Saturday, December 17, 2011

Week in Review

I've been watching the snow melt and switching up bikes accordingly, from my studded tired, 26", singlespeed,  fendered Bianchi, to my fenderless, moustache bar, comfy, cruisy, lugged steel Trek touring bike, to the trusty tried and true Vaya with full fenders and rack. 

Some days I've pulled Copper to work with me; some days have been to slick for her little Tail Wagon to seem like a safe enough option for my four legged pal.  This time of year in Omaha you really don't know what the week will bring and it's been a lot of fun for me to switch between these 3 different rides.

This week was full of riding all over town, giving out of towners a fun little tour of our fair city via bicycle (which is my favorite way to go), running errands, and of course commuting to work.  I think all of this time on the bike is probably why I have so many gemmy bike related comments and/or incidents to relate to you this week.

#1) Two of us riding west-bound on Leavenworth at almost 42nd St.  Stopped at light. Positioned in the far right lane.  Driver of boring gray Plymouth sedan turning east-bound onto Leavenworth from 42nd St. in camouflage (I think it was an army uniform quite frankly) started honking while turning.  We turned to look at who was honking and saw this middle-aged gentleman, looking at us, with arm extended, flying the bird.  Yup.  We were 4 lanes apart and he still felt the need to honk and flip us off.  Thanks for perpetuating the stereotype guy.  You did it.  Way to go.

#2) Riding the Benson route about to turn west-bound on Hamilton off of about 36th St. with a group of about 5 of us.  We felt bad ass.  Kinda like kids.  Kinda like a bike gang of awesomeness.  Anyway, we were turning onto Hamilton and a lady driving east-bound on Hamilton stopped to let us turn (unnecessarily) and rolled down her window as we passed her.  Bracing ourselves for something like, "get on the sidewalk!", we were happily surprised when she shouted enthusiastically, "you guys make me want to get out on my bike!"  Man what a nice thing to hear!!  Particularly when you are expecting something less cordial.

#3) 3 new Bicycle Friendly Destinations were confirmed!  Scout in Dundee, Curbside Clothing in the Old Market, and Aroma's/Bliss Bakery also in the Market.  Thanks all!!!!

#4) Ladies Ride!  Proud of my girls for getting out there with me this mornin.  Purdy nice day for the middle of December! 

#5) Christmas tree hauling!  Big Dummy Style.  Not much that we've found that that bike (coupled with Vince's crazy pedaling power) can't carry! We had several different cars slow waaaay down and check out what the heck we were doing.  One set of ladies in their front yard hollered incredulously, "Is that your Christmas tree?!?!"  "Yeah, it sure is," we replied in unison.  They started clapping and cheering.  What fun. 

#6) Beautiful views.  I love sunset on our City's skyline.

That was my fun week.  One last thing: I have had quite a few nice comments about my little blog lately.  It's the random folks that I don't know that follow "Girl Commute" who make me really want to keep it better updated.  So, this post's for you.  Keep riding!  Let me know if you have a fun story that I can share here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's Finally Winter!

And that's a good thing. Not that I ever get sick of the Vaya, but it is always fun to switch to a new daily 'driver'.  You may or may not remember my snow commuter, Bobby Bianchi, but he's back and better than ever!  I seriously love that bike. I've hijacked someone else's computer to create this post so I don't have a picture handy.  But trust me, there will be some coming soon.

I know a few posts ago I talked about the crunch and crispness of the autumn.  Now, with everything blanketed by an insulating layer of snowflakes, my commute (at night particularly) has significantly quieted down.  The snow started falling last Saturday, the 3rd of December, midday.  I know because we had Greensprints that night and everyone was freaking out about how sketchy the roads were.  Now, it's late Thursday night and the snow has returned.  I love snow!!  And, the gear that allows me to get out into the elements and safely enjoy them really makes it all doable.  Honestly, without studded tires and fenders and layers and gloves and goggles and a balaclava and and and...  The list could continue ad infinitum but I've built my collection over many years of bit by bit justification.  Do I truly need a winter helmet when my perfectly capable normal helmet + hat combo has done me well for so many prior seasons of winter riding? No. But does it make it that much more fun? Yes!

I think that's the key with riding in the winter and snow and ice: keep it fun!  Otherwise, it's hard to talk yourself into doing it.  You will, however, realize that it's all worth while when you glide steathily by a neighbor who's either scraping his car off or having trouble getting it to start.   Oh, the simple joys of life on a bicycle. 

Anyway, too many words; too few pictures!  Over and out!! 

The annual winter Bikes De'Lights Ride is almost upon us!  Friday, December 9th, meet and roll out from Blanc by 7pm.  Grab your bike, some lights, and a buddy and come join us out there for some holiday cheer.