Bicycle Stories Month | Week 4 and not quite 5

 

Bicycle Stories Month Badge

It’s Almost Over

We are going into the last nine days of May and, therefore Bicycle Stories Month is coming to a close. If you are still interested in participating you have until Saturday May 31st to share your adventures in cycling. To avoid any hang over posts we’ll be skipping this Tuesday’s round-up and recap, instead a final one will be posted on Sunday Jun 1st.

How Does this event work?

  1. I’ll make an Event post each Thursday in May that I’ll stick to my home page for one week (Note this is the page for this week). It will be posted at 8:00am EST.
  2. You create a post for your bicycle story
  3. Use the tag Bicycle Stories Month and/ or include a Pingback to the weekly event post (again that’s this page)
  4.  On Sunday June 1st, I’ll post a a final round-up of participants.

How do I participate?

If you’d like to participate then  just get out on your bike and then post about it. That’s it, no prompts no specific challenge to it just lets tell stories about bikes for a month. Your post can be in any format your comfortable with and just needs to be broadly about cycling.

  • A story or journal entry about your day out biking.
  • A photo essay showing places you visited on your bike (it’d be nice to include some pictures of your bikes).
  • A journalism piece about a bicycle event in your community.
  • The tale of teaching you child or sibling how to ride
  • When you got your first bike
  • Tell us why you hate riding a bike.
  • A how to on bike repairs
  • Anything you want just as long as it involves a bike, even a complete work of fiction.

Do we get a badge?

Absolutely, if you want a badge to include on your blog or in your post then feel free to grab a copy of the logo for the event, and stick it anywhere it makes you happy. Here it is again in case you missed it at the top of the page.

Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Don’t have a Blog? We got you covered.

If you want to participate without a blog you can make a short post or share your photos on this blogs Facebook page to share your biking stories this month. I’ll be sharing bike related links there all month.

I hope that you’ll join in and have some fun with this event.

 Have any questions, or need additional information?

Please leave a comment on the Event Page or Contact Me through the myriad of options available.

Happy biking, and happy blogging.

Bicycle Stories Month | Week 3

 

Bicycle Stories Month Badge

And We’re Still Going…

Third week of Bicycle Stories Month is underway, so it’s about time you got involved. You still have until Saturday May 31st to share your adventures in cycling, even if they are completely imaginary. Seriously, how would I know the difference.

How Does this event work?

  1. I’ll make an Event post each Thursday in May that I’ll stick to my home page for one week (Note this is the page for this week). It will be posted at 8:00am EST.
  2. You create a post for your bicycle story
  3. Use the tag Bicycle Stories Month and/ or include a Pingback to the weekly event post (again that’s this page)
  4.  On the following Tuesday, I’ll post a round-up of and/ or  reblog some of my favorites. (entries made after the round-up is posted will be eligible for the following week’s round-up)

How do I participate?

If you’d like to participate then  just get out on your bike and then post about it. That’s it, no prompts no specific challenge to it just lets tell stories about bikes for a month. Your post can be in any format your comfortable with and just needs to be broadly about cycling.

  • A story or journal entry about your day out biking.
  • A photo essay showing places you visited on your bike (it’d be nice to include some pictures of your bikes).
  • A journalism piece about a bicycle event in your community.
  • The tale of teaching you child or sibling how to ride
  • When you got your first bike
  • Tell us why you hate riding a bike.
  • A how to on bike repairs
  • Anything you want just as long as it involves a bike, even a complete work of fiction.

Do we get a badge?

Absolutely, if you want a badge to include on your blog or in your post then feel free to grab a copy of the logo for the event, and stick it anywhere it makes you happy. Here it is again in case you missed it at the top of the page.

Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Don’t have a Blog? We got you covered.

If you want to participate without a blog you can make a short post or share your photos on this blogs Facebook page to share your biking stories this month. I’ll be sharing bike related links there all month.

I hope that you’ll join in and have some fun with this event.

 Have any questions, or need additional information?

Please leave a comment on the Event Page or Contact Me through the myriad of options available.

Happy biking, and happy blogging.

Bicycle Stories Month | Week 2

 

Bicycle Stories Month Badge

Welcome Back!

This is the second week of Bicycle Stories Month, so if you were interested last week but didn’t quite get around to taking part you are in luck. You still have until Saturday May 31st to share your adventures in cycling. Why wait though you can enter as many posts as you like throughout the month.

How Does this event work?

  1. I’ll make an Event post each Thursday in May that I’ll stick to my home page for one week (Note this is the page for this week). It will be posted at 8:00am EST.
  2. You create a post for your bicycle story
  3. Use the tag Bicycle Stories Month and/ or include a Pingback to the weekly event post (again that’s this page)
  4.  On the following Tuesday, I’ll post a round-up of and/ or  reblog some of my favorites. (entries made after the round-up is posted will be eligible for the following week’s round-up)

How do I participate?

If you’d like to participate then  just get out on your bike and then post about it. That’s it, no prompts no specific challenge to it just lets tell stories about bikes for a month. Your post can be in any format your comfortable with and just needs to be broadly about cycling.

  • A story or journal entry about your day out biking.
  • A photo essay showing places you visited on your bike (it’d be nice to include some pictures of your bikes).
  • A journalism piece about a bicycle event in your community.
  • The tale of teaching you child or sibling how to ride
  • When you got your first bike
  • Tell us why you hate riding a bike.
  • A how to on bike repairs
  • Anything you want just as long as it involves a bike, even a complete work of fiction.

Do we get a badge?

Absolutely, if you want a badge to include on your blog or in your post then feel free to grab a copy of the logo for the event, and stick it anywhere it makes you happy. Here it is again in case you missed it at the top of the page.

Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Don’t have a Blog? We got you covered.

If you want to participate without a blog you can make a short post or share your photos on this blogs Facebook page to share your biking stories this month. I’ll be sharing bike related links there all month.

I hope that you’ll join in and have some fun with this event.

 Have any questions, or need additional information?

Please leave a comment on the Event Page or Contact Me through the myriad of options available.

Happy biking, and happy blogging.

Bicycle Stories Month | Week 1

 

Bicycle Stories Month Badge

Hello and welcome!

I hope you are here to participate in the Bicycle Stories Month Blogging Event, but there is a good chance at this point you might not know what that is so here is a short summary:

Bicycles Stories Month is an event I made up.

A Longer Summary

Here in America, May is National Bike Month. That got me thinking that I haven’t made an entry in My Bicycle Diary in months because of… reasons. OK, the reasons are that I haven’t spent much time on it over the wet and dreary winter and haven’t got up the gumption to start biking again, but I thought this would be a great time to get back to commuting with it as well as doing recreational rides with the missus. I also thought it might be a good month to put an event together to get other people telling their bicycle stories as well. So I did.

How Does this event work

  1. I’ll make an Event post each Thursday in May that I’ll stick to my home page for one week (Note this is the page for this week). It will be posted at 8:00am EST.
  2. You create a post for your bicycle story
  3. Use the tag Bicycle Stories Month and/ or include a Pingback to the weekly event post (again that’s this page)
  4.  On the following Tuesday, I’ll post a round-up of and/ or  reblog some of my favorites. (entries made after the round-up is posted will be eligible for the following week’s round-up)

How do I participate?

If you’d like to participate then starting Thursday May 1st,  just get out on your bike and then post about it. That’s it, no prompts no specific challenge to it just lets tell stories about bikes for a month. Your post can be in any format your comfortable with and just needs to be broadly about cycling.

  • A story or journal entry about your day out biking.
  • A photo essay showing places you visited on your bike (it’d be nice to include some pictures of your bikes).
  • A journalism piece about a bicycle event in your community.
  • The tale of teaching you child or sibling how to ride
  • When you got your first bike
  • Tell us why you hate riding a bike.
  • A how to on bike repairs
  • Anything you want just as long as it involves a bike, even a complete work of fiction.

Do we get a badge?

Absolutely, if you want a badge to include on your blog or in your post then feel free to grab a copy of the logo for the event, and stick it anywhere it makes you happy. Here it is again in case you missed it at the top of the page.

Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Don’t have a Blog? We got you covered.

If you want to participate without a blog you can make a short post or share your photos on this blogs Facebook page to share your biking stories this month. I’ll be sharing bike related links there all month.

I hope that you’ll join in and have some fun with this event.

 Have any questions, or need additional information?

Please leave a comment on the Event Page or Contact Me through the myriad of options available.

Happy biking, and happy blogging.

Accident at Second and Union

I was holding my daughter’s hand, waiting for the traffic lights to cycle, at the corner of Second Avenue and Union Street, downtown. It was a clear and all to sunny day, the reflecting light from the store windows making me squint and wish I was enough of a jerk to not have given my sunglasses to the little darling when she asked for them; still sacrifice is the cornerstone of good parenting, so I’m led to believe, and she looks more adorable than me in them. Accepting my fate I lifted my free hand to my forehead to shield my vision as I impatiently scanned east and west along  Union. There was a break in the traffic and I was debating to myself whether or not to continue being a good example or just cross the damned street, walk signal be damned. The rest seemed happen all at once.

A bicycle, complete with helmeted rider jumped the stop light and flew into the section. From my blind spot I heard the sharp blaring horn and I snapped around, instinctively and most likely futilely attempting to yank my child away from the side of the road as I did so. A pick up, wheels screaming through the intersection the burning of it’s brake pads filling the streets with the aroma of death, or something close to it. It was a dualie, an F350 extend cab, Wedgwood blue; covered with dents and scratches, like hash marks, tallying up its previous victims automotive and pedestrian alike. Today it was out for blood and claimed one more. My sunglasses clattered onto the sidewalk as I pulled her face into my stomach, trying to prevent her from seeing his inevitable doom.

A dull thunk, barely audible over the behemoth’s horn and skidding tires, was almost anticlimactic; or would have been if the cyclist, his red and black jersey pegging him as a deliver of sandwiches, had not flown up off the seat of his fixie and rotated ninety degrees; then, as if in a tribute to Gregg Louganis, folded in half, spun backwards before hitting his head on the hood of the truck before sliding sideways to bounce from the bumper to the pavement. With the last of his momentum his body rolled onto his back, moaning, his helmet cracked and scratched the plastic falling away along the rear right side  where he made impact with both vehicle and street, exposing the gray foam padding beneath.

The F350 veered left, skidded and came to a halt, and by some small miracle managed to avoid crushing the prone cyclist; thought I have doubts as to the fate of his bike, or the sandwiches. The door of the truck creaked open and a large woman with the type of build you get from dealing with livestock on a daily basis, half fell out of the driver seat. She was hanging onto the steering wheel with one hand to steady herself while the other clutched the cellphone, from its speaker could be heard another woman’s panicked voice, “Louise? Louise, y’all alright? Answer me girl.” Louise was too dumbfounded to answer, she just stared at the glowing screen on the device and making a slightly inquisitive whimpering noise. Her temple and the driver’s side window both had small smears of blood, the one on the side of her head getting slowly larger as the seconds ticked on.

It being middle of downtown, and lunch hour, there was no shortage of gawkers and rubberneckers gathering around for a good ogle at the carnage. A few of them, not clutching a six-year-old protectively while she tried to peek at what was happening, pulled out their phones; some of them even called 9-1-1 instead of instagraming the event. A few onlookers with quicker brains came to the apparent aid of the fallen bicyclist. “Don’t try to move man, don’t move.” chanted one dreadlocked African american youth, as he stood over the man. One budding paramedic was waving his hands in front of Louise’s face. “How many fingers am I holding up lady?” he kept asking of the stunned woman.

Soon the intersection was a tangle of emergency vehicles as, thankfully, the police arrived. Statements were taken, which confirmed the fact that none of the witnesses had seen the same accident happen and soon my daughter and I were on my way home. We walked a short distance to a bus stop where I sat down shakily. As I tried to steady myself to phone my wife and tell her what happened my daughter hugged me and asked, “Is the man dead?”

“No honey, they took the man to the hospital.”

“Is he going to die.”

“I don’t know Kate.” I replied still rattled

“He’s probably going to die.” She stated calmly, her eyes clear and innocent. She reached out and handed me my now extremely scratched sunglasses.

Sometimes kids are kind of creepy.

This fictional account was inspired by a Weekly Challenge.

Post From a Remote Location

A late start, a sick child and a number of errands forced me to forego my morning writing today so now I’m stealing a few moments here and there from my job to tap this out on my phone.

As promised my helmet arrived yesterday while I was at work and as also promised here is a picture of me looking all bicycley.
image

It’s hot as all hell wearing the damned thing (despite the advertised numerous vents) and I feel like a bit of a twit wearing it, though considering some of the things I’ve worn in public over the past few decades I think I can live with it. I suppose it is better than cracking my skull open.on the pavement. It also has the added value of setting a good example for my daughter.

I managed to try it on for size by sneaking in a ten mile ride before work. When I stopped for an overpriced lunch of a grilled cheese and an iced coffee I ran into a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while; he told me that a couple of old acquaintances of ours had, like me, decided to start living sober.

I started to think about how, when I was still drinking, I would look at other people’s lives and decide that they had a problem with alcohol or drugs. It is definitely easier to judge others than to pull up your pants and acknowledge your own problems.

I was glad to hear they are doing well, and it was good to see my other friend. I’ve been a hermit for to long and it’s high time I let some people that i’ve been missing back into my life.

Commuting and Exercise| Heading Into November’s Final Stretch

It took the better part of the week but I have managed to catch back up with my mileage goals, after spending most of week two out of commission between illness and maintenance issues. Though I am just now getting back to full health I am fairly confident that I will hit my objective of  pedaling one hundred eighty miles this month.

This third week I discovered what I think is my new favorite route for my commute. It is three miles longer than my usual path but, quite a bit more level so I can really get a good turn of speed going, the added benefit is that the traffic lights seemed to be timed in my favor, at least based on when I have to leave the house for work. The overall result is being able to pick up a few extra miles by leaving the house an extra ten to twelve minutes earlier, something that I intend to do more often. I learned a bit about riding in the wet and drear as well recently and that if I want to stop in damp conditions I should probably try to give the bike as much notice as possible.

I know I mentioned a couple of times what a good idea it would be for me to get a helmet for my rides. I finally ordered one but an accidental click had it shipped timed with my wife’s Christmas present so it won’t get here until maybe this evening, probably after I’ve already left for work. Hopefully I will be able to bore everyone with pics of me sporting in an a very serious cyclist type of manner soon.

I did manage to add a frame pump to my standard gear as well as some tire patches for emergencies, though with any luck I won’t have to use them. Which leads me to the question of the week:

What kind of roadside repair equipment are you packing in your kit?

Feel free to leave a comment with your answer or any other feedback you’d like, if you feel so inclined.

Down to brass tacks; This week I managed to get in gear and stretch this weeks rides to a total 52.7 miles bringing me up to 124.8 after 21 days with 8 days left in November I need just over 55 miles to complete my goal distance wise. Speed has not been an issue I am currently running at an average pace of 5 mins and 32 seconds per mile, almost thirty seconds faster than my goal for this month.

I am finding that my endurance continues to improve and that the setbacks of the previous week have has little effect on how often I get winded going up hill during my ride, though my expedition on Thursday showed me that fighting a good head wind while traveling up an incline can be a bit of a pain in the ass. As a side note my fitness tracker thing-a-ma-jig tells me that I have set a new personal record for monthly elevation having climbed 2,239 ft and still counting, so I guess that’s cool.

Going forward from here I am looking for a strong finish for the month. My main obstacle is that my daughter, who is six, will be out of school for nearly the remainder of the month so fitting in rides other than basic commutes might be a bit rough, but I am determined to do it especially since there should be a very large turkey dinner in my near future, the preparation and cooking of which should also take up quite a large chunk of my time this coming week.

Also I am intrigued to find out if there really is such a thing as Risk Compensation involved with wearing a helmet when you ride. I am not normally the danger seeking type so it might be interesting to see what effect additional safety equipment has on my psychology. I’m betting on not much.

Happy biking.

I Really Need to Buy a Helmet

It was a damp, cloudy afternoon; the road was slick and  the falling drizzle landed on the shades that I wear protect my eyes from wind and road grit. I was stippling my vision with tiny droplets.Despite the dreary conditions I was in a good mood. I was on my bike and making good time on my commute on my new favorite route; it has the advantages of being mostly flat, and the traffic seems to always be in my favor, making for a comfortable, quick and relatively stress free ride. Getting close to my destination I checked over my shoulder at the empty lane, I began to drift left to make my turn for the final mile of my trip.

“Blllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrr!”, the horn from the beaten blue-green minivan screamed. Engine revving and going too fast the driver was blocks away at the intersection when I started my maneuver; now he was a short distance away and gaining fast. I slid back to the right and squeezed the brakes; the slick tires continued to spin as the pads tried in vain to grab hold of their sidewalls. My heart began to work triple time as I struggled to keep the bike from grinding against the curb and sending me ass over teakettle across the handlebars. The driver who was in such a hurry seconds ago made a point to slow down as he passed me, just to allow his crack toothed red-necked significant other to shout profanities at me for being in their way while they made an attempt to break the land speed record in their mobile salvage yard.

I managed to squeeze off one good, loud, extremely coherent, “#@*& YOU!” , as the found their accelerator once again. Their engine whined in emphasis of the fact that they believe that speed limits were something that happened to other people. I was pissed, mostly because I just instinctively caved in their little game of chicken that they played with me. I should have continued my drift and turned at the side street like I planned. I mean don’t I live in a supposed “Bicycle Friendly Communty” like the propaganda tells me! Whatever happened to share the road! I should have stood my ground, so to speak, and forced the pricks to either slow down to a reasonable speed or, well… erm…. yeah.

I need to buy a helmet.