Monday, June 30, 2008

Good drivers

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

I spend a great deal of time writing and thinking about the bad drivers. You know the ones... they blow through the stop sign at Walgreen's and almost hit you you despite three lights on the front of the bike. I'm not going to talk about that idiot today. Today I am going to be positive. Here is a list of some of the good drivers in Columbus.

Probably the nicest drivers I have come across has been the fleet of Majestic Drywall trucks. Their shop is on my commute to school, so I am passed by three or four trucks each morning. I have never had a problem with any of them. I'm not sure if they are so nice because my neighbor works there, or they are genuinely nice. Personally, I don't care why they are nice to me. It's just nice that they are.

Team Fishel has another set of good drivers. They do something in construction also. I'm not exactly sure what, but judging by the size of their trucks, it is something big.

Although I can point a finger at these drivers, there are an overwhelming majority of drivers who will share the road without any hesitation. Just today, a guy in a green Ford Explorer passed me. Then, he pulled off the road. I got a good look at him because I was stopped at a stop light. He waited the entire time I was stopped. As I rode past, he shouted out that I was dragging straps off the back of the Xtracycle.

A few weeks ago, I stopped for a break while I was on a trip. I found a nice shady spot and pulled off the road. Some guy in a white car stopped to see if everything was OK.

Before the Xtracycle, I bought too much at the grocery store. I was struggling with getting everything on the rack. Someone came out and helped tie everything down on my rack.

Most people are good people.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Lindsay!

Today was Lindsay's fifth birthday. She moved up from the trailer to the Trail-A-Bike. I surprised her by telling her that we were going to the grocery store. You can see her spontaneous reaction to the bike below. This got a better reaction than all of the Tinkerbell and Ariel toys.

Here is a picture of us getting ready to go.

And we're off!

And this is my favorite picture of the afternoon. Why? Neither of us knew that picture was being taken. Take a look at Lindsay. That is one huge smile. She is already talking about going out for milkshakes on the rig.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cycling and calories - Part two

A while back, I posted about cycling and calories.  It was just a little tongue in cheek piece about how many calories I have burned.  

The Palm Beach Bike Tours blog has a great write-up  about calories and pulling a trailer.  It is an interesting read.  Go take a look.  

As far as my numbers go...

Me at 15 mph:  0.049 *180 is 8.82 calories per minute
Me with the trailer at 15 mph:  0.049*200 is 9.8 calories per minute
Me with Lindsay in the trailer at 15 mph: 0.049*245 is 12 calories per minute
Me with Lindsay and Emily in the trailer at 15 mph: 0.049*270 is 13.23 calories per minute

Of course, none of this really matters as long as I get to have fun with the kids.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

But, at least... it's not on my bike

I saw this commercial last night while watching the Columbus Destroyers get beat by the Cleveland Gladiators.

So some kid finds a POS car on the side of the road and decides to fix it up. It takes his entire summer and a bunch of money, but heck, it's worth it as long as he does not have to suffer the humiliation of riding a bike, right?

Streetsblog has a much better (and funnier) write-up on this commercial.

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Pedicabs in Columbus

The Dispatch had a good article about pedicabs yesterday. It leaves me with only one question, how do I apply?

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rainy Saturday mornings

Sometimes I just feel like writing. Like today. The problem is that nothing has really happened that is writing worthy. That's when Google News comes to the rescue.

I typed in bicycling and sifted through countless articles about bicycle commuting is more popular now because of gas prices. There were also a bunch of articles blasting Obama for looking like a dork while wearing a bicycle helmet. (I don't mean for this blog to get political, but if you are voting based on which candidate does not look like a dork, please stay home in November.)

First up: Man with fake mustache robs surprise bank, flees on bicycle

This was the first thing that popped into my head when I read that.

Then I thought... if only there was some way he could disguise himself and his fake 'stache...
Up next: Crazy two person bicycle

I guess this is supposed to be used as a trust building gizmo. If both people decide to pedal, they will crash. If both decide to steer, they will crash. I am just imagining how much stronger a marriage will be after both people spend the weekend in the emergency room followed by weeks of recovery.

Finally: Cycling: Bad for the economy?

At last, someone is willing to expose the downside of cycling.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Crazy Guy at Kroger

Don't get me wrong. I am used to crazy people yelling things at me. I heard "Get a car!" and various other comments questioning my sexuality in the past week. Usually people yell at me from their car and quickly drive away. Today's crazy guy yelling at me was totally different. He came up to me in person.

"Hey! Hey, hey!"

I looked up from loading my bike. Usually when I hear that tone, someone is about to back into someone. Not this time. Instead, he is coming right at me.

"You," he yells, "on the bike!"

"Aw crap." I think to myself. This guy does not look normal. Still, I hope that he is going to ask me about the Xtracycle (which is carrying Lindsay's fishing pole, the girls' birthday presents, 22 pounds of ice and a 20 pack of Coors Light). Hope as I might, I don't think this is going to be a friendly meeting.

He is next to me now. "America was built on the car. The car is what made America great. You young kids today don't know what it is like to sacrifice." Really? O.K.

"When I was your age, I would have been happy to have a car. No, you have to ride some toy around. What's next? Are you going back to the tricycle?Maybe you want a horse and buggy! Gas may be expensive, but you can afford it. You know what the terrorists want? They want Americans to give up their way of life. If you give up your car, the terrorists have won. But people your age don't really care about that, do you?"

I am wondering why I lock my bike up so securely. If I would have just done the cable lock, I would have been riding off by now. Nope, I had to do the U-Lock and the cable lock.

"All you care about is whether you get something right now."

Don't worry about following his logic. I was there and I had no idea where he was going.

"Once you abandon America, the terrorists have won. We might as well have a 9/11 every day and you wouldn't even notice. It's all about you, isn't it!?"

At this point I started to ride away.

"Get on your bike you drunk! Don't think I don't see all that beer!"

Wow. This was a different type of crazy than I am used to.


On a totally unrelated note, I found this while searching for the Grandpa Simpson yelling at a cloud. I thought it was funnier than the whole cloud thing, but it did not really fit in with the post.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Columbus, Ohio, Role Model?

I was playing around on the internet and found this from Bike Providence. They are looking at Columbus's Bikeways plan and trying to gain momentum there.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

World Record Bike Parade Attempt

A Father's Day trip back to Lorain County is the perfect front to participate in the World Record Bike Parade attempt in Wellington.

From the kind people at the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure:

Join the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure (GOBA), a world-class bicycle tour, in celebrating its 20th annual event by attempting to break the Guinness World Record TM for the Largest Parade of Bicycles. On Saturday evening, June 14, 2008, the inaugural event of this year's week-long tour will be the GOBA traditional bicycle parade, held in Wellington, Ohio, in Lorain County. The current world record stands at 1,901 bicycles and was set by Volvic in Taiwan, July 21, 2007.

More information here.
I have been on several GOBAs and have found them to be a wonderful trips. (Well, except for the thunderstorm that blew rain up and under my rain fly. ) I have met the people that put these together and they are incredibly dedicated people. If you are looking for a fun trip in June, this is it.

If you are in the area, look for me. I'll be on the Trek with two kids in the trailer.

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Bike plans get OK

A while back I wrote about Columbus's bike plan. Most great ideas are simply that, great ideas. Sometimes though, those great ideas get put into action. This seems to be one of those. Last night, the Columbus City Council voted to approve the funding for the plan.

Good job Columbus.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Great Commute Race - Columbus Version

I have read quite a bit lately about a bike beating a car in a commute race.  I have even talked about the time it takes in a car vs. bike on my own route here.  Still, I have been involved with a race with my neighbor during the past month.  

Typically, I will leave for work a few minutes before him.  He'll usually pass me right before I turn on the the bike trail.    We'll meet again once I turn onto the main road.  Nine times out of ten, I will be ahead of him.  I head towards the highway overpass and then turn onto the main road of my commute.  Then I ride for two or three minutes, waiting for the familiar honk.  My neighbor pulls up next to me, honks his horn, give me the "you owe me a beer" sign, then pulls away.  There was always a little comfort in the thought that he just barely beat me the train yard where he works.

Today, with two days of school left, I beat him.  Maybe he'll buy me a beer this weekend.  I'm in the mood for Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Just awesome

I know I am biased when I say my kids are awesome. That being said, let me tell you a story about my almost five-year-old.

We had some rain here today. After it stopped raining, I took the kids out for a walk/bike ride. Lindsay turned to me said, "Daddy, I need fenders on my bike."

She'll be a commuter.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Good-bye Hummer

I just read this on MotorTrend's website:

In one of its smartest moves in recent years, General Motors is looking to dump Hummer, or "everything from a complete revamp of the product lineup to partial or complete sale of the brand," according to Rick Wagoner. The chairman and CEO also says the new Chevy compact will begin production in Lordstown, Ohio in mid-2010 (not 2009, as reported in my last post and at Automotive News), and that GM will close four big-truck plants. The era of the big truck/SUV clearly is over. And so, too, is the Hummer brand as an albatross, as perhaps the last vestige of Ron Zarrella-era GM malaise.

Read the complete article here.

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Xtracycle propaganda

I had family in last weekend. They saw my car and asked, "Why do you have that sticker?" My reply? "Xtracycle was out of these:"

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Ohio License plate ER58BJ

For those of you in Columbus, be on the lookout for a man driving a silver Jaguar with the license plate ER58BJ. He almost hit me three different times today.  

First time:  Going into the construction on Trabue, he swerved toward the shoulder to avoid a bump in the road.  I went into the dirt and stayed ahead of him.  

Second time:  Still in the construction zone...  There was a gap of about a car length between me and the car in front of me.  Well, of course, he had to sneak in there.  Unfortunately that gap closed quickly and he swerved into me again.  I was still able to stay ahead of him.  

Third time:  We were out of the construction and it was finally safe to pass.  Well, it would have be safe to pass if he was not planning on making a right hand turn.  At this point I seriously debated taking my U-Lock and breaking a window or something.  

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