Sunday, August 26, 2012
I’ve been thinking about fear a lot lately. Fear drives and motivates just as it holds back and prevents. Fear has kept me out of the saddle for so long. Fear of injury and pain; fear of failure. Not that all of my avoidance is blamed on fear. Some of it is lack of planning, coordinating, and preparation (all three of which are required to be a regular commuter). 

As a matter of fact, I have more excuses now than ever before to not ride. My commute is now farther than before as my office has moved a mile further down the street. My new office location does not offer changing facilities or showers, which means I need to change in a toilet stall rather than in a locker room. All excuses steeped in fear and inconvenience.

Fear, on the other hand, is also what motivates me back into the saddle. Fear of holding back, and fear of complacency.

So this is how I start back: slowly. First, taking it around Lake Lenexa a few whirls a week, then I extend my distance until my desire to succeed has outpaced my fear of failure and I can prove to myself that I can brave the traffic in my 22-mile daily commute.

One year no bike

Monday, February 7, 2011

What was supposed to be a blog about my 26-mile daily commute has turned into a blog about getting back into the saddle for the time being.

My last attempt to ride was last summer. By the time I made it back home, I had a strange sensation in my chest and all I wanted to do was sleep. It scared me big time. I went to my doctor who told me that I had in fact injured my heart. A trip to the cardiologist ensued where I learned that there was no lasting damage, thank God.

The cardiologist told me that I need to get in shape or suffer continued and increasing consequences. So that's what I've been focusing on, and amid a series of non-related injuries I guess I'm making progress.

I Don't Know What It Is, But It's Global Alright

Monday, January 11, 2010
I miss my bike. For four months I've been out of the saddle, and man it sucks.

Don't get me wrong; I should be in the saddle if I were as hardcore as other KC commuters. In fact, the plan was to be, I promise! But then we got about 18 inches of global warming ... Hardcore I'm not.

I think what I miss the most about biking my commute is the meditative aspect of it. Not the Unitarian-temple-Tiger-Woods-Buddhist-Hare-Krishna-dancing-on-The-Plaza kind of meditation. More like the crazy-guy-on-his-bike-talking-to-himself kind.

Speaking of Buddhism, what is it with the Brit Hume stuff? You'd think Hume was getting all fire and brimstone in Tiger's face considering how the media has crucified him. I mean, the dude is just stating a fact about Christianity; it's steeped in forgiveness.

September ... Gone

Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Now that October is half over and I haven't been in the saddle since September 14, I'm amazed at how quickly a month can pass without a single ride.

Not that I don't have a myriad of grand excuses. Wet weather, cold weather, sleeping in, feeling ill, etc.

But here is some good news: Google is working on a Bike There option for their maps, which will incorporate trails and junk!

Time for Rest

Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Two weeks with a nasty cold, and I haven't ridden once. Good news is I'm taking some time to recoup. Bad news is I won't be posting anything until the end of September. Until then, watch this video as a reminder to always check cross traffic in an intersection even if you have right-of-way:

Three Rights Make a Left

Monday, August 24, 2009
I encounter one particular intersection on my commute that makes me nervous enough that I go pedestrian to avoid it. Here's a Street View of it:

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It's a left turn from Southbound Quivera to Eastbound 87th. While it looks manageable here, it's not so friendly when I hit it just after 5:00 PM on my commute home. There are two lanes of left-turn traffic and after the turn vehiculars make mad lane changes to get to the lane they need to hop on I-35 north or south.

The CommuteOrlando Blog offers some alternative left-turn options that might just work for me in this situation. Here is a flash from the blog that does a good job illustrating some of the options:

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The Box Turn might be a good option, except that would put me at the head of the pack for the Eastbound traffic, and I think that would really piss off some drivers. The Jug-Handle Turn would take me another block in the wrong direction, but it's an accepted maneuver at my u-turn point, as you can see by the road sign:

I do like the three-rights-to-make-a-left option, too. I may experiment with these and see which one leaves me feeling the safest without eating up too much commute time in the process.

Renegade the Middle

Friday, August 21, 2009
I'm getting fed up with cars passing too close to me.

I try to be very accommodating to cars on the road. I hug the right curb like Kansas law tells me to do, and I signal my turns so they're not surprised by a sudden change of direction on my part.

Most of the time, drivers pass me with at least half a lane's width between us, but sometimes, drivers pass so close that I could reach out and polish their windshield as they pass.

It's very unnerving, and I've noticed it happens at one particular spot of my commute more than any other.

There is a stretch of Blackfish Parkway in Lenexa that has random occurrences of a median, which makes the lanes very tight. I'm talking Kegle tight.

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No matter how far to the right I ride, some yahoo wants to pass me here. Typically, the driver just needs to pace me for about 50 yards where the road opens back up and he can pass me safely.

But no, they really need to save 30 seconds and risk my life in the process, so I end up riding the gutter and holding back my urge to kick their passenger door.

This morning I decided to use a different strategy. Where the road has no median, I ride to the right like a good citizen. As I approach the median zone, I totally hog the lane. Right down the middle, I tell ya.

As soon as the median ends, I scoot to the right to let my vehicular kin pass. So far, it works like a charm!