High On Bike

A Bellinghamster On Wheels


Weird Week

This past week was just plain weird for me. It started off great with a 12-mile ride last Sunday. On Monday, I went for a hike with a couple of friends who are really used to hiking and it really kicked my butt. (You can read more about that on my weight loss blog by clicking here.) I think I’m still recovering from that.
Still sore from my hike, I drove my car to the gym on Wednesday for the first time since I bought my bike and was totally frustrated because I had to find a parking place. And frankly, it just felt odd to drive there. I had a pleasant but uneventful ride to the knit shop for my knitting group. But in keeping with my bizarro week, I arrived at 9:30 and though the shop is usually open at 9:00 the owner was running late and didn’t show up until close to 10:00 so I sat on a curb outside the shop playing Angry Birds on my iPhone.
I rode to the gym and back on Friday and had a double whammy on the way home. First a squirrel ran out suddenly from the bushes right underneath my bike, grazed the front tire and leapt into the bushes on the other side of the trail before I could even register what happened. I don’t think it was hurt and thankfully, I didn’t crash. I made it to the top of the hill near home and a very nice woman stopped her car to let me cross the street on Alabama. After checking for further traffic coming from the other side, I made it halfway across when a van came barreling down. Although I had loads of time and made it well across before he even came close, he decided to scream at me anyway. Angry drivers are part of the deal when you bike but I still found it disconcerting although not as much as the squirrel incident.
Saturday was the last day of warm weather for a while and I went for a rather respectable 5-mile walk despite a sore lower back that was probably the result of my cat sleeping on it during the previous night.
I look forward to this coming week, to cool weather riding, nice drivers, and squirrels that look before they leap.




Letter Writer Poops on Cyclists

There was a letter to the editor in today’s Bellingham Herald protesting the upcoming plastic bag ban, blasting the city council for “trying to shove the green agenda down our throats.” In a rant that rambles from the bag ban to coal trains, he ends his tirade by asking all pet owners to empty doggie poo bags into the “special” bicycle lanes that run through our city as a show of protest, saying that “The greenies ought to appreciate a little fertilizer.”
Sheesh! I’m just riding my bike because it’s fun. I’m not trying to make any sort of political statement. And if I can use my car less because of it, that’s just icing on an already delicious cupcake. But in this guy’s fevered mind, all cyclists are “greenies” and therefore, somehow deserve to bear the brunt of the anti-plastic bag ban crowd’s wrath. Really? His reasoning gives me a brain cramp. And it’s that mindset that makes me leery of biking on the roads, “special” lane or no, and extremely cautious when I do end up riding the streets.
The ranting lunacy of this letter almost makes you want to relegate the author to the rank of complete whack job, which he very well might be, and simply write him off. Nonetheless, it is simply another example of the irrational loathing many people have for bicyclists who share roads and trails. (See my earlier post, “Biker Has a Bell”.)

If these folks just took a minute to think beyond their own selfishness, they’d realize that the more people take to the roads with their bikes, the less traffic there is for those who don’t. It doesn’t even matter whether they’re doing it for “green” reasons or not. Personally, I don’t consider myself a greenie even though I believe in being environmentally responsible. I think the bag ban is a good idea. I also strongly believe that not everyone can or should ride a bike but those of us who do deserve a safe environment to do so. Do I deserve to ride through streets of dog crap because of it? I hardly think so.