Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Madtown Bike Share For the Win!

Things have been pretty quiet around here lately, as I was in Madison, WI all last week on work-related business. While there, I had a chance to make use of the Madison B-Cycle program. As a bonus, I was able to meet with some awesome members of Madison B-Cycle leadership. Great people, great town. Can't wait to go back. It was my first time using bike share, and I have to say, I was not disappointed.

I checked out my first bike on Main Street over by the capitol after having a beer and dinner at a top-notch Irish pub. I rode a few blocks to the parking garage down by Monona Terrace where my car was parked to drop things off. I docked the bike while I was there. To be honest, I docked the bike rather than just locking it up because I couldn't figure out how to use the lock...I got it figured out immediately after returning from my car (it wasn't that hard, just couldn't quite get the lock angled correctly). After my errand, I checked out another bike and rode it up the hill to the capitol, took a lap around the square, and docked the bike on the other side of the square outside of my destination - a beer bar with an awesome collection of local brews.

So yeah, my first experience with bike share was using it to bar hop. Not a bad inaugural run.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

You Don't Need Fancy Equipment

Via Cycle Love, a trio of dudes are riding from London to Paris on bikeshare bicycles. Is this a bit silly? Yes, I think so. Is it pretty much pointless? Definitely. But I must say, I really liked this particular line:
"A reminder that you don’t need fancy equipment or clothing to enjoy the simple pleasure of riding a bike."
This is a point that Ginger and I proselytize regularly. We agree.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stay Informed. Stay Safe. Ride Your Bike.

What a fantastic article from Carl Alviani on Medium earlier this month. To say that all bicyclists should read this piece would be an understatement. In truth, everyone should read it; especially after the idiocy involved in the whole Santa Paula / Laura Weintraub situation out in California this weekend. The article says more about the realities of urban cycling than any other article I've read to-date, and is valuable information for anyone who uses the road with any form of transportation...ever.

In other news, the image above shows the bike rack that I normally use at Mercy Springfield. It's usually mostly empty. During Bike To Work Week it was a bit more heavily used, but it was definitely not as full as it was last week. I had to lock my bike up at the very end because there was hardly enough room for it. This is great news. Good work, coworkers!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Getting my legs back

I'm back!

After about 10 months working 50 miles away, I'm back working in Springfield. Woohoo!

I thought I could do it, make the transition from bike commuting to car commuting. After getting laid off from the newspaper, I really wanted to get back to work right away so I took an early job offer in marketing. In Kirbyville, Mo. That's an hour-long drive. Each. Way.

OMG, you guys, I thought that drive would kill me. I was getting up so early, and leaving for work before the kid even woke up. Plus, I had to drive all that way on the highway with elderly tourists and road ragers. Everything that was awful about driving to work happened during that drive to work. And then I'd have to leave early so I could rush back to town in time to pick up the little guy before his school closed for the day. And then there was hardly time to make dinner and hang out with my dudes before bed. And then I'd have to do it all over again.

Fortunately I was allowed to work from home two days every week, but it turned out I didn't like working from home very much. I wore a lot of stretchy pants and didn't bother fixing my hair on those days. It's also worth mentioning that that we had already downsized to one car so the dudes were left to bike to town through the winter.

I was sitting down all the time, I didn't feel good about myself and was so anxious I was breaking out in hives a lot of the time.

And so it happened that an entrepreneur Cody recently met needed to make an addition to her marketing staff, and I landed that gig!

The people in Kirbyville were so, so nice. I'll never forget them. But the lifestyle just wasn't what I wanted for myself, or for my family.

Now Cody and I work across the street from each other. I bike our boy to school in the morning. Cody and I bike home together for lunch. The hills are a little more challenging than I remember them being last summer, but that's okay. It feels like I get to fall in love with urban cycling all over again.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cyclists Are People Too

This picture was taken on the Jordan Creek Greenway. The graffiti is on the backside of the STD Central flea market across the bridge from Jordan Valley Park. I'm not sure what the thing painted in blue on the brick is supposed to be. Happy Anarchy Kitty, perhaps?

Cyclists are people too. It's a simple phrase, but it's packed with meaning. I'm thinking it needs to be disseminated widely - preferably in the same style as on the wall of STD Central. I'm talking same color, same font, everything. Maybe we can have it printed on t-shirts? Messenger bags? Street signs? Billboards? That's it. Definitely billboards.