Friday, January 23, 2009

Danger Zone

As if I could forget how dangerous biking is, I constantly have people telling me to "be careful". I love that expression because it implies that the person would otherwise be reckless-but I appreciate the good intentions behind the saying. For all of you out there that are worried about me being careful... fear not. I have seen, heard, and experienced enough bad things on a bike to not take it for granted how easy it is to get seriously hurt. There is a huge misconception that if you are an experienced biker that it becomes less dangerous... but in some cases it is actually the opposite. Many experienced bikers are more comfortable on the road, take more risks, and will ride in less safe places. For any people out there that do not know anyone that has been hit while biking or gotten into a biking accident... here is a glimpse of two people in my life that have been injured in the last few months.

These first two pictures are from my cousin Mitch who recked on his fixed gear. He broke the hell out of his collar bone, busted open his chin, scraped up his back, and had bruises everywhere.

The bruises on his head are from his helmet, which saved his life. (Yes, he is a little drugged up on pain killers in these pictures). Now the next two pictures are from my friend Niall that lives up in D.C. He was run off the road by a car that cut him off and almost ran over him. He said that he was pretty cut up but the worst was that he broke his collarbone in THREE places.
Check out the sweet plate and screws that he earned... and don't worry... that isn't a loose screw in there- its actually holding some bone together.
I don't want to scare anyone away from biking- only give people a healthy respect for what can happen. I have yet to have a serious fall and I hope to keep it that way, but I will continue to wear my helmet and stay ready for anything.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


There are many people that look forward to the time of the year when they get to break out their fluffy coats, put on their wool hats, and get all bundled up for winter. If this describes you, then by all means, rock on. But I am not one of them. When the temperature is below 60 I start to get uncomfortable and anything below 40 is just damn unnatural for my skinny little body. Its not to say that I don't like a good snowball fight or getting to warm up next to a camp fire, but those are things I can do on vacation. When it comes to day to day life, I prefer the warm ocean breeze. So all of that being said, one of my biggest fears of being car-free was winter.

Since Charleston generally has a mild winter, I had really been able to put off dealing with this fear... until now. Last week it got down to 17 degrees. I mean seriously? Is that necessary? 17 in Charleston? I am the first to admit that you will not catch me out in those temperatures biking for good times- but I do have to leave the house at some point. So, I figured it was time for me to just get it over with, break out all of my new winter gear, and brave the cold. The Holy City Bike Co-op winter fundraiser seemed like an appropriate night to get my face numbing party started since they were doing a mystery night ride. So with my long underwear, tall socks, turtle fur (neck warmer), reflective biking jacket, ear warmers, and gloves on (see picture above) - I took to the streets a long with a handful of other brave individuals and faced the 20-something degree weather. The ride was cold but fun and it was a nice warm-up for my trek home.

As I was making my way back to West Ashley I thought about how I was actually feeling pretty toasty. The worst part about being out on my bike in the cold night air was my ridiculous runny nose...which I couldn't do anything about. I've never mastered the art of the snot rocket and I try to avoid being a sleeve wiper, so I just suffered the journey having to be a mouth breather with the sniffles. I made it home safe with all of my fingers and toes intact and hurried into my house so my face could thaw. In the end, it wasn't even half as bad as I thought, but I will admit that since then I have taken the bus twice to avoid the cold winter air and I still can't wait for summer.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Valet... Nice.

If you are planning on going to the inauguration... make sure to take your bike!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sharing the Road

This video is so timely because earlier today I had a police officer pull over and tell me to get on the sidewalk... which is the second time this has happened.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back in the Saddle

I hope everyone had a Happy New Year :-) I know it has been awhile since I had a real was acutally my first day back on my bike since the 17th of December. I have been away from the blog for about two weeks... due to an injury, sickness, and vacation. Needless to say, after a brutal semester I decided to go for a celebratory ride. Next thing my sister is getting this call from me:

Me: "Hey Jules, I am in the emergency room because I hit my head really hard, do you have a credit card number I can use, I don't have my wallet with me."
Julie: "Oh my god, did you get hit by a car on your bike??"
Me: "Actually, no, I got bucked off a horse and dragged a few feet."
Julie: "Where you wearing a helmet?"
Me: "Yes, thank god... its the only reason why I am still conscious and talking to you."
Julie: " Well I guess that's what you get for horsing around. Okay. Sorry.. That was bad."

After they scanned my cat and took an look at my neck bones, it was determined that I had a mild concussion and whip-lash. I was told to stay off the horse and my bike for at least a week... which I thought was going to be hard. BUT as "luck" would have it, I must have scored some rowdy flu germs when I was at the doctors and with-in two days I couldn't get out of bed. This is all of course just in time for my vacation to Florida...which actually worked out well since I didn't have to bike anywhere or really do anything for that matter. Although I did managed to take one bike ride on a beach cruiser (in my bikini... to catch the sunset over the keys... awesome).

I felt better after a few days and managed to squeeze in some snorkeling and kayaking. The picture on the right is me and my sis taking the yak out for a spin... and just so you know I am wearing a strapless bathing suit so don't get any ideas. We tried to go wake boarding but my neck wanted no part in that. We also tried to go scuba diving but it ended with my dad thinking he had lost me on the reef, my sister getting in and directly out of the water, and me throwing up (four foot seas, jellyfish, six inches of visibility, and one small boston whaler...we knew it was a bad idea before we ever even got in, but what the hell, right?)

Overall I really enjoyed the trip, seeing my family, and soaking up the sun. I also scored some awesome gear for x-mas. If I had a working camera, I would post myself, all decked out, but since I don't you will just have to use your imagination. I now have a cute little blue translucent jelly bell, all different kinds of good biking socks, turtle fur in black and green (its a neck warmer), gloves, a jacket/hoodie, and two new aluminum water bottles. PLUS I got a bunch of new music for my commute. I added a little music player on the right hand side of my blog to give you a taste of my biking mix- although its kinda cut off... but it does the job. I will try and keep it updated :-)

Thursday, January 1, 2009