Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Bicycle Highway

Just a quick reminder about the upcoming 100 Miles of Nowhere, and more importantly a reminder to get your donations in (be they cash, goods, or your time volunteering). Donations have been coming in, but I want you to know there's still time.
*Image found here
Online monetary donations to the OUR Center can be made here
Clothing/Household items can be dropped off at 50 E. Rogers Rd
Food donations are taken in at 250 3rd Ave
Cash donations/gift certificates are received at 303 Atwood St
Child care items may be dropped at 501 5th Ave --*Please note they cannot accept any toys, but they can accept cash donations at this address as well

(All of these locations makes it easy to see why the new center being built is definitely needed)

As for our 100 Miles of Nowhere ride itself, it's slated for Sunday, October 11, but has a small chance of getting postponed to the weekend following due to some circumstances that may affect our abilities that particular day (not weather, surprisingly - as it's supposed to be one of the warmest/sunniest days locally).

Whatever happens, the ride is taking place and if you'd like to do your own, feel free to complete it on any day that makes sense for you. If you don't want to participate in the ride, please still take a moment to donate. Information is available via the links above (in case you missed them), or donate to your own local cause that you believe is in need -- either way, please let me know about your donation as I'm attempting to keep a tally of all the donations being made.

Okay, enough about that for now.

One other reminder, in case you've yet to be made aware, Coffeeneuring is officially under way. If you missed the first weekend, never fear, there is still time to participate. In quick summary, your challenge is simply to ride to seven different locations for coffee (or other bikey-type beverage). If you'd like the official rules and a more detailed explanation, you can find that here.
This may be one of my favorite photos thus far with Coffeeneuring.

I myself am not drinking coffee during the challenge after a failed experiment with just a very small amount while my brother-currently-living-in-Australia was visiting a few weeks ago. I swear, there must be higher concentrations of caffeine in coffee because it did not go well for me (I was jittery for a good 24 hours after only about 1/4 of my 10 oz cup). However, I am still riding along and will figure out a suitable beverage at each stop (hopefully something beyond water, which was the choice at our stop over the weekend).

A digression regarding my intolerance to caffeine (because I can't help myself).

When I was in college (the first time), I had two jobs and was going to school full time. To make matters worse, I was dating a guy who lived over 300 miles from my location. One weekend, I only had to work one of my jobs and as I was leaving work on Sunday made the decision to drive up and see him. Because I had about 15 hours to get there, see him, and turn around and come home, I was struggling to stay awake on my return drive home.

So, I did what seemed reasonable at the time and pulled off to get some coffee at a 7-Eleven/Quick-mart type of store. While there, I decided to also pick up some caffeine pills for an added boost to get me back in time. I read the directions, took one capsule and got on the road.

As I was driving, I continued to feel overly sleepy, so I took another. About 10 minutes later, I still wasn't feeling anything, so I took two more. And, because yours truly isn't the brightest person on the planet, then popped another for good measure (you know, because they "weren't working").

About 30 minutes later, I thought I was going to die. My heart was pounding out my chest and I didn't seem to be able to blink. As I continued down the road, things got worse. I started sweating profusely and then got the chills so bad that no amount of heat seemed to help. I was convinced that I was not going to make it back home alive.

As I pulled into the parking lot at work and went to my desk, my supervisor immediately took notice of my state of being and asked me what had happened (thankfully, she was not the judgmental sort, but rather more of a concerned mother type). I explained as best I could because at this point I must've sounded drunk as I couldn't form sentences very well. She offered to take me to the hospital (I didn't think that was necessary - or probably more that I was embarrassed and didn't want to explain what I'd done to myself), so instead I went home, drank about a gallon of water and attempted to exercise the caffeine out of my body.

I swore that I would never over-indulge in coffee or caffeine again after that because it pretty well scared me (almost literally) to death.

Prior to that incident, I used to drink a fair amount of coffee, and while it helped keep me awake on my overnight shifts, I'd never experienced anything like this over-caffeinated experience. After that incident, I've had great difficulty with caffeine, particularly from coffee for some reason.

End of digression.

There's been some recent chatter regarding the removal of a safe bike lane in Boulder. Here's one of the recent tweets about the removal:
It's difficult to hear, read, or experience the removal of a safer bike lane, and particularly with this one as it's 1) coming from Boulder, a community that I often ride through or to as a destination, and 2) because Boulder is known for its bike-friendliness. There are definitely some not-so-pleased cyclists in the area, and I'm not thrilled either.

I am trying to be someone who attempts to see both sides of the matter. The reason for the removal, or at least the stated reason for the removal, is that motorists have not appreciated losing a portion of their traveling lanes on a heavily utilized roadway. It likely adds to the issue that this is an election year for local reps... but, I won't get into the politics of all of that.

Instead, what I'd rather focus on is an addition of fantastic bikeways.

I had reason to travel down to the south Boulder/north Denver area recently and took notice of the soon-to-be-completed path that will connect Boulder to Denver via an 18-mile bike path.

This path has been in the works for some time and has been somewhat useable for about a year now (to my understanding), but I was so excited to see that it is nearing completion. I've been aware of the plan for quite awhile, but to see it coming to fruition was something of a treat!

Currently, there are about 11 miles completed, with the remainder scheduled for completion in 2016. I am excited about the connectedness taking place with this path, and while it's been stated that likely no one would use this to commute via bike from Boulder to Denver (or vice versa), I can see it becoming a possibility as the region continues to grow and motorized traffic becomes more of an issue.

This seems as though it could be almost labeled a bicycle highway, as it travels almost exactly (there are a few diversions along the way) the route of the motorized traffic along US 36. I've yet to personally pedal the route, but it's on my list of things to do, and I love that it creates a far more direct path from one region to another allowing for quicker and more efficient travel between cities.

What's going on in your area? Any news regarding bike paths or improvements? What changes would you like to see to the pathways you travel by bike?

6 comments:

  1. If you want to have some real fun, read up the comments on this article concerning this (the removal of the path in boulder)...http://www.dailycamera.com/news/boulder/ci_28898059/decrying-vitriol-boulder-council-decides-folsom-will-return The trail all the way out is awesome! The anger about all of it on both sides is crazy.

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    1. There is much debate about the bike lane - both it going in originally and now so quickly being removed.

      Super excited about the bike path!

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  2. I'm not taking Sam's advice! I've learned my lesson about reading the comments section on articles about bikes. That bike highway is terrific. We're getting lots of new bike infrastructure here in Memphis too. Lots of new bike lanes for transportation cyclists,but also some new recreational paths. I'm looking forward to the day when biking is so normal that it is unremarkable when I arrive somewhere (work, dinner, a coffee shop, the grocery store) on bike.

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    1. I'm with you on reading the online comments to news articles or Facebook posts, Kendra. I know there are passionate people on both sides of the issue (any issue, often times), but I think the internet has allowed too much anonymity and people don't take responsibility for their words. It starts to feel very disconnected and as though there aren't any humans involved... or, I suppose it's easier to be vicious when it's believed that there's nothing to come back to the poster of the comment.

      That's so great that Memphis is seeing an increase in bike infrastructure. I hope that it's something that many cities and smaller areas are seeing as more people start choosing a bicycle over his/her car. I agree that it will be a fantastic day when arriving by bike isn't considered something abnormal.

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    2. I'm still reading it....

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  3. Didn't notice that I put the same tweet up twice in the post! Oops... it's been corrected now so that the proper Coffeeneuring photo appears. :)

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Word verification is on, but I've turned off the moderation portion in an attempt to make it easier for you to know that your comment has indeed made it through. We'll see how this goes, but I'm hopeful that this will help out and I'll try my best to weed through and remove spammers comments. Additionally, I recommend copying comments before hitting publish as the "blogger comment eater" seems to continue his snacking.