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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Bike Commute Diaries: Weight Weenie

No matter how many days a week I ride to work, and no matter how hard or long I ride on the weekends, I can’t stay at my ideal weight unless I watch what I eat. Too bad I can’t eat like a lumberjack and drink like a sailor.

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About the Bike Commute Diaries: In honor of National Bike Month, I’m sharing 31 short, sweet and surprising things I’ve discovered about bike commuting, one for each day in May. Happy National Bike Month!

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Commute Diaries

 

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Cargo Bikes: Human-Powered SUVs

I have a peculiar fascination with cargo bikes, from the ubiquitous Dutch cargo bike to the custom-built beauties I saw at the North American Handmade Bike Show last March. Given what I can carry on my standard city bikes, I don’t see myself owning one. But I find them very intriguing.

Beyond the practical aspects of the cargo bike, I like the idea of fashioning a bike purpose-built for something other than speed or agility. Like the Alcohauler, a bike built for carrying kegs of beer I saw at the NAHBS. The builder rode it the 90+ miles from Oakland to Sacramento for the show. In the rain. I hope he chose a flat route.

Another favorite at the show was a custom bike + trailer built for restaurant owner Jason French from Portland. He wanted a bike for his commute to his restaurant, including stops at various markets for his locally sourced ingredients. Built by Ira Ryan, the bike won the “Best City Bike” category–no surprise to me given its level of detail and its extraordinary workmanship.

Even though I’m a big fan of cargo bikes, I was surprised read in Gizmodo that my friend Harper’s “weight weenie” husband is in love with their cargo bike. He says you should be riding one too.

What do you think? Can you see yourself on a cargo bike? What would you be hauling?

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Posted by on May 20, 2012 in Around Town

 

Bike Commute Diaries: Life in the Slow Lane

I drive slow now. Like under the speed limit slow. Maybe it’s because I allow more time to get places. Maybe it’s because I’m used to seeing things go by more slowly. Or maybe it’s because from the seat of a bike I’ve learned how much quieter and more pleasant a neighborhood becomes when everyone drives slower.

About the Bike Commute Diaries: In honor of National Bike Month, I’m sharing 31 short, sweet and surprising things I’ve discovered about bike commuting, one for each day in May. Happy National Bike Month!

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2012 in Commute Diaries

 

Bike Commute Diaries: Double Dutch Treat

If you know how to wiggle your way across San Francisco, you can ride a 50 pound Dutch bike from the Ferry Building to Ocean Beach without cursing the city’s famously steep hills. Congratulations to my husband Dick, proud new owner of a WorkCycles Secret Service from My Dutch Bike. It was love at first ride.

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About the Bike Commute Diaries: In honor of National Bike Month, I’m sharing 31 short, sweet and surprising things I’ve discovered about bike commuting, one for each day in May. Happy National Bike Month!

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2012 in Commute Diaries

 

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Bike Commute Diaries: Essential Designer Bags

Move over Fendi, Gucci, Versace and Prada. The Dutch designers, not the Italians, have their fingers on the pulse of bike fashion. Once you find a Clarijs, Basil or FastRider rack-mounted bike bag you’ll have to have one in every color and style. Because I’m worth it, and so are my bikes.

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About the Bike Commute Diaries: In honor of National Bike Month, I’m sharing 31 short, sweet and surprising things I’ve discovered about bike commuting one for each day in May. Happy National Bike Month!

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Commute Diaries

 

Bike Commute Diaries: Reading on the Railroad

Riding swells in a fishing boat outside the Golden Gate. Riding shotgun on a drive up Mount Hamilton. Riding the Giant Dipper at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Thinking about it gives me motion sickness. Ditto for reading in the car. But when I’m riding Caltrain, I can read email, text my hubby and even post to this blog.

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About the Bike Commute Diaries: In honor of National Bike Month, I’m sharing 31 short, sweet and surprising things I’ve discovered about bike commuting one for each day in May. Happy National Bike Month!

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2012 in Commute Diaries

 

Bike Commute Diaries: Will Drive for Bikes

I have another dirty little secret. The #1 reason I drive these days is to ride my bike. When I want to hit the trails on my mountain bike, I drive. When I meet my friends after work for a hilly road ramble, I drive. I don’t need my car to get to work, to shop, to visit the doctor, or catch a movie. But sometimes I need my car to ride my bike.

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About the Bike Commute Diaries: In honor of National Bike Month, I’m sharing 31 short, sweet and surprising things I’ve discovered about bike commuting one for each day in May. Happy National Bike Month!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Commute Diaries

 

Bike Commute Diaries: Taking the Sidewalk

I have a dirty little secret. I ride my bike on the sidewalk sometimes. It’s not my fault, really. I blame the transportation engineers who didn’t consider bikes when they designed the roads. I only do it for short stretches when there’s no safe alternative, and I slow down or stop for walkers. Please don’t judge me.

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About the Bike Commute Diaries: In honor of National Bike Month, I’m sharing 31 short, sweet and surprising things I’ve discovered about bike commuting, one for each day in May. Happy National Bike Month!

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Commute Diaries

 

Bike Commute Diaries: Wide Load Ahead

No matter how pleased you are by how much stuff you’ve loaded on your bike, there’s always someone who’s carrying more. This man’s bike means business.

About the Bike Commute Diaries: In honor of National Bike Month, I’m sharing 31 short, sweet and surprising things I’ve discovered about bike commuting, one for each day in May. Happy National Bike Month!

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Commute Diaries

 

A Neighborhood Blooms on Bryant Street

In the 1970s, when Ellen Fletcher and other bicycle advocates in Palo Alto dreamed of the ideal cross-town bicycle route, I wonder if they expected any side effects. As planned, the bike boulevard they pressed the city to build on Bryant Street minimizes car traffic while allowing bicycles to pass through a carefully executed set of traffic circles and bicycle-permeable street closures.

I don’t know how the residents feel about the constant stream of cyclists of all ages rolling past their homes. But I do know that someone on Bryant Street is dedicated to decorating the trees that guard one of the street closure gates. We first noticed the Christmas lights on the way home from a date night. Then on a wet night in March I saw the lights had changed to purple and green. Mardi Gras, perhaps? Last month we saw it was decorated with birds for spring. “Spring into Action” and “Flock Together” the signs said. How fitting.

Today, for Mother’s Day the trees became wishing trees with little cards for passersby to fill out for their mothers. When I stopped, there was a mother searching for the card her young son had written for her. He was all smiles, but wasn’t helping her search. I took a moment and wrote one for my mother in Louisiana. I smiled as I attached it to the tree even though she’s not here to find it. Happy Mother’s Day, Mamma!

Does your neighborhood have something that draws strangers together? Do you have a neighbor who does something special for passersby?

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Posted by on May 13, 2012 in Around Town

 
 
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