Thursday, April 15, 2010

Old Helmet

For the first time in at least a year I dealt with a flat tire. My broken pump provided just enough pressure to hobble from the office to a gas station, where I paid a full dollar to start the compressor! Given the leak's slow pace, I was able to make it home before losing all pressure.

Stopped at the bike shop on my return trip seeking a new seat. Aside from realizing I can find much better prices on Amazon, the shop owner quipped that I need a new helmet because so much of the plastic shell is disentegrated. UV light, he claimed, will weaken the integrity of the foam. Really? Not so says the Bike Helmet Safety Institute!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Knowing More Terrain

Yesterday I rode a faster clip toward the office as I had left home later than expected, but I felt well prepared to do so having biked twelve miles Sunday to Boiling Springs. On the afternoon return trip I met another bicyclist behind the hospital (a short cut sans traffic) and she and I rode together for a minute, and waited at a traffic light for another. From our conversation it was apparent that bicyclists have a knowledge of terrain so much more intimate than motorists. She reflected this knowledge, describing a pedestrian tunnel near a park that she uses to avoid heavy traffic on a state route. I hadn't made the connection before. We parted ways at that light and I felt that I had not only built a better mental map of bike commuting, but developed another link in the human web that is so more accessible outside of cars.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

First Longer Trip

Around 8:45am I set out to Boiling Springs on the trusty Trek 800. This was a 12 mile trip, passing through Mechanicsburg borough and many farmettes (many of which are being converted to sprawl). Traffic was surprisingly light -- almost nonexistent -- especially when I reached country roads (e.g. Rt. 174). My bike seat was a painful pressure and I now know that for longer rides something more comfy is in order!

One bicyclist passed me with nary a greeting! Alas he must be so serious?