Desoto Trike

When my mother, 83, told me she was in the market for a trike, I was happy. While she walks unassisted, her hip hurts, but she wants to get in a little more daily exercise. She heard that a basic trike was available from mass merchandisers like Walmart, but I felt that there must be a better selection available. After some research I found Industrial Bicycles which carries a variety of industrial trikes for use in warehouses and specialized applications, tandem trikes, trikes for carrying kids, recumbents, and a special line for seniors. We haven’t finalized the decision yet, but I hope to within the next couple of weeks. I was really struck by their affordability – a few hundred dollars, and they encourage customers to call so that they can assess their needs and recommend the right model. Trikes are delivered fully assembled, taking out the need for a handyman or bike shop to be involved. They come with baskets, which makes them convenient for light shopping and running errands, a variety of seats, and wheel sizes. Definitely worth checking out, if only for curiousity.

Norwalk Green to Calf Pasture Beach route

Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk CT

One of Norwalk’s gems, Calf Pasture Beach is a breeze to get to by car. But by bike the car route is unsafe. I looked for a way that would avoid crossing over 95 and the roundabouts by the cemetary and park just past Nik’s. You can find it here: Norwalk Green to Calf Pasture.

Click on Print Cue Sheet to print the cue sheet

Click on Print Cue Sheet to print the cue sheet

A really nice feature of this and the other maps is the ability to print the cue sheet. You can see the location of the link to click from the image on the left. The cue sheet gives you directions that include Cumulative Distance, Distance for each segment, Directions, Notes, Direction and Elevation. A snippet of this ride’s cue sheet follows:

Cue sheet for the ride, gives a lot of valuable info

Norwalk bike map, a beginning

Norbiker David Marcus started mapping major roads in Norwalk. CLICK TO VIEW MAP. What’s really good about it is that he color codes the routes with detail, like “has shoulder,” “path,” “caution,” “dangerous,” and “recommended.” It’s an early and good start to developing a comprehensive cycling map. David grew up cycling in King County, Washington, a very cycling-friendly area, and knows how to rate roads. Some posts ago I mentioned the Madison, WI map. Here’s a link David provided to the King County map. . It’s another great one.

Routes to and from the South Norwalk Train Station – Norwalk Green

Bikely provides us with pretty simple ways to map rides. I mapped two routes this evening, both to and from the Norwalk Green to the South Norwalk Train Station.

Norwalk Green to South Norwalk Train Station: Good in the early morning. Part of it runs along East Avenue, a dangerous street. Like many people I ride on the sidewalk for safety reasons. The west side of the street has no cross streets, so the sidewalk is a long stretch. The route goes under 95 instead of over – another danger spot, and comes out on a secondary street. I don’t recommend this route for returning because the traffic is dense.

South Norwalk Train Station to Norwalk Green: I like this route for afternoon returns. You’ll notice that leaving the station it rolls along North Main street to Marshall (or Ann) rather than go down to Water Street and cross the entrance to the Stroffolino Bridge. Here the reason is to avoid the traffic coming from 3 directions that want to go over bridge. At quitting time there’s too much traffic and none of the drivers is thinking about a cyclist.

Carbon Trace – A Great Blog on Utility Cycling

Analyzing my logs I noticed that Andrew Cline’s Carbon Trace blog directed traffic our way. Very impressive collection of posts, links, etc. about “getting around under my own power in Springfield, Mo.” He’s been at it for a number of years, writing about etiquette, getting to school and such. His “1-mile solution” is brilliant:

The idea is simple: Find your home on a map. Draw a circle with a 1-mile radius around your home. Try to replace one car trip per week within that circle by riding a bicycle or walking. At an easy riding pace you can travel one mile on a bicycle in about seven minutes. Walking takes about 20 minutes at an easy pace.

I’m going to try it.

Obeying Traffic Laws, Especially Stops and Lights

Through my commuting and shopping trips I’ve come to acknowledge the value of obeying stop signs, traffic signals and crosswalk indicators. Though I’m tempted to cross on the “red pedestrian” it’s really best not to because, on the busy street I commute on during evening rush, cars come out of nowhere and they’re not expecting cyclists. Patience is a virtue. I’m hoping that my behavior signals to motorists that cyclists are respectful and should be treated respectfully.

Bikes and cars, from NY Times article

Bikes and cars, from NY Times article

The NY Times had a great story on the tensions between cars and cyclists that sums up a lot of the issues. I was disappointed to read, however, that one Texan stopped commuting after a road rage incident left him broken, bloodied and bruised.