It had been my intention, last weekend and this, to ride around to a couple of places to get a sense of the current state of things regarding the overt subject of this blog. Alas. I came to realize last Saturday that a) my rear tire wasn't holding air; and b) my tire pump was broken and so couldn't air up my tire. So, as I type this my bike is up on the rack over at Bicycle X-Change; in return for this link to their place, my bike is getting some new tubes and the basic maintenance stuff, for--wait for it--full price for all of it! Oh, these perks we get in Blog Land!
(Just so no one misunderstands: Of course I didn't tell them I'd be mentioning them here, much less hint around for a discount. If my tires hold air and hold up through the coming year, I'll be more than happy, and Bicycle X-Change will get more of my business and, I hope, some of yours as well.)
Here are some links to what local and area cycling bloggers have had to say in the recent past:
Actually, this first post isn't especially recent (it's from last August), and it isn't from someone who self-identifies as a cycling blogger. But Jim's open letter to the City Council and, in particular, District 4 Representative Paul Gray is worth drawing belated attention to. For Councilman Gray to be dismissive of cycling on the grounds that it isn't a major form of transportation and no one on the council bikes to work is, sadly, a widespread attitude here--one that runs the risk of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Obviously, one hope I have for this blog is that it can do something about at least complicating that attitude. True: not many people bike on a regular basis here in town, but more people should--and would--if the city were inclined to be more foreward-leaning in providing infrastructure and encouraging development that is conducive to cycling. As for the "no one I know" argument, well, the rebuttal to that is, "Well, there are lots of people you don't know--and many of them would ride bikes to work if the city would spend a few tens of thousands of dollars and re-stripe a few streets."
Okay. Consider the choir preached to. Thank you, Jim, for your post. I don't know how many people read it, but it needs to be re-read. Here's hoping some eyeballs find their way over there.
Over at Adventure Monkey, Eric has two long but worthwhile posts up (with pictures) about a couple of long-distance rides he's just made. But they're more than simple "this is what I saw" posts; Eric has a long-term goal of getting in shape for this year's Dirty Kanza 200, so he writes as well about the psychology of these long rides, especially when confronting fatigue or wind. Their honesty and enthusiasm make for compelling reading, I think. Here, for instance, Eric's great lesson is that physically he can hang with at least some folks more accustomed to riding long distances; and here, he writes compellingly about the power of visualization to get him through a stiff headwind:
Even on the way back riding into the wind, I was pushing harder than I have in a long time. I felt great, mentally and physically. Any negative thought was captured and removed before I let it fester in my mind. It was a dreary morning with a strong headwind, and it felt great to be alive. Part of this was because I was on a bike. Bicycles are magical and have the power to let you experience the world first hand in a way that can only be felt while powering yourself on a bike. When I had made it home and completed my ride, I felt incredible, invincible. My adventure Monkey was curled up in a ball, sucking his thumb, asleep with a full belly.Good stuff and, in all seriousness, something I'll hang on to the next time I hit that strong headwind those last couple of miles of my commute to McConnell.
Over at Cycling & CX, David does some out-loud planning for National Winter Bike to Work Day (back on January 20) in his role as the faculty sponsor of the Newton H.S. Bike Club. Here's hoping that went well. David's post leads me to throw out a bleg to my reader(s): Do you know of any other school-sponsored cycling clubs in the area? Let me know if you do, either in comments or at "blogmeridian AT sbcglobal DOT net."
At River City Cyclist, Robert posts on the small dirt track at Chapman Park; he includes a satellite photo and some pics on the site itself. It appears to get little use, so those who are so inclined need to head down there and remedy that particular problem.
Randy of the Coasters Bicycle Club notes that the club will be participating in the Delano District's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday, March 13.
That's all for now. The next round-up will be next weekend-ish.
[Update: I've been fiddling around here--I've added a "Search Cycling in Wichita" box, rearranged the links some so that they feel a bit more logical in their sequence, and added some links (in particular some more Cycle Chic blogs) and a Streeetsblog badge as a small thank you to them for having featured a couple of posts of mine on their main page. Some more rearranging to come, perhaps.]