Thursday, July 23, 2009

A new commute

One of the things that happened while I was gone is that I started a new job. This is a great thing for more than one reason. But we'll just focus on the commuting part today.

The school where I was teaching decided to change the start time from 8:30 am to 7:30 am. While most people were excited about the prospect of starting an hour earlier so that we could be finished 25 minutes earlier, I was not. The 7:30 start time would prevent me from riding my bike to school.

My wife is awesome. She puts up with a lot of stuff. Somehow, I don't think she would be too happy with me leaving her with the responsibility of getting three kids ready for school so that I could ride a bike to work. I was beginning to dread the thought of having to shelve the bike.

Luckily, I did not have to do that.

Here's an outline of my new commute...

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

If you love someone...

Know that it would be untrue
Know that I would be a liar
If I was to say to you
I didn't set your dad on fire

If you love somebody
Better set them on fire

The Dead Milkmen were way ahead of their time. Here's a news article from Gastonia, North Carolina:

GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - Police say a fight over a bicycle in Gastonia led to one man being set on fire Sunday afternoon.

The incident happened on Larry Lane around 7:15 p.m.

According to the Gastonia Police Department, Tony Herrin, 40, and Julie Davenport, 50, were arguing over a bicycle. Davenport allegedly shoved Herrin into a nearby ditch.

Davenport's husband, Daniel, then got involved and a physical altercation followed.

Herrin was cut several times by a rake. Police say Herrin threw a cup of gasoline into Daniel Davenport's face and lit him on fire.

Davenport suffered burn injuries and was taken to Carolinas Medical Center where he was treated and released. Herrin suffered minor injuries and was treated at a hospital in Gaston County.

Police charged Tony Herrin with assault by an incendiary device and simple assault. Julie Davenport was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and Daniel Davenport was charged with simple assault.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

I'm back!

I just wanna say
I haven't been away
I am still right here
Where I always was
So one day, if you're bored
By all means call me
Because you can do
(Only if you want to)
Back in January, my son decided to see what would happen if beer was combined with a laptop. I'm sure you can figure out how that worked out.
I'm still here. Now that I have a computer at home, I can get back into the game.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

The nose...

I realize that my topic may make some squeamish. That's not my goal. If reading about perfectly normal bodily functions bothers you, please turn away now.

I have mentioned many times that this is my first winter where I am riding consistently. One weird thing I have noticed is that my nose runs almost non-stop while I am out in the cold.

It's been bothering me. I know it is normal, but I wanted to know why it did that. So, I headed to the google to check it out.

It turns out that the nose tries to warm up the cold air before it enters the lungs. To do this, the blood vessels in the nose get wider. Wider blood vessels produce more mucus. That mucus has to go somewhere.

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle...

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

A fuel cell bicycle?

While doing some random internet searching, I came across this bike:

It almost looks like a rocket bike with those jet packs on the back. Actually, it is a hydrogen fuel cell bicycle. Of course, I went straight for the snark. Why would someone spend $3000 on a bike that would do the work for them? I mean, you can get a motorcycle that might have a little more speed for that much money.

Then I got to thinking. There had to be a real reason for producing a fuel cell bicycle. So I checked out the company, Horizon Fuel Cell Technology.

My snark was replaced with, "Gee-whiz, that is a good idea."

The idea behind this bicycle is that bicycles are needed to prevent congestion in major cities. Building a fuel cell car does nothing to address the problem of congestion. Another issue with the car is the amount of money and effort that goes into building one. The company believes that spending their resources on many bicycles rather than one car is a better bet. They even have a fancy picture that makes their point.

Interesting concept. I am curious to see how this plays out.

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Friday, January 2, 2009

3 Feet Please

I found this today (click on the picture to visit the website) while looking around various cycling websites. I wish I was paying more attention so I could give credit to whoever called my attention to it. It seems like a pretty good idea. I don't really believe that most motorists want to do us harm. Maybe a little visual reminder will help.

Check out the media section of the website. I am surprised by how closely the cars pass him in the video. Personally, I think that video should be used to show why you should not ride on the shoulder, but I do not know the specifics of the route. He may have a good reason for doing so.

I'll probably get one once the weather gets a bit warmer here. There's really no point in me getting on now. It will be covered by a jacket for the next three months. Plus, I blew my cycling budget on a rain cape earlier this morning.

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Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 - A review

The original purpose of this blog was to highlight my utilitarian trips by bicycle. I have always enjoying bicycling, but I did it more as a sport or pleasure. It was occasionally a mode of transportation. If it was a really nice day or my car broke down, there was always the bike.

In 2008, I changed that. I looked at my bike as the first vechicle and my car became what I used when I could not use the bike. The only thing I miss about driving is listening to the radio at ungodly loud volumes.

I really began slowly. It was a trip to the grocery store or church. Then I would try school every once in a while. Eventually, I began riding to school every day. There were times in 2008 that my car sat in the driveway for more than two weeks.

By the end of 2008, I had ridden a hair more than 3000 commuting miles. (I did not count pleasure rides.) That is more than 1000 more miles than my original goal. To put that into some sort of perspective, I put roughly 6000 miles on my car during 2008.

There are a number of things that I learned throughout the year...

  • Those white lines that are painted on the road to tell the cars where to stop get very slippery in rain.
  • There is nothing better than riding in a snowstorm.
  • Riding with kids is awesome.
  • There is an art to dressing for the rain. I have tried more than once to create a post about it, but I have a hard time putting it into words.
  • After a while, the cars really do begin to get used to you being on the road.
  • The worst thing about doing a blog is the guilty feeling about not updating it.
  • The second worst thing the shamelessly promoting it.
  • I really need to take better care of my bike chain.
  • Other than my email, the only website I check every day is Yehuda Moon.
  • There is a certain peacefulness to riding everyday.
  • If I do not ride, I start to get crabby.
  • Golf courses have a funny smell.
  • Beer tastes better after a long ride.
  • Beer tastes better during a long ride.
  • I can carry anything I want on the Xtracycle.
  • Secretly, I like it when people are amazed that I rode on a bike.
  • I really need to get my backspace key fixed on my keyboard.
2009 has the potential to banner year for me. I have some great plans. I hope to share them with you all as they happen.

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