RSS

Author Archives: ladyfleur

About ladyfleur

One woman. Many bicycles.

Bike Lane FAIL: Halfway Job at Central Expressway

Two years after I first wrote the city about problems with bicycling to the San Antonio Caltrain station and tunnel, there it was: a bike lane. No longer would I have to ride around the corner to push the pedestrian button and use a crosswalk that’s not particularly visible to drivers turning right on Central Expressway.

Bike Lane FAIL Mayfield

It doesn’t do anything to fix the reverse direction, but it’s an improvement, right? Guess again. It fails in two dangerous ways. First, it forces you to merge with the adjacent lane’s traffic to get around an oversized median. More seriously, the green light is so short that you’re likely to still be in the intersection when the light turns red. That puts you in the path of expressway-speed traffic just as you’re slowing to exit onto the sidewalk.

This is the fourth intersection within two miles of my home that has been “improved” since I started this series. All are critical connections across high-speed roads and all are more, not less, dangerous now. They include: a vanishing bike lane at San Antonio Road, a painful squeeze on Rengstorff Avenue, and a take-the-lane situation on Moffett Blvd that I only ride when I’m sure there won’t be vehicles barreling up behind me. Here’s a map.

At this point, I’m losing patience. Why does this keep happening? Don’t the engineers have the skill to design something that doesn’t set people up to be injured? Isn’t ensuring the crossing is safe a priority? Do they ever get on a bike and test these “improvements” when they’re complete? I’m tired of being their guinea pig.

Location: Mayfield Avenue at Central Expressway, Mountain View

 
9 Comments

Posted by on January 22, 2015 in Bike Lane FAIL

 

Fashion Weekend Edition: Kathy in Signature Teal

Add a little personal style and a mundane chore takes on a whole new attitude. For Kathy, that means rolling down to Ava’s Market in a cozy tunic sweater, slouch booties and a hat-style helmet, all in shades of teal. Her bike? A cruiser in teal of course. If you see a flash of teal ride by in Mountain View, it’s got to be Kathy.

Kathy Portrait

Whether it’s for her three-bag weekly shopping or a quick stop on her way home from work, Kathy loves Ava’s Market for its custom service. It’s small enough to take requests for stocking items, and big enough to have a deli with a rotisserie. Her secret: call in the morning and they’ll have a roasted chicken ready for her at 6pm.

About Fashion Friday: Inspired by a 2011 Bike to Work Day challenge sponsored by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, this series highlights the broad range of “dress for the destination” bicycling fashions.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on January 18, 2015 in Cycle Fashions

 

Bike Commute Diaries: Surprising Bump in Ridership

It’s January: cold, dark and hardly the peak of the bike commute season. Yet the once-empty Caltrain bike car has been brimming with riders bound for San Jose. New Years resolutions? More jobs in San Jose? Global warming? Your guess is as good as mine. Until I get bumped for lack of rack space, I’m not complaining.

2015/01/img_6480.jpg

About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve seen and learned about bicycling for transportation.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on January 15, 2015 in Commute Diaries

 

Barging in Europe: Living Without A Car

ladyfleur:

A couple of years ago my mountain biking friends Dave and Becky ran off to Europe for a life plying the canals and rivers on a custom-built barge they aptly named Wanderlust. While they adapted quickly to the boat’s tight quarters and living car-free, some things weren’t so easy. They saw photos of me shopping by bike, asked a few questions, and now have made space on board for something to take the hassle out of car-free shopping: a bike trailer. Here is the story of their trailer, re-blogged from their Wanderlust blog.

Originally posted on Wanderlust:

Our Croozer in its cart configuration

Our Croozer in its cart configuration

Though some barges are designed to carry a car on board, Wanderlust does not have the capability. This means that when we cruise about the waterways, we are car-free. Surprisingly, we don’t miss having a car. In fact, we find the absence of a car to be liberating. But in truth, not having a car does make the practical day-to-day necessities more challenging. Life without a car requires more planning.

View original 388 more words

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 4, 2015 in Gear Talk, Travel

 

The Flood of the Decade on the Guadalupe River

We were barely halfway through December when the weather service declared it our wettest in 60 years. I wasn’t surprised. After two weeks of near-daily rain I don’t bother checking the weather forecast anymore. On my way out the door I put on my full-coverage raincoat and rain boots, double bagged my laptop and stow it in my hardiest Dutch panniers along with heels and a second pair of tights. Is this what it’s like to live in Portland?

While 7.43 inches in a month may not sound exceptional, in our semi-arid climate it’s about half our yearly total of 15 inches, and almost twice the meager 3.8 inches we got during last year’s drought. In a normal year, the Guadalupe’s trickle is more creek than river, but last week the Guadalupe lived up to its river name. Add a few bateaux or pirogues and it would look like a respectable bayou back home in Louisiana.

Airport Blvd Bridge

When the “storm of the decade” was forecast for last Thursday with 35 mph winds and heavy rain, there was a brief moment when I considered working from home or driving to work instead. Curiosity got the better of me, though, and I’m glad I went for it. The tailwind was 20 mph at best, the rain was steady, but not blinding, and I got to see the river go from normal to flooded to normal again within 24 hours. It was worth getting a little wet.

What’s your bad weather limit on the bike? At what point do you decide it’s not worth it and drive or take transit instead? How heavy a rain, how low a temperature or how much snow on the ground does it take?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 
16 Comments

Posted by on December 19, 2014 in Around Town

 

Fashion Weekend Edition: Holiday Party Pizzazz

The little black dress wins again. Why search for a new party dress when you can gussy up an old favorite with festive accessories? A peacock blue cropped jacket, a multi-strand jewel necklace and lace stockings turn basic black into a holiday delight. While you’re at it, gussy up your bike with some festive colored lights too.

Party Portrait

About Fashion Friday: Inspired by a 2011 Bike to Work Day challenge sponsored by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, this series highlights the broad range of “dress for the destination” bicycling fashions.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on December 14, 2014 in Cycle Fashions

 

Bike Commute Diaries: An Up Close & Personal Look

For over two years I’m shared snippets of my everyday life in the Bike Commute Diaries series. Now, thanks to a local reporter writing a story on the future of bikes on Caltrain, you can follow me on a typical morning commute, hyperlapsed from about 60 minutes into four fast minutes. The video captures everything I love about my commute: relaxing on the train, popping into a coffee shop for a latte to go, cruising down the banks of the Guadalupe River, and chatting with friends I’ve met along the way. Thank you, Caltrain, for making it possible.

For more on the future of bikes on Caltrain, read the full story from the Peninsula Press.

About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve seen and learned while bicycling for transportation.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on December 12, 2014 in Commute Diaries

 
 
The Tusk

Drunk on truth to stupid baby power.

laurashelbyblog

A fine WordPress.com site

jimandsharonsbigadventure

Living the bicycle life

South Bay Streetscape

Exploring Santa Clara County's urban limits

I'm Jame :)

what's on my mind: food, fashion, marketing, cities, tech & more

Let's Go Ride a Bike

Adventures in city cycling

The Backpack Objective

Excursions of a biking and hiking homeschool family

Shop by Bike

How and where to shop by bike in Silicon Valley, California

The Empowerment of the Silent Sisterhood

The blog of the Beautiful You MRKH Foundation www.beautifulyoumrkh.org

Fix The Toaster

Nearly 32,000 Americans die in car crashes annually. 80% of car crashes are PREVENTABLE. If the TOASTER was killing that many people we'd think it was ridiculous. We'd un-plug it and say, let's Fix The Toaster.

Urban Adventure League

Human powered exploration. Bicycles. Touring. Camping. Portland!

CARDBOARD BOX OFFICE

A world of film, a house of stuff.

Wanderlust

Exploring Europe by water

Ride On

Australia's most widely-read bike magazine

articulate discontent

a look at societal and economic influences on human systems.

Pedal All Day

Endurance Cycle for Macular Disease

sistersthatbeenthere

Just another WordPress.com site

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,309 other followers

%d bloggers like this: