No I’m not suggesting eating then regurgitating Edgar Friendly’s hand. I’m saying wave; the universal hand gesture for howdy neighbor. I share my commute with logging trucks and wood chip trucks. Despite there being a four-lane highway running parallel to and in sight of my commuting road, these massive trucks stick to this scenic back road. I understand why; they are trying to avoid a ticket for their overweight loads.
Bike commuting with logging trucks is our equivalent to swimming with sharks. If you’re not alert you’ll get bit, maybe eaten. Lately I’ve made an effort to build a relationship with these gruff burly men by throwing up a friendly hand. As if to say, “Hey neighbor, I’m the guy that was sitting next to you in the pub Saturday night and in church Sunday morning” or “Hey neighbor, didn’t we go to high school together?”
I think it’s working. They are starting to wave back and I’m beginning to recognize the same faces day after day. They’re beginning to cut me a little slack and don’t seem to be as impatient. And why not? The trucks may be monsters, but the drivers are just hard working guys trying to provide for their families. Humans are very social creatures and we’re all looking to make connections.
Thanks for reading The Velo Hobo!
Okay, this is important (well for Americans). If you’d like to express your desire to bicycle on safe roads just follow the link at the bottom of the post and send a quick message to your Senators. Do it quickly; time is running out.
Save Transportation Enhancements in the Transportation Extension
This year, around $700 million of Federal transportation funds, which is less than 2 percent of total transportation dollars, will be spent on bicycling and walking. In 2012 that figure could be a big fat zero if Senator Coburn (R-OK) gets his way. In the next few days, Senator Coburn (R-OK) is expected to try and hold up the extension of the SAFETEA-LU transportation bill unless Congress eliminates funding for the federal Transportation Enhancements (TE) program. For twenty years, TE has been the primary funding source for sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, trails and more.
Please take two minutes to contact your Senators today to urge them to vote against the Coburn amendment and sustain dedicated funding for Transportation Enhancements. Don’t let them take away this vital investment program for smart, sustainable, safe transportation choices. Thank you!
Here’s the link: National Policy and Advocacy.
I promise this won’t become a commuter blog (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but I could not help but share this old abandoned dairy I stopped to explore on my way to work. The sun had just risen over the ridgeline and everything was awash in an orange glow. I’ve had the opportunity to visit beautiful cathedrals in America and Mexico and some breath-taking Buddhist temples inThailand. Sometimes the most beautiful and interesting buildings are the ones left to decay.
My daily commute starts before sunrise and is around eighty miles round trip. It passes through a dangerous narrow winding mountain pass, the Nantahala Gorge. Too far and risky for a bike commute, I’ve settled on a partial commute. I park yonder side of “The Gorge” just as the sun is pop’n up over the mountains. I don’t think I’m really saving any gas. The aerodynamic drag the bike and rack puts on the Corolla negates any fuel saving I’m getting by biking the last few miles. The true savings will be in my mental and physical health. A half hour of brisk biking in the morning and a half hour in the afternoon seems much more reasonable than an expensive gym membership and an hour spent on a stationary bike staring at a concrete wall.
I’m new to bike commuting so I’d be interested in any tips you may have. How do you keep your clothes wrinkle-free, how do you clean up without a shower, how do you carry your lunch?