BikeCommuters.com

Tag Archive: WTF

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

2014-10-09 18.33.40

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…

2014-10-08 09.19.11

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

2014-10-08 09.19.38

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

2014-10-08 09.20.03

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.

2014-10-08 09.19.27

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.

2014-10-08 20.52.15

 

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!

2014-10-09 18.33.36

Rose City-Me – a.k.a. Interbike 2013 Jealousy

For those of us who did not attend Interbike 2013, meaning the majority of the bike population, I’ve got one thing to say: Rose City-me, bikey ladies and gentlefolks!” (Think “beer-me” a la Andy from The Office…) This past week, as the Bike Commuters gang was hanging out in the desert soaking up bikes and sun, the rest of us were hanging out in our daily lives, fending off jealousy and ogling posts from Jack and RL. Or maybe that was just me. Hanging out in Portland, the capital of bikey hang-a-langs (a.k.a. not Las Vegas, the capital of Interbike 2013) I like to pretend that everyday could be considered an Interbike-worthy moment!

In fact, Portland makes me want to snap pics of bikes with my crappy i-phon skills (only one step up from Retired Asian Dad photo skills). I may not have a cool camera like RL or Jack, a camera so sweet it’s capable of capturing high-resolution bike porn like this and this and that. And I may be taking total creeper photos of other commuters at stop lights or bikes locked up at racks, but it’s all I got, damnit… and I’ll take what I can get. Maybe I could call this post “Portlerbike 2013” or “InterPort 2013” or “Lotsabikes in Portland 2013” and cross my fingers for an air-drop of SWAG.

Untitled

The Schwinn le Tour II hath arrived! (Pics don’t get any crappier than this, thanks i-phon)

The mediocre photographer inside of me is inspired on a daily basis by all that this bike-friendly city has to offer. And that includes bike selfies. Yessir, this means if my bike had arms, it would take pictures of itself being shipped from Menlo Park, CA all they way to Portland, OR. Oh man, oh man, are Shwinney and I happy to be reunited! (Shout out to Chris, Aaron, Kelli, and Emily for crazy bike shipping coordination efforts.)

Untitled

Now to unpack it and get it to the LBS for some pedal action.

Untitled

Almost there…

Untitled

Made it! She’s a beauty.

So it seems like my bike commuting life is getting back to normal for the abnormal Mir.I.Am, with bike storage in the basement of our building, a multi-speed orange steed at my side, and plenty of bike lanes to cruise in a flat-like-an-A-cup city. I’m all about you, Portland. Screw Vegas. Enjoy the pics, Bike Commuters:

A Troubling Florida Bike/Ped Safety Campaign

I read about the following ad campaign on friend Alan Snel’s blog:

The Florida Department of Transportation and the University of Florida picked a Tampa firm called Dunn&Co to create a bike and pedestrian safety ad campaign. Dunn&Co called it, “You vs. Vehicle: You lose every time.”

While there may be some truth to that statement, I feel this is NOT the way to capture hearts and minds. The focus certainly doesn’t address motorist behavior — it suggests that the onus is on us, the bike riders and pedestrians, to watch our behavior. Besides, as most of us know, bicycles are considered vehicles under most state and municipal laws, so the statement doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Nor do I care for the ad agency president’s (Troy Dunn) response when Alan “called him to the carpet” on the campaign:

“[Mr. Dunn] said there is no way to change aggressive, dangerous or reckless motorist behavior.”

I’m going to take a wild guess and say that Mr. Dunn isn’t a cyclist or pedestrian on our deadly streets. His comment is misguided, at best.

Florida folks, what do YOU think? Does this campaign sound like something you’re comfortable supporting through your tax dollars? I know it doesn’t for me, but I’d like to hear your thoughts.

And, if you object to the campaign and want to contact the agency behind it, simply send a note to the following email address and let your voice be heard: Troy Dunn dunn@dunn-co.com. You may also consider contacting the Florida Department of Transportation, too.

Another chilling story…

The Gothamist recently posted a story about an encounter between a cyclist and a motorist gone bad:

The pitched street battle between cyclists and drivers (and pedestrians) just won’t let up! Cyclist Anna Letitia Mumford says that she was punched in the face by a driver yesterday during her evening commute in Brooklyn.

Read the full story of Anna’s account and the full story – Driver Punches Cyclist in the Face After Blocking Bike Lane.

What’s your worst encounter with a motorist while riding?

OR – on the flip side – what’s your best tale? What keeps you riding despite news like this?

About as messed up as a story gets…

Forwarded by reader Tommy O., here’s a chilling story of an incident that happened in Asheville, North Carolina yesterday:

An Asheville firefighter charged with attempted first-degree murder after witnesses said he shot at a bicyclist, made his first appearance today in Buncombe County District Court.

Charles Alexander Diez, 42, apparently fired at the Asheville man after arguing with him about riding his bike on the busy road with his 3-year-old child in a bike seat behind him, Asheville Police Capt. Tim Splain said.

Read the rest of this harrowing tale by clicking here.

I cannot even begin to get my head around this incident…