My name’s Steve. I live in SE Colleyville in Tarrant County. I often post comments as “Steve A” here and in other local cycling blogs, some of which take an almost diametrically opposite view to this one. Sometimes I get a little frustrated with the orthodoxy on all sides involving cycling. Sometimes things just sound NEGATIVE. Personally, I’m not into cycling “politics,” I just want to ride where and when I want to ride. I don’t care about Amsterdam, Portland, or Safe Passing laws – I ride TODAY in Tarrant County, and occasionally spill over toward Dallas. I thought I’d start with a little story.
Starting week before last, I started a new work location – Alliance Airport. It’s about 50% further than my previous work location in Haltom City, and some of the roads out near Alliance are pretty wicked. I wasn’t sure ahead of time I’d still be able to cycle commute. My initial experiences going to Alliance have reminded me why, regardless of facilities and infrastructure, bicycle commuting is the safest cycling around. There are also perks from commuting you don’t usually see on cycling blogs.
#1 – This week, if you were driving to work, just how much did you notice the proximity of Venus to the Crescent Moon before dawn? It made me tempted to ride eastward to Dallas instead of Alliance. I think it was Jupiter or Mars that was a bit up and to the right (I’m a cyclist, not an astronomer!). Had I seen any meteors, I might still be heading towards New Orleans.
#2 – I never saw a beaver as road kill when riding into Haltom City, and I never saw buffalo grazing on the way there either. The buffalo are cool, but I’m not sure the dead beaver is a perk…
#3 – Coming home yesterday, as I fought the wind east of Colleyville Middle School, a big SUV pulled up beside me, in the LH through-lane, at the stoplight at Highway 26. A mom and her middle schooler were paying attention to their surroundings. The middle schooler found me an irresistible subject for her cell phone camera. Before you knew it, my earphones were off, their SUV window was down, and I was making faces for the camera (it’s a LONG red light). Now I’m some kid’s wallpaper, and somebody isn’t going to get her blood pressure raised at the mere sight of a cyclist on the road. Nor is the student quite as likely to believe that simply riding on the road is going to get her killed. It almost makes me feel guilty for riding with my radio earphones & no helmet. On second thought, the kid really ought to know early on that you don’t have to armor up and wear neon to keep from getting killed. Not even in the DFW Metroplex. It also illustrates some positive aspects of stopping for traffic signals aside from merely observing the law. It’s one time that motorists are able to interact with their co-travelers, as humans, without endangering anyone.