Bike Commuting Lessons

I’ve bike commuted regularly, with greater and lesser frequency, since 2006. Sometimes I’ve commuted on pleasant, lightly trafficked country roads; other times along a busy highway. Sometimes I’ve had a kid in tow; other times I’ve navigated through complex city infrastructure. And, of course, I’ve been a certified biking instructor and taught classes on cycling safely.

In this time, I’ve learned a few things.

Who to Trust

Don’t trust:

  • Teenagers.
  • Old people.
  • Squirrels, rabbits, and other wildlife, including off-leash dogs.
  • Tech bro shuttle buses, especially between South Lake Union (Amazon) and Fremont (Google, Facebook).
  • Priuses in downtown Seattle – 99% are ride-share drivers likely to swerve toward the sidewalk unpredictably. The other 1% are taxi drivers.
  • Pickup trucks with big supplementary smoke stacks, or any pickup truck in rural areas.
  • People riding e-bikes, electric scooters, electric skateboards, or any other battery-powered person people mover.
  • Anyone driving on Dexter.
  • Anyone walking/cycling near the UW.
  • Community Transit double-decker bus drivers.
  • MAMILS focused on getting in a workout or maintaining a certain pace even on crowded multi-use trails.

Do trust:

  • Nobody. Not even yourself, because some time you’ll make a mistake or a bad choice that leaves you in danger.

Gear Choices

Wear what feels comfortable and practical. Don’t worry about what other people think and pay no attention to ads promising clothes that are waterproof. Continue Reading >>

Keeping Humble

Today I recounted to a coworker the story of how, early in my time at Tamarac, I inadvertently sent out release notes containing “personal identifying information” — in regular words, a picture of a feature containing real client data. Needless to say, when the firm whose data I’d inadvertently revealed noticed, they blew their tops. It was ugly. I cried. A lot.

So I was recounting that happy memory to my coworker. He joined our team from “upstairs,” our way of saying he worked in support before joining User Education. The point being he’d been here when my faux pas went down. Continue Reading >>

Spring Break 2019

Sunday: Played Stuffed Fables at Zulu’s for the first time. Benji enjoyed deep-fried mac ‘n’ cheese — truly a match made in heaven. All of us liked Stuffed Fables, and we brought a copy home to keep playing ourselves.

Stuffed Fables at Zulu's

Monday: I made a dentist appointment for Benji, but the day got better as we went to Grammy and Papa’s and played superheroes in the park nearby.

Tuesday: Benji spent the morning with my mom while I went for a bike ride. I made it home in time to join them on the drive to the airport to pick up Colleen, who came up for only one night. Continue Reading >>

Comic Con Pays Off

Ian got my favorite comic book writer/artist to sign one of my comic books while he enjoys four days of Emerald City Comic Con.

 Signed copy of "Mage: Hero Discovered Vol. 1"

Meanwhile, while Ian’s been in Seattle, Benji and I have had:

  • A surprising Thursday – We thought Benji would spend the night at my parents’ house, but my mom came down with a sinus infection, so he came home instead. Mere words cannot express the depth of his sorrow.
  • An easy Friday – Ian actually arrived home on a bus that dropped off near Benji’s school, just as school was getting out. Then, about 6:00, my dad and, a little later, Teresa arrived for pasta dinner. Nice!
  • A fun but exhausting Saturday – After substantial initial resistance, Benji conceded to my plan to spend the morning taking a ferry to Kingston and back. This turned out delightful, if wet and sandy. We have an afternoon hiking date with my friend Ellen, and I think I’m going to have to wake Benji up from his nap to keep the date. That means it was a successful morning!
  • Continue Reading >>

    Something Good

    After a long journey, my beautiful S-Works, Swift, has returned to me whole and rebuilt.

    S-Works 2.0 - #rebuiltintheUSA

    The summary story: FedEx crushed the top tube in October. After pursuing all imaginable avenues for replacement — remuneration from BikeFlights, FedEx, and our insurance company getting; a comp replacement from Specialized; buying a new frame for a crash replacement price — I finally looked into getting it repaired.

    I got it repaired at Ruckus Composites in Portland, and they added some lovely additional details designed by my biking buddy David Hose. Continue Reading >>