Friday, June 24, 2011
As I ride my bike in traffic, I tend to forget I am on a bike. I merge in with cars, turn across lanes to make a left turn, and in general move around like a car would. Sometimes I take it for granted that the car drivers see me. I also may cut in behind cars closer than cars may think is a good idea.
As I thought about this the other day I realized that the cars have no idea what I am doing unless I signal well (which I usually do - but not always - making a sharp cut across traffic to fit between cars is not always a good idea with only one hand on the bars!).
I thought about this more after a friend sent me this link. And it made me think: What does my riding look like to the cars out there? What do the car drivers think? See this link below - I can definitely see how cars can come to hate cyclists after viewing this.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
It was a nice Saturday morning ride today because any ride I am on is a good ride (isn't the worst ride still better than the best day at work?). Maybe not, but ... okay, back on topic:
At mile 27 I noticed some rubber squeaking as I rounded a corner. Already suspecting the outcome I looked down at my rear tire and sure enough it was very low. No problem though - any good commuter or cyclist carries the essentials: a spare tube, a way to pump it up, tire tools to get the tire off the rim, (tools to get the tire off the bike if not using quick release wheels), and extra water and snacks for the job (okay, I guess these are optional). A rag to clean up is also optional but that is the nice thing about black bike shorts - grease hides well.
I like to change a flat on the sidewalk if possible versus on the grass. And it paid off today as I saw a lot of ants around when I stepped into the grass (ant bites will sort of ruin a bike ride for me).
It was an easy task: pull the quick release, remove one side of the tire, pull the tube out, new tube in and I have the CO2 to do a quick pump up.... But all I head was a swooshing sound; it was the release of air from my spare that was too old! Okay, please add either two tubes to the list OR check your spare and replace it every few months.
Being 15+ miles from home I did not want to walk, I prefer not to call home and they were out anyway, I had already flagged on a few groups of cyclists since I thought I had what I needed, ... But, gratefully, another cyclist came by and asked if I needed anything. Yes a cold drink and .... Okay off topic again, he had a spare tube for me, I DID have a space CO2 cartridge and all was well. Thanks you sooo much to all the cyclists who offer help to other cyclists in need!
Well, on the way home I stopped where the Saturday ride starts - Richardson Bike Mart in Frisco (Frisco RBM). I bought TWO new tubes and TWO new CO2 cartridges. Thank You RBM for having all the good stuff!
Now I quess I need to get all these tools for my commuting bike. :)
Friday, June 17, 2011
When I got in to work this morning it was already hot and very humid - not the best biking weather. But then as I walked in to the fitness center to shower up, I saw the room where the summer campers meet. And I thought, ... Wouldn't it be nice just to spend the day in 'camp' rather than go in to work?
Okay, back to reality - I will get a vacation break soon.
Back on topic... The ride home in 100deg was better - less humid.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
Thursday, June 16, 2011
I discovered the secret to bike commuting in summer temperatures in Texas. When you ride home at 5:30pm, it is 100deg and the sun still too bright. But, if you go home at 8:30pm, and only 92deg when I got home, no bright sun - Very nice!
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
As I rode in to work the other morning I was coming up to a stop light. An SUV was in a hurry and swerved around me to get to the light first and came right back into my lane. If they could have turned right away that would have been fine but this corner is a 'No right on red' intersection so they ended up stopping hard right in front of me. That's okay, I just stuck my hand out and rested on their car waiting on the light (it was their choice to get in that close to me). Is that bad of me?
I don't mean to be annoying, but cars can give some room to bikes. I realize most of these drivers drive around other cars the same way so they think nothing of it.
Normally if an intersection allows right on red I stay a ways back so cars can get around me and make the turn. If cars don;t signal I assume they don't want to turn and so I will stay out in front of them.
I know we can all get along if we respect each others space. We all need to work on that.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Well, I enjoy riding to work as often as possible but sometimes other things take priority. Today it was donut day and it is hard to deliver the donuts on my bike. So i had to drive instead (my favorite spot - Big 'D' Donuts is close to our house). Sometimes I will use the donut shop close to work and just walk over there after riding in to work.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Another Tuesday and I made it out to the Tuesday Night Criterium race. Yes, I had to drive to make that work but I still got my exercise in. The guys were not pushing as hard as a couple weeks ago so I was able to stay with some of them most the way. Got about 10th place (takes a few days for the official word) which is good enough for me. I get a great workout with 22.8mph for 12 miles and some warm-up / cool down miles added in. Lots of fun! Speed is king! Okay, maybe not for commuting but....
Good cyclists are supposed to get used to drinking from a water bottle while riding - even riding no hands and pull stuff out of jersey pockets while riding in traffic. And although I am comfortable doing this, I guess it is not always safe.
Yesterday on the way home I dropped my water bottle as I was putting it back in the holder. This was on McDermott in three lanes of traffic. I quickly pulled off the road to the sidewalk and watched as the cars all drove by and none hit the bottle sitting right in between two lanes of traffic. Once the cars passed I quickly darted out on my bike, grabbed the bottle and back on my way (in 98deg humid weather I will not let the water bottle leave me).
Saturday, June 4, 2011
During the week I ride to work - on weekends I like to ride for fun.
This morning I finished a 65mile ride with the Frisco Bike Mart group and I am exhausted. They are a great group and ride a good pace. My legs were cramping the last half. It is hot and humid - I need to work out the electrolyte deal - evidently I am not getting enough. When I get back to the Bike Mart store it is usually water and a Pickle Juice Sport that I enjoy to recover (and some great Honey Stinger Waffles - addicting treats - I mean energy bars).
Stopped at Family Health Market in Frisco on the way home and stuffed my cycling jersey with a bottle of Electrolyte Stamina pills and took a few before heading home in the hopes of recovering faster. The store has a lot of great stuff and the staff is so helpful. I buy the ACE Bees raw honey there (it is from a local Bee keeper). Very good stuff!
I got home and had some leftover Outback ribs and things are much better now :)
Life is Good.
I was reminded today by a family member that bikes need to follow all the rules of the road that cars do (becuase we have all the same rights that cars do).
I was asked whether I would drive through a stop sign in my car if no one was around. I would not. "So, why would you do that on your bike?" was the question posed to me. A very good question indeed.
It is very understandable that cars get irritated at bikes that roll on through stop signs and stop lights.
We cyclists need to make a good impression out there and follow the rules of the road.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
As I rode my bike in to work yesterday I realized earphones are not a great idea if you want to know when someone is coming up on you from behind. When I ride my bike I slow down, ring my bell and say 'on your left'. But that still is not enough when someone is listening to music turned up and both ears having ear buds. Sorry to those I startle as I pass but, I did try to warn you. I recommend to at least keep one ear open - the left ear on the passing side so you can hear when a cyclist or runner is approaching from behind.