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I hereby resolve ...

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I’ve never been a big fan of new year’s resolutions.

I’m all for personal goals, but I figure anybody who waits to flip the page on the calendar before doing something that he or she wants to do — or stop doing — is destined for failure.

That said, I understand the urge this time of year to make promises to better oneself.

I don’t smoke (anymore), I don’t drink (much) and I’ve conquered my online Lolcat addiction (as far as you know), so I’ve got a handle on the most obvious of my previous means of self-destruction (or at least learned how to cover my tracks online).

But I do have a couple of bike-related goals for the upcoming year that should lead to self-betterment, or at least self-enjoyment. (Did that come out wrong?)

So ... here’s a look at a few of my two-wheeled nonresolutions for the upcoming 365:

Bike Across Kansas I’ve wanted to partake in the weeklong ride across the state for years, and though I’m sure I won’t have a problem with the mileage, I’ve been hesitant to spend so much time away from the family. But, quite frankly, I’m sick of my immediate relations. A week away should do me good.

Don’t be such a wimp I don’t mean in life, because I’m one tough hombre. I mean on my bike rides around town. There were probably a dozen or so times I could have ridden to work, but opted not to, usually because of the threat of impending thunderstorms or frostbite or, as was the case Thursday night/Friday morning, the fear some beery nimrod would ruin my 2010 before it really began (although I’m happy to say I rode earlier Thursday evening so I could pedal in the glow of the lovely blue moon).

Don’t be so stubborn I have to admit, sometimes I’ll do things on my bike — like maintain my position rather than yield to an approaching vehicle, have the audacity to take my turn at a four-way stop, or just ride when conditions suggest maybe I shouldn’t — out of simple stubbornness. Just because I have a right to be there or do that doesn’t mean I should.

Don’t be such a jerk Again, not in life. I’m rather proud of my curmudgeonly charm, and if you don’t, well, $%* you. Here, I’m talking on my bike. Too frequently, when somebody buzzes me or nearly forces me off the road or cuts me off, my first response is not suitable for a family blog. As enjoyable as I find the vast majority of the time on my bike, I shouldn’t let them be overwhelmed by those few instances of near-death experiences. Besides, repercussions from a dimwit in a cage can be severe. I’d sure hate to be maimed because I couldn’t swallow an F-bomb.

Don’t objectify Because I don’t know everybody in this town, I have this habit of referring, at least in my own woefully inadequate brain, to fellow road-users by identifying characteristics: “What are you waiting for, Blondie?”; “Did you mean to just about hit me, Mr. Cell Phone-Stuck-To-Your-Head, or was your phone call really that important?”; or “Nice minivan, Ms. Soccer Mom. Next time, please don’t bring it to such an abrupt halt just because you see a nice man on a bike gaining on you.” I know in my curmudgeonly heart of hearts all those people have their own hopes, dreams and aspirations, too, and aren’t just subjects of ridicule. Most of ’em, anyway.

Anyway, those are my goals.

Happy New Year.

Comments

parrothead8 5 years, 6 months ago

Thanks, Andrew. The following resolution is not aimed at you, but this seems like an appropriate place to post it.

In 2010, I hereby resolve to spend more time on my bike, and less time reading the multitudes of worthless drivel so often found among the LJW online comments.

Nikki May 5 years, 6 months ago

I just need to GET a bike. Mine was stolen ages ago (my brother had borrowed it, I kept indoors). I haven't got a new one because there's always something else I could buy instead.

davidsmom 5 years, 6 months ago

Andrew, I am so glad you ride a bike and glad your resolutions are about biking. I love anything anybody does for fitness. I admire people who can ride long distances (like across Kansas) or run ultra-marathons. But I have two pet peeves when it comes to bikers and runners (I am a runner myself) and that is when they are using the roads, particularly narrow roads, when there is normal traffic on the road. I know the law says you have a right to be there, but just because something is legal doesn't make it right or good. Bikers and runners on a regular road are an obstruction to drivers and a danger to themselves. As a driver, I can't judge well enough to go past one on the side of a narrow road, so I am forced to slow down to their speed. If someone can't do the speed limit, in my mind, he has no business being on the road. Plus, I've been reading too many stores about runners and bikers being crushed or killed on the road, regardless who had the right-of-way. Oh, to be in California where most roads have bike lanes! So that's my thing, and happy riding!

ralphralph 5 years, 6 months ago

I resolve not to send young men and women to die in the frozen mountains of southwest Asia while I play golf in Hawaii and otherwise hobnob with celebrities.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 6 months ago

" As a driver, I can't judge well enough to go past one on the side of a narrow road, so I am forced to slow down to their speed."

The solution, davidsmom, is to slide over and let someone else drive if you aren't up to the task.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 6 months ago

Good story Andrew. Enjoy yourself.

To many many couples...

Save up some dough and then take a honeymoon with bikes as a primary mode of transportation. Public transportation(bus and train) will help the honeymoon along.

Pack food,water,clothes for all weather and a two person tent. An occasional motel and Youth Hostels will be a welcome sight along the way.

We left Tulsa headed to California. Helped sail a boat to Cabo San Lucas. On the return trip we hitched a ride, stopped over in New Orleans then Monkton,MD then trained back to KCMO ultimately back to Tulsa.

What fun and so so many friendly people along the way was a major highlight of the honeymoon.

Our bikes with us all the way.

Usually I avoid the busiest city roads knowing their challenges. Cars are a huge cost to taxpayers.

Meanwhile enjoy ourselves while biking.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 6 months ago

Obviously I think this concept is worthy of consideration along some of our busiest streets such as East 23rd,19th,9th,6th, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Perhaps the City of Lawrence should be green enough to provide " Pedestrian - Cyclists Safe Pathways".

Creating pathways along the most dangerous streets for both pedestrians and cyclists aka Tennessee and Kentucky,23rd,19th etc etc. The right of way is available aka existing sidewalks and there is a ton of bike and pedestrian traffic in these areas at all hours.

  1. Widen sidewalks on each street to accommodate both cyclists and pedestrians.
  2. Light them up
  3. Provide cross walk signs and markings at each intersection from 7th to 19th to increase awareness of drivers
  4. Decrease speed by 5 mph from 7th to 19th
  5. In the process the city is making it safer for women = rape prevention.

The investment is small compared to the safety that could be provided. Local residents and KU students are worth the investment considering the number of jobs they generate and tax dollar revenue they generate. Students continue to stimulate life and culture in Lawrence,Kansas.

Think not only green but safety!

Scott Kaiser 5 years, 6 months ago

This year I resolve to cheat Death another year...

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

How about resolving to stay on bike paths where you belong.

parrothead8 5 years, 6 months ago

Liberty275 (Anonymous) says… How about resolving to stay on bike paths where you belong.

Bike paths? Where are these bike paths you speak of? How about you build bike paths everywhere I need to go? Then I'll have bike paths to stay on, and we'll both be happy.

Dang...I already broke my resolution.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

Where are these bike paths you speak of?

One starts by the movie theatre next to the bridge to nowhere.

parrothead8 5 years, 6 months ago

Thanks, Liberty. That would be great if I lived at the movie theatre, but I use my bike to go places I actually NEED to go...like work, school, the grocery store/pharmacy, etc.

I'm not saying bike paths need to go to every house and apartment, but if you want bikes off of the roads in Lawrence, then Lawrence needs a much more extensive network of bike paths. Until then, you'll have to just live with bikes legally being on the roads.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

How about you use the bike on the bike path for your leisure and take the bus for going to all those places you NEED to go to. Or maybe call a taxi. Or even better, drive a car.

Maybe I'm just too sympathetic, but I worry about what may happen to you in your Styrofoam helmet when you accidentally tangle with a 4000 lb car. I think that feeling is rooted in the guy I vaguely remember seeing at 10 years old with his intestines coming out of his midsection after being run over by a car.

If you don't care about your life, that is certainly your prerogative, but I don't want the rest of mine ruined because I killed someone that hit a crack in the road or for any of a million other reasons accidentally swerved in front of my car utterly unprotected.

My karma doesn't need that sort of black mark.

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