I have been commuting by bike and train for the past 3-4 years, couldn't be 
happier, and have even inspired a couple of my students to do the same.  No 
fighting the increasing Bay Area traffic anymore.  It is a pretty solo 
venture as I've actually noticed a bit of a decline of cyclists on the 
train (much to my surprise and dismay).  The first and last part of my 
commute is on a dirt path that runs along the Alameda water channel in the 
east bay.  I start the day riding as the sun rises on the lakes and 
channel.  There is always a wide array of wild birds looking for 
breakfast.  Even saw a bald eagle perched in a tree one day.  I stopped to 
watch it and then it swooped down across one of the lakes and snagged a 
fish out of the water.  Amazing way to start the day.  The ride home is 
almost pitch black with few lights beyond my bike light.  Initially 
stressed me out but now I find the dark, quiet ride a delightful way to 
wind down after a long workday.  My wife has even taken to walking our dogs 
to meet me at the edge of the park where I come out of the woods.  Great 
way to end the workday and start the evening at home.

My truck is a 2003 and, after two <2500 mile years, I expect/hope to get at 
least 20 years out of it.  Since it sits in the driveway most days, I've 
received 4 different notes under my wiper blade asking if I want to sell 
it.  I'm usually amused except for the one who wrote, "I don't care if it 
doesn't run."  I thought I should be a tad offended that a complete 
stranger would assume that I'd let my truck sit dead in our driveway.  I 
guess they noticed the elaborate spider webs that had accumulated on both 
side mirrors!

As for the bike lane, I tend to subscribe to one of Grant's suggestions on 
page 38-40 of Just Ride.  He called it the Safety Swerve.  The idea is to 
appear slightly unsteady when a car is approaching so they give you a 
little more room.  Although I don't feel the need to use it much, when I 
do, it seems to work very well.

John

On Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 9:38:33 PM UTC-8, J Imler wrote:
>
> I do my best to ride my bike vs drive, mostly because riding is a lot of 
> fun along with personal and enviro benefits. In the last six months I've 
> put 2,000 miles on my car. I'm shooting for a sub 5k year. We'll see. 
> The thing that strikes me more and more is how few people ride in my town 
> and how enclosed everyone appears in their cars. I feel like I'm sticking 
> out like a sore thumb. There's a quote I like, the one that says be the 
> change you wish to see in the world. I feel I'm living that out when I 
> decide to ride vs drive.
> Today there was some enjoyment and connection between myself and the 
> drivers though. Several waved and smiled, like they wanted to be riding 
> too. That made me feel good. 
> I'm sure every place has a different cycling culture but can anyone relate 
> to what I'm talking about?
>

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