Friday, July 31, 2009

Bike Nazi Stats

** Last updated 31 March 2014 **

March, 2014 riding statistics
- 493 miles ridden, on 28 riding days
- 1246 YTD miles
- 157,034 cumulative miles

February, 2014 riding statistics
- 375 miles ridden, on 28 riding days
- 753 YTD miles
- 156,541 cumulative miles

January, 2014 riding statistics
- 378 miles ridden, on 31 riding days
- 378 YTD miles
- 156,166 cumulative miles

December, 2013 riding statistics
- 331 miles ridden, on 31 riding days
- 5758 YTD miles
- 155,788 cumulative miles

November, 2013 riding statistics
- 462 miles ridden, on 30 riding days
- 5427 YTD miles
- 155,457 cumulative miles

October, 2013 riding statistics
- 501 miles ridden, on 29 riding days
- 4965 YTD miles
- 154,995 cumulative miles

September, 2013 riding statistics
- 521 miles ridden, on 28 riding days
- 4464 YTD miles
- 154,494 cumulative miles

August, 2013 riding statistics
- 590 miles ridden, on 28 riding days
- 3943 YTD miles
- 153,973 cumulative miles

July, 2013 riding statistics
- 562 miles ridden, on 27 riding days
- 3353 YTD miles
- 153,383 cumulative miles

June, 2013 riding statistics
- 544 miles ridden, on 28 riding days
- 2791 YTD miles
- 152,821 cumulative miles

May, 2013 riding statistics
- 573 miles ridden, on 31 riding days
- 2247 YTD miles
- 152,277 cumulative miles

April, 2013 riding statistics
- 546 miles ridden, on 30 riding days
- 1674 YTD miles
- 151,704 cumulative miles

March, 2013 riding statistics
- 476 miles ridden, on 31 riding days
- 1128 YTD miles
- 151,158 cumulative miles

February, 2013 riding statistics
- 400 miles ridden, on 28 riding days
- 652 YTD miles
- 150,682 cumulative miles

January, 2013 riding statistics
- 252 miles ridden, on 31 riding days
- 252 YTD miles
- 150,282 cumulative miles

December, 2012 riding statistics
- 359 miles ridden, on 29 riding days
- 6134 YTD miles
- 150,030 cumulative miles

November, 2012 riding statistics
- 466 miles ridden, on 30 riding days
- 5775 YTD miles
- 149,671 cumulative miles

October, 2012 riding statistics
- 569 miles ridden, on 31 riding days
- 5309 YTD miles
- 149,205 cumulative miles

September, 2012 riding statistics
- 684 miles ridden, on 30 riding days
- 4740 YTD miles
- 148,636 cumulative miles

August, 2012 riding statistics
- 633 miles ridden, on 30 riding days
- 4056 YTD miles
- 147,953 cumulative miles

July, 2012 riding statistics
- 546 miles ridden, on 28 riding days
- 3423 YTD miles
- 147,319 cumulative miles

June, 2012 riding statistics
- 316 miles ridden, on 22 riding days
- 2877 YTD miles
- 146,773 cumulative miles

May, 2012 riding statistics
- 605 miles ridden, on 31 riding days
- 2561 YTD miles
- 146,457 cumulative miles

April, 2012 riding statistics
- 544 miles ridden, on 30 riding days
- 1956 YTD miles
- 145,852 cumulative miles

March, 2012 riding statistics
- 528 miles ridden, on 31 riding days
- 1412 YTD miles
- 145,308 cumulative miles

February, 2012 riding statistics
- 428 miles ridden, on 29 riding days
- 884 YTD miles
- 144,780 cumulative miles

January, 2012 riding statistics
- 456 miles ridden, on 31 riding days
- 456 YTD miles
- 144,352 cumulative miles

December, 2011 riding statistics
- 496 miles ridden, on 31 riding days
- 6606 YTD miles
- 143,896 cumulative miles

November, 2011 riding statistics
- 513 miles ridden, on 30 riding days
- 6110 YTD miles
- 143,400 cumulative miles

October, 2011 riding statistics
- 339 miles ridden, on 21 riding days
- 5597 YTD miles
- 142,887 cumulative miles

September, 2011 riding statistics
- 642 miles ridden, on 28 riding days
- 5258 YTD miles
- 142,548 cumulative miles

August, 2011 riding statistics
- 648 miles ridden, on 30 riding days
- 4616 YTD miles
- 141,906 cumulative miles

July, 2011 riding statistics
- 551 miles ridden, on 25 riding days
- 3968 YTD miles
- 141,258 cumulative miles

June, 2011 riding statistics
- 648 miles ridden, on 30 riding days
- 3417 YTD miles
- 140,707 cumulative miles

May, 2011 riding statistics
- 634 miles ridden, on 31 riding days
- 2769 YTD miles
- 140,059 cumulative miles

April, 2011 riding statistics
- 601 miles ridden, on 30 riding days
- 2135 YTD miles
- 139,425 cumulative miles

March, 2011 riding statistics
- 569 miles ridden, on 31 riding days
- 1534 YTD miles
- 138,824 cumulative miles

February, 2011 riding statistics
- 480 miles ridden, on 28 riding days
- 965 YTD miles
- 138,255 cumulative miles

January, 2011 riding statistics
- 485 miles ridden, on 31 riding days
- 485 YTD miles
- 137,775 cumulative miles

December, 2010 riding statistics
- 445 miles ridden, on 31 riding days
- 6485 YTD miles
- 137,290 cumulative miles

November, 2010 riding statistics
- 469 miles ridden, on 30 riding days
- 6040 YTD miles
- 136,845 cumulative miles

October, 2010 riding statistics
- 525 miles ridden, on 28 riding days
- 5571 YTD miles
- 136,376 cumulative miles

September, 2010 riding statistics
- 674 miles ridden, on 30 riding days
- 5046 YTD miles
- 135,851 cumulative miles

August, 2010 riding statistics
- 643 miles ridden, on 30 riding days
- 4372 YTD miles
- 135,177 cumulative miles

July, 2010 riding statistics
- 648 miles ridden, on 30 riding days
- 3729 YTD miles
- 134,534 cumulative miles

June, 2010 riding statistics
- 667 miles ridden, on 30 riding days
- 3081 YTD miles
- 133,886 cumulative miles

May, 2010 riding statistics
- 651 miles ridden, on 31 riding days
- 2414 YTD miles
- 133,219 cumulative miles

April, 2010 riding statistics
- 419 miles ridden, on 23 riding days
(9 days out of town on a motorcycle adventure)
- 1763 YTD miles
- 132,568 cumulative miles

March, 2010 riding statistics
- 587 miles ridden, on 31 riding days
- 1344 YTD miles
- 132,149 cumulative miles

February, 2010 riding statistics
- 491 miles ridden, on 28 riding days
(No day less than 10 miles.)
- 757 YTD miles
- 131,562 cumulative miles

January, 2010 riding statistics
- 266 miles ridden, on 19 riding days
(Resumed riding on 1/13; didn't miss a day after that.)
- 266 YTD miles
- 131,071 cumulative miles

Decemer, 2009 riding statistics
- 180 miles ridden, on 15 riding days
(The month's riding was cut short by surgical procedure.)
- 5784 YTD miles
- 130,805 cumulative miles

November, 2009 riding statistics
- 568 miles ridden, on 30 riding days
(464 miles on the new velocipede!)
- 5604 YTD miles
- 130,625 cumulative miles

October, 2009 riding statistics
- 452 miles ridden, on 31 riding days
- 5036 YTD miles
- 130,057 cumulative miles

September, 2009 riding statistics
- 539 miles ridden, on 29 riding days
- 4584 YTD miles
- 129,605 cumulative miles

August, 2009 riding statistics
- 504 miles ridden, on 28 riding days
- Bike-commuted all but 2 days. 1 was "doctor's orders," the other was a doctor's appointment. (I seem to be falling apart!)
- 4045 YTD miles
- 129,066 cumulative miles

July, 2009 riding statistics
- 474 miles ridden, on 25 riding days
- 3541 YTD miles
- 128,562 cumulative miles

(Cumulative miles - total number of miles ridden since I started keeping track, in January 1986)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sharing space with morons

This just showed up on the Drudge Report...

Driver texts, talks, hits car, crashes into pool

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (AP) - Police said a Buffalo-area tow truck driver was texting on one cell phone while talking on another when he slammed into a car and crashed into a swimming pool. Niagara County sheriff's deputies said 25-year-old Nicholas Sparks of Burt admitted he was texting and talking when his flatbed truck hit the car Wednesday morning in Lockport.

The truck then crashed through a fence and sideswiped a house before rolling front-end first into an in-ground pool.

The 68-year-old woman driving the car suffered head injuries and was in good condition. Her 8-year-old niece suffered minor injuries.

Sparks was charged with reckless driving, talking on a cell phone and following too closely. It couldn't be determined Thursday morning if he has a lawyer.

(Story here.)

I would use this as evidence that we need a phoning-while-driving law, but notice... he was charged with talking on a cell phone. It's already illegal in NY!

It is truly sobering to think I might be riding down the road and encounter somebody with such extraordinarily poor judgment, behind the wheel of a multi-ton lethal weapon.

Good year for flats (so far)

Tuesday I had a flat tire.

Which, strangely, has become unusual... it was only the 5th flat tire of the year.

(I know. You're thinking, "What kind of weirdo counts his flat tires?" ME! Maybe I was a statistician in another life, but I just love keeping track of stuff.)

By comparison, historically I've had upwards of 25 flats in any given year. I've bought patch kits a half-dozen at a time! I've had three flat tires in a day, on a couple occasions. I've "joked" (?) that the only reason I ride a bike is so I could enjoy my hobby - fixing flat tires!

What has changed?

I'm not sure.

I'm using puncture-resistant tires, but that's pretty much standard procedure. I've got a cheap tire, but with a kevlar belt, on the front. And for most of the year I've had a Continental Top Touring tire on the back. It's a tire that's no longer available, and its relative high cost always discouraged me from using it regularly. But maybe not having flats is worth a few extra bucks.

(For the record, four of the '09 flats have been the front tire, and only one on the back - and the one on the back was caused by my own mistake. I overinflated the tire, and it popped off the rim.)

Later in the year I'm planning on buying some upscale Schwalbe tires, using $ that has come available through my employer's new alt-transportation incentive program. (It rewards regular bike commuters with $20 per month for bike-related expenses. Sweeet! $240 per year should keep me in some NICE rubber! And several of you readers have given the Schwalbes the thumbs-up.)

The next 3 months or so are the "goathead-critical" months. The goatheads are coming on strong! And they'll start getting dry and crispy and blowing to and fro. I expect my year-end flat tire total to at least be in the double-digits.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dog-bit!

In the 23+ years I've been transportation-cycling, I've never been bit by a dog... at least to the point where it punctured the skin.

I've had a few stressful encounters with dogs over the years. I've had dog-spit on my pants and socks a few times. Once when I was riding home, a dog actually tore my slacks. I followed it to the house it retreated to, and demanded that they replace my slacks, and told 'em they were getting off easy. (I believe that. If you have a dog-at-large that ends up injuring somebody, you are just as liable as if you injure a bystander with a gun, or a car, or a baseball bat.) They gave me the money... but it was obvious that they were much worse-off than me financially, so I mailed it back to them, and hoped the encounter served as a warning.

For every dog-spit incident, there have been 100 dog-chase incidents. Most have served as amusement.

Up north of Star, there used to be a big house on a corner lot, with a huge lawn surrounding it. A big ol' Great Dane used to sit on the porch. As we approached the corner, he'd take off in an "intercept trajectory," and it was a race to see who could get to the property line first. I always beat him, which was a relief. Even though Great Danes aren't known for their viciousness, he was big enough that he inspired a bit of fear just by his presence.

At the other end of the dog-spectrum, out by Kuna there used to be a little ankle-biter that looked just like Benji, the Hollywood dog. What he lacked in stature, he made up for in enthusiasm... he'd chase us for a half mile, barking and growling furiously! (Of course, we could easily outrun such a tiny fella... and even if we couldn't, I wouldn't admit it. nudge-nudge, wink-wink) Maybe he chased something too big and got under the wheels... I haven't seen "Benji" for a few years.

(For the record - a chasing dog will almost always retreat if you turn on him. Or even if you brandish a frame-pump menacingly, or blast him between the eyes with a water bottle. Be advised - I'd bet that far more cyclists are injured trying to take evasive measures, than are actually attacked.)

Well... I got bit Sunday!

It had nothing to do with cycling.

We attended a family reunion over the weekend. Another attendee - my wife's niece and her family - brought a couple of wretched non-stop-barking dogs. They looked like maybe a cross between a beagle and a weenie dog. About beagle-size, but with shorter legs and pointy noses. Unfriendly little diabolical things, that would start yapping whenever a stranger got within barking distance. And there were plenty of strangers at the reunion.

I generally like dogs, and tried to acquaint myself with these little mutts. But they'd growl even when I was making friendly overtures. They were on those spring-loaded retractable leash things, and seemed obnoxious but harmless.

Until Sunday morning.

I was talking to the people in the camp (we were camping) and whoever was handling the dogs wasn't paying attention. Suddenly they were on me. By then I was used to their barking, and so I didn't pay much attention as they approached; I figured they'd stand a couple feet away and bark. But no! Before I knew what was happening, I could feel one of 'em kinda scratching my shoe and sock with his teeth; it was obvious he meant no harm. But the other one kinda vaulted up my shin and clamped down on my leg, just above the knee.

The thought occurred to me to grab him around the neck and squeeze 'til his beady little eyeballs popped out.

The niece shouted, "What happened?!!?"

"Your dog bit me - that's what happened!"

24 hours have gone by and the wound doesn't seem to be festering; I think I'm going to be all right. And as far as I know, the dog is still all right. (He was quickly spirited away; that was the last I saw of him... although I'm sure he lived to yap another day.)

In retrospect, I'm glad I didn't toss him against a tree trunk, or twist his head around a couple times, or smash his pathetic little skull under my heel.

Can you imagine?

"Golly - remember the big family reunion in 2009? That was the year Uncle Steve killed our precious little Petey!"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer time, and the ridin's easy

Sorry for the long delay since the last post. I've been distracted... and will continue to be distracted for a few more weeks. And, there's not a lot new to discuss, at least in my scope. However, I continue to faithfully ride my bike EVERY DAY whenever bike and I are in the same town. (I missed 4 days earlier this month, when I was out of town for 6 days.)

I love riding in the summer time! All that winter-time sand is gone from the shoulders of the roads. And it's still a bit early for the peak of Goathead Season. Of course, in these parts you're dealing with the chip-seal crews, out working on sections of road. But they can be avoided.

Strangely, the cyclist population seems to drop off in mid-summer. Except for recreational bike-riders in the parks, on the Greenbelt, etc. I'm guessing that many of the fair-weather riders who hang up the bike in winter are also scared off by the hot weather.

They are missing out! As long as I can stay hydrated, summer is a wonderful time to ride! The bike just seems to roll easier, most likely due to the fact that everything is loose and "viscous."

When I'm riding on hot, I try to fill the radiator before I leave, and have plenty of water to drink along the way. I also soak the shirt when the opportunity presents itself. (I spoke of a "roadside oasis" a couple summers back.) It makes a big difference for 10 minutes or so.

Sometimes you choose where to ride; other times you don't. (Transportation cyclists typically have a destination in mind, and the "where" is the route to their destination. By contrast, if you're on a fitness or recreation ride, you can choose the "where" based on current circumstances.) When I'm choosing, I'll try to pick shade and/or cool, for those summer rides.

Cool?

F'r instance, last evening I was riding on Overland Road, near Orchard. As I rode past the edge of Hillcrest Country Club - acres and acres of cool, green grass - I felt a very distinct cooling in the air. I bet the temperature dropped 10 or 15 degrees. If you can choose, choose a route near green grass, or lots of water, or shade.

Happy riding! Stay hydrated!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Panel discussion about cycling

Bob T brought this to my attention...

The public is invited to attend a [free] community education panel about the rules that govern interactions between motorists and cyclists. The panel includes District 17 Idaho State Senator Elliot Werk; 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Kristin Armstrong; Boise attorney Thomas J. Lloyd III; Sergeant Clair Walker of the Boise Police Department’s bike patrol, and Officer Anthony Dotson of the Boise Police Department. The event will be moderated by Boise City Council Candidate TJ Thomson. For more information, contact Tom Lloyd at 208-520-8768, or Jim Philpott at 208-340-0051.

Where: Falcon Tavern, 705 W Bannock
When: Thu., July 16, 7 p.m.

I'd like to attend and hear what the participants have to say. But I've got to confess a bit of skepticism. Those who are concerned enough about the "interactions between motorists and cyclists" to attend, will be those who also know the rules and try to abide by them. (Or in other words, this is unlikely to reach any of the audience that really needs it. But maybe the panel will come up with some notions on how to reach that audience.) Also... my eyebrows raise at "City Council Candidate TJ Thomson" as the moderator - I've never seen a city council candidate who's working so hard, and so early, to be in the limelight at every conceivable moment. (I don't know the man; I just know the elections are still 4 months away and as far as I know, no other candidates have even declared, let alone started campaigning.) And finally, it seems odd that a forum about traffic safety is being held at a tavern! Will there be a 2-drink minimum? (grin) But whatever...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Another call for against-traffic bike riding

A letter-to-the-editor, composed by Sherry Horton of Melba:

Bicycle riders should be allowed to ride against the traffic just as a pedestrian walks against traffic - for safety. I want to know in advance if some idiot driver is veering toward me so I can get the heck out of the way. Otherwise, as happened to that woman at the intersection of Eagle and Overland, she didn't see the Hummer coming up behind her. She had no chance to react.

Safety is everyone's responsibility. Yes, bicycle riders should obey traffic laws when riding on the streets, but 90 percent do not, including the experienced riders.

It appeared in the Sunday, July 12 edition of the Statesman.

Now, chances are that you wouldn't be exposing yourself to a lot more danger if you rode against traffic on Potato Road in Melba. Or even Broadway. But Sherry's letter is more evidence that many folks just don't understand the dynamics of bike riding in traffic, and how much education is needed.

Even if Sherry's premise that her cat-like quick reflexes could enable her to swerve out of the way of a head-on "idiot driver," she's ignoring the additional hazards she creates for herself at every intersection, driveway, parking lot exit, etc., when side-approaching motorists aren't looking for her as she comes up the street the wrong way.

And how does she propose to deal with cyclists who are riding with traffic, and coming straight toward her on a collision course? Will she "get the heck out of the way," or not?

I don't know this for a fact, but I'd bet that there are more head-on collisions between wrong-way cyclists and cars, than there are rear-end collisions between right-way cyclists and cars.

Sherry needs to ride WITH traffic... and I'd also strongly recommend a rearview mirror to keep track of veering idiot drivers.

Friday, July 3, 2009

9 straight months of saddle-time

Today (July 3) marks 9 straight months of every-day bicycling for yours truly.

The last day with 0 miles on the clock was October 4, 2008. (My bike was in Boise, I was just south of Bear Lake, in southeast Idaho.)

Some of those days (like today!) were "stat rides" - where I just rode up to the end of the street and back or whatever, to keep the streak alive. But the vast majority of those days have seen purposeful cycling. Transportation, fitness, and recreation.

On these days when the heat waves create mirages up the road and the perspiration evaporates too-fast-to-drip, it's fond to think back on those days in December, when the snow was too deep for comfortable driving, and the snow was mashing up between tire and fender, piling up behind the brakes. (Of course, brakes aren't nearly so critical when it takes considerable effort just to move forward very slowly.) I love the variety provided by changing weather... it affects cyclists considerably more than drivers in their insulated pods.

The streak ends today. In just a few minutes I'm blasting off on my annual MOTORCYCLE adventure. Will be gone for 9 days, returning to Boise on Saturday, July 11. The bike gets a breather.

If you're interested... I'll be passing through these cities and towns in the next 9 days:
(Idaho) McCall, Riggins, Grangeville, Orofino, St. Maries, Cataldo, Murray, (Montana) Thompson Falls, Plains, Elmo, Kalispell, St. Mary, Browning, Havre, Wolf Point, (North Dakota) Williston, New Town, Garrison, Bismarck, Belfield, Medora, Watford City, (Montana) Sidney, Glendive, Forsyth, Roundup, White Sulphur Springs, Townsend, Butte, Anaconda, Wisdom, (Idaho) Salmon, Challis, Stanley, Lowman.

I travel prepared, hopefully, for all eventualities. I carry a small tool kit, tire plugger, (bicycle) pump, rain gear, cold-weather gear... but hope that when I get home it's all been useless ballast! There are things you can't prepare for, other than being vigilant - mostly the same stuff we deal with on our bicycles. Careless roadway users. Unpredictable critters (Bambis instead of squirrels, unfortunately! Maybe a moose or buffalo on this trip.) (Yeah, I know - technically they're "bison." But show me a "bison-head nickel!) Pavement that deviates from glass-smooth asphalt.

If you're the type of person who prays, your prayers on my behalf will be appreciated. It's easy for me to travel with a prayer of gratitude in my heart, as I am surrounded by the magnificence of God's creation.

Well... as the Cyberdyne Cyborg would say, "Hasta la vista, baby!"