Friday, May 20

Wet and Lost on Bike to Work Day

Bike to work has become a big component of “Bike Month” for the Bike League. More or less, it’s the bicycle equivalent of “drive your car to work week.” In recent years, various cities and transit agencies have gotten on the bandwagon and sponsored “Bike to Work” events. Up until this year, none of those events were remotely practical for me to attend without missing a lot of work. This year, working near a TRE station, things looked different. I laid plans to attend one of the shindigs. THIS YEAR, I'd find out what all the fuss was about.

Yesterday, DART had coffee and donuts at the Centreport TRE Station. I considered going, but the station has little of interest as a destination, and I’m not a fan of donuts, so I contented myself with watching the television new blurb with a lady standing in the dark, talking about how she couldn’t ride with the camera news van, with a token bike in the background. Today, they had a bigger event planned at the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC). What’s more, it was scheduled to last from 7 to 9 AM. Despite a forecast of rain, I got Buddy rolling ten minutes earlier than usual and caught the train into downtown Fort Worth. When I arrived at the ITC shortly after 7, it wasn’t difficult to see where they were in the early stages setting things up for “Bike to Work” celebrations. Getting into the spirit, I took photos showing good locking technique with Buddy (I actually lugged my mini U lock along for John Romeo Alpha’s benefit), and the guys from the LBS (a sponsor) complimented me on the “nice Tricross.” Talking with the “tryparkingit” lady, I got a free bag in exchange for filling out her form. Since I’ve been using their site for over two years, I wasn’t too concerned about junk email. The “clean air booth” had air pressure gages and I got one of those, too. The lady didn’t understand when I asked her if they’d work with Presta valves. Unfortunately, the air pressure gages will only work with Schrader valves and the gage only goes up to 50psi so it won’t work with any bike I ride regularly, but their hearts are in the right place.

This Pressure Gage Doesn't Work on ANY of Our Family Bikes - It Only Goes to 50psi. Odd Giveaway on Bike Day - Something Only Good for Cars
I also got a couple of cool shots showing spandex-clad people unloading bikes from the back of a pickup for the bike to work festivities (I didn’t recognize the jerseys), and of others testing the microphones at the podium for the speeches, which would take place after any actual bike commuters had departed to go to work.

Of extra interest was a locally-based company that was showing electric bikes. Both of the ones they had were rather prosaic, but the demo guy told me they were looking at a longtail cargo bike. IMO, cargo bikes are a very attractive niche for ebikes. I have no trouble riding Buddy to work over distances and speeds far beyond a regular ebike, but I have to admit that a cargo ebike would be handy to lug 100 lb home from the store.

Based in Fort Worth, Bodhi Bikes are Made in China. The Salesman Was Honest. The Bikes are 50 lb
And then I hopped back on the TRE to go to work. The formal hoopla hadn’t really gotten going by 7:45, but I still got a lot of good photos. My favorite was one of Buddy standing below a sign I think epitomizes my personal commuting motto: “speed with safety.”

My Commute Motto - With the Road Bike Instead of Buddy
After I got off the train, I discovered that I’d have been better off to leave the camera at home, because I LOST the camera. No photos at all. I called in to the lost and found number, but I’m not optimistic that anyone will turn in a compact digital camera. As I arrived at work, the rain started to fall. And then it fell all day. Hard. We need rain in North Texas right now, but my personal preference would be for it to fall on weekends, and to NOT be accompanied by lightning.

Poly Booties Worked Fine with Clipless Pedals Today.. Careful "Foot Down" Action Makes them Good for More Than One Ride
In a nutshell, I got good use out of my polyethylene booties and O2 rainwear. It was, however, raining pretty hard so I still got WET in some spots (one must be VERY careful not to ride too fast through deep puddles). And I LOST my camera so you’ll have to imagine the spandex mafia unloading bikes from the pickup. Yup – wet and lost on Bike to Work Day.


Anonymous said...

Losing the camera is a bummer. I can personally attest to that, as I've also lost one and destroyed another just as they were needed!

We skated around inches of rain today. Pam was slightly late getting off work and that was just enough time for the last of two inches to stop falling. As I write this now, the storm is raging again. As it was, we had a decent ride home, complete with a stop for pizza!

John Romeo Alpha said...

I think that rain also went through Phoenix earlier, so I sent it on your way. It was only a 20% chance, I kept telling myself, as I rode through the drenching water and wind. Losing the camera IS a bummer...time to upgrade? If I did that, someone would definitely return the old one AFTER I bought the new one.

limom said...

Too bad about the camera, I guess someone out there has some really cool bicycle pictures.
I forgot my camera today, the day all the kids brought their bikes to school.

Ham said...

One of the benefits of combining phone and camera is the reduction of numbers of object to loose, sorry for your loss.

I am, however, exceptionally impressed by the tyre pressure gauge, as it is clearly intended to champion your Local Bike Shop. What I need to know, as it has been cut out of the photo and given the small size of the object, is were they able to fit on the complete slogan "Local Bike Shop in Texas", or did they run out of space before the place name?

Big Oak said...

Sorry to hear about the loss of your camera. I hope you find it soon, or get another one.

nctcog? North Central Texas Council of Governments? I think those folks mean well, but the tire gauge is useful for only a small number of balloon-tired bikes.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to miss seeing those pictures of spandex clad men unloading bicycles... I will just have to imagine it!! ;)

I hope whom ever finds your camera, returns it. Its a bummer that its been lost.

cafiend said...

Wow. Condolences on the camera.

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