What this blog is about

Bicycle commuting, bicycle touring, bicycle racing; bicycle ADVENTURING.
To the grocery store, up a mountain, across the country or to the finish line--
it's all an adventure.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Riding with a Buddy

This one just about sums up a huge part of our trip:
me taking photos, and Mia being in them.

While there are many ways to experience a tour-- solo, with a friend, two friends, lots of friends, a stranger, people you meet, a guided group-- for me, I am happy that I travelled with a buddy, and of all people, a best friend. 

Because I get to say to someone:

"Hey, remember that time we got spooked by the fog and moved across the street to camp in front of the church?"
"Hey, remember that time we spent like the WHOLE DAY at the breakfast buffet?"
"Hey, remember that bird that landed on your BIKE? And that baby turkey that POOPED on you?"
"Hey, remember that uphill headwind going into Yellowstone when 8mph was all we could muster and we ran out of water? Then we split two candy bars and a soda and had dinner with that really sweet family at the campground and slept in the cab of their truck because we thought we were going to be eaten by a bear like the guy the other week and the kids gave us each a little flower bouquet and a sharp stick.. and THEN we actually used our sharp sticks in Rawlins to open our buffalo salami when we were trying to buy a cheap dinner at a farmers' market but actually kinda spent a lot and I got cinnamon bun you were jealous of so I went and bought you a cookie that was like TWO dollars because I felt bad?"

Those stories don't necessarily warrant a story told to another person-- but I can still get a nod of acknowledgement or a smile from my riding buddy,

"Yeah, that was HILARious."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Why Bicycle Crashes Happen-- Part TWO

This is a follow up to my original post, "Why Bicycle Crashes Happen". 

Out of all bicycle crashes, only 17% actually involve a motor vehicle. This video breaks down that 17% into the various causes AND shows that each cause (even when "the motorist's fault") is quite avoidable! My use of "avoidable" is to say that there is something you can do to help prevent it from happening. It is NOT to say that it is 100% avoidable. Now, without further ado..

Why Bicycle Crashes Happen (and how to avoid them) Part TWO from Rebecca Jensen on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Why (bicycle) Crashes Happen!

A week ago, I took a class from the League of American Bicyclists in order to become a certified League Cycling Instructor and teach classes such as Traffic Safety, Bicycle Commuting, etc. As students, we took turns giving presentations on the material. One of the topics I was assigned was statistics. While the feedback I got was, "you did a great job of making something boring really interesting!" I was thinking, "..but I think statistics ARE really interesting.."

AND enlightening!

By studying statistics, we can discover the most common causes of bicycle crashes and learn how to AVOID them!

Here is a video I made that breaks down the basic statistics of why bicycle crashes happen. There will be more videos in the future that go more in depth. This is Part One of a series.

The complete list of why bike/car collisions happen (and how to avoid them) is posted over on my blog for Trek!

Friday, October 23, 2009

HERE IT IS!! What We Saw: TransAmerica Bicycle Tour 2009

What We Saw: TransAmerica Bicycle Tour 2009 from Rebecca Jensen on Vimeo.

This summer, my bud Mia and I rode BICYCLES across the WHOLE FREAKIN' U.S. Follow the "TransAmerica Tour" link in the Contents bar to the right to see more photos, read more stories and start planning your own tour.

You're entitled to adventure. So GO GET IT! Stop telling me that you're too old, too fat or too tied-down. We all know that these obstacles have been circumnavigated time and time again.

And please, if this inspired you-- share with others! Whatever your or their adventure may be.

Yes, the show is 20 minutes long-- but it is fast-paced and musical! Stop reading and WATCH!!

By request, the playlist:

  1. Funiculi Funicula, Andrea Bocelli
  2. On the Road Again, Canned Heat
  3. Just a Girl, No Doubt
  4. One Red Thread, Blind Pilot
  5. Boy With a Coin, Iron & Wine
  6. You Can't Always Get What You Want, The Rolling Stones
  7. Shut Your Eyes, Snow Patrol

Faces of Cyclocross

It seems that there are a few categories of facial postures in cyclocross. See if you can match the following categories to the faces above!

  1. WORRIED, fear for life.
  2. FIERCE, I will destroy you!
  3. DELICIOUS, my lips taste nice an' salty!
  4. CONSTIPATION, eeehhhhhh.
  5. ARE YOU FOR SERIOUS?! That run-up is ridiculous.
  6. TOTAL SURPRISE. (!!!!)
  7. Any others?
  8. What's YOURS?!

Race Across the Sky-- w/ Movie Review UPDATE

Are you racing across the sky tonight? I AM!

Race Across the Sky is showing in theaters for ONE night only, TONIGHT! Go to their website to see which theaters are showing the film. Sure, you could watch it on DVD-- but there are some incredible air shots that are worth seeing on the BIG screen.

I am just DYIN' to ride mountain-- and I'm scheming up some ways to finally do it. ;)

10/23 UPDATE, Movie Review:

The film lived well up to my expectations, sharing not only the stories of Dave Wiens and Lance Armstrong-- but also the collective story, the experience of all those in the race. The Leadville 100 is unique in that it attracts an elite field at the front end of the race, but anybody who thinks they can make the time cut may enter. It is an Everyman's Race. Additionally, the route is an out-and-back-- so even if you're blazing off the front, you see EVERYONE on the way back.. cheering you on. It will be exciting to watch the Leadville 100 become a universal dream such as the Boston Marathon, the Ironman and other pinnacle events. I highly recommend you see and share this film!

Bicycle "Bubble Exhaust" Greens the Neighborhood

Yes, you're seeing right. That is "bubble exhaust" trailing behind a bicycle. And it gets better! The soap is vegetable based and holds teeny tiny seeds. When bubbles land on cracks in the pavement, flowers grow!


I've been wanting to make something like this! 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Urban Cycling Techniques

A few weeks ago, I took a 2-day class-- Urban Cycling Techniques-- from the local Cascade Bicycle Club in order to learn how to teach it. And of course, I even learned a few things! In fact, I'm glad I took the class if only to learn those things. 

I'm a pretty confident cyclist already. I've raced, toured across the country and moved out of an apartment by bicycle trailer. That's a strong resume. However-- I've done most of my cycling in WALLA WALLA. Walla Walla is about 5 miles wide and major 4-lane arterials are easily avoided. While I do have 'advanced cycling skills' for riding in traffic-- I know when to take a lane, change lanes and what dangers to look for at intersections-- I haven't spent a lot of time cycling in a truly urban setting.

And I KNEW that we would be riding in an urban setting for this class.

But I didn't think that we would deal with--

merging and diverging freeway ramps.

SWEET! I was strangely excited. That's possibly one of the most complicated or intimidating situations you could find-- and now we were going to conquer it. And we totally did. And it was totally easy and intuitive. 

Additionally, I was glad to have some 'official' input on my unresolved questions about riding in traffic. IS it okay to enter the roadway using the crosswalk? What is the law regarding lights and reflectors? Do I have the right to take the lane in every state? If the bike lane is unsafe, do I have the right to NOT use it?

And finally, I'm glad I took this class for my initial intent-- to learn how to teach it, both in class and in a casual setting. Now I know how to ride safely and also how to EXPLAIN how to ride safely.

Moral of this story?

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced cyclist-- take an Urban Cycling class!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ode to Landscape

For Walla Walla

I ride to
spend time with landscape.
Get to know it,
have conversations with it,
and songs 
and dancing with it.

Tears crawl out
laughter rings out
blood comes out.

but never more glad

than to be with
my landscape.

My lovely landscape.
I unconditionally love you.

The shape of your hills
and the breeze in your wheat

You've slapped me around.
Spilled me to the ground,

more than once.

I've been pissed on,
hailed on,
burned on,
by your moods.

And yet I delight in it

can't get enough of it

want to see more of it.

What is up this road up here?
Where does this lead?
Will you share it with me?

Can we spend all day together?
Maybe even spend the night together?

Can I come see you again tomorrow?
And then all weekend too?

Shall we sprint today?
Take it easy today?

What do you want to do today, Landscape?
I don't really mind
as long as I can spend it with you--


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