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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Riding Backwards

This wonderful weather is getting people on bikes who I never thought would be on the bike. Here is my business neighbor, Shaw owner of Aunt Sue's Pet Bakery.
Huh, Shaw, I know you don't get on a bike much, but I think you are facing the wrong way!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring is here!

Today, tooling my way through town at around noon, I ran across an impromptu bike gathering in front of the court house-a whole bunch of us! Q even pop up out of nowhere. It is extra fun when we come across each other unexpectedly on our bikes, a bonus bright spot ona ride.

  I think this is a great sign for this year's biking season to have a group converge like this. We were able to take a moment to visit and meet some fellow bikers. The friendliness of bikes!
Many of this group was being led by Anthony Green, a biking force unto himself. He has commuted to work without missing a day for about 7 or 8 years now. I didn't get a picture of him but I promise to do a whole post with his story.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, March 20, 2010


   Riding through down town yesterday evening on what could be classified as our first true spring evening of the year, I came across Sandy. Sandy is a fixture of downtown. He dresses himself and his bicycle in a festive natting way and goes to area restaurants selling flowers. Tonight he has daffodils true sign of spring!

Calling All Women (Biker or Not)

Women recently have been called an "indicator species" for the biking scene.  Many less then ideal circumstances tend to keep women off the bike at a higher rate then it keeps men.  When there is a healthy biking environment women ride at the same rate as men.  The Netherlands have equal men and women ridership.  The United States have twice as many men as women.  Obviously the health of our biking environment is not very robust.

   Wht can we do about that?  The first thing is to identify the the things that keep women off bikes.  The Association of Pedestrian and Biking Professional is doing that and you can help. If you are a woman, take 15 minutes to fill out this Bike Survey.  This is an opportunity to tell your story-whether it is one of biking  or not biking. You might also be interested in signing up for their free webinar Writing Women Back Into Biking.

Getting more women on bikes isn't just about getting more women on bikes.  Filling women's needs so they will get on bikes will filter out to getting more men and more children on bikes.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bike Fashion?

     I went to a great meeting this morning at Outdoor Chattanooga to plan a biking fashion show. If you don't think that biking and fashion mix try out this sight-Copenhagen Cycling Chics.  Sondra Arden of Collective Clothing and Cameron at The Chattanoogan wanted to put something interesting together for the reopening of the Bridge and are partnering with Outdoor Chattanooga  And as it stand now, it looks as though Pilates Chattanooga is going to be a sponsor!

   Be looking for more details-this should be an absolutely fun event.  Chattanooga definitely has a biking community-it was in evidence last night attending the Trek Store open house.  It was a packed house! But most bikers in Chatt-town are road or mountain bikers.  That makes sense-the outdoors beauty of this area just draws people to such activities.  That's how I started biking. And it just keeps growing.

  Bike Commuting has grown also, but the commuting culture has yet to develop very strongly. We are still a small group of individuals.  And because commuting is such an individual thing, it probably always be so.  But this event can go along ways to putting a face (and style) to the commuter.  What fun!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fence Jumping (on the Bridge)

I am missing the Walnut Street bridge! I can't wait for it to reopen. But for how much I miss it, I think Q is missing it even more. He has been insisting it will be finished a month early. He has declared he will be riding his bike across it on April 8th.

    We were talking about this as we were going by the bridge the other night as I was pushing my bike to walk with Q who had walked to dinner. I challenged him on his prediction-who has heard of a construction project finishing early? Q couldn't let this go unchallenged-he had  to check for himself how it was going to confirm his prediction.

Before I could stop him he jumped up on the wall,climbed over the fence and disappeared down the bridge. I was left there holding my bike and checking to see if any law enforcement was around.  Those Park Rangers can be pretty territorial about the bridge.

Q walking the newly boarded Bridge

   He seemed to be gone for a long time and I got tired of waiting so I followed him in. So there we were, under the cover of the dark, checking out the progress, hoping we wouldn't get caught. After checking it out, Q declared it will be done in two weeks. Was that based on his construction expertise or just wishful thinking?

    We climbed over the fence and wall to get out.  Safe! We didn't get caught but I was imagining the whole time how I would explain this to my kids if they had to come bail me out!
Caught in the act (notice safety precaution-don't jump fneces without helmet!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Athens Cool

  On my trip to Athens, Ga to visit my brother I was able to connect with Laura Margaret and have invite her to have breakfast with my brother at Big City Bread Cafe. I call Laura Margaret my third daughter-she was a neighbor and my youngest daughter's best friend growing up. She went to school and is currently still living in Athens and I couldn't pass up a chance to see her.

    I texted her to ask her to breakfast and she replied with a yes!!! three exclamation points. Laura is nothing if not enthusiastic. I always loved that about her. When my own children were reluctant about doing something I was suggesting, I always knew if I asked Laura she would eagerly accept and with that enthusiasm sway my own children. She was my secret weapon in getting my kids to go along with my ideas for many years.

    So how did this spirit daughter of mine show up for breakfast? On a bike, no else. And looking so cool doing it, I had to take her picture. The yellow purse just made the look!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

More Bike2Work Fashion

Yet again another Bike2Work. It has continued through the winter. I don't always make a post of it, but it continues the first Friday the month at the Outdoor Chattanooga Center. This is where the hardy commuters that have stayed on their bikes throughout this hard frigid winter come.

I posted once on the fashion statements that that showed up at the Bike2Work. It was another day of fashion statements and it wast mostly from guys. Lets hear it for the men.

 Here is Jeremy, looking rather cool in all black fixie mode

    Blythe was looking quite dashing!

At this Bike To Work we were visited by Cameron. Cameron is the photographerbehind the camera of the fashion blog, the Chattanoogan. I have been following him for a while, never meeting him. We haunt the same streets, see many of the same people, but I had not crossed paths with him.So it was a thrill to meet him. HE also took pictures of Jeremy and Blythe for his blog. Check them out. They are better pictures then mine.

He didn't ask me to pose for his pictures.  I am sure he would have if I had had my zebra boots on!

Car Tale continues

For those of you wondering what happened to my car situation, here is the story as far as it goes. I had taken it in saying it was not starting and because of that was not able to get emission tested. Apparently all they heard was I flunked the emissions testing. They ran diagnostics and pulled out three codes, all have to do with emissions. I was kind of confused. Last year I passed OK and I had no reason to think that was a problem as testing had not proceeded that far.

     I was told I needed to fix one of them definitely which might not solve the problem and then they would just go down the list until it was fixed. I kept asking-well, what about my car not starting. THAT was the issue that brought me in. Finally I was told my battery was fine and I probably had an electrical drain somewhere but it was a big deal to try and find.

     So I didn't get anything done. I want to actually flunk the emissions test before I do anything about that. I thought it was very suspicious that I was told I had all these emissions problems after I had just said I had come from there. They weren't interested in my starting problem.

    I have ordered a thing to put on the battery that turns it off. I will have to go up under the hood to start it but since I rarely do start it up, I don't think that is a problem. My car is running fine now. For the rest of the week I would start it up as I was leaving in the morning. I then drove it to Athens, GA and back and it has been starting every time.

     I will try to run through the emissions again. If I fail it, then I will look at options to fix it. I felt like the mechanics were asking me to jump down a black hole with them, probably never declaring it fixed until I had spend big bucks. So in the end, I spent about $85 in diagnostics to do nothing and for now, everything is fine.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Abandoned (and other car issues)

I drove my car today. No. I am not driving it because of the wintry mix. I am driving it because the city threatened to tow it away if I did not move it
Abandonment sticker-notice how dirty my car is

    I have not driven my car since- well, I can't remember when I drove it last. It has been several months at least. My car has developed a bad habit of not starting on command. I have to have Q come over and jump it whenever I want to drive it. When you have to go to that much trouble to drive, suddenly very few trips are worth it

     So there it sat, on the side of the road, parked slightly cocked eyed( I cannot for the life of me park straight) collecting dirt, pine needles and other fallout from the trees it is parked next to.

    Apparently it was gathering a forlorn and abandoned air. Someone even left a note on it asking if I was willing to sell it. He would take it whether it was running or not.

     He was not the only one who thought it was a forgotten car. The city came by and slapped an abandoned sticker on it. It said I had ten days to move it or it would be moved for me. How nice of them to offer!

     I meant to move it and clean it up before now, but considering how much trouble it is to start it and then keep it running for awhile so it would start again, I had not done it before today-and today was the tenth day.

     Q came over to jump it (he has been so sweet to do this whenever I asked, regardless of weather, and the "wintry" mix is quite nasty today) and I left it running until I was ready to meet Q at Stone Cup for breakfast  I also left it running while in Stone Cup, blowing all my environmental capital that I have earned for riding the bike. Well, I try.

     I did not have any sessions this morning and while I was in my car, I thought it was a good time to get the emissions testing that Chattanooga requires for yearly registration. Since I never had my car out running enough to go by the testing site, my registration expired. Probably added to the abandoned air.

     I went by my studio first to stop and start the car just in case it didn't start up again and I would be where I needed to be. It started fine.

     I went to the testing site, stopped the car, got out and went in the waiting room. It wasn't long before the tester came in and said my car wouldn't start. Test flunked. At least they were kind enough to give me my money back. They wouldn't jump it though and just pushed my car around the corner, leaving me to deal with it.

     I was contemplating what my next step would be- I had already called Q but he wasn't answering- when I tried to start it again, and behold, it started right up! The testers had not even gotten back inside so I asked if we could resume the test. No telling when I will get a chance to come back-probably not till the next time I am forced to drive.

    But no, I was told I had to get it fixed before I came back. Durn!

     But I did get myself to the car repair place to get this figured out. I am sitting here waiting for the bad news.

     I don't think this is going to be pretty!