5-20-10

May 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Posted in anchorage, biking, photo du jour, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Door number one, door number two or door number three?

5-15-10

May 16, 2010 at 6:33 am | Posted in anchorage, biking, photo du jour, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Lunch with my son -- bus station pizza with a Knik Arm view.

4-30-10

May 1, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Posted in anchorage, biking, photo du jour, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Alongside Chester Creek trail.

3-26-10

March 27, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Posted in alaska, anchorage, biking, photo du jour | Leave a comment
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Critical Mass riders get ready to roll around downtown Anchorage.

3-20-10

March 23, 2010 at 5:23 am | Posted in anchorage, biking, photo du jour | 1 Comment
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Ready to ride.

Bike to work with the mayor

February 18, 2010 at 5:31 am | Posted in biking, politics | 3 Comments
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Ran across this item yesterday at Bike Commute Tips.  Tried to put the video up here but couldn’t do it last night after an hour of trying.  WordPress supports a few different players, but not the one StreetFilms uses… there was another way to back-door it in via Vodpod but that had its own problems.  Since I’m too cheap to get the $57 annual upgrade to support all video types [I’d do it, if this blog was getting hundreds of hits per day instead of 10 to 20], I gave up.

Ya sure… anyway… do go to StreetFilms and watch the short video of Seattle mayor Mike McGinn biking to work.  It is totally worth it!  I know nothing of McGinn’s politics, but I am aware that he beat two other candidates who were a lot better funded, in a close three-way race.  He makes biking 6.5 miles from his house in the Greenwood neighborhood to City Hall downtown look like a piece of cake — even while it’s obvious it isn’t.  I biked around Seattle extensively in Summer ’08 when I was photographing alleys, and while it was delightful it was also challenging and obstacle-laden.  Anchorage is a lot easier.

Conservatives are fond of telling commies like me that we have “Portland envy” or “Seattle envy”.  There are aspects of both these places I find compelling, even precious.  But they have major issues with pollution, crowding and congestion and high cost of living — without the access to wilderness that Anchorage offers.

But what I appreciate about them is a desire to improve.  Look at McGinn’s ‘Ideas for Seattle’ site, and try to imagine these suggestions coming from Anchorage residents.  Or do I sell Anchorage short?  Maybe a little.  You’ll never see our current mayor, Dan Sullivan riding a bike to work — but on the other hand, the days I ride I have plenty of company on the paths, side streets and arterials.

McGinn is still in the honeymoon phase — but if he makes good on listening to suggestions submitted directly from citizens, and flattens the pyramidal control structure a little, and makes good on various populist principles — he will enjoy a long and productive run.  I love the guy.

Bike commuting still on the rise?

December 15, 2009 at 10:27 am | Posted in biking | Leave a comment
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My resolve has flagged a bit these last few months, but hope to be biking at least four out of five workdays again soon.  This time of year, with the oppressive darkness, just makes me want to sleep in.  So I’m less inclined to get ready for a 35-minute commute, if I’m already late when I wake up.  [I have sometimes driven home at lunch and biked back to the office afterwards — but that only meets the health portion of the overall objectives, not the anti-polluting part.]  At least it’s only a week until we start gaining daylight again.

This Daily Kos post scratches the surface nicely about the joyful aspects of biking to work.  It still seems to me like people go overboard on needing to shower after arriving, and on clothing and gear — but whatever it takes, to get them out there. 

From the thread’s comments, tips from an experienced rider:

— as in on the bike close to every day the last 30+ years.

1. Clothes are not where to skimp and save. Get waterproof shoes, warm ones, for the winter. Get a nice windproof waterproof and breathable “shell” with a hood that fits over your helmet. I spent $178 for mine, marked way down, and I would buy it again every time I go out the door into -15F with a 30MPH wind, even just to use that once. Thermals are your friend, especially “whicking” ones. Silk is awesome but expensive and fragile, and worth its weight in gold to layer for uber cold days. Good socks are a must.

2. Don’t think about your bike like a car driver does. Be willing to spend money for quality parts and equipment. The average car driver spends $7,000 more a year on transportation than the average bicyclist. You can afford to splurge on the gear you need to make bicycle commuting viable and comfortable and safe and easy.

3. Sell your car.

4. Plan your life around your mode of transit. Choose where to live based on ease of bike trips to shopping and so on. Shop most every day to keep the loads down, find routes that take you past the stores.

5. Always ask yourself, “what would be the worst, dumbest, most dangerous thing that driver could do?” Assume they will do that.

6. Right of way and traffic laws are irrelevant when it comes to staying alive. That car may have a red light, but if you expect them to stop it may cost your life.

7. Be aware of your surroundings, road conditions, sounds from all sides. Often you will hear trouble before you see it. Never ever even think of wearing headphones.  

9-20-09

September 24, 2009 at 4:59 am | Posted in alaska, anchorage, biking, photo du jour | Leave a comment
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Pond off the Ship Creek bike trail, Anchorage.

Pond off the Ship Creek bike trail, Anchorage.

7-27-09

August 2, 2009 at 2:50 am | Posted in biking, photo du jour | Leave a comment
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My uncles Schwinn High Sierra Ive been pedaling around several west coast cities.

My uncle's Schwinn High Sierra I've been pedaling around several west coast cities.

6-28-09

July 2, 2009 at 8:07 am | Posted in alaska, anchorage, biking, photo du jour | Leave a comment
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Along the Ship Creek Trail near Mt. View.

Along the Ship Creek Trail near Mt. View.

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