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Thursday's Air

Bud Baker

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Good morning, everyone!

It was 72 degrees with light northeast winds as I rode to work this morning. The forecast high is 85. Today, like every day for the next week, has a 30 percent chance of rain. It 30 percented all over me on the ride home yesterday. I was drenched.

It's July 1st. That means the year is half over. I had a good mileage month on the bike in June, 841 miles. I'm still 160 miles behind the pace I need to be on to make my mileage goal for the year, but I'm thinking that with the cold winter, rainy spring, shingles, and all the other things trying to keep me off the bike the first half of this year, that's not bad.

I rode to work 76 times the first half of the year. That puts me on a pace to commute by bike 150 times this year. I'm really hoping to start riding it to work even more often, as I'm taking an extended break from long distance riding after this coming Saturday's 200k.

Have a great day, all!

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Wishing you the best on the upcoming 200K! You amaze me every day. Thank you for sharing what you are accomplishing, it makes me try harder to do more and encourages me.

Another dreadful (LOL) gorgeous day here. Just loving this cool spate of weather.

Hubs is home with the flu, so hoping he gets better quick. It's so unlike him to be sick. I made a lovely home made spaghetti dinner last night and he could not eat. He's lounging and watching tennis, trying to feel better. I'm also selfishly hoping I don't get it! Nasty stuff.

Today is Gilda's Club day so I'll be heading out soon. Am mentoring an elderly woman with lung cancer, and it's been quite difficult as she is very confused by all of it. Makes me want to go with her to her Onc appointment to find out what is really going on. I'm doing the best I can with what I've got to work with.


Have a wonderful rest of the day.

Judy in MI

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Good afternoon Everyone,

Weather here cloudy and showers,nice warm breese to blow away the cobwebs,very comfortable.

Gosh Bud,you sure pile these miles up,I never bought a bike-yet,I am still contemplating how much use will I put it to?

I love the actual thought of the enjoyment I would get from cycling,and also the contribution towards getting fit again,my main concern,is the volume of road traffic,it has increased so much since I used to cycle in my youth.Some years ago one of my teaching colleagues Ronnie would cycle to college every day,the college was sited adjacent to a duel carriageway,one morning as Ronnie was nearing the college gates,the driver of a parked car,opened his door without looking and Ronnie went straight into it,unfortunately he fell in the path of a bus bringing students to college,and died under its wheels,I have since then had a bit of concern about cycling in traffic.

There are some good offtrack cycle paths near me,but we are only taking about a mile or two,your 200kms,would just make me feel rediculous,mind you with a wee bit of research I might be able to find longer stretches elsewhere,need to get a bike rack fitted to the car?

Well Jennifer turned down the Edinburgh teaching job,you wont believe me,but she phoned me half an hour ago,to tell me they phoned her back and offered her the same job in the centre of Glasgow,starts on the 19th July,she is so excited,Ill soon be putting my wallet away -hoorah.

Out early this morning with Sally choosing a personal retiral gift for my friend and admin assistant Rhoda,nearly 20 years weve worked to-gether,oh I hate change,I am missing her already,she will have a formal presentation from the college she has worked there for 31 years,but I still wanted to get her something separate,wifes decision,handbag mirror?like the old fashioned ones that you had this powder in,only now its two hinged mirrors,not what I would have chosen,but I am assured by Sally she will love it,dont know what was wrong with a fishing pole?Also got her a nice retirement card,will take it into college to-morrow,bye for now every one,see you to-morrow.

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Sorry about your colleague, Eric. Yes, that's a real danger here too, along with lots of other dangers. It's better to ride out in the lane with angry drivers behind you than get too close to a line of parked cars and risk getting doored.

It's quite a challenge finding roads to ride here. The US, and especially Texas, is incredibly motor vehicle-centric. So many people here spend more time in their automobiles than in their homes. And that makes them always in a hurry, driving like it was a video game, rather than real life.

I choose my riding roads very carefully. For example, my drive to work is 11 miles. But when I ride, I ride 12.6 miles. Obviously, I don't consider the 11 mile route a safe one for a bicycle.

We need more slow speed, low traffic routes that go through. Most newer neighborhood streets here go nowhere, forcing you onto higher speed, higher traffic roads if you want to actually go somewhere. That's been road designers solution to keep speeding autos out of neighborhoods for many years.

But, there would likely be more widespread use of all kinds of slower speed commute vehicles, not just bicycles, if we had decent slow speed routes, with traffic calming features to keep the video game drivers slowed down.

I rant a lot about that........ LOL. If you'd like to see a copy of the email rant that I sent to the Fort Worth Bike Plan director, see this thread in the rbent forum.

But even if we made our roads here more bike friendly, changing drivers attitudes enough to make them behave more safely around bicycles would still take a long time to accomplish. But, it would help if there were more bicycles on the road here. In areas where there are lots of bicycles, the problem isn't nearly so great.

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Hey, I had to sound in on the bike thing. It is such a dangerous thing. In my area of the world, the government found money (no idea where, because Michigan is in rough shape financially), but it's county money. And they are installing bike paths everywhere in the County. They are beautiful, paved, and off the main drags. They have an engineering firm where a friend works, who his whole job is to contact the home owners, and get their permission for the bike path, and engineer it so it's pretty and not offensive to the home owner.

It's really a cool initiative and it's great to see the bikers off to the side enjoying Mother Nature. It's nice.

Judy in MI

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A group of locals businesses here started a path about 15 yrs ago. It now goes from one end of town to the other all along the bank of the river. It's called the Platte River Parkway. Every year in August I think they have a festival at one of the parks and have duck races and musicians and food vendors and all of the proceeds go to continue building and upgrading the parkway. It must be at least 15 miles long by now and really beautiful.


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The main problem with bike paths is that they only go a very few places. If you're just riding for fun, that's ok, but if you get on a bike and really want to go somewhere specific, you probably need to use a road to get there.

And bikes are only a small part of the picture. The fast advances in battery technology are creating new possibilities. In China, electric assist bicycles are now outselling plain pedal bikes. There would be a lot more of them being sold here too if people thought they could use one without getting run over by some SUV trying to drive 70 mph on the same road. And small, electric, plug-in commuter vehicles is an industry just waiting to explode, if we just had safe slow speed roads for them.

This country really needs to do something to create a slow speed road network, whether it's improvements to the existing road system, something else, or a combination of the two. We shouldn't wait until gas is $15 a gallon to start. Maybe the gulf disaster will be another incentive to get started.

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