Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Commuting in the snow

One of the most difficult times of the year to commute by bike is during the winter. I spent a relatively mild winter in Colorado bike commuting and used the public transit system when the roads became too icy to ride.

Equipment to ride in the winter is out there: warm clothes, lights and even studded tires to help on snow-covered or icy roads or trails. The greater caution is traffic.

Sharing the road with automobiles when you bicycle has it's challenges in the best of circumstances. When you add winter weather conditions sharing the road can be very dangerous. Ice is not only a danger for riding on two wheels, but can reduce the ability for automobiles to stop or correct if necessary.

I have had to explore alternate routes for commuting and use public transit, such as a bus that can carry a bike, to help commuting during the winter. Investing in brighter lights and a few more safety lights can also help with the shorter days of winter.

I find that I commute by bike less in the winter months, but I know a lot of people who continue to bike. Conditions change in winter for cyclists just like they do for motorists.

For those of you who bike during the winter...stay safe and see you on the road.

Friday, December 18, 2009

First Half - day 27

Just finished the Plyo Cardio Circuit and the first half of the Insanity program. Next week is a recovery week and I'm curious to go through the recovery workout.

Tomorrow I am running a 5k in the Cable Bridge Run. The ice is pretty much gone and it should be a lot of fun. My friend Dave will be running as well. I hope to have some pictures.

This will be the last post about my workouts on this blog. I have Fortunes Fare set up. I'll keep Buzz Commuter going while I bike and as the weather changes bike to work more often.

Hope some people follow me on Fortunes Fare too, but that's not the point...I guess...just having fun.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Insanity - Day 23

Today felt good. Another round of Cardio Power and Resistance. I'm well on my way to 30 days, half-way through the Insanity program, and I'm feeling a lot more confident in the workouts.

This is my last week before a week of recovery workouts. I am looking forward to a little less intensity for those 7 days. I'll have a fit test afterward and I am pretty excited to see my results.

I'm am continuing to work on my new blog, Fortunes Fare, and hope to have it up by the end of this week.

Weather forecast is for snow tonight...good thing I'm working-out inside at the moment. Getting ready for skiing!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A few changes - Day 21

I have one more week to go before the recovery week. Today was a rest day and my wife and I took the time to get ready for the upcoming week and to get a tree for the holidays.

I'm still working on some ideas for getting enough calories and keeping my body fueled for this Insanity workout program. Tomorrow will be a hard workout with Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs on the schedule.

I purchased a Biggest Loser workout DVD from Costco's called the Last Chance Workout. I watched it today and my wife tried it out. It looks good for people starting a program, and maybe for some others if you get the timing down and increase the speed of the workout. Anyway, a nice addition to our collection of home workout videos and definitely worth the $8-$11 it sells for depending on where you purchase it.

This brings me to my next subject...Buzz Commuter will see a few changes over the next few weeks. I find that I have less to say at the moment about bikes and bike commuting in general. Originally I wanted this blog to follow my days as a bike commuter while I lived in Colorado. More recently it has evolved into my desire to get and stay fit (a nice result of bike commuting) and now my journey on the Insanity workout program. I want this blog to get back to the world of bikes and bike commuting. After all it was a Novara Buzz V and my chance to use a bike exclusively for transportation. Even thought some of my circumstances have changed my desire to bike commute and support cycling not only for exercise, but also a superior means of community transportation.

I also have a desire to climb a few mountains, enjoy the outdoors as much as possible and hopefully do some good in this world. As much as I want Buzz Commuter to be a part of this I want a place to share these adventures, hits and misses, opinions and maybe just some general griping.

To this end I will soon be adding Fortunes Fare. My journey with Insanity will transfer over the Fortunes Fare as will some other information. I will continue to write on Buzz Commuter as I ride to work and keep pedaling.

I hope to have Fortunes Fare up this week. I will not remove any of the current posts from Buzz Commuter and will start fresh on Fortunes Fare.

Here's to self-expression and digital media.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Keep Going - Day 18

It was really hard to hit play on the DVD this morning and I seriously contemplated skipping the recovery workout. But I did it and it made a difference in my day.

Even though I felt better after my workout I felt very drained during. As I added up my calories from the past couple of days and today I realize I am not eating enough. This seems impossible since I feel like I can always eating something: 400-500 calorie smoothie for breakfast, 200-250 calorie blueberry muffin and coffee after breakfast, 520 calorie subway sandwich for lunch and about 500 calories in a burrito, Heath bar and tater-tots for dinner (I know, I know...great dinner huh?!) - I figure that's somewhere between 1600 and 1770 calories today and I need close to 3000 with my current activity level...I could almost eat the entire day's worth of food again to make up the difference.

I'm looking into ways to beef up my morning by maybe adding a PB&J sandwich or putting more calories into my drink. I plan on finding some calorie dense, but good food bars for snacks - hopefully with more than 300 calories.

I am looking forward to my workout in the morning...I just need to make sure and fuel well for the day...and drink enough water.

Tomorrow is Cardio Power and Resistance - not my favorite, but I'm getting familier enough I know what's coming.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Rest day and Fit test

Saturday was a rest day and I took it a little more seriously than the last time. It's hard to say if it made a big difference, but I did feel better. I'm planning on running a 5k on a rest day in a couple of weeks...I'll have to see what workout I have planned for the following day, and make sure I get some good rest after the run.

Today was the Fit Test. I've been on Insanity for 15 days and use the test to track my progress. I had pretty good progress on most of the exercises. Nice to see some development. I'll be curious to see how I do after the next 15 days.

I have two more weeks of the current rotations, and the following week is a recovery week. Then I am into the final weeks of the program. This will include some more challenging workouts. I'm looking forward to it, but right now it's one day at a time.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Constant motion - Day 13

Today felt great. More energy and better food made a big difference compared to yesterday. I had a decent breakfast and a good lunch. I probably could have used more water, but I have been drinking a bit this evening.

Even though it was very challenging (I had Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs on the schedule) and I needed to take a couple of breaks, I felt pretty strong throughout. That is really encouraging.

Tomorrow is a rest day...I'm looking forward to that. Then Sunday I have my 15-day fit test. I'll be sure to post my results here...compared to my first test.

I should sleep well tonight.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Days 11 & 12 - fuel for thought

The last couple of days have really worn me out. Yesterday I went rock climbing for most of the day. I got home in the late afternoon and got to my Insanity recovery workout. Rough.

Today I made the mistake of not getting enough fuel for my workout. I need almost 3000 calories a day at my activity level. I only had about 500 before my workout and it showed. A huge difference compared to last week and even the other day as I felt stronger during my workout.

Tomorrow I need to make sure and get my calories. Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs are on the agenda and I'll need all the energy I can get.

Fuel is a challenge for me and I'll have to work at getting better making lunches and snacks...not to mention food prep - I'm not a fan of cooking, but I'm not willing to spend the money to buy healthy meals already prepared. Guess I'll have to figure it out and soon.

Who knew taking on an active lifestyle would also help me develop some sort of cooking or food prep program. I'll have to add it to the whole system.

Here we go!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day 10

It's been over a week now on the 'Insanity' program. Today was Plyometric Cardio Circuit. I felt really good and worked to power through, but I couldn't hold it this time...I had to take a break in the middle toward the end of the workout during the level 1 drills: basically going into a plank from a standing position, four push-ups and then four 'climbers' (that's what I call them) and finish by standing back up. Next time!

On a better note...even at 38 degrees outside I decided to ride my bike to work. It was great and felt wonderful. I have noticed I'm running out of gears...I may have to look into getting a different from gear-set. Maybe a two chain-ring or something.

Riding my bike to work and doing really well during the workout felt really good and made for a great day!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bananas - Day 9

Today was the first day of Pure Cardio because I decided to run a 5k on the previous day I was supposed to have Pure Cardio.

It definitely the first time I found myself out of breath and my still a few reps left in my arms or legs. Going straight through without designated breaks in between sets may just become my favorite workout of the series, but I think Plyo Cardio Circuit is still my current favorite.

As it happens the Circuit is on the agenda for tomorrow. I plan on biking into work and then getting to the workout in the afternoon. Busy day.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day 8

Today was hard...I didn't take my rest day seriously so I was very tired during the workout and did not perform as well as I had hoped. My arms were dead as I attempted my last eight push-ups and the end of the workout.

I hope to see a difference tomorrow as I do Pure Cardio. This has always been a challenging workout, but with some better food and more rest I am looking forward to it.


Even though I missed posting this to my blog yesterday I still wanted to say something about purpose.

I had an anonymous comment on a previous post ask me what my purpose was for doing the Insanity workout program. I've given this a lot of thought over the last few days, and now I feel like I have an answer.

Having a muscular and healthy body is always great. I've been blessed with pretty good health and whatever I have done physically usually workout well for me...I ran track in high school, played soccer for a while and baseball.

I was raised as a vegetarian and understood the health benefits of eating well, but I decided to experience more food out there and have not been a strict vegetarian for years.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to speak to a group who were participating in a local program called CHIP (Cardiac Health Improvement Program). These people had been given the ultimatum: get better or get worse. All of them had decided, and paid, to change their lifestyle. They become more active and change dietary habits. I thought this was incredible. These people, making a difference in their lives, were very inspiring. I never had to do anything like they were doing...I took my health and habits for-granted. Recently, though this my sound cheesy, I have found The Biggest Loser inspiring. People deciding to change their lives for the better.

So here I am...trying my first steps in making a difference in my own life. Taking the time to improve my body and hopefully my lifestyle - for the better!

At the end of my 60 days I also hope to have a plan to give back and pay it forward. More to come on that.

I hope that gives idea of my purpose. I like the idea of being in great shape and what I can do with a stronger body, but I have been inspired to make a change for myself. Thanks to all those who have helped me get this far and inspire me to continue.

Day 7 - Taking Rest Seriously

Yesterday was a rest day from the Insanity workout, or at least it was supposed to be. A friend and I decided to go bouldering outside of Benton City. We spent a few hours working on problems and creating new, more challenging problems (I'll post a couple of videos on youtube). Bouldering is definitely a workout and my arms were nice and sore. In hindsight I should have just rested, but I did have fun.

I also ended the day sharing a couple pitchers of beer with my wife and friend. I more that I should have to get a good recovery from a day of activity. Definitely not the best decision, but then I love beer. I think I can have better balance while I'm on this program.

Lessons learned.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Day 6

The workouts come full circle for the moment. Plyo Cardio Circuit again today. Still hard and great! Tomorrow is a rest day and I'm looking forward to a climb or a hike.

Spending time outside makes the workouts inside better.

My biggest challenge of the moment is to find music to suit the workouts. I find the occasional mellow song coming up during a hard part of the workout. I've just been setting my iPod on shuffle, but I feel the need for a play list specifically for the 35-45 minute workouts.

The other day I had an anonymous comment asking about my purpose on this program...and more, I'm sure. I've given this a lot of thought and will share them in tomorrow's blog.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day 5 - Running on Turkey Day

The Turkey Trot was a lot of fun today. There were a lot of people there...many, no doubt to catch a glimpse of Sarah Palin. I ran into a few people I recognized as frequent customers at my work. It was good to see so many people out on a chilly November morning.

I did see Ms. Palin for a moment as she entered the crowd to run. A lot of cameras, press and people gathered around her. I hope she had fun and enjoyed the outdoors. It was a nice morning and the river was still and quiet. Would have made for a great day kayaking...I did notice a lone paddler.

The run gave me a great 27 minute cardio workout. 5k still makes for a challenge. I'm looking forward to the Cable Bridge Run in December.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Insanity - Day 4

Cardio Recover today. This isn't as intense as the other workouts, but it packs a punch. Squat pulses and some challenging moves make it a great workout. It's also nice to have a break from the power moves and cardio. Don't get me wrong, though, this is a tough workout.

Tomorrow I will be running a 5k Turkey Trot at Columbia Park here in Kennewick, WA instead of the Pure Cardio workout.

Incidentally Sarah Palin, former running mate and VP candidate with John McCain, will be running in the Turkey Trot as well. I'm sure a lot of people will be there and it could be a challenge. I'll let you know tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 3 and before photos

Pardon the pale Irish in me...there will be more sun come spring and summer. For now shade your eyes.

Today felt good as stiff and sore muscles worked to get through the Cardio Power & Resistance. The workout has power jumps and good arm work (push-ups, triceps dips and incline push-ups for shoulder work). I felt good, but ran out of muscles are still catching up to my cardio. I'll know I'm really making progress when I can get that last jump or keep going during plank sprints.

So this is still the beginning...a skinny white guy. 57 days and counting down.

Tomorrow is a little less intense - Cardio Recovery: I remember this one from the first round and is in no way a rest day. Bring it on!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Insanity - Day 2

Today was the Plyo Cardio Circuit. This half-hour or so workout is one of my favorite and one of the most challenging. It's been a few months since I did this workout and it was hard to keep going at the same level as I remember.

I got through it, but not without a fight, sweat and a bit of yelling.

I am working on my diet...making sure I get the calories I need during this program. I find I'll have to double some meals like mt morning smoothie. I gotta keep at it.

I also took some "before" pics today. I hope to compare them to the photos I shot prior to the 30 days of the workout. I think I'll post these when I have more time.

Tomorrow I have Power Cardio and Resistance. I don't recall the specifics of this workout, but I'm sure it will all come back to me quickly.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Insanity - Day 1

Getting back on the wagon is hard. I don't feel prepared and it took a little while to get out of bed and press play. I did it though and here's how it went.

I started Insanity last in the summer and was able to compare my first day from last time to this go around. The first day is a fit test: 8 exercises to set a base and something to compare against during the 60 day program.

It was interesting to compare my previous attempt to today. In most areas I did the same or better with only one exercise, power knees, below my prior results.

The workout is hard. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Back to the drawing board...

I find it amazing how I can let life take over and stop doing things that are good for me or I really enjoy all in the name of "not enough time" or "too busy" (some relation there).
I see by my last post I just started "Insanity". It have been more than a few months and I have not finished the work-out. In fact most of my activity has been isolated: a hike here, climbing there...etc.

I see a need and an I am going back to the drawing board. Starting this Sunday I am back on a more healthy diet and back to "Insanity".

I'm starting the workout from the beginning and I'm going to make some changes - I found I did not always put in the most effort...I recovered very quickly (not a bad thing), but I think I could push a little I'm not going to hold anything back. I'll need to make sure I don't go too far and not injure myself, but I know I can do more.

As for my commuting...I hope to begin again, but I may wait until I complete my 60-day workout.

I also plan on following my progress here and on on flickr as well.
So, that's the plan...for the next 60 days beginning this Sunday. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 31, 2009

check this out...

So my wife and I experienced the first 40-minute workout from a Beach Body program called "Insanity"...nice huh? This thing kicks butt. I think my body is still trying to catch up. I'll definitely need to wear the HR monitor from now on to see where my cardio, I don't think I've worked so hard in that short amount of time in my life...maybe in the last few miles of 100 on a bike.

My wife introduced me to Beach Body early in our marriage...she likes the video work-outs. We both really like Tony Horton and have a lot of fun with the Power 90, P90X and 10 min trainer. After seeing the info on Insanity, by another Beach Body trainer Shaun T, we wanted to check it our...we'll see how we feel in 60 days.

This first workout, Plyometric Cardio Circuit, packed a lot in 40 went by so fast. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's workout and a ride on Monday. Rest day comes on Wednesday. Here's to working hard and sweating it out!

The New Commitment

Do you ever look back and wonder why you started to commute by bike? Was it because gas prices were high, or letting go of a car meant enough to get a bike and start riding? Did you challenge yourself to be more healthy and make a difference in the world you lived in?

I love that there can be so many reasons for getting on a bike and making that commute. It's frustrating I can find just as many reasons not to get on my bike each day.

I started this blog a year ago to record my new adventure in bike commuting. Now I find I am commuting less and still have a passion for using my bike(s) for commuting and recreation.

Originally I got on a bike to save money and because I had the time and ability to ride everyday. I found, too, that as a result of riding all the time I was getting into great physical shape. Now, as I ride less I need to work harder to stay in shape.

So, not to beleaguer my point, I have a new commitment for the buzz commuter: continue to commute when possible, find new ways to get out and ride, never stop riding and dedicate myself to being in the best shape in my life.

Today my wife and I begin a 60-day workout program and I will report my progress here...including pictures. Monday I'm going on a ride in the mountains (I'll have pics on Flickr), and beginning next week I am trying to get a breakfast ride together.

That's it; my commitment to myself and my bike - continue to be a buzz commuter.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Staying with it...

In the last few weeks I have not been commuting as much as driving, but I have been riding more as recreation or, more specifically, in preparation of a 105 mile Century as Park of the Mount Adams Country Bicycle Tour. Should be fun. I've been spending time working on hills to get ready. Hope to get some more miles in this weekend and then a few longer rides with a 100 mile next week or so. The tour is on July 11 so still some time.

I did commute on a couple of days this week. It's nice to get some ride time in compared to driving, but I can say it is not the same as riding in Colorado. Not sure if it is because I am so familiar with my routes here or what. I enjoy the time in the saddle I do get.

Safe riding to those who commute and read this blog.

Monday, June 1, 2009

First Flat

After 2000 miles in Colorado without a flat I only had to commute for about a month in the Tri-Cities to get my first flat tire.

I have been really impressed with the puncture-resistant Kenda K-841 tires on my Buzz V. I would often add a little off-road while commuting on my bike in Denver, but here in Eastern Washington the offending tack-weed (aka goat heads, puncture weed and others) was on the bike lane.

I'm afraid I disposed of the thorn without getting a picture, but I'm sure I will have more opportunities commuting in the Tri-Cities.

I will be adding puncture resistant tubes or "slime" to my tubes adding to the over-all puncture resistance.

Thanks Novara for putting those Kenda tires on the Buzz V. 2000+ miles without a flat is pretty good.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

With commuting comes great responsibility

Commuting in the Tri-Cities is not terribly different from commuting in Denver. Sure there are differences, but I get in the bike, wear a helmet and work my way through traffic. Four miles to work and back...very similar here as is was there.

The biggest difference I find so far is balancing bike commuting with responsibility. In Denver I had little on my plate...mostly the keeping the room I rented up and getting to work on time. I had more time to bike. I also had no car in Colorado which made bike commuting more of a necessity.

Now that I am home I find I have to make a greater dedication to a new passion: managing my time better so I can bike commute. Getting to work and back takes about 15 minutes and it is a very direct route. If I have to stop at the store on the way home, however, this adds a couple of miles and more time to my commute.

My home has many more responsibilities as well: A dog, 4 cats and much more...yard, dishes etc. I'm sure you are all too familiar with the work of owning a home.

In the end I find this all a great challenge. I find I could easily use this all as an excuse and sometimes it is all too easy...missing days I could be on a bike.

I am up for this challenge and look forward to managing my time well enough to continue cycling to work and commute.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bike to Work Day Tri-Cities

Friday was an absolutely beautiful day after wind, rain and cloudy skies in Eastern Washington. A perfect day to bike to work.

I have spent the last year living and working in the Denver, Colorado area where Bike to Work day is a pretty big deal. Break stations are set up along the bike paths and routes to serve a little breakfast or energy to continue to work. Vendors come out to connect with new or veteran commuters. Best of all you get a chance to interact with a lot of people who commute, even if it's just that one day or week a year. That makes a difference.

As I biked to work last Friday (May 15th) I did not see any other commuters and there was no celebration for Bike to Work day. Now I do not make this observation to condemn the Tri-Cities for not making a big deal out of Bike to Work or even urban commuting. It is an observation, rather, of a different area that is growing and changing.

Just a year ago there were fewer commuters and cyclists in the Tri-City area of Eastern Washington. With at least two clubs, a 20 mile bike path along the great Columbia River and more bike paths surfacing every year, the Tri-Cities (that is Richland, Pasco and Kennewick, Washington) are poised to make a very big deal out of commuting if not Bike to Work day and/or week.

Yes, this area has a long way to go to become more bike friendly and aware, but the first step is getting more cyclists out there to let the citizens know this is not a fad but a fundimental change in the way people are choosing to commute even if it's just one day a week, month or year.

As of this moment I am dedicating myself to helping Bike to Work Month (May), week and day become more prominent in the Tri-City area. Here's to Bike to Work Week Tri-Cities 2010!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Not a buzz commuter, but a novara commuter!

Found this on the Bike Commute Tips Blog. Thanks to Paul Dorn for allowing me to reprint this story.

Love the photo of loading the Novara bike (looks like a Randonee) on the rail! Note the Novara Commuter panniers as well.

From the Sacramento Bee, 04.30.09:
Commuter: A 'multi-modal' journey

In 1992, Paul Dorn sold his car, which wouldn't be such a big deal, except he never bought another one. Now he has written a book showing others how to get by with less car use or no car use at all.

"The Bike to Work Guide: What You Need to Know to Save Gas, Go Green, Get Fit" (Adams Media, $7.95, 218 pages) focuses on helping the 57 million cyclists in the United States "extend the fun they have bicycling on weekends to their daily commute."

"I didn't set out to become a bike commuting expert. I had a modest goal of creating a Web site, and that led me to have an ongoing conversation with bicyclists," said Dorn.

Dorn is not a bike rider fixated on speed. He equips his touring-style bike with a rear rack. He usually rides wearing loose-fitting hiking shorts instead of tight-fitting Lycra. "People should ride whatever they are comfortable in and whatever suits their style," he said.

Read more about this story, Paul Dorn and his new book on the Bike Commute Tips Blog.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bike Your Drive and more...

Since May is bike to work month I thought I would offer some of the great resources available to begin bike commuting.

The first is one I believe I've mentioned before: the Clif Bar 2 Mile Challenge. This is a great first step. Most household errands are within 2 miles of home and the majority of those are done with a car. If we could bike even one of these per week, just 2 miles, we can be a bit more healthy and reduce our impact on the environment.

The next is REI's Bike Your Drive. This is a challenge and a resource for anyone just beginning to commute, a current commuter, or even those of you simply interested in bike commuting an d looking for more information.

Last is a blog and site I started reading a year ago when I started bike commuting: Bike Commute Tips Blog. This blog has been listed, along with a couple others, on my favorite blogs. The blog offers info for those interested in bike commuting, but wonder about the tight bike pants. Commuting can be for anyone and everyone. The Bike Commute Tips Blog offers information for those curious and currently commuting.

There they are...a few great resources. A lot more information is available and continues to grow as bike commuting becomes more popular and viable.

Hope any one of these may be an inspiration to get out and add a little pedal power.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Bike to Work

So May is Bike Month and also when bike to work day occurs. Washington's bike to work day is on Friday, May 15th. I hope everyone will get out and do what the can to bike to work on that Friday. I know it is a Hanford Friday off for those located in and around the Tri-Cities. Please get out on that bicycle anyway and show your support for a great alternate, and healthy, form of transportation.

Here in Kennewick and the Tri-Cities the local REI and Ben Franklin Transit host the Commuter Challenge for the month of May. It's great to see a lot of people participate and support urban commuting in the Tri-Cities community.

I have noticed a lot of people commute riding in Richland and Kennewick as opposed to recreational or exercise. Hopefully the number of commuters and the diverse group of participants help bring awareness for such a simple alternative to sitting in a car and burning fuel everyday.

I hope you all decide to take the challenge of riding your bike, or even borrowing a friend/relative's extra bike and get out on May 15.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Buzz commuter moves to Eastern Washington

A little over a year ago I moved to Colorado leaving my wife and home to work. Part of pursuing my career ended up including bike commuting for that year.

Now, for various reasons, I am back in Eastern Washington back with my wife and home...still dedicated to bike commuting.

Over the last couple of weeks, as I ride in this area, I can't help but compare urban commuting and cycling in general to Colorado. So much is different.

Even though traffic and drivers could be challenging in Colorado; here I feel as though drivers do not even care about sharing the road with an alternate and far older form of transportation. Even in the bike lane drivers pass well within three feet. It is challenging.

May is bike to work month and I plan on making the commute as much as possible. I also hope to build urban commuting awareness in this area over the next year.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Brilliant Idea - Portable Bike Lane

A close brush with a distracted driver is enough to intimidate the most avid bikers from riding at night. The problem isn’t just about visibility, as safety lights are effective at capturing the attention of a driver. However, these lights are typically constrained to the bike frame, which highlights only a fraction of the bike’s envelope. Bike lanes have proven to be an effective method of protecting cyclists on congested roads. One key is that the lane establishes a well defined boundary beyond the envelope of the bicycle, providing a greater margin of safety between the car and the cyclist. Yet, only a small fraction of streets have dedicated bike lanes, and with an installation cost of $5,000 to $50,000 per mile, we shouldn’t expect to find them everywhere anytime soon. Instead of adapting cycling to established bike lanes, the bike lane should adapt to the cyclists. This is the idea behind the LightLane. Our system projects a crisply defined virtual bike lane onto pavement, using a laser, providing the driver with a familiar boundary to avoid. With a wider margin of safety, bikers will regain their confidence to ride at night, making the bike a more viable commuting alternative.

A friend sent this post to me...I've noticed it on several other blogs. The first came from here.