Friday, December 31, 2010

Springtime in December? about wanting to play hooky!

One of my assignments today? Talk to people who ride bikes all winter long; those intrepid 'Winter Weather Warriors'* Well, today it was easy to be a cyclist--it was sunny and 48 degrees. It felt like one of the first, early days of spring and I was wishing my vacation were already underway.

Check in on WTOP for the story New Year's Day...and enjoy your New Year's Eve, safely.

*Capital Bikeshare: the program that's trying to get users to enjoy riding bikes on even the coldest of days..from January 1 through February...more on that in the next post.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Snow That Did...and Didn't Fall..

...almost as soon as it was declared, weather restrictions on the Capital Bikeshare program were lifted.

I visited the folks at the Dupont Farmer's market.

What's interesting is how many vendors decided to come, even as weather forecasts fluctuated. I was struck by the image of lovely flowers and colorful vegetables for sale, despite the frigid temps.

Need a reason to brave the icy blasts of winter to head to a farmer's market? Sometimes, you get two-fers..two-for-one deals. I got two loaves of bread for the price of one.

At twice the price, I'd say many of the treats on sale are more than worth it. If you've ever done any agricultural work, you can appreciate what it takes to get that food from farm to table. They work in blazing heat and bitter cold, and then do the same as they vend it at markets throughout the region.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Even Winter Weather Warriors...

...have to play it safe.

Capital BikeShare  could be implementing their severe weather policy---given the predictions of snow we're getting. Will we see this again? Fire up the hot cocoa!

You know I'm going to plug WTOP here, right?

Check out the  winter storm warnings in effect as of Saturday night. Hope you get to settle in for a long winter's night before we wake up to whatever shoveling is ahead of us. 

Christmas @ Capital Bikeshare

Bike Balance...remember learning to ride? You had to learn to balance on that bike. But there's a different kind of bike balance that has to be achieved to keep the Capital Bikeshare Bikes rolling..check it out...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Catching Up...Because I Fell Behind

From the But-Wait-There's-More! file...

More CapitalBikeshare bike-sharing in the region's future. Here's the latest from DDOT.

No matter what your politics are, Karl Rove has something to say about bikes, veterans, and the sweat-soaked inspiration they provide when matched up. Check out Ride2Recovery and prepare to be humbled. Really, really humbled.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Trip Home After the Trip Home From NYC

Multi-Modal Me...

I am not a holier than thou biker/walker/city resident, so I don't say that in a smug urban-dweller who plays the 'greener-than-thou-game'. See below...

Bikes, NYC and City Sidewalks...

Raced up to NYC for a quick visit with the family...And while I love biking--and am happy to see bikes become a viable way to get around in NYC-- there are some things that walking lets you see in a way you just don't on a bike. When I take photos or record sound, or even videos, it's nice to just stop, reach in my bag, and start shooting.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Kate's 500 Update...

Mileage today:

  • On foot: 3 miles
  • By bike: 9.4 miles
Today's total: 12.4 miles
Total so far: 41.4 miles

I won't lie: coming out of a toasty restaurant into the dark, drizzly night to unlock the bike and head home? A bit of a challenge mentally. Like leaving your warm bed for a workout on an icy morning. 
But as always, once you get going, you warm up. And at one point, I was laughing just because it was fun. Riding a bike can do that for you. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Maybe you've seen it on the WTOP website

...DDOT changes start at the top. What will that mean for bicyclists in DC?

...Quinzy Fraser, the Clarksburg man who was arrested in the death of cyclist Stanton Miller last summer, has entered a guilty plea to a charge of manslaughter by motor vehicle. The crime carries a possible 10 year jail sentence. Sentencing has been set for January 14th in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

and: elderly pedestrian struck by a bicyclist in a hit-and-run last month has died from his injuries. The Washington Post reports DC police are looking for he cyclist who struck the man --and the woman he was with. The elderly couple was walking in an alley in the 600 block of Mass Ave NW when they were struck by a cyclist wearing dark pants a grey hooded jacket. Police say he was riding a BMX style bike, and that he had dark hair.

Yoko Ono Shares a Bittersweet Memory

This excerpt was taken from an interview I did with John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono when she prepared a show of her late husband's works here in Washington DC.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Today's Mileage..

Walked to the bike shop to pick up the Trek: 2.8 miles.

Biked home from the bike shop: 3.8 miles.

How did that happen, you ask?

I will do a lot to avoid a hill.

Plus, it gets me closer to my goal of 500 miles by April 16th.

Total so far: 29 miles.

Kate's 500 Update...

This is about my pledge to cover 500 miles (on foot, by bike) before April 16th when I join with other volunteers in the MS Walk here in Washington, DC.  I will cover 500 more by June when the Bike MS events are held.

Yesterday's mileage: 3.2 on foot, 1.5 by bike.

The idea is that I get contributions going before the day's events. You can help out: decide to take part in the walk yourself, or kick in to my effort. No amount is too small.

Here's where you do it: Kate's 500 Miles

More mileage to come, but first, some coffee!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Ghost Bike and Information from FABB

Bruce Wright over at FABB (Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling) sends the following along:

Ghost bike placed in honor of Christopher Benton
FABB was very saddened to learn that Christopher Benton died on November 22 as the result of a collision with a motorist at Fort Hunt and Belle Haven Roads. The crash occurred on November 14. A ghost bike has now been placed at the site of the crash. A ghost bike is a white bicycle set up as a roadside memorial in a place where a cyclist has been killed. Besides acting as a memorial to Christopher, it is intended as a reminder to passing motorists to share the road.
Christopher was an avid cyclist who discovered bicycle touring in 1993. From 1994 to 1999 he toured throughout the U.S. and Canada. In 2001 he started cycling to work four to five days a week, twenty-six miles round trip. Christopher also used his bicycle for transportation on short trips around his neighborhood.
The type of crash in which Christopher was killed, where a motorist turns left in front of an oncoming cyclist, is a very common cause of bicyclist/motorist crash.  Motorists may not be looking for a bicyclist, may underestimate the speed of the oncoming bicyclist, or may ignore that the bicyclist has the right-of-way and assume the cyclist will stop. Cyclists need to be aware that this type of crash is common and always proceed with caution through intersections.
Motorists when turning should yield to bicyclists. They should approach and pass bicyclists at a reasonable speed, allowing at least two feet when passing. Cyclists should wear bright clothing to increase visibility and always use lights when riding at night. They should ride 2-3 feet from the edge of the road in a visible position. If there are parked cars, they should ride 4-5 feet from cars to avoid being hit by a door that could open suddenly. If the lane is too narrow to share (less than 14 feet), cyclists should take the lane, riding in the center or just to the right of center of the lane.
In all states in the U.S. cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists when using the road. Motorists need to be aware that cyclists often travel at speeds in excess of 20 mph, especially when traveling downhill. We must all share the road.
FABB continues its ongoing work to improve safety for all bicyclists in the county through our work on infrastructure design and road user education.

What's Black and White and Wiggly All Over?

...and back at the Washington Humane Society after being 'dognapped'?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Update: Death of Stanton Miller Audio

Here's what aired on WTOP Thursday morning: my update on the death of cyclist Stanton Miller. A plea memorandum has been filed in Montgomery County Circuit court. 

A second version of the same story, which also aired on WTOP:

A hearing on that plea agreement is set for next Tuesday. 

I'll file more info this weekend. 

Home Sweet Home...For Now

Ivan the pit bull pup is back 'home' with the folks at the Washington Humane Society.

I got a chance to meet him and talk to WHS President and CEO Lisa LaFontaine. It's clear this little guy's destined for a great home.

He got in some play time with staffers after his morning media blitz.

You'll hear more about it when I file a special weekend piece for WTOP.

Here he is getting in a workout, and then sacking out on the floor at the WHS offices. So until the weekend, feel free to adore this pup!

Update: The Death of Stanton Miller, Gaithersburg Cyclist

A plea memorandum has been filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

WTOP spoke to Barry Helfand, the attorney for 34 year old Quinzy Fraser, whose SUV struck 48 year old Stanton Miller last summer. Miller died as the result of his injuries.

Tune in to WTOP, 103.5 FM to hear the reports starting at 5 a.m.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Phew! That Was Scary!

But the good news is: Ivan is back, safe and sound, after being dognapped on Monday.

Foggy Day... Washington.

It's actually pleasant walking weather for me. I don't mind gray, I don't mind drizzle. Heavy downpour? Not a fan. But I can cope with the gray days. As a matter of fact, I rather like the cool temps, the quiet of the gray.

So how'd I do? Just 1.2 miles on foot today. So that brings me to 17.7 for my total.

Not quite the Turbo Tuesday I'd predicted...we'll keep tweaking the predictions/performance.

But today, I saw something that gives me a good swift kick for those mornings when I'm dragging.

Did any of you see this?

Today, @ 9:30-10am along Wisconsin Ave/355 just across from the Naval Medical Center, a jogger.

Ok, that's not so unusual, but by his side? A companion. On crutches. With one functioning leg. The other, it appeared, had been amputated, somewhere above the knee. And yet, this young man was keeping pace with the jogger.

To that man I wanted to say: I don't know who you are, but please know this-- you really made me feel great. Seeing you speed along with your running buddy inspired not pity, but respect, even awe. I was really impressed by the matter-of-factness you projected. The way you handled the crutches as though they were second nature, something you don't even think about anymore. You had me focusing not on your disability, but your ease of movement, and the fact that you were eating up the pavement with your buddy.

So thanks. You were focused on your activity. You weren't looking to impress anyone. But you filled me with admiration. And you made my day.