Friday, May 16, 2008

KC Bike Week 2008 Day 5 - The Wrap Up

This week was a huge contrast to 2007 Bike To Work Week on many levels:

  • The weather cooperated every day, with only a few mornings in the 40°s and no rain.
  • I am in better shape now
  • I live 9 miles closer, making my round trip more feasible. 30 miles instead of almost 50.
  • I helped plan this one.
  • I got to ride with friends every morning and most evenings. I only encountered Chris once and Karen twice last year during Bike To Work Week.
It's worth mentioning that I met both Chris and Karen during Bike To Work Week last year. Not only that, I met both of them BECAUSE of Bike To Work Week. I really have to pay homage to last year's Bike To Work Week event. It was pivotal on many levels. Not only did I meet two people would eventually come to be my favorite commuting buddies, but the event itself flipped a switch. That switch was one that made me look forward to the days when I could avoid the bus by riding my bike all the way. Prior to last year's event, I would bus to work, and seldom but occasionally ride all the way home. After that event, and after I moved, it was a frequent thing to ride the whole route. One year later, the permanent effects of that moment are still evident.

This is technically the last day for Car-Free Challenge. This is the main thing I was participating in. It's completely possible that people haven't finished logging their miles yet, but I am done with my miles for the Car-Free Challenge. Here's how things stand.

  • 182 miles of bike commuting and errands
  • 15 miles (7.5 mile points) worth of bus riding from my trip to waldo and back.
  • 8.7 miles on a slow-paced group ride monday (not counted)
This puts me in 13th place for bicycle transportation, and 20th place among all alternative transportation users.

I am a wee-bit grumpy about some participants this year who seem to fail to understand the "spirit" of the Car-Free Challenge. Epic thousand-mile interstate road trips don't keep congestion off the road, even if you're car-pooling. Logging recreational rides as commuting isn't fair. Riding a mile to school with 3 kids doesn't entitle you to 4 commuting miles because there were four of you on the road. And stopping at a convenience store along that 40-mile training route you were going to ride anyways? That doesn't make the entire training ride's miles count as an errand.

In discussing the rules with other Bike Week Committee members and some of my Convoy Crew, it's apparent that some verbiage needs to be added. Care should be taken, however, to not exclude those of us who for one reason or another either already choose to or are forced to use a bicycle as a primary mode of transportation. I'd rather avoid phrases like "trips that you'd normally use a car for"

Guess what, though? I'm not in it for the competition, nor am I bitter. I just did what I'd probably have done this week anyways, and logged my miles accordingly. My commute wasn't going to score me a place in the top ten; I knew that already. I already have my rewards: increased health, money saved, and many friends made over the past year and a half thanks to bicycling. This includes finally meeting some more people this week who know me from the blogosphere and took the time to say hi. You know who you are.

Aside from the car-free challenge, I hit the following Bike Week events:
  • Family Bicycles pit stop on the Trolley Track Trail
  • Mayor Funkhouser's LAB/BFC Platinum press conference
What's next this weekend?
  • I'll be riding my bike to the PHP User's Group meeting at Daily Dose tomorrow afternoon
  • I'll ride to my place of Worship on Sunday
  • I'll also ride to my Birthday party after church, at a local park.
To me, though, This pretty much wraps up Bike Week.

Here are some pics from the homeward commute this evening.

My new shifters. Thanks, JR! Compare to my old grip twisties.

Karen and Chris behind me on Turkey Creek Trail

Karen and Chris ahead of me going through the 79th St. Industrial Park

Eight braze-ons. Count them. I checked, and there are at least 8 more on the back. If you count all the eyelets on my three bikes combined, I have the same number as Chris has on this one touring bike.

Yes, I have some bike envy.

Oh yes. I'm finally a Flickr Pro. I didn't think I would take the plunge, but I simply have too many photos up there to not go for it. Of course, it will take about a year for the ads on this site to recover the $25 I spent on it. Some people collect stamps. I pay someone to host my pictures and keep them organized. Mostly (but not entirely) so that you guys can make fun of my photos. Whatever.

Soak it up, this weekend. It looks like we're in for a continuation of the nice weather.

Random Tunage:
Orbital - Lush 3-2
Fragma - You Are Alive

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another great post. Congrats on finishing up bike week.

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