Archive forDecember, 2009

A very happy on-holiday to you, to you

Christmas Eve. Not yet ready for the holidays.  Stopped caring earlier today, read Shaun Tan instead (very good).
Whatever else you do, enjoy you and yours!


You know it’s cold when…

…the toilet seat feels warm after you ride.



  • Followed a cyclist last week who said he was venturing into winter biking. Best part? He knew all the correct ways to cycle in the city! A happy addition to the Same Road Same Rules team.
  • Cyclist ahead of me this morning knocked on the window of a SUV to say “You’re in the bike lane,” (the car stopped at red with a couple of tires in the bike lane) and then proceeded to run a red light himself…. but H4ckw0r+h caught the whole thing on his helm-cam. Busted!
  • Happy to see NPR cover a story on cargo bikes. This prompted some comments in Facebook, including a link to more awesome cargo bikes that are probably not available in the U.S. One friend said “Groceries and do-dads fine, but I wouldn’t want my kids hanging out at tire/bumper level.” – true, but if our urban design continues to add more physically separated bicycle lanes, that concern becomes a none-issue (and then maybe we’ll get more cargo bike vendors).
  • A buddy at work is gearing up to ride through the winter! Good for him. Now if only I can get him to stop at red lights regularly…
  • One of my favorite lunch take-out spot finally gets a “tips” jar on their counter. Great food/variety/deal, I’m happy to give additional support.
  • December 14 and I’ve yet to begin my holiday shopping. Oops.
  • The Macy’s outdoor muzak cracks me up, reminds me of that part in a Disney Christmas movie where [character] runs hurriedly toward [loved ones/destination where the climax of the movie happens], crescendo and all.


Boston Bike Report 2009

Mics! Cameras! Powerpoint slides!

Last night Livable Streets Alliance Director Steve Miller and Boston Bikes Director Nicole Freedman spoke at the Boston Public Library to give the 2009 Boston Bike Report. The presentation was enjoyable: this was the first time I had sat in a Boston Bikes event, and I was

1. not bored by the historical ‘catch-up’ content, even though the info was familiar
2. engaged by both speakers’ ability to carry the crowd comfortably
3. impressed by the logistical fluidity of the whole production

My takeaways/event highlights:

  • Valet Bicycle parking by MassBike – yes, the gentleman stood outside in the cold for 2.5 hours to ensure the safety of my bicycle.
  • Boston Bike Share program coming in July 2010, if all goes well, which is sooner than I suspected
  • Art Rack competition some time in 2010, maybe similar to this?
  • MassBike’s Executive Director David Watson shared info on their education program: Same Road Same Rules

I am most excited about the SRSR initiative. My Polyanna vision is that all cyclists grow up to ride to this guide. If we get them young, it could work, right?  Of course, the car drivers have their guide, too, but let’s play nice and earn their respect.

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Sunny Day, Sweepin’ the Clouds Away

The freakishly warm and sunny New England November day we had never saw today coming.

I’ve been without my commute bike for over a month (My Swobo Dixon is probably still at Swobo Headquarters – more on this later) . Besides the (swine?) flu that put me out for a week, I had spent the rest of November commuting to/from work on the T – which, by the way,  I think was how I caught the flu. This is the longest stretch of period I’ve gone without my usual bicycle commute in about four years.

Last night h4ckw0+th helped me put the finishing touches on the Columbia Shadow. Also last night I discovered a sty in my right eye, which meant that I had to go without my contact lenses today. Riding with eye glasses takes away my peripheral vision and makes me paranoid, so my plan was to take the T and wait a few more days until my eye behaves itself.

Just before leaving the house this morning I decided to check the weather for giggles. 3 minutes later I’ve got my glasses on and was out the door on the Shadow. So that I can look back on this day and tell my grand kids that December in New England can be gorgeous:


The ride was tricky: I’m not used to the oldskool shifter, which resulted in a whole lot of disconcerting noises and jerky pedaling. I spent a couple of miles sticking to whichever gear it was I landed on, but that made starting from red lights more challenging than it needed to be.  Plus: my glasses-induced paranoia weighed on me, and I felt like I was surrounded by Things-I-Couldn’t-See-But-Are-Surely-Going-To-Kill-Me.

Then I got to ride behind an amazing cyclist who followed cycling laws the entire way I was behind him, from Kirkland Village to the Boston side of Longfellow. Thank you, Mr. Cyclist-With-Clip-On-Light-Like-The-One-I’ve-Got. I chilled out some (because, well, if a door was going to open into the bike lane, he would see it first and brake! Swell.), and thoroughly enjoyed the weather.

More awesome bike news (to me) today: David Hembrow’s post on the world’s first cycling superhighway in Breda, the Netherlands. Watch the video – it made me want to move to Europe.

Time to head home! Shadow is well-lit for the trip.