Sunday, January 31, 2010

Okiewinter 4real

It is crazy to me how much fun this winter bicycle commuting is, the ride to work was great! I rode early sunday AM, with 6.5" of snow on the ground, using city streets all the way to BAFD#5.

The route I choose was south on Riverside Dr. to 31st. St., then east on 31st.St. to Garnette Rd., turned south on Garnette Rd. to 81st.St then east to BAFD#5. This route gives me 2 lanes each direction which allows me to take the slower outside lanes. 31st has a few hills but flattens out into the Mingo Valley between Yale Ave. & Sheridan Rd. Garnette Rd. is as flat as a pancake, and has 2 wide new lanes each direction, with a center turn lane, perfect for taking the outside lane.I find that part of route planning, is to keep in mind where the motorists have room to go around cyclists.

Although I had to really concentrate on my lane ahead of me, I stole many glances at the peaceful view of a sleeping city, under a soft blanket of snow. Beautiful!

The ride home was much easier the following sunday morning, but was frustrating I'm sure for some motorists( see pic).
I made great time over to Brookside, and was ready to warm up at Shades of Brown(coffee house), I was very hopeful when the Shop came into view, but as the attached pics show, I had misread one sign laying infront of the door. Oh well, there was coffee @ home that was enjoyed in the warmth of the sunroom with James Taylor, Paul Simon, and Art Garfunkle.

If you like Bikes, and coffee/Ale then ya need to cycle on over sometime, and sit with me on the backporch, where we can tell lies, and share stories.

Friday, January 29, 2010

winter weather commute prep.

Photo borrowed:
First let me say that my bicycle to work situation is ideal. It is ideal in that although it is 16miles each way, being a firefighter working a 24hr shift that starts and ends at 7am, I arrive at work where awaits me is : a locker room with 2 shower stalls, fresh towels, my locker with freshly laundered uniforms.

This being my second winter to commute by bicycle, I have learned what combinations of dress layering work best for me. I have learned the best routes to & from the station for the different conditions on the roadways and bike trails. I have learned where the best warm up spots (coffee houses, donut shops, convenience stores) are along the varied routes.

The right gear has made life easier such as studded snow tires, handlebar mitts, ice spikes for boots, below will be some helpful links that are winter bicycling specific that have educated me.

Today being a home day for me with the snow falling to cover somewhat icy streets, I will be in my basement putting my Schwalbe Winter Marathon studded snow tires on my Schwinn Moab MTB. in preparation for tomorrow mornings commute to work.

I am glad that I started bike commuting in the early summer of 2008, by the time fall had arrived I was completely addicted to bicycle commuting, and was determined to keep going through the winter. Winter cycling has had some challenges but the experiences, the views, the fresh air, the accomplishments, the feelings of self sufficiency and freedom, has proved to be very rewarding.

If winter bicycle commuting intrigues you or challenges you, then you should go to YOUTUBE and type in winter bicycle commuting, it will inspire and educate you.

Happy trails to you


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tulsa's Bicycle Culture

Hey All,
Today's caffeine fueled rant is about bicycle culture in Tulsa.

1. I believe that cyclists need to make their presence known by contacting city council members and voicing the need for better cycle friendly infrastructure.

2. Cyclists need to cast off the wall street profit fueled, so called cyclist Safety gear, and start dressing like normal people instead of scared to death Aliens. Hey slow down and enjoy the ride, forget about cadence, bicycle commuting is not the Tour DE France.

3. Encourage local merchants to provide bicycle parking space by arriving regularly by bicycle.

FYI there is a great Coffee House between 17th and 18th on Boston called "Double Shot" the proprietor likes bikes. Photo's posted above.

4. Encourage each and every cyclist out there by taking the time to talk shop with them, encourage them by blogging about your cycle adventure's. Along this note; my daughter posted a link to a great local bike blog check it out:

Well, I am finished with this rant(my index finger is tired).

Happy trails to you,


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Luv to ride em & hack em!

Bike commuting affords many beautiful vista's, such as the misty river view along the trail home. last post we had polar weather, this post we have spring weather (crazy xtremes in oklahoma).
Bike commuting also naturaly leads to the side hobby of bike maintenancing, and the fun of bike hacking.
What has helped me the most to learn about bikes are the various bicycle web sites out there( sheldon brown, bikehacks, rootsradical, YOUTUBE etc. etc.) also many thanks for the good help from local bike shops.
check out my rubbermaid centerstand bike hack.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Today's commute home was as extreme as it gets in Oklahoma...temp=16F, wind out of the north @20-30mph. I had to deal with the headwind all the way home, what a workout! Not complaining, because it proved to me that if I can do this (and still enjoy my commute), then the rest of the year will be a real joy.

Also after nearly 2 years of no negative encounters (or any encounters) with motorists, while at an intersection waiting for the traffic light to change, a guy rolls down his window to ask me if I would be warmer if I just drove?... my honest reply was "probably so, but it would not be as much fun!" the motorist didn't know what to say, the light changed, and I enjoyed my ride home.

On my bike, I have regular Mt bike handle bars... for added warmth to my hands, this morning I donned a pair of ATV handlebar mitts (Bass Pro Shop)...along with my regular glove arrangement, they worked great against the wind chills below zero.