Locking technique: F

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When will I ever learn?

Sometimes, I wake up in the morning and just don’t want to ride my bike to work. So I drive, because I want to be lazy. I almost always regret it.

Take this morning. Seattle’s usually gray and moist this time of year, but thanks to the atmospheric river flowing through our area it was pouring this morning. Riding to work through the rain, getting wet and having my face pelted with water? No thanks. I got a ride in with my boyfriend. That was nice. Leaving work was not so nice, because it was still pouring and there was a lot of traffic. It took me an hour to get home on the bus, during which I cursed myself for my short-sightedness. Sure, I would have gotten drenched riding home, but would have been 15 minutes of drenching instead of 45 minutes of it.

Here’s a breakdown of my commuting options. The winner is clear.

Drive to work before 8:30 am: 15 minutes from door to a vacant spot in the parking garage under my building.

Drive to work after 9:00 am: 10 minutes to work, then 10+ hunting for parking spaces

Drive to work after 10:00 am: 45 minutes of hunting for parking and engaging in self-hatred

Drive home: 5-20 minutes to get out of the immediate neighborhood, then 10-15 minutes to home.

Bus to work: 30 minutes, possibly crushed up against four other people on a bus route with one of the highest riderships in the region.

Bus home before 6:30 pm: 45-60 minutes. Half of this might be spent standing at a stop watching my bus slowly inch toward us in traffic before it reaches my stop, if I’m lucky. If not, I might get passed a few times by buses that are already full.

Bus home after 6:30 pm: 20-30 minutes

Bike, either direction: 15-20 minutes depending on traffic lights

Sunny Sunday

My plan for today was to have a nice brunch with my boyfriend, followed by biking to an appointment in the early afternoon. Part of my clever plan was choosing a restaurant at the top of the hill to which we drove with my bike on the back, thus avoiding riding up the steep, long slope and getting sweaty. I ended up with an hour to kill after lunch so I wandered around for a bit, stopping by two local parks to take in the beautiful view of the city and the Sound.

This was actually the first time in a month that I’ve ridden more than my 5 mi round-trip work commute. I’ve been down lately and avoiding my bike even though I keep promising myself that I’ll take a longer route on the way to work in the morning or a longer ride on the weekend. Today, I had no such plans and it was just me and my bike, poking around and feeling free. Just what I needed.

Motobike

My boyfriend sent me this one. It’s really creative and I would love to someone actually riding it.

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But cyclists run red lights

I’m really tired of the “cyclists run red lights and are reckless” argument, which comes up every time bikes are mentioned in the media. The only reason people don’t say that about carsĀ  is because we as a society have accepted this behavior and treat car accidents as a natural phenomenon that just happens. If a car runs a red light, we call them a name and forget about it. When a cyclist does it, they’re a public menace and a grudge is formed.

Guess what: cars run red lights. Cyslists run red lights. Pedestrians cross against the light. Boats run into bridges. All of these actions are likely to get someone killed, and none of it is a valid argument for objecting to a traffic change attempting to reduce collisions between cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians.

I was almost killed while walking in the crosswalk at this intersection last week when a woman blatantly ran a red light through cross traffic. If I hadn’t happened to notice the speeding car out of the corner of my eye and jumped back, I would have been hit and likely seriously maimed or dead. Same thing for the guy crossing next to me, as he didn’t even see her and only stopped because of my reaction. I’m going to bring that up every. single. time. that someone whips out the “cyclists run red rights and ignore the rules of the road” argument. Every single time.