Friday, February 26, 2010

Denver Country Club doesn't shovel its sidewalks.

It has been a cold and wet winter. One result of this is that I haven't been riding as much because the roads have been so icy. But another result of this is that is I have acquired a mountain bike! (Or "rescued" one, as they say.) So I don't have to be quite as skiddish on the ice as I am on the skinny little tires of my zippy little road bike.

One stretch of bike route that has made skiddish is the portion of D14 that runs east/west along 1st Avenue, north of the Denver Country Club.

This is also part of the Cherry Creek Trail, where it briefly comes above ground.

First of all, this is one of the more sketchy "Use the sidewalk" portions of bike route that I have seen in Denver. The sidewalk feels narrow. There's enough room for opposing foot/bike traffic to pass each other, but there have been several instances where I decided to stop and wait for the oncoming joggers or bikers to pass before continuing. Especially when portions of the sidewalk are lost to ice mounds.

Further more, this narrow little sidewalk is woefully unprotected from the 1st Avenue traffic. Here's what a well protected sidewalk looks like.

This sidewalk, an example from, protects users from street traffic with grass, trees, and a shoulder on the road. Actually, it looks a lot like the the west side of the same country club:

Compare the above sidewalks to the one in question, along 1st Avenue:

This sidewalk in no way protects its users from street traffic, which you can see is considerable.

Imagine once more that the sidewalk—as is often the case—is covered in ice. On this sidewalk, a slip or a spill could mean instantly entering the flow of traffic if you're not riding close to the hedge.

The hedge, incidentally, which is just tall enough to prevent any sunlight from hitting the sidewalk, leaving it caked in ice long after it has melted off elsewhere.

And so, although I might brave it now that I have this new mountain bike, I've taken to abjuring this little stretch of D14/Cherry Creek Trail/1st Avenue. I've marked it as a seasonal trail hazard on my map. And I'm going to call up the country club and suggest they raise their dues if they can't spare twenty dollars to outsource the shoveling of their sidewalks to a twelve year old from the neighborhood.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Life is a bicycle

Life is a bicycle. If you want it to take you places, then you're gonna have to pedal.

Life is a bicycle. You might be a little sweaty by the end, but that's the cost of doing business. Besides, you're a mammal and that's what mammals do.

Life is a bicycle. Sometimes you fall down.

Life is a bicycle. And sometimes it gets cold, and sometimes you get a flat. Remember to bring your gloves and your patch kit.

Life is a bicycle. The uphill parts are hard and the downhill parts are fun.

Life is a bicycle. That means whatever you want it to mean.

Life is a bicycle. Yours is probably just as good as anybody else's, but if you really want to you can get a new one.

Life is a bicycle. You decide what makes it good.

Life is a bicycle. You can spend as much or little time, effort, and money on improving it as you want.

Life is a bicycle: more versatile and useful than one might think.

Life is a bicycle. And that's awesome.

Life is a bicycle. Sometimes you arrive with skinned hands and grease on your clothes.

Life is a bicycle. So bicycle maintenance and repair are both handy skills to have.

Life is a bicycle. Watch out for cars and don't get run over.

Life is a bicycle. Sometimes you need to announce your intent, assert your lane position, and otherwise stand up for yourself.

Life is a bicycle, and any schmuck can ride a bicycle.

Life is a bicycle. It ain't going to pedal itself.

Life is a bicycle. You may have ten speeds but I bet you only ever use maybe three of them.

Life is a bicycle. Then what is your bike shop?

Life is a bicycle. The local bike shop is your hospital/church/mechanic.

Life is a bicycle. And there's only so much you can do about the rain.

Life is a bicycle. Wanna ride on my handlebars?

Life is a bicycle. That kind of limits the amount of crap you can carry with you.

Life is a bicycle. If you learn to adjust it so it fits you, you'll be a lot more comfortable.

Life is a bicycle. WHEEEEEEEEEEE!

Life is a bicycle. And a child's bike is just as much a bike as yours is.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Hummer is dead

Ding-dong, the Hum-Ding-Danger is dead: GM shuts down Hummer.

So that was the final nail in the coffin.

Anybody who needs a coffin that big is clearly overcompensating.