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Archive for the 'bike friendly' Category

The Summer, So Far

Posted by @teeheehee on 4th August 2011

I haven’t been logging my activities much lately, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been much to write about. Here’s an account of my doings for this summer so far.

There was the Bikes Not Bombs ride in June, delayed to its rain date. I struggled a bit on this 65+ miler, not having trained enough and starting too aggressively, but I rallied and pulled off a clean finish.

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I have been making trips out to Concord on my fixed gear bike, usually stopping by the overlook at Hanscom on the return trip. I spotted some wild turkeys on the Minuteman one of the times I went out.

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More recently I attended the unveiling of the new bike sharing program in Boston, the Hubway. I got a little sunburned on the inaugural ride where I joined other volunteers in populating the stations with the first fleet of bikes, and later that day used the system to get from my office in Allston to Government Center where I had left my bike, managing the trip in roughly half an hour, obeying traffic rules (it was slow going as the bikes aren’t built for speed).

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I am currently on vacation visiting my folks in northern NY, and my sister is here as well on break from her job teaching English in South Korea. No bike means no rides, and that’s a shame because the area has a lot to offer for scenery.

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There’s still tons to do, summer isn’t over yet!

Posted in bike friendly, ride, traffic | No Comments »

Hello, Google Street View

Posted by @teeheehee on 6th December 2010

Hello, Google Street View!


View Larger Map

Back in late August of 2009 I rode out for lunch when I saw the Street View car canvassing by my office. They seemed to be somewhat lost and waved me by when they stopped at the stop sign and didn’t continue on, otherwise I would have followed it for a while just to see where it was going.

Has anyone else found themselves captured by one of these cars while pedaling around on their ride?

Posted in bike friendly | 2 Comments »

Bikes not Bombs Ride, Bring on the Heat

Posted by @teeheehee on 26th June 2010

This year’s Bikes not Bombs Bike-a-thon ride was back in June 20th. I rode it, took a few pictures, and then neglected to write anything up about it until now.

On that Sunday some 3-400+ fundraising bicycle enthusiasts met in Jamaica Plain to support the Bikes not Bombs organization for their annual Bike-a-thon ride and Grassroots Festival.

This was a postponed event, with the original date two weeks prior called off due to a heavy rain prediction. Very many of us thoroughly enjoy this event and were eager to arrive, get registered, get our numbers, call sheets route details, and start on our way for a 15, 25, or 62+ mile ride in surrounding areas.

Bikes not Bombs 2010 prep

The day started out pretty hot, I could tell my Camelbak was only going to supply me for most of the ride. As the day went on the mercury hovered around 90 – and I am not a fan of the heat when I’m out for a long ride.

BNB Bike-A-Thon start

Here we are at the start of the ride. I rode the 62-mile route which had two service stops. I rode really well and kept pace with the lead group for the first ten or so miles, then lost them when I helped someone replace a flat innertube. From then on I rode pretty much solo, and struggled more and more as the heat kept bearing down on me.

As usual (for me) I got a bit lost when approaching the last couple of miles when entering JP. From what I gather there was at least one marker that was supposed to help direct me which had been ‘removed’ by ‘someone’. I ended up tacking on another several miles and probably another hour with futzing with maps on my phone before I got reoriented and travelling in the right direction. I pulled in to the finish with just enough time to eat and chat with folks before I had to head out to a bike repair class in Cambridge (which I made it to, barely on time).

I didn’t take any more pictures and really wish I had, but there are plenty that can be found on flickr or the Bikes not Bombs website. Though, if I had taken more photos I might not have had enough power left on my phone to bail me out at the end…

It was a long, and at times straining ride, and I can’t wait until it happens again next year!

Posted in bike friendly, ride | No Comments »

Boston Spring Tweed Ride

Posted by @teeheehee on 31st May 2010

I say, it has been a rather long time since I’ve written. Truly the winter gave me little to work with, and once settled into the habit of laziness it is difficult to find one’s way back into the spirit of writing about things. But, often as this goes, with a little bit of encouragement (100psi) combined at a time with an event worth relating to others: a recipe for a blog post is formed. All that needs to be done now is for the writing to happen.

Today, ladies and gents, was a Tweed Ride. Dapper lads and lasses dressed up in wools and linens, dropped to a low-speed crawl of a pace, and set about to smile and wave at all manner of folk still here in Cambridge and Boston for Memorial Day. The weather was warm and pleasant, and except for a smoky odor which permeated the area (apparently caused in part by forest fires in Quebec) it was a perfect day for a ride.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bike friendly, ride | 1 Comment »

Chicago Bicycle Program Presents: Share the Road – Buses and Bicycles

Posted by @teeheehee on 18th March 2010

Take the twelve minutes and watch this video put out by the Chicago Bicycle Program geared towards their city’s bus drivers and cyclists.

Share the Road – Buses and Bicycles from Chicago Bicycle Program on Vimeo.

Via: Treehugger.

A couple of questions:

  • I don’t know any riders from the area, are the public transportation buses as accommodating as they appear to be in the video – can anyone share their experience?
  • Is the video effective – have you spotted something you didn’t know before that now makes you feel more understanding towards your fellow bus driver or cyclist counterpart?
  • Does the city of Boston and/or MBTA have any equivalent bicycle educational videos for their staff? If not, should they?

Posted in bike friendly, film, safety, traffic | 2 Comments »

The Making of Ball Bearings

Posted by @teeheehee on 13th March 2010

Via: Make

Posted in bike friendly | No Comments »

Google Maps Biking Directions

Posted by @teeheehee on 10th March 2010

Thank you, thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou! (Also, thank you to the League of American Bicyclists for dropping the e-mail with the news.)

http://maps.google.com/biking

Color-coded differentiation between dedicated bike paths, easy-biking streets, and user-submitted preferred streets. Getting directions will plot a route that may avoid hills, and can offer alternative routes or click-drag modifications to the route. Minty!

Of course, I’m also proud that Boston took some initiative in the last two years to publish their own map, but c’mon this is Google Maps!

Posted in bike friendly, ride, safety, traffic | 1 Comment »

Prepare for Winter While it’s Still Warm

Posted by @teeheehee on 17th November 2009

Hey all, go check out this Let’s Go Ride a Bike post for some tips and a video on dressing for the winter. Normally it would already be late in the season to begin thinking of these things but we’ve got a bit of a reprieve with the unseasonable warmth.

Posted in bike friendly | No Comments »

Cyclehoop: Parking Meters to Bike Racks

Posted by @teeheehee on 10th November 2009

It’s been a long while since I’ve done any weekend roundups where I post random things I find on the Internet, but this item is so cool it can’t wait for a weekend. The Cyclehoop is a device that converts a parking meter into a bike rack similar to those now popping up everywhere in Boston lately. It is currently being trialled in London. Via: Wired


cyclehoop

cyclehoop


Plenty often people lock up to a parking meter pole without something nifty like this, but not everyone sports a larger U-Lock or the extra break cabling which helps to truly secure one’s most prized possession to the fatter meter poles. The extended, thinner arms of the hoop offer a wider range of lock-up options and provides space enough that a second bike can share the spot. Have a look at Cyclehoop’s gallery.

Plus, they come in a range of delicious-looking colors. Boston, you could use a little color!


cyclehoop colors

cyclehoop colors


Posted in bike friendly | No Comments »

Thumbs Up

Posted by @teeheehee on 24th October 2009

Honestly today’s blog post is more to get me to write something because I know I have been lazy. Nothing particularly new happened, this is one of those oft-told stories of harrowing experience, conversation with a motorist, and acclaim from a nearby witness.

For starters, it was a rainy morning. Often this means I wear extra-vibrant clothes to make myself more easily visible to the armored ones I share the road with, but today I sufficed with a light-reflective courier bag and one reflective ankle-cuff. These, combined with my lights, make me relatively conspicuous.

Except if you drive a blue Honda minivan. But, we’ll get back to that after some more build-up….

This morning I went on an errand to the local RCN building (in Arlington) to drop off a couple of cable converters. It was a light rain, and the temperature wasn’t horrible, so I was mostly enjoying the ride except for the occasional red light when I would stop and my glasses would fog up. Note to self: start wearing contact lenses again until the warmer months return.

I was all done with this chore and beginning to switch to the next one (gathering my costume apparel) when I headed back towards Cambridge and Boston via Mass. Ave. For those not familiar with the area of Mass. Ave. in Arlington and Medford: it’s quite wide, but typically problematic with cracks and wrinkles all over. No problems here, though, vehicles were quite respectful this morning.

After I passed the turn towards Alewife the road feature I call the bike share “line” appeared. Cambridge has done some funky things with Mass. Ave., it seems they couldn’t quite figure out what to do to help cyclists – there’s sections with bike lanes, sharrows, and a line with intermittent bike stencils, depending on what area you’re in. The line is my least favorite, even though the area with the sharrows is practically impossible to ride within as it has quite poor road conditions.


Bike lane

Bike lane


sharrow

sharrow


Bike stencil

Bike stencil


So, it was a short time after passing the turn-off towards Alewife that I was buzzed by her. Blue Honda minivan. One occupant: driver. I quickly read the license plate and committed it to short-term memory, but before long I had quite forgotten it. (Well, it was short term memory. *shrug*)

Then the usual Mass. Ave. thing happened: I caught up within the next light or two, and passed her. This is not unusual, I stop at all the red lights but being a bike with some marked space on the road I stop right up at the light. Other areas where it’s too sketchy to do this safely I’ll hang back behind the last car in line I come up to and take the lane until the light goes “green”. But, good ol’ Mass. Ave. lets me creep up to the front almost every time.

When I caught up to her I leered over and kind of gave her “the look” as I passed her, then proceeded to wait dutifully at the light. Light went green, traffic went into motion, all the vehicles passed me with at least two feet distance (not the legal amount, but whatever,) until blue minivan comes zooming past within a few inches. Again.

Well, it was still Mass. Ave. and there were plenty of lights ahead. I caught up to her just before Harvard Square at the bus stop. I stopped, waved, and she rolled down her automatic window.

“Hi,” I said. “I just wanted to let you know that you passed me, twice, with very little space between us. Just inches.”

Now, most conversations I’ve had with drivers in similar circumstances would usually cause me to prepare for the usual response in the next moment: my life being threatened. But, it was not so! I may have found one of the nicest, albeit somewhat daft, motorist of the day! “I’d really appreciate if you’d give a little more room.” She nodded and her eyes told a whole story of unexpected shock. She said not a word.

Maybe she didn’t know that what she was doing was endangering me. She had had a couple of feet of space between her left side and the normal lane lines, but hugged the right anyways despite my presence there.

At that moment the light we were at turned green and I cut the one-sided conversation short. I said my piece, she seemed to take it in. I looked to the right at the bus stop and see a dude in bright yellow, bike balanced in one hand, giving the thumbs-up with the other, and he gave a smiling nod which I gladly returned.


Thumbs up

Thumbs up


Posted in bike friendly, rant, safety, traffic, wrong | No Comments »