Thursday, October 29, 2009

Will the Task Force result in improved Cycling Safety?

[This one's pretty big, so here's the "Executive Summary": The Cycling Safety Task Force released a report with recommendations on how to improve cycling safety here in Boise. I like their recommendations, but question whether there's the "political will" among those who can make a difference, to do more than give it "lip service."]

The city's ad-hoc Cycling Safety Task Force has just released its final report.

It can be seen and/or downloaded HERE. (NOTE! It's pretty big - 71 pages, 4+mb PDF file. In traditional government fashion, I counted 19 pages that are essentially blank.)

The report says they used the LAB "Six Es" approach:
1. Engineering (road improvements, bike lanes, signage, signalization, visibility, maintenance).
2. Enforcement (code changes, enforcement priorities, penalties).
3. Education (cyclist/motorist training, promotional programs, publications, officer training).
4. Encouragement (Promotion of cycling as a healthy and environmentally sound method of transportation and recreation).
5. Equality (cyclists’ ability to utilize roadways and access all destinations).
6. Evaluation (continuous improvement).

My hat is off to the task force; they obviously had the best of intentions, and every one of the recommendations makes sense to this citizen/cyclist.

Except for their proposed redefinition of "bicycle." They want to change the definition to "include tricycles and other multicycles." Friends... the "bi" in bicycle means two! Even an edict from the City Council won't change that!

(It's kinda like redefining the word "marriage." But that's a whole 'nother discussion that I won't participate in, at least on the BikeNazi!)

I suppose it's easier to change the definition of "bicycle" in the City Code, than to alter every line of the code where "bicycle" is mentioned, to include "tricycles and multicycles." And I'm probably just being picky.

Highlights include several new proposed laws:
- "Reckless bicycling" is added to the Code, and classified as a misdemeanor.
- "Bicycle Licensing" is recommended. The intention is to aid in recovery of lost and stolen bicycles. They would charge an administrative fee to be determined by the City Council.
(A note - the City already has a voluntary registration database, where users can register their bikes via an online form at the City website. I did, several years back. So far, it apparently hasn't helped in recovering my bike which was stolen on Sept. 27.)
- Bike violations are infractions. Currently most are misdemeanors. Changing them to infractions makes them "civil" rather than "criminal," and reduces the fine to $5 plus court costs. (I believe the theory is that cops will be more likely to issue infraction citations, than they have been to issue misdemeanors.)
- "Three-foot rule" is added. "Whenever possible," a motorist must leave "a safe distance, but not less than 3 feet," between his vehicle and a bicycle/cyclist when passing. (The "whenever possible" renders the law non-enforceable, IMO.)
- Harassment of cyclists and pedestrians. It becomes a misdemeanor to threaten or throw (or otherwise expel!) stuff at walkers and riders. (Frankly, it's sobering that we might need such a law.)

Here's the problem with the changes in City Code, as I see it...

In a civilized society, laws are sometimes necessary to compel civil behavior. (In a perfect world, where everybody is responsible, they might not be needed at all.) Unfortunately, like parents who scream vile threats at their kids, but never follow through with punishment... laws that are enacted but not enforced are WORTHLESS! Until there is a change of heart by our law enforcers, who have shown no institutional will to enforce laws on cyclists (or on people who victimize cyclists), precious little will change in the real world.

And obviously the police can't be everywhere; we also need a general change of attitude on the part of the citizenry. But education and enforcement are the only way to get us slowly steered in that direction.

I'd be in favor of everything the Task Force recommended. (Except maybe their redefinition of "bicycle." I don't want to have to replace my Webster's!)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rollin' up the Zeros!

Yesterday, October 27, I hit 400 miles for October. No big deal; I've ridden at least that far every month this year.

Today, October 28, I hit 5000 miles for the calendar year. A little bigger deal. (2009 is the 17th year I've ridden at least 5000 miles... and the 7th consecutive year.)

Yesterday I also hit 130,000 cumulative miles, since I started keeping track in 1986. I s'pose that makes me either "fairly unique" or "freakish," depending on point of view. I've sure enjoyed most of those miles!

When I rolled over 100,000 miles back on September 1, 2004, I speculated on whether I'd ever hit 200,000. It seemed a LONG way off. Still does, but not quite so far now. Maybe I can do this thing, if I stay healthy and exercise due care.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

(No, this is not a movie review.)

While I love on-street transportation cycling, the "off the beaten paths" also have unique charms.

On Friday, 10/23, I spotted a little doe on my ride home.

(Ironically, the I-184 "Connector" passes by perhaps 2 blocks from the very spot, and in the distance I could hear the drone of engines, and tires on the pavement. Well... they've got their climate-control and surround sound and cellphones to take great joy and satisfaction in... and they get to read the bumper stickers on the cars in front of 'em. Even more ironically, many of them were headed for their "country estates" where they live so they can commune with nature... except by the time they get home from the commute, it's after dark.)

Bambi raised her head warily, then went back to grazing as I snapped a couple photos. She couldn't have been more than 15 feet off the bike/pedestrian path.

This afternoon (Monday 10/26) within feet of where I snapped Bambi on Friday, I spotted some nice birds. I recognized the blue heron. Also a kingfisher, which flew off before I could snap... and which was probably out of photo range anyway. Also this white bird - an egret, perhaps? Can anybody identify the species?

I rode on. Took a detour through the cemetery to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage, which the Canada geese were also apparently enjoying. Bunches of 'em. Life is good.

Friday, October 23, 2009


While looking for some other information, I happened across this little tidbit on Page 129 of the Boise City Feb-May 2009 Budget Report. (The document - PDF - can be seen HERE.)

It's in the section where ValleyRide's year-to-date results are reported. (ValleyRide being the local public bus transit provider.)

ValleyRide experienced a tragic accident at 12:52pm on Tuesday, May 19, 2009. A ValleyRide driver heading to downtown from the Boise facility struck and injured a bicyclist on Orchard St. (behind the airport). The bicyclist later died from his injuries. At this juncture, the driver is on limited-duty, non-driving work ... At this juncture ValleyRide has provided (at our expense) additional counseling for the employee, four weeks of paid leave (prior to return to non-driving duty) and are working with BPD and officials to provide documentation and support for the investigation.

ValleyRide experienced a tragic accident? Well, lah-dee-dah! I guess at this juncture, we should feel a lot of sympathy for the poor, dear driver, who is obviously under a lot of emotional duress! Who wouldn't be, after drifting out of the traffic lane while adjusting his air conditioner, and plowing dead-on into a bike rider?!! (Since then - and obviously since this budget report was issued - the driver, Michael Perkins, has been charged with vehicular manslaughter. I don't know what his employment status is. Jim Chu - the cyclist - is still dead, and his wife, kids, and friends are still missing him.)

Bike riders and traffic laws

It's Safety Week at the office. Thursday's topic was Bicycle, Pedestrian and Parking Garage Safety.

Officer Riley of the Boise Police Department came and gave an interesting presentation. (He is an excellent spokesman for BPD; they should be proud of the way he represented the Department.)

Riley described himself as an enthusiastic cyclist, and is sympathetic to cyclists. His personal opinion is that everything possible should be done by a community, and its police, to encourage citizens to ride. But he also acknowledged that there are many officers who, if they were honest, would say bikes don't belong in the traffic mix, and that cyclists create problems.

He said officers obviously have a tremendous amount of discretion as to when to issue a citation, or even a warning.

I brought up the fact that against-traffic cyclists are essentially never cited, and that bike violations, both by and against cyclists, are routinely ignored by the law-enforcement community. Riley agreed that it's a problem, and said it would only change as the population of road-going cyclists increases, and there's outcry from the community. (Right after our springtime fatalities, there was a lot more attention given to cycling behavior... but now we're back to business as usual.)

Some things to consider (for this area; the law likely differs in other jurisdictions):

- the "roadway" is the part of the road on the inside of the "fog stripes." The breakdown lane is not part of the roadway, in the legal sense. So technically, bicyclists should be just inside the fog stripe, but as far to the right as "practicable." (Of course, most of us prefer outside the fog stripe in real life, when it's "practicable.")

- jaywalking - if there is a signal at the intersection to your left AND to your right, you have to walk to one of those intersections and cross in the crosswalk with the light. If you can't see a signal and a crosswalk in both directions, you can legally cross the street mid-block. (Yielding for traffic, of course.)

On the topic of bike laws...

HERE is an interesting piece: "How do we get bikers to obey traffic laws?"

The author, Christopher Beam, starts out by saying he "ran five red lights and three stop signs, went the wrong way down a one-way street, and took a left across two lanes of oncoming traffic." On his bike. He says, "Bikes occupy a gray area of the law. They're neither cars nor pedestrians."

He describes two philosophies of bicycle advocacy, "vehicularists" and "facilitators."

The vehicularists have the philosophy that cyclists fare best when they behave like, and are treated like, other vehicles.

The facilitators prefer special treatment, laws, and infrastructure for cyclists.

I can see merit to both notions, but I definitely lean to "vehicularist." As stated by Beam, "Vehicularists see the potential transformation of America into a Euro-style bike paradise not just as a far-fetched utopia but as an insult. Dedicated bike paths are an admission that the cyclist deserves pity and should be walled off from the world."

(I lifted the awesome graphic off of Beam's article, at

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bicycling and walking in the United States - FACTS

This is somewhat interesting. - apparently a lobbying organization - prepared a "Top 10 Facts on Bicycling and Walking in the United States." Original document (PDF) HERE.

These were the most interesting and meaningful, from my viewpoint:

- 40% of all trips in America are two miles or less, 74% of which are travelled by car.

- Americans spend, on average, 18% of their annual income for transportation. The average annual operating cost of a bicycle is 3.75% ($308) of an average car ($8,220).

(The original document cites the original source of the information. I can't guarantee its accuracy, but my personal observation makes me believe at least those two.)

Several of their "top ten" seem to be oriented toward dedicated paths.

As a proponent of transportation cycling, I'm conflicted on the topic of bikeways, "greenbelts," etc.

While they are wonderful for leisure and recreational cycling, walking, skating, jogging, etc., they are of limited usefulness from a purely transportation standpoint. For a bike to be a car-replacement, the rider needs to be able to safely and efficiently travel to and from the same destinations as motorists. There will never be enough money or real estate to construct dedicated bikeways to all destinations.

Recreational corridors are a great boon to any community. If a bikeway is available that will take me to where I'm going, I'll happily detour a couple blocks to use it. But those corridors are "frosting on the cake" - the cake being a roadway system that I can comfortably use going to all those places, as well as the ones not served by bikeways.

New perk for German cyclists?

Business at Berlin bordellos has taken a beating, mostly due to the worldwide recession. (Yep - the economy is even hurting the Ho Business.)

Maison d'Envie (House of Desire) is in a congested part of town, and the owner is offering a $7.50 discount to patrons who arrive by bicycle or public transit. The new policy began in July, and business is up!

Story HERE.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Long Way Home

It was glorious today... as good as it gets. I took the "scenic route" instead of going directly home.

(Pay no attention to the "beater bike" in the center of the photo!)

New taillight

Based on recommendations from correspondents, and on WWW research, I purchased a Planet Bike Superflash taillight at REI yesterday.

It's $25 pretty much everywhere... I took advantage of the 20% off member discount currently going on, so I got it for $20 plus tax.

If they'd had the "stealth" model (clear lens instead of red), I would've gotten that one. The LEDs are red, anyway, and the clear lens probably transmits more light. But red is all they had.

It is amazingly bright and the jittery flash pattern is attention-getting. (The first time I turned it on, I was looking directly at it... saw spots for a few minutes afterwards.) I doubt that anyone has been rear-ended while using the Superflash.

My intended use is for day-to-day riding when visibility is compromised - night, and early or late in the day. Or when I happen not to be wearing the hi-viz vest... which isn't often any more. (I'll post more about my vest exerience soon.) When I depart on a night ride, I'll supplement it with the Lightman xenon strobe.

It came in useful the first night. I went and watched the football game at my mom's place, and rode home in the dark and the rain afterwards. I was sporting my hi-viz jacket and hi-viz/reflector vest, the Strobe, plus the Superflash. Motorists gave me a wide berth. Very comforting to feel confident that I was being seen!!

(OFF-TOPIC: I was dripping wet - from the waist down - when I got home, but the jacket seemed to effectively shed water. Rain, and being wet, is overrated as a misery-inducer, in our comfort obsessed society. It would be one thing if you were wet for days or weeks at a time, like jungle-fighting during monsoon season. Or when combined with uncomfortable cold... but otherwise, you get wet, and you get dry. I deliberately got myself wet, earlier the same day! grin)

I will do some real-life comparison (my opinion, of course) between the Superflash and the Strobe sometime soon. Maybe throw in whatever taillight the replacement bike arrives with... golly, I hope I don't have to wait much longer!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Is it too late to stop Distracted Driving?

A couple weeks ago, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood convened a Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, D.C.

Among the speakers was Reggie Shaw, 22. On September 22, 2006, Shaw was driving-and-texting in Utah when his vehicle drifted across the center line of the highway, and the ensuing accident killed two other roadway users.

Well-publicized studies by University of Utah scientists indicate that cell-phone talking while driving (not texting!) is statistically more dangerous than driving with >.08% blood-alcohol content, the legal limit in most places. The NTSB estimates that last year, nearly 6000 people died, and more than 500,000 were injured, in accidents involving distracted or inattentive drivers.

Yet, the prevailing attitude seems to be, "I know it's wrong, but I'm going to take my chances anyway." Or, "Sure - but I'm a superior driver, so it's okay for me."

So - what came out of the Summit?

Federal employees have been ordered not to text-while-driving. And everyone else is being "encouraged" not to drive distracted.

LaHood: "Every time you take your eyes off the road or talk on the phone while you're driving -- even just for a few seconds -- you put your life in danger."

Your life?!!? If it were just the life of the person making the stupid choice, I'd say let nature take its course! Choices have consequences. The problem is, guys like Reggie Shaw end up killing innocents who were doing everything right.

Nayha Dixit's sister was killed in a distracted-driving auto accident. She says, "The people in the cars next to us. It's someone's sister, someone's mother. Is checking that text message more important than someone's life?"

There oughtta be a law!

Do we need a law, specifically banning or limiting cell-phoning or texting?

Many states seem to think so, and have passed such laws.

(It's unfortunate that some people have such poor judgment, that they will do things that are dangerous or even life-threatening, unless it's illegal.)

Opponents say, "How about Inattentive Driving? Wouldn't that cover it?"

As I see it, the problem with a law as vague as "inattentive driving," is that its enforcement almost always follows an accident. The property damage is already done, the lives already left in shambles. How do you otherwise demonstrate that the driver was indeed driving inattentively?

Of course, a problem with specific laws is... unless accompanied by vigorous and high-profile enforcement, they will be ignored. California has a cell-phone law. It says you need to use a hands-free device. (A law with dubious value, IMO.) Yet here is California's First Lady, Maria Shriver, yappin' it up, much to the embarrassment of her Terminator husband.

A better comment by LaHood: "I strongly encourage the public to take personal responsibility for their behavior and show a healthy respect for the rules of the road." (Emphasis added.)

May it be so!

Other reading:
- Fox News article: LaHood Pledges to Crack Down on Distracted Driving, Warns of Fatal Consequences
- DOT Press Release: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Administration Wide Effort to Combat Distracted Driving
- Rodale Press article: Distracted Driving Addressed by Politicians, Scientists, and Advocates

(Hat tip to correspondent Bob T who kept rattlin' my cage about the Distracted Driving Summit. It is indeed one of the biggest obstacles to safe cycling.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Life in the Soft Shoulder

My mid-80s (and purchased new!) Peugeot Canyon Express is a war horse. After my "ridin' bike" was stolen, I got it out of the lean-to shed, dusted it off (and pulled a few weeds and cobwebs off), aired up the tires, put WD-40 on the rusty chain, and rode.

Today I'll hit 200 miles, since that day. I've oiled the chain (with real oil, rather than WD-40). I patched a tire - goathead! (It had been so long since I last disassembled the tire that it and the tube seemed "chemically fused" - I had to gently peel them apart.) I've had to tighten the seat bolt a couple times. The post is much newer than the rest of the bike and has some sort of "shock absorber" built in, but that bolt (just under the saddle) has unexplainedly loosened. (Next time - Loc-tite.) Other than that... no problemo.

It's a little harder to roll those 2.1-inch tires than the 1.1-inchers I'm used to. My wrists are telling me they're not accustomed to the hand position, although it doesn't feel uncomfortable. The nostalgic "friction shifting" (remember?) isn't as precise or fast as the click-shifters. But I don't shift a whole lot.

I really miss the trailer! I can't pull it without the special Bob skewer, and the Peugeot has a solid axle with bolts, rather than the quick-release. Mackie is both patient and sympathetic. She tells me, "I'll get you a new bike, ba-dah." (She can say "grandpa" now - in fact she talks nonstop and can say 'most everything... but still calls me "ba-dah.")

Regarding the new bike - I've paid my $500 deductible. I'm supposed to get a replacement Cannondale touring bike with all accessories pre-installed, shipped to my front door. I'm antsy. (Hoping I'm not tempted to "break it in" when the roads are mucky.)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What's "fun"? What's "comfortable"?

For some time, we had been planning a long weekend family camping trip, the first weekend of October.

The plans were originally formulated, I'm sure, on a 90-degree summer day. And with everyone anticipating some of that beautiful early fall "Indian summer" weather we usually enjoy this time of year.

A few days before the appointed adventure, the forecast was calling for unseasonably cool weather - in fact, it would probably be getting down below freezing overnight, in the higher-altitude destinations we were considering.

Based on past history, I had a foreboding sense of trouble.

And indeed, the email came, from my bride.

"I was just looking at the weather forcast for here, McCall and Wallowa Lake and it looks as if it will be cold, not just cool. ... I suggest that we plan on staying home."

Even though I understood the futility, I suggested some lower-elevation destinations for consideration.

The reply came, "It's supposed to be fun, not uncomfortable."

Now that really put me to thinking.

And I sent back this bit of "psychobabble," that I sincerely believe... and which has blessed my life.


But both "fun" and "comfort" are perceived individually. Some people have higher "fun thresholds" and "comfort thresholds" than others.

It's good to cultivate and expand those thresholds.

If you can have "fun" doing a wide variety of activities and in a wide variety of situations, you'll be much better off than if you can only have "fun" doing a very select and narrow set of activities. And likewise, if you can be "comfortable" in a wide variety of conditions, you will enjoy a much more comfortable life than if you need 70-72 degrees, and 30% humidity to be comfortable.

(I've previously commented on "comfort" HERE. And on "fun" as it pertains to cycling many times, including HERE.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gear Review - Nashbar Jacket, Lightman Xenon Strobe

A year or so ago, I purchased a Nashbar Premium Rain Jacket in hi-viz (NA-PJK at the Nashbar website). They say the "retail price" is around $80, but it's pretty much always on sale for around $40. It replaced my bright-yellow bike specific Gore-tex jacket, which wore out after 8 years or so. My comments about the Nashbar jacket are based on only a half-dozen or so wearings; the upcoming winter season will see major use.

What I like so far: The high-viz color is excellent. If it's precipitating, visibility is limited and everything you can do to be visible is beneficial. (If you get smashed, it won't really matter whether or not you get wet.) It also has some reflective piping. It would be nice if it had some big reflective patches, but I'll probably wear my bob-t-inspired hi-viz vest over it on most occasions. The fabric is very similar to brand-name Gore-tex in appearance and texture. (It kinda reminds me of that teflon thread tape on the inside. If you don't do plumbing work, that may not be helpful.) Next to the skin, it feels downright clammy; typically a long-sleeve shirt will remedy that. (My old jacket had a mesh lining which was very nice; the new one doesn't. That may have a bearing on how quickly it wears out; time will tell.) It's got a nice collar that feels a little like suede when it's zipped all the way up.

Just in case you're not familiar with Gore-tex... 20 or 25 years ago, it revolutionized outerwear. It's a membrane that's typically sprayed onto nylon; it has "micro pores" that allow water vapor to escape out, but prevents water drops from entering. The brand-name stuff is phenomenal; my experience with copycats is that they're good, but never quite as good as the original. This new jacket seems to follow that trend... it's probably completely waterproof as advertised, but so far it seems not quite as "breathable" as genuine Gore-tex.

Other features: It has a zippered pocket on the back. The back is cut extra long for bike coverage; the sleeves are also long... that can be a problem with jackets that aren't designed with the cyclist in mind. The cuffs have elastic and velcro adjustment. The waist also has an adjustable elastic cord. There's a velcro rain flap over the zipper. It rolls into a very small size for packing. (You could bungee it onto the bike for "just in case" rides. I also took it with me motorcycling last summer... but thankfully didn't get a chance to test it very much.)

What I don't like so far: Construction quality... ? Time will tell how it stands up. Every other bike jacket I've owned has lasted several seasons, and I hope this one does, too. The zipper seems like the cheap/flimsy model, but hopefully my first impression will be wrong. (Of course, it wouldn't be fair to expect a $40 jacket to be as sturdy as an $80 one, I s'pose.) Nashbar is very good about warranty... if you feel like you've been let down by something you bought from them, they'll let you return it for refund or exchange.

Correspondent and friend Bob T introduced me to the Lightman Xenon strobe light. As soon as I saw it, I knew if I could afford it I had to have one. I found it for $12.99 (!), plus shipping, at the "Code-2" website. (NOTE: It's marked as "closeout," so will likely not be available long-term.) Code 2 has it in blue or amber; I ordered 2 amber ones. The package arrived quickly, and with tracking info, etc. I can recommend the Code-2 folks based on my experience.

The light is larger than typical bike taillights; it's a triangle shape and each side is slightly longer than an AA-size battery. 2 such batteries provide the juice, and are supposed to last for 16 hours of operation. (I can't verify that yet.) It has a rubber-covered on/off switch on the back. It's made in China (what isn't?!?), but construction quality seems top-notch. It has a 2-year warranty. The $13 kit includes a vinyl storage bag and several mounting brackets; one nice feature, IMO, is that you can customize almost any mounting option, because you can spin it onto a "tripod screw." (I believe 1/4-inch coarse-thread. If you're not a hardware geek, that may not be helpful.) I have it attached to the rear rack on my old beater Peugeot with a couple of zip-ties. (Thank GOODNESS I hadn't installed it on my stolen bike!)

The documentation says it's visible for more than a mile; I believe that. It blinks 80 times per minute, which is slower than most bike-specific LED taillights. But it seems very bright, and I expect it's as good as any at penetrating fog and darkness.

Because of its rather large size, I don't know that I would recommend it over some of the latest crop of bike-specific taillights, from companies like Cateye, Planet Bike, and Blackburn. Some of them are awesomely bright, and have attention-getting blinky patterns. At some point in time, I would like to do a side-by-side comparison. For anybody who is fanatical about being highly-visible, the strobe might nicely complement an LED or 2 or 3. (And the amber color would be suitable front OR back.)

NOTE: There is a "blogger controversy" right now. Some bloggers apparently do favorable product reviews in exchange for free products or other perks. I guarantee that these reviews are my honest opinions, as of the time of writing. I paid for this stuff! If somebody wants to send me some free stuff in exchange for a review, I will either review it or send it back. I wear size XL - hahaha! But I won't promise to favorably review your stuff... just honestly. My opinion. Somebody else might have a totally contrary (and therefore faulty) opinion.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Old Friend

My recently stolen Cannondale T2000 was like an old friend. I can't absolutely say it was my all-time favorite bike, but it was/is in the running for that title.

From the first day I rode it - in November 2001 - until the day it was stolen - September 27, 2009 - I accumulated 44,482 miles on it. I can confidently say that's more miles than most bikes ever roll.

After so much faithful service, it deserved to eventually be "put out to pasture," like the bikes that preceded it. I've got two road bikes hanging - in various stages of incompleteness - in the garage. I really should press one of 'em back into service.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

12 years of car-free commuting

When September finishes up each year, it marks one more year that I've not driven a car - even once - to and from work. The last day I drove a car was sometime in September 1997.

Unless outside forces intervene, that will always be the last day that this worker drove to work.

Some clarifications:
- Since 1986 I've been essentially car-free commuting. But I would drive ever so occasionally when my "excuse" seemed especially strong. For example, in 1997 leading up to September, I drove a car 3 times.
- I have also ever-so-occasionally driven a motorcycle to work. But I was 100% bike-commuting from October 2005 until August 2009. (In August, the doctor ordered me off the bike for two days.)
- I ride the bus every now and then. Once this year - in January.
- I don't want to imply that I live a totally car-free life. My bride drives a minivan and I go places with my family, who mostly cannot be persuaded onto bikes. Also I borrow the minivan when I'm hauling a load that won't fit in the BOB trailer. It would be truly challenging to totally give up automobile transportation altogether. But my bike is my chosen mode unless I think long and hard, and determine that the car or motorcycle is the most practical alternative.