16 July, 2017

Biking To Work

 During the summer, I try to bike to work as often as I can.
Definitely worth the ten years I spent trying to transfer to  the same town in which I live.

There's only about four months where I can do it often enough with my work schedule and the way sunrise and sunset fall.

I live 3 1/2 miles away from work - although it could be 4 miles as my road is 1/2 mile long. In any case it takes me 20 minutes to ride in and 22 minutes to ride out. I have two little hills coming in and two bigger hills going home.

Many people, as in 92%, profess great alarm at me biking. They are 100% afraid to try anything though. So I discount their fears.

It's very safe. I taught my kids to ride safely on the country roads around here. I showed them how to pick the safest routes ahead of time and *plan ahead*.

Last summer was awesome as we stayed below 100' super hot days all summer and this summer is shaping up to be the same. Drivers are as cautious as me - because they know me.

I had a somewhat close call near my home (on the big arterial country road (with the 3-foot ditches)) last year when my neighbor had to pass me - at that particular moment, with oncoming traffic. My neighbor - whose husband bikes miles and miles - I was so surprised.  She called later to apologize. On that side of the road the ditch has mellowed out so if I had to, I have a safe place to steer my bike.

This year, I had to re-route because of a pit bull that is allowed to be off-leash, on the public street. That dog has bitten other neighborhood dogs and I decided to switch my route over one street because I'm pretty sure a girl and her bike will not win against a pit bull.
(And it's my blog, so if any commenters get obnoxious, I will delete you.)
Pit bulls are bred in the Portland area for illegal dog fighting.  I do  not care how nice your pit bull is.

 I don't get to bike past this luscious maple any more. It is my favorite tree in Canby, there are only a few specimens around. It's a bi-color maple that is big and glorious.

Riding my bike to work is a nice work-out. Breathing fresh air into my lungs, huffing and puffing to the top of my two hills, working on different muscle groups than those I use at work.

My ride is short - around 20-22 minutes - just long enough for a work-out  but not so long it becomes a chore.

I leave the house 15 minutes before work if I'm driving, 30 minutes before if I'm biking. There is time to smell the different crops growing on the first part of  my ride. To see and wave to people I know. It does put me in a good mood.

Why are people so afraid of something they haven't tried? Yes, my dad was a physics teacher and cars will always win against a bike. But I have lots of bike lanes. I am not going to bike incautiously. I pick my route with care. It's easier to cross the highway through town at this particular intersection. I don't pick the one where drivers are making too many right hand turns without looking. I also bike on the wide sidewalks if the intersection is dicey.

It was far easier to get around Kyoto on a bike that driving everywhere. I find that to be so (in town) here as well. I didn't have to find parking on parade day - which was a common complaint around me on the 4th of July. I just chained up my bike to a convenient stop sign and stood for our small town parade.

I was talking about biking last summer at the coffee shop and the coffee lady has an 11 year old boy. They lived at one end of town and the school was at the other end. Between them is the old logging trail that is now a bike path. There is no need to even be on a street in order to bike 2 miles to school. Her neighbor, who also has an 11 year old would not allow her boy to bike to school, because of various helicopter parenting concerns. He's 11. He'll be out of the house, hopefully, in just a few years. This is probably the safest biking trail ever and she won't allow her boy to grow up. This boy is driven to school every day. Not even allowed to take the school bus.

Biking is just  one of the adult skills I taught my children.
Although, I think I am the only biker in town that still uses hand & arm turning signals.

 One of my favorite memories of the kids is walking alongside them as they biked through the 4th of July parade in town. Trying not to get caught up in the wild training wheels of the younger crowd.

I did sew last weekend. I was supposed to play with making padded  Doterra oil pouches but I awesomely derailed into making these toiletry bags - specifically, Lipsense bags. The front is a zippered vinyl pocket to show off what you have with a bigger zippered compartment behind. 

Quick and easy.

I didn't use a pattern - just eyeballed the size I wanted it to turn out and I was definitely inspired by an Instagram post

My family crisis's have settled down a little, so I am hoping to sew more.
My overtime continues.

Finally, some beautiful pics from my son on his recent trip to Canada (Yay! 150 years!) near Banff.


  1. My brother and SIL were in Banff last month on vacation! It was their first time there (I've never been) and they loved it :) I hope he enjoyed his visit :)

    I don't ride my bike much - we live in a small town but the bike lanes are few and far between. Lots of the ones we do have, stop suddenly for various reasons, then continue blocks away. Very strange. I'm too scared to ride on the road, so I haven't had my bike out in years.

    Doesn't it feel good to get back to the sewing machine? I have days where I can't sew (usually on weekends, when hubby is home and we're doing stuff) and then when I get to go downstairs and work, it puts me in my happy place :D

    1. I wish I had the time to do more sewing.
      My town didn't ussd to have so many bike lanes - it's definitely much easier. But I rode before bike lanes too.

  2. I admire your biking to work and home. I'm glad you have had good luck with it. Your son's photos are amazing, what a beautiful lake! Enjoy your week. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. This is so timely; I am working up to getting back on my bike after a scary fall last summer......all my fault, all by myself, lesson learned. And yet I am still scared to try again. Before the end of the summer, I swear. My husband and both adult kids are go on very long recreational rides, so I know all the arguments about how safe it is, I just have to convince myself to try again.....


    1. And I don't do the recreational rides. I'm better if I have a purpose (work) plus all the save the planet crap which I was raised on. I think also, after a bad fall, that you have to allow your body's memories of that fall to fade with time.

  4. Stylish bags! Very nice design with the double zip. I am so glad that you are biking! The variegated tree leaves are very stunning. I am always amazed at how professional DS's photos turn out! Thanks for sharing.

  5. This is my second try at trying to post a comment.sorry if somehow the first one posts and this one is a repeat.

    I would so like to bike around here! I have spent time surveying the roards I'd be on and have determined that it's not worth the risk. Too many roads that are so extremely narrow that there isn't room to ride. Zero space for safety. Steep embankments that drop down about 100 plus feet into the river- no guardrails. Most dangerously, drivers that do NOT slow down for walkers, bikers...anyone. I have to walk very defensively around here. Had several close calls. It angers me as honestly, I have never seen such poor driving in my life! A huge, huge problem is smart phone use while driving. We don't have smartphones​ so we notice how everyone else has their nose buried in theirs. Just a few weeks ago a 40 some year old was hit and killed on his bike. Actually at the time when I was seriously thinking about getting one. Many people do bike here as anyone that has been to Japan knows. I just wish there was more safety set up for bikers. I also really wish drivers would stop being so selfish when they drive here. My Japanese husband was shocked when we moved back to Japan. He was shocked at the poor driving skills people have now. Actually that was our plan, to get me a bike when we moved here but after seeing the conditions that I'd be biking in daily- we had second thoughts. Now, I walk. I'm good at walking long distances now. I have my MRI today.....praying for the best results. Can't walk much at all at the moment. :(

    1. I think, compared to japan, american drivers are more selfish. But we do have wider roads here . For me, biking/walking also has to do with planning ahead (shopping smarter as you're carrying it). And saving the earth.
      My husband, is not of like mind. He will drive one errand, come home, an hour later drive another errand, etc. Very mindless and inconsiderate.
      If I want to go to my fabric store, I wait until there are other reasons to drive that direction.

  6. GOod for you biking to work. I travel so much in the car a bike ride to work would not work for me but if I could do it I would. Glad things are settling down, families no matter how much we love them can be crazy. Take good care.

  7. I wish I could cycle to work - but I think I'd be really hot and sweaty after six miles even though it's mostly flat. Busy roads ( a triangle between two motorways so lots of people taking shorts cuts if the motorways are busy) and less than 1/4 mile of cycle path :-( The pic ps of Canada look fab! Xxx


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