Archive for September, 2010

Grocery Run!

Well the local grocery store has been remodeled and it is truly the talk of the neighborhood.  When my wife and I first moved here with our two kids, my wife came home crying after visiting the local Winn Dixie.  We were spoiled having lived in Texas and Colorado prior and both neighborhoods were within walking distance to a Whole Foods!  Well Winn Dixie finally did the right thing and entered the 21st Century.  To celebrate we promoted a group ride to do some shopping and encourage doing short errand runs by bike.  I have to say the bike rack is conveniently place up front and it is very solid.  Good job!  Someone even said they were going to put up a second rack.  Not sure about that but it would be nice.

Loaded rack at Winn Dixie

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Bike in Your Regular Clothes

Evening commute home

The weather has broken down on the Gulf Coast.  We’ve got lows in the 50’s and highs in the mid 80’s with low humidity.  It’s not Colorado humidity levels but it’s pretty darn good.  Fall has arrived.  Now that the temps and humidity are down it is perfectly doable to ride in your regular clothes.  I drove my bike  to work wearing office attire  for the first time since the end of Spring.  There’s something about just walking out the house and hopping on the bike and going.  No fancy gear or techy clothing necessary.  The weather is so nice that I was even able to drive my bike on an errand at midday.  No sweating at all.  Of course I’m cruising pretty easy too.  After work I went by the new and improved Winn Dixie to check out their new bike rack.  It’s right up front and convenient.  Way to go Winn Dixie!

I Ride In The Rain

For the past five years I have commuted (by car) from Daphne to Midtown. After moving to Midtown in July, I planned to walk to work. It is only about a mile. I walked the first three days and loved it. On the fourth I needed to be at a lunch about a mile from my office. Walking was not an option and I really did not want to drive. So I rode my bicycle that day.

Wow! That evening I was home so fast that I had to ride around the block a few times. I did not want to get off my bike. And that was it — I was hooked. I have used my bicycle to get to work every single day since.

The first time it rained I put on my husband’s Polaris from his downhill racing days and rode to work. The jacket was no longer waterproof. My Facebook status that morning was “Rode my bicycle to work in the rain wearing a jacket that is no longer waterproof. It was still better than being in a car.”

Pic ‘o the Day

My son and I were riding down to the local pool when we rode by a downtown restaurant that I assume must have been a bicycle shop years ago.  I’ve eaten here and they have good tacos and margaritas.  The bike with the basket has been parked there for a while and I assume it’s an employee’s.  I see it on the rack during my morning commutes.  The combination of the sign and the bikes made we wonder about the bikes’ owners.  I imagined they were enjoying themselves inside with good drink, good food, and good friends.  And afterwards they probably had a relaxing ride back home to finish off the night.  Here is the scene for your viewing pleasure…

Bikes at the local taqueria

Bikes, Healthy Living and Advocacy

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Well today’s Saturday morning ride only sported 7 riders which was a bit of a disappointment considering the weather was great.  We did have a new rider join us which was great and we’re still getting free coffee at our local big, corporate coffee shop sponsor.  Since we heard that there was a running race and a walk for midwifery in downtown, we decided to cruise downtown to check out all the action.   I’m glad we did.

First, casual cycling is not intense exercise but I’m convinced it is very healthy for body and mind.  Slow riding allows for social interaction with the other riders as well as with passersby.  Slow riding also permits the rider to soak in the surroundings and feel as if they are a part of the natural and urban environment.  I’d call it a form of meditation.

As we cruised through downtown a 5k running race was just ending with events and activities at one of the downtown squares.  Nice to see people being active and out ‘n about in their community.  Downtown Mobile definitely needs all the people traffic it can get on the weekends.  Now we just need more walkable and bike-able infrastructure to make the area more accommodating to those who wish to get around sans automobile.   On a side note the event organizers had a mini train giving rides to kids in the square.  Kudos, great idea!

Next up on our cycling adventure was participating in a midwifery support event.  Megan and I had both of our kids through midwives and loved the care and experience they provided for the birthing process.  Alabama is quite draconian in its regulations of midwifery and the group was organized to give more rights for parents to choose midwives for their pregnancy.  Midwives provide all the necessary care for a healthy pregnancy but they also go beyond what a doctor will or can do in the areas of natural care, holistic care, diet, etc.  They also spend time with the mother and father and build an actual relationship with their clients.  So, in a nutshell, midwives are conducive to a healthy, natural birth.

Bikes About Town

Not to much to say in this post here.  I took a few pictures of bikes about town and here they are…

The YMCA is one of the only places in Mobile to have a dedicated bike rack.  I’ve noticed that it’s being used more often now which is great.  On this particular day there were six bikes locked up which are shown in two of the pictures.  Hey, might as well get a workout to your workout.  Which reminds me, I cannot figure out why so many people here take the elevator up to the gym instead of walking one flight of stairs.  Come on now people!

One of the other two pictures show Megan’s bike and my bike parked in front of a local coffee shop. We’ve been driving our bikes on what we call Bike ‘n Dates to local establishments.  It’s very fun and relaxing.  We were sitting next to some hipster types and I decided to take a snapshot of a typical urban ride.  This guy says his bike is his transportation.

Saturday Group Rides

Our local group slow ride is such a great way to start Saturday mornings.  We’ve got older folks, kids, and people in the middle.  Also, we’ve got a good variety of bikes, from beach cruisers, to road and mountain bikes, to dutch bikes represented. .  The bike group is Mobilians on Bikes which is on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=120942041277691).   There are 62 members of the group and probably only 20 have actually come out for a ride.  I’ll be thinking of ways to get folks to come out for a ride.  One perk is free coffee from the group’s home base at Cream and Sugar coffee shop.  Yes, we have corporate sponsorship!

This will be a short post but I’ve attached more pictures this time.  Check ’em out…

Purple flowers and purple rims make for a very cycle chic ride

Here is a lesson in laid back riding

What a classy bike