The Kodo of Urban Bike Riding is movement through a place. This morning took me down my street past the park, the library, the coffee shop and down the hill over the train tracks, around the band shell and towards the Rose Garden, overlooking the lake and up the hill towards the highway, past a friends house and up the bicycle boulevard, making a hook and across 38th st to Hiawatha light rail, on tree lined pockmarked pavement, sushined broken glass and cigarette smokers, bus riders, smoke rising, a fox running and rabbits hopping, bike riders riding, Mississippi River crossing, Marshall Ave hill, no problems, people walking and cafe people, dogs and dog walkers, gardeners and gardens, brick and mortar, the Cathedral, down hill to Excel Center, a space past security, underground parking.
This is what I saw while biking today. Will post pictures at later date: Away from my personal computer for a few days.
Yesterday’s post gave me an idea today to go non-stop to work this morning. The commute time was one hour and the mileage is around 13-14 miles. I physically planted my foot on the ground once about mid-way at the busiest intersection of the ride. This was a 6 lane highway and commuter rail crossing, so no biggy. The remainder of the ride I was in the saddle using some common Urban Bike Riding Techniques.
The bike ride through a changing urban environment like mine is good preparation for a day in an office. Until I get to work I want to feel the air on my face. It’s freeing. It’s a great release. To bike ride non stop takes a few techniques that are easy to apply to any ride. It is my intent to arrive safely. It is slow biking with a twist today.
First there is a technique that I call “the hook.” This is really a legal maneuver when you think about it. When approaching an intersection where the cross traffic from the right is impeding your momentum, instead of stopping take a right turn on red and then hook back around, like a U turn, after traffic has passed. This move keeps your legs moving and prevents overheating if you were to stop.
A second move is the “circle around.” Here is what happens, instead of coming to a stop, stopping creates heat, just stay in the saddle and circle around the lane until cross traffic is cleared. Another move that is either your thing or not is to accelerate through the yellow traffic light. I do not advocate running red lights or entering an intersection and blasting through. This type of behavior is perilous. But, there are times that accelerating is exhilarating. Keep a move on also is about awareness. Bike riding is not foolish risk taking. On the flip side is another move that keeps the flow. It’s the Yang. The Kodo of biking. This move is to slow down as you are approaching a stop or traffic signal when you sense the traffic volumn is heavy or when the light will not change before you enter the intersection at your current speed.
None of us want to be chained to a desk and spend our lives regretting the stuff we let get in the way of living. The years ahead can look alot better from the seat of a bicycle if you get on it now. So leave your car at home and ride your bike more. A last look in the mirror in the morning before you drive off in your car again is the first step towards your liberation from your car.