Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pedal Power Update - March 2009

From the pedal power perspective, the month of February could be summed up in one word: WINDY!

The temperature was all over the map. One day we're in the 30's, another, it's 82. My poor veggie garden doesn't know what to think. But the one thing that was consistent was the wind. 

Now I tend to be a little wimpy when it comes to the wind. I've never been a strong biker, but I do love the speed of getting around town on a bike. Walking takes twice as long and it's WAY easier to haul a watermelon on your bike than by hand. Just trust me on this! So in the past, I've pretty much ridden my bike anytime the wind was less than 15 miles per hour. Beyond that, I just chalked myself up to super wimp.

Well, it turns out it has nothing to do with wimpy. One day, with plans to eat lunch downtown, I hopped on my bike fully aware the the winds where whipping around at 15-20 miles per hour. Tired of my wimpy nature, I decided to suck it up and just pedal my way downtown. I mean it's only a 20 minute ride and I left plenty early in case I had to go REAL slow.

Right, my little legs were just fine on the ride, the problem was that I had very little control over the bike. The wind gusts were so strong that it was impossible to bike in a completely straight line (aka, it was hard to stay out of the way of traffic). No problem, right? Just ride on the sidewalk. Well, that particular day was trash day and the sidewalks were full of Texas-sized 96-gallon trash cans. The street was my only option.

Well, since I'm here to tell you this, I obviously survived, but it was an experience I'd like to avoid again. So from here on out, I'm no longer a wimp. I'm just safe.

As for biking through the month, I was still out and about on my bike as long as the winds were less than 15 mph. I took my normal trips to the natural food store, the library, the post office, the pharmacy, and the vet.  I even mapped out a couple new routes this month 1) to the local produce market where I can find local fruit from time to time, and 2) to a local printer who has been helping me with my market/festival booth brochures.

I seem to get a little braver every month and biking has become less of a struggle and more an adventure. Sure, I had to walk downtown a few days when the winds were in high gear, but I got where I needed safe and sound (and extra hungry - good thing my favorite restaurant is downtown!). Pedal power is truly alive and well. 


Seraphim said...

Ugh, your so much braver than me - I would just be far to scared to cycle in that wind.

About the pan scrubbers - I do give them as gifts. I think I might put a little tutorial for them on my blog soon, if you were interested in taking a look.

(On that note, I am splitting my blog in two, so that the slightly-dull housewife things will be separate from the green things - green stuff will now be found here:

Beany said...

You are braver than me. The wind really wears me out to a point where I feel like doing nothing for the rest of the day.

Heather @ SGF said...

Sera - Thanks for the link to your new blog!

I'm definitely interested in learning how you make the pan scrubbers. I'll be watching for it, thanks!

Beany - Yeah, it's rough on me too. I just thought I was a weeny until I tried to bike in high winds. Then I realized I'm a nut for even trying. At least I know my limits now :)

Green Resolutions said...

I'm glad you were safe. A few years ago, I biked at a local park where the speed limit for cars was like 5 mph. The weather was perfect. And I was still scared to death. I just knew I'd fall off the bike in front of a car. I think I've only biked once since then. I'm a super wimp...

Rosa said...

Safe, smart, and willing to push your boundaries.

Wind is the enemy! When I lived in Iowa, I tried to never bike outside of town (which was hard, because the town was like 2 miles across). But as soon as I left the little river valley & the buildings, the wind just swept across the cornfields and batted me right off the edge of the road.

Sue said...

I've never liked being out in the wind. But, you ARE lucky in that you could possibly ride a bike.
I have 3 feet of snow on the ground yet. It will be at least another month for me. So, enjoy the rides!

Heather @ SGF said...

Green Resolutions - if you're nervous about cars, find a place where you can bike on a sidewalk until you work up your confidence. That's what I did.

Rosa - I know just what you mean. We're in pretty flat land around here too and the wind has been particularly brutal this year.

Sue - Eew, snow! I lived in Indiana for 11 years, and I pretty much figured out I'm a southern kind of girl. I can handle 100+ temps way more than snow.

Beany said...

I agree with riding on the sidewalk to get your confidence. I did it for years. Another thing I still do from time to time, is that when I get nervous, I get off my bike and walk it on the sidewalk till I feel comfortable riding again.

Heather @ SGF said...

Beany has another good point. Never be afraid to stop and rest or stop and walk your bike for awhile.