doodlemaier: (Default)
I've been hypermiling, to some extent, for years! I just never knew there was a name for it. I also Had no idea other people were doing this and sharing information. No one listens to me when I talk it up. I've just been making it up as I go. Although there are certain practices that I do not engage in (turning off the engine of a vehicle in motion, driving without shoes, drafting, etc.) Okay, I draft sometimes on the highway. But I drive a manual transmission, regularly find pull-through parking close to the exit of a lot, coast down hills in neutral, "cavitate" in stop-and-slow traffic, and coast to a stop over braking. But just plain old-fashioned being extra-pedestrial is still the best method I know of saving money on gasoline.
doodlemaier: (Default)
it's a better day to live )
doodlemaier: (Default)
A co-worker took me on a bicycle tour of the custis trail which we pick up about 2 miles from our office (just off the left margin of the map, through an older Arlington neighborhood of what passes for million-dollar homes in this neck o' the woods). The trail itself is gorgeous - winding along side of Four Mile Run, wooded and shaded, crawling (well, jogging, walking, bicycling) with eye candy, and then along rt. 66. This stretch of Arlington is one park right after the next. It lead us right through Shirlington (restaurants galore and one my fav watering holes, Cap City Brew Pub), onward to Washington National Airport (not Ronald F. Reagan Nat'l, shame on you!) where, at the start of the runways, a jet coming in for landing descends so low over your head you could bounce a tennis ball off the wing. From there, we crossed over into DC at around the Jefferson Memorial, onward past the Kennedy Center and Watergate, through the Georgtown waterfront, back across the F.S. Key bridge to Rosslyn, up(hill) through Clarendon (which will be the death of me because there's far more interesting stuff to watch for than traffic), Ballston (Rock Bottom Brew Pub) and back to office. Although the Custis trail, itself is only 4 - 6 miles (depending on who's map you're looking at) it's part of a greater network of bicycle trails, including the W&OD that go as far west as Purcellville, and I've heard as far as Harper's Ferry.

For the day, at least, a 20 mile tour altogether, 30 miles for the day, counting the common commute into work and back. I'll need a day to retrace our tracks and get to know how to use this trail (i. e. all beeried, with a full ½ gallon growler or two on my back.)
doodlemaier: (Default)
I knocked the dust off the bicycle last night, oiled all the friction points and fixed a flat tire it languished with throughout the winter. I went over the inside of the rim and the old inner tube with a fine tooth comb and a magnifying glass but could find no reason for a serial flat back tire. I'll pump it up and submerge it in a bucket of water tonight and see what I can find in the way of teensey weensey little holes, but other than that I have to think that it's the presta valve adapter that I leave on the stem. It's a very slow leak.

Oh yeah! Now that the clocks and the sun are in sync again I'd like to get back into bicycle commuting as soon as possible. Problem is, when I took the Trek out and around the high school last night just long enough to go through the gears I found that it's me that's not up to snuff. The bicycle's in fine shape but that left ankle of mine was still gripin' a bit.

Spillage

Sep. 27th, 2006 03:20 pm
doodlemaier: (Default)
Today's lesson in symbolic reality is spillage (which I hope concludes my symbolic relationship with flat tires!)
doodlemaier: (Alone in the dark)
Thanks to current local traffic patterns taking the car to my job instead of the bicycle saves absolutely no time whatsoever.

But, I s'pose it's still a viable option if I have errands to run right after work; or maybe for inclimate weather, effectively rendering my car little more than a 135 hp umbrella. . .
doodlemaier: (Default)
Mad props and many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] mountainfreak for putting my front derailleur back in order, Sunday night. Took the bicycle in this morning and it's far and above some of the clank, rattle, and buzz I've been getting when the chain flexes between the largest chain wheel in the front and the largest chain wheel in the back, as well as the high end, in general. Awesome! I'm going to enjoy it the way it is for a while before I go monkeying with the loose cable to the rear. Thanks also for the horror stories about working in the bike shop. If this is the way it goes for the pros, then I know I'm on the right track.

Come up here when you have time to nurse a hangover and we'll go out for freshly killed fish and pricey barley pops at BB's, even if we have to take the four single hotties (oh, woe is we!) I owe you! I hope you're having the time of your life up the high country!
doodlemaier: (MeanDean)
. . . or not.

My bicycle commuting isn't meeting my expectations; but then that's what I get, huh?

Like everything with me, this is another experiment (how possible is this. . . really?) I've been at it for about 3 weeks and, as it is now, I commute to and from work more often than not (which is in keeping with my goal). I have yet to save a single tank of gas, but I know that'll come with time. I have yet to reduce my ride time, but then I'm actively working to increase my time, take it easy and not rush - I'm not an athlete, this is not a race. I guess what I was hoping for is a marked increase in energy, but so far I eat more, I sleep more, and (. . . duh) I exercise more. When does this start to feel good?
doodlemaier: (Default)
I missed a perfect opportunity to meet Capital Hospice's new CEO this morning. Apparently she was standing outside the elevators on the fifth floor at 8:30am greeting her new employees and handing out apples along with a pin in the shape of one of those oh-so-hopeful ribbons that say "It's all in how you live". Healthy, happy, shiny, right?

I missed her because I rode my bicycle in this morning, thereby getting here nasty-early and then took the stairs up to the fifth (just like I do three or four times a day), bypassing the elevators altogether. I guess I already got that memo.

But I would have loved the chance to plant the idea in her head that administrative staff that don't have the unnecessary burden of 'business casual' (which just recently became more business than casual) have more options available concerning their choices when commuting. Malene, put your mouth where your apple is. . .
doodlemaier: (Default)
∙ 6:52AM leave the house on bicycle
∙ 7:16AM arrive at work, sweaty
∙ 7:40AM sitting at desk waiting for coffee to brew while updating stupid journal.

It was just less than a ½ hour ride at a fairly leisurely pace. I still have the finer points of bicycle commuting to work out and there will obviously be days when this is not possible, but all in all I'm ½ way home and it's a smashing success.

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