Thursday, February 23, 2012

Be Predictable

That's not good life advice. Being predictable would be pretty damn boring. Predictable people wake up, eat their bacon and eggs, shuffle off to the daily grind, put in their eight hours, go home, eat their steak and potatoes, go to bed. Rinse. Repeat.

They also survive their daily commute.

See, while being predictable is bad life advice, it's very good commuting advice. I do my best to ride predictably because that's what gets me home in one piece. I don't (er, try not to) hop and off the sidewalk, because drivers don't expect to deal with traffic coming off the sidewalk. I ride in the middle of the lane because the gutter has all the bumps and lumps and cracks that knock a cyclist about and cause us to dodge all around in ways drivers don't see coming.

To me, it's just another step to defensive driving. The best advice I got when I got my license was from my dad—drive like everyone else is an idiot. I bike like I expect every motorist to do something illegal and stupid that will kill me, and I ride predictably to make that harder for them to do. I follow basic traffic laws. When I arrive at a red light, I pull in behind the last car, just like another vehicle. I signal obsessively—and not always the legal signals, sometimes I just fuckin point so there is no way they can misinterpret what I'm about to do.

But this doesn't just apply to bikes. This applies to everyone moving about in our crowded world. Granted, this is Texas. If you want to ride unpredictably, there are tons of fields and farm roads where it is perfectly safe to do so. But if you're going to be on the roads and paths where there are other moving people about, you need to be predictable.

So you there, guy, running on the left side of the Katy Trail? You are not being predictable. You are in the wrong space and when I spot you I worry that at any moment you are going to dash across my path to get to the correct side of the trail. And you, dumbshit punk kids who jumped out at me from behind a fence, you were not being predictable. That's why I nailed you square in the shoulder and knocked you to the ground.

You were, however, predictable enough to scamper down the side of the trail where I couldn't chase you and fully chew you out, so, kudos.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's spring

Just yesterday I bemoaned the cold weather, but the truth is that winter seems to have passed us by this year. I guess it snowed out its quota in 2011. The coldest it's been has been in the early mornings, before the sun has come up.

But now it's in the high 70s. In college, this was the day that The Cut was covered in previously unseen CMUers as we all remembered a world of sunlight and warmth. Now it means that I've spotted 3 other road cyclists on my ride home where in all my months of doing this, it's been only me.

Happy Spring, Dallas.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


If I pedal fast, my legs get warm

If I pedal fast, the wind bites into the rest of me

I don't need to wear a band to wipe away sweat anymore.

Said band would be good to wipe away everything leaking from my eyes and nose, but it'd be buried under three layers of sleeves

I see some really pretty sunrises and sunsets

That's because the day is so much shorter and it's dark when I leave and get home.

No one wonders if I show up at work sweaty and stinky

Everyone wonders if I'll end up an icicle on the side of the road

Not worried my tires are going to melt into the pavement

Worried they'll shatter instead

My ears get really really cold

My ear-warmer keeps my headphones snug

This year isn't
Yeah, fine, that isn't Dallas. But that's what it felt like.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

This is still funny

You don't have to race or drop thousands on a wheel to get a giggle out of this one.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Link Roundup

If these links are TOO AWESOME, you can catch them as I find them by following me on Twitter or G+

Bicycle School Bus
#CycleSafe – Eight Achievable Steps for Creating Cities fit for Cycling

Running Does NOT Ruin Your Knees

Rick Santorum is a Douchemonkey (Formerly 'Politics')
Rick Santorum Invents New Front In Fake War On Religion: Obama Wants Female Catholic Priests
Rick Santorum Conducting War On Any Religion That Isn't His (Jesus Quotes on Hanukkah Cards)
Santorum: 'I'll Die' To Stop Same Sex Marriage
Rick Santorum Is Coming For Your Birth Control
For Santorum: 5 Myths About Women in Combat

600 Doctors (70 Catholic) Write In Support Of Contraception Rule
Republicans Retreat on Domestic Violence, Won't Renew Violence Against Women Act
Why 'Yes But' Is The Wrong Response to Mysogyny
Geek Culture, Gaming and Sexism Bingo!
By Nearly 2 to 1, Cable Networks Call on Men Over Women to Comment on Birth Control
I'm Not Okay With Chris Brown Performing At The Grammys And I'm Not Sure Why You Are
FOX Pundit Says Women In The Military Should Expect To Be Raped
2/13 Daily Show. Just Watch It.
Abortion Shmashmortion: Defending Planned Parenthood
Nerds and Male Privilege
It's Not About Birth Control or Abortion. It's About Sex and Power

JC Penny CEO: 'Ellen Represents the Values of Our Company'
Poll Finds Support for Contraceptive Policy and Gay Couples

Science and the Environment
Why People Believe Misinformation, Even After It's Corrected
Koch Brothers Funding Climate Denial Education
Paranoia strikes deep: GOP exposes ‘dangerous’ U.N. sustainability plot
Big Oil’s banner year: Higher prices, record profits, less oil
Why climate hawks should care about birth-control access
Grand Canyon gives Coke the finger, bans bottled water
Five ways to argue with a Keystone XL pipeline supporter
Heartland Institute takes money from Kochs, gives it to deniers

Architecture and Design
America has 40 million McMansions that no one wants

Movies and TV
The Question Isn't 'Why Is There A Zombie Osama Bin Laden Movie?' The Question Is 'What Took You So Long?'
The Princess Bride 'Bottle of Wits' 
25 Television Facts that NO ONE DENIES

Newt or Schrute? The Quiz
This Guy Rocks: Texas Federal Judge Demagogued By Gingrich Fights Back—'You Should Be Ashamed'
Luis Gutierrez Rebuffs Newt Gingrich's 'Food Stamp President' Claim About Obama

Do We "Need" Voter ID Laws? ACLU Offers $1k For Example Of Voter Impersonation
State-Level Education: Arizona Bill Would Prohibit Teachers And Professors From Teaching Any Book With 'Profanity'
5 Big Lies About The Phony 'War On Religion'
When (Right Wing) Bullies Can't Take a Punch