Thursday, July 10

Bike Parking at DFW Airport

It is Illegal to Ride Your Bike DIRECTLY to the Terminal - UNLESS You are Strong and Very Fast! From Google Maps
It Doesn't Help that All Exits are Off the Left Side of the Road
Since airlines have us travelling lighter recently by means of charging us to bring along "excess" luggage, bicycles and/or transit have become a possibility for those of us that travel by air. The TRE commuter rail comes fairly close to the airport from those living in either Fort Worth or Dallas. Just make sure you don't travel on a Sunday since the TRE takes Sundays off. If you are coming from Dallas and points east, there IS a DART bus (Route 408) that runs to the Remote South parking lot. Soon, there'll be light rail that you MAY be able to bring your bike on. We'll know after it starts up - partly it'll depend on where you get dropped off and what security decides.


TRE Centreport Has a Shuttle to Remote South. Remote South is as Close to the Terminal as You Can Get With a Bike
What's more, despite complete ignoring of bikes by DFW Airport and places that COULD provide low cost, secure bike parking, people DO ride their bikes to the airport. I suspect these are mostly people that work at the airport, though some of the bikes are a lot nicer than I'd want to leave at an airport remote lot. Definitely Remote South is where most cyclists park. They park at the "official parking lot fence for bikes since we don't really think about people that come here by bike" place.

Bicycle Parking Facilities at DFW Airport - Remote South
You'll Note the Motorcycle Parks Inside the Fence With the Other Motorists

Remote South Bike Parking Looking North Toward the Airport
What would I recommend for LONG TERM bike parking? Well, if I had to do it, I'd park at Bell Helicopter (a known, fairly secure place for bikes to park) or at another secure location within walking distance of the TRE (either Hurst Station or Centreport). Then I'd take the TRE and the shuttle in to the terminal. If I were just going for the day, I'd lock up at Remote South and take that shuttle in. Neither DART option would help me at all since DART only works for those coming from Dallas County, "Where the East Begins!"

If I were going to do it more frequently, I'd see if I couldn't cut a deal with one of the nearby hotels. Keep in mind that it only costs $25 for me to get from home to the DFW Airport by taxi.
 

Friday, July 4

When You Can't Ride

Fergus
Well, continuing on my quest of getting in one piece before the end of October, I've begun to walk. I seem to have picked up an enthusiastic companion who's now double the size he was in the picture below.

Initial experiments with a bike trailer have been mixed so far...

Sunday, June 1

May Musings on Fearmongering

Sometimes it disturbs me when groups use unwarranted fear to push cycling improvements whether those are warranted or not. Mostly this involves stoking fear of automobiles. As if the automobiles were at fault rather than poor or deranged drivers. Absent impaired (physically or psychologically) motorists, this is mostly not justified for even minimally educated cyclists. I could name dozens of sites that play on this fear, including one that quotes the LAB President, though I don't know if they got the context right.

However, I should NOT claim that cycling is particularly safe and a LITTLE fear may be appropriate. Since I started this blog I have made three cycling-related trips to emergency rooms. None of those trips involved motorists or any sort of second vehicle. The first was a pulmonary embolism due to deep vein thrombosis. The second was a fall into a ditch that was dug while I was on a one-week vacation. The third happened this year on the last day of February. Put simply, I fell over in the driveway. Upon stopping, my foot got stuck in the toe clip. While that sounds minor, it kept me off my bike until I used "Bike to Work" day as an excuse to take a short ride. I followed up with an encore the next day. It hurts to ride and I'm reluctant to ride any place an emergency maneuver could be required. Like in traffic where there are things like traffic lights and stop signs and situations where one might need to get off the bike using both hands.

Since then I've been taking advantage of my pre-Obamacare COBRA healthcare. To make a long story short, I dislocated my left shoulder, badly cracking the humerus at the upper joint in the process. For reasons I do not yet know, I've lost strength in my left hand. That has an added negative effect of making me reluctant to take a motorcycling course I've signed up for (hard to operate the clutch when your left hand isn't working). It also makes it hard to work the front brake on a bike. That is the important brake.

Monday I go to another doctor. Looks like I'll not be back to Ocean Shores until late July at the earliest. I think this time, things will take a while to heal. At least I didn't have to STAY in the hospital this third time.Sigh, I guess I'm not a teenager that's made of rubber anymore...

Recent Replacement for this Toe Clip Trapped my Foot
 

Monday, April 14

Potemkin Village

Front Street in Seabrook WA
A "Potemkin Village" is a made-up place intended to fool casual visitors. See Wikipedia. These can appear most anywhere. One such, IMO, is the "village" of Seabrook, Washington. It pitches itself as a "people friendly" location, contrasting itself from where I picked, Ocean Shores. Remember, Ocean Shores is a place with virtually no traffic and where I do most shopping by bike. Hmm. Did I perhaps make a mistake?


Bike Rental!

Golly, Seabrook even has bikes!


I didn't see Anyone in the Rental Tent
Above is the Seabrook bike rental location. While I never actually SAW anybody ride a bike there, I suppose sometimes some do. Certainly, Seabrook highlights their bikes, here.

Still, there's a phony air about the place. Kind of like if a tiny Disneyland had timeshares. This is a people-friendly place that no public transit or shuttle serves and which requires a four-hour drive from major cities. At least in "car-dependent" Ocean Shores, I can take the bus into Aberdeen or even Olympia. What's more, despite the Seabrook bike hype, it did not escape my notice that none of the businesses have bike racks. Not even the little deli that substitutes for groceries.

We spent 25 minutes there. It was plenty of time...



They Hide the Cars Behind the Buildings Mostly
Seabrook in Progress



 

Wednesday, March 26

Little Steps

Is Texas Food Local if You Buy it in Ocean Shores? Well, it's More Local than Chilean Produce
Chandra, in his excellent "Green Comotion" blog, recently made a post where he included much good information from Dr Mercola about the viability of our food and health aspects of food. That post was here.

One aspect of Dr Mercola's article could have been improved. While his nine recommendations are all very worthwhile, I'd suggest a few MORE for those of us that aren't in a position to go "all the way," but may have to motor a long way to get some of those foods while our local grocery is a short bike ride. For the vegans amongst us, you may want to close your eyes with regard to my final recommendation. I'll continue from where Dr Mercola left off, with an emphasis on "easy to do" items.

10. SHOP THE EDGES OF THE STORE
It is well known that most of the most highly processed foods are in the middle of the store. Hence, sites such as mass.gov recommend that you get most of your food around the edges of the store. They have a good generic diagram to show this which is reproduced below. Simply shopping the edges of the store will be a step in the right direction.

Your Store Will Probably Vary, but the Principles Still Work
11. TEXAS LOCAL IS BETTER THAN FURRIN STUFF
While in Ocean Shores, buying things like kale might be best if it comes from Grays Harbor County, it is still better to buy from Texas than from somewhere the produce must be airlifted.

12. SHOP BY BIKE
Dr Mercola failed to consider the effects of transport of the shopper on food usage. While the Ocean Shores IGA might lack somewhat in organic and other "good" choices, one wonders at the tradeoff between non-local produce bought locally, versus local produce bought non-locally. IGA is next door to the espresso stand and I bicycle by there each morning. The "local" source of Hoquiam produce is 30 miles away.

IGA - Official Grocery Store of Frankenbike and Kermit
13. SHOP A GOOD FARMER'S MARKET WHEN YOU'RE GOING BY
Ocean Shores DOES have a farmer's market on summer weekends. Oddly, little of the produce at this market is produced anywhere close to Ocean Shores. Still, I go there on my bike. See rule 12. However, we've taken to stopping by the Hoquiam Farmer's Market when we have occasion to motor over in that direction. Their produce is mostly grown in Grays Harbor County and there're a lot of organic items.


Hoquiam Farmer's Market Has No Decent Bike Parking and is a LONG Ways from OS, but has EXCELLENT Organic Produce
The Lettuce is Grown by the Grizzlies (Hoquiam High School)
14. DIG FOR ALL YOU'RE WORTH
Vegans please close your eyes now. The rest of you may read the newspaper headline below. 'Nuff sed.


Definitely "NON GMO" and Locally Sourced. For the Record, Clam Guns do NOT Have "High Capacity Magazines"