Metal Bike Commuter

That was close!

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on September 30, 2008

Yesterday morning, I’m riding to work a bit groggy and in a sour mood.  I took my usual turn into the A&P parking lot to avoid the traffic at the intersection.  While coasting towards the stop sign, a car speeds up to beat me and makes the left onto the side street towards the main road.

Well, I thought to myself, I’m going to beat this fool to this stop sign.  So I pedal it harder but the car beats me.  Wait, she’s stuck because of all the traffic.  I push harder.  I pull alongside the right of the automobile.  Maybe I’ll beat her before she turns right.  So I continue.  She starts moving.  We’re both moving.  Oops, her car is cutting the corner…closer to me, I better brake.  Brakes work well.  Whew, that was close!  That was stupid!

I finally pull out and slowly pass her on the shoulder as she’s still stuck in traffic.  Lesson learned:  Don’t pass cars from the right at stop signs.


Random photos from my phone

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on September 25, 2008
Tags: , ,

Fourth day in a row that I saddled up.  Feeling alright.  In the spirit of the coming weekend, I decided to share some photos from my phone.  Most will be bike related.  This phone has the worst built in camera ever!

First up, a bicycle rack I found outside Chipotle’s in Bridgewater, NJ. (if you haven’t tried Chipotle’s, do yourself a favor):

Old New England minted coins:

My excuse for not riding on some mornings:

My top secret hiding place at work:

A monkey could steal it.  Most people never notice it.

But seriously, they are the reason I ride too:


Phantom Photo (or the inside of my bag or pocket):

I’m not a meth addict, but I spotted this at the self-checkout line at my local A&P:

(PS: Mouse over the pics for extra stuff).

So I’ve been cruising.

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on September 24, 2008
Tags: ,

I feel like I have been on a roll this week.  The past few weeks have been filled with an overall inconsistency when commuting.  Some days I’d do half commutes, some days none, and about once a week, a full round trip.  Needless to say, I was in a funk.

Sure, I had some valid excuses.  We just had a baby, and so were going through the usual night time events required of when raising a newborn.  And I was busy with vacation time.  Unfortunately, there were some days that I had no reason not to ride.  Those days were my lazy days.  Some of those days were nice and warm with the sun shinning down just perfectly.

There were days I would be driving and wondering why.  Why am I doing this to myself?  I am not the most patient of drivers, so anytime I get stuck in traffic, and someone does something stupid, it sets my blood to a boiling point.  My cure is to bike commute.  Even when I encounter those same stupid drivers while on the bike, I find myself less hassled.

I’ve been known to ride with a goofy grin on my face while it is pouring rain.  I think I am starting to reach a turning point.  We’ll see how this pans out when the weather becomes a challenge.  Despite my larger-than-average frame size, I am not a big fan of cold weather.  Sure, it feels good when stepping outside for a few minutes, but how does it feel when the wind is cutting like razor blades while gliding down a hill with low visibility because your eyes are tearing up from the frigid weather?

Well, here’s hoping for some good riding the rest of the year.

Riding with a cold.

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on September 23, 2008

The past two days I’ve been riding with a cold.  Normally I’d sleep in a bit and drive in.  I think I’ve become addicted to this.  This is good, as the ride helps to clear my head out for a bit.

On the way home last night, I was slowly ascending a hill when another bicycle commuter passed me with a ring of his bell.  I couldn’t hear clearly, but I think he mentioned something about the colder weather we are experiencing.

Anyway, I’m glad this day is almost over.  Hope everyone has a safe ride!

Time for some weather adjustments

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on September 22, 2008
Tags: ,

So it seems as if my days of riding in shorts and tee shirts are numbered.  It took me most of my commute to warm up this morning.  It is a fine balance between accounting for body warmth and air temp.  I think I’ll switch to long sleeves tomorrow if it is just as chilly.

My bag was extra heavy and bulky this morning:

– My work clothes
– Shoes
– Toiletry Bag
– Windows XP Professional Training Kit for 70-270 (MCSE)
– Lunch
– Towel (sure, not heavy, but big).

So it appears my small bottle of Head and Shoulders exploded.  My toiletry kit was covered with shampoo!  Kind of gross.  I must have looked strange emptying out the bag with my razors, deoderant, soap, and other necessities while cleaning out the shampoo.  Standing at the sink this morning, this was an unnecessary annoyance.

Head and Shoulders, you ask?  Yes, my head is prone to dryness.  There, I admit it.  I have dandruff!  You should see me if I let the mane really grow.  Actually, my hair hasn’t been so flaky lately.

No weekend riding.  I’ll be at a men’s retreat with my church in a couple weeks, so I am going to pack the Hardrock and check out the Deleware Water Gap.  This is a beautiful and underappreciated area of America.  I hate these stayovers, but they do more good than harm in the long run.

Be Honest…

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on September 19, 2008
Tags: ,

…Have you ever ridden while listening to your iPod or MP3 player?  I haven’t but it is a huge temptation.

Nice Wife

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on September 18, 2008

So we bought a 99 Subaru Legacy Outback Wagon for a great deal!  Roof rack included!  I know the previous owners (her parents).  They treated this car very nice.  While it has about 120k miles on it, I know it is in great condition.

My wife is awesome because she carted my bicycle over to me so that I could ride home.  I was too tired this morning to leave in time to ride, so I drove our other car.  I came back for lunch, and she went to the DMV to get the plates, and registration for our “new” car.  She just dropped it off, so I have a ride to look forward to this evening.

I’ve noticed that on the days I drive in, I feel less energetic during the day.

And I’m Back

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on September 17, 2008
Tags: ,

We had a nice time on vacation.  The rental car we were using overheated on the last day, so we had some issues getting a replacement, but the family is safe and sound back home in NJ.

I really had no time to ride, and as mentioned, no way of carting my bicycle up to New England.  I did stop in at a small bicycle shop in Amherst, MA.  Amherst is a pretty little college town (well, big, I believe there are 2 colleges, and Umass represented in Amherst) with a ton of boutique shops, restaurants, and a sweet town green to hang out on.  When we stopped over, they were just tearing down their farmer’s market, so I didn’t get a chance to taste the local produce.

I supported the bicycle shop by purchasing a much needed rear rack.  I almost pulled the trigger on panniers, but decided the $200.00 would be best spent elsewhere.

The rack is now installed but unused.  This morning’s ride was spent like usual, with a huge backpack on my shoulders.  Since we just received our homesteader’s rebate (this is a government waste program that spends money to give you back money if you own property and pay property taxes – why can’t they just cut the taxes in the first place?  I digress), I plan on going to a local shop and getting me some panniers.  Preferably the kind that can be thrown over the shoulders.

Anyway, it is good to be back and on the road.  My monthly mileage accumulation is down lower than average at this point, so I have a ton of catching up to do.

Have a good week!

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on September 9, 2008

I’ll be roaming around New England visiting friends and family and taking a much needed vacation.  Unfortunately, I won’t be fitting the bicycle in the car, but maybe I’ll borrow a friend’s for a few hours.

Shoot, my cyclometer stopped working!

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on September 5, 2008

Since I did a half commute yesterday (I drove in, and rode home), I had my bike stuffed in the trunk of my Accent (yes, it fits when the rear seats are folded down).  The problem is, I was lazy yesterday morning, so I didn’t take care to make sure the cables weren’t pinched or pulled.

So, I just threw the bike in and was on my unmerry way stuck in traffic (sigh, I hate driving more and more, unless I’m going somewhere fun, like Maine next week).  8.5 hours later I made my way to the car and proceeded to remove the bike from the trunk.  I hook up the front wheel and start out on my merry way (I love riding past traffic on my bike).

I notice my cyclometer (Cateye Mty 8 ) isn’t registering my speed, just showing the wrong time.  I hit the mode button and it shows my mileage with a 0 as speed.  I know I’m slow, but not that slow!  So I pull over and check the magnet and receiver.  Everything is lined up properly.  Even the wire for the receiver looks good.  My only conclusion is that the cable or connection disconnected under the insulation.

And now I realize I am one who has a tough time riding with a disfunctional cyclometer.  I need to know how slow I’m going!

Next Page »