“The Petersons are a family of four from Issaquah," it begins. "They like to hike, go to the movies, watch American Idol. A regular suburban bunch. Minus the SUV. Minus any car, for that matter. The Petersons don’t drive. They haven’t since 1987. As the rest of the country frets over the highest gas prices in history, the Petersons carry on as usual, biking, walking and riding the bus wherever they need to go.”
For the first time in recent memory I dropped a couple of quarters for a copy of the Greensboro News-Record. The occasion? Your's truly was on the front page. To give credit where it's due, the paper had a photographer at the Ride of Silence. One of his shots graced the front page, above the fold no less. In it, I'm near the front of the pack. Stuart Larry David was slightly miffed that only his sleeves appeared in the shot.
I've commuted by bike off and on over the years. During my time in the midwest I was able to do it year 'round, which led to many moonlight rides through ankle deep snow. Believe it or not, this was one of my favorite commutes.
The route of my current commute isn't bad. Other than a couple of brief stretches along busier roads, I'm clear of auto traffic most of the time. There are many parts of Greensboro where I wouldn't want to commute, but the stretch between my neighborhood and downtown Greensboro isn't one of them. Could I do it 12 months a year? Probably. Will I? I'll plead laziness and say, probably not.
I finally got around to converting my Specialized S Works mountain bike into a commuter. Add full fenders, semi-skinny tires, lights, and presto...you get the picture.
Trust me, this wasn't what Specialized had in mind when they introduced this bike in '92. But after many miles of trail riding and racing, this bicycle has found a higher calling. Note the purple American Classic quick releases - so old they're back in style again.
I vowed that laziness and the return to standard time wouldn't deter me from commuting, and dadgummit, I managed to make good on that vow. Or at least I got a good start.
Today turned out to be slightly warmer than I expected, so I was a bit overdressed for the morning ride. No worries -- I rode at a casual pace and never really got overheated. The 3.5-ish mile ride took about 15 minutes to cover.
Heading home at 6 PM, I had a chance to test out the new headlight. It took a bit of fiddling to get it aimed exactly where I wanted, but it works just fine. I can see the road in reasonable detail and -- apparently at least -- others on the road can see me.
I enjoyed rolling through UNCG after dark. There weren't many students out and about, and the roads were relatively empty. Once I crossed Aycock I picked up the pace a bit; that stretch of Spring Garden St. has too many cars for comfort. But once I was into the residential streets of Lindley Park I was able to relax. An added bonus was silently riding past all the trick or treatin' kiddies as they strolled down the street.