The writing on the bus

The Flatirons rock formations, near Boulder, C...
The Flatirons rock formations, near Boulder, Colorado. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Forget the crossword puzzles.

More fuzzy thinking on Boulder County roads

There he goes again.

Boulder County Transportation Director George Gerstle is quoted in the Daily Camera as saying a canyon road will be closed to cyclists for several weeks, but open to motor vehicles.

Why is it closed to people who travel by bicycle?

View of Ward from below along Lefthand Canyon Road
View of Ward from below along Lefthand Canyon Road (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His explanation:

“It’s not wide enough for big trucks and bikes at the same time.”

Apparently it is wide enough for big trucks and automobiles, though.

As I said before, we are all traffic. Either allow traffic on the road, or don’t.

Pedal on.

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Do some traffic signs increase risk to road users?

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.”

Some questions

  • 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.

Tell them they need to stop doing that.

Boulder County Transportation

Colorado Citizen’s Advocate for Transportation

U.S. Department of Transportation

Share the road

Having bicycled up Highway 36 to Estes Park a couple of summers ago, I’m not really eager to do it again, but that’s beside the point.

Whenever you see someone on a bicycle, people, pass with care.

That’s what “share the road” means.


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Fact: Cycling Makes You Happier

…there’s nothing like cycling to chase the blues away

via Fact: Cycling Makes You Happier | Bicycle Movies Online Store.

Why are we so careless about driving safely?

Good question…

“…why are some societies—for example, ours—so careless and lacking in conscience about driving safely?”

It’s not about scofflaws on bicycles. Read on, at Sign of the Times | Road Rights | Bicycling.com.

What’s the penalty for killing a cyclist?

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.

via Is It O.K. to Kill Cyclists? – NYTimes.com.

Boulder candidate on preferred modes 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.”

Pedal on.