Posts Tagged ‘bicycling’

Bike Lanes

April 3, 2012

When I was a young adult in college I rode a bicycle year-round for transportation…in Minnesota.  It was quite an experience.  I’m glad that I survived.  Riding at night in snowstorms was probably not the smartest thing I have ever done.

While visiting my son, who was attending my old college, I noticed that they now have specified bike lanes in downtown Minneapolis.  What a wonderful thing that is for the bicycle rider!  I used to zip along between the moving traffic and the parked cars with not much room to spare.

Currently,  I am taking a course at a university that is over an hour away .   I am considering going back to school  to work on a doctorate, and am enrolled in a class to see if I can handle being a student again after many years, along with my normal schedule.

At this university town, I again see bike lanes.  They are a little inconvenient, because they did not make the road any wider, they just made the car lanes a little more narrow, and marked off the bike lane.  I am OK with that, I want to encourage people riding bikes safely.

What I am not OK with, is that on two occasions already this spring, I have noticed bicycle riders riding on the other side of the one way street, not using the bike lane.  This irritates me because there is a lane marked for bikes, the road is already more narrow, and now cars must slow down, or go around a biker who is not using the designated space.

I am happy to share the road with bicyclists, but they should use the space provided for them.  I sure wish that I had a bike lane thirty years ago.  I would have used it.

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A New Ride

April 15, 2010

Since last summer, I have been doing triathlon training.  That means that twice a week I do a combination swim, bike, and run.  It has been going fairly well, and it has helped to lower my cholesterol to acceptable levels.

The bicycle that I have been using is a Schwinn Traveler, manufactured, I think, in the seventies.  I bought it at a garage sale for five dollars, six or seven years ago.  It works fine as far as I am concerned.

A friend of mine, who works at the gym, is an avid bicycle rider.  He has been telling me from the beginning that I needed a better bike.  I would laugh and tell him that mine worked fine, he could look for one for me, but it would have to be in my budget, which was very low.

Yesterday, as I am doing my weight routine, he comes in with a name and a number for me to call.  He thinks that he has found a bike for me.  It is listed for forty dollars, which is within my budget.  I called the man,and went to look at the bike.  As I am looking at the bike, the man tells me that he had bought it at a garage sale and that he just didn’t like it.  He must have thought that I was hesitating, because he offered to take thirty dollars for it.

Sold.

The bike is a Trekker 520.  I brought it back to show my friend from the gym, who informed me that I do not realize how good a bike I have just bought. He has helped people look for things before, but this is the best deal he’s found for someone.  I laughingly asked him how many pastors he has previously helped.  

He is right about me not yet truly appreciating the quality of the bike.  I don’t know very much about them.  He had to tell me how to put air in the tires.  (They are not standard tubes or nozzles.)  I will take it for a ride a little later this morning.  

I thank God that I have been blessed with a great bike for my new ride.

Spring Break 2010

March 18, 2010

Spring break is not just for the students.  As a college instructor for over ten years, I can confidently say that faculty members also very much enjoy a little time off in the springtime.

Most years, for me, spring break means that, for a week, I can focus on my primary job, which is pastoring a church.  For this week, I have a little more time in my schedule.  I can catch up on a few items on my “to do” list. 

I can catch my breath. 

Today, here in eastern Iowa, it is supposed to be sunny and in the mid-sixties.  I will ride my bicycle to the church this morning, and this afternoon, for my exercise, I will both ride, and run outside.  It should be a beautiful afternoon for exercising outdoors.

A breath of fresh air!

Last week, I enjoyed a week with my son and his fiance, who were down for their spring break.  They are planning their upcoming wedding and are excited to begin their life together.  I suppose that you could say that they are in the springtime of their lives.

Excitement is in the air!

Spring break is good.  You don’t have to go to some far off location.  You certainly don’t have to party, and get drunk, and behave stupidly.  It is a wonderful opportunity to catch your breath, take a break, enjoy the changing seasons, relax a little, and refocus on what is important in your life.

Irrational and Inconsistent

August 25, 2009

I have been riding motorcycles for over twenty years.  I always wear a helmet.  I have never had an accident. (OK,  in my first year of riding,  I dropped the bike once, on loose gravel, starting up from a stop sign, turning right.  I don’t count that.  I didn’t say, I never dropped the bike!)  I am well aware of the danger of head injuries caused when a persons head comes into contact with pavement, even at relatively low rates of speed.  I know people who have died, and others who have sustained serious injury, because they were not wearing a helmet.  I do not want to join those statistics.

I recently started riding a bicycle around town.  My town is rather small, about two miles square, and you can get anywhere in town on a bike, pretty quickly.  I have also started to include bicycling as a part of my exercise routine. 

I had never wore a helmet on a bicycle. 

That is irrational and inconsistent.

I can wipe out on a bicycle, just like I could have an accident on a motorcycle.  The sidewalk or the pavement are equally hard, and as I said earlier, you don’t have to be going very fast. 

I grew up riding bicycles without a helmet.  It has never been a problem. 

After it is a problem, it is too late to don the helmet. 

Sigh…

Yesterday, for the first time I wore a bicycle helmet while riding.  I plan to make it a habit.  I really don’t want to be irrational and inconsistent.

I really, really, don’t want a head injury caused by thinking it couldn’t happen to me.