Friday, July 06, 2007

Somewhat unintentional commuter convoy

Well, we had some practice for Monday. Chris had already planned on riding and Karen rolls through my route at about 5:45. I took off at 5:40. Just as I pulled up to the first stop light, Chris comes up behind me. As we're stopped at 79th, we see Karen coming up the street. We had a cool little 3-person bike commuter echelon (not quite a convoy) going.

My average speed was a little higher today than yesterday. I took the hill on 67th street at almost full tilt, hitting 41.7 MPH. It's not the fastest I've ever been on my Trek, but it's the fastest I've ever gone on a stretch of road where I have to dodge unpredictably-placed manhole covers and storm drains. Truth be told, I've gone faster than that -- but not by much -- on my Outlook. We took a slightly different route this morning, opting for the slower, longer, and curvier bike path instead of the more direct roadway that's littered with some of the bumpiest railroad crossings known to man.

Anyhow, we all agreed to try it again Monday, but I might ask that anyone interested in riding with us gets to Skate World by 6:00. Karen has to get to work pretty early for parking reasons. We'll try yet another route, since we will have to go through skate world.

Sorry I didn't get any photos. We were too busy riding!

Oh yes, before I sign off for the morning, I have a little bit of a rant. It starts with a trend I started seeing 10 years ago that I never thought would take off, but today it seems to be going like gangbusters. Why in the heck are people -- LOTS of people -- DRAGGING their stuff behind them in little wheeled luggage carts these days? I'm not talking about ginormous luggage cases. These are little bookbag-sized things with wheels and handles. Heck, some of them are even shaped like bookbags and seem to have the usual assortment of straps and handles for carrying on your back or in your hand in a traditional manner. What happened to plain old bookbags, briefcases, laptop bags and the like? I think my laptop bag (which I admittedly stick in my left pannier every morning instead of carrying it on my back) is the only non-wheeled case I've seen this morning. I would ask if people have actually gotten THAT lazy, but I already know the answer.


Apertome said...

Excellent. It sounds like a fun ride. By riding together, hopefully in addition to being more visible in traffic, you can draft off each other and make the ride a little easier.

I've seen the bags you're talking about, tiny things with long handles and wheels. I feel the same way: is it too much to have to carry something?

Frogman said...

I remember being in Las Vegas when ax0n was using a luggage case with wheels that ended up MELTING on the axles while going down a sidewalk. Hahaha!

Noah said...

Yes, but that was the Ginormous luggage bag of doom at the DefCon "Hacker" convention.

I was lugging an NEC Versa 4050C Laptop, Macintosh SE/30, RS/6000 Model 250, a few keyboards/mice and external SCSI CD-ROM drive in it, not to mention all of my clothes and personal hygiene gear.

Yokota Fritz said...

Bike trains are cool and fun.

You've been to defcon, Noah?

Noah said...

Hell yeah I've been to DefCon.

My white-hat crew (now somewhat grown up) has been there four times. It's been a while. Defcon 6 - 10.

We're thinking about attending a conference again sometime soon, like next year. It's too late to plan a trip to DefCon 15. Perhaps we'll go to HOPE instead. When you live around Kansas City, nothing cool ever happens close to you, but an event on either coast is always less than 2,000 miles away :)

Not sure yet.

Yokota Fritz said...

I used to do infosec work, a little bit for Sun Microsystems then for an outfit called Argus Systems Group where we had internal hacking contests on our products. I'm a little out of touch now but still know the basics of secure programming, though nowadays good security programming practices are built into the compilers and linkers, which is a good thing.

Unknown said...

I have a spinal fusion of the entire thoracic section. I also have some sclerosis and arthritis in my spine. Believe me, wheeled bags are little miracles. I don't understand why they bother you. Do wheelchairs and white canes for the blind have the same effect?

Nonetheless, I can commute on my very light Trek and I think it's great that you have a mini-peloton.

Noah said...

You have a reason for a pull-behind bag. I can guarantee most of the people I see dragging their 2-pound bags behind them are suffering from nothing more than obesity and sloth, though.

I don't mind large luggage bags. Look, I have seen plenty of sales reps who have to bring an entire array of little gimmicks and displays along for the ride. No big deal there. It's only the tiny little bags with big tall handles that make me wonder what society has come to.

I don't mind disabled people using things to make their life easier, but by your analogy, it would be like seeing 30% of the people in a grocery store using those battery-operated shopping wheelchairs while only two of them actually NEED it. I couldn't shake my fist at the motorized shopping carts, but I could shake my fist at the sloths that use them for no good reason.

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