Post-cranksgiving

The Cranksgiving ride was a blast; beautiful cold day, and got to ride all over the city. Probably had over 50 terrific participants – lots of smiling and laughing.

But sobering, too. Visiting the food bank is a reminder of how real food insecurity is for too many people in our society. I might have to take a geared bike on next year’s ride so I can haul more food.

Here’s a few photos from the ride, and FatGuyonaBike posted this awesome video in the comments to my original Cranksgiving post.

Cranksgiving!

Cranksgiving – the pedal-powered food drive – happens a week from this Saturday (the 19th), starting at Cal Anderson Park at 11. It’s been described as an urban scavenger hunt/food drive/bike race where you go to a number of groceries to shop for food for the needy. I plan to be there this year, hopefully using one of the crazy new grocery-getting panniers I’ve been testing out. Say hi if you make it – I’ll be the slow guy on the yellow Salsa fixed-gear.

Event details here.

More Bike Boxes, Please

Riding home the other night in the rain brought to mind two other locations where I regularly make my own bike box by riding to the front and taking the lane. Sure, I’m depriving cars of the ability to make a right turn, but I like to think of it as me them a favor.

Drivers, you’re welcome.

EB Pine at Boren:

Pine adds a right-turn-only lane at Boren, eliminating the bike lane in the process. A cursory sharrows before the intersection suggests taking the lane in a *shrug* sort of way. So I always take that turn-only lane, but not to turn – it’s just my bike box. And here’s where I’m doing drivers a favor: Pine onto Boren is a very dangerous right turn, because with the hill on Boren there’s almost no visibility of the traffic coming uphill (usually very fast) until it’s practically on top of you. It’s no place for a car to turn right on red.

I used to take the center lane, but I learned that a lot of drivers get confused by the turn lane and try to go straight out of it. Not safe to get jammed in the middle of that.

EB Pine at Broadway:

Another spot where the bike lane disappears, as the block between Harvard and Broadway in front of the Egyptian is taken up with bus stops. I usually have to take the lane on this block anyway to get around the buses, but I’m not content to retreat to the corner once I reach Broadway. The intersection is clogged with pedestrians, and too many cars try to jump the light changes and turn before the peds can step off the curb.

Even more crucially, Pine narrows dangerously on the other side of Broadway. A left turn lane from WB Pine and inexplicable parking spots turn EB Pine into a single narrow lane for half a block before it widens out and the bike lane reappears. There’s no way to get through there without taking the lane, and taking it aggressively. Cars will squeeze by you by inches if you don’t. Not safe.

Those are but two suggestions for places the city could improve cycling safety with a little bit of paint. I’m sure there are plenty more.