Saturday, April 19, 2014

Commuters of the Year

Based on my humble opinion on people that I see and witness riding nearly every single work day of the year I name David and Paul as Commuters of the Year.  Criteria: riding their bicycles to and from work--commuting.  Does not matter if they did not ride 1000 miles in a month or brag about about it like a certain blogger I know (me).  And after receiving the Chevian Bicycle Award for Biking Excellence I am sure they will still ride bicycles to work again and again.

Paul begins his commute somewhere north of Grand Ave.  He enters the Walnut Creek Trail from the Waveland Trail just next to the wooden bridge that leads to the 63rd St underpass.  He can be found on a hybrid and a cyclocross bike and if conditions warrant a Trek MTB with studded tires.  All these bicycles with a bright light and bright rear flasher.  He is one of the few that will place a hand over the light to avoid temporarily blinding people,  He rides downtown and back Monday through Friday.  If trails are flooded or too snow and ice covered to use he takes the streets.  mary and I have seen him on Ingersoll Ave when we avoided the trails.  Paul will stop and talk if communication is necessary to convey the status of trails.  Paul also stopped and talked to me during my celebratory beer, Stone's Cali-Beli IPA, for my 1000th mile for 2014.  I wished I had a second bottle or a glass to pour him some.  We know each other by name and know who is running ahead or behind schedule by where we meet.

David L. is a bicycle commuter from Urbandale.  Every morning he rides to the State capital complex 12 or so miles.  David also uses more than one bike for this duty.  The heart of the winter he will be on a red Cannondale MTB with a set of Continent tires without studs.  Brave man for not using studded tires in the winter.  No rack or panniers just a backpack to schelp his items to work.  David appears to be a very quiet and unassuming individual.  A very good role model for promoting bicycling.  He never dresses as if he is riding in the Tour de France or wears Team Clone (copycat not ISU) apparel.  An ordinary person who chooses to ride a bicycle to work.  His lights are literally not the brightest and often in need of fresh batteries but still visible.  However, his reflective clothing is superior to most.  Best to be scene rather than to blind those around you.  

These people ride every day all year round.  Even when it is -5F and windy they will be biking to work.  I recall the day we received that late afternoon blizard  and cars were stuck in traffic going nowhere fast, David exclaimed, "and people think we are stupid!"  

I also saw David the day the hail hit and left 2" of slush everywhere and then the 30 mph wind.  I was at Mullets and looked outside and saw him riding toward Urbandale fighting the wind and slush.  The slush really slowed me down but at least I had a tailwind.  I ran outside and called for him but he did not hear,  Moving about 7 mph at best he inced further and further to home.  I wanted to buy him a beer and arrange a SAG,  It was hell on the trail I I knew he would be fighting it for another hour or so.

He or she that freezes their blood solid and ass off in the merciless winter shall be my brother or sister.  He or shee that boils their blood and sweats their ass off in summer commuting to work shall be my brother or sister too.  David and Paul do that.  I look forward to seeing them on Monday.

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