A Link to the Past: The Revolution Is Not A Dinner Party, But It Might Be A Cycle Tour

Have you ever listened to London’s the Bike Show? Its only the very best podcast on bikes and biking that I know of. While I recommend subscribing and going back to the beginning and listening to every single episode I especially want to direct your attention to this episode from last October which features an inspiring and wonderful talk by the London School of Cycling‘s Patrick Field. The talk starts at 15:00 and is from the Intelligence Squared cycling festival.

Here’s one of my, like thirty stand up and cheer moments;

“The fantasy among our rulers, that bicycling would whither away to nothing has been superseded. They’ve recognized the value of cycle use. That the bicycle is a solution to a raft of problems: global warming, motor traffic congestion, and the elephant in the room, the public health time bomb of sedentary living. Like all sensible people, they look forward to bicycling catching on with ordinary folk. Their new fantasy is that these people will take up traveling by bike but remain unchanged by the experience. That normal people will ride bikes and stay normal. This cannot be. People who ride bikes become happier, more optimistic, more self reliant, less fearful, less governable.”

Yeah! I wanna stand up and cheer again right now!

Go and have a listen. Any thoughts? Comment below!

Daily Ride Journal: Riding ‘Till the Dragon Eats the Sun

Today’s Ride:

Up at 7, hung out with Matron Oil and Baby Oil for about an hour and then out of the house to get to the midway point for Haul Ash, for work. I usually work Sundays, so that’s no biggie but I’ve been out of town a lot lately and Baby Oil and I were not happy to say “Bye-Bye!” to each other. Frowny.

Today I rode Wheelio, our ’80s Japanese mixte, 650b conversion Xtracycle dream-machine. I love this bike so much. I promise I’ll write more about it soon.

Removed Baby Oil’s seat before heading off. I’m leaving it attached more and more, it really doesn’t add that much weight to the bike (like that matters at this point!) and it even looks cute but its great to have the option to remove it. I can’t believe how easy it is to slide the Peapod iii on and off the Xtracycle deck! Really, when its on its super secure and when I want it off it takes ten seconds and its off. Good seat!

We live on Capitol Hill, in sunny Seattle. Capitol Hill is the best, open late and full of weirdos. A really great neighborhood. One of the things I like best about this part of town is how easy it is to ride to so much of the city. Like a meatball on top of Old Smokey or whatever, we cyclists can just float downstream to Downtown, the ID and Pioneer Square, the U District or even, with some creative wiggling, the Arboretum and Lake Washington. So convenient!

Today the ride to Fremont took me North on Broadway to 10th Ave. I was hauling ass down that hill, definitely going the same speed as the rest of traffic, so I just took the lane. (How about you? Do you take the lane going downhill? Comment!) Down by the U Bridge traffic was diverted for some kinda fun run but it was no prob getting up onto the side path along the bridge on bike! I wonder how long the detour woulda taken in a car?

As I was going around that dogleg curvy ministreet to NE 40th I got a spontaneous round of applause from a bunch of fun run spectators. Getting themselves warmed up for the real event, or really feeling the cargo bike? You decide. (I take the lane there, too. Stinks to get squeezed out by a driver trying to pass you on a long turn. Do you do that? Comment!)

Then I cruised down the Burke-Gilman Trail straight into downtown Fremont. Total time? 25 mins.

Now’s a good time to mention something I am gonna try to make clear in this blog: I am not an athletic cyclist or person. I am chubby and not very tough. I bet I’ll use this forum to brag a little bit when I do things like get to Fremont super-fast or have a good time while hauling tons of junk and a wiggling two-year old. I hope its clear that I am trying to brag on behalf of Cycling as a mode of transport and not my own macho machoness. Except when I am bragging on behalf of my own macho machoness. Either way, remember, if you are one of those “Interested but Intimidated” potential cyclists out there, you can do it! You can!

Anyway, bike parking at the ride halfway point was fun, mostly because I love the people involved with Bike Works and got to do the event with three of my faves. Lots of carbon fiber road bikes at the event. Not really my cup of tea, but some neato stuff.

On the way home I stopped by Hub and Bespoke, a wonderfully classy clothing boutique for cyclists. I tried on the Freeman locally stitched rain jacket. I am really into that thing, looks like a classic rain slicker, but warmer and sturdier. It turned out that the only size that fit my big round belly was too long everywhere else. Story of my life. The quest for my perfect raincoat continues. I also had a great chat with Juliette, who runs the shop, about bike fashion and bike advocacy. Juliette is the greatest. She’s changed the way I look at clothes an that’s gone a long way to helping me change the way I judge my own appearance. Everybody could use a little more self acceptance, right?

Rode home via the same route I took there. Downside of Capitol Hill? Its a hill. Slower trip back home. I have really come to appreciate the uphill bike lane on 10th. Its not perfect. It is still right in the door zone for some blocks but it is such an improvement over climbing that street just a couple of years ago, when you not only had to fight the hill, but some pretty impatient fellow road users as well.

I rode past the sight of my “Good Samaritan” story. The one where I got to help a stranger who was being slowly eaten by her own car… Y’know what? I’m excited tell that one to you soon!

Thick clouds told me that there’d be no view of the once in every 20 years “Ring of Fire Solar Eclipse” that’s occurring overhead as I write this. Bummer. My friend Mark told me to tell Baby Oil we’d watch a dragon eat the sun, and she was so looking forward to it.

Instead, Mama Oil got out her guitar and the Family Oil rocked out until bedtime.

At last, the world contains a blog by me!

Hello, early readers of Riding on Roadways!

Who the heck are you?

How did you find this page? Are you my wife? Please explain your presence here in the comments below.

And a special hello to all of you far-future historian-bots, assembling a picture of 21st century humanity through our bloggy emissions. We are very sorry for how we left things! Thanks for cleaning up. Hope you like the blog!

This’ll be a fun experiment, blogging. Let’s watch it shape up together, shall we? I promise to try to add some content every day for the first few months. Shouldn’t be too hard to find things to tell you, I have a very big mouth.

Some upcoming subjects!

  • My family, and how we get around! and we sure do get around.
  • My bikes, with pictures ’cause they are lovely and I’m proud!
  • Commute humor. and horror.
  • Seattle Bicycle Politics.
  • Why cars are just awful.
  • Stories of things that happened to me before I started this blog!
  • Racism, Classism, Sexism, Homophobia and the panoply of systemic oppressions, how they are real and how they relate to bikes.
  • God.
  • Maybe something about comics and movies every once and a while.
  • Reviews of every single product I own!
  • Other stuff!

Should be fun, right? Special thanks to my partner, Mz. Oil for setting this thing up. Luv ya!

See you tomorrow!

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