Thursday, November 13, 2008

Things I've learned as a bicycle commuter

  1. Most drivers are courteous enough, but there are still those that forget I weigh about two orders of magnitude less than them.
  2. It's all fun and games until it rains.
  3. Beaverton smells. Really bad. Sometimes it's fallow pools of water (what the locals may call "a wetland", but most sensible people call a mosquito breeding puddle), sometimes it's the piles of garbage on the side of the road, and sometimes it's just good old fashion car exhaust. At least the variety keeps things interesting.
  4. You can still sweat in sub 40 degree weather. Which of course just makes you colder. Which also brings me to...
  5. ...butt sweat. Yup, it happens.
  6. There is a reason you see bikers rolling up their pants. And no, it's not just to look ridiculously hip. That just happens to be a pleasant side effect.
  7. No roads are actually flat. However, the hills you always imagined as being torturous are usually not quite so torturous.
  8. Planning is key: although the 10 mile ride may be fun, keep in mind you usually have to make the return trip.
  9. Not oft used bike lanes = all kinds of fun sharp things to run over.
  10. Yes, you can be pulled over.
  11. Despite as much as I try to convince myself otherwise, 4 working gears out of 10 really isn't adequate.
  12. My tires are exactly wide enough to fit nicely inside of the street car tracks. Unfortunately, this makes steering, and staying upright, difficult at best. Also, the best time to discover this is in front of a large group of people.
  13. The best bike lane traffic signal sensor is in front of the Beaverton library. Seriously, the moment my front tire crosses over, the opposing light immediately turns yellow. Too bad such technology is wasted on one of the least busy intersections around.
  14. Wet brakes + hills in Portland + trying to stop = not going to happen. (Astute scholars may note that the derivative of this is "nearly crapping my pants").
  15. It's farther than you think.

5 comments:

Crystal said...

fuck. you need to write for a paper or something cause you're fuckin hilarious (via the computer...not so much in person.......lol jk)

g said...

Thou art awesome.

Yeah, bike-commuting is a swell idea, but it takes real dedication to make it happen. I am still working on it... but having to wear a uniform to work really complicates things.

What also sucks about bikes is that they need maintenance... things break, tires go flat, gears get gummy. I mean, its cool to fix it yourself, but that takes motivation.

Keep on riding though dude... after doing it long enough you'll get the routine figured out really well and it'll be, ah, no sweat. Figuratively.

Cate said...

I also like "bike stage fright." Same as stage fright, but on a bike, duh! I usually do oh-so-well on the bike until a car or pedestrian is waiting for me to cross a road. Then...whoaaa! I suddenly cannot keep upright on the bike. My foot will slip off the pedal, I'll swerve into a parked car, etc., etc. I usually smile, giggle a little, and look at the ground in shame.

colin douglas said...

Haha oh yes, the bike stage fright, or "bike fright". That definitely makes the list. I once nearly fell in the middle of an intersection on Canyon road trying to get on my bike to make a left turn, after awkwardly hopping and false starting while grinding gears. I'd like to thank the Trimet passengers for not taking too many photos...

g said...

Dude, all I'm saying is... its been 8 months since you last posted a blog. Capiche?