Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Snow + Commuting = Snomuting?

Today was the first time that I really, honestly commuted in the snow this entire winter. 

...although, to my credit, there hasn't been any snow yet this season. 

I've been trying to commute this season as much as I can. We've been lucky to have had a very mild season so far. In fact, it's been so nice that I recently (yes, as in January recently) took this picture of one of my bikes. I call her Penny. 

Aside from the gang tag on the wall....I was very happy about this. Not because I like my bike...but because I had a T-shirt on. 

Today....was a different story. I used a different bike. 

Let's just say it was colder. 

It was a fun ride, nonetheless, and I found that even though it was bone-chilling cold out, I DID notice a a few things.

  1. People don't know how to drive when it snows. Yes....we all say that....but you notice more things as you pass by accidents on a bike. You're just plain not moving as fast. Take for instance....the tire marks leading up to the crash, or the types of vehicles involved (preeeety much always an SUV).
  2. People don't know how to ride when it snows. Let's just say I saw more people walking their bikes to class on the unpaved sidewalk than attempting to ride them. Why bring the bike, anyway? Or myself...thinking that for some reason when I was getting chased by a dog (same. angry. dog. every. morning.) I kicked up the cadence just to find that my rear wheel broke loose and I started sliding...into a trash can. (Did I just admit that?)
  3. I need to dress better for the weather. Ok....So I rode in jeans. Bad Idea. Don't do it.
  4. Commuting in any weather can be fun. No matter what the terrain....for some reason a bike is just plain a more enjoyable way to get there. Heck...on a bike, when you start sliding or fishtailing down the street....you grin and try to do it again. In a car? Yeah....ya' freak out.

I'll be commuting and posting a lot more throughout the coming year...more about the realities of commuting rather than the mere fact that it was snowing today. 


Saturday, January 5, 2013

NDJR/20 Liters: The Final Miles - Part 1


First a few thank you's to Drew Johnson and Sarah Kole who over the break donated to 20 Liters, pushing the total up to 235% raised! It's hard to express how blown away I am by all of you who have supported this and have simply asked questions about why I am doing it.

Humbled and thankful.

As you've noticed, there has been a break in riding - first there was finals week at seminary, then right onto driving to Iowa for a week back with the family for the holidays. Now, I'm back in Holland. Classes haven't started back up and I get to spend a few days back in town before I head to the other side the world for 10 days. No joking, I'm heading to India for a J-term class.

As I settled in for a few days, I couldn't help but play in my parts bins - reorganize a bit, which then of course means changing some parts around on the bikes. From the picture above, you can see Red got the crank changed out on her and due to the extremely mild winter we are having so far I was able to put some miles on it as I ran around town to do some errands.

Going from coffee shop to school to the library to some food to the bank to then back to school since I forgot a few things. I discovered after putting the route in the computer had gone slightly over 9 miles! Crazy. But it was good to get back on the bike.

27 miles to go!
Totals to date:

Miles Friday: 9.2 miles
Overall miles: 112.6 miles

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