Errands by Bike

April 28, 2013

I am so used to do a long run every Saturday morning that it felt weird not to have one in the plans. I decided that I would supplement a long bike ride for a long run instead. I thought about just going out for a long ride but decided I would kill two birds with one stone and do some errands as well.

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I had all afternoon, so I even stopped to take pictures of the snow melting. It was a great feeling not to be rushed.  DSC_0006

The roads and sidewalks are nearly clear of any snow, but the paved trails around town still have quite a bit of snow on them. I had to stop and walk my bike through this section. DSC_0007

I was about one mile from home and almost to my first destination when I realized I didn’t have my bike lock. There was no way I was not going to lock my road bike up, so I had to go back home to get my lock. I’m glad I wasn’t pressed for time. DSC_0008

I had gotten my lock and was back on my way when the second mishap happened. I had to stop and get off my bike in order to get over the curb. My left foot was planted on the ground, and as I was swinging my right leg over my bike, I felt my foot get caught on the bike when I knew I was going to fall. I felt the left side of my body hit the pavement, scraping my elbow, hand, hip, knee, shin, and ankle. In all honestly, it really wasn’t that bad of a fall. My hand didn’t bleed that much and the pain subsided pretty quickly. But even though it wasn’t that bad of a fall, I’m surprised how sore my hip and shin are today. DSC_0010

I continued on to do my errands: Fred Meyer, Target, and the mall. It took me about 3+ hours to go to all these places. I was not able to bike very quickly between my destinations because I often had to bike on the sidewalk because of the busy roads. And biking on the sidewalks is always difficult with going up and down the curbs. Plus there were sections of ice, water, and mud on the sidewalks, so I took it slow through those sections. Anchorage is not the best city for biking. There are a lot of trails, but if you have to ride in the road, be prepared for some dirty looks and honks from some. DSC_0013

Even with the couple mishaps, it was fun to get out and be green by running errands on my bike. I am hoping I can do this more now that spring seems to be on its way. (I have a hard time calling it spring when there is still snow on the ground.) I know biking takes longer, but I think it is worth it.

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Questions

How bike-friendly is the town/city you live in/near?

What was the worst bicycle accident you had?

18 Comments
    1. i am SUCH a sissy on a bike and my town is not bike friendly at all. i’m terrified of crashing on a bike so i never ride them unless it’s a super flat, secluded, paved or well packed trail. Then again, my boyfriend had a horrible crash on exactly that type of “harmless” trail last year. I’ll stick to running 😉

      1. I was super paranoid while biking on Saturday too. I was convinced a car was going to hit me or I was going to wipe out from the gravel. Plus, I go a lot faster on my road bike, which makes it that much more scary!

    1. We bike on the trails with the kids and a little bit on the road (but only go on the road to get to the ice cream shop)!

    1. Hi! I am very jealous of anyone who lives in a bike-friendly town. I used to live in Boulder until about 8 months ago. It was easier to get around Boulder by bike than car, so that was what I did all the time. Then I moved to NJ and it is terrible here. Bikes lanes are rare and roads with lots of pot holes and no shoulders are everywhere. So I drive a lot more than I ever used to 🙁

    1. Mine has no bike paths and very few lanes. People are often careless and we get about one major (or fatal) bike accident a month. Unfortunately, that is not an exaggeration. One part of town has an especially bad problem with homeless druggies and they make up about half of the accidents as they wander into traffic at night with no lights and dark clothing. Scary as hell to drive in too. When I bike, I take all the back roads. It is slower, but feels a little safer to me.

      1. Oh wow. That is no good. I’ve seen those homeless people wander out into traffic and wonder how they survive.

    1. It’s pretty bike friendly here in the Sacramento area. We are fortunate to have a beautiful 53 mile trail system that runs along the American River. Lots of bikers use if for their daily commutes. I’ve had a couple of falls, although neither were very serious, I did break a finger on one and scratched up my leg and knee pretty bad on another. My wife took a header over her handlebars one time and landed smack on her head. Luckily she was wearing a helmet and wasn’t hurt too badly. The helmet had to be replaced but that was a small consolation. I noticed you had a helmet on in your pictures which is smart thing.

      1. I don’t even think about not wearing a helmet anymore. It wasn’t cool as a kid, but I couldn’t imagine going without one now. My father-in-law and good friend are from Sacramento.

    1. i haven’t biked in my town even though it’s a big biking town. people treat bikers poorly, and in turn bikers don’t obey the laws. i wish i could but the part of town i live in just doesn’t have bike lanes to get where i need to go…so my bike is still in my parents’ garage! it would be fun to use it sometime though!

      1. That’s unfortunate that both parties don’t do their part in being respectful to one another. I am not always good about obeying stop signs (in low traffic areas) and sometimes I will cut across lanes of traffic at inappropriate times. I need to be better.

    1. Ha! You probably know my answer. I miss Portland, it’s super bike friendly. I also haven’t biked a lot here, but it’s not pedestrian friendly either. Drivers here are awful!

    1. My husband and I have gotten into road biking in the past year – transitioning out of mountain/trail riding. We just moved from Baltimore to the High (HIGH) desert of Southern California. My favorite place to bike when we lived in the NE was DC – it is SUCH a bike friendly and scenic town. Where we live now is wide-open desert, so we (usually) have the back, desert roads to ourself. I’d love to bike for errands, but the Post Office is just about the only place in town to bike to. Ha. Planning rides around here is trickier because there are no stops once you get out into the open – you have to be fully prepared for the ride and the weather (we’re already in the high 90’s). Drastic change from Maryland/DC! And I’ve fallen a time or two – once mountain biking and 2 other times because I forgot to unclip both feet. Woops.

      I’m curious about how you transported things you bought home? Did you use a backpack or saddle bags?

      1. I had a backpack. Obviously I couldn’t get a lot at the grocery store–just some essentials for dinner.

    1. I love your bike. I want a road bike so bad! I sold my bike when I moved to NYC but seeing all the cyclists in CP just made me want one again. I’ve never had a true road bike and don’t think I’ll be able to afford one for a while, tough Chicago (were I move in 3 weeks (!!!!) would be a great place to learn road bikes, especially along the lake. But in college I biked all the time.

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