Saturday, May 10, 2008

Ready... Set...

GO!

Today was the official kickoff of Bike Week in Kansas City. I am not really partaking in the events this weekend because of how crazy things are right now, but I'm stoked about Monday's commuter convoys and all the other events. Many thanks to the volunteers who stepped up to make this Kansas City's most extensive Bike Week so far.

It looks like my convoy might get a few seconds on a local news channel (KSHB-41) so set your TiVO or wake up early and watch their morning news. You might just see us!

Speaking of media attention, one of KCTV 5's crew is taking the bike challenge, riding and writing. Check out Amanda's Bike Blog. Thanks for the tip, Eric.

I just got done pulling the photos off of my camera from Friday's homeward commute. I didn't take many good ones, but this one just popped out at me. Its completely non-manipulated (aside from scaling it down, and I have the 5MP RAW if you want it).


(Canon PowerShot A530, RAW, f/3.5, shutter 1/200, ISO 100)

I'd normally crop it, probably to 16x9 and get rid of part of the tree trunk to the left, but I wanted to show it as is. I don't know why, but it seems surreal and the fence almost looks photoshopped into the scene. It's not a particularly breathtaking photo, but it really caught my eye.

Friday's homeward commute was just me by myself at a pretty solid pace. I had my first vocal interaction with a displeased motorist this year on Southwest/Merriam coming toward Antioch. Some teens in a riced-out Acura Integra (you know, lowered, big spoiler, huge noisy exhaust cannon, and thumping stereo system) passed me, and the passenger called me something unintelligible. What was funny is that they were at the tail end of some traffic that had to slow down in my wake while oncoming cars made passing unsafe. Ergo, I was holding the line of cars up (at 25 MPH in a 35 MPH zone, oh the horror).

What they did NOT bank on is the fact that I had a nice 8 MPH tailwind and the particular section of road we were on is nice and level. This makes speeds exceeding 40 MPH possible -- but only in short, sprinty bursts since I'm still just a fat man on a bike. With the punks stranded behind cars going a smidge under the speed limit, I hammered, and hammered some more. I wasn't going to do anything other than hang onto them at a safe enough distance to shut down if they did something mean. The passenger -- with eyes as big as saucers -- was turned around staring at me. Then, the driver freaked out and passed 4 cars illegally in a no-passing zone.

Stupid kids. Bikes aren't always the 5mph sidewalk-mobiles you remember as a toddler.

Random Tunage:
Paul Van Dyk - Face To Face (Piano Mix)
Nine Inch Nails - 10 miles high

5 comments:

Sirrus Rider said...

Hey Noah!

By coincidence I was confronted by a similar scenario on my way home on Thursday. I had some thirtysomething yuppie in a Honda Civic pull up to me while transiting through Memorial Park and told me, "Why don't you ride that bicycle on the sidewalk." The funny thing is at that point on Memorial Drive there IS no sidewalk! There is the pea gravel jogging path, but bicycles are expressly forbidden to be on it and with all the joggers riding on it would be a hazard. The thing that made it most ironic is not more than 400 feet ahead of where we were was a bright yellow "beware of cyclists" sign giving clear indication that there would be cyclists in the road! Of course, this genius did not stick around long enough after dispensing with his idiotic wisdom to hear what I had to say in response.

thePig said...

Every week lately somewhere is having a bike week which is great to see!
I haven't heard of a commuter convey before and they sound like a great idea.

Noah said...

lol @ Sirrus - I know the type well!

thePig: the League Of American Bicyclists (without doubt the oldest bicycle club in the USA) is marking this week as "Bike To Work Week", so many cities follow their lead. Other cities in colder climates often choose a week later in the year, though, as places like Minneapolis still have a chance of getting snow in May!

Sairen said...

Each time I commute, I mentally award a "Worst Driver of the Day" prize. I was shocked (though perhaps I shouldn't have been) to recently award this to a school bus driver. We were on a fairly narrow two-lane road with no shoulder, curb, or sidewalk, and this bus decided to overtake me. Like your dumb kids, she couldn't do it quite as fast as she thought and ended up running the car in oncoming traffic off into the ditch...and had two very angry people honking at her. Stupidity comes in all forms, I guess.

Noah said...

I never, EVER hesitate to report careless, mean, or flat-out retarded commercial drivers. I take note of the bus number, license plate number or other identifying features and call the company.

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