Just Catching Up

Time for a face lift, of sorts, around here. I like this new, crisper look to my blog. Maybe I’ll fiddle with the other blogs, too.

Speaking of which, there are updates on a couple of them, with more to come. arwyn and the boys are visiting her mother in Florida, so I have the house all to myself. And what good is having the house to myself unless I’m actually at home and in the house? Catching up on the blogging is high on my “To-do” list this week, which means catching up with all of you. I’m working my way around the neighborhood and trying to be generous with comments. Trying. Maybe I should work from the bottom of the list, since those folks seem to get the short shrift most of the time.

Anyway, we have successfully recovered from Georgia’s gas crisis. It was absolutely crazy-nuts around here a week ago. A body could not find gas at any price. One day, I pulled in to a station right behind a guy who was filling up. I was feeling pretty good about not having to wait in a long line until he pulled off and I tried to fill up. The pumps were empty, just like that. I was actually lucky in that my tank was pretty full at the start of this thing, so I could ride it out. But Arwyn was driving on fumes. I actually had to carry a gas can to get some gas for her whenever I found some. And it pretty much always involved waiting in line. The reason given for this was that the hurricanes caused refineries to shut down plus damaged some of the pipeline. It took several weeks for them to get the stuff back up to this area. We had the same problem after Katrina, and it was a mess. And our beloved Govenor, Sonny Perdue, proved himself a real chicken. When the going got tough, he got going…to Europe! The worst crisis in our state in decades, and he heads out of the country. What worthless, cowardly shit!

The gas crisis did reveal a real vulnerability we have, though, and I’ve been thinking about getting a bicycle. Trouble is, it is over 10 miles to work through some wild and untamed roads. Doing it without being killed would be a challenge, but I also need the exercise. I’m thinking about getting an electric-assisted bike to help out with the long trek and so I might be able to arrive at work without having to shower. I’m just thinking about it right now, but with increasing gas prices and my increasing need for exercise, it might be just the thing. Not a lot of people around here ride bikes at all, which is surprising considering the weather, but Georgia ranks among the most bicycle-unfriendly states in the country by virtue of a policy that pushes bikes off the road altogether. It seems to me that any comprehensive energy plan should include some two-wheeled options since 95% of people commuting are doing so ALONE. Kudos to XH for taking the bull by the horn.

More update later.

12 Responses to Just Catching Up

  1. selkie says:

    another option – also really reasonable in terms of cost (both purchasing and in terms of gas) would be a Vespa – and more realistic if your trek is long. I started commuting when possible to work by bicycle sevearl years ago (although living in Canada, my cycling days are limited due to weather!) – I LOVE it – it is around 25 km and takes me around an hour to get there (downhill) and up to 2 hours home LOL – depending on traffic (city biking). But it ROCKS – and you get addicted!

  2. C-Marie says:

    I like the new look! I tend to do my share of “house cleaning” with my blog, which truly inspires me to want to write when I have the time.

    I’m glad things are a little better in your neck of the woods – listening to all of that on the news generates a lot of concern and worry, even if we haven’t even dealt with it.

    I commute in as many different, logical ways that I can. Of course, where I live here, we have several options and it’s very simple to only have to walk less than a block to catch the trolley or the bus. Bike riding is a friendly way around here… my thoughts have also gravitated in that direction. Question is… do I dare? I can just see it now.

    Good to hear from ya’!

  3. Good to see you out here!

    I’d bike to work (maybe!), but the route I take – the only one not impeded by construction at the moment – is a dangerous, shoulderless fiasco for bikers. Also, the store manager frowns on anyone wheeling a bike across the store carpet and storing it in the break room, which is the only feasible thing to do. I figure if I just rode a bike that far to get to work, I could probably hoist it onto my shoulder and carry it a few more feet to the back, but whatever. Instead I drive, and it takes me 10 minutes.

  4. Desmond Jones says:

    I biked to work for 10 years. until I got laid off, and my new job was 45 miles away. Which, I suppose, is techincally bike-able, but it would take over 3 hours each way, and I’d definitely need a shower!

    We had a one-day gas-panic in OurTown – some idiot at one of the local radio stations went on the air making all sorts of dire claims about ‘$10/gal gas by tomorrow’, so for that one night, it was almost impossible to even drive around town, because the gas lines were spilling out into the street, at every gas station in town. Completely nuts. And the next day, when the hurricane hit Texas, gas went up by about $0.20/gal, and that was it. . .


  5. Cat says:

    I like the new look not to mention the pic from my all time favorite movie. So I haven’t been the only one suffering through the gas nightmare? 2 1/2 hour lines, a 25 mile (one way) commute to work, not to mention picking up both boys has made the last 3 weeks happy, happy, and definitely joy joy. If I wasn’t part of the sprawl that is Charlotte which means even though technically I live in Charlotte I really live in Matthews, and my job is technically in Charlotte but is really in Fort Mill I would consider riding a bike. But this whole mess really gets you thinking umm we are going to run out of oil someday. Maybe sooner than any of us are prepared for. A couple of days there the bus was my option. Wish it wasn’t so inconvenient when you have kids to tote though. But hey in 2018 the light rail should be complete 🙂

  6. Val says:

    I’m w/Cat – I’d LOVE to cyclo-commute, but between the bad roads & unfriendly drivers I probably wouldn’t last the week; the piece de resistance is having to get my kid to school… 33 mi one way on a tandem?!? not gonna happen.
    [then again I’d LOVE to live close enuff to ride my horse]

  7. diggerjones says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one considering this solution to the commute. I thought about a scooter-type of solution but ruled it out on a couple of levels. One is the considerable expense of the actual machine and second is the fact that it still takes fuel of some sort. If you run out of fuel, you are out of luck. I also need the exercise. However, I am not up for the type of exercise involved in biking 10 miles up long hills (not steep, but long) and the wild traffic as I struggle. And it would definitely be a struggle.

    Yesterday, I fixed up my wife’s 21 speed mountain bike and took it out for a ride of not more than 2 miles. It about killed me. Granted, her bike is a poor fit for me, but I quickly realized that without something like an electrical assist, I’m not doing it. My stepmania dancing and not smoking has helped, but I’m still in poor shape for real functional riding. I still would like to try it, tho.

    Wow, a lot of y’all have some terrible long commutes! Anything over 15 miles would probably take biking off the table for most people. And most roads in N. America are very unfriendly for bicycles, even though most states legally allow bikes to travel the same roads as cars (except interstates). It would seem to me that making our roads more bike friendly could help with our energy and healthcare policies at the same time. I’ve seen communities who have made successful accomodations for Amish horse and buggies. Why not bicycles?

  8. xianhusband says:

    Biking is just fun. Yeah, it takes time to get the stamina to do a 10 mile ride, but not as much time as you might think. You just gotta start small. The first time I did my ride home from work — 5 miles, but climbing over 500 feet over that, which is a lot considering the trip starts at an elevation of over a mile high — it about killed me. But that’s when you just downshift all the way down to granny-gear and spin your way up.

    That’s what a multi-speed bike is for. You trade speed for effort, allowing you to put out the same work no matter the terrain you are going over. That allows you to put out a constant amount of power as you climb and descend. You just go slower or faster, using gears as your currency. A good commuter bike (like the Diamondback Transporter I’m using) should have a really, really low gear that should let pretty much anybody, no matter how out of shape, climb just about any hill no matter how high.

    That’s why I’d not bother with any of this other stuff: scooters, electric bikes, whatever. With a good, light commuter bike anybody should be able to do their trip. It might be awful slow at first, but as you do it you get in better shape and speed up. My trip home started off taking me almost an hour. Now I’m doing it in 30 minutes. And I’m still not in the shape I know I can be in.

    At some point you just have to decide to do it. You just dig in and sweat it out. It’s painful. It’s not fun at first. You just have to have determination to make it work.

  9. diggerjones says:

    I looked at your bike, XH, and it is just about what I might be looking for in a practical commuter bike. There’s lots I like about it, if I could find the deal you got. But not everyone is able or willing to do what you do. You flat out have more gumption than most people! The assistive technology made available with an ebike puts biking within range of those of us older folk who would just like to get from point A to point B without smelling like a slaughterhouse by the time we get there. No showers at work, you know? Yeah, I could do the whore’s bath thing (that’s what we called it when we were in the field in the Army) but I’d like to be able to work in my public job feeling less like a whore than I already do! Also, the massive slow down going up hills is an issue on most of the treacherous roads that I would have to cover. Georgia drivers are not used to seeing bicycles as it is, Danger + labor intense + massive inconvenience = not being too keen to do it and the bike sits just like the elliptical trainer I bought for my wife. I want to bring this into a doable range. You’re right, I just have to decide to do it. Not there, but looking seriously at it and weighing it out.

  10. Desmond Jones says:

    Actually, I’ve been told many times over that the old Confederacy, in general, has the worst bike-able roads in the country, as well as the least bike-friendly drivers. Which doesn’t help you much, I suppose. But I’ve been riding in Michigan for 25+ years, and outside of metro Detroit, it’s really pretty good, if you can stay off the roads that have numbers on ’em. . .

  11. Cat says:

    It is pretty awful in my neck of the woods, not making excuses or anything. But MNG has been nearly killed more times than I can count on his bike, trying to get to his home when he decides to ride the bus or light rail, and riding his bike to the greenway (local trail here). I am not sure why drivers and roads are so unfriendly to bikes and pedestrians around here but they definitely are.

  12. Lamont says:

    It is very important follow the foundations of the sport. They participate in a contest using only their fists. People who go for regular training are more cheerful and happy as compared to the people who does not go for it.

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