Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Bike 2012

Much as I have been with this blog this year, so have I been negligent in celebrating my annual Christmas tradition - The Christmas Bike. In the past, soon after Thanksgiving, I'm cracking open a craft beer and decorating my bike for the season.

This year, I stood in my garage the evening before my last ride to work before the Christmas holidays and my bike stood there all plain and forlorn. Well - better late than never. I climbed into the attic and found the decorations, took a cold beer out of the frig and went to work. I decided to downscale this year and limit the decorations to a wreath on the handlebars and lights around the frame.

On my first and only Christmas Bike ride of the year, I realized the full measure of my negligence. It was early morning and quite dark. The Christmas Bike blinked brightly and cheerfully. I rode up to a stop sign and cars were coming from both directions on the crossing road, so I came to a complete stop. As I stopped, so did the car heading East and then the car heading West. So there were the three of us at a stand still, no one moving. The thing was, I was the only vehicle that had a stop sign. The two cars had the full right away. On any other day, they would have run me over had I even thought about crossing their path, but this morning, they stopped and waited patiently. I pushed off while the cars waited patiently and waved as I passed in front of their headlights. I couldn't see the drivers faces, but I'm certain they both smiled.
When I decorate my bike and don my Santa hat, I'm under no disillusionment, I raise my dorkiness level to new heights. So why bring that kind of attention myself? That's simple - it causes people to stop and smile - a pleasant interruption in our otherwise hectic lives and in a world of tragedy.

Merry Christmas everyone!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Russian Roulette on a Bike

We all see them, especially those of us who ride. You know them, the folks we notice riding bikes that go to great lengths to, unbeknownst to themselves, to get in harms way.

Today, I witnessed perhaps the most egregious example that I've ever had the unfortunate privilege of witnessing.

- a teenage male

- riding down a busy, one way, 3 lane road road - On the LEFT SIDE OF THE ROAD

- rush hour traffic

- no helmet

- riding a clunker

- ear buds in his ears

- one hand on the handlebars

- the other hand on a smart phone - non stop texting

- head down and focused on smart phone

- weaving precariously between shoulder of road and closely zooming traffic

He might as well have put a single round in a revolver - spun the cylinder - put the barrel to his head and pulled the trigger.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Last Piece - Let's Ride

One may be tempted to look at these pictures and conclude that they have nothing to do with bicycling. That would be a rash conclusion indeed. These pictures have everything to do with bicycling.

The story begins the Summer of 2011. That was the Summer that I did a week long bike tour in upstate New York. I promised my wife that when I finished that ride, I would start focusing on getting things done around the house.

True to my word, as soon as I got back, I hung up the bike and picked up a tool bag. Over the last year and half, I've completely re-sided the outside of our house. It took longer than I thought and was much more involved than I envisioned. But yesterday, as documented in the pictures that started this post, I installed the very last piece of siding!!!!!

Now my attention will once more drawn toward that which has been in the past and will be in the future, a ever present and comforting force in my life - my bicycle!! And you my faithful readers will benefit as well, cause I plan to talk about it.