Thursday, November 19, 2009

Laying Low, Pedaling in the Cold, and Perhaps Some Tweediness

Burrrrrr . . . . has it been cold in the high country, except during the middle of the day when it is in the breezy 50's and sunny. The fluctuating temperatures make dressing for a bike ride and work a bit confusing. On top of that I felt very disinclined when on my bike to either stop and gaze as the snow capped San Francisco Peaks, beautiful though they are, or take the time pull out my camera and seek out photographic muses of either the human or bicycle variety.

The Planner Guy, aka First-Place-in His-Age-Group-Triathlon-Guy, still has not purchased a new tire and tube for his commuter bike so I've been riding in to work more than I'd like in the Element. Still though, with only one car and often juggling two schedules, I am enjoying numerous evening bike rides after work, which are truly lovely and mysterious on the urban trail by the light of the stars and the head light on my Breezer. Yes, the temperature drops quickly and deeply once darkness falls but I've learned to keep an extra layer in my pannier to put on for the ride home, and during the fall and winter I almost always wear a nice scarf around my neck.

Three times this last week and a half I braved the evening cold on my bike by focusing on only on the stars but also on the image of a bowl of piping hot French onion soup lovingly prepared from scratch by the Planner Guy (aka Chef Bob).

Unfortunately, Flagstaff suffered the death of a 23-year-old Army veteran, NAU student and cyclist this week. Joshua Pete's bicycle collided with a City truck making a right-hand turn. I know few of the details but am deeply saddened for everyone involved. I have nearly been hit as a cyclist and as a car driver nearly hit other cyclists in similar circumstances. Behind the wheel of our car or sitting upon my bike, I am doubly attentive to what is going on around me and conscious of my choices; this tragedy could so easily be repeated.

Long-Range Goal Set Into Motion!
Relatively uninspired these days with the total lack of bike fashion in the last few weeks, likely the result of the return of frigid temperatures I decided that I needed a goal to maintain my motivation to both bike commute and blog. Mid-week I recalled my unfulfilled intention to organize a Tweed Ride. What could be more fun that a large group of smartly attired bicyclists hob-nobbing their way over the urban trail and into town, pedaling from gallery, to restaurant, to bar (for drinks and dancing). If I set out a goal for targeting a date in conjunction with Bike to Work Week and had some enthusiastic cohorts I just could pull it off. I shared my idea with two people who I thought would be likely stakeholders in the event and got the thumbs up for further investigation and planning. Perhaps, the event could also serve as a soft fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity Flagstaff, further motivating me to be the active Board member I desire to be.

I love having a goal. Happily, I know that my fellow bike commuting bloggers will be more than willing to grant permission to borrow ideas! So, all you Tweed Ride organizers out there, let send your wisdom my way. Pretty please.


Emma J said...

What a great solution to the winter-motivation issue! Though the picture your words call up of the evening bike under mysterious starlight is a motivator, too. Too bad we don't all have French onion soup waiting at the end of the trail!

(sorry, as always, to hear of a cyclist's death)

Charlotte said...

What a great plan, and I looooove the idea of incorporating galleries! What fun!

Courtnee said...

I think your Tweed Ride could definitely pull a good crowd of cyclists, especially if people already have cycling on their minds from "Bike to Work" week. Good luck and have fun!

She Rides a Bike said...

The winter biking motivation has been further enhanced by some new boots - 2 new pairs actually. One pair I found over ebay and the other pair I just picked up yesterday at the Bass Outlet at the Anthem Outlet. More on these later this week.

Had my first informal meeting on the Tweed ride on Friday and another very positive response.

CynthiaC54 said...

Great idea - and very inspiring!

BTW, was looking for pictures to borrow for a lesson plan PPT (I teach a Junior Achievement high school class) and checked some of your links - Nutcase Helmets is TOO FUN! I'll put them on my Christmas wish list as soon as I narrow down which one I want... or two... Okay, four. :-)

Christa said...

The Tweed Ride theme seems to be quite effective in gathering different cycling demographics. The common denominator: fun.

As bicycle advocates we need to show that cycling is, first and foremost, fun.

While I've participated in the Los Angeles Tweed Ride, many people on my city are still unaware of the bicycle movement. I hope to start a Tweed Ride in Santa Babara as well.

Best of luck to you. Looking forward to seeing photos! :)