Five on Friday, Happy Commuter Edition
It’s true: I am one happy morning commuter. I get to ride my bike to the train station, sit on a train and watch the sunrise, and then ride my bike for another 25 minutes along a nice bike boulevard. Sure, sometimes it rains which isn’t so pleasant, but it’s still not that bad. A nice commute puts me in a good mood, and I typically get into work bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to laugh at coworkers’ early morning quips.
We can be an odd bunch. But a fun bunch!
Oh, and it’s the Bicycle Film Festival this weekend here in SF. I volunteered last night, helping set up for the free show and got myself a very cool (and comfortable) hat in exchange. I could have gotten a t-shirt, but honestly, I will probably never wear it except to sleep in, and I already have a ton of those shirts. The hat is Cinelli and is a nice 3-panel design that has a kinda long brim that’s great for keeping the sun out of my eyes.
Anyway, thought I’d share five things that tickle my fancy just about every morning. It’s been a wonderful week, and it’s leading into what promises to be a fun-filled weekend (we be celebratin’!!!).
1. Small dogs, big dogs, and everything in between
Since I’m out early everyday and at about the same time, I see the same people walking their dogs before they leave for work. Man, I love pets.
2. That sailboat by Oyster Point
There is a sailboat that is perpetually parked just perfectly by Oyster Point such that the sun is behind it in the morning and it’s just… pretty. Some morning, I’m going to wake up early and ride my bike there and take some photos while the sun rises. So nice. I haven’t even tried taking photos from the train since I usually only have my mobile and the train’s usually going way too fast. But yes, the sun is riding and the water is so pretty and the boat is just.. perfect. Yep.
3. Traffic lights with bike sensors
I used to pass through one intersection in San Jose that had a little marking on the road to tell a cyclist where to wait, but it wouldn’t trigger the light unless there was a car waiting with you. If you were there alone (as often happened in the mornings), you had to go press the crosswalk signal for pedestrians. Lame. Luckily, I pass through several lights in Palo Alto with cyclist markings that actually work, and that is pretty great. It makes me happy to know that I can just sit and wait got a minute or so and the light will change even without a car waiting for it.
4. Crisp morning air
My ride in the morning always seems more enjoyable to me because the air feels crisp and fresh. It doesn’t get very cold here even in the winter time; it’s just cool enough that you want to put on some gloves and maybe woolen socks so your toes don’t get too cold. Generally, I prefer to ride when it’s slightly cool outside since I can usually generate just enough heat to keep myself from getting too cold.
5. Kids biking to school, especially the little ones
I really like seeing families riding bikes to drop the kids at school. They usually go pretty slowly, but generally the parents are very careful and I see a lot of parents encouraging good cycling skills with their kids (ride in a straight line, use the bike lane, stop at stop signs).
Sometimes, if I see an elementary or middle school kid riding to school alone, I’ll sort of act like a quasi-chaperone for however long our routes intersect and make sure that the kid can make it across intersections, especially ones with cars. I figure, I’m bigger and more easily seen than a kid on a small bike, and it doesn’t add much time to my commute, so I might as well make sure they’re safe if I can.