Saturday, June 30, 2007

FAB Snakebite Scavenger Hunt

Here is my route for last weekend’s scavenger hunt. Clicky-click for a larger image.

It’s tough to come up with an efficient route when presented with 15 locations and a time limit (3 hours). My first stop would have been much better placed between stops 9 and 10. It was disappointing to ride by stops 5 and 6 after leaving stop 15.

I’m quite happy with my choices from stop 8 to the end. It was and adventure riding down the Terrace Park landscape on a road bike.

The stretch with 13, 14 and 15 was all against the wind with the clock ticking down. I opted for the flat bike trail instead of hilly Kiwanis Ave between 14 and 15.

I took a big risk going for item 15 but it was a good thing I did. Fetching it gave me 8 points 5 of which I lost for being 5 minutes late. I won the event by 1 point…which could have been the difference of one more red light.

In other news, here’s my latest garden picture. Isn’t it fabulous?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Report: June 18 – 24

It was a very nice MinusCar week, capped by a very nice bicycle weekend. I was in a car Monday, and didn’t get in one again until Saturday. Friday evening and Sunday was all bike all the time.

Trips -
MinusCar: 14
Multi-occupant Auto: 2
Single occupant Auto: 2
Destinations: 45

I had to take a solo trip in the car on Sunday because I was late to the Sunday school class I was guesting for.

Destinations are unusually high because I participated in FAB’s Snakebite Scavenger Hunt Sunday afternoon. 15 destinations in 2.75 hours. $125 gift certificate was the top prize. I wonder how much crusier bike I can get for $125.

My Car Miles: 23
My Bike Miles: 138

Of course, running 15 "errands" doesn’t hurt the bike mileage either.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hope, Dilbert & nonAccidents

I cut out of work early to get to a meeting. I left late.

Downtown was experiencing Automania causing many of the main roads to be closed. 5pm traffic chaos. I took some alleys to get through the best I could but eventually I found myself wanting to exit a parking lot where a law officer was directing traffic. I stopped appropriately at the apron, communicated my intent to the officer by, you know, left arm extended.

Oh how I wish I had a photo of the exact moment the officer realized what he was going to have to do to let this left turning bicycle riding scofflaw through. Priceless. His professionalism and knowledge of, you know, the law quickly returned and I was able to get back on the road toward my meeting.

Next up, road construction. I missed a memo on some major road construction. Road deconstruction is a better description...the entire area is just gone. I bet I rode half a mile through a construction area. I was nervous, alert and knew I didn't belong there.

But I was late.

I arrived at The Center of Hope for my tour. They collect used adult bikes. They repair the used bikes (to the extent your abandoned Magna can be repaired). They deliver the repaired bikes to individuals with a specific need.

The specific need? Adults who will use the bicycle as their primary mode of transport to work.

They'll give away 400 bikes this summer if they can get 200 more donated and repaired. Want to help?


Dilbert was excellent today (6/20):


Finally, Cycling Sasquatch reposts Elly Blue's post from the blog.

Entitled "Our 'Accidental' Car Culture" it's about the use of the term accident to describe automobile crashes. Most stunning is her referral to this text that appeared in the New York Times:
"May 18, 2006 Man Strikes 5 With S.U.V. in North Bellmore, N.Y. By JENNIFER 8. LEE A man intentionally ran over five people in North Bellmore, with an S.U.V. after a fight last night, the Nassau County police said. The driver fled the scene of the accident, at 2800 Pacific Ave. But the police later located the vehicle they believed was involved in the accident in Garden City and took the driver in for questioning. The victims were taken to Nassau University Medical Center, the police said. One was in critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said."
When is attempted homicide an accident? When it's attempted with a motor vehicle.

The rest is excellent too. I'm glad I didn't miss it. Thanks Sasquatch.
"Why have we built our communities around driving, stranding those who cannot, should not, or just don’t want to drive a car?"

Monday, June 18, 2007

Report: June 11 – 17

There’s a posting on the De-motorize Your Soul Digest webpage from a guy claiming to have a blog called The MinusCar Project. That’s remarkable. He even lives in the same city as I do. Who’da thunk it?

Trips -
MinusCar: 11
Multi-occupant Auto: 4
Single occupant Auto: 4
Destinations: 30

Rain. Lots of rain caused half my single occupant trips. I made up for some of them with a meandering 26 mile ride with B.O.B. to the Downtown Farmer’s Market. I purchased baby cucumbers, some tomato basil parmesan bread and cabbage. I went back to the booth with the “cheddar” cauliflower but it was sold. All they had left was purple. The Boy 5 isn’t bothered that it doesn’t taste like grape.

My Car Miles: 29
My Bike Miles: 123

Between lightning strikes on Saturday I planted (with help) two 4x4’s in the garden. Look how fast they grew! I think they look sturdy enough to hold up a clothesline. Perhaps maybe a solar panel? They withstood Sunday’s 40mph winds.

The Boys are calling for a compost bin too.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Coffee And Doughnuts And Folding Bicycles. Oh My.

Over at the Pinchflat News site they’ve made a bit of ado about the solution in search of a problem that is the folding bicycle. I don’t have to agree completely with their sentiments to get a kick out of their cheeky snarkiness. Neither do you.

So it is that as last weekend’s FAB Coffee & Doughnut Ride approached the 12th mile (it’s about the journey) in the 3 mile (not the destination) trip to Black Sheep Coffee we discovered a rare folding bicycle in its natural habitat outside Michelle’s downtown coffee serving eatery known as Michelle’s.

Those with cameras (seems those with cameras are also the ones with blogs) and an appreciation of the moment immediately started shooting pictures of the contraption as it rested in the glow of it’s own hipness. Not wanting to miss the opportunity for a two-fer I snapped a shot of two internet bicycle community phenomenons in a single frame.

A Snakebite taking a photo of a folding bike.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Report: June 4 – 10 (with bonus material)

One of my favorite things happened tonight. Upon arriving home from work The Wife declared I would be riding to the store tonight to pick up a few things. I made the best of it and stopped at four places after The Boys were in bed - 8 nighttime bonus miles.

I saw The Iconoclasts today after work on my way to The LBS. The authors of MinusCar Essay #9, they live in town without an automobile. They walk. They talk. They spend time together. Hmmm…could they be on to something? Do they love each other enough to not want to rush their trips? They look good together too!

I also learned this weekend we found The Wife’s indoor temperature threshold. She topped out at 83 degrees late afternoon Sunday and the air conditioner got turned on for the first time this year. I think that means our threshold went from 74 two years ago to 78 last year to 83 this year.

One final note… No Impact Man referenced some suggested concrete numbers for reducing ones personal carbon emissions. Interesting numbers, they are very small. Gasoline – 50 gallons per person per year. There are other numbers in six more categories.

If you haven’t heard of No Impact Man you should. He began his project last November. He began his blog in March.
"Stage one was figuring out how to live without making garbage: no disposable products, no packaging, etc. Stage two was figuring out how to cause the least environmental impact with our food choices. Stage three is figuring out how to reduce our consumption to only what is necessary and how to do that sustainably. The whole thing gets harder and harder as we add each stage."
He composts his poop. He disconnected his electricity. He and his family live in New York City.

Now, on to the weekly report.

Trips -
MinusCar: 13
Multi-occupant Auto: 6
Single occupant Auto: 4
Destinations: 45

Three of the single occupant trips involved a single day. The Boys had early morning dentist appointments. As I dropped The Boy 5 off his daycare provider strongly urged me to not ride to avoid the nasty weather that was approaching. I should have ridden. The nasty weather didn’t materialize.

Two multi occupant trips involved the necessity of sober transport. The high cost of friendship. I’ll pay it every time.

My Car Miles: 33
My Bike Miles: 94

It's gonna get better from here (I think).

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Where's Your Cargo?

Everytime I turn around somebody's giving up a car! There's Sue in Illinois leaving me comments, "Since I was already completely at the "weather forecast: what do I wear?" (as opposed to "what will I drive?") it hasn't been too hard of a transition..."

Snakebite's got his truck up for sale. He's trying to lose weight, "I’m going to lose 3,762 lbs in the form of my vehicle..."

And now, The Parents! Sold the OldsmoBuick, selling the light truck and purchased some sort of 30mpg little thing. Wow!

Me? Welp, after a year and a half of being volunteer water fetcher for my work crew, I get to trade the once a week car assisted 15 gallon water run for...once every 11 weeks. I am pleased to get to share this task.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Report: May 28 – June 3

Let me get this straight – the longer I take between posts the more the readership drops off. Who knew?

Trips -
MinusCar: 8
Multi-occupant Auto: 6
Single occupant Auto: 10
Destinations: 50

Six of my single occupant trips occurred on the day I attended the Grand Opening of the Museum of Visual Materials. I did a lot of back and forth trips as I car pooled with The Owner to the event, met The Family for dinner, and headed to the stadium for some baseball. I guess I’m saying the 10 looks worse than it was.

Remind me to write about the Museum of Visual Materials sometime soon.

My Car Miles: 59
My Bike Miles: 87

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Coming Storm

As I anxiously await nature's coming destruction...

I've retrieved my copy of the KELO Storm Center Drinking Game...
"Every time you hear the word 'rotation' take 1 drink."
I stepped out to take some pictures of the babies...

Just in case a 12ft wide hail stone lands on my garden...

There was a time, not very long ago, that I would fail to recognize just how amazing this is. I used to live in a world where things coming out of the ground would ship hundreds of miles, turn into high fructose corn syrup, and ship back to me as sugar pop. Now it's shipped to me so I can feed it to my car.

It's a jungle out there. It used to be a garden.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Garden

The Garden has been tilled...

and planted.

What you don't see in these pictures is cauliflower, onions, peas, beans and pumpkins. For color you see zinnias (the official flower of The Family) and sunflowers.