Saturday, November 22, 2008


A while back, the moon walking bear was all over the internet. It made a great point about missing the obvious. The folks that brought us that have brought us another installment.

I wonder if more people would pass this test if hi-vis yellow and Planet Bike's Superflashes were used.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

One ba-jillion words for snow

I once heard that the Eskimos have something like a ba-jillion different words for snow. If you look around on the internet, you will find that "wa-ter" is the Eskimo word for melted snow.

Today I rode through what the Eskimos call feelslikeyouarebeinghitwithfrozenmarbleslata.

A more detailed cold weather write-up is coming soon.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mea Culpa

Sigh... Yesterday I got all crabby about the impending doom all the news people were forcasting. Then, I wake up this morning to pictures of the massive back-ups on 270 because of the slippery roads.

Should I just apologize for taking the dire warnings lightly, or should I complain that where there are constand warnings about the weather, people begin to take them lightly?

From the Columbus Dispatch

A light coating of snow combined with freezing temperatures to turn freeway bridges throughout Franklin County into sheets of ice last night, causing crashes everywhere.

There was a chain-reaction crash on a bridge in the eastbound lanes of I-270 north, about a quarter-mile west of I-71. About 20 vehicles were scattered over the highway in pinball fashion, as one after another hit ice and spun out, hitting other vehicles.

"It was ice and I just could not stop," said Pat Shirp, whose SUV rammed the back of a car driven by Aaron Hurney, who slowed when he saw the crash.

A second set of cars crashed less than a half-mile away, on the Outerbelt at I-71.

Southbound Rt. 315 had multiple crashes, including one south of Kinnear Road, one at Ackerman Road and another at the Riverside Methodist Hospital curve. And westbound I-670 near Downtown was covered with wrecked cars.

There were no serious injuries reported.

Mary Carran Webster, Columbus' assistant director of public service, said city salt crews went out about 10 p.m., though she said many of the overpasses on Rt. 315 had been treated with brine earlier in the afternoon. The Ohio Department of Transportation is responsible for salting most of the freeways in central Ohio.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

White Death

I woke up around 3:00 this morning. There was a light dusting of snow outside. I did not even think about it. After all, the weather people have been calling for snow for a few days now. This little bit of snow wasn't really any cause for concern. After falling back asleep, the alarm clock went off around 6:00.

At 6:00, there was maybe 1/32 of an inch of snow on the ground. I did not think much of it until I turned on the television. Oh boy, it was only then I realized the peril we were all facing. Slippery roads, low visibility... Please leave early to make sure you don't die on your way to work.

Despite the warnings of certain death, I still go on the bike this morning. I rode in the weather that causes normal people to hoard bread and eggs. It was cold. There was a short period where the snow fell pretty heavily. I escaped unscathed.

The best part? Riding over the Route 70 overpass and seeing traffic backed up. I know that when traffic is backed up at the Wilson Road overpass, I am actually making it to school faster than I would if I were driving.

All this over a light dusting of snow...

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Riding a penny farthing around the world

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to ride an authentic penny farthing bicycle. It was an embarrassing train wreck from start to finish. Getting on and off the bike was a mess. Bouncing around on solid rubber tires was painful. A quick trip around the parking lot was more than enough for me.

One of my favorite trip journals has been Joff Summerfield's journal detailing his trip around the world on a penny farthing bicycle. Give yourself plenty of time to read this. It is very much worth the time it will take.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

David Babcock update

From the Toledo Blade

South Toledo man accused of murder to stand trial

A Lucas County common pleas judge yesterday found that a South Toledo man accused of killing a man bicycling to work is competent to stand trial.

Dounche Jones, 19, of 235 Western Ave. is charged with two counts of murder. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.
Just days before his scheduled Oct. 20 trial date, his attorney asked for a new trial date so that Jones could be evaluated for competency. Judge James Jensen ordered the evaluation and set a Dec. 1 trial date.

Jones is accused of fatally shooting David Babcock, 46, in the 800 block of Western as the longtime employee of Fresh Products Inc. was riding his bike to work about 5:45 a.m.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Are you still riding?

The e-mail came a few days ago. It was simple. It only said, "Are you still riding?"

The answer is yes. I'm still on the bike whenever I get the chance. This past month has been nuts. There have been several things that have come up that took up most of my time.  First, there was a brief hospital stay.  After that, my son got very ill.  Finally, major issues at school were occupying almost all of my free time.  That's my past month in a nut shell.  

But I have been riding.  I'll tell you what, commuting in November is very different from commuting in the summer.  Ohio weather is predictably unpredictable.  Here are the temperatures for a recent ride...

My house when I leave at 6:45 am:  32 degrees F
School when I arrive at 7:30 am:  38 degrees F
School when I leave at 4:00 pm:  60 degrees F 

I pretty much need three different outfits for one day's commute.  This is the fun time of the year to be on a bike.

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