Wow! It’s been almost two months since I posted here. I guess I’ve been busy. The last post I made talked about Bike to Work Day, which was May 15. Since that day, I’ve biked to work probably an average of 2 days/week, which I’m going to work on improving. It’s been great. I honestly didn’t know what I was missing. You get a COMPLETELY difference experience riding your bike to work than you do in a car, and I don’t even mean the obvious differences, like the fact that you’re pedalling to work instead of driving. What I mean is that you see things you never saw before, you smell things you never smelled before, and you hear things you never heard before. Speaking of the smells of bicycle commuting, I’m not sure if there’s a bakery or something on my way to work, but I always smell something that smells like toasted bread around about the Volvo dealership on N. Peters Road. I find that I look forward to that smell, especially as an alternative to automobile exhaust. Well, put me down as a bicycle commuting convert. I’m sold!
Yesterday was Bike to Work Day in Knoxville, as it was in other cities, too. I decided to not wait until Friday to bike to work. I went ahead and rode in on Thursday, too. It was a great experience. I wish I had done it sooner. My commute is a bit too far for me to ride the entire way, so I ride to the bus station in downtown Knoxville, then hop on a bus and ride it out as far as I can go, then hop back on my bike and ride to work. It’s about 4 miles to the bus station, then another 4 miles once I get off the bus, for a total of 8 miles on the bike each way. Luckily, the buses have bike racks on the front, so that’s nice. Unfortunately, I got jipped out of some money each time I put my fare in the coin acceptor, so I had to put more in. I decided to buy the 20-ride pass, so I can’t get jipped again, and it saves me $0.25 each ride. The bus is very comfortable and almost empty. I think on Thursday there was one other person each way, and Friday there were three. I plan to move a little closer to work, so I don’t have to ride so far, hopefully like only 4-6 miles.
May is “Bike Month,” and May 15 is “Bike to Work Day.” This is something I’ve never done, so I have made the committment to do it this year. Unfortunately, I live about 16 miles from work and would have to ride on VERY busy roads to get to work, but I think I can swing it if I get creative. I believe I will ride my bike from my house to the downtown Knoxville bus station (about 4 miles), ride the Express bus from there to as close as it goes to my office, then ride the bike the rest of the way (about 4 miles). So in all, I would be riding the bike about 8 miles that day and the bus the remainder of the way. The buses have bike racks on the front, so this should be doable.
Tokyo is the most densly populated urban area in the world. About 700,000 people ride their bike to work everyday, so the City has installed underground bicycling parking garages where you deposit your bicycle into a special elevator shaft, and it’s wisked away to be stored until you return. You just swipe your card when you return, and the machine gets your bike from the garage and delivers it back to you. Visit OreganLive.com for a video of this system.
Amsterdam has been called the most bicycle friendly city in the world by the Bicycle Friendly Communities Campaign. They put high value on being able to get around by bike. Check out this video to see what it’s like to ride a bike in Amsterdam.
This is another great bicycle innovation, although you really can’t call it an innovation, because it’s based on an old technology. You know the hydraulic mechanism that pushes your car through the automatic car wash? Well, in Trondheim, Norway, they’ve applied this technology to assist cyclists with climbing steep hills. How cool is that? Check out the video.