It took only 2 years…

There are some times when having a lot of data can be discouraging as well as daunting. This happened when I went to Disney World where I used a camcorder (with a tape) and told myself I would just take still images from the video for photos. In a way this would have been like Apple Live Photos where I could take the “shot” at any time. I don’t recall when that was, but I still have the tapes and never made a photo album. Sadly I never looked at the footage after.

A friend taught me in the last few years to stop taking so many photos and just make memories in my head so that I can enjoy the experience and not have my face in the viewfinder the whole time. Though those who take photos with a tablet….do look a little odd, but they do create a TV for those behind them so as not totally blocking the view.

So when I went to The Netherlands with my mother for my 40th birthday I told myself no photos. This time though instead of holding a video camera, I mounted my GOPro on my bike helmet and recorded the entire trip. Well, I didn’t quite have enough memory cards to capture the entire bike trip in 1080p.

I ended up with approximately 240GB of video with each 12 minute segment around 2GB each. I planned to share it with the others on the trip, but the longer I put it off, the less priority it took and at some point I had given up since the expectation to have shared the videos had passed. I didn’t have then, nor do I now, have enough storage space online to host all of the video clips which covered all of the time we were moving on the 6 days of biking during the trip.

Additionally after not having a functional website for 3 years, I decided to simplify it by not hosting a separate photo gallery and DVD catalog, which I at the time would take requests to let friends borrow from my extensive movie collection. I opted to save on hosting and go with just a WordPress site.

So here is the blog and here is a link to the videos page:

I posted videos of some interesting parts of the trip which include bicycle infrastructure, navigational mistakes, animal life, and of course windmills and ferries! I have a bad habit of yelling “Ricola” in tunnels and well, there was a great opportunity so that video is posted as well 🙂 Hint: Day 6 video 1.


Your Bike Light is Too Bright

I don’t often have a driver of a car roll down their window to talk to me, but yesterday one did and we had quite an interesting conversation.

Firstly she said that she was a cyclist and that my bright head light which I happened to have in flash mode was blinding her from behind.  When I was behind her I noticed that she seemed to have her hand up to her window much like I have done when bright lights hit the mirror just right.  (I wonder if my mirrors are not properly angled when that happens) In fact it seemed that she had her hand to her ear originally and I immediately thought cell phone.

You are going to get hit!

She did reference those with Epilepsy in this statement.  While I agree that some people are adversely affected by strobe lights from high school theatre warnings, I disagreed that this would make me more prone to getting hit.  I calmly stated “You saw me right?”

Apparently she was just having a bad day, but I thought it was particularly interesting that she decided to get into a discussion with me.  Granted when I see people with cell phones up to their ear I give them an evil stare, I rarely say anything.  I may gesture to put the phone down, but as they are in a car, I don’t want to fuel any rage and get run off the road or run over.

Turn your Headlights On

Okay…so I was a little bit snarky as I asked her to turn her headlights on.  I had come up behind her noticing her tail lights were not on which is usually indicative of the “My lights are on” when really just the day-time running lights are on.

Oddly enough she did not miss a beat to scold me for having a highly noticeable headlight as she turned on her headlights. 🙂

Be Visible and Be a Driver

So the moral of the story?  I don’t feel that I was doing anything wrong. In fact, I feel better about my $100 headlight as it makes me visible to drivers.  So much so that it annoys some of them.

Be a Driver. Be in the correct position in the lane, obey traffic laws, and staying alert and visible will help you survive the busy metro streets even during rush hour 🙂

Need some tips about driving safely as a cyclist? Contact your local bike advocacy group for safety class opportunities.

Happy Riding!

4 Years of Bike Commuting

April 2012 will mark the 4th year I have been commuting to work.  Here are just a few facts about by bike riding.

~ 8000 Miles

  • 6331 Miles on my Road Bike
  • 1518 Miles on my Cyclocross Bike
  • ???? Miles using CaBi (Capital Bikeshare)

1 Crash

Well, I would not really call it a crash.  I was side swiped by a car changing lanes from a stopped position.  Being observant of your surroundings at making sure you have an escape route along with learning basic avoidance maneuvers can really help keep you safe.

2 Falls

One was because I decided to drive over a bridge joint in a parallel direction, and the other was because of black ice.  The first could have been avoided, but the second, was totally unforeseen and unavoidable.

363 Days a Year

That is an estimate, but I ride my bike practically every day to work and to the National Zoo on Saturday and Air and Space Museum on Sunday.  The only days I don’t ride my bike are when it is either raining very hard when I head out in the morning, or if it is very cold with a chance of freezing rain.

Fun Rides

While my main use of a bike have been transportation, I have had a chance to go on some fun / fundraising rides recently.

  • 2011 Air Force Classic Crystal Ride ~63 Miles
  • 2012 WABA VASA Ride ~69 Miles

I am looking at doing the Air Force Classic again this year and have been anticipating open registration for months.  While I don’t plan to travel for a Gran Fondo, I am hoping the one that was scheduled for DC in 2011, will actually happen in 2012.  I would like to get out in the scenic countryside and enjoy the ride as opposed to staring at a cue sheet dodging cars which tends to happen on rides based in the DC Metro Area like the VASA Ride.  The Air Force Classic was on a closed course, but was an 8 lap route which became a little mundane.

Bike Education

Since Dec 2010, I have been teaching adults and children how to ride bikes safely in conjunction with WABA and Georgetown University as a hobby.  I need to thank the cranky residents of Georgetown for routing the GU Dupont Circle shuttle buses off local streets onto major roads.  The extra time it took to get to work sparked my switch to the bike for commuting and I have never gone back 🙂

Bike Stickers Arrived!!


After daily tracking on Fedex…my stickers finally arrived from California via an online print site.


So I have been telling people for a while now that my bike is a true “natural gas vehicle.”  I am more so when consuming products containing lactose.  LOL. Okay, that was too much information.    Fifty miles per burrito seemed about right.

I went searching for a sticker to that affect that I could put on my bike.  I came across one that was pretty plain, but got the point across.  They were $2 each with a high shipping charge. While there was a decent discount when I added 50 to my cart, it did not seem worth it since my goal was to hand them out to friends, colleagues, and random bike commuters that I joined waiting for the light to change.

Vehicle Fuel Economy

I modeled my sticker after the one you see on new vehicles at the car dealership to give a little more realism to my idea.  I was torn between an Eco-friendly theme and a food inspired one.  I was looking to make a small label, about the size of a return address label, which could be easily affixed to a bikes top tube.

More uses

So I was doing some thinking and realized that they can be affixed to skate boards, wheel chairs, those 2 wheeled, now clearance priced Razor Scooters, runners, walkers, and electric vehicles.

Want one?

The bargain shopper I am said, why order 100 when you can order 2500!  So I have about 2499 extra ones to give away.  Well actually I have about 10,000 total since my sticker is meant to be cut up into quarters to be the right size for a bike top tube which is where I envisioned them going.  Kind of like how a new car has a fuel economy sticker on the window at the dealership.

So, if you want one, let me know and I will send you one or two if you have a friend.  It would really be cool to see these all over the country / world as I have no monetary motive, just a good sense of humor / environmental vein 🙂

The sticker

Here it is….