Thursday, December 30, 2010

my final rant of 2010

Both my son and I have had spectacular years in biking. Frey biked 10,600 miles and I biked 4500 miles. While Frey is 26 years old, I am 60 years old. Not bad biking for an old lady.

I was out today getting my last 40 miles in to hit the 4500 mark. Saw only one cyclist. Temperature was 40 degrees and the roads still had some water and ice from our snow storm last Sunday. I am sure you heard about the snowstorm in the Northeast especially if you were flying.

Sorry about that. Anyhoo, as I was biking along the roads, many of the shoulders were covered in snow and had a good melt going. I had to bike in the center of the road to avoid some hazards. And it got me thinking.

On December 22 the Philadelphia Inquirer had an opinion piece about policemen and why they don't tickets cyclists for traffic violations. Most readers all agreed. Yeah, give those bums tickets if they run a light or stop sign.

Well if you motorists want us cyclists to ride like cars, then by golly, that is what I am going to do. Today I got right in the middle of the lane when the shoulder hazards demanded it. I rode down the middle of the road where cars where parked on the right to avoid the "door opening hazard". On one road I had to climb a small hill and there was NO shoulder. I got right in the middle of road. Would you believe a car squeezed past me to rush to the red light only to have me pass him as I turned right at the light?

So for 2011, I will ride my bike like a car since this is what the motorists claim they want. I will take the whole lane when it is necessary and at stop lights and stop signs, I plan on sitting in the middle of the lane...just like a car!!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

stupid editorial in the Daily Local News

Here is the title to an editorial that appeared in the Daily Local News of Chester County, PA - "Bad cyclists aside, bike initiative is an excellent idea." Ellen Zadoff, chairperson of the Chester County Bicycle Coalition is trying to make West Chester, PA a more bike friendly town. Yet our esteemed local newspaper editor takes that opportunity to use something good about biking and turn it into something bad. Ellen wants to make our community safe for cyclists. She wants some bike racks and some safety initiatives in our boro. Good for you Ellen.

The Daily Local editor posts an editorial that spends half of its content on bad cyclists. Gimme a break. Here is my letter I immediately sent to the editor. Feel free to send him more. His name and email is Editor, Andrew M. Hachadorian, 610-430-1116, (e-mail)


Just loved the editorial, really, just kidding.

Please show me all the cars that stop at stop signs in the boro of West Chester. I live near 3 boro stop signs; corner of E Virginia and N Matlack, intersection of E Marshall and N Matlack and three way stop at E Vriginia and N Franklin. I cannot count how many cars run the stop signs on E Virginia Ave and I often see cars bombing through the stop sign on E Marshall. Before you start bashing cyclists let's all take a hard look at all the automobile abuses in the boro. When was the last time you were able to drive down E Gay street and not have to dodge all the illegally double parked trucks? When was the last time you saw a car actually come to complete stop at a stop sign in the boro? When was the last time you were able to park and unload in an loading/unloading only space?

I seriously doubt anyone is going to be killed if a bike does not come to a complete stop at a stop sign. Cars weigh tons and can kill. Bikes weigh less than 50 pounds and cannot kill. Good friends of mine, both over the age of 65, were biking on a tandem bike. They were hit by a car and left unconscious on the road. Where is the outrage in your editorial for this kind of behavior?

Bashing cyclists is the easiest thing for uninformed editors to do. It creates a big huge surge in angry comments from all the drivers in the boro. How easy to bash a cyclist on the road? I bike all over the county. I do my utmost to avoid awful motorists. Yet cars will go out of their way to buzz me close. I even had a car go over the white line at the edge of the road to buzz me even closer.

My son was just in Amsterdam. He said the cyclist is king in that country. Cyclists have their own roads and never have to interact with cars. Until this happens in America, the cars have to share the road with cyclists. The day that a car goes out if its way to be nice to me on my bike, is a day I am still waiting for.

Libby Maxim

Friday, December 3, 2010

man oh man oh man

(I did not take this pic, but this is what I saw)

I was out biking today, high 30s and blustery. But the sun was shining and it was a glorious day for biking. I am well suited for cold weather biking, probably the large layer of blubber I carry around helps!!

Anyhooo, while biking I spot a huge grey heron sitting on a log on the Brandywine River. A sight to see. I continue on and come to a spot where I often spot herons and other marvels of nature. I was biking slowly and quietly along the distant pond and I see a large bird sitting atop a huge dead tree. The tree is barren and sitting on top was this large brown bird. I knew it was special. I moved farther up the road and lo and behold, the bird's head is WHITE. I knew it had to be a bald eagle. It finally took off and I could see how large the bird was.

If you bike slow enough and look hard enough, you can indeed spot many a marvelous thing. Today I saw 2 herons and 1 bald eagle.

What did you see today? Did you take the time to notice something new? I hope so.