Right on, ride on

Ceci n'est pas une vélo

Green, Yellow, Red

Posted by @teeheehee on 25th September 2009

ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX: Er, man, like what’s your name?
MAN: I don’t know. Why, do you think I ought to have one? It seems odd to give a bundle of vague sensory perceptions a name.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Well, this particular bundle of sensory perceptions made some observations this morning:

  1. There are now wind turbines on top of a building on Western Ave next to Soldiers Field Road (parking garage, hotel?) – here. Anyone know more about these?
  2. There is a section of path along Soldiers Field Road that I call the “canopy of trees.” This stretch of the path is my favorite and it’s starting to display autumnal colors. I am preparing myself for a beautiful couple of weeks of crisper morning rides.


Half green and red apple.

Half green and red apple.


As the cold sets in the months-long progression of deciduous life transforms from the green to yellow to red, culminating into the particularly pretty “fall foliage” that is a New England spectacle. I find it amusing that the cycle is repeated in urban transportation: the green to yellow to red of traffic lights, reduced from the months required in nature to the seconds or minutes that our high-speed lifestyles demand. When Autumn hits and the foliage turns red it is as if they implore observers to halt and admire the scenery, and why should it be any different on the streets at a red light? Especially on a bicycle.

This particular bundle of sensory perceptions would like to make some other observations today.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Back in the saddle, Community Solar System

Posted by @teeheehee on 17th July 2008

So, I went on an early-summer trip to Italy for a couple of weeks. That happened a while ago now and I haven’t written anything since before leaving.

It’s taken me a while to get back into the various rhythms, and, well, the weather’s been more or less quite good so I’ve been riding a good deal! Riding > writing.

I’m working on a ride for personal enjoyment, it will be my longest single ride to date. In the Boston area is a scaled down model of the solar system (including Pluto as a planet,) called the Community Solar System. It’s centered around the Sun at the Museum of Science and spans out to as far as Newton. The distances for all of the kiosks with the planets is scaled so that walking speed is the equivalent of light speed when factored up. It’s a really neat idea, and I like it.

So far I’ve come up with a general map, starting from Pluto and working my way back into the city. There are a few more inner-system planets I’ll hit before some outer-system ones, just to keep the ride to something more sensible.

If the ride goes well for me I’ll do it again and invite others to join, but as there are some questionable navigation legs and since I’m not very familiar with the area very much, and since I’ve never lead a ride before, I hesitate to include anyone else in my crazy schemes as of yet.

So, hopefully the weather will be excellent this weekend, because since I’ve started working on this ride I’ve lost sleep thinking about it. I can’t say why I like the idea so much, I’m just a geek I guess.

[edit] Looks like fortune was not in my favor. Saturday was in the 90’s and today is sketchy. On top of that I’ve become inflicted with a summer cold (of all things!) so I’ve been more out of commission than usual.

Posted in rant, ride | 2 Comments »

On wearing a helmet

Posted by @teeheehee on 25th January 2008

Wounded Pride

It took my sister’s scorn to get me into the habit, but once I started wearing a helmet I feel naked riding without it. Some might say riding naked is liberating (I’m sure it is,) but the helmet is one of the most important safety devices a rider has. After all, everything about riding starts by firings in the brain, all senses get processed there, all decisions get made there. Common sense trumps style.

My sister’s device for persuading me was familiar to anyone with a sibling. She made me feel bad, wounded my pride, even managed to use my own words against me. She was earnest in trying to make me do something that I already knew was a good idea. I was trying to be rebellious, to be free of the imposition that I am mortal. I was, of course, being stupid. And I knew it.

I really hate to be ‘that guy’ that knows to do things a certain way and does them contrary to that for no decent reason. So I changed my ways. So long as I live I hope I continue to do the same. It can hurt to have your pride wounded, but pain is inevitable. Suffering is an option. Suck it up, learn, adapt, and move on.

Knocking Sense into People

Last night a few friends of mine got together at my apartment for poker. I learned today that one of them got clipped by a car while riding back to his place.

Holyfuckingshit!

My friend was going straight and riding to the left of a car that ended up taking a left hand turn in the intersection. He didn’t see any indication that the car was intending to do this, and he was riding aggressively. His rear wheel got clipped while both he and the car that hit him were going at normal traffic speeds. In the end he was extremely lucky, no major body damage (or none discovered so far.) Pretty much he walked away with a wrecked bike and a badly shaken ego.

I have not been in that situation. I have been in other kinds of accidents, but every one can be unique to the situation. Walking away from an accident, any accident, is a blessing. Then comes the troubling period of dealing with what happened so that future occurances can be avoided.

My friend was riding with a warm hat on to stave off the chill. This event has scared him into making two safety purchases: a helmet and a very bright front light. It’s a start. I’ll be loaning him my copy of The Art of Urban Cycling once I get it back from another friend. I don’t know if he was in the wrong being where he was, but being to the left of a car isn’t usually a good position to be in.

I am the Nag

I don’t like being the Nag, which my roommate no doubt recognizes I am at times, but I’d rather not lose friends to disaster. It’s not my character to sound scornful, so I’ve never become adept at reflecting someone else’s risk-taking at them in a way that shows the bravado for the silliness it usually is. And who am I to preach when I have faults of my own?

But that doesn’t stop my gob from flapping. Wear a helmet. It’s a good idea. Get some lights going on you at night, put on something reflective, and ride safely. You a tough guy? You a crazy girl? Fine. Okay for you. Kindly remember: if something bad happens and it could have been avoided, well, that looks pretty bad, too.

To each their own in the end. Ride however you like, take whatever precautions you feel you must. I do my own thing and I find it works for me, and hope it continues to. To my friends I caution: do not die on me, especially for something stupid, or I will use you as an example when I share your tale of woe and despair. But I’d rather not have to share that story.

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