Thursday, June 28, 2012

What's in YOUR Pannier?

I've got, currently, the following necessities: Extra socks, Moleskine, drawing pen, bike pump, watercolor pencils, post-it note pad (2), kids' pool IDs, stress lozenges, USB memory stick (2), duct-tape pencil case, old container of dental floss, credit card, band aids, old driver's license (to identify me if incapacitated), cash,  tube patch kit, old bottle opener (vintage!), binder clips, colored penciles, USB charge cable, coins, Leatherman.

How do you compare? With my pannier, the credit card, and my bike, I think I could go anywhere.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Harrisburg's Tour de Belt 2012

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of taking my first ride in the annual CAGA Tour de Belt. To my surprise, our Pennsylvania capital has patched together a rather green and traffic free loop of pavement and gravel. The Tour de Belt promotes the Greenbelt itself, and last weekend several hundred cyclists gathered to complete the circumnavigation in fine weather. 

Police and volunteers blocked traffic for participants at several intersections, leaving me with that rare feeling (pipe dream?) that the general public might deem cycling sensible & beneficial enough to alter the paths of cars. Unfortunately, on most other days, I live with the dominant paradigm that leaves cagers gassing, paving, and idling, and pedalers dodging, blinking and whistling.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Wildflowers and Birds...

Fun in Sun

Traveling with much efficiency and speed on this Giant Defy in gorgeous weather outside State College, PA.

Friday, May 11, 2012

State Control

I am recently informed by our township leaders that the likelihood of a bike lane on the Pike is much less likely because it is a state road with heavier traffic. This was not pleasant news, and  seemed somewhat illogical. Big city bike paths are a case in point for me. Take New Yorkers, who pedal parallel to rush hour traffic on Eighth Avenue every day. Their bike lanes are associated with overall declines in bike fatalities since they were developed.

Of course, traffic free bike trails can offer an idyllic experience. There's a fine route from 25th and Market Streets in the Camp Hill Borough that finds its way through calm residential streets, then through a pedestrian tunnel, to Seibert Park.  

I hit about 52 mph on this hill!

I  hopped this bridge in one daring 30' jump!
Halfway north through Seibert Park trees surround the route, where it becomes an unpaved path. A small stream runs adjacent to the path, as it winds downhill toward the Conodoguinet.  I didn't have time to follow the Conodoguinet, but from that point, one can ride with little traffic for several more miles to and along Oyster Mill Rd., via Conodoguinet Drive.  
The Conodoguinet...finally free of sharks.
Unfortunately, none of these tree-lined routes get me to work...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cyclist Undermined

What is happening here? Who is doing the drilling? What is the cyclist thinking or seeing?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bikes May Pass!

The other day I was riding toward work, through a construction zone, and all the cars were stopped and waiting for the construction worker to spin the sign from STOP to SLOW.  But then the worker turned to me and said, "Bikes can go..."  while all the cars had to wait!

Your interpretations of this event are welcome...

Monday, April 9, 2012


If bicycles are an antidote to environmental stress, I'm not sure what to make of a mahogany bike rack. I saw this one in Charlottesville, VA, this weekend.  My first reaction was that it was a wonderfully crafty creation, but now I'm wondering if all the carbon offset made possible by this pedaler was just zeroed out by chopping down the tree from which this rack came.  Or maybe this is sustainably harvested mahogany (although I'm not sure given the time it takes to grow a mahogany tree). For this cyclist's sake, he did say the wood pieces were scraps from another's project, so maybe he saved on the shipping charges for bike rack shipped from China.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Silhouette Beckons

My rear view mirror caught your silhouette in the distance this morning. Your bulky figure in the distance suggested not a racing roadie but more likely a commuter. On the declivity your silhouette grew larger, and then I slowed a bit to learn who you are. You pedaled determinedly and had only a brief "hello" for me, through your balaclava, when you passed by. I had hoped for a chat, but no matter. Then, when you and I were stopped at the light at 15th Street (you didn't get THAT far ahead), you foolishly moved forward, looking to thread yourself through the eye of the needle that was moving rush hour traffic.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Very Urban Cycling

  西洋人 [Seiyo-jin], aka "The Westerner," is always reading interesting things and finds worthwhile bicycling ephemera on the web. So good of him to send them my way.  Here's one of them, relayed initially through The Atlantic from Mexico City:

I can identify with this rider’s enthusiasm as he slides and turns in the midst of so much, albeit polluted and overcrowded, life. I remember the rush one can feel when pushing through urban traffic, feeling superior to the masses stuck in clogs of cars and trucks. In my college days my friend and I had nerve, less judgment and whistles, that propelled us through tight traffic in Philly. We snaked through gaps and narrow passages defined by endless lines of chassis and bumpers. Luckily we didn't get hurt. I hope this man continues to avoid accidents just as we did....

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Recycle Bicycle Harrisburg

I had a great opportunity on MLK day to volunteer at Recycle Bicycle, which salvages old bikes for parts and scrap metal and uses the parts and proceeds to repair bikes and donate bikes to kids who need them. Its director made clear to us volunteers that so many city kids ride around without brakes, and that by offering free repairs or used bikes in good condition we can save lives.  The bikes here also go to individuals who have no other means to get to work, so the bikes are an ecologically sound solution to sustaining employment.
Lots of Bikes!

Recycled Chains

Volunteers Ready to Break Down Bikes

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Packed Paniers Provide!

I take pride in grocery shopping by bike. As I grab items from the aisles, I envision whether the next can or box will fit in the limited space hanging over my rear wheel. And then there is the excitement of buying a little toooo much, and bargaining that I can find space for it atop my bike rack, secured with my ailing bungee cord.
After securing everything, I roll out among the evening commuters, sliding through the parking lot satisfied I do not need a car to feed my family's bellies.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Odd One

In my travels last week in NJ, I saw this strange bike affixed to a roof rack. Seems a combination of BMX and kids bike. Not sure what all the tape is for either...