My Progress

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Playing in traffic!

I've decided that it was time to drag out my mountain bike and turn it into a commuter to get back and forth to work.  With gas doing nothing but going up by $0.05 to $0.10 a leap it's time to cut back where I can.

Feed the kids, put gas in my car...  Decisions decisions.  Fortunately feeding the kids won out, if you don't feed them on a regular basis they get noisy and misbehave.

Doing some major digging in my garage unearthed a bunch of forgotten bike bits, I was able to locate my mountain bike fenders, several bits of dead lights and batteries, my old seat bag, (complete with a dead tube) and other somewhat useful bits.

My current plan is to drive to work only on Monday and Friday, and ride my bike the rest of the week.  I can bring three days worth of clothes and necessaries in on Monday and take the dirty stuff home Friday.  My Camelbak HAWG allows me to take my pocket items and lunch daily.

The commute so far is working out pretty good.  A 7.5 mile ride first thing in the morning does wonders for my metabolism, (kick starts it into high gear for the day).  This is good due to fact that with my diet and normal exercise load my metabolism runs for the hills screaming FAMINE and slows way down.  An added 15 miles a day, three times a week really helps the fitness base.

The commute also has another side benefit, as I'm on a bike I see a lot more of what is around and under me.  The other day was free tool day!  It looked like a tool truck has blew up on the road.  Unfortunately for me, it wasn't the Snap On truck but the cheap tool truck, but hey, free is free!

The only negative issue I've had on the commutes has been traffic.  Now it's just commuting through suburban McKinney, through mainly four lane roads, at non peak traffic hours.  One would think this wouldn't be an issue, however it's become an almost daily occurrence that someone gets a bit to close or doesn't want to move over into the open lane next to them and has to try and pass me in my lane.  Mind you, I'm one of those cyclist who believe in wearing high visibility colors, I have enough lights either blinking or shining that I can signal space aliens, I obey the rules of the road, and I ride in a steady and predictable manner, some drivers though just seem to have an issue with a regular bike on THEIR road.  As an aside note though, when I'm riding my recumbent, stupid behavior from drivers is a relative rarity.  My primary defensive weapon when on the bike for idiot drivers is my mirrors.  Since any argument between a bike and a vehicle is going to be a losing situation for me on my bike, I keep a close eye on what traffic is doing behind me and always leave a bailout path to safety.

I'd think of mounting a belt fed machine gun on my bike to solve the inattentive/aggressive driver issue, but aside from the paperwork though, the local drivers would have to get their noses up out of their phones to notice it.  It would only be effective once I went LOUD with it and that brings out so many more problems.

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