Thursday, March 12, 2009

Commuting notes

I've been commuting now on my new route for a few months. Some random thoughts on that:
  • On the way to work, I prefer arterials. On the way home, I prefer side streets and I like to take my time.

  • It would be nice to have a camera attached to my helmet for easy shots. My latest phone is a cumbersome turd -- it takes good photos -- but it takes at least a minute, with no gloves on, to queue up to take a shot. I don't have anything extraordinary to shoot on my commute, but my daily routine intersects many other peoples' daily routines and that intersection would be interesting to shoot spontaneously.

  • I'm the shadow

  • There's another commuter in the morning that rides my favorite part of the route (through Liberty Park) about 1/2 hour to an hour before me. I can tell by the tracks s/he leaves on snowy days that I'm not far behind. It's weird how I feel connected to this person I'll probably never meet. They run 700x35 hakkappalitas too.

  • I'm not sure if it's the cold or the commute, but I'm not doing as many longer rides or as much ad hoc riding/trail riding that I normally do.


Anonymous said...

We know who the SPD should contact if they ever need to ID a bike tire.

Anonymous said...

It is great to live vicariously through your blog. I grew up in Spokane and worked in a few bike shops there in the early 80's.

Anonymous said...

I also take arterials in the morning, but side streets in the evening. Like you I have a mostly downhill morning commute, where it is easy to keep up with traffic. In the evening I'm climbing hills and being on side roads makes the riding more enjoyable.

Commuting is the majority of my miles, and I'm pretty happy with that. I don't do as many long rides as I'd like, but I do get out on the bike every day and find new routes from time to time.

Ken Paulman said...

I noticed the same thing - ever since I moved further away from downtown and started commuting daily, I can't seem to get motivated to do recreational rides.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Liza give you a helmet cam for Christmas one year?

John Speare said...

Luke: the hakkappalitta has a very distinctive tread pattern. It's about the only tread I can ID. Well, except for the Avocet cross.

Gordon: where are you now? Which shops did you work at?

Alex: yeah, downhill makes riding with traffic easy, but I still cut off the arterial to go through Liberty Park. Next time you're in town with a bike we'll do my short commute.

Ken: I'm hoping it's the winter. this cold is really getting to my brain. It's like a constant headwind. I'm tired of being cold all the time.

Jason: I do have that helmet cam. It's video -- I guess I could mount that, go through the video and create "stills," but it's a cumbersome turd -- it takes a lot of fussing to know what you're getting, since there's no LCD screen on it. You have ride/record, come home, download the video, figure out that it's pointing the wrong way, then go out and calibrate -- always thinking about where your head is pointing. And the video quality sucks. So, I guess I really don't want a helmet cam. I want a professional photographer to ride with me every morning.

Anonymous said...

John, where are your grips? Didn't your mother tell you not to go riding without your grips?

Anonymous said...

John -
I worked at both of the Columbia Cycle & Hobby shops - they used to have a store at 37th Ave and Grand and the one on the N. side as well. This was in like 1983-85.
I currently like in Arizona.

John Speare said...

Wasn't that Al's Schwinn in 83? I used to go up there all the time and get stuff for my BMX. You probably helped me.

Columbia Cycle on n Monroe finally shut down about 2 years ago.

Anonymous said...

John -

that was Al's Schwinn. I had forgotten the name. I bought my first few bikes there.