Round Two of Commute for a Cause runs from January 1 to April 30, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

ride more often

Seen on my commute today from Santa Cruz to Felton, on Hwy 9.

How many motorists have never seen this?

How many times have I ridden by it on my bicycle, and not noticed it?

Getting back on the bike today after being off for 18 days was like seeing everything for the first time.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Times Square goes car-free!

After an eight month trial, NYC announces that Times Square is going to remain car-free. NYC is taking a huge, highly visible stand at reclaiming public space for people, in a world where livable streets are fading away.

Read more about it here, and enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Out of the fog

I've been off the bike for seventeen days due to pneumonia and a sinus infection. My guess is I got sick three weeks ago when I commuted to work in the rain for two days. I think my immune system took a hit and then the pneumonia and sinus infection kicked in. I cannot remember ever being so sick that when I stayed home from work I just sat on the sofa staring out the window, not wanting to move. Very odd feeling.

But I'm about 95% better now and looking forward to getting back on the bike tomorrow.

When I get back on the bike, here's what I *won't* be wearing:

I also won't be wearing this:
Or this and this:

The guy who came up with the idea is a professional cyclist and coach. On his website he explains his motivation for these jerseys: "I've been honked at, buzzed, cussed out, and pegged with beer cans. When I'm victimized, if I can catch up with the offending motorist at a red light, I always try to talk to them. I'll knock on the window and ask "Do you know that you almost killed me back there?"

For the record I am totally against these jerseys, and I'm not surprised that they were developed by a guy who thinks it's OK to knock on motorist's window to try to talk to them when he catches up to them at a red light. That's the kind of behavior that gives cyclists a bad image. We already have an image as anarchists who obey traffic laws only when it suits us.

As a bike commuter in heavy traffic and on narrow mountain roads with no shoulders, I have learned a better way to integrate with motorists. First, I obey the traffic laws: I have the same rights and responsibilities as an automobile. If I get honked at I don't take it personally. Instead, I look at as a form of communication. Sure, the driver behind me may be upset that I'm slowing him down, but at least I know that he sees me because he honked! I don't worry about getting run over, because I don't ride in the gutter, tempting cars to pass too close. Instead I take the lane when there is no shoulder or bike lane, encouraging cars to slow down and pass me only when there is no oncoming traffic. And I don't expect motorists to share the road with me; I take the lane when conditions warrant it and I give it back as soon as I can.
I wonder if this guy has tried any of these tactics, instead of printing up smug jerseys that are only going to fuel the animosity between motorists and cyclists.

Monday, January 25, 2010


12 miles on the bus.
8 miles on the bike.
Still sick.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Norwegian bike lift

Those smart Danes...

OK, I'm sick

Seems that riding 30 miles in the cold yesterday wasn't such a good idea.

After 10 hours of sleep last night, I woke up foggy and exhausted. And I'm coughing up brown stuff. And my throat hurts and my eyes are itchy.

So no riding for me today. I find it interesting that it will take discipline to stay *off* the bike today. Yesterday and today is our only window for dry weather - tomorrow the rain starts again.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

a funny example of sharing the road

So funny!

Florida police were making a training video on how to take the lane when there is no bicycle lane. A motorist behind the photographer obviously couldn't see that there was a cop on the bike in front. Have a look at what happens when the motorist lays on the horn to get the bikes to move over.

FYI - you'll see some text that describes the Florida law on sharing the lane. I researched the California law for sharing the lane and found that California is vague on it. It reads "...ride on the right, but not so far that you might hit the curb. You could lose your balance and fall into traffic. Do not ride too far to the right when a traffic lane is too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side."