Friday, February 27, 2009

Protect yer noggin...

I have wrecked twice since I've begun riding regularly. Once in the midst of a sponsored bike ride with dozens of riders bearing down on my body (thankfully none hit me), I was OK save for some rash and a sprained right ring finger. I finished out the ride, although a bit slower than when I had started out. My helmet seemed to be fine, just a small dent where my head had contacted the asphalt (I was going about 15 or so mph), I wore it like a medal along with the road rash.

My more recent crash was about a month ago and I took 2 and a half weeks off from riding, mostly because of rain and some thigh pain, then it became some reluctance or rather lack of interest on my part. I've resolved all of these and am riding regularly again. What I didn't do after the last crash was to inspect my helmet thoroughly and today after reading through a helmet thread in Bikeforums, I decided I should do just that.

Boy was I surprised, I found a section of foam near the strap had cracked completely through. There was only one thing to do, replace it. So I did just that and I rode down to the Performance store down in Sorrento valley and dropped 53 bucks on a new one during my lunch hour (then put in a good climbing workout). Granted I was taking a chance by having the broken one on my head to begin with, but something is always better than nothing and something new is certainly better than something that is broken.

But the bottom line is that in both incidences I was glad to have had on a helmet, as my head solidly hit the pavement on both occasions and during the second crash my head slid along the railroad track crossing for a few feet. And for a very nominal investment one can significantly protect one's head and the contents within. I have had debates with a certain people person about the merits of wearing one regardless of if it messes one's hair or not... Caaaitlin!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Favorite LBS Reopens!!

My favorite local bike shop, the City Cyclist, is having their Grand Reopening this Saturday, February 21. Their new, bigger shop is located at 6236 McCart Ave. in Fort Worth. So if you're in the area between 9 am and 4 pm on Saturday, stop by and check them out!

w00t w00t w00t!!

Our youngest son got his first college acceptance letter, from Texas Wesleyan University here in Fort Worth. Yay yay yay!!!!!

*does happy dance*

And Monday we drive down to visit Schreiner University.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hello all!

Being that Doohickie invited me to be a contributor recently and that I'm not riding and just being lazy today, I thought I'd introduce myself and do a little contributin'.

My name is Dave, and some days you can find plying a white LeMond around San Diego looking moderately freddish but wheeling at a decent clip. I am at the moment an occasional interloper on the commuting trail, mostly I spend my lunchtimes and weekends riding for exercise as I find it is the most challenging, rewarding and fun way to get it. We have a gym at work but the thought of droning on a stationary bike makes me nauseous. I'll do it in a pinch (rain...) but I'd rather be in the world and negotiating the vagaries of the asphalt to be sure.

My commute is 13 some odd miles there and 15 back, it's full of decent hills, car doors and highway interchanges oh and crappy asphalt. But I'm lucky that the temps here don't ever get much below 40Âș and rain is not usually in the forecast (except of late...), I will give you a taste of it in another post ala Doohickie's photo commuting idea.

I started up riding again seriously after 7 years of not riding much at all. I have a cruiser but I needed to really get into things so I bought a Kona Paddy Wagon as a reintroduction. I was reintroduced alright! One gear and before long I'd try anything. It was a real challenge at first, but now what was difficult at best is gravy. Consistency is the most important part of gaining ability and strength on a bike and the only way to consistency is to dedicate yourself to the objective.

So dedicate I did and jumped in head first doing what I could to keep a pretty consistent and realistic schedule of biking and also learned what I could by reading and then trying things out.

Now I need to get out of this funk and get back in the saddle!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Coffee Ride

A fellow Fort Worth bicycle blogger goes on a quest for coffee, taking several pictures along the way that show off the city well. Click on the link above to see all his pics and his description of the ride.

Fort Worth, which when I last heard was the 19th largest city in the U.S., is surprisingly bicycle friendly. But in a subdued way. There are some bike lanes and bike routes marked, and they're starting to use sharrows more, and of course there are the Trinity River Trails, but what really makes Fort Worth bike friendly in my mind is that for a big city Fort Worth is pretty laid back.

In my experience, drivers give me, as a cyclist, a lot of room. I like to think it's because I try to make myself highly visible and try to behave predictably.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Parade of Bikes

This morning I welcomed a new member to the ranks of cycle commuting. A buyer in our office said she'd like to try riding her bike in but was hesitant to ride by herself. So this morning I rode 6 miles over to her house, then we rode the remaining 4 miles to the office together.

One of the managers that rides said he'd like to join us, but he called and said he was running late, so we left the buyer's house and set out. About a mile from the office, the manager caught up to us and the three of us rode in together. Add to that the guy who drove a Prius into work and that makes about 10% of our office green commuters. ;- )

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Off Color Joke

Warning: Not Safe For Work (crude language)


One Year as a Bicycle Commuter

One year ago today, I climbed on my bike and rode to work for the first time in over 20 years. It was a start. At first it was just a diversion- something to do once or twice a week.

It's become a primary mode of transportation. That said, I celebrated my first anniversary as a cycle commuter by.... driving into work. I haven't ridden yet this week, although I plan to break that streak tomorrow.

Friday, assuming decent weather, will be kind of neat. I plan to meet a coworker at her home then ride in with her. It'll be her first time riding to work.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Louis CK - "Everything's amazing, nobody's happy"

This man speaks for my generation.

via Mookie and barefootmeg

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Currently appearing on Old Ten Speed Gallery

My Dumpster Queen!

My other Raleigh was featured on Old Three-Speed Gallery back in December.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Top 11 Buffalo Sabres Goals of All Time

1 Highlight Reel Goal from last Wednesday's game and top ten all time:

And for those who remember Richard Zednick of the Florida Panthers getting his throat cut last February 10 in Buffalo (note: not for the squeamish), he's back in action and still scoring goals. This one is unbelievable:

Monday, February 02, 2009


Why do you ride a bike to work?

I get asked that question quite a bit. There are lots of reasons commute to work on my bike.

All the way through high school and college, I didn't own a car. My only independent means of transportation was my bicycle. After college I bought a car, but since I was newly married and we shared one car, I bought a bike and was bicycle commuting way back in 1984. At the time, the reason was, "Because I can't afford a second car."

The reason I started riding to work again last year was simple: "Because I can." I switched divisions of the company I work for and suddenly the distance from my home to the office was only about half what it had been. I always liked cycling but never found the time for it. So I got the old bike off the hooks in the garage and started riding to work again in February 2008. This was the same bike I was riding in 1984, a Nishiki Olympic 12.

But... why?

"To make me healthy." I hate to exercise. I like to ride, though. But I never seemed to find the time. By riding my bike to work I ensure that I get two decent workouts of about 35 minutes each. If you think about it, a full hour of vigorous exercise a day is pretty good! And if I drove, I'd be spending about half that time driving to and from work anyway, so to get that hour of exercise, I only have to spend about a half hour extra out of my day.

Other reasons I ride my bike to work:

"To save money on gas." When gas prices go up, it's a bonus to me. If I'm saving more money by cycling, it's easier to justify spending extra money on cycling gear.

"Because cycling has become my hobby." Let me make it clear, though- I'm not a hot-shot cyclist who decided to commute on my bike to work; I'm a commuter who decided to try cycling as an option. I'm not very fast; I think my average pace is only about 13 mph.

"To get out and smell the roses." This might be the best reason. When I drive to work every commute is the same. I can almost do it in my sleep. But when I ride, I take note of the weather, I feel the breeze, I see the changing of the colors in the fall (not that Texas has much, but there's some) and the emergence of new growth in the spring. I see wildlife. On afternoons when I have a little extra time, I explore neighborhoods or ride along the river. I get a sense for the natural world even in the middle of the city when I ride. This isn't why I started riding, but it's one of the reasons I continue to do so.

Why do you ride your bike to work?