Thursday, February 25, 2016

How to Ride Your Bike in a Thunderstorm

Step 1

Carefully select and prepare your gear:
Coffee? Check!

Step 2

Sit in the steel reinforced office building and watch the storm from behind strong windows. Flee to stairwell if necessary:

Step 3

Wait till the storm passes and hop on the bike.

just after the storm on Millbrook Rd.

power lines down on Wake Forest Rd.
overloaded storm drain off Six Forks

On Street Parking

North Hills Drive, Thursday 7am
This is an example of the parking residents fought to save in objecting to the installation of dual bike lanes.

I don't understand the mentality that argues that storage of private property on the public right-of-way should take precedence over the full and best use of a transportation corridor.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Finally Car-Free

(Maybe not car-free, but car lite. I still have access to family member's cars when the need arises.)

In October, my family and I moved closer to my job, which has put all of the major stops in my normal life within easy biking distance. Mother's car was totaled, and I gave her my car, leaving me with biking as primary transportation.

Then in December, my faithful Surly LHT bit the dust:
This bike carried me across the American Southwest, and has provided me with thousands of miles of reliable transportation and fun. Someday I hope to get the cracked frame welded, but for now this bike does naught but take up storage space.

It was very sad to see the Surly go, but this cleared the field for my first new bike in ten years! After researching commuting bikes, I received go ahead from the familial budgeting office to splurge and get a dedicated commuter - with belt drive, internally geared hubs, integrated front and rear lights powered by a hub dynamo, hydraulic disc brakes and plenty of cargo capacity. Though it runs a bit less efficiently than my Surly, it is quiet, smooth, and I don't have to rig it up every time I go out - just strap on the bags and go!

Using a bike as primary transportation has been easy and fun these past few months. I save loads of money and improve my health each time I replace a car trip with the bike. Despite this and the light and friendly traffic in and around North Hills, I have seen only one or two others in the area that commute by bike. Hopefully that will increase when the weather turns warmer. I hope that by writing about how easy and efficient this choice is, and by being visible out in my neighborhood on bike nearly every day, I can convince those who are interested and able to join me to make cycling a viable and normal choice for transportation in Midtown Raleigh.