Writing on the bus makes the commute go faster. Sometimes too fast.
My morning commute to work is complicated, which to me is a good thing. It varies from bicycle-bus-shuttle to Jeep-bus-shuttle, to bike-shuttle, to pure bicycle. If my bicycle makes it to work with me, I almost always ride it the 18-20 miles home and sometimes farther, depending on which of the innumerable possible routes I take.
Five or six times a year I drive to work.
My commute is never boring. I’m either reading, or doing a crossword puzzle, enjoying views of the Rocky Mountain foothills and the Flatirons over Boulder, or writing something.
Writing fiction, I’ve concluded, is the quickest way to get to work and back home to Longmont.
I hope those who’ve read my first Red Shaw novel will be pleased to hear that I made fairly significant progress just today on the next one. The working title is North of Grand.
Our community’s pernicious motor-centric bias is on display along U.S. Highway 36 between Lyons and Estes Park.
As we drove that route Monday to Rocky Mountain National Park for some hiking, I couldn’t help but notice the road signs that singled bicyclists out for special attention. Bicycling was “not recommended,” the signs said, and cyclists were advised that they did so “at their own risk.”
When do cyclists ever not ride at their own risk?
Were we driving our car at someone else’s risk?
Are motorists less inclined to be careful and polite around cyclists when they see such warnings?
By telling the community that some roads are unsafe for non-motorized travel, and telling all road users who can read that cyclists really shouldn’t be around, our transportation officials reinforce the notion that roads are just for cars and trucks. They make the roads more dangerous for bicycling.
I hate the headline on the piece from which this is quoted, so I’m not using it here. When you see it below, you’ll see that the obvious answer is no.
What’s the penalty? Too often, there is none.
What follows here is the best advice I’ve seen on the subject in some time:
Every time you get on a bike, from this moment forward, obey the letter of the law in every traffic exchange everywhere to help drivers (and police officers) view cyclists as predictable users of the road who deserve respect. And every time you get behind the wheel, remember that even the slightest inattention can maim or kill a human being enjoying a legitimate form of transportation.
Boulder City Council candidate Mary Young has a great attitude:
“I hate to call walking and biking and riding the bus alternative modes because to me, they’re my preferred mode, and the car is the alternative mode,” she said. “When more people start seeing the car as the alternative mode, we’ll be getting somewhere.”