Posts Tagged ‘commute

04
Jan
09

Purple Nova at the French School

    

Purple Nova at the French School, originally uploaded by neocles.

I noticed the purple Nova while biking to work one morning. The intense color caught my eye. I took a couple shots, and I noticed right away on the camera that the color was not as bright and not as purple in the image. This was true on the computer as well, and I sort of forgot about it for a while. I didn’t think it would amount to much.

A couple weeks later, I started fooling around with the post-processing work on it, and got something I rather liked. I eventually uploaded something to flickr, and it suddenly turned out to be one of the more interesting and popular things I’d produced in awhile. (Bear in mind that I measure these metrics in small fractions of what most flickr pop stars do, so my data set is pretty limited. Nonetheless it seems meaningful to me!) I guess the moral of the story is that you can never tell what is going to resonate with people. At least I can’t.

04
Jun
08

The Junked Edsel and the Biodiesel Carnival Bread Truck

Last Friday, May 30, while biking to work, I stopped to take some quick shots of this junked Edsel parked off Murray St. just west of 9th in Berkeley. I rode through the empty lot, which is essentially an old railroad right-of-way, and set my bike down against the curb. This was far enough back to not have it appear in the shots I was taking. Near the bike was a large white pickup truck parked at the curb.

I had taken just a few shots and had my back to my bike taking the shot above. That is when I heard a loud snapping and crunching sound. I turned around to see the big white pickup running over my bike!

The truck, from Berkeley Unified, pulled over, and the driver got out. He looked pretty surprised himself, saying, “Jesus, that scared the hell out of me.” He apologized and was generally nice about the whole thing, as was I. I was too stunned to be angry or to even take a picture of it, if you can believe that.

The driver said, “That’s the problem with these big diesels, you can’t see right down in front of you.” My bike was a ways out in front of him, so I am not quite sure how he missed seeing it. Maybe he did but misjudged the location as pulled away from the curb.

We exchanged numbers and he drove off, leaving me to assess the damage. Fortunately, he only got part of it, mostly the handle bars. Most of what’s up there was crushed to bits: bell, light, gear shift, brake handle The bars, gooseneck (do they still call them that) and the seat are pretty bent up too. Surprisingly, the rest of it was in good enough shape that I could slowly ride it to work and home again. A professional inspection will tell what shape the frame is in.

Hopefully, I will be able to get the issue settled and bike repaired so I can get back to saving fuel, money, and greenhouse gases. And shooting more commute shots from the safety of the sidewalk.

13
May
08

Love Seat Commute Diversion



Love Seat Diversion, originally uploaded by neocles.

Thursday is bike to work day, and that seems to be setting the tone for the week. My friend David wonders why anyone would live the automotive life after witnessing Seattle’s hellish cross-town traffic from the speediness, if not safety, of the bike lane.

I have been back in the saddle biking to work for a couple weeks now. I can definitively say the exercise has improved my disposition tremendously. But that’s not all. The opportunities for amusement are boundless, especially if you live in a place like Berkeley. This morning I found this enticing rest stop at one of Berkeley’s famously infuriating traffic diverters. Everybody I know hates these things designed to keep you on the slow crawl main arteries. But I love, I mean LOVE, riding through them on my bike.

I came across this a few minutes after coming across a medium-bad car accident just a couple blocks from my house, where a couple of Honda’s fought over the right-of-way through an intersection. (Sorry, no pics of that.) That’ll wreck your commute.

Of course, KQED’s morning news and traffic reports have been making much of how light the commute is becoming and attributing it to gas prices. I can certainly confirm the relative emptiness of the roads. It’s even making biking to work easier.