Thursday, September 23, 2010

Not Everyone Commutes with Full Wrap Fenders...

Meet Vern, the Vaya. <3

It's funny what happens when you don't have options.  Today I woke up and didn't even think twice about whether or not I'd ride in in the rain today, I had no choice.  My car has been acting funny lately and although I've really not been driving it all that often, I decided to take it into the shop the other day.  Turns out, sure enough, there are several things going wrong and I opted to only fix the bare necessities that will make it run...who needs brakes anyway, right? 

Dry yet skeptical at home
 So, back to the bike.  I knew it was supposed to rain all day today and envisioned myself pedaling happily through puddles for the last few days to psych myself  up for a soggy commute today.  I do have a new bike, however, which makes every ride like a dream!  It's a Salsa Vaya and I do absolutely love it.  There were also a few other items that made my commute totally enjoyable, starting with the new Mountain Smith Strapettes that I just snagged for my pack turning it into more of a backpack with lumbar strap rather than just a single strap shoulder assaulting bag.  And, thank goodness for Spokiz and pit zips.  Without these two wonders this morning would have been far less pleasant for sure!  My buddy James who is the creator of Spokiz sold me on his amazing hingeless shades.  I was sporting the clear lenses today which really helped keep my eyes open as I splashed through countless puddles on the way downtown.   Thanks Jimma! 
So as I pulled on my rain jacket (and unzipped the pits for a bit of ventilation), Spokiz, hat, helmet, and pack I thought about how I haven't transfered my bright yellow fenders from the old rig onto Vern yet.  Dang.  I started cruising down my street and felt the cool rain and splashing from the street begin to cover my legs.

New bike lanes about to go in on 15th!!

Of course I have a pink pirate skull bell.  Why wouldn't I?
I pedaled down Center and towards Woolworth and wasn't honked at or anything the entire way.  The encounters I've had lately have been nothing short of pleasant.  Plenty of drivers these days are full of smiles and waves and actually a few "Keep pedaling, girl!" comments which always make me grin.  So, thanks Omaha drivers, for being swell these days.  On the flip side, I'm convinced that positive reinforcement is the best way to commute.  Someone gives you an extra second to turn: wave and smile; a driver waves you to go first at a 4 way stop: smile and wave; even if someone screeeeches by a foot away and yells "get on the sidewalk!": smile and wave (although I know, I know, it's not positive reinforcement...but still).  You get the picture; every time you have a chance to impact a motorist's view of a cyclist, make it a happy friendly one.  Then, one day (like Pavlov's dog) all drivers will think happy thoughts each time they pass a cyclist.  Do your part Omaha!  Let's make this place bike friendly.



  1. Yeah! Vern is RAD! Rip it Sarah!!

    Cheers sister,

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