Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mounted Bell

Yes, It's A Pink Bell

I could not find a bike bell to fit my larger 31.8mm handle bars. I rummaged through my bike tool box and found an extra seat post reflector mount that fit perfectly. Next I used my small Exacto saw and cut off the mounting loop on Valerie’s old bell. I was lucky; it used a 4m square nut and all I had to do was stop at the hardware store for a longer bolt.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

FBI Special Agent Oath of Office

"I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

Monday, June 18, 2012

Near Miss With Fairfax Connector Bus

So maybe it wasn't that close, but the driver still ran a red light and immediately merged right in front of me to get to a bus pull off lane. I had just ridden under the red light and heard him off the my left and behind accelerating hard through the light. His actions cut me off, caused to me brake hard and swerve out of the bike lane into the travel lane to get around him.

Here's one from Washington DC that is even scarier. Makes me want to helmet mount my digital camera and let it run all the time. You just never know when a driver with end up having a brain fart and take you out on purpose like this retired DC cop.

The surprising part of this morning's episode was that Fairfax county sent a replay email within an hour after I made an official complaint.
A D.C. vehicle owner who was wanted in connection with a videotaped collision involving a cyclist in August turned himself in Friday after learning this week there was a bench warrant for his arrest.

The case against John W. Diehl, a retired Metropolitan Police Department officer, has stalled for several months as authorities were apparently unable to serve him a judicial summons ordering him to show up for court.

Mr. Diehl, of Northeast, turned himself in this week after he was contacted by a reporter with The Washington Times — on the phone number listed in court records for the case — and informed of the warrant.

“I called and they came and picked me up and we went down to the courthouse and they served me some papers,” Mr. Diehl, 56, said Friday.

The case stems from a crash that highlighted tension between drivers and cyclists who share city roads after a video of the collision was posted online. Cyclist Evan Wilder, of Mount Rainier, filmed the Aug. 31 crash from his helmet-mounted video camera.

The video shows a driver yelling out of his truck’s passenger-side window at the cyclist as he rides down Rhode Island Avenue Northeast. The driver appears to swerve toward Mr. Wilder, who tumbles to the road.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Commute In Photos

(Click on any image for slide show)
Woodlawn Road, Fort Belvoir.
7 miles from the VRE station to the gym every morning. 5 miles of it is on the post.
Woodlawn Rd is closed and runs next to the Golf course.
Newly paved Gunston Road.
Bike lanes run down both sides of Gunston Road.

Gunston Road and 12th Street. Waiting for the light.
15 MPH section of Gunston Road. At the end is a radar speed sign. I love tripping the radar at 19 mph.

Approaching the 300 compound where I work.

The 300 compound gym where I shower every morning.
My building is the former Ft. Belvoir Railroad engine repair facility.

Building 334 - Note the RR tracks leading into the overhead doors.
On my way out of the 300 compound.

One of the road side hazzards I face on my bike commute.
Woodlawn Road, closed, where I have seen a flock of 4 Wild Turkeys.
Telegraph Road at the Beulah Gate.
The neighborhood heading to the VRE station at Franconia/Springfield.

Most days I ride in the vestibule for 2-3 stops until the car opens up and I can bungee my bike to the handicapped seats.
The ramp at Leeland Station.

Riding through the Leeland Station parking lot on the way home.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Alas, Poor Yorick!

He's been a good friend the last 3 months. Riding shotgun in my trunk bag. He's bounced out one to many times. Down for the count. Gotta find a new commuting partner now. RIP Yorick!!
Here's a picture of Yorick in his prime, my riding partner, waiting for his next fill-up of 7/11 Dark Mountain Roast coffee.

Friday, June 8, 2012

3 Track Morning

What is a 3 track morning you ask?

VRE requires me to ride in the northern most car, in the southern handicap seating area. They have installed loops between the folding seats to hook a bungee cord to hold the bike.

VRE is at the mercy and whim of the track owners, CSX. As we all know, freight rules and passengers drool.

We are forever running late because of track speed limits imposed by CSX, or waiting for a freight train to pull past.

VRE runs on the 2 track. The one on the right in the photo, with a platform that is 6 cars long. There is a short, 2 car long platform on the left or 3 track.

So, again you ask, "what is a 3 track morning?".

Monday and Wednesday morning we approached Springfield below speed. I got a bad feeling as I noticed a track out the right side of the car. It was supposed to be the platform.

The Conductor then announces that we were arriving on 3 track and only the two middle car doors, out of 6, would open. All passengers from the front and back 2 cars had to meet in the middle.

So it's off to the races. As the train comes to a complete stop, I have to turn my bike in the other direction, pull my two panniers (luckily Ortleib's are quick release) and push my bike down the middle aisle, through 2 cars. I found it easier to hold my 2 bags over the seat with my right hand and lift and hold my front wheel off the ground with my left.

Can't help but bump into people's elbows and shoulders as I roll my way back to the exit. "Excuse me. Sorry. Pardon me. " I say. I hit the next car and the aisle is packed. "Where do expect me to go?", this disgruntled guy says to me.

I squeezed past and made it to the exit, just as the door was closing. The friendly Conductor, Brian reopened the door and apologized like it was his fault.
To complete the dance, I have to ride 2 elevators to get back over to the 2 track platform.

This my friend is a 3 track morning!!

And it happened to me twice this week.

But.... The weather this week was amazing, 50s in the morning, dry and mid 70s on the way home has norn. That made up for two, 3 track mornings.

Besides, I am not on I-95.