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September 30, 2007

Bicycling to School on International Walk to School Day

Perusing the paper, this morning, I came across a wonderful picture of fully decked out kids, and parents, pedaling to school, in San Clemente ( Online version has a few more pics. ). ;-D

By 7:40 a.m., the line of cars waiting to drop off Concordia Elementary students stretches almost a quarter-mile down Avenida Presidente, and Elizabeth Brummet pedals right by it.

"It's great to whiz past all those cars," said Brummett, who's been riding to school with her fifth grade daughter, Natalie, for the past four years. "They pass us on the ride up, but then we pass them and beat them to school."

This Wednesday is International Walk to School Day, a day when kids, and their parents, are encouraged to walk, or bicycle, to and from school.

The article by Andrew Good, in the OC Register:

Parents, students pedal past the morning rush: At Concordia Elementary, families are being encouraged to bike to school.

An idea that became a movement:

In 1997, the Partnership for a Walkable America sponsored the first National Walk Our Children to School Day in Chicago, modeled after the United Kingdom’s lead. Back then, it was simply a day to bring community leaders and children together to create awareness of the need for communities to be walkable.

By the year 2002, children, parents, teachers and community leaders in all 50 states joined nearly 3 million walkers around the world to celebrate the second annual International Walk to School Day. The reasons for walking grew just as quickly as the event itself.

By 2005 more politicians, and other government officials, began paying attention to the importance of safe walking, and biking to school.

Learn more, including how to plan a Walk to School Day event at your school.

September 30, 2007 in Pedaling Advocacy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 25, 2007

Good-bye! A Short, Silly, Cycling Poem

Motorists see red,

Cussing a blue.

As I pedal ahead.

Toodaloo!

--------------------------------

Sooo.... what sort of scene does this poem bring to your mind?

What sentiments are implied, in your mind, by these words?

No-one is right, or wrong, so give it some thought. ;-D

September 25, 2007 in Creative Writing | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Staples to Employees: Bike to Work, a Shower Awaits You!

Okay, so Greg Gutfeld, the host of Red Eye, the edgy late night FOX gabfest, had fun taking amusing jabs at cyclists, on the morning news, with E. D. Hill, this morning ( Something about smelling after a long ride, people having no business wearing lycra to work, and how work is for working, or something like that, hee, hee! ). ;-D

I laughed, and appreciated that the clips with the segment showed a group of cylists happily pedalling away, but was still curious, and so went to the Staples Website to see what the fuss was about.

A bit of snooping around found a Press Release, dated yesterday:

Sept. 24, 2007--Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS), the world's largest office products company, along with the City of Miami and MK Real Estate Group, will host a groundbreaking event for Miami's first green retail building registered with the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The event will take place at the Staples store building site located at 2121 Biscayne Boulevard, on Fri., Sept. 28 at 11 a.m., where Mayor Manny Diaz and Staples Regional Vice President Royce Reed will celebrate the City's progress in sustaining its future through eco-friendly practices.

"Building green is smart growth and with partners like Staples, the City of Miami can achieve its goal of becoming a model city for sustainable living," said Miami Mayor Manny Diaz.

One of the purposes listed for the new Green Design, is to:

Encourage alternative transportation by installing bike racks and showers.

Yeah, yeah, "Green buildings are environmentally responsible, healthier for the building's users and employees and are more profitable structures", and Staples is proud of its Environmental friendly products, services, and Community Initiatives, but I was hoping to see more from this Press Release about the cycling part ( Maybe that will occur at the Groundbreaking Event? ).

I wonder if they even did any outreach to area cycling clubs, and organizations, to promote their new initiative, and encourage Employees to take up cycling?

 

September 25, 2007 in Cycling in Interesting Media Places | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 24, 2007

Do More Runners Carry Bike Pumps than Cyclists?

.... and WHY?

Over at the Blog called Apertome - Ear to the Breeze, the writer shared a wonderful story about a trail ride taken on a Mountain Bike in an area that also had some paved sections, too.

I don't usually write about Off Road riding, but when this was brought to my attention I thought it was appropriate, considering my recent "Getting Religion" with regards to carrying a Repair kit. ;-D

Read the whole piece, but look out for what happens when a Flat occurs. ;-D

After reading the story A Midnight Rider left a comment:

A runner with a pump? Was is a schrader or presta valve? I’m trying to think of a reason for a runner to be carrying a bike pump. (humm jepardy song now). ………. ok stop. What is ????????

Good questions if ya ask me! ;-D

Apertome replied:

I don’t know what kind of pump it was. I figure they must’ve also been cyclists, because they had Camelbaks and the one guy had a pump. Maybe they just don’t clear the unnecessary crap out of their packs before running. Why anyone would run with all that extra weight is beyond me, but there stood two runners, more prepared for a flat tire than many cyclists.

Maybe they WERE just joggers, and double as Good Samaritans of the Trail, being prepared to help Cyclists who are not. ;-D

Hee, hee. ;-D

September 24, 2007 in Bicycling Humor | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 23, 2007

What do they mean when they yell GOTFR?

GET OFF THE FUCKING ROAD!!!

We all have stories to tell of the times those words have been screamed at us by motorists.

But... What do these words mean?

Claire Petersky, of Bicycling Meditations, has pondered this great mystery so the rest of us don't have to, and it's long past time that I share her wisdom with you. ;-D

The key to understanding this motorist's cry is to realize that the road does not copulate with itself. Rather, it is you who is partnered with the road.

Never considered it that way before. ;-D

Read on....

Check out the rest of Bicycling Meditations. ;-D

September 23, 2007 in Share the Road, and Trail: Safety Matters! | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Bellevue Bicycling BookCrosser Tells of 1st Successful Hunt

Claire Petersky (Cpetersky), has been a Bookcrosser since 2002, and has a website called Bicycling Meditations.

That wonderful place is the thoughtful, and thought-provoking, site for the members of the Congregation of the Spoked Wheel - "those  who sit in meditation, not just in the pew, or on a Zafu, but the saddles of their bikes."

In 2005 she wrote an essay for BookCrossing about the experience of "Hunting" for a book, and her 1st "Catch" of a book in the "Wild".

She had gone Hunting many times, when she got the Alert that a book was Released somewhere reachable by her:

I have talked to cheery baristas and grumpy security guards, asked them to look behind counters and in boxes, hoping that the errant book was either found or put away somewhere. As soon as a book gets released on the bus, the next day I've called up Metro Transit's Lost and Found, hoping that this time, the book will turn up.

Of course she was always too late to be the Catcher. ;-D

Then, one day, a miracle happened. ;-D

I happened to take a look at the "Go Hunting" page for Seattle. I was at work, downtown, and I had some errands to run on my bike around the U-District up to Lake City when work was done.

I happened to notice that one of the places to which books had just been released was at a laundromat at 25th and 55th. That was about 5 blocks from one of my errands, and surely I could make a brief diversion to see if any of the books were still there.

So off she pedaled on her trusty steed....

I would not have made the decision she did, though. ;-D

When I discovered that 8 books Released yesterday at my local Pet Shop were still on the premises, this morning, I took them all, and set them free again, at different locations in the surrounding area, over the next 2 hours. ;-D

September 23, 2007 in Bicycling BookLovers of BookCrossing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 18, 2007

18 Wheeler vs Cyclist: OC's Rash of Accidents Continues

Since the Spring of last year the number accidents involving encounters between Motorists, and Cyclists, in my backyard, here in Orange County, has grown to troubling proportions, many of them ending in the death of the cyclist.

While most happpend due to the actions of the Motorist, a few did not.

The latest incident occured on Saturday morning, in the city of Irvine, a city with Bike Lanes, and Multi-Use Trails, aplenty, and is still under investigation as of this writing.

The report in the OC Register, by Sam Miller, is thus a brief one:

A bicyclist struck and killed in Irvine Saturday has been identified as Sandy Julienne, 47, of Huntington Beach.

Just after 10 a.m. Saturday, Julienne was struck by an 18-wheeler hauling dirt on the northbound side of Culver Drive north of University Drive, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police were still investigating the scene Saturday afternoon.

The driver of the truck was interviewed, but "it's too early to say what might have happened," said Irvine Police Lt. Rick Handfield.

This barely scratches the suface, of course, but  2 pages of comments, by family, friends, witnesses, and other interested parties, to the online version, paint a picture of the cyclist, the scene in the immediate aftermath, and the attitudes of cyclists toward cycling in general, and the area in particular, that are quite interesting.

Before I go further let me share an e-mail I received, yesterday afternoon, from a reporter at the OC Register:

Hello Kiril,

I am a reporter for the Register. I am working on a story about Sandy
Julienne of Huntington Beach, a cyclist who was struck and killed by a big
rig while riding in Irvine on Saturday. My understanding is he was well
known in the cycling community. I am wondering if you knew him, knew of him
or know anyone who does, as we are interested in writing a news obituary.
It seems we've had an unfortunate patterm of these tragedies lately here in
Orange County. I would also appreciate your thoughts and suggestions on how
to improve safety and interaction between vehicles and bicycles.

Sincerely,

Erika Chavez
Staff Writer
The Orange County Register
(949) 553-2914
echavez@ocregister.com

***UPDATE -  9/19***

Erika's Tribute Report, along with new info on the cause of the accident, was posted online, late yesterday:

Sandy Julienne's loved ones have an easy time naming his passions: cycling, cycling and cycling.

The Huntington Beach man died Saturday doing what he loved most, when he was hit by an 18-wheeler while riding in Irvine. Julienne was such a dedicated cyclist that he rode more than 20 miles to work every day and never drove a car, despite living in Southern California for more than 40 years....

Witnesses say Julienne was riding in the bicycle lane when the big rig's rear tire clipped the bike's handlebars. Fellow cyclists chased the 18-wheeler and detained the driver, who seemed unaware that he had hit Julienne, said David Worthington. The driver was questioned by Irvine police and released; an investigation is ongoing, said Lt. Rick Handfield.

Read the full story, and the comments, and see 7 pictures of Sandy.

***END UPDATE***

I don't know the victim, but promised to try to get some attention paid to this story, and spread the word of her request for info, and local comment, out to the community.

As part of that effort I took a trip, this morning, to the scene to see it for myself.

Irv_acci4

Sandy was a respected, long time, member of the OC Cycling Community, known as a "truly gentle man", "a positive influence on everyone he encountered", "a very strong, safe and courteous cyclist", and more.

I read the comments, and was moved by what I read, including one from a friend of the truck driver, who says he is devasted by what appears to be an accident, but also moved to reply to 4 comments, hoping to start a much needed discussion.

I will spread the comments, and my responses between several pictures I took, sharing them here as a back-up in case the whole lot gets deleted by someone who disagrees, and also to spur discussion here, a discussion about sharing the road that already has been going on here for some time, and was rekindled by the essay of an Arizona Cyclist, this past week.

Irv_acc1

***North on Culver, from University, toward a small climb in the road, with a posted speed limit in the 40's.***

CISCO WROTE:

I was driving north on Culver with my son and we saw 3 cars parked with hazard lights on. There was a space in between the cars and we saw the injured cyclist, it was very graphic accident scene. His head was against the edge of the concrete curb. My son and I were in shock. We later saw the truck at the intersection of Michelson and Culver with one other rider talking with the driver and one other person whose car was infront of the truck, as if to prevent him from leaving, also speaking with the driver. A minute later we saw a police car and then an ambulance come in. We already knew the rider was beyond help. According to the brief police report, it looks like the truck driver was interviewed and released. From the location where the truck had stopped, it looked like the truck driver was not even aware that his truck had struck the rider. Also, i recalled seeing the rider's bare head and later wondered if he had a helmet on or if it simply flew off from the impact. This accident was a shock for me to see because I just started riding a road bike. I also been trying to get my son to ride a road bike. My condolences to the people that knew this rider.

My Reply: What a tragedy! My Condolences to the family. What is it about riding and driving, in the OC, that has led to the rash of incident in the past year and a half?

RE what Cisco wrote, As readers of my BikeBlog know I advocate the wearing of a helmet, but I am not so naive as to think that wearing one is always going to be a life saver, and in this case if one was worn it obviously didn't matter. I do not know if you will even see this, but let me stress that you, and your son, should not let what you saw deter you from taking up cycling! Cycling requires a lot of a cyclist so that he or she can get the most out of the pastime. While knowing how to ride safely on the street, or on multi-use trails, is important we rely on motorists, and other users of the Trail, to be just as safe, and sometimes, even then, accidents happen, despite our best efforts. The street remains an appropriate, and safe, place to ride, and we have the legal right to be there, never forget that.

Irv_acci2***The start of the Debris Field, one that extends all the way to the 1st tree beyond the Memorial.***

GEORGE WROTE:

So sorry to the family and friends of Sandy. It could have so easily been any of us. Everyone, please when you get home today hug your family and tell them you love them. Life is so precious and can be taken away in the blink of an eye. In an effort to do my little part to save gas consumption and lighten the load on polluting our air, also a great way to get some exercise I have been riding my bike to and from Turtle Rock and the airport M-F for about 9 months. I started in the bike lane as I ride at low speeds on a beach cruiser. My bike has wider handle-bars than a racing type bike and unless I am scraping the curb there is no room for me and a car in the right lane. They have to move over slightly to the left to not hit me. If there is traffic to their left and they cannot move over forget about it. I then moved to the sidewalk and sure enough within a week I was pulled over by the Irvine Police at the corner of eastbound Michelson and Culver, there is no bike lane anyway coming up to the intersection, and told it was illegal to ride my bike on the sidewalk. I called the PD and they said there is no such restriction. If you have a chance stick to the sidewalk and go slow and careful. Please, all motorists, be extremely watchful for all bikes and pedestrians, slow down in our community. We have no chance against cars and trucks. Please, no more tradgedies in Irvine.

My Reply: George's comment is troubling on several levels. It is troubling that the cops in Irvine are not on the same page about cycling on the sidewalk. The cop on the street was right to discourge his riding on the sidewalk as it is the least safe place to ride a bike, and since many cities DO have laws on the books forbidding it, it is best not to get into the habit in the 1st place. George, do not be afraid of riding on the street! Learn the ways of being a safe cyclist, such as making left turns, hand signals, and taking the lane safely when you need to, and which is your right. The resources available online from which to learn, are many, and sorely underutilized by all of us, including me, for that matter.

Irv_acci3 ***Just beyond the Memorial: There are 63 markings of debris total, all in the Bike Lane. The intersection where Cisco saw the Truck stopped is a ways up the road, probably 2 lights away.***

JIM93 WROTE:

Last week a pedestrian gets killed by a reckless cyclist on the bike path paralleling this stretch of Culver. Now an innocent and law abiding cyclist gets taken while trying to do the right thing, leaving the multi-use path to pedestrians and slow moving cyclists. Unfortunately it never seems to be the reckless cyclists among us who have to pay this horrible toll.

MY REPLY: About the comment of Jim93. Yes, there are reckless cyclists on our Multi use Trails, but as a study I did of the Back Bay illustrated, last fall, walkers suc as A lady walking a stroller, and a huge dog on a leash, and joggers running in the wrong lane, could be just as reckless as cyclists who were too numerous to list, thus making it clear that we all need to work on keeping our shared experience a safe one for all, not tar and feather a whole segment of users due to the actions of the few. Responsible cyclists, fast, or slow, belong on the Multi-use Trails, but must use them responsibly like everyone else.

Irv_acci5

***Bike Path? There is the San Diego Creek Trail a few blocks to the west, a trail just south of University, and this, in a Residential Community, off to the right of the accident scene, a narrow sidewalk trail, through the area, posted with a No Trespassing Sign, from the University Campus Association, and quoting certain Codes.

I talked with an elderly gentleman, walking his 2 beautiful dogs there, who was a former jogger, and cyclist, in Irvine, and the Back Bay, back in the day.

He told me that while the Trail is private, and used by community cyclists, walkers, and joggers, property security didn't do much to discourage non-residents from using the trail, but that after the recent accidents described above may be planning to be more attentive.

He had his own stories, and stories of friends, who had unfavorable encounters with cyclists on the nearby San Diego Trail, and the Back Bay, and agreed with me on the need for dialogue, education, and cooperation, on the streets, and multi-use trails.***

HANNA WROTE:

Yes, the bike lane at that intersection may be narrow. However I am still having nightmares of the couple that was struck in Mission Viejo last year. The lanes, on Olympiad Rd., are wide and the time was Sunday afternoon. The driver, apparently, leaned to open his glove compartment, or something. The Register never followed up on the story. One cyclist - David Pullen - was killed, and his wife was wounded. That couple could have been us! Until we treat drivers harshly, until we emphasize that bike lanes and crossroads demand special attention from drivers, to slow down and to look both ways, cyclists will be killed. We always cross at the light, on the crosswalk so that drivers will see us, but there is always someone making a right turn on red, or a left turn on green who just ignore us.

*** The Bike Lane is actually the standard width, from all appearances, as you can see, though I have seen a small number both wider, and narrower, over the years, not to mention the dumb ones place on the driver's side of where cars are allowed to park.***

My Reply: Hanna says we need to treat drivers harshly, and that will make them pay attention to us as co-users of the road. Is she willing to be just as harsh with irresponsible fellow cyclists using our streets, and trails? Motorists need to be better educated about us cyclists, and cyclists need to be better educated so they will become confident, safe, co-users of the street. It is as simple as that, and no amount of finger pointing, including THAT finger, by either side, will change that.

The latest comments from a family member post info about the viewing tomorrow, and the funeral on Thursday, and a celebration of Sandy's life afterward.

There are many other comments worth your time, and you can read them, and join the discussion, here.

My Share the Road Archive of posts can be found here, and comments are welcome on all of them.

September 18, 2007 in Share the Road, and Trail: Safety Matters! | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 16, 2007

Arizona Cyclist Takes Cycling Neighbors to Task

A friend of mine alerted me to an essay in his local paper, last week, by a friend of his who is a cyclist.... and a motorist.

His essay is an interesting one with some instructive things to say, and when asked why he wrote it this was his response:

What drove me to pen that piece?

I wearied of reading those bicyclists' complaining letters and then having to deal with bike riders who think they own the road and who apparently care little about rules, courtesy, the law, or safety.

The tipping point came when I was driving on Gurley one late afternoon and found myself and other motorists stuck behind a phlegm-slow cycler who refused to move over to let normal-speed vehicles pass...and this at the start of the evening commute hour, no less!

As I said in the essay, I ride, too, so my perspective is that of both a bicycler and a motor vehicle driver.

I think he has some valid points.

The thoughts of a cyclist in Prescott, AZ., who says "Bicyclists have the right to follow the rules", are well worth contemplating:

Obey the signs. A stop sign applies to bicyclists as much as it does to car drivers. So does a red light. And when the posted speed limit is 25 mph or 15 mph that means bicyclists, too.

Signal. If you want to turn left or move into a left lane, stick out your left arm to indicate your desire to turn or move. Likewise, signal if you want to turn right or move into a right-hand lane. I can't read your mind, and neither can any other motorist.

Move over. If you're riding so slowly that you're blocking or impeding traffic, move to the right to let the motor vehicles pass safely. And, if you have no room on the right to ride, then get off your bike and walk it.

Ride in single file. If you're riding in one of those Lycra gangs or even just with a couple of friends, don't ride side by side. That blocks the lane in which you're riding, and it's hazardous to you and your companion(s). It's also illegal.

Turn on your lights. If you're riding at night, turn on your bike's headlight and tail light. Don't have lights on your bike? Then don't ride at night - or dusk or dawn, for that matter.

Avoid the main routes at high-traffic times. This is just common sense. Morning and evening commute hours are not the times for you to be tooling along, for example, Gurley, Sheldon, or Montezuma. Take your ride before the traffic hits or after it's passed, or find another route. Yes, that may be an inconvenience. But it's better than injury or death or causing either.

Pay attention. Any motorcyclist will tell you that to survive riding you have to be super-diligent and ever on the defensive, that car and truck drivers often can't see you, and that there are some motorists who just don't care (or worse, who actually try to hit you).

The roads are for all of us.

As he says cyclists need to "consider how you follow the rules of the road and the implicit and expressed rules of safe bicycling."

It may be right to fight for street access and utilization, but if you don't do your part to make sharing the road safe, you can be "right and dead."

As for the Moving to the Right comment, this is my 2 cents:

As far as moving out of the way when I am "in the lane", so to speak...

If there is no place for me to go on the right, either because of parked cars, or because there is no place to ride, then the prudent thing to do is one of several things:

Stay the course, until I can safely move right, or if there are no cars, but no place to ride, move as far right as possible, and stop until traffic passes, or move as far right as possible, and walk the bike, until safe to resume riding.

Each rider must assess the situation he/she finds him/herself in, and act as they see fit.

Michael Westlund's piece welcomes comment, so join the discussion at the Daily Courier, or here. ;-D

***UPDATE -9/19***

This piece, in case you haven't noticed, has spurred discussion in my comments like almost nothing before it.

In one comment I ended by saying:

I hope that anyone reading all this, who might have suggestions for articles, and books, and websites, that readers can check out relevant to this debate, and the issue of motorists, and cyclists sharing the road, post that infor here, or send me an e-mail about it.

In my next comment I got the ball rolling by making 3 suggestions, all written by one of those who have commented, John Spragge.

I strongly urge you to check those stories out.

***END UPDATE***

***UPDATE 2 - 2/26/08***

Bob Jenson, Vice President of The Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists, tosses in his 2 cents, in a comment which I promoted to Post Status.

2 More Cents Tossed in on Sept. Essay by AZ. Cyclist.

***END UPDATE***

September 16, 2007 in Share the Road, and Trail: Safety Matters! | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Midnight Rider's Recent Ride Takes in Ma Nature

I am soooo jealous!

When you read his post, and take in the photos, you will be too. ;-D

We had intended to ride the Cape Cod Canal, but the wind, from the Nor'west, was really whipping. It would have been difficult to remain upright when the gusts exceeded 30 mph. Sue came up with the idea of riding in Myles Standish State Reserve. It's a place we both went camping as kids, and also took our young uns' way back when.

Ahh, to suffer the angst of having to make such choices. ;-D

This blog can always be counted on to provide some wonderful ride photos, so check him out from time to time. ;-D

Read: Myles Standish State Forrest

September 16, 2007 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 11, 2007

On the Road Again, Now With a Repair Kit, Too!

Rei_fix1

When I arrived to pick up my beloved Trusty Steed, on Friday, our reunion was an emotional one, as would be expected when we had been seperated for 2 long days.

We both wish to apologize for the late update, as we have been spending a lot of time getting in some riding, mostly to, and from, work.

She rides truly smoother, easier, and faster, than she has for quite sometime, and it inspires me to get out, and test her on some long rides I've put off for too long, including a return to one old one. ;-D

I spent $358+TX., including $55 for the extensive tune-up, $125 for new parts on the bike, and $156 on accessories.

Rei_fix2 Cleopatra was fitted with a new seat,  a new Rear Cassette ( SRAM PG-970 Power Glide 2 ), a new Crank, a new Shimano Bottom Brackett, a new Chain, new pedals, and new Brake parts.

This is work that was long overdue, and was well worth the expense.

Rei_fix3

But fixing the bike so she looks, and rides, like a true Lady once again, was only part of what I did.

I got 2 new Tires, Continental Ultra Race, and 4 new Novara Tubes as well.

I got a new Headlight, and Rear Light, and gave them a workout out over the weeked as well.

The Headlight is the powerful Cat Eye Power Opticube, with1500+ Candlepower, and up to 90hr. run time, per set of batteries.

This sucker is bright, and  casts a very wide beam.

The Rear is the powerful, and bright, Blackburn Mars 3, with 180 degree visibility, up to 50 hr. run time on Steady Mode, and up to 150 hrs. on the blinking, Fresh Mode.

Img_1089

The other thing I did was long overdue, and is something EVERY CYCLIST who does a lot of long bike rides, not just as a Comuter, but for Recreational purposes, SHOULD DO.

I made my own Repair Kit:

2 Tubes.

A Novara Patch Kit.

A Novara Tire Lever Set.

A Crank Bros. Multi 19 Tool with carrying flask.

I tossed these into a Plastic Ziploc Bag, and into my Panier. ;-D

Rei_fix4Just look at her!

Ain't she a beauty? ;-D

Living in Southern California, all my life, has made it easy for me to forgo the need of carrying a repair kit, due to the fact that there seems to be a bus running down every major, and even some not so major, streets in sight and that, when I get off the beaten path, Cleopatra has been an especially good girl, and not had a problem.

I can fix a flat as good as the next guy, but why bother, when the bus, and even a bike shop sometimes, is nearby, right? ;-D

Well, my recent Malibu Ride finally gave me the incentive to do what I've been meaning to do for several months.

My climb up into the Mountains almost didn't get started.

Just past the 1st curve, in the 1st picture of this chapter on my ride, the rear tire went flat, and no amount of pumping, with my hand pump, would convince it to change its mind.

Just when I was about to head to the bus stop, and begin the long journey home, a small group of cyclists, including 2 ladies bringing up the rear, came by.

The ladies stopped, and asked if I needed help.

The were rightly amazed that I had no extra tubes, and the needed tools to do a replacement, and that I intended to head up into the mountains like that in the 1st place.

Luckily they had an extra tube, and helped me put it one, crankily giving me advice on preparedness all the way.

They told me to never ride alone if possible, either with another person, or a group, and didn't believe me when I told them that neither had ever been much of an option for me over the years, with no friends, and besides the 1st time I did this route riders from a prominent LA Club were too fast for me to keep up with, and so I got left behind with only a route slip to guide me.

They didn't accept my excuse that I'd rarely had problems, before, and when I did there was always the bus nearby.

Once the bike was a go I continued with the ride, and soon learned that if I had another problem there was even a bus up there on weekends, these days, to save my sorry Ass. ;-D

That new tube held up quite nicely until the last 4 miles before reaching the Santa Monica Pier,.

Along this stretch, and for the rest of the day, until I got home, I kept had to pump air into the tube every couple of miles, as needed.

The upshot is... be as prepared as you can be to do what ever you are able to learn how to do, when out on the road.

Even if it's just fixing a flat.

September 11, 2007 in Life, The Bike Trail, and Everything | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack