Road Trip and Random Thoughts

20 Jun

Sadly, this road trip is in our car. We’re going to NE Ohio, so riding our bikes wasn’t exactly practical.

I may be in the car, but I’m thinking about bikes. Could have something to do with the fact that I brought all the biking magazines I haven’t had time to read. Starting off with Adventure Cyclist, Adventure Cycling Association’s main publication. Every issue I’ve ever read is chocked full of good stuff about bike travel and interesting articles too. The magazine is complementary as a member of Adventure Cycling. If you aren’t a member I encourage you to check them out and consider joining. Besides their interesting magazine and infamous bicycle touring maps, they are the type of organization all of us that love bicycling should support.

No, this is not a paid endorsement.  Besides, this post isn’t about Adventure Cycling.

Actually, I’m not really sure what this post is about… surely something related to bikes and biking.

Random Thoughts…

We were able to get three rides in last week, 76 miles total. On one of the rides we saw a tarantula, deer, turkey and a low-flying hawk that guided us on the road for a while. I had my camera with me for 2 of the 3 rides but didn’t end up getting a single shot of any of the wildlife.

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While we’re in the Cleveland area we plan to rent bikes and ride one of the many trails they have. Cleveland gets a bad rap, it is actually a pretty city with 100+ miles of paved bike paths in the city.

Tour de France:

I’ll also work on my annual preview piece about the upcoming Tour de France. I should get it posted up June 29th if not before so check back if you’re a Tour nut like moi. My plan this year is to do what I’ve done the previous two years – write a blog each day for every stage and if the Tour is enthralling (when is it not) I’ll probably write on the rest days too.

Check out my 2010 Tour de France posts (Lance Armstrong’s last) and my posts the on uber-exciting 2011 Tour de France. Can’t see how the 2012 version of the Tour can possibly be as exciting as last year’s but we’ll see. Regardless, there will be thrills and drama and I’ll be watching it all.

Seattle and Sooke, BC:

What a  pleasure it was to bike in Seattle and on the western edge of the Trans-Canada bicycle trail. Of the two areas my experience was that biking had a larger presence in Victoria, BC and the Sooke areas of Vancouver Island then in Seattle. Be it a 4 lane or 2 lane highway, busy boulevard, downtown street or trail people were riding bikes and they had the infrastructure to support them. That infrastructure included marked bike paths/lanes, segregated lanes, paved/unpaved bicycle trails (Trans-Canadian goes across the entire country), ample parking and signage.

There was a significant number of people riding bikes as we drove from Victoria to Sooke.There was a big presence of cyclists in the business and downtown areas of Victoria too. Not surprisingly, there was very little spandex. You could tell cyclists were a normal part of the street scene, an accepted mode of getting around. On the majority of our drive from Victoria to Sooke, part of the road (or nearby trail) was used to accommodate bikes and was marked. We would see a sign that said “bike path ends” only to see another sign, “bike path” just down the road.

I was green with envy. Still am when I think about it.

Seattle was also supportive of cycling through marked lanes, bike paths, signage, parking, etc. Interestingly, helmets are required by law in Seattle and riding on the sidewalk is legal and somewhat common in downtown. I expected to see more people riding bikes than we did. I expected to see less gridlock on the roads than we did.

Part of the reason could be that Seattle is very HILLY. Much hillier than I expected, San Francisco kind of hilly. We stayed in the Queen Anne neighborhood which is known for its steep hills but other parts of Seattle were hilly too – so to summarize: Seattle is hilly!

There were streets that were only stairs taking you from one steep street to another. The street signs were marked with a pedestrian. When I get home I’ll post pictures here of Seattle and Vancouver Island.


I posted the $119 bond for my “disregard of (red) signal light” ticket. My date with the judge is set for July 12th. I had a good conversation with the City Attorney last week, I’m looking forward to explaining my actions to the judge. I’ll let you know the outcome.

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