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Tag Archive: friday musings

Friday Musings: 5 Signs You May Be a Paranoid Bike Commuter

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Hey there Bike Lovelies. It’s fall/autumn/friggin’-awesome season for commuting again! Has everyone sufficiently converted an office-mate to stick with bike commuting since the ye ole days of Bike To Work Week back in May? I hope none of you have decided that Spring and Summer are over, and fenders and rain slicks are just not your jam… But even if you are a fair-weather commuter, high five, my friends. High Frickin Five. I’m personally a big fan of the autumn season, as there are some days when you can ride up a big hill and still miraculously arrive at your destination sweat free and rain gear free. Gone are the hot hot days of summer. Bring on the apple cider themed drinks and galoshes.

Yellow Boots #cambridge #street #bikeride #bikes #ground #wet #rain #feet #boots #lowangle #2012 #downpour

photo: courtesy of David Bunting on flickr

So, enough of the rambling. And on to the musing. It’s been awhile since we’ve come up with a Friday Musings posts, but I decided to bring it back, because, well – there’s just no other explanation for why the hell this topic would be on the blog!

It all started with a recent realization that I may be a paranoid bike commuter. What the eff does that mean, you ask? I mean the kind of commuter that thinks that every living, breathing, opposable-thumb having soul is OUT TO GET YOUR RIDE. A group of visiting clients from Honolulu asked me, “So, is Seattle the type of place where people get their bikes stolen? Or no, because so many people ride bikes that no one would steal one?” I responded that I assume everyone ever wants to steal my bike from everywhere. But, honestly, I had no idea! (You can have a better idea, if you want to click on this link for bikewise.org, where people report thefts and crashes and they populate to a google map).

Then, I looked around at all the bikes parked at my office indoors, with keycard access only, at the bike lounge/loading dock area and realized that my bike had a very high lock-to-bike-value ratio compared to some of the other pickins’ in the corral. Take a looksies below…

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One cable lock, with helmet, panniers, and lights all up for the taking!

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Cannondale road bike tied up with a garden hose, lights, bike computer, saddle bag AND helmet – open season!

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Completely UNLOCKED Marin Hybrid. The equivalent of free-ballin. Just letting it all hang out there.

This was a huge leap of faith in my fellow office companions today, as I decided to leave my planet bike blinkie and front lights on the mount, instead of grabbing them and stowing away in a Golom/my precious, LOTR, creepy fashion. Trust in humanity was confirmed, when I returned 11 hours later, and my lights were still there. I’ve got to say, however, that I was still skeptical and kept a backup set of lights in my bag in case someone decided to get frisky.

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Cantaloupe, a clunker bike that’s no good for hills, U-lock on the back tire and frame, cable through the helmet straps and front wheel, and debating if someone might want my blinkie lights.

So, since I forkin’ love lists, I thought I’d write one for you.

5 Signs you may be a PARANOID Bike Commuter:

  1. No Accessories Left Behind
  2. U-Lock + Cable, Even Indoors
  3. You Lock Up for a Coffee Run/Mail Box Drop, Etc.
  4. You Think About Stealing Unlocked Bikes, Always
  5. You Get PTSD When You Think About That One Time  A Homeless Dude Stole Your Seat Post/Wheel/Etc.

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Lucky for me, there’s only been one time an unlocked (non quick release) wheel was stolen from my bike while at the movies. And I don’t act on my evil intentions of stealing unlocked bikes. And my crazy paranoid precautions have kept my bikes within my possession, regardless of how unnecessary they may seem. Any other Bike Commuters readers out there partake in other paranoid lock-up behavior? Or do you have more faith in humanity and the greater bike population? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Friday Musings – Portland in the Spring is Just. Too. Much!

Portland bike commuter. #bikecommuter #gobybike

image courtesy of Mike Bitton on flickr

Oh Bike Commuters… they say” April showers bring May flowers.” I say “several months of rainy Portland winters bring out the crazies the first sight of sun!”  If you’re not careful, you could end up sun-drunk the the first weekend the of Spring. This year, the trees were blooming, the unemployed were tanning shoulders in the park, and acro-yogis were showing off their moves down by the waterfront.

Acro-yogis.

So Portland.

Can everyone agree that Portland in the Spring is just too much fun? Let’s hope your sunshiney spring commutes are just as lovely as this one was a few weeks ago.

Friday Musings Portland Pano

So,  my local barista friend and I (yes, I am friends with my favorite barista from my favorite coffee shop … SO PORTLAND!?) decide to joy ride from NW to SW in search of kale-oriented food stands, parsnips, and cherry blossoms. Oh, and maybe stop along the way for some bike selfies and shoulder-sunning. The city may have been putting on the best Spring show ever.

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Cycle ladies in Portland, legs powered by Sterling coffee.

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Check out Couch Park by my apartment. Trees are blowing up!

On this particular day, I even decided to bike completely out of my way just to get a little hill-action in. And by hills, I mean climbing a bridge so I could scope out the cherry blossom trees down by the waterfront.

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Name that bridge, Portland Bike Commuters… 🙂

Holy lacey-flowered wonderland. Was it worth scoping out the trees from above on that little hill climb. From the bridge, I could see piles of white fluffy trees and swarms of nutty Portlanders roller blading, walking, biking, and unicycling. We rolled down to the water to capture some of the shenanigans. Portlanders were definitely out of their minds over the cherry blossom explosions! Every pale-legged individual was donning a pair of shorts or a tank top and laying out like it was a day at the beach. Check this out:

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Okay, so I may have accosted this tree to make flower showers.

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And there are those pale-legged acro-yogis… you didn’t believe me, did you?

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Oh, and then we accosted this family portrait session.

Last stop on this lovely day? How about those PARSNIPS! PSU Farmer’s market for piles of veggies is a must-do for  a sunny Saturday. I think I need to get me a Box ‘n’ Rack setup for more pumpkin soup. Parsnip Paleo spicy hummus will have to do until then. I’m not sure that anyone gets more excited about farmer’s markets and veggies and bikes than I do. It may be the ultimate combination: utility cycling, vegetables, and sunshine. My favorite Saturday agenda.

Balloon Animals ON A BIKE

image courtesy of Sharat Ganapati on flickr

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PSU farmer’s market always delivers. Giant parsnips for the win!

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And Verde Cocina – my favorite kale-oriented food stand complete with Buenos Dias breakfast and cubes of slabby bacon.

Enjoy the spring time bliss, Bike Commuters. For you year-round die hards, peel off those layers and rain slicks and get some sun in your daily ride. And for you fair-weather commuters, pump up those tires, grease your chain, and get ready to roll. Spring is here, and I hope your city is as fun to ride as mine!

Friday Musing: Regulators! How would you regulate on your city?

Hello hello from Buenos Aires again, bicikids. A group of friends and I (including my new pals Will and Robin from Biking Buenos Aires) were sitting around a salad pile at lunch yesterday, and we started musing about how we would regulate on the city to make bike commuting the ultimate BEST. Translation: if you were King in Da Castle in charge, what rules would you apply to your city as a bike-commuting all powerful ruler of the streets? Here are some reasonable (and unreasonable) regulations we came up with:

13 Ideas for 2013, as a Bici-Regulator:

  1. Install a “Bicipista” – like an autopista but instead of cars, only for bikes. It would stretch all across the city from Palermo to Belgrano to San Telmo.
  2. Put all the buses in the middle of the six-lane roads like the Metrobus in Mexico City, with footbridges to the bus stations at the median to keep the buses away from the bike lanes.                                                               
  3. Initiate a mandatory “bicisiesta”… if you ride your bike to work, you get a two-hour lunch, so you can eat and then have a siesta!
  4. Count the hours of your bike commute towards your 8 hour work day. Biking on the clock!
  5. Make a new rule that all apartment buildings should allow bikes in the lobby, so that residents don’t have to bring them up the elevator to store them in their apartments.
  6. All parking garages must provide secure 24 hour bike parking.
  7. Connect all bike trails to all schools: high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, and universities. All bike paths should get the students where they need to go!
  8. “Bicibars” in the downtown areas: provide incentives for the bars to include bike parking and bike repair stations in the bars.
  9. Offer business incentives to make more bike kitchens and bike fixing collectives like La Fabricicleta.
  10. Let’s get harsh: Get rid of all street parking in downtown and replace it with separated bike lanes!
  11. “Bicitaxis”- illegal for taxis to cruise around certain parts of the city, so replace them all with bike taxis… hey if rickshaws work in India, this could work in Argentina, right?
  12. Replace city school buses with Bike buses, where the driver is the teacher, and all the kids pedal.
  13. Provide city wide showers, lockers, and changing rooms for all bike commuters so they can change before and after work.

 

I love lists, and I love Friday Musings. So, Bike Commuters, hit us up in the comments box if you’ve ever had some crazy ideas that you wanted to regulate in your city.

Friday Musings: Results are in! Thanks for helping to name my bike

A couple of weeks ago I asked for your help in naming my “new-to-me” blue mtb commuter bike.

The results are in!

An overwhelming number of you suggested unique names for my bike. Here’s the full list of suggestions:

Blue The Whole Wad
“B” For the color and the bug that goes fast and stings people.
azulinha
Babe
Frank the Tank
Blue 82!
Cranky
Fart Knockers
“Joni”, after Joni Mitchell’s great album “Blue”
Blue by u
Babe (The Blue Ox)
bubba
Perry short for Periwinkle
Betty Blue!
Blue Tick
Blue Thunder
Blooregard
MiCar
inky
Lebowski
new2me
Grover
Indigo Fox
Lametonamebikes
Johanna
Bandita, to remind you of El Toro and to lock her up!
blueminator
Blueberry
Bluey
Azul
bestia azul
Braveheart
Blue Baron
Gazelle

The results clearly show Blue Belle was our readers’ favorite name; it’s also a name suggested by a fellow commuting friend of mine. Smurfette came in 2nd. The suggested name Grover made me laugh! And then I wondered – should the name Cookie Monster also be a contender?

Cookie Monster Bike?

I’ve personally referred to this bike already as the Blue Beast (and its Spanish equivalent “La Bestia” – a reference back to the Spanish naming much like “Toro”). La Bestia seems to fit best on those days that I wrestle with her heft and rolling resistance on the road but also feel like this bike can roll over anything. I have tried calling the bike Belle on good days, but something about Belle just doesn’t quite fit…. I’ve ridden another bike for which the name Belle would be more fitting.

The final suggestion that a friend recently emailed to me is the name Gazelle… I think this one could be a winner. As my friend noted, the name Gazelle is both “a feminine name and it connotes movement”; I agree.

To further complicate the matter, one more name caught my attention this past week. My workplace just hosted a Bike Blessing to celebrate the feast of La Madonna del Ghisallo (patron saint of bicyclists). To me, Ghisallo is similar to Gazelle… so I guess you can see how I’m leaning.

As I continue to ride her (him?/it?/the blue bike), I’ll better figure out this bike’s personality and more firmly decide on a lasting name.

Thank you to all who responded… your votes have definitely been heard, counted, and considered.

Friday Musings: Help name my bike

As most of our readers may recall, my faithful commuter bike – Toro – was stolen earlier this summer. 🙁 Fortunately the friendly bike community came to my rescue!

From borrowing a friend’s bike:

Riding Dottie's bike Coco

To riding a bike from Heritage Bicycles for a day (review to come):

Riding Daisy from Heritage Bicycles

But most importantly, I adopted a “new to me” bike:

"New to me bike", a.k.a. the blue bike

I’ve been riding around town on this Trek 820 mountain bike now pretty consistently for the past month and am getting used to the different riding style of a mountain bike. There are a few tweaks that I may make, especially for the long-term, but she’s been great so far.

SO, now, fellow Bike Commuters, today’s Friday Musing: What do I name her?

For the past month, I’ve referred to her as the blue bike or just simply as “Blue”. But a few friends and colleagues have recently started the name game and have made a few suggestions. This is where you come in – please vote on one of the suggestions OR add a suggestion of your own: