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Archive for June, 2014

A Year Plus

June 29, 2014 Leave a comment

My bike’s adoption date is June 6th.
I didn’t buy it a cake but I did get a new bell to replace the cheap one that was beginning to be less than ideal.
Also I may have eaten cake that day but that is merely a coincidence.

For over a year I have tried to ride my bike. Except for that bit during winter where I was too sick or recovering from being too sick and in April when new work meant 30 days of Biking was “Hello Exercise Bike; Let’s Hang Out”. Recently I have begun the morning commute on 8am start days when I expect to go 8-10 hours. I still don’t think of myself as a “cyclist” but others probably do. Like I don’t consider myself a hipster but when I went to a party earlier in the month I did hear, “some hipster is walking up” as I approached the door.

So when I told my friend Freedom I wondered how much beer I could carry for July 4th and she offered to drive me it might be time to reevaluate what being a cyclist means?
Is it the spandex wearing road bike enthusiast or the parent with a couple kids on a cargo bike? Is it me with my steels and long coat or the gal riding the step thru in a skirt? Or is it just someone riding a bike?

See a year ago I did not consider myself a cyclist but merely someone that road a bike. Now I’m not as certain and it could be like being a hipster: Only a few embrace it but most claim they aren’t. Also I am sure there are folks that would ride circles, perhaps literally, around me who would find me a fair weather rider. But there is probably another camp that sees me as a cyclist and the enemy. While it is speculation it is also something to think about.

Categories: Uncategorized

Silverball

June 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Yesterday was a day off.
Sure I had a small bit of work to do at the Labor Temple but otherwise nothing to do all day but play Skyrim. I’ve been curious about getting to the Pinball Museum by bike for a while. See getting there by car or bus is a pain. Not that it’s out of the way but crossing downtown can be an absurd problem. Yet by bike downtown is mostly doable, often risky but doable.
Also I’d get to through the waterfront slalom avoiding tourists, vendors, and ferry passengers. Sounds fun.
And it was.
Also pretty easy. I used Google maps to check elevation changes and the route I took had very little in the way of change. Which made for a nice ride, and it was sunny, warm but not too warm, and I hadn’t been to the Pinball Museum since they opened the upper playfield.
A great time was had.

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The Upper Playfield took a while for them to unlock

Lately I’ve been noticing the way people lock up their bikes.
I hardly believe that my method isn’t the best ever but most of my bike is pretty secure and I take most of the easy to steal things with me. Yet over the last few weeks I’ve noticed a number of bikes left leaning against bike racks, often with a lock wrapped around the seat post but doing no good
otherwise.
It all started when I went to chucks and a bike fell over as I left. It was not attached to the rack in any way but gravity. Then near G&O there was another just left by the rack.
And yesterday there was one like that at the Uwajimaya and by the Pinball museum one where the lock was attached the seat post to the rack. And the seat post had a quick release so pull the seat, free the bike, put the seat back, and leave the lock.
So I got a little curious as to why?
Sure for the most part Seattle is a safe place but this goes beyond the idea of safety and has the feel of a small town every door open and trust your neighbors.
Now I don’t long for New York style fear but to come out and find your bike gone may lead to a Pee Wee style adventure but more than likely it’ll just be cussing and screaming.
Although it could be these people have enough money and don’t care. Or the bikes are so beat up they have no real value so there is nothing is lost in the theft. But I wonder.
Wonder and take pictures because you need a hobby.

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Not even remotely locked

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Hmmm....

Categories: Bicycle Adventures

Scare Your Self Summer 2014

June 21, 2014 Leave a comment

My friend Megan Bob had this idea last year.
It got me to buy a bike and attempt to ride it which, by and large, worked out for me.
Now I want to continue.
Once again my summer time is limited because of my work schedule but there’s a few things I want to do.
Read more…

Categories: Scare Yourself

Classy Ride

June 21, 2014 Leave a comment

A drastic change from yesterday as I set out this morning.
Corduroy instead of jeans.
Dress shirt instead of a work shirt.
Cotton blazer instead of a hoodie.
Different look, different attitude, different job.
While yesterday I was a grip being given some task to easily complete; today had me in my elected role and playing at being an adult and the Vice President of an organization.
Yet I biked in.
Over the last month I have biked while dressed up at least 4 times. In fact twice with a tie but all times with some sort of outer layer.
Benefits of the Pacific Northwest, my friends, you can bike in June, wear a blazer, and arrive only a little sweaty.

Sometime ago I read about Dick van Dyke effect and perhaps it applies.
Can’t say that motorists treat me any differenty but pedestrians take some notice.
I receive more looks, nods, and even the occasional thumbs up.
Could also be I tend to ride through Seattle Center when dressed this way, not 100% sure.
Sure I have some concerns about biking while wearing nicer clothing but to be frank cyclists were once dressed well, which was the dress of the day, and accepted some dirt and sweat would accumulate on their clothing. Just like stagehand once dressed better than today. Sure still a bit rough around the edges but definitely better.

Damn Early

June 20, 2014 Leave a comment
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When only 52 other people have crossed the Fremont it's early

If it weren’t for the nothern longitude my ride this morning would have been in darkness.
Perhaps I’d get to see the sunrise, over rate I’ll have you know, but by the time I set out the sun was up, the day was bright, and the world was slowly waking up.
Give it to weekday commuters and jobs having to be done there were a few others I encountered on my ride. Had it been the weekend I might have run into some folks going the other way but no I was beating the rush into work.
Where you may wonder had me leaving my house at 430am, why the Paramount Theatre where some over night event needed loading out.
Normally I would have passed on it, after all I don’t currently need the money nor hours, still the hint of desperation in the voice of the dispatcher got my to wake my ass up early and proceed to Downtown Seattle in the early hours of the morning.

The question of the job being worth it did cross my mind.
5 hours of work on something that didn’t promise to be too difficult. As well I got to hear a bit of gossip and see people I may not otherwise. Being at the Fifth has me seeing most of the same people and with that comes the feeling the whole world isn’t out there.

Also I’d be done, could have lunch (Indian food), and still have a nap before my evening show.
All of these things I did.
But 4:30 am.
Damn.
For the first time I put cold brew coffee in a water bottle for my ride.
My snack upon arriving was a breakfast burrito.
I made it through the day, got my hours, and had a decent time.
Still I could have been asleep.

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The marquee for what we were taking out.

Break down

June 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Quite a long time ago I was going to Las Vegas with some of the crew from CMST.
As we neared the California Nevada Border the driver informed us our gas situation was dire.
Like run out in the middle of desert dire.
Like we trusted this idiot to drive us to Vegas and he failed to have enough gas to get us there.
The moron.
We stopped at a place called “Razor Ridge” where there was a service station charging, the then unheard of, amount of $3.50 per gallon.

Now as I drove back and forth from New Mexico to California I’d see these stations and know they were situated in just the right place where their crazy prices made a profit. Sure most rational people would Wizz by but that one random person in need has no choice.

Thoughts of this crossed my mind as I passed the Fred Meyer and I heard a pop from my rear hub.
Was a quick sharp sound, not unlike metal deciding it’s had enough.
I broke a spoke.

Given how early I leave for work it’s not a huge issue and with those bike shops, even if they feel like Razor Ridge at times, it’s useful. Especially today.
I go to Bike sport and they say it’d be an hour, close to my call but doable. I go for it, head to bad Jimmy’s for a beer and I’m not even half way through when I get a call that the work is done.
Man alive.
That was quick.
Pick up my bike and I’m on my way.

By the by this whole thing had a different feel but as I started writing it at Bad Jimmy’s I got the call my bike was ready. For some reason I expected more problems with my bike. Don’t get me wrong the Raleigh has been a fine bike but at times I feel like I’m beating it up and it can’t handle me.
Like we’re fighting.
Still I do like it and don’t want to replace it just yet. Some of that is the amount of cash I have put into it but lately it has made riding so easy. Sure I get passed a fair bit but I have been doing pretty good on hills. Yes some of that is the influx of new riders, yes it’s also the mild weather but let me live in my delusions.
ok?
Cool.

Chuck’s Again

June 6, 2014 Leave a comment

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I don’t have a huge standard for my achievements.
Today I biked to the Labor Temple to pick up some paperwork to keep me occupied this weekend.
While watching the International Fountain I realized it was a nice day.
A really nice day.
So nice it reminded me of a Mitchell and Webb Skit.
Deciding to stop and look in at a friend’s photo display at the SLUkimer it suddenly felt like the time I go past my normal turn home and proceed up to Chucks for a nice refreshing beer.
After all it’s such a nice day I might as well have a refreshing beer.

Since I started riding I’ve been hesitant to pass other cyclists.
I’m not very fast and don’t want that lovely cat and mouse passing each other game that has occupied through much of the Great State of Arizona as I’d return to NMSU. Yet lately I have started passing people. Or if I don’t feel comfortable crossing into traffic to pass them I match their speed with ease.  A week or so I followed without any problems a gent on the way up Dexter to Denny. His pace was comfortable and easy which made since because it was 7 am and I wager each of us were barely awake.

Today on 8th up to Chucks there were a pair of folks with a nice and easy pace. Since I knew 8th will be the death of this ride I didn’t force it. Went with them. Followed behind and it was a do able pace. Around the Greenway they took a break and I kept going.
I paused at 65th to drink half my water and then at 75th took a longer than normal break to catch my breath.

Still what had seemed like a far off hope became quite doable. Sure I took loads of breaks and didn’t blast my way through any of it but I got here. I made it and that’s the only part I care about.