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EXTREME COMMUTING!!!

by Ted Johnson

While visiting a local pizza joint for lunch, I was waiting for my two slices, and having to choose from among 15 televisions at which I could stare.

On the right, I found myself watching this whole other kind of cycling. My head is so deep in the commuting and utility cycling world, I sometimes forget that there are other uses for a bicycle.

BMX on TV

A different slice of cycling

It got me thinking about how unexciting bike commuting is. Made me a little jealous, to be honest.

I mean, we overcome a lot of obstacles by bike commuting–first and foremost, laziness. Where’s our cable show?

I decided to make commuting exciting to watch. Yesterday I had an appointment with my eye doctor about an infection that was making my vision a little cloudy on one side.

Hang onto your handlebars.

I’m waiting for the energy drink endorsement offers to start rolling in.

Readers Digest Large Print EditionLike the pizza restaurant, the eye doctor’s office had a television to keep the patients patient–except it was an infomercial for Lasik surgery running on a loop.

I put on my extreme reading glasses (3.25 power), reached for the Readers Digest Large Print Edition, and looked for anything at all that might hold my interest.

And what do you know! In the “@Work in the News!” section there was story relevant to cycling! I couldn’t wait to share it with our readers.

When I got to work, extremely late, I Googled the story and discovered that the bike blogosphere already had it’s yuks about it six years ago.

I was extremely disappointed!

Here it is anyway:

Readers Digest Cycling Story

Readers Digest's EXTREME six year lag!

Don’t think that I won’t do this again.


AllMighty by King Nebuchadnezzar is licensed under an Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

 
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17 Responses to “EXTREME COMMUTING!!!”

  1. JD Leonard says:

    Bad salmon! Good luck with the peepers.

    I like the idea of extreme commuting, dodging cars, stationary objects set up in the bike lane, dog walkers with two dogs on 30 foot retractable leashes walking down the center of the MUP. You have only scratched the surface.

    Then there is winter commuting, a whole different sport.

  2. Ha ha ha!! “On the sidewalk! EXTREME!”

    Love it, Ted.

  3. Misty says:

    This is the funniest and most awesome thing I’ve seen in awhile. You made my day. :D

  4. John says:

    I live in Wales and these bilingual signs now have to have the Welsh version first and then the English, It’s a good job that most people in Wales can only read the English part when you have mistakes in translation like that!

    John

  5. Sue Rawley says:

    Hilarious! Extreme is in the eye of the beholder! Bike commuting is often EXTREME!

  6. Eric W says:

    Actually, the bike path portion looked quite pleasant and really nice. Bike parking seems questionable…

    EricW

  7. Nathan says:

    Perhaps riding on the sidewalk isn’t illegal everywhere, but it is:
    A) EXTREMEly rude to pedestrians
    B) EXTREMEly unsafe, since drivers are watch for things moving at pedestrian speed, not bicycle speed, to come off of a sidewalk at an intersection
    C) EXTREMELY rude to other cyclists who try to follow the rules yet get hated by drivers and pedestrians alike because of cyclists who break the rules.

  8. BluesCat says:

    Nathan – I don’t like to ride on sidewalks. With the high pressure tires on my ‘bent and my road bike, the concrete expansion joints make the ride so rough it feels like I’m going to knock some fillings out of my teeth!

    But there are several roads in Phoenix where it is EXTREMEly DUMB to attempt to “take the lane” on a bicycle. And there isn’t an alternative route to a destination on some of these roads.

    I spoke of one of them in a post on my blog entitled The Solidly Safer Sidewalk.

    Almost ALL of the traffic laws in the U.S. have been created with motor vehicles in mind, which means sometimes it is EXTREMEly SILLY to apply them to bikes. It is EXTREMEly LAME to insist that I stop at a stop sign at 5:15 AM in the morning when there isn’t a car around for miles! I spoke of this in another blog post called Here Come Da Traffic Law Judge.

  9. Ben says:

    A: How is it rude if you’re riding in a courteous manner?

    B: True, but sometimes it’s safer than the street.

    C: Most places it’s legal to ride on the sidewalk. That’s where the drivers seem to think you belong anyway. So I’m not sure why it would upset them.

    I’m not an advocate for sidewalk riding by any means. I prefer the street in 90% of any riding scenario. But until all roads are safe for bike travel, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. And if someone doesn’t feel comfortable riding on the roads, at least their riding a bike. We need more inclusion and less exclusion if we’re ever going to make some change.

  10. Ted Johnson says:

    Nathan spoke in generalities, and I can’t say I disagree in principle.

    When it is an isn’t safe to ride on the sidewalk is really a matter of judgement. There are times when it is absolutely the only sensible thing to do. EXTREMELY sensible!

    I knew I was going catch hell from someone for my sidewalk stretch in the video. It was just a matter of waiting for that shoe to drop. However, my violation can’t be defended as being the safest thing for me to do. It was probably equally safe to the alternative, which would have been to cross the road, ride one block in the bike lane, and then cross back.

    But when the concrete bike path ended, I had a green light. I looked ahead at the vacant sidewalk. I made the call in a split second, and kept rolling. A self-serving judgment call to be sure.

    I sometimes wonder whether the traffic-law-compliance absolutists among us are just uncomfortable with allowing people to make these kind of judgment calls. Do they fear the slippery slope that ends up with total traffic chaos? That is a pretty scary scenario when you consider that the traffic landscape (to say nothing of the law) is, as BluesCat points out, designed to privilege a particular kind of user. And that user has the advantage of disproportionate size, weight, speed, and armor.

  11. Chrehn says:

    I like the video idea a lot. Bicycle commuting has it’s extreme moments and I like the idea of capturing them and sharing them on video. JOYBAGgers Unite!

  12. BluesCat says:

    BTW, Ted, I thought the video was terrific, I’ve found myself walking around TALKING EXTREMELY with some of my coworkers.

    Also, you left the “i” out of the “cycling” in your “www.utilitycycling.org” link. Y’know, the Ol’ BluesCat NEVER makes mstakes wth leavng i’s out of hs weghty wrtngs!

  13. I sometimes harp about sidewalk riding, but if the walk is empty it’s hardly rude to anybody. Yeah, there’s some added danger too, but if you act like a pedestrian on wheels (i.e. slow & tentative at crossings instead of darting across) you should be fine.

  14. Ted Johnson says:

    One of our perennially popular articles is Top 5 Rules for Riding on the Sidewalk, published in July 2008 (before my time here).

    It gets thousands of hits and a few new comments every month. I need to figure out why.

  15. Paul Johnson says:

    Why drive on the sidewalk, especially against traffic, especially on a street that clearly has bicycle lanes?

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