Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bikes against Cars (I am a bad blogger!)

So today we commuted to Johnny Appleseed.
Me and the family. I had the 5 yr old on the tagalong and my wife had the two yr old in the trailer.
From where we live we can cut through the neighborhood for most of the way but once you get near the park it gets a wee bit hairy. I am much more comfortable with cars around me than the wife but still, with the little one in the trailer behind her, I feel her stress as well.
At St. Joseph and Parnell there is no room on the side walk so we had to cross the bridge in the street and it wasn't too bad but not too good either. We got there safely, had a great time and saved 4 bucks on parking.
On the way home there is no way to make a left turn out of the park to head south on Parnell so we ended up walking our bikes to St Joseph and mounting up there. It was super hairy as people are flying every which way and once we got on St joseph (where there is no shoulder or sidewalk and the trailer is a bit wide) we held up traffic pretty well until we got to our turn. The cars behind us were courteous though and for that I am thankful. We returned home safely.

A little later I drove to a garage sale on Parnell to pick up a bed at a garage sale that my wike had purchased the day before.
As I was loading up the bed I noticed a lady riding her bike south on Parnell at a decent clip.
Traffic was heavy on Parnell with the festival going on and they were afraid to try and pass her. As they were going by the third vehicle was an old Chevy truck with a (what turned out to be a very impatient) gentleman at the wheel. He laid on the horn not once, but twice in 100 feet or so. My heart went out to the bike commuter and the peoople who felt that they could not safely pass her. And once again realized that in many drivers minds, the roads are not for bikes. Parnell has no shoulder and no sidewalks either leaving this bike commuter no choice but to brave the road.
Kudos to her for riding her bike! And to all those people who braved the traffic on Parnell to bike to the festival as well. We saw at least 50 bikes locked up to gates and trees and signs (No they don't have bike racks at the park).
For the three of you that are reading this, sorry it has been so long, I have been slammed at work.


Mikael said...

Good on you for riding your bike. We rode our bikes to the festival on Sunday. (me, my roommate and 3 neighbors) and had a great time. We fortunately have easy access to the greenway at Tennessee so we can mostly avoid car traffic. Crossing State St. however is always an adventure. We encountered several people also on bikes which was very nice to see. We ride our bikes as much as possible to run errands and light shopping etc... for us the biggest obstacle we have is the complete lack of safe secure place to leave our bikes while in a store or other business. It may sound odd but another pain is the lack of accessible public toilets. Our evening rides are not hampered by this but on weekends when we venture out for a ride and shopping, it can be tough after 4 or 5 hours away from the house.

Anonymous said...

I like the color change, much easier to read. Boo to the horn blower!!!

fwbikecommuter said...

Good for you!
I understand the issue of having no place to lock your bikes. They were piled up everywhere at the festival.
I understand that State Blvd crossing as well it can be hairy, especially because the light is short and people tend to run it to get through.
Glad you got there safe and had a good time.

I decided that you were right about the colors.
FW Bike commuter