Monday, November 22, 2010

Some Good Signs in Gray

It's getting drearier, at least on some days, in Central PA.  Dreary grayness can be reflected rather somberly in old train trestles. But old trestles can also hold a good sign, as this one does in Lemoyne, PA:

I'm not sure this was an official act of signage, or a rogue one. If you're a long time reader of this blog, you'd know that even official signage can be of low quality (see my post this past  summer). As for this sign, it's well placed, as this curve in Lemoyne toward the Market Street Bridge and river is a treacherous one for pedestrians and bicyclists alike.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Saved Cars from Winded Garbage Bin

Perhaps I should have left it there, rolling to and fro, blocking traffic. But my first reaction was to remove the garbage bin from the middle of Market Street. Heavy wind over the past 36 hours pushed it there after being emptied by dutiful municipal workers. Riding to the middle of the road, and taking faith in my rear blinky, I waved my hand to the large truck behind me and then stopped in the middle of the street to lift the bin and move it to the nearest house likely to be its owner. My civic duty complete, I wondered later in the day whether your typical driver would reciprocate with a bike lane. Ha!

Monday, November 8, 2010

San Antonio Cycling

A conference presentation took me to San Antonio, but my bike ride in these southern reaches of Texas is probably going to snare my readers more than stories about academics. I left mighty Harrisburg on Tuesday morning this week, and after connecting through Detroit got to San Antonio a day prior to the conference. I soon sought information from a tourism office about bike rentals. After about a mile of walking past old theater fronts and over the Riverwalk, I found the Charles A James cycle shop, and it turned out to be a deal (ten bucks!). This old corner shop was in pleasant disarray and crowded with bicycles as well as a wall of old drawers from a pre-war pharmacy. They rented me an older Schwinn 21 speed and bright yellow helmet from among the narrow spaces that were left uncluttered by frames and wheels that were otherwise hanging from the ceiling or stuck into every other available nook. The staff handed me a bike map (San Antonio has published one) and pointed me in the direction of a decent route to follow. So off I went...

Bike Rental Deal!
I had no idea where I was going, as I didn't bother to read the map that clearly pointed to avenues with wider shoulders and bike lanes. Meandering on wheels I headed south and then west and then within 45 minutes really lost my sense of direction, not to mention getting myself stuck at a seemingly high number of red lights. 

Eventually, a highway onramp, blocking me with its insulting & dingy mass of concrete and unfriendly traffic, forced me to pull out the bike map. After some reorientation I was on my way again. On all these travels and turns and stops it was clear that the weather and city size must add to the cycling life here, because I saw several other cyclists on the streets of San Anton in only a short time. These biking denizens are aided by so many bike lanes and bike signs reminding riders and drivers about bicyclists' rights! Peace and bicyclist rights! Those rights are well posted not just for typical riders, but also for the San Antonio  police, who seem to be pedaling quite a bit given the contents of this pickup truck:

Cops' Bikes!
Good night biker...
Bicycle at Rest

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cold Ride to Polls

Cold weather (maybe 35 F this morning) has returned but didn't stop me from biking to the polls this morning. I was queried by a tall man in a formal hat and coat, holding a stack of Toomey leaflets (unfortunately), as I unlocked my bike.  He asked about the number of gears I have and how fast I can go, responding with a slowly spoken, "I see what you mean..."  What was to understand?  Perhaps the Sestak button on my panniers?

Usually Not As Fun as Tokyo Cycling

Some fun loving Tokyo folk have made this video of their cruise through their city. Not quite like my solo rides through the Harrisburg area, but I'll definitely have to look into better lights for my Trek to make up some of the difference!
Tokyo Night Pedal Cruising Video