Mar 18

The bricks are now doing the talking

So last year, in a town that likes its bicycling, the city council decided to let bikes on sidewalks. Or, more accurately, they just legitimized something that was already happening and not being enforced. The biggest argument for it was “I’m scared to ride on the roads.” And that’s not an illegitimate concern – have you seen people that drive?

The biggest argument against was “Bicycles don’t belong on sidewalks.” I happen to like this argument, and I am not unsympathetic toward the elderly residents who complained about what changing the rules might mean for where they walk around.

Nevertheless, the city made it OK to ride your bikes on sidewalks. Except for a few high profile walkways, where these messages are now appearing:

In a perfect world, with unlimited resources and no lost days to weather or personnel or legal disputes, I’d build a secondary path that followed the primary roads. This would be for bikes. And I could drop this into place instantly and people would come up with interesting ways to break the rules set up for safety. Because that’s just what some people will do.

I bet I could go sit by that dismount notice for just a few minutes and manage to take a picture of someone riding or skating over it. That’s just what some people will do.

Today’s podcast was with my old friend Justin Thurman. The story we discussed has to do with how technology is hurting the youth, this time.

I used to work with him way back when. He may be one of the people that interviewed me, as I was leaving broadcasting. Super nice guy, just smart and thoughtful as can be. He’s one of those knows a lot about a lot kind of people. And he’s got this super cool kid and his wife is a wonderful human being. Now I think I’ve finally arranged this so that I can do a show with him on a regular basis, which was really the ultimate goal of the entire show, if you ask me on the right day.

(Tomorrow’s show will feature the guy who was our boss.)

(Tomorrow will also feature a road trip, so I must go pack a few things. Ta ta for now.)

You’ll find more on Instagram and still more on Twitter. And you can hear more podcasts on Podbean as well.

Oct 17

And now some photos

We had a beautiful day on Saturday and so The Yankee and I spent the afternoon pedaling around the countryside.

Lately, I’m having to work to keep up with her. She’s fast! Still, I managed to get some nice lines in the composition, though.

We had a nice dinner that night, too:

Today, I walked off campus just in time to see the sun say goodnight:

I seldom manage to be in a place that gives a great western view this time of day, but this time of day, this time of year, gives off some nice light:

The gates were built in the 1980s. And it only took 80 years or so to get them built. Students had raised money for them at the turn of the century. But the board was going to do the same thing so the students’ money went to another project. The university put the gates on hold while nearby buildings got built. They wanted to match the plan to the aesthetic, you see. So a few generations go by, a few different plans for the gates come and go. And then in the 1960s there was a new move to build those gates. But there was also criticism; people deemed it a wasteful expenditure when the money could go to scholarships and financial aid. The gates were put on hold again. And then, in the 1980s, the man who ran financial aid for the university donated the money and had them named in honor of his parents. And now we have the Sample Gates.

Sep 17

Let’s get into this weekend!

This morning’s ride powered by four hours of sleep and nineties tunes. It was air-cooled by 53° temps and accompanied by this guy:

And this morning we were in the studio shooting a morning show. Well, the students were in the studio. I sat in the back of the control room watching them through a monitor:

And here’s a show from last night, when we were so much younger:

And possibly more awake.

Aug 17

And now, I will vent

I’ve had views like this …

… for about seven years now. It is a nice view. You understand the topography differently. You learn to be patient with yourself. You see the world at a different pace than you do from behind the windshield. And you see some things, too. Turkeys and deer and people doing odd things and strange sites you just might overlook when you’re moving at car speeds. Why, just last Friday three separate people — all supposedly adult human beings — walked right in front of my bike’s path over the course of a five mile stretch of my life. (I’ll bet you a dollar that happens at least once again tomorrow, because why look both ways when crossing the street. EDIT: It did.) And then Friday ended with a big truck whose driver couldn’t hardly be troubled to demonstrate an appreciation for the dynamics of a four-way stop while I was in the middle of the intersection. He got a well practiced European reaction I learned from watching pros racing.

Granted, the four-way stop thing is problematical because the local K-Mart closed last year and, consequently, no one has any idea where they are supposed to get their driver’s license anymore. Plus, people aren’t always their best driving selves anyway. And I’ll grant you what is likely just a limitation of habit and the human brain and the internal filtering system: sometimes drivers just don’t see a cyclist because that 15-pound frame with a human on it isn’t a two-ton truck, which is what they are actually looking for. On a bike, then, you accept this, and you have to always be on guard for it, and aware of a lot of other road rage, silliness and stupidity, too.

Which brings us to yesterday. I was out and about, enjoying a nice slow day on the bike because some days have to be slow days and the weather was nice and you soak those in. I’m on a road that ends in a T-intersection. I take this route every day when I’m traveling to the house from the office no matter if I’m driving or riding. You go down a little roller and then up the other side and there’s the stop sign.

Yesterday, while I was on my bike, I reach that spot with three cars in front of me. One car goes and there are two cars in front of me. The second car goes and so it is just me and a Fiat. And this guy turns on his left blinker, so I go to the right, which is the direction I’m going to turn anyway. And then this guy turns right …

Almost flattened me. And for all of that I caught up to him at a red light a block later. If you know that guy, give him the what for for me.

Aug 17

Sometimes it is easier to sit than to do

This is a video I shot last weekend. We were at the Olympic Distance Triathlon National Championship where The Yankee was racing. She was out on her bike at the time, which gave me a few minutes to sit and enjoy the nice weather and the shade. Those are two things, I think, we don’t do often enough.

So there I sat and I looked up and this was above me and I decided to make a video. I’d intended it to be a meditative thing for the front page because sitting under a shade tree and watching the sunlight blink through it. That’s one of the most relaxing things I can think of doing, roughly ever. When I sat down to edit the video last night I found that the file size was just too large. But I really liked the video. Fortunately, in this age of wonders, there are more places than just the front page of your website where things like this can go. So it is going here:

There, isn’t that better?

Well, it was, except for this: