Stuck in Traffic

The biggest challenge I have on my commute is the hill going east out of downtown St Paul. I’m just getting started after work and bam, I’m puffing up Kellogg towards the Cathedral. I’ve learned to just take my time and not sweat it. At rush hour the traffic is killer so riding on a wide sidewalk has become my safety route.

St Paul Cathedral October 2011- taken from 12th floor office building looking West – Minneapolis in background

I’m beyond complaining about this climb out of St Paul. It feels pretty damn good to be alive and I’m well enough to maintain composure and push myself. When all is said and done, you know what the other guy is doing, That Guy in the car stuck in traffic who wishes he were me. Personally, the hour each way that I ride is another hour that I will not take driving my car. Yeah, when I do the math and round out the time it would take to drive to work then my biking is about twice that. In a weeks time I bike 10 hours and can save 5 hours of drive time. That’s five hours of driving aggravation and wanting to be somewhere other than in a f- fing car.

Ray Bans are my windshield looking into sun Lake Calhoun Minneapolis October 2011

 The hours of the day are starting to bookend with my travels to work and back. That means the low sun on the horizon is blinding and is hazardous for me and other bike riders. This is pretty much what I am seeing when the sun is in my eyes. For car drivers it is not any better. Being aware of the traffic behind me is a real safety concern. This is not part of a fear rant it is just common sense that risk changes with the seasons.  As car drivers are apt to do at rush hour they are driving way too fast when the sun is in their eyes.

Marshall Ave St Paul October 2011 two modes of hauling stuff in a fair city

Has anyone figured out why people are not totally aghast about the time they spend behind the wheel? I have just grown to hate driving. There is no such thing as Free anymore so we better get used to the practice of being Fair. For example why is there free parking at curb side? How is that fair to bike riders or for that the mobility of the cars on the street? We are free to drive single occupant cars but how fair is that when fuel economy standards are so low? We are free to bike ride on the street but how fair is the perception that the behavior is too risky?

Womens’ Head Ames Iowa October 2011 corner of Grand and Lincoln Wa. Drivers miss 16 foot statue from roadway.

Besides wasting time in your car stuck in traffic each day there is a whole lot that surrounds us that people will miss out on. For starters most people take the same route to and from work. Boring! Bike riding just begs for an adventure taking us on many different routes to the same place. Fun! We choose fun and not boring when we bike ride. When bike riders choose to drive a car we know how easy it is to “Not Pay Attention” I guess that is the bottom line when driving, we just don’t pay attention to much going on around us. No doubt because it feels like we are at the center of everything. As a bike rider we have to pay  attention to everything and that gives us a sense of being in everything that surrounds us. Residents Occupy your town and ride bikes as the 99 percent who want change.

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