Ease into 5k : The Return

It’s been a couple of weeks since my knees were well enough to try getting into Ease into 5k again…But today was the day.

I started at Week 1 Day 1 just to see how everything would feel.

OK, so I’ll give you that doing one 28 minute workout that consists of walking and running isn’t quite the same as running a marathon (Or at this point, running 3 miles!). But that’s irrelevant. What is relevant is: Did I feel great? I did. I did feel great. And that’s what is most important.

Less than two months until the Neuse River Bridge Run 5k.

Here’s the Strava data, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

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Ride to Downtown Jacksonville and Then Home – August 22nd, 2012

Today was a long riding day. 10.9 miles from my office to the Bicycle Gallery and another 6.1 miles to home.

It was a nice ride weather-wise. Pretty cool (high 70s) until it started raining and then dropped to pretty chilly (low 70s).

There’s one question I got for Camp Lejeune, though. Why in the devil is there a giant plastic barrier of death completely blocking the bicycle/pedestrian multi-use path right at the Main Gate facility? It’s ridiculous! And dangerous.

I made it to the Bicycle Gallery with no drama and dropped off my bike for potential additions (kickstand) and adjustments (loose headset and crooked handlebars). No dice on the kickstand. They didn’t have a rear-mounted model that would fit. The adjustments were perfect though.

While the bicycle was getting a checkup, I hustled over to Jacksonville City Hall and participated in the public workshop for the potential Jacksonville Multimodal Transportation Center. Great presentation and information. I think such a center than unifies the transportation options in Jacksonville will really make getting around easier.

The ride from downtown to home was uneventful. Rain started about a mile and a half from home, but it wasn’t too bad. I discovered upon arriving home that I had ridden with a trunk bag pocket unzipped. The pocket held my sunglasses and house keys. Neither jumped ship, so yay!

Strava data for the rides are here and here.

If bicycle commuters are interested in meeting up for morning or evening snacks and chat, let me know!

Commute In – August 22nd, 2012

There was no commute by bicycle yesterday. I wasn’t prepared, didn’t wake up on time and…Well…I just didn’t, ok. Let it go.

That means there also wasn’t any sort of bicycle commuter meetup. Which is good, since 1. I didn’t receive any messages from anyone interested and (b) Brewed Awakenings isn’t open at 6am. (They’ve changed their hours for like the 7,000th time.) So. There’s that.

Still, if anyone’s interested in a ride-to-work meetup, let me know. We’ll find a place. Or a ride-from-work meetup. It’d be easier to find a place then (I’d recommend strongly Sweet. Or BrrrBerry.)

Onto today’s ride in!

Short story/statistics: 13.4 miles in 1 hour, 4 minutes at an average speed of 12.5 miles/hour. Strava data and map here.

Long story: It was dark. Real dark. I left a littler earler than normal because the 6am Western Blvd crowd sucks and wants to kill me. Apparently the 5:30am Western Blvd crowd is just as malicious. Or, still asleep.

I was passed way too close by way too many people.

Pop Quiz: It’s 5:30am and dark. You’re traveling in the right-most lane of a 3 lane road at 55-60 mph with a speed limit of 45 mph. You see up ahead a series of flashing red lights on the rightest part of the roadway. The two lanes to your left are vacant.

What do you do : (A) Reduce speed, checking for traffic in the left lane and then shift lanes before over-taking the now apparent bicyclist. (B) Maintain speed, checking for traffic in the left lane and the shift lanes before over-taking the now apparent bicyclist. (C) Increase speed, continue in the right-most lane and nearly collide with the bicyclist.

(If you’re a motor vehicle driver in Jacksonville NC, chances are you didn’t even notice the bicyclist, so there’s really no quiz!)

For whatever reason, Western Blvd is Jacksonville’s version of The Old West. It’s completely lawless out there. Motor vehicle drivers constantly speed, weave through traffic, disregard traffic lights and block the shiny new crosswalks at the intersections with US 17 and Country Club Rd. And that’s when they’re not out to kill anyone!

Also: There’s no Jacksonville Police Department presence. Nada. None. Zero. Zilch. I’ve heard that the Traffic Division avoids Western Blvd at all costs, so drivers know they’ll get away with whatever they do. This makes Western Blvd the most dangerous road in Jacksonville. There’s a nifty graphic I’m going to try to get a good color copy of that shows all the motor vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle accidents on Western Blvd. The road is literally (litrally!) one big ol’ line of little dots!

I’m no law enforcement expert, but it seems to me that if you want a busy street to be safe, you’d have some sort of police presence. Maybe I’m wrong…But logic says I’m not.

The ride on the Rails-to-Trail MUP was excellent. And dark. I need new lights. If Bicycle Gallery or The Bicycle Shop wants to sponsor my commute with a sweet light setup (Or fancy jersey…Or fancy bicycle…Or if any other business wants to sponsor with cash…), I’m available!

Nothing really else to note. I’m excited for the ride to downtown Jacksonville (Bicycle Gallery and City Hall tonight (Go support your Jacksonville Transit and the Multimodal Transportation Center!)) and then home (Food!)!