Dreaming of sleep!

Flying Across the Sky

Flying Across the Sky

Flying has always been a leap of faith for me. Regardless of how far or how long, it always crosses my mind how much has to go right to achieve lift. However after that moment of hesitation, I remember why I enjoy flying. In one way or another we are always chasing the sun. Gliding across the night sky unattached to the realities of being on land. Untethered to reality. It is a chance to ask the big questions, think of a new reality. Figure out a way to put it in a new way.

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I guess after landing in London, I head to Norwich. I really enjoyed having my bike in Norwich during my study abroad experience in 2005. It made the whole city much easier to navigate. I’m going to have to see if I can borrow another bike. In a lot of ways Norwich is like Eugene. The inner core is only a few miles across and there are about 200,000 people. There are distinct neighborhoods and the University is an important part of the fabric and feeling of the city. However, it has a very dense downtown and it has a ring roads which is different from Eugene.

I am looking forward to going to the Fat Cat which was our local pub.

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Leg 1

So I’m sitting in the Rogue Brewery place at the Portland Airport. Somehow I tend to end up here. Last time, I flew out later so I had a beer. This time I had breakfast.

Rogue

Rogue

So just to re-cap:

Flight Info:

Wednesday June 15 —

Leaving: Portland 6:35 AM; Arriving: New York City-Kennedy 2:55 PM

Leaving: New York City: Kennedy 6:40 PM; Arriving: London-Heathrow 7:05 AM, June 16th

I’ll be available for e-mail and I’ll be blogging.

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Cardboard Bike Helmet Better than Plastic?

I saw this article on Gizmodo and took the link from Wired. I don’t really think about my helmet too much. I probably use it 90% of the time. I don’t personally dislike wearing my helmet, but it is a necessary evil. Both peer pressure and the idea that I might trip over or walk into something keeps it so I wear my helmet. I am excited to ride in the streets of Amsterdam with no helmet.

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Cardboard Bike Helmet Better than Plastic?

Kranium is a bike helmet that is made from the same cardboard used for the boxes you find at the supermarket. This material, along with some clever construction, turns out to be a lot better at absorbing impact than the more usual polystyrene-filled lids.

Anirudha Surabhi’s design absorbs four times more impact energy that the polystyrene equivalent…

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Musings: The real cost of transporation?

So I read to Andrew Sullivan’s column on the Daily Beast and one of the many subjects that came up was how much commuting sucked away your soul.Which in reality it does suck to sit in traffic. Based on that subject it spawned another topic of how much time the average American wastes in traffic. It is about 1.5 to 2.25 hours, in your car, siting, waiting and idling along.

Of course that then spawned another topic of how much it costs to work to afford a bicycle. I know kind of non sequitur, but it takes about 15 hours of work to purchase a $350 bike. So I guess about 15 days of sitting in traffic…which isn’t too bad.

But then the subject goes into the classic debate about why American’s don’t ride their bikes more. Here: http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/05/the-cost-of-your-commute-ctd.html Here: http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/06/the-cost.html and here: http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/06/the-cost-of-your-commute-ctd.html and here: http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/06/the-cos.html and finally here: http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/06/the-cost-of-your-commute-ctd-1.html

The typical excuses of it is too hot, hilly or I have kids or too much to lug around came up. Of course the opposite was stated, I made the change, I made the choice and excreta, excreta, excreta.

I’m not quite sure how I stand on the issue. I like the idea of giving people options to travel in different modes and I like the idea that once people get all of the information they can make an informed choice. Regardless though, it was nice reading both sides of the story as it unfolded on Andrew Sullivan’s website. Also the picture in the last link was pretty cool. The family made the choice to move from the burbs which meant an increase in housing cost, but a decrease in transportation + a whole lot less time in traffic!

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Assignment: Observation

For the first assignment, we were asked to look at an intersection and observe the interactions within that space. The goal was to watch for 1-2 hours and record the numbers of bicyclists traveling though or turning at the intersection. Due to the fact that is was also bicycle count season, I went to the City of Eugene and volunteered to participate in their annual bicycle count. The public works department was located in the Wells Fargo building and I met with Lee Shoemaker to see what intersection needed counting. The result was: East 12 Avenue and High Street

Birds Eye View of 12th and High

He quickly introduced me to the form I would be using and went over a brief rundown of what I would be doing. So off I went to the intersection of East 12 Avenue and High Street. The intersection is comprised of a local street that is marked as a bicycle route, which is 12th Avenue and a one-way collector street that has two lanes of traffic and one bicycle lane traveling north.
The fabric of this community lends itself to walking and bicycling with the University of Oregon and downtown Eugene in close proximity. Surrounding the intersection are restaurants (including High St. McMenamins, 16 Tons Bottle Shop, The Bier Stein and Full City Roasters), small shops, multifamily and single family housing, office and professional space, and White Bird Clinic. The residential single family and apartment buildings and commercial office buildings look well kept and are generally two stories in height. The massing of the buildings give a sense of enclosure yet are still low density and open. There are also street trees along both 12th Avenue and High Street.
I began my bicycle/pedestrian count at 4:00 PM and ended at 6:00 PM. Using 30 minute intervals, I watched as cars, bicycles and pedestrians moved through this space. Using the balcony of the Cawood Building (located in the southwest corner), I had a elevated vantage point for observation.
The interaction between bicycles, pedestrians, and vehicles was very orderly and regular. No one user dominated the environment, as each user was moving within their space. Cars had travel lanes, bicycles had bicycle lanes and the bicycle route along 12th, and pedestrians moved along sidewalks.
Bicycle Counts – 5/26 between 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Bikes Pedestrians
4:00 – 4:30 27 26
4:30 – 5:00 43 31
5:00 – 5:30 39 35
5:30 – 6:00 39 43
Total 148 135

Overall, there were more bikes traveling than pedestrians. I hypothesize that 12th being a bicycle route was the main reason that bicycle outnumbered pedestrians. I was also surprised that High Street did not receive more bicycle traffic. For bicyclists it was 2 to 1 when comparing 12th Street going west and High Street going north. One reason could be that 12th Street is a bicycle route whereas High Street is a bicycle lane that is adjacent to 2 lanes of vehicles.

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Flight Details!

So I made the jump and bought tickets.

My schedule involves me flying to London Heathrow to spend some time in the UK before I go to Amsterdam.

Flight Info:

Wednesday June 15 —

Leaving: Portland 6:35 AM; Arriving: New York City-Kennedy 2:55 PM

Leaving: New York City: Kennedy 6:40 PM; Arriving: London-Heathrow 7:05 AM

Sunday July 03 —

Leaving: Amsterdam 11:00 AM; Arriving: New York City-Kennedy 1:15 PM
Leaving: New York City-Kennedy 3:45 PM; Arriving: Portland 7:10 PM

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First Post

So this is my blog for my bicycling class in Amsterdam. I highly doubt that many people will read this blog and I’m perfectly fine about it. I guess it is more of a place to store pictures and journal items for myself to reflect about the class. Enjoy!

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