Monday, July 14, 2008

Fun with the BBC - and another flat tire fixed!

In my June Recap, I mentioned that some folks from BBC Radio were going to come out for a chat with me. They're covering a few different things while they're here in the States. As Will mentioned, it's kind of expensive to send a crew out here just for one episode of one radio show.

They talked to me today about bicycle commuting in Kansas City. Why Kansas City? Well, because Portland is just too easy and if that's the case, you might as well shoot for the opposite end of the spectrum. KC has top honors among the 50 largest cities as the absolute WORST city for cycling. How about that for a challenge?

And what a challenge it was. You see, yesterday they ran around the deserted Sunday streets of Kansas City with KCBC. Sunday afternoon and Monday at rush hour, however, are two completely different animals.

This is Will Grant, host of One Planet, a BBC radio show about "...environmental, development and agriculture stories, dealing with the impact of humankind on the natural world."

Guess what happened to Will's reporter buddy (I believe his name is Richard) on the way to the Transit Hub I met him at? Yep. Richard got a flat. It's also entirely possible that I've got these two characters' names reversed, and Richard's name could be something else such as Robert. I hate having a photographic memory without any brain film.

Will sets up the levels for recording as Richard glances around at all the interesting transit hub denizens. No, really. There are actually people nearby who are stranger than I am, and that's frightening.

Richard explains the horrid journey that they had on their bicycles just getting to the transit hub, some five miles north of the hotel they're staying at. This includes the awkward bus racks that the KCATA operator didn't know how to use and the woes of getting a flat tire not more than a mile after setting off on their ride.

After getting Richard's bike situated (in four minutes, forty-five seconds!) we rode down the street a ways to Union Station.

There, the recording gear came out again.

Karen was waiting for us, and they interviewed us both in kind of an impromptu panel discussion about the good and bad of bike commuting in Kansas City. What does the city need to do? What do businesses need to do? All that wonderful stuff.

We chatted a while off the record and off topic for a while before parting ways. I gave the BBC chaps the directions they needed to return the loaner bikes.

The rest of the commute home was interesting as well. Not to bother with too many details, I had to take a pretty major detour and found out what Antioch is like when you have to ride it in rush hour. (Spoiler: It's not fun. Captain obvious strikes again.)

I didn't make it to the Monday Recovery Ride, either. Too much going on this evening to even consider it.

Random Tunage:
Fluke - Kitten Moon
Lisa Loeb - I Do

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