My ongoing musings about bicycling.
If you'd like to know how I got started read my first post in the December 2006 Archives.
To find out what a Ludwig is, see below.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
I Am A Bike Commuter
First, though, a report on our early morning ride. What a glorious day. The sky was clear as day even though it was still night. The moon was nearly as bright as any sun and as we rode home the sun was rising gloriously. A perfect 41 degree morning, we didn't let the 16 mile an hour winds slow us down (much). It just put a great beginning on the first work day of the New Year. Then after cleaning up I switched bikes, took the Citizen folding bike, and rode off to work. Today is a day that I teach a lunch-time Bible class at one of the Center City Law Offices, so just the kind of day I wanted to have to test out the possibilities of getting around town with the new bike. It will be a relatively short ride over to the Parkway area and then fold up the bike and see how it feels to march into the building carrying the bike. Meanwhile, when I arrived at the office my new cotton dress knickers had arrived. Regular pockets, belt loops, they look just like regular pants until you get down to the ankle. Again, it's all a bit of an experiment to see what works best. I think regular dress pants with an ankle band will actually be more appropriate. The ride from home to work went without a problem, but that's only a few blocks. My trip to the law firm was also uneventful. I can unfold and assemble the bike in seconds. Riding in traffic along 18th street was a bit daunting, but I managed without incident. I use a messenger type bag to carry my books and I don't think I like the feel of it. I will try a backback next time, it feels liek it would give a more secure feeling.I did find, in the end, that it seems impossible not to ignore some traffic laws despite my predilection to have a commitment not to do so. But with the traffic and the aggressive driver's and, most of all, the impossible amount of double parking, I found it too tempting to zip down a few small one way streets where there was almost no cars. jump on the sidewalk at a few crucial moments, and jump red lights in order to get ahead of the traffic. Mea Culpa. Theoretically I'm really in favor of obeying all the laws, but survival takes precedence.In any case, I arrived at my destination, folded my bike fairly easily, though I'm definitely better at unfolding it and will need a bit more practice, only to be told by the security that I could not carry the bike in the building. They were good enough to hold it at the security desk but warned me not to do it again. I was a bit dumbfounded. Shouldn't the constitution protect my right to carry personal property that is neither more bulky nor unwieldy than a big suitcase into a public building? I guess not. So if you happen to be peddling to 1900 Market Street in Philadelphia, bring a lock. But if I wanted to lock my bike on the street I could have used my regular ride and locking the folding bike up, with all its movable and re-movable parts seems even less of a good idea than locking up my regular bike, which was precisely one of the main things I was trying to avoid. I suppose the other option would be to somehow have the carrying bag with me, but I don't think that is possible. But I left my bike, taught my class and comfortably rode home feeling that I haven't come to a final decision about how to do this on a regular basis or about how I feel about having purchased this new bike, but on a sunny, warm January day, none of the hassle seemed to matter much.
I am a 64 year old Conservative Rabbi, published theologian and professor of Jewish Philosophy. I have also published two books of poetry and have recently become an avid cyclist along with my wife of 40 years.
I write two blogs, Bicycle-Musings and Pipe Pulpit.
In the news section of one of his early Fredcasts David told the story of one Ludwig from Znnin Poland who at 84 years of age went out for a ride on his bike. To make a longer story short (and you really should listen to the podcast to get all the details) Ludwig ended up in London, England! So I figure if (again, according to the explanation on The Fredcast #1) a Fred is someone who not only rides a bike but is severely attracted to the gadgets and accessories of a certain bike-cultural look (and I guess I'm a Fred without the financial resources to really express my Fredness) then a Ludwig could be anyone over the age of 55 who is not only a Fred, but also loves to just keep riding eating up the miles pretty much unconcerned with speed. Go Ludwig! I'm a Ludwig. Maybe someday I'll figure out podcasting and do a Ludwigcast.