Life at 12 MPH

Exploring life at a slower pace, transportation with a bicycle, not a car.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Local Gem

I cannot stress the importance of a local bike shop to a community. We are fortunate to have one of the best here in town. The Trailhouse Bike Shop is top notch. This morning while cutting through some mountain biking trails on my way to work I hit a thorn or something and all of a sudden heard that dreaded hissssssss. I had left my levers at home and the leak was slow enough that I made it to the bike shop that is right on my way to work. The Trailhouse was not open yet, but I saw Rob and Nancy's (the owners) car out front. I knocked on the door and they welcomed me in on this crisp fall morning. Rob switched out the front tire and will fix it today. I'll stop by on my way home and switch it back out. I was in and out in less than 3 minutes. Thanks Rob and Nancy! You guys are an awesome asset to our community! I would encourage everyone to develop a relationship with the local bike shop and support them instead of trying to save 50 cents by ordering online. I buy all my gear at the Trailhouse, it is a bit more expensive, but the service cannot be beat.

Enjoy the ride....

Friday, October 14, 2005

Awards

I received an email this morning that my adventure race team, The Blind Ridge Runners will be receiving plaques for our third place finish in the men's division of the Indianapolis Adventure Race! Last year our rookie attempt at adventure racing landed us at the bottom of of the list. This year with a new team member (former Navy guy and navigation extraordinaire!) we came in 3rd. Nice to get something tangible for your hard work.

Enjoy the ride...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Segway Solution?

I noticed this article touting the Segway as the solution for getting people out of cars since most do not want to get sweaty riding a bicycle. I think it is a great idea if it works for you. I wonder how much gear you can carry on a Segway? I usually tote a laptop, files, my lunch and a change of clothes in the panniers on my bike back and forth to work each day. I suppose I wouldn't need the change of clothes, but how balanced are you with something slung over your shoulder while trying to maneuver one of those. Do they come with storage attachments? I understand the point of this article, but on a bike while you do have to pedal, you can also coast which makes it very relaxing. The Segway takes electricity and while electricity is cheap...will it always be cheap? What happens when the Segway battery croaks? Do you then have to lug that thing and walk home? I'll bet you'd get sweaty doing that! The bicycle is an absolute zero emission machine. No electricity, no oil, no fuel other than a bagel and orange juice in the morning. I'll keep my $5,000 and keep riding the bike.

Want to save gas? Segway's an answer

Enjoy the ride....

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Traveling Again

Whenever I travel the ol' blog is the first to suffer. I guess driving 500 plus miles and meeting with back to back to back clients saps the energy I usually use to post blogs. The hotel has free wireless so can't use that as an excuse. I was in Midland, MI last week and as I went to the rental car place to pick up my ride for the 4 hour drive to Midland they informed me that my reservation of a Nissan Sentra was not available, but they would upgrade me to a Chevy Silverado free of charge! With gas at 3 bucks a jug, I negotiated $15 off my rental price (they must have been in quite a pickle). I'll admit that my 6'5" frame is much more comfortable in a pickup than the Nissan, but I always try to be conservative on expenses since I work for a small company and we're not exactly awash in dollars. Since I had the big ol' honkin' pick'em up truck I threw the mountain bike in the back to explore the Midland City Forest bike trails. They were very flat, but with a gazillion tight turns, I guess that's about all you can do with a flat piece of old growth forest. Some real good obstacles, teeter totter, log jumps..etc. I wouldn't drive four hours to bike it, but since it was less than a mile from my hotel it was worth it.

Yesterday I returned to biking to work. The cold front had pushed through and the air is crisp. I'll have to dig out the heavy gloves, skull cap, and pants for that first really cold snap.

Enjoy the ride...

Friday, September 30, 2005

Cold Snap

Darkness, 34 degrees and not even October yet. I push my bike out of the garage through the man door to avoid the garage door opener waking my 10-month old sleeping son. My wife still asleep in bed catching a few extra winks before the little one awakes with his seemingly endless energy. No wind, I start pedaling and the cold wind resistance from my 15 mph pace hits me like a brick wall. I try to stay positive by thinking if it were January this would be a balmy day. I start doubting why I do this every morning as I pass house after house still dark. After about 5 minutes I cut through the mountain bike trails and all of a sudden I’m in nature and I notice the sunrise to my right lighting up the wispy clouds in all kinds of red, pinks, blues…a beauty I probably would not have noticed in a car distracted by the idiot cutting me off or the radio advertising stuff I don’t need. I round the corner in the trail and two deer are standing at the edge of the trail. They’ve seen me before and just watch as I go by. By now my heart is pumping and I’m actually starting to sweat a bit, no longer cold, the sunrise is now brighter and more beautiful. I pop out of the trails, through another subdivision and enter a business district where I see $2.84 as the current price for a gallon of gas. I’m feeling better now and remember I bike to save money so my wife can stay home with our son, I’ve had a front seat view of a magnificent sunrise, witnessed the morning routine of two deer and now that I arrive to work I anticipate the hot shower that will feel good after this crisp fall ride into work. It takes longer, it is cold until your heart starts pumping…but I wouldn’t trade it for the benefits. Biking to work is living life in stereo.

Enjoy the ride…

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Bicycle Rodeo

Git along little Surly!; HI OH Surly! Away!; Giddyup Surly! I suppose I might actually use these phrases if I decided to participate in the fourth Messenger Bike Race in Tallahassee. Sort of a rodeo for bicycles, the Messenger Bike Race takes the concept of an adventure race with checkpoints, throws in a bit of insanity for good measure and the result sounds like a blast. My commute is only 7 miles round trip so I have a feeling I would more resemble a Jimmy Dean sausage on a bike than one of those messenger bike people. I commute through subdivisions, mountain bike trails, and across one 4-lane highway. The bike messengers in NYC ride in crazy downtown city stuff. Now, I’ve gone skydiving, but I think being a bike messenger in NYC would be more frightening! Anyway, take a gander at the article and it you’re in the Tallahassee area check it out and post a comment here, I’d love to hear reports.

Messenger races: cycling with a twist
Enjoy the ride…

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Justin Saves a Blog

Thanks to Justin leaving a comment I have decided to keep on keeping on with this blog, although with a bit of a different flavor to be revealed once I flush out my ideas. I suppose I am way too vain on the whole comment thing. First of all I am not a professional blogger and quite honestly my blog is quite plain. (Something I plan to change). I guess when I get a comment I feel something akin to..."They like me! They really, really like me!!" Maybe I should be more like the folks over at the Surlyblog. They publish what they want when they want without toasting too many brain cells on what people want to read. I suppose a happy medium would be appropriate.

So anyway...I'll start posting again daily with trying to improve content and potential traffic. Who knows, maybe Blogger will list me on the Blogs of Note. I wonder what you have to do to get on that list??? Pay money?

Also...check out this article I am awarding the "Life at 12 MPH Best Named Article Award for September 2005"

Passing on Gas

Enjoy the ride...