Monday, March 29, 2010

before, after, and after

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

google bike directions

I saw the press release and I thought "Sweet!" After playing around with it, it's not quite there yet. Maybe Bellevue is to blame for having crap bike maps, but it's not as helpful as I had hoped. It may be somewhat accurate in predicting time though, so long as I make some massive adjustments.

Work to home via the Burke Gilman:
147 minutes on Google Maps = 105 for me

Work to home via I-90:
116 minutes on Google Maps = 75 for me

Discovery park to home:
51 minutes on Google Maps = 30 for me

and hills!

One reason that I don't bike *to* work is that I would need to go up this 2 mile stretch that's at a 4% grade. Coming downhill I can hit 40mph on that hill. Going uphill I'll be lucky if I can maintain 7mph.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

annoyances as a bicyclist

  1. People who yield for me when they have the right of way. Thank you for the kind gesture, but it's faster if you just kept going. Since Seattle drivers love to go slow for no reason, I won't go until you've made a complete stop and signaled that you're stopping for me.
  2. People who turn left at roundabouts by going the wrong way. Yes, technically the law is unclear about whether it's illegal to go clockwise around a roundabout for a left turn. Consider how everyone not turning left needs to go counterclockwise. If any other traffic that blindly enters the intersection is going counterclockwise, maybe you should do the same... unless you like head on collisions. I've seen more than one result from this idiocy.
  3. Drivers who drive slower than me... especially if I let you go first thinking you'll be faster. I've noticed this happens a lot on side streets.
  4. Unalert pedestrians. If you jump out from behind a parked car, you might get hit by a car... or bike. Both will hurt a lot. People who walk 6 abreast on a busy bike trail also fall into this category, especially if you don't respond to oncoming traffic, bells, or voice. The people walking towards you who can't get by and the two rollerbladers who slipped through your crowd should have been a hint. My bell should have been another hint. Me saying excuse me should have been super clear, especially since you turned around and looked at me, looked at me some more, looked at me some more, kept walking, turned around to look at me again, adjusted your sunglasses to verify that I was really there, continued walking, then continued adjusting your shades. Thankfully, you can't walk straight when adjusting your shades so I was able to slip through.
  5. Wind. I was marveling at how I was going 20mph without much effort the other day. Then I remembered how it was a chore to go 16mph when I was going the other direction.
  6. People with smelly cars.
  7. Meandering children. Nothing against children, but its harder to avoid children regardless of speed. I really don't want to hit you or run you over, but your erratic path makes it really hard. I always fear that you'll turn your bike right under my wheels as I'm passing by.