When the weather is nice, my neighbor likes to ride his bicycle several miles to a Safeway store for morning coffee and a doughnut.
I can relate. Some of the best bike rides involve coffee and, for me, maybe a muffin or a scone since I try to avoid the glazed or chocolate delights I used to love.
The route my neighbor takes (let’s call him Dave) is mostly along a paved trail in a state park by the Colorado River. Even though it’s paved, there’s always a fair chance you’ll encounter the dreaded goat’s head thorn.
Dave seems to attract them. He is a thorn magnet. I’ve been on rides when I felt similarly attractive.
My own approach for years has been to ride on Continental Gatorskin tires, which typically cost ~$50-60 U.S. but are tough enough to last me a couple of thousand miles on the road. I think I’ve had two flats with Gatorskins in the past 20 or so years while experiencing numerous thorn flats and other fails using other tires.
Mrs. Smith and I both have new Gatorskins on our road bikes.
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.