Friday, May 16, 2008

The Perpetual Threat of Rain stops: The 5/16 Commute

When I woke up this morning it was clear and cool and I knew I'd feel guilty if I weaseled out. So I manged to get prepped and out the door right at 5am. I must say the commute in was lovely and I shaved off four minutes from my personal best for the commute in. The only thing I found noteworthy was I had the roads to myself as I didn't see another Cyclist anywhere. No Hispanics on Wallymart bikes, Zilch, Nada! I spent the ride reflecting on memories and lessons learned. That's the one good thing about commuting by bike in the early morning. You have time to get right with yourself and one's higher power.

The Monitor Pass performed to it's usual high standard; however, I still need to take it in for overhaul as I have a slight wobble in the front rim and hubs, sprocket, and bottom bracket could stand for fresh grease as it hasn't had any in five years. Here is a pic of it in this morning's configuration:











In truth, I'd like to stream in the Sirrus Hybrid; however, I discovered that it's bars are too fat to fit the bracket for my Niterider Digital Evolution headlight. In theory I could wear the light on my helmet; however, I've never been a big fan of adding extra weight to an already heave piece of head gear. So I'm holding off until I have a better solution.

I left work promptly at 4 p.m. and made good time despite having an extra 10 pounds hanging off my front fork (I had brought my tool bag to work on Monday and needed to bring it home again.) Like the morning commute the evening ride was very relaxing. As I made my way down Shepherd I had a had a friendly exchange with a driver. He had pulled in from the left hand lane into the right lane while traffic had stopped. I pulled in even with his passenger door and because we were stuck there in traffic I just gave him a big grin. He rolled down his window and apologized for he had thought that he had cut me off. I just smiled and laughed and told him "no worries" He in turn told me to be careful and we parted company. I had yet another exchange while passing through Memorial Park. This one wasn't so friendly, someone yelled get off the road while passing by; however, the one that took the cake was about six blocks from home where some redneck in a jeep drawled, "Geet Owwn De Sidewalk" as he zipped by. Unfortunately, I was unable to rebut him properly other than with some salty language. (Something to the effect of: kiss my donkey) followed by "Does this look like I'm walking? It's a sidewalk! but by the time I got that second part out he was long gone and did not hear it. The remainder of the commute went by without incident and it sure felt good to be home.

5 comments:

christopher.lopez said...

Im jealous, I walked out this morning at 5:30 and felt the coolness and thought "I should ride" but didn't. Curious-From where to where is your commute?

Sirrus Rider said...

From my house at roughly I-10 and Gessner to Texas Southern University in the Third Ward and back.

Jeff Stevenson said...

Hi. Please join the Bicycle to Work! LinkedIn networking group. Members pledge that they will try to ride their bicycle to work or on an errand at least once a week. Although the benefits should be obvious, let me outline them here.

Right now people in the industrialized world are facing two very grave problems: obesity and a growing scarcity of oil. Compounding this problem is the new food shortage brought about, in part, by the conversion of food cropland to bio-fuel crop production. Most people feel powerless to help, but there is one thing that we can do. Ride our bicycles to work.

If everyone would agree to ride their bikes to work one day per week we could cut oil consumption by as much as 10-15%. No one would argue that riding a bike burns more calories than driving the car. Although popular politically right now, most bio-fuels consume more energy than they produce. We would be much better to eat those bio-crops then use our own energy to transport us around.

So spread the word. Make it a movement! Bicycle to work one day a week and do your part to cut back obesity and the overuse of oil and precious cropland.

Just go to my profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreylstevenson and you can click on the group to be included. While you are there, don't forget to ask to link to my network of more than 9,000,000 like-minded professionals. I accept all invitations and look forward to meeting you.

Jeff

Suzanne said...

I am glad that there are other like minded individuals here in Houston that are commuting by bicycle. I'm a big believer that calories are the fuel of the future.

I do need to say that I felt pretty uncomfortable with your comment regarding your satisfaction of being out early, before any "hispanics on wallymart bikes." I'm sure it was not your intent, but this statement communicated a feeling of ethnic/class superiority.

Regardless of the motivations for commuting by bike, we should stand in solidarity with all people that are using alternative forms of transportation.

Sirrus Rider said...

Uh Suzanne,

Are you sure you want to get me stated on this topic? Although, by real name is not on here and being primarily an English speaker I assure you that despite an Italian surname I am genetically half-Hispanic. Secondly, in this era of political correctness I refuse to apologize to a segment of the population who are conducting a deliberate invasion. They are not here to be "Good immigrants" despite the spin the press, The President and LULAC might put on it. My parents, Grandparent, and great Grandparents were good immigrants. For starters they didn't violate immigration laws by sneeking themselves into the country. They waited their turn. The also honored all the laws of this country unlike a specific segment of the Hispanic invaders. FWIW my Great Grandparents didn't have any intention of staying. They made their money to buy a piece of land in Italy then went home, but while they were here they conducted their public business in the defacto national language: English. They didn't demand the school districts to import Italian speaking teachers to teach Italian kids in Italian. Didn't demand that the schools popularize Italian Culture over American Culture. These are things that the Hispanic invaders are doing.

I happen to know first hand about the schools as I worked as a substitute teacher in Spring Branch for two years. Typically, I wouldn't say much on my breaks when I was on the job. One of the things I noticed is nearly all conversations in the Teacher Lounges was conducted in Spanish. Second, the minute the foreign born teachers discovered that I'm half Hispanic and refuse to teach, or speak to everyone in Spanish I could detect a distinct and palpable hostility. This is also true of the administration they seem to have forgotten which country they actually work for.

Secondly, I was married to s first generation Mexican-American and that really washed the whole Hardworking, moral, etc. propaganda from my eyes and ears. Most may be hardworking, but moral uh.. About as much as Larry Flynt, Caligula, and Nero!