Monday, February 16, 2015

In Which Biking is Busting Out All Over

I pause to record the event--a new traffic light on my morning commute, if I chose to go that way. A car pulled up and triggered the light, so I have not yet tested how genuinely bicycle friendly the light is, but I am glad it's here.

Despite the cold, which did not keep me from riding Sunday nor today, bicycling is becoming more of a cool thing—in not the temperature sense—in my area. Big changes are afoot in the world of bicycle riding in Cedar Rapids:

Item one: A student bicycle riding club is being formed at Mount Mercy University, the destination of my daily bike commute. A nice young man came and visited with me last week to discuss the club. They already have another sponsor, but he and I discussed lots of possible bike rides.

The club meets for the first time next Monday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. in the Clubs and Organization Room right next to the U Center commons area. I plan to be there, and I hope to see many of you MMU students there, and I hope to be able to tag along on your rides.

Item two: RAGBRAI 2015 is shaping up to be even more interesting. I spoke with Jon over the weekend via Skype, and he’s getting the band back together. His group of then Microsoft employees who rode RAGBRAI four years ago are planning to have another go—not all the same people, but the same circle of friends with some repeats.

Me, I’ll still be riding with the family Team Joe, but I’m sure I encounter and ride along with Team Seattle Jon at several points during the week. And he’ll probably spend a night at home when RAGBRAI stops in Hiawatha.

Item three: The new light is here! The city turned on the traffic light at Prairie Drive Northeast and 29th Street Northeast last week. Crossing 29th is a minor hassle, so on this cold morning I cut up a few blocks before 29th and ended up on Prairie, and I crossed at the light.

I don’t know if that will be my usual practice. Despite the wait to cross 29th at Eastern Avenue, the advantage of that route is that Eastern is wider and more bike friendly than Prairie, and there are fewer hills on Eastern—going on Prairie Drive gives me a bit of an up-and-down route. Nothing severe, but a bicycle commuter doesn't usually seek out more hills.

Well, epic changes, mostly positive, are coming to the world of CR Biker. Bike on!

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