Friday, April 22

Earth Day in North Texas

Earth Day this year was a bit different in the past. To start with, because it corresponded with Good Friday, I got the day off. To continue, because of our nasty weather last February, the local schools were in session. With "Bike to Work Month" coming up, I decided to dust off the bike and take a little trip around the area and report on various observations. After all, I've not ridden it for a whole day (yes, this is all sarcasm)
 
Nowadays, Schools are Traffic Obstacles
 First off, I was reminded once again of the difference in motor traffic around schools now compared to the first Earth Day. This first photo shows the traffic light leading to Trinity High School in Euless, Texas. Actually, the photo shows the SECOND light cycle as I went forward along with all the motoring dropoff traffic. After the intersection, there were lots of motoring students and motoring moms zipping about. It being Earth Day, none of them were inclined towards hostile acts against any non-motor traffic. Actually, I don't think any of them were probably thinking about "green" at the time. They just wanted to get to school. It's a far cry from the motoring to school situation on the first Earth Day.

After I got past all the motorists at Trinity, I noticed that gasoline has risen a bit in price lately. It seems that things will soon get above $4 per gallon even in an oil state such as Texas. While some might cheer this situation, I forseen yet another rise in price in bicycle tubes and in the food goods that feed cyclists. In truth, while hard-core motorists may suffer more than me, no one benefits from having to work longer to transport things. Well, except for those that pump the oil from the ground.

Gasoline Prices are RISING. The Bird, on the Other Hand, is Taking a Rest
Anyway, one of the things that prompted me to rise and ride on a holiday was a coffee chain promotion that promised a free coffee if you brought a travel mug. While most might not have appreciated it, I found it a bit ironic that this corporation encouraged people to DRIVE to a coffee store and idle their motor vehicles in line in order to feel good about not using an easily recycled paper cup. Still, their heart is in the right place, though it'd be righter if they had real bike parking.

Motorists Abounded for the Coffee Earth Day Promotion
 
Travel Mug Got You a Free Coffee Even if You Were the Only Non Motoring Customer. Yay!
Regardless, I went with the drill and brought my own travel mug out from the cupboard. When this store didn't have the bold coffee I prefer, I went with the corporate motto and stated "Pike is better than nothing!"

What can I say, I'm a sucker for free coffee. What's more, I couldn't resist the opportunity to show how a Starbucks travel mug works with a Specialized water bottle holder. Actually, I'll use ANY excuse to slip a photo of Buddy into a post. For those interested in recent history trivia, you'll note that my bike doughnuts have not been tweaked as of this date...

While I was imbibing the brew, one of the motorists, waiting in the drive-through lane, ran over the bottle below and shot it toward my feet. Being a good "green" guy, I relocated the bottle to the nearest waste receptacle. I noticed that it contained 14 carbs in one serving when full so it wasn't anything I would have drunk in any event.

The Bottle was Shot Towards Me Inadvertently When a Motorist in the Drive Through Line Ran it Over
Soon, it came time to turn homeward. I noted the added irony that even in what would be rural scenes, our mechanized modern life intrudes. The horses don't mind, so I guess it shouldn't cause me to pause, either.
 
Suburban Scene - Horses and Travel Trailers
Proceeding along, I was reminded that Oncor has committed to add more trails under transmission rights of way, as noted in THIS press release. While I don't know what it actually means, nor whether the trails might be properly engineered (unlike the Bedford trail in the photo), my inclination is that more choices are good and that I have the knowledge to recognize and avoid the dangers in such facilities should they be of use to me.

The Oncor Power Company Has Committed to Build More Trails Such as This. If They Read My Blog, Those Trails Would be Safer
Oh, almost forgot, I also used the morning to better road test some ex-Chandra sandals. They're a bit tight (he wears a half size smaller than my norm), but might actually work if I left the socks at home.

Oh, Yes, Sandals Seemed to be Something to Try Today as Well


10 comments:

limom said...

Gas here hit is about to hit $4.50!
Riding to work a the couple of days a week I am able to is starting to sound good.

Trevor Woodford said...

Not that I need any reasons to ride a bike- but gas in the UK currently costs us the equivalent of $8.91 per gallon.

When I retired 2 years ago I downsized my car to a small eco style model. Even with that I have only done 1800 miles a year. On my bikes I have already completed this years total car mileage.....

John Romeo Alpha said...

Don't know if you ever saw the movie version of Steven King's The Stand, but that black bird sitting on top of the Chevron sign reminds me of the movie.

Rat Trap Press said...

I hate driving past drop-off traffic at schools, I can't imagine riding through it. NOBODY pays attention to whats going on around them.

There's nothing wrong with the Pike roast.

Steve A said...

RTP, I actually find it easier and less stressful to ride through school drop-off traffic than to drive through it. You are, of course, correct about the Pike roast. The main reason I have adopted the motto is the Starbucks policy of pushing it at every opportunity.

dickdavid said...

What amazed me about the Starbucks promotion is how much paper they saved in just one day. Could you imagine how much more could be saved if folks did it every day? What if all the other chain restaurants did the same?

My wife said it perfectly yesterday, when I asked if it was Earth Day. She said, "Everyday is Earth Day."

Khal said...

Some of the schools around here didn't want to support kids biking to school. The school administration considered it too dangerous for the kids to be riding to school and running the gauntlet of idiots in shopping-utility vehicles frantically dropping off their own offspring.

Chandra said...

Steve,
Glad those sandals fit you, although snugly. Replacing the white socks with bicycling socks (thinner) might help a bit. By the way, I only buy the bicycling socks when they are on clearance @ $3 a pair.

Also, good on you to pick up that sports drink bottle and put it where it belonged - in the proper receptacle.

By the way, some of the trails pictured in my post http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-w0uI6Qr6g90/TaJALng7-3I/AAAAAAAADrE/rl0TYVeGpCk/s1600/IMGP1862.jpg, also are part of the "ONCOR familia", I believe.
Peace :)

Ham said...

Ummm. It's £4.50 over here - makes about $6 as far as I can tell. And still they drive. (OK, I drive too, just not as much)

Steve A said...

Actually, Ham, that'd be more like $7.50 at current rates of exchange. Count yourself lucky that you live on a small island!

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