It’s early December and, between the weather, “use it or lose it vacation” time, and the year end holiday, 2009 is mostly done in terms of bike commuting. Rather than waiting for the very end of the month, I thought I’d do my “year in review” now. There were several milestones, including a new commute bike, a work location change, launch of this blog, a few fairly prosaic events, and the obligatory mileage milestone.
Buddy as received
Recent Buddy shot
I got a taste of blogging earlier this year, through the kind graces of PM Summer over at Cycle*Dallas. However, I’m not really a “policy-planning-advocacy-principles wonk” and so I launched this blog in June. On occasions, such as here, I do stray into advocacy and policy stuff, but mostly, I stick to the nuts and bolts of getting from point to point around North Texas or other places I happen to find myself. Regardless of one’s views toward the “ideal bicycling world” or “cycling rights,” we’re here and we either deal with it or are limited by it. I can’t say I’m a fan of all the places I ride, such as here or here, nor am I a fan of discriminatory laws, but mostly bicycling is safe and FUN. If it stops being either safe OR fun, I’ll stop riding. Millions of Americans have proved bike riding is not required to sustain life. In the meantime, paraphrasing my favorite ski sticker; “If hell freezes over, I’ll ride there too.” What’s more, I’ll probably make a post about Satan’s big red pickup truck, and whether he passed me safely & legally.
This blog's masthead
EventsThere were a few commute riding events during the year, none of which really rose to the level of being “spectacular.” These include getting pulled over by a Fort Worth policeman during “Ride Your Bike to Work Week,” here, falling on a Keller MUP, here, a serial honking harasser, here, and that’s about it. Fortunately, “ol stinky” did not rise to the level of becoming an “event.” Instead of a thrilling “death rides on my left” video, my video was about bus lanes. I’m an engineer. Everyone knows engineers are BORING! Mostly, there are snippets of things observed along the route. In late September, prompted by an “Andy post” at the Carbon Trace blog, I started my “honking project” and will do a quarterly update in the future. For now, I’ve accumulated three honks in roughly 1000 miles (about 10000 motorist interactions).
I got to go to a special session of bicycle school, but have STILL not succeeded in getting bikedfw to come through and actually HOLD the Traffic 101 course I paid for back in March. No, I don’t want a refund. I want to TAKE the course! People tell me we need more bike education and I just roll my eyes. We need to start by having ANY bike education. I don’t think Richard and Dorothy are going to get it done all by themselves. Hmm, maybe I ought to reread the “blog” paragraph before piling soap boxes any higher. Yeah, we need better advocates.
I hit two cycle commute mileage milestones in 2009. In November, I hit 5000 bike commute miles for the year, and shortly thereafter, I hit 4000 miles for the new FW Alliance commute. If I believe the cycle computers, I did another one or two thousand miles of non-commute riding. For the first time in my life, I’m looking at consumables such as tires, chains, brake pads and such in terms of miles to replacement rather than calendar time. One other milestone – annual mileage on the Land Rover is down. I suggested to my wife that we see if the insurance company wouldn’t float us a discount on that basis. If we get a reduction, I’ll certainly document that event.
All in all, it’s been a pretty good year for bike commuting. I hope yours has been as good.