Bike Burrito

Bike Burrito

0 comment Tuesday, July 29, 2014 |
Actually, this rack in front of my office at Colfax and Broadway is fine, except for the far right inverted U.




And it's usually leaning up against the wall of the Starbucks, which is a pretty good red flag not to use it..

Labels: , , ,


0 comment |
I'm not afraid to cry. I cry when I skin my knee and I cry when I spill milk. But there is one time that I hate crying - on my bike, in the cold. I always figured having frozen tears stuck to my face was inevitable, that is until Nick Nunns impressed me with his sweet ski goggles. I had to have a pair of my own. So today, I bought a pair, and I couldn't be happier. Even though it was fairly warm today (above 30), I still wore them all around town. I got some funny looks, but it was so nice to have comfortable eyes.

*I apologize for the frightening nature of this picture.

Labels:


0 comment Monday, July 28, 2014 |
Every once in a while, I ride on 13th Avenue for a couple blocks, west from Sherman to Acoma. Actually, only when I'm going to the Central Library. Like tonight, when I was returning a book that's been overdue for a week now. The electronic book return is on the 13th Avenue side, and I never have problems.
So tonight, I pull up to the light at 13th and Broadway behind a guy in a red sedan, and he has his right turn signal on. I figure this isn't going to work out too well for him, since Broadway is a one-way going the other way. But maybe he just accidentally left his turn signal on.
Nope. When the light turns green, he turns right, and luckily there isn't any oncoming traffic, but he notices pretty immediately. By the time he's decided to try to turn back onto 13th, I have passed him on the left and am pedaling towards the library, maybe 200 yards away.

Before I start slowing down, I signal that I'm turning right, because I can now see the guy's headlights behind me a ways. I'm essentially in a parallel-parking lane, but there are no cars. And he honks at me.

There's only one other car on 13th, leaving an open lane in the middle for him to pass me, and I'm way over on the right side of the road. Tough crowd to please out here sometimes.

Labels: ,


0 comment |
She's using the top of a rubbermaid bin to heave the snow off of her car. I just put on shoes and walked out the door.
This guy wasn't riding either. I walked by the same bike about four hours later. Snow free.
13th. Moments after I snapped this photo a dude rode down the middle lane weaving in and out of cars on a bike without a helmet. I think I was too busy picking my jaw up off of the ground to snap a photo of him. this will have to do.

Labels:


0 comment |
I was riding north on Franklin Street on my way to work on Thursday, between Colfax and 16th Avenue, down a pretty good hill to the 4-way stop sign at Franklin and 16th. I stop at stop signs, mostly because I think running 4-way stops in front of cars really pisses drivers off, and thus makes them want to do shit like slam on their brakes in front of me or swing all 3,000 pounds of their vehicle in front of me when they want to turn left. Now I have another reason. Two cyclists, riding in opposite directions on 16th Avenue, both ran the 4-way stop at full speed, which was probably 10 mph for the eastbound cyclist and 12 or 14 mph for the westbound cyclist.
I can't say for sure, but if I, too, had blown that thing at full speed, going downhill, the three of us may have had a colossal collision. Or just two of us, T-boning each other. Or all three of us may have had to take some wildly evasive moves to avoid a collision, which would have probably ended with me in a tree, on the asphalt or under the wheel of a car.

Then today I read this article, which makes me wonder about the other two folks on the bikes. Maybe they're new at this, and they've seen everybody else running stop signs, so they just do it too. I know one thing, though. It helps when one of us stops.

Labels:


0 comment Sunday, July 27, 2014 |
I'm developing a new ad hoc sport that just might become the rage this summer. Thunderstorm racing. With disturbing frequency, DC has been hit by late day Thunderstorms, usually starting sometime between 4:30 and 8:00. Pretty much every day, I leave work somewhere in that window.
Lately, the trend has been to look up from my computer at my window somewhere in this timeframe. I look at the brick wall across the alley (no corner office for me yet), and notice that it looks very much like it did in the winter months. With some simple calculus, I determine that this appearance is due to the darkening clouds overhead. I cannot see the sky directly, so I get up and walk down the hall to a window overlooking L street. From here, my suspicion is confirmed, it usually looks like hell is about to break loose outside. I then briskly walk around the office, warning my fellow bike commuters that it looks like hell, and they'd better leave if they want to make it home dry. My duty done, I head back to pack up and begin my own race.
At this point, you have two choices, run for it and try to make the 20 minute ride home before the skies open up, or sit tight for an hour or three more at work until there is a clear spell. The latter no longer appeals to me, so I've been opting to race the past few weeks. Today I actually made it before the clouds broke loose, and made it to a dinner engagement on time and mostly dry.
Yesterday was a different story, however. I made it to the bottom of the hill at 18th and Florida before the lightning and thunder were matched with commensurate down pour. This only makes the race more intense, since I always falsely believe that I can somehow minimize my exposure to the elements by pedaling as fast as possible. I was doing just that, and had finally made it to within a half mile of home, and the relative safety of a bike lane when I had a close encounter with another cyclist.
He too was racing through the storm, on a vintage Raleigh no less. I had to slam on my brakes to avoid the car pulling into the bike lane in preparation for a right turn. The Raleigh rider also slammed on his brakes, but the half inch of water we were riding through had other ideas about allowing his old brakes to work properly. Unaware of the drama behind me, I was a bit surprised when I was hit from behind, not injury hard, but "what the hell" hard.
The guy was very apologetic, and made sure to blame the rain and his brakes. I rolled my rear wheel through a revolution, and it was still true (Scott Taylor at Salvagetti's is a great wheel builder, btw). I told the guy, "no harm, no foul", and rode off, seeking no further delays while the rain was still going strong.
I'm actually somewhat appreciative of the guy who hit me. The occasion compelled me to do a quick check-up on my bike, and I discovered a crack on the left crank arm where the spindle puts a pressure point on the downstroke. I'm sure it should be replaced before I blow it up on a climb, or other high torque enterprise, though I'll just ride gingerly for now.
So long story short, racing a brooding thunderstorm is fun, exciting, and can lead to unanticipated results, like being thorough at bike maintenance. If clouds are thickening, and you are about to leave work, I highly recommend it.

Labels: ,


0 comment |
Last night Josh, Sara, Justin and myself rode to Morrison to have a drink at the Morrison Inn. We took off from the library at 8pm, made it to Morrison by 11:30 and were back home by 2:30.
Sometimes I forget how amazing night bike riding can be. I think I was introduced to it by Chief and Emily from St. Marks. A few summers ago, it was not uncommon for a group of us to go on a long night ride once or twice a week - normally during the week. We used to head out at 10:00pm and roll back into town around 4am. Riding through downtown Denver at that time is surreal, as it feels like a ghost town - with all the lights left on. I remember feeling like I owned the place.
Anyway, after last night, I think we need to start squeezing as many in as possible before the snow comes. We saw only two other people on the trail, were spotlighted by the cops, and had one of the best down-hills (Morrison Road) in a long time.

With the safety vest, I told Josh he was a couple King Super's bags away from looking homeless. He rigged up a dual tape deck boom box to his bike fueled by 8 D batteries and an Ipod. Tuner on the back, speakers on the front - in essence, Josh was a rolling music man.

On the Platte River Trail by the water treatment plant around 6th Ave.
This is the new Bear Creek Trail portion of the trail. It was under construction part of last summer as well as all of this summer. This was my first time on it, and with all the lights (paid for by the coming strip malls I'm sure) it was quite nice.
If it's too loud, you're too old. Damn the noise ordinances!

Justin and Nick at the Morrison Inn.
Some live music.
Splitting St. Mark's cookies at the bar. Tough to beat.

Labels: