The Human Powered Summer Part 3:
I quickly discovered at the beginning of this season that there are issues biking for transportation. One of them is my wife declaring (over and over) how inconvenient it is to ‘make do’ with only one motorized vehicle. Guess my minimalist bent isn’t rubbing off. Don’t get me wrong. It is inconvenient at times, but only because we have made it too inconvenient to have transportation readily available whenever we please.
Despite this discouragement, I moved on, and discovered (or rediscovered if you will) some things about biking as transportation.
The issue of the week: Dogs There are areas where it is posted that you should keep your dog on a leash. This is especially true when bike riders are known to be present. Take the small section of green belt in Kuna on an admittedly early morning.
I came around a corner, and a dog started chasing me. The owner called after it, to no avail. The dog seemed friendly. I doubt it wished me any harm, but up ahead I saw something else. A panicky owner struggled to hold three dogs by their collars at the side of the trail ahead. The park was a cacophony of barking now. Of course, one of the three slipped free, and ran, not at me, but at the dog chasing me.
“She won’t bite him,” declared the owner of the second set of dogs loudly.
“It’s not my dog,” I reply, riding on, and leaving the two sets of dog owners to sort it out. A humorous scene, it turned out, but one that could have ended quite differently. Keep your dogs on leashes, not to be mean (I love dogs) but to prevent the unpredictable. It helps those of us cycling too. I don’t have to wonder if your dog is friend or foe if you are in control of it.
The fun of the week: Physics? Adult night at the Discovery Center of Idaho focused on one thing: cycling and the physics (science) behind it all. Fascinating? Yes. An entertaining lesson about helmets, unicycles, and balance. To top it off, the guys from the Boise Bike Project were there, giving classes about bike tuning, changing a flat on the trail, and bike fit. These guys are transportation cyclists: fine examples of what I am trying to do myself. I’ll be interviewing them later in the series.
I learned a ton, had a good time, and saw an entire array of bikers from the Lactic Acid crew to weekend warriors to guys like me who want to learn and do more on a bike.
Finally this week you may have heard that a human powered helicopter flew for the first time. (watch the video here) It lifted off, flew for a mere 68 seconds, and landed safely. It may not be the next thing you park in your garage, but that fact that people are trying and succeeding at these things makes us wonder: what is the next Human Powered Season?