A Few Thoughts And Observations

In no particular order of importance:

  • Beware Springfield! There are outlaw nuns on the loose! Had a car full of them run the 4-way stop at Cherry and Hammons right in front of me this morning. What traffic laws would Mother Teresa ignore?
  • STAR Team member Rick Scarlet and I are working on holding a CyclingSavvy class (possibly a weekend in September) for lady bicyclists. I’m working on getting a female CSI to co-teach the class (two have agreed — one from St.L. and one from FL — so it’s now a matter of scheduling). If you’re a female bicyclist who would like to learn how to ride confidently in traffic, please contact me. Read this success story: I Am No Road Warrior. Very cool! [Note: Taking the weekend class would then allow an interested bicyclist to take the CyclingSavvy instructor training. We could use more bicycle educators in Springfield. Please think about it.]
  • I have published my last honk report. These posts have served their 2-fold purpose: 1) To demonstrate how rare such occurrences are for me (attributed to my lane positioning and rule following), and 2) To come to some understanding about why people honk (most seem to be merely territorial hoots).
  • There are a lot more people riding bicycles around downtown. We need to do updated traffic counts. The change seems to me to be significant since I moved here seven years ago. I arrived downtown this morning at 8:00 to find the bicycle corral nearly full.
  • I do believe I have overcome my anger at stupid automobile drivers — you know, the rare few who do dumb stuff that puts you in danger (danger that proper bicycle driving largely mitigates). I’m looking at you, you car-full of stop-sign running nuns! Man, I prefer being mellow out there. Now I have to work on my consternation (not anger) with “challenged” bicyclists — you know, the road salmon, the unlighted night riders, the serial red-light runners, the serial red-light runners that pass me on the right when I’m stopped at a traffic light… it’s a long list.
  • Been riding my Kona Bike a lot lately — mostly as my going-downtown bicycle. The darn thing is a fun ride :-) I’m also happy that all my bicycles now have internal gear hubs. The Bike is described as “super Rasta.” I have no idea what that means, but it sounds cool ;-)
  • Hot. Geez. Hot outside. Good grief it’s hot…
  • Seriously. Will someone please step up and start a Springfield Cycling Chic blog? I’ll help set it up. I’ll even host it. I’ll even help take pictures. Please!

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Comments 14

  1. Keri wrote:

    Hot. Yep. It’s even a little hotter there than here :-)

    Posted 16 Jul 2011 at 12:31 pm
  2. Steve A wrote:

    I still would like to understand why Andy gets honked at so often, despite riding less miles. Are drivers simply meaner in Springfield than in North Texas? I think that is a weak hypothesis. Despite ending of my own, Andy-inspired, honk project, I continue to post about any honks that appear to be directed in my direction. A popular recent theory is that motorists honk in response to arm signals in a mistaken attempt to be friendly.

    As for weather, nobody ever falls due to ice on the road in July in either Missouri or Texas. Just sayin’ that there are worse things than pleasantly warm temperatures! ;-)

    Posted 16 Jul 2011 at 2:56 pm
  3. Michael wrote:

    I wonder if there’s any Simply Bike readers in Springfield that would be interested in your cycling chic blog idea. You might see if the woman who runs it would post something for you. She’s up north of you in Iowa somewhere.

    http://simplybikeblog.com/

    Posted 16 Jul 2011 at 3:59 pm
  4. Andy Cline wrote:

    Steve… So how many honks per year do you get? :-)

    Michael… Thanks for the idea.

    Keri… Looking forward to fall. But, really, I’d rather be hot than cold.

    Posted 16 Jul 2011 at 5:29 pm
  5. Robert wrote:

    Maybe Steve doesn’t hear very well? ; )

    Posted 16 Jul 2011 at 5:32 pm
  6. Steve A wrote:

    I think Robert may be right, but a honk is pretty hard to miss, even with my usual earphones on.

    By my count, I’m up to 2 this year, though the one NOT in the link is unclear if I was really the target of the honk. Come to think of it, even the honk in the link is pretty strange.

    Regardless, and even for “honked at Andy’” it’d be tough to notice if suddenly horns were removed from cars.

    Posted 16 Jul 2011 at 6:11 pm
  7. Andy Cline wrote:

    Robert … :-)

    Steve… OK, yeah, 2 so far this year is fewer. Hmmmm… now I’m curious ;-)

    Posted 16 Jul 2011 at 10:37 pm
  8. Robert wrote:

    I used to get about one per week in Columbia. That was about every 100 miles, riding all over the city and county. Arterials, two-lane rural highways, shoulder of a 4-lane State highway, etc

    Now, about one per month riding mostly for recreation along a 9-mile stretch of blacktop through Barrington Hills ,Illinois. I don’t pass a home worth less than a few million dollars and its posted at 20 – 25 MPH.

    Sometimes I have to pinch myself to see if this life is real.

    Posted 16 Jul 2011 at 10:50 pm
  9. Anthony Carter wrote:

    Has Mother Teresa really been dead long enough that you need to link to her Wikipedia article when referencing her? Man, time flies.
    As for the road salmon, I encountered one on Sunshine earlier today. I confess… I honked at him.

    Posted 17 Jul 2011 at 6:57 pm
  10. Robert wrote:

    Anthony,

    I’m sure the honking was helpful. He probably thought, “perhaps I’m cycling down the wrong side of the road, perhaps I should take a bicycling education course.”

    : )

    Speaking of which, has anyone else ever had people shout some bicycling advice like “get on the sidewalk” or “ride facing traffic” or “all the way to the right” and then preface it with “I know – I’m a bicyclist” before zooming away.

    Of course, I’ve also had numerous people tell me, “Now I’m a bicyclists, so I don’t hate bicycists, of course I’m smart enough not to ride on the road……..blah, blah, blah (insert stupid nonsense here)”

    Posted 17 Jul 2011 at 10:14 pm
  11. Andy Cline wrote:

    Robert… I have never had anyone establish that identity in such communication :-) I think if it every happened, I might fall of my bicycle from laughing.

    How would one handle that? I mean, obviously, ignoring it is probably the best policy. But does that provide an opportunity to, say, hand them a bicycle education brochure (for all the good it would do)?

    Or one could get into a duel of ethos, i.e. who knows more about it, really. That would require the proper traffic cyclist to have pithy comebacks at the ready ;-)

    Posted 18 Jul 2011 at 8:17 am
  12. Keri wrote:

    Robert,

    Yes I have, enough times to lose count. They often block the left lane to “instruct” me on where to ride in the right lane (or to get into a parking lane or something)

    Once I was with a group on a narrow, curvy road. We had to control the lane for a half mile or so through blind curves, then a shoulder formed to the right so we moved onto it to release traffic. The first motorist slowed to our speed (delaying all the ones behind him) to tell us how he’s a cyclist too and we should have been hugging the edge of the road. That resulted in a barrage of honking at us once he moved on and us nearly running out of shoulder before the platoon got past.

    I had one who didn’t say anything to me, but wrote a 3 paragraph all-caps screaming rant to Mighk after seeing me control the lane one morning. That inspired a post:

    http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/2010/09/17/and-yet-it-was-a-flawless-ride/

    The sad thing is, these are not people claiming to be bicyclists. They actually are bicyclists (most often club cyclists). In my experience, they are more entrenched in discriminatory beliefs about the roads than the average motorist.

    I not only get it from bicyclists in cars, but on bikes too!

    Here’s one caught on video when I was testing my first POV camera with a friend.

    http://vimeo.com/7287442

    Posted 18 Jul 2011 at 11:33 am
  13. Keri wrote:

    Here’s another story along those lines, including an excellent response from MDOT’s Michael Jackson:

    http://www.waba.org/blog/2011/04/that%E2%80%99s-safe-cycling-not-arrogance-says-mdot/

    Posted 18 Jul 2011 at 11:36 am
  14. Anthony Carter wrote:

    I think the only “advice” I’ve ever gotten was a frat girl who leaned out the window and said “sidewalk” to me (on Cherry St of all places!). She didn’t claim to be a bicyclist or anything like that.

    Posted 28 Jul 2011 at 6:41 am