Tagged "cycling"

Critical Mass in Seattle

This entry is about Critical Mass in Seattle. For the background story, please read Emotions Still Running High After Critical Mass Confrontation, the online version of an article in the Seattle Times, as well as the entry on Wikipedia.

As a bicyclist, I am torn between the pros and cons of Critical Mass, myself. Although the debate will never end, my experience has told me that for one reason or another, Seattle (this does not include Bellevue or Redmond on the east side) has developed a culture that is considerably friendly to bicyclists. As long as I obey the rules of the road, I have found drivers on the whole to be quite courteous within Seattle city limits, generally giving me more than enough space to maneuver. This stands in stark contrast to my experience living in Cleveland, Ohio, however, where irate motorists leaned out their windows to yell at me to “Get off the road!” at least once a day while I commuted to work. Why is this? Is Critical Mass one of the factors that raised awareness of cyclists on the road in Seattle? Or is Critical Mass made possible by the strength of numbers that cyclists have here? I suspect that it may be a bit of both.

Seattle-Redmond Commute, Part I

This route starts from my favorite morning coffee shop (and art gallery), Ancient Grounds, crosses over the I-90 bridge, passes through Mercer Island, continues east of Bellevue, and finally connects with the 520 trail. The key point of this route is that it avoids the cycling hell that is Bellevue and the I-405 interchange entirely. It’s unfortunate that it took me a few months to find this “scenic detour”, though! I average about one and a half hours for this route, though I have completed it in 1 hour and 20 minutes, going east, and 1 hour and 10 minutes, going west. To tell the truth, I didn’t realize that Redmond was on such a large hill until I compared my trip times; elevation gain really does make a difference.

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STP Weekend

This weekend was the annual Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, in which I was originally quite eager to participate. Of course, that was before I discovered that it would cost about $130 to participate ($85 for registration, ~$50 for a bus or train ticket home, and other various and sundry fees), which struck me as a bit excessive to just ride 200 miles to Portland. Perhaps I could just do it solo one of these days?

Anyway, instead of going on a double-century ride, I have spent my weekend in a much more pedantic fashion. I was struck by a bit of a cleaning bug this weekend, so I reorganized all of my laundry, started archiving all of my old e-mail, set up an automatic backup solution (which I will get to in another post), and finally configured this Movable Type install. I also managed to wander around a bit in the sun yesterday at Myrtle Edwards park—which, as I discovered, has a breathtaking view of Mount Rainier—and take in a Sergeant Major performance at a bar on Capitol Hill.