I want to ride my bicycle…

I want to ride my bike. Watch out people, I’m all hepped up on Endorphins.  Is anyone else riding his or her bike to work these days? I am lucky enough to access to a bike locker and locker room at my work, which is a completely awesome perk that no one else seems to use. I always have the whole place to myself.  So, after a totally refreshing and fun commute to work I have a nice little bit of alone time to drink coffee (yes, I have a latte holder on my handlebars) and shower before facing the office. Just wondering how many other SacRaggers out there are commuting with bikes these days. Any odd experiences? And another question, most likely to be answered by RunnerGirl, any ideas of how to get that Queen song out of my head? (… I don’t wanna be a candidate
For Vietnam or Watergate
Cos all I want to do is
Bicycle bicycle bicycle …)

12 thoughts on “I want to ride my bicycle…”

  1. i want to ride my bike to work..but i work late. on my way home i pass more than 3 spots where innocent people were killed by gang shooting. i get off work at around 2am and have to cross broadway and go through south sac to get home. am i paranoid you think? is it actually safe to ride that late in that area? i really don’t know. the flowers on the corner of 12th and w tell me it’s not…and it only takes being wrong once.

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  2. Why yes I do bike commute. Well that is not completely true. I take light rail one way and ride the bike trail home the other way. If this is an option for you I would suggest it as it makes the being sweaty at the office thing go away. There is also not the risk of blowing a tire and get getting to work late.
    Tips?? hmm..
    1. Carry a cell phone
    2. Never assume a car sees you.
    3. Bike shorts however dorky are worth wearing.
    4. If you are riding on the streets a little helmet mirror or handle bar mirror is worth the few bucks.
    5. umm I think that is it.

    Good luck.

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  3. TP I don’t think that’s paranoid at all. I definitely wouldn’t ride alone after dark no matter what neighborhood. Given the propensity of Sacramento drivers for driving into houses, I have no doubt they would drive into ME!!

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  4. …but if you do get caught at dusk “on the road”, make sure you have a decent front and rear light, + some extra batteries. Besides being the law, a light set for your bike will help others see you and help you see the road.

    I’d plug a few sets, but I don’t know da policee on that sort of thing here. For about $25, you should be able to get a decent front and rear lamp set, with clamps and batteries. Online, Bike Nashbar is a good source for bike gear, affordable, and not too fashion infested/keep up with the Jones.

    The headlamp usually attaches to your handlebars, and your rear light to your seat post. The rear lights usually have two settings, on, and blinking on. With the LED products out now, the less expensive light sets put out a fair amout of light, and last about 3 hrs. Plenty of time to get back home or to your car if you get held up and can’t keep up with the sun. Light rail allows bikes on board as well if you really don’t want to tackle a bad part of town. RT site has the info, I think it used to be 2 bikes per car, might have been raised to 3-4 off peak. Someone here is a guru of transit who’ll weigh in on “accomodations”.

    And on cell phones…….

    If you plan to use the American River Parkway for any part of your commute (applies to any rural open space area), check with your cell provider’s map to see where the coverage is weakest. There are a few dead holes out there, and it helps to know where they are in case the need arises to use your phone. The trail has phones/call boxes. Good to keep track of those when you enter a stretch of the trail that has poor reception.

    Can’t go without mentioning SABA (Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates) http://www.sacbike.org/

    There are a lot of reason to check out Saba’s site, but one that is immediately practical is the hazard report service they run, and access to a cadre of bike commuters who know the streets better than cops probably do. Might be able to pair up with a member who commutes in/near your environs to get the scoop on hazards and the local car maniacs. They do a lot of good work and cyclist would be much worse off w/o their going to bat for all of us.

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  5. HeyMeg: I’m totally the wrong person to ask about getting a song un-stuck. There have been many MANY occasions when a singular line of a song will be stuck in my head for a full day out on the trails. Most recently, it was “When my get up and go has got up and went, I hanker for a hunk-a cheese.”

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  6. I LOVE riding my bike to work. What a great way to start and end the day.

    Now if only the Co-Op would open a little sooner I could stop there on my way.

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  7. I’ve wanted to ride my bike to work but there are a few issues for me :(…
    – I live in Carmichael and commute to Folsom. So I have to negotiate Fair Oaks Blvd (or go out of my way to avoid it) before finally hitting the bike trail. After all that, it’s 13.5 miles each way.
    – I no longer own a bike (I dumped it when I moved out here). So to see if I even like it, I would have to buy a bike and all the associated equipment (saddle bags, helmet, etc…). And if I don’t like it, it’ll suck.
    – I really wanted to take public transit, but it’s 88 minutes each way (25-30 driving).

    So, for the time being, I just carpool, then exercise at work.

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  8. I ride my bike to work every day, and I have two jobs, so I’m often riding my bike to work, then from work to work, and then from work to home.

    I recently also misplaced my headlight (which I hardly consider a loss as it would not tighten, so it was constantly tipping towards the ground or skyward, so it more or less sucked) and I’ve gotten off work between 10:30 and 11pm the last few nights and had to ride up broadway with no headlight.

    Now, the little teeny things that operate as headlights for bikes don’t help you see very much. They help you be seen, and also prevent you from getting a ticket. So far I’ve been lucky.

    I also got threatened by a guy tuesday night. I have to admit, I don’t think he was serious, and was just entertaining himself. As I was approaching the 19th & Broadway Lightrail stop, he saw me and asked for fifty cents. I told him I didn’t have any money on me (I didn’t) and he started going “come on, man!” and then started scooting out in front of me like he was going to try to grab me or use his body to stop my bike. I didn’t slow down and buzzed right past him, once again telling him that I didn’t have any money. He started making growling noises and said something to the effect of “I’m coming after you, whitey!”

    At that point I slowed down a little bit and laughed. Not in the face of danger, but in the face of comedy. He didn’t make any effort to chase after me at all.

    So yeah, I don’t know. I mean, how dangerous was that, really? Was this guy just being a clown, or would he have tripped me and taken my money if I had made it easier for him? I’m thinking he was probably just clowning, but who knows?

    I’ve also almost been run over when crossing busy streets by cars who don’t want to actually stop at the red light before making a right turn on red.

    If I do end up being killed, it will probably be something I could have prevented, as I still don’t own a helmet.

    Why, people, why do bike helmet manufacturers absolutely refuse to make nondescript looking helmets? Why do they all have to have pink flames or neon blue and green paint splatters? Or glitter! God, I hate glitter. Why? It’s like being punished for trying to not have your brains smashed all over the pavement. Somebody needs to do something about this.

    Also, why is there like a $30 difference between a child’s helmet and an adult helmet when the difference in size and design is only marginal? Why can you keep your 14-year-old head squish-free for $10, but my 30-year-old head requires the shelling out of $45?

    Also, I know I should get a horn or a bell, and I know that I shouldn’t ride on the sidewalk, but sometimes I’d have to go several blocks out of my way to avoid it. With that in mind, I try to be polite to pedestrians and stay out of their way and slow down for them, but I swear, some of them are as daft as it comes. Two people walking abreast of each other on the sidewalk can very easily make a little room on one side for a cyclist without even having to walk single file, and if they were looking where they were going, they’d be aware that I’ve been pacing behind them since the last crosswalk, and short of that, maybe when I say “on your left” OUT LOUD, they might maybe go “huh? what?” and look behind them to see who said that and why…but they don’t.

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  9. Christopher thanks for the stories. By the way you can get an adult helmet at REI for about $10 in their clearance bin and they have plenty of plain ones to choose from. Aside from all the obvious reasons for wearing one like wanting to avoid brain damage and the giant risk of being hit by an RT bus, there are some other things you might not have considered. For example if Zombies attack on the day you have a bike accident and you’re not wearing a helmet, they’ll be attracted to the scent of your brains seeping out on the pavement and you’ll be one of the first to go. This rationale has persuaded my husband to suffer the completely dorky feeling of wearing a helmet; perhaps it will also persuade you. Food for thought.

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  10. The idea of keeping my thoughts from becoming food is definately food for thought.

    When the maintenance guy at my night job told us about how he has fortified (FORTIFIED!) his home against a zombie attack (not joking about this story, and neither was he), I should have gone out and gotten a Zombie-deturring helmet IMMEDIATELY!

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  11. Well as of this morning it’s not too late. Get to REI and fortify your brains before you become undead and have to regret it for eternity.

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  12. I don’t own a car, just a bike.

    Sacramento, in general, is not the most bike-friendly of towns. Sometimes, I am faced with the choice of choppy sidewalks with blind corners and giants cracks or a narrow street with no bike lane, parked cars and blind drivers. Midtown can be tough to bike in because cars roll 10 feet past the stop signs and into the bike lanes to see traffic on our tiny, crowded streets.

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