Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Silver Spring Township Supporting Rec Trails

Could this be an inkling of progressive thought? A smidgen of a forward thinking? A more holistic, community-minded agenda? Might our local governments begin serious planning of a more extensive recreational trail in Cumberland County? Obviously, this would be a large benefit to us all. The Carlisle Sentinel reported recently that a trail project is garnering support from some local municipalities. How it will actually wind around our neighborhoods, and take advantage of existing parks and waterways isn't clear but there is lots of potential. May it become to reality soon!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Portland Cyclist Makes House Calls!

This just in....    西洋人  has informed me that docs ride bikes to patients in Portland! 

Mandala Pleasure

Seiyo-jin [  西洋人 ] a far flung correspondent of this blog, has recently sent me some nice shots of a semi-permanent mandala in Portland. Being a large biking community, I wonder how Portland pedalers respond to this when coming upon it. Is it a pleasure? Or do they get lost in the color and wind up more apt to accidents?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

More Encounters

Were you racing me? I wasn’t sure why or what inspired you to pick up the pace when I first rode alongside you. We were pacing each other briefly and I said something like, “Good exercise, yeah?” And then you just started pedaling faster, your chain squeaking an awful lot. The chain seemed to say, “Can’t go any faster…” But you put more into the spinning and looked ahead toughly, even though the idea of switching to a more efficient gear seemed to escape you. You were aloof. I kept my pace, although eventually, slowly, moved ahead of you. At the hill and turn I moved further ahead, but I could see you taking the same course as mine, albeit smaller and smaller, in my small round mirror.

Another bicyclist this week wasn’t aloof as much as possessed by his music, riding lazily, swerving almost out of balance, riding against traffic just outside the hospital where we first crossed paths. He moved languidly. I was concerned he’d raise the ire of an anti-cyclist, or worse, meet with injury being so out of whack with the “rules” of the road.  While I waited for the light to turn green, he had already traveled 100 yards, but I caught up with him at the next light. At that point he was off his bike inspecting his tire. Catching sight of my panniers he asked, “You don’t have a pump in those bags, do you?” I turned around and got my pump for him, by trying to fill his rear tube with air was in vain. He decided to ride on flat tires anyway, down the dirty, gravel strewn bypass. We spoke then, riding in tandem. I mentioned cheap patch kits and pumps to facilitate future repairs and then moved of him. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Riding With Dex

I was not too keen on riding this morning as various residential circumstances seemed to prevent me from hopping in the saddle, especially a leaking dehumidifier in the basement. Nevertheless, I let go of the idea that I needed to be at the office right on time and attacked the large meandering puddle before putting foot to pedal. As I rode in, slowly through the soupy summer air, I imagined taking this ride (below) with Dexter Gordon. Unfortunately, that isn't possible in the literal sense, but we all can certainly move along posthumously with his music.

* * *
As thoughts of Dex's album began to percolate more than my earlier funk, I was moving uphill past the local coffeeshop where 3 or 4 cyclists relaxed with their java. If I hadn't left late I might have been more inclined to stop and chat with them. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lase Off!

Well, here is some very useful tech that may (1) protect cyclists, (2) easily shake up conventional types, and (3) possibly really annoy others. Englishwoman Emily B. invented a nifty laser that when affixed to one's handlebars lasers a bike image onto the pavement. Very slick. 

Brooke hopes the laser will increase the awareness of bikes on the road

Yet, when this green delineation isn't protecting pedalers, I could see drivers rolling their windows down to pepper laser-users with suspicious inquiries (I had experienced this once after I had affixed a video camera to back of my bike)...or more likely shoot cold stares or nasty comments at them. Not that I dislike this veritable head-up display for unconscious motorists -- its very nifty as far as I am concerned, and useful -- but it's got edgy, creative innovation. Central PA local yokels, like Jackhamma, would take one look at that bike image and think there's more reason to get us off the road.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

NYC Bike-Share Plagued by Questions....and Some NIMBYism

Yesterday the prospect of bike sharing kiosks in NYC graced the pages of the Times, yet the story (New York’s Bike-Share Program Is Plagued by Questions - quickly presented neighborhood squawking: following the kiosks' installation, will I have space to park my CAR? And will the sidewalks be squeezed out of existence by bike-share equipment? While I can sympathize with the preservation of sidewalk space in beautiful Village neighborhoods, those New Yorkers who are fretting at the loss of parking space might consider a move to the suburbs, where it's ample. The idea of cities as a solution to the world's crowded, polluted future is premised on mass transit and other efficiencies, including bikes. Anyone lamenting bike-share infrastructure misses the point.