Wednesday, August 4, 2010

biking and seeing

image courtesy of kikashi

Longtime readers may (a) know that I'm a fan of biking as transport and (b) have been wondering why I haven't been posting so much of late.

No, I haven't run out of signs to shoot or even pictures of signs I've already shot, nor have I dropped off the face of the earth. I have been continuing to bike, though not as much as during the Car Free Challenge.

In part, I've been busy working. Yesterday I was out in Pleasanton (via BART and bike, thankyouverymuch), and was programming away when the great news about Prop 8 came out. I've been continuing to volunteer at Habitat for Humanity on Fridays and donate blood platelets on alternate Tuesdays, mostly by bike, too, but some actual income is a good thing.

There's lots to like about biking as transport, the low cost compared with a car and health benefits being high on the list. But I also (re)discovered that by moving more slowly through an area, whether on bike or on foot, you see a lot more than if you rumble by in car. Something DC of Fragmentary Evidence has known for a long time. There's a nice piece over at KALW featuring David Colburn and fellow Car Free Challenge participant Andrea Osgood. Yesterday on my ride to and from Fruitvale BART, I saw several scenes I wish I could have captured with my camera: kids playing, a couple of guys playing dominoes at a table on the sidewalk, an older couple working in their yard. They're all scenes I would have missed if I'd been driving.

Tomorrow I'll be volunteering at Habitat again, though I'll have to leave a bit early for another volunteer gig, helping East Bay Bike Coalition with the free bike parking at the Best of the East Bay party in Jack London Square.

Finally, next week is Scraper Bike Week here in Oakland. Scraper bikes are an Oakland creation, and some are pretty darn cool. Read more about them on TreeHugger. The events for Scraper Bike Week are aimed at kids 7-13, and are being held in a variety of locations around Oakland, but all are welcome.


Anonymous said...

Everyone has been dancing in the streets about the Prop 8 overturn. It is wonderful, isn't it?

I can so identify with what you say about seeing so much more when you are on a bike or foot. At first, I was really bitter about my surgically induced epilepsy because I couldn't drive any more, but as the days went by I realized I saw so much more of my neighborhood and in a different way. Now, as the years have passed I hardly miss the driving except when AC Transit has a strike/slow down.

How was the East Bay Express party? I could hear the fireworks from my house. At least, I hope that's what that was.

Unknown said...

The party was fun, though I was pretty busy helping park bikes for much of the time. I don't remember any fireworks, though 9:30 (when my wife heard fireworks from Montclair, too) was when my volunteer shift ended, and I was focused on find some Linden Street beer :-)