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Saturday Night Bike Blogging: Legal Cycle Commuting

After a fortnight hiatus, I’m back with another Saturday Night Bike Blog … as always, this is a cycling open thread as well as a place to talk about whatever issue leaps into my head as I recover from a hard week of cycle commuting.

And a hard week of cycle commuting it was … I was called each day this week, and on Thursday evening I hit a pothole and bent my rear wheel and one of the stays for the rear wheel, so I struggled getting to work on the old 3-Speed Schwinn … with the bottom gear not working until I fixed it up before heading home, and having to stop and adjust the rear tire which worked its way off true (and I had a frission of fear that it was my second bent wheel in as many trips).

So the topic today, obviously, is the legalities of cycling. In response to ???, once I have everything fixed up, maybe I’ll talk about equipment, but I don’t want to jinx nothing.

Where can you ride legally, and on roads that you can ride on legally, how do you ride legally? This is a state by state issue, but, fortunately, there are online resources to work out the situation in your state. A major compendium is made available courtesy of MassBike: The Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, with their State Bike Laws link page. However, be aware that the list of links was put together some time ago, and some State Department’s of Transportation, etc., have reorganized their sites since then, leaving a number of bad links.

Saturday Night Bike Blogging: Gearing Up for the Commute

The votes are in. Commuting issues beat coast to coast cycling by a massive Two to One margin … that is, two votes for commuting issues, versus one votes for coast to coast cycling.

And this week I got some more gear for my cycle commute, so my mind seemed to turn to the topic of gearing up for the commute.

Of course, any SNBB essay is also … probably primarily … a cycling open thread … so whatever your cycling thought, observation, or recollection, drop on in.

Waddya want on the next Saturday Night Bike Blogging?

Just a quick query.

I’m heading into work tomorrow, which probably means I’ll have work the balance of the week. So, of course, with a full work day and almost two hour cycle commute each way (Jesus H. Christ, would you stop whinging already, McF?), I likely won’t have time to blog again until the weekend.

Which gives plenty of time to collect info. What do you want in the next Saturday Night Bike Blogging? Take the poll and/or add a comment. I’ll check it out on Friday evening, and get cogitating.

Saturday Bike Blogging: Sidewalk Cycling and Other Suicide Lotteries

Well, there you go … just when I was saying how most motorists in this area seem to be reasonably well behaved, at least by the low level that the bar that is set for motorists, I was shouted at.

But it was the exception that “proves” (that is, tests) the rule. On reflection, it was not really misbehavior as a motorist, but merely ignorance on the part of a fellow citizen. And in any case, it wasn’t really my town, so before I reflect on it, at least I could say, “boy, these here folk in this here town shor are ignoramuses”.

But did get me back to thinking about sidewalk cycling and other cycling behavior where we are expected to buy a ticket in the suicide lottery in order to stay out of the way of motorists.

Peak Oil and the Fall of Suburbia.

Last week I diaried on Kunstler’s The Long Emergency (Wikipedia), first here and then at Big Orange … and the day after this went up here, a slightly shorter version of this essay became a diary at Big Orange.

One aspect of Kunstler’s work, and the one where he is on strongest ground, is the argument that the coming explosion in crude oil prices, as we pass peak oil and start descending down from the peak, is the end of Suburbia.

Of course, one reason I was so quickly persuaded by this argument is that I had already come to the same view. The 1950’s to 1970’s were Suburban Spring, the 1980’s to the Naughties have been Suburban Summer, and now we can look forward to Suburban Autumn.

Or, since I come from a northern climes with deciduous trees, the Fall of Suburbia.

Saturday Night Bike Blogging

Ok, so the quick of it is, my cycle commute is about 14 miles each way, when I happen to get called into the warehouse … I “ought” to be beginning to recover about this time on Saturday, but as it happens deep into Q3 things are very slow (recession chill goes up the spine), so I only got called in once this last week.

Anyway, a funny thing happened on the way to work on Thursday …

Is It As Hopeless As ‘The Long Emergency’ Says It Is?

NB. Likely to be cross-posted other places, but you heard it here first.

What is “It”? Well, America’s future.

James H. Knustler’s The Long Emergency (also Wikipedia) presents a very bleak picture of the future for much of America over the century ahead.

Broadly breaking the US into five regions, the Southwest will be quite possibly taken back by Mexico and in any event largely depopulated, the Southeast will descend into neo-feudalism, the Inland West (mountains and great plains north of the Southwest) will be massively depopulated returning to migratory bands of subsistence hunters, and the Pacific Northwest faces the risk of being preyed on by voracious Asian pirates.

Only the “Old Union” has a plausible prospect for surviving more or less intact, though living at an 18th century standard of living modestly improved by some of the most robust of scientific advances, like the knowledge that infection is causes by microbes.

Fortunately for my peace of mind, the organization of the book let me into the most substantial flaw in Knustler’s argument well in advance of the start of painting this grim picture, and so the understanding that, “it will probably be bad, but at least it doesn’t have to be this bad” was the silver lining to working through his dark picture.

… meet you after the fold.

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