Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Brian and his mental short list.

Great Ending to National Bike Week

After my chain suck problem on Wednesday, I've had three straight days of great biking. On Thursday and Friday I rode my bike to work (about 8.5 miles one way). Along the way I stopped at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center on 119th Street (Thursday) and then the Matt Ross Community Center in Historic Downtown OP (Friday) where the city was sponsoring energizing stations. It was great to see other riders there and also to check the sign in sheet to see how many had already stopped by. It's interesting to see what's happening at work this year ... a couple of my employees car pooled this week, another rode the bus and another rode his bike to work. That's a lot of change since last year (when we did nothing), and I hope we all will be able to keep it going.

My trips to work are north-south oriented from where I live. That means crossing over or under I-435 (which means there are a limited number of crossing points). I opted to go up Antioch the first day and Metcalf the second day. Now I'm not crazy enough (yet) to actually ride on either of these streets since they carry about 40,000 vehicles per day so I stayed on the sidewalks (I have to confess that I had to ride in the travel lanes across the bridge just north of 103rd and Metcalf since it is under construction and there is no sidewalk yet ... try that in the morning rush hour to get your heart pumping). I have developed a mental shortlist of things to watch for ... broken glass, people jogging with their ipods and not paying attention, drivers exiting driveways or turning right ... I've also developed a shortlist of irritations like people that plant bushes that encroach into the sidewalk and people that don't keep their trees pruned up high enough so I can ride under them. One other thing of interest has been the continuity of the sidewalk system ... it looks great 95% of the time and then in the blink of an eye there will be a short piece missing. Both days I had to be home rather quickly after work so I rode part way and caught the JO for the remainder. It was only $1.25 to ride on Thursday and free on Friday. I was mildly surprised to actually see 20 other people riding the bus (that's actually a pretty amazing number for the burbs).

This morning my daughter and I rode to have breakfast ... what a beautiful morning ... nothing like a little fresh air to build up your appetite. After chowing down on pancakes, we headed back home with a brief stop along the way to see a friend who had just had surgery and was home recuperating. If next week is anything like this week, I think I will be well on my way to a permanent change in my car only lifestyle.


halftandan said...

Congrats on the bike and keep the bike education going! This was passed on to both of the cycling teams I ride for... keep us updated.
Cousin Dan

Mary said...

Way to go uncle Brian! I just learned to ride my bike without my training wheels. We can ride together when I come to visit.