was able to describe the problem. Basically his freewheel isn’t grabbing anymore. During the conversation he talked about buying one of my old road bikes from me. I reassured him that it wouldn’t cost more than $30 to fix the problem on his bike and recommend he go that route. But somehow I think he has it in his mind to buy a new/different bike instead.

Personally I would only replace bike if:

1. It was stolen.
2. If the frame cracked.

Otherwise, I’d fix things as they broke. What about you, when is your breaking point having to buy a new bike?

Hooky part 2

Since Lance said it was OK to take a day off (My boss will be calling you soon), I decided to take my girls to breakfast to one of their (and mine) favorite places.

I hooked up the Copilot trailer to the KHS Tandemania Sport for our 2 mile round trip.

Luckily, the recently built shopping center has places to park the bikes.

The girls loved the ride, I got a decent workout and the car stayed home. That’s what I call a win-win-win situation!!

Could Bike Commuting Help You Get Promoted?

In my opinion, yes. Here’s a few reasons why. For starters when you ride your bike in or do any type of exercise, your body release all sorts of goodness into your brain to help you feel more at peace, invigorated and basically feel way better about yourself. This stuff is called endorphins and seratonin.

So with all that goodness being released into your body while riding your bike, think about the kind of attitude and productivity you’ll have once you sit down at your desk. I once had a job where I was hired on as a Marketing Associate. I then started commuting to work, 17 miles each way 2-3 times per week and then within a month, I was promoted to the Marketing Manager, and a month after that, Marketing Director.

Bike commuting helped me deal with my job in a different way. I remember when I would have to drive, I would already be tired as I pulled up to the parking lot and wasn’t as productive during the day. But if I rode, all the factors of the bike commute played into my better work habits. Not only did the cool air wake me up, but I was also getting a workout and I felt free. Bike commuting did quite a bit for my attitude and of course my health. I was just happier on the days that I rode.

When the CEO would see my bike in my office, he’d always make comments on how it takes dedication and drive and blah blah blah to ride a bike and because of that, I earned his respect and moved up the ladder.

There’s just something special about bike commuting that gets you noticed in a different light than butt kissing. Coworkers are always impressed that you would ride so far to work and that subject can be carried into meetings where other people discuss it as well as your job performance. Now bike commuting will not get you anywhere if your work is half assed. But I do know that bike commuting can help you become more productive and more alert with your duties at work and at home.

So if you want to move up the corporate ladder, try bike commuting.

Blogs VS Mags

I subscribe to most major cycling magazines. Recently, I have noticed a couple of articles on magazines where they sort of vilify blogs. They claim that we are bunch of amateurs and that we don’t know what we are talking about. They mostly classify blogs as a form of ‘entertainment’ and not a bona fide source of information.

I can agree that most of us may not have a journalism degree, and sure, some of us are not professional writers. However, blogs have one big advantage over print material: Time. Have you seen Intebike coverage in magazines yet? I didn’t think so. There were more than a few bloggers covering Interbike and we were feeding the information to the readers almost daily (we came to find out that our hacker was responsible for our Interbike outage, not our web host). I remember reading Sea Otter coverage and race results 3 months after the event, 3 months!!!

I also think that our type of media has been embraced by the bike industry. When it comes to bike commuting, websites are THE source of information. Sure you read stories about ‘Bike Town USA’ but when have you seen an in-depth review of their bikes or gear?

I’m not saying that magazines suck — after all, they do get to play with $10K bikes and have pretty ads of expensive cars. But I do think that that some mags feel threatened by our ability to spread news and reviews three months earlier than they do.

How do YOU feel about bike magazines or blogs?