Monday, February 24, 2014

Some pix

My youngest going along in the "wee-ride".
Well, at least one courageous reader commented a long time ago they'd like to see some pictures in addition to the "wonderfully descriptive and engaging writing" (I quoted myself there!).  So, I recently came out from under a log and learned how to do that and here are some old pictures. Enjoy!
Delivering mother and aunt to Oklahoma Freewheel in '11?

These show the reflective measures I've taken to increase visibility.
So, there you go. I don't have many pictures, but there are at least a few.
Keep on commuting by bike!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I'm scared to look...

I'm scared to look at how it's been since I last updated the Midwest Bicycle Commuter. I'd like to claim I haven't updated lately because I've been out on adventures across the U.S. bicycle camping, but I haven't. Truth be told, I haven't even kept up my commitment to bicycle commuting this year 2014. I am now, again. However I drove my car to work all of January and until Monday February 17. That's the longest span of driving my car to work I've had in three or four or maybe five years. I don't keep track very well.

Let me tell you about a small crash I had in the closing weeks of 2013. The Friday before classes were to be dismissed on the following Tuesday,  at the high school where I teach English, I rode my bike to school as usual. It was getting pretty darned cold, no joke. there was a thin little bitty layer of ice or slick moisture on the road which I navigated safely all the way across town. I made it all the way to the school and through the parking lot and up onto the sidewalk right next to the bike rack where I do my bike parking. I rode up from the parking lot surface to the raised concrete sidewalk using the concrete ramp and when I straightened out to parallel with the concrete, the bike completely went out from under me and slammed down on the non-drive side.

Of course there were many students and faculty around and I jumped up and played it off as nothing. A student caught my attention indicating I'd dropped something. I figured it was one of my blinkies. No. it was my pedal. Not just my pedal, but the entire crank arm still connected to the pedal. The "spindle", or "axle", whichever is correct, or neither, had sheared off. It's 5/8" thick solid metal and it sheared right off.

I found a replacement at my LBS, which is Sunflower Outdoor in Lawrence, Kansas. I gathered it was not the exact specific one I needed, but was very close to it, enough for my needs at any rate. I put it together over Christmas Break and tried it out and was pleased that it worked.

When school resumed, it was frigid cold, and we were getting snow and sleet and I just decided I wanted to drive during that period. And... so... here we are.

Today was in the 40's on the way to school and I'm glad to be back commuting by bike. should be on it consistently until the summer break begins.

I'll try to be more consistent with this blog as well.

As usual (or rather sporadially!) keep on commuting by bike!