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Category Archives: Commute Diaries

Bike Commute Diaries: Barriers to Transit

The train station is only a mile from my home, but with two major road crossings it’s not that quick a trip. Hit the signal wrong at Shoreline Boulevard and it’s a 90 second wait. Time it wrong at Central Expressway and I’m waiting, waiting, waiting as multiple trains go by, including the one I was supposed to catch this morning.

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About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve seen and learned while bicycling for transportation.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2014 in Commute Diaries

 

Bike Commute Diaries: Skunked on the Trail

I love the wildlife on the Guadalupe River Trail, really I do. Great blue herons, snowy egrets, mallards, coots, crows, squirrels, and even the feral cats. But that black and white “feral cat” I saw tonight just didn’t look right as I rolled up. Fortunately, he was in a good mood, I was duly respectful and we both escaped without incident.

Skunk

About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve seen and learned while bicycling for transportation.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2014 in Commute Diaries

 

Bike Commute Diaries: Exile for Susie Q PUBLIC

Poor Susie has been evicted from her private cubicle parking spot. “Bicycles may not enter the building,” says the property manager. All bikes must be parked in the garage on the far side of the complex, a 3 minute walk. Apparently, “As vehicles, bicycles are a safety and liability threat.” I promise I wasn’t riding in the building.

We’ll see how long her exile lasts. The facilities guy at my company is on my side. And I can be stealthy.

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About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve seen and learned while bicycling for transportation.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2014 in Commute Diaries

 

Bike Commute Diaries: A Stitch in Time

Transit time is not wasted time. I check email, post to social media, read the news, and chat with train buddies. Today I grabbed a needle and thread as I ran out of the house, and had just enough time to quickly tack down the flower that’s been dangling on my leg warmer far too long. What’s next for me, knitting?

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About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve seen and learned while bicycling for transportation.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2014 in Commute Diaries

 

Bike Commute Diaries: Bike & Coffee Klatch

I never expected I’d make friends on my bike commute. Weekend rides, yes. But commuting? Um, no. I assumed people weren’t looking to socialize during their rush to work or rush home for dinner. But when you combine an easy-to-chat river trail (or a train ride) with social media, before long you’re meeting for coffee on your way in to work. The caffè latte at Bel Bacio in San Jose’s Little Italy is divine, and it’s right by the trail.

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About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve seen and learned while bicycling for transportation.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Commute Diaries

 

Bike Commute Diaries: Change is Good

I missed the train today. After years of doing the “same old, same old” you think you have it all dialed in. Then something screws up your routine and you react like the grumpy curmudgeons that you roll your eyes at during City Council meetings. Change is good. This change is good. I just need to tweak my routine.

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About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve seen and learned while bicycling for transportation.

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2014 in Commute Diaries

 

Bike Commute Diaries: Ice Cold Slippery Slope

It’s day five of freezing temperatures here in sunny California and every day it just seems to keep getting colder. Today’s surprise: a thin sheet of ice spanning the Guadalupe River Trail. A big thank you to the San Jose Parks & Trails work team who set out orange cones as a warning of this unexpected and potentially painful surprise.

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About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve seen and learned while bicycling for transportation.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2013 in Commute Diaries

 

Bike Commute Diaries: One Step Forward

One day you’re flying high seeing bold green lanes installed on a major east-west bike route. The next you discover a bike lane on a high-speed north-south boulevard is being quietly rubbed out. You ride the green lane and you’re bullied by a bus into the coned-off area before the paint is dry. Where the paint is dry, there’s a car stopped and waiting in the green lane for no obvious reason and you have to merge back with the buses.

One step forward, how many steps back? It’s hard not to get discouraged sometimes.

San Fernando Green Lane

About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve learned about bicycling for transportation.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Commute Diaries

 

Bike Commute Diaries: Gear Check for Fall Riding

Leather gloves, check. Full-length coat, check. Warm scarf, check. High-powered headlight, check. Backup headlight, check. I’ve made a few adjustments for morning temperatures in the 40s and 5 o’clock sunsets. What about you? Does your work commute change at all with the change in season?

Really, I’d like you to tell me. I’m opening up a “Fall Edition” of the Anything Goes Challenge that focuses on how darkness, snow, ice and rain also affect your commute choices. How to enter is below, but you can read stories from our Spring participants to see how it works. Leah has already started on hers. Who’s next?

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To enter the Anything Goes Challenge: Take two or more distinct transportation modes to a specific destination you visit regularly (work, school, store, etc). Take the same mode a least twice in different conditions to give it a fair shake. Collect data, tabulate your scorecard, and assess each mode according to your own value equation. Explain which mode works best for you and why.

Send your summary to ladyfleur500@gmail.com by November 22. Please include one or more photos that I can include in a post about you, as well as your scorecard data and your personal value equation. Selected stories will be featured on this blog as they come in. If you’re private about things, just let me know and I’ll use your first name only or an alias of your choosing. I can’t wait to hear from you!

About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve learned about bicycling for transportation.

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2013 in Commute Diaries

 

Bike Commute Diaries: New Digs for Susie Q PUBLIC

Just because my workspace got downsized from a private office to a cubicle doesn’t mean Susie Q lost her climate-controlled, secure parking space. In fact, she’s settled in nicely and even has a name plate on the wall.

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About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve learned about bicycling for transportation.

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2013 in Commute Diaries

 
 
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