Thursday, January 22, 2009

Time Out in the Deep Freeze

Due to the excessively cold temperatures we've recently "enjoyed" and a nagging back injury, I've found myself "frozen out" of being able to ride outdoors or even indoors on my trainer. With daytime temps not exceeding the freezing point until today and snow, ice, and salt brine mix covering the roads, I probably wouldn't have been outside anyway but I could have gotten in some cardio training and maybe have virtually ridden some more of Hawaii. Unfortunately, my now 3 week old lingering back injury has kept me off of the trainer as well. I keep hoping that my visits to the chiropractor and masseuse will soon pay off with reduced stiffness in my lower back and hip. Until that time arrives, I'm enjoying my "cycling adventures" by reading various favorite blogs and keeping up with the Tour Down Under.

I seem to have hit upon a trend of safety issues today. My first article is courtesy of my brother. He forwarded to me an interesting concept of how to "carry your own bike lane" with you. You can check out the story and images here:

The idea is interesting and there are some valid questions about the potential problems such a device might bring to the roadways. I can just see some drunk driver following the bike lane lines as they try to travel down the road. (Read the story - this will make more sense!)

Secondly, I ran across information on some new legislative changes in Oregon that affect cyclists and the requirement to stop at intersections and stop lights. This article may be accessed at:

While the article itself is interesting, it brings to mind similar controversies that I've experienced through the years as an avid motorcyclist. Specifically, I'm talking about the loud pipes arguments that are such a sore point of contention between automobile drivers and motorcyclists and even within the motorcycling community itself. As I find myself increasingly drawn to the bicycling side of the cyclist mentality, I must admit that I've been somewhat surprised by the ferocity of the feelings between some cyclists and some automobile road warriors. I was used to it as a motorcyclist but simply did not expect it to be so strong toward bicyclists. My hope is that cultural change is not too far off where the majority of individuals begin to appreciate folks commuting on non-gas/diesel powered vehicles rather than seeing them merely as something in their way on the roadsides. With gas and diesel prices now falling and at decade old levels, I'm concerned that much impetus for alternative transportation will be lost.

As with all things, the more the general public begins to incorporate and see cycling in the daily routines, the quicker cultural change will occur.

Until later...

-- Zeke

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