Sunday, September 27, 2009

I know this makes me sound like a sad hippie...

...but I missed my bicycle while I was down in Tennessee.

Living in West Knoxville (Concord, actually), a bike would have been purely a recreational toy. I could have pedaled back and forth on the residential back street on which I lived, or ventured out onto Canton Hollow or Bluegrass and risked getting bunted into the great beyond when two vehicles passed each other in a blind curve. The only way I could have gotten any use out of one would have been to actually take it someplace to ride, as though it were a pedal-powered jet ski or snowmobile.

Here in flat, urban Broad Ripple, with plenty of shady side streets and the Monon Trail nearby, I can actually use it as a vehicle, which I am about to do. I'll type more when I get back from Kroger.


UPDATE: So, to Kroger and back, and then to the blogmeet and back; about four miles total. The basket held a twelve pack of Diet Dew and a plastic grocery sack stuffed brim-lippin' full of canned cat food, garbage bags, and that Glacéau Vitamin Water stuff (now with 50% more Placebon!) for my roomie. Given the stowage capacity, I could probably do most of my grocery shopping on this thing without having to make daily trips.

11 comments:

Lorimor said...

There is nothing sadder than a sad hippie. Really, there isn't.

I burst into tears every time I see one.

Bgg said...

When I see a sad hippie, I scoff at them and then kick them in the hackeysack...

Besides smelling like stale bong resin, their sadness gives me hope...

Stingray said...

Y'know, if I could get our local cyclist population to adopt even 1% of your common sense on the matter of bikes in general, a non-trivial portion of my day to day rage would vanish. Bump the speed limit on the road you described to 50, with everybody clipping along closer to 60, and change "kudzu" to "sheer cliff" and you've described the most popular cycling routes in Los Alamos.

'Course to hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from those who tend to dress like a reject from "Tron" when someone suggests the car would come out the victor in a demonstration of inertia and momentum, you may as well build a gas chamber as try to convince them to find a more suitable ride.

Anonymous said...

Why the preference of bike imply one is a hippie?

Not if we can open carry the boomsticks to the field. Taking the trophy home could be difficult though...

Or like those Swiss Bicycle Regiment once upon a time.

theirritablearchitect said...

It's funny that you should mention being able to use your bicycle as real transportation, rather than recreation.

When gas went through the roof last year, I'm sure you saw your fair share of people threatening/commenting/implementing the bike for commuting duty. Even some who were taking a pretty serious trek each way.

Some folks with close proximity to me said the same thing. They encouraged me to do same. I politely told them that commuting 63 miles a day on bike through our somewhat hilly terrain was just a bit more than I was willing to deal with, mostly because of the 6-hour round trip that I'd figured it'd take. The gas burning seemed like a bargain for the time I made up in transit.

Some people just have no sense of reality about this kind of thing.

DirtCrashr said...

Italian Bersaglieri in WWI had folding bikes, the Germans had their own "Radfahrertruppe". Denmark had the 4t. Bataljons Cyklistkompagnier. The Dutch had bicycle infantry. In 1937 whilst invading China the Sons of Nippon employed some 50,000 bicycle troops, also whilst going down through Malaya to take Singapore. The British raid on German radar at Ste. Bruneval, in 1942 was conducted by airborne Cycle-Commandos with folding bikes...
Bicycles - Not just for Hippies!

Anonymous said...

Tam,
I strongly suggest a mirror that attaches to your helmet or protective glasses. (Um, you ARE wearing protection, aren't you?) I commuted for several years, 12 miles each way, and found this mirror a lifesaver, literally.
Good luck, Stay alert, enjoy your spinning.
Former Biker

Will said...

Tam, where's your sense of daring? Baskets on a bicycle? Back in the day, I used to make grocery runs on an RD350B. I'd balance the bag on the tank, using my elbows and knees. It was the last version of the 350, with the lightswitch powerband. That thing had a lot less miles on the front tire than the rear. Can you say wheelie?!!
Eventually, I found a backpack that a full bag of food would fit in.


wv= urned: what you ended up in if you didn't pay attention on the road!

Tam said...

"Tam, where's your sense of daring?"

Smeared across the front bumper of Mr. Gayournejadian's Camry.

jesperskibbey said...

We moved near the end of the 3rd creek greenway in K-Town, and I've been commuting to work and the grocery stores. Now I fill the car with gas once a month. However, I still avoid the roads, as they are so full of angry drivers.

Tam said...

jesperskibbey,

Depending on the road down there, "angry" may not have anything to do with it. The aforementioned Bluegrass and Canton Hollow are not laid out with cyclists or even pedestrians in mind; the pavement is barely two cars wide, there are no shoulders, and immediately beyond the rock-lined drainage ditch is earthen berm and tree trunks. Riding a bike or walking or even driving a tractor along most of those roads is just asking for a wreck, even if every auto driver is polite, alert, skilled, and scrupulously obeying the speed limit...