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And there was a fair amount of wind as well. But you know what, I rode my bike, and so did hundreds of other people. Because there is no such thing as bad weather, only poor clothing choices.
I had my rain pants on, my rain jacket, some water proof gloves, and I was happy, warm and dry. And as an added bonus everyone at work got to say (for the 1000th time), “You rode your bike to work today!?!”
When I went outside and the rain bounced off my arm and hits me in the face with a little sting I briefly questioned my “year round biking lifestyle,” but when I got to the Longfellow and saw the poor poor people packed like fish into the red line, I knew I had made the right choice.
99 out of 100 days riding your bike to work is like enjoying a fine piece of chocolate, or a spring day, or a kiss from a loved one, but once in a while its total shit. Today was that day, as will be roughly 3.65 days this year (if it really is 99 out of 100) when riding your bike to work is not that fun. You can make it more fun with proper clothing, but sometimes it just a little bit of an uphill struggle. I see the very few bad days as my payment for the hundreds of amazing ones. A small price to pay.
Tags: ice rain, pointy rain, rain, rain ice, rain snow, snow, snow rain
Posted in bostonbiker | 2 Comments »
Sometimes you find awesome bikes out on the street. Such as this gem. Just look how classy that ride is! So much to like about this, from the fenders to the chain-ring, to the front fork. I actually stopped and stared at this machine for a good couple minutes.
Tags: awesome bike, raleigh folder
Posted in bostonbiker, fun | 1 Comment »
Forgive me for a moment as I traverse into the realm of quasi-mystical-bullshit, but I would like to talk about The Flow. The Flow for the uninitiated, is the feelings/actions of moving through, over, and around all obstacles in your path in a perfect flowing motion.
People who practice parkour talk a lot about this, as do surfers, and surprisingly people who like curling. The idea is you move around things without disturbing them. This doesn’t mean you blaze through traffic messing everyone else up. It means you ride your bike with things like light timing, pedestrians, other traffic, and even things like the sun and what angle it is at, in mind. The ideal Flow situation is one in which you break no laws, encounter no stops, and flow effortlessly though and around traffic in such a way that you achieve the maximum speed with minimal disturbance of everyone around you.
When you have The Flow, you will know it. You feel amazing, everything is working out just right, and you will melt right through even the gnarliest traffic. You will hear no honking, no one will swear at you, and you will just move. This level of Flow requires extreme attention to detail, excellent knowledge of your environment, knowledge of your bike and bike handling skills, and above all focus on what you are doing and where you are going, where you have been, and where everything else on the road is going to be in the near future. You literally have to attempt to see everything, figure out where it will be in 10 seconds, and then position yourself accordingly so that in 10 seconds when you get to that light you will be right where no one else is going to be.
Obviously this almost never happens. You have to stop, lights turn red, people walk into the street, cars pull out of driveways. You will almost never achieve ideal Flow. That doesn’t mean that practicing this hyper focused style of riding has no benefit. When you are paying extreme attention to what is going on around you, you are safer, you will notice the person crossing between cars, that truck backing out of a driveway, the cabby about to change lanes without signaling, these skills can and will make you a safer cyclist. It will also most of the time slow you down slightly. Going too fast means you have no reaction time, no reaction time means you can’t adapt to changing situations, and not being able to change and adapt means you are going to crash into something.
Today I had zero Flow. I have no idea why, but everything was wrong, cars were too far over, or not far enough, pedestrians were aggressively stupid (walking out in front of moving cars), the bus drivers were not paying attention… in short it was a shit show. Anyone else notice traffic being especially problematic this morning? Anyone else experience The Flow?
Tags: half cocked ravings of a mad person, the flow
Posted in bostonbiker | 5 Comments »
We got attacked by spammers today. These little shit balls thought it would be fun to sign up for about 500 new spam sites. So…site registration is turned off for a while. If you are dying to start your own site in the next day or so contact me.
Tags: silly spammers, spam attack
Posted in bostonbiker, news | No Comments »
So…I sorta waiting too long to change my brake pads over the winter, and ended up grinding down the sidewall a bit (run out of brake pad and you are grinding metal on metal)…several months ago this happened…
Whoops…I had been telling myself for weeks to get it fixed, but instead it just EXPLODED while I was riding. So loud that I was deaf for a moment, and people rushed out of their homes to see what had happened. A giant cloud of powder erupted from the front wheel, and getting to a full stop was an effort in control.
This sort of thing can happen at any time, I was standing in downtown crossing and heard a loud BANG, everyone else immediately began to look around, thoughts of Marathon Monday, I am sure, in their minds. But I had heard that sound before, a couple tire pinches later and I found the culprit. Someone had a worn down side wall and BLAMO it just exploded when the tire heated up in the sun (expanding air + worn down side wall = bang!).
Moral of this story, always change your brake pads when you can no longer see the groves in them (or slightly before).
Tags: exploding side walls, poor upkeep, the shame of being a bad bike owner
Posted in bostonbiker, Mechanical | 4 Comments »
I have written a lot in the past about my belief that no single user class in Boston is any more or less guilty for the state of our streets than any other. I think cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists are all equally to blame for poor performance of our streets (AKA: public utilities designed to move people).
So don’t take this post as an indication that I am singling out only one user group for scorn, as I have heaped it upon them all in the past, and will so again in the future.
It’s just that I have had a lot of trouble with pedestrians lately, and it gave me an idea. A new criteria for hiring employees should be a test to see if they know how to cross the damn road.
First a couple examples:
Lady wants to cross the street, lady looks both ways, lady sees not one, but many cyclists in the bike lane about 10 feet from her. Everyone screams at her, she does walks out anyway.
Cyclists scatter in all directions. I should also note, this wasn’t at a cross walk, or anywhere near a cross walk.
Guy wants to cross the street, cars are moving in the lanes, he is not at a cross walk. He steps into street anyway. All of the cars slow/swerve to miss him. At no point was he in any real danger of being hit by anything, until he decided to jump from where he was, to where I was going around him. He is flexing his muscles like some sort of bro-dude frat-boy show of manly strength and begins to scream at me. I have no idea why he did this, perhaps he was worried I didn’t see him (I saw him get out of bed I had been watching him so long). I was able to swerve out of the way of this hulking idiot (thus preventing the implanting of my front wheel into his sternum), safely shepherding him across a busy street full of cars.
I use these two examples because both of these folks were dressed in very professional business type clothing. It was clear that they were not only employed, but held some position of importance in their companies.
The next time you see some kid in a Harvard jacket who is unable to cross the street, remember kid got into the best school in the country and can’t cross the street. Or if you are out in front of some giant bank, and the employees are clogging up the road, these people move millions of dollars around and Can’t Cross The Street. Or if you are in the medical area and see a bunch of doctors walk out into moving traffic, these folks literally have peoples lives in their hands and don’t understand the right way to CROSS THE GOD DAMN ROAD…boggles the mind.
Which leads me to my proposal. If you want a job, you have to prove you have enough sense to cross the street. Same goes with entering college, or applying for a fishing licence. Basically anything of importance. They do the interview then take you outside and have you cross a couple times. If you can’t figure it out…next applicant!
I also think they should re-test on a regular basis. Say quarterly. Everyone has their little HR review with Donna, and then you go over your 401k with Bob, your vacation time with Julio, etc etc. Then they take you outside and see if you know the difference between moving cars and stationary ones, if you can look both ways, if you can judge imminent threats to your person, and if you can tell the difference between the crosswalks and the middle of the damn road. If you pass, congrats 5% raise, and the corner office. If not, back to the mail-room asshole!
Tags: pedestrians, rant, testing for employment
Posted in bostonbiker | 7 Comments »
Seems somewhere in the past couple updates the ability to embed youtube videos etc was lost, been playing around with the code to see if I can bring it back…and after some code wrangling I think I got that function back.
Give it a try and let me know.
As always if you need anything feel free to contact me.
Tags: code, embed, site news, youtube
Posted in bostonbiker | No Comments »
Saw this near winter street in downtown today…Pretty creative use of the cargo bungee.
Dear hubway if you are missing a bike, try the alley off of winter street downtown.
Posted in bostonbiker, infrastructure | No Comments »