Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fort Worth Critical Mass

So I took part in my first Critical Mass ride on Friday. I wasn't sure if I would; there was a pretty good chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. But there's a facebook page promoting Car Free Fridays in Fort Worth, so I decided to ride the bike to work and see how things worked out.

Rather than riding my boring commuter hybrid, I decided to ride my 1973 Schwinn Varsity. It made the trip just fine, but it's a slow bike; it took me about 20 minutes longer than usual to ride to work. On the other hand, I didn't feel as tired as I usually do when I get into the office. I was still worried about the weather... what do old sailors say? "Red sky at morning, sailor take warning." Was this too much red?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Commuting to Dinner

So as I left work, I called my wife said and she was also on her way home and asked if I wanted to meet her at Freebird's (a burrito shop) for dinner. Without a second thought I said, "Sure!"

Then I started riding and realized that construction of the new Southwest Parkway lay between my location and Freebird's. To be honest, there isn't a good bicycle approach to Freebird's from where I work even when there's no construction.

I rode my normal route, then jumped into rush hour traffic on Bryant Irvin Road, which is always an adventure in car herding. I was able to navigate across three lanes of busy traffic and turned left onto the I-20 access road. I turned into the parking lot for Main Event (a bowling/laser tag place), which connects to the Costco parking lot that empties onto Overton Ridge, which is where the construction is. Normally I wouldn't cut through a parking lot like that but I was trying to minimize my time in the construction zone. I couldn't avoid it entirely though and had to ride through the barrel zone for about a half mile, and finally made it to my destination.

I was in my commuting clothes, sweaty from the commute, and in comparison Mrs. Doohickie was a vision of loveliness in her work clothes. We enjoyed our burritos then she drove home while I rode.

The ride home was much less stressful. I just followed the side streets behind the busy retail area to get home. I rode right past the home base of Rat Trap Press but it was a long day so I continued on. The weather this time of year is just... peachy. Not too warm, but very comfortable.

I got home in time to catch the Texas Rangers game; they seem to be peaking at the right time, coming back from a 4-1 deficit to crush the Detroit Tigers 11-4.