Posts tagged ‘TDOT’
Finally … nothing Italian. 😉
#330daysofbiking has continued – missing the gelato stops and getting lost within small villages, but with beautiful Tennessee autumn weather, cooler temperatures, boys home for Fall Break(s), cruising the Riverwalk in Chattanooga, and on the road with the “fast” boys. Riding for fun, and riding to get the job done (errands, groceries, library, bike shop).
And some important news from coming via our friend Jeff … If you live and ride in TN, or plan to visit and ride, please take a moment to participate in a quick 9-question survey from the folks at TDOT on the state’s bicycle and pedestrian program. TDOT wants to hear from you! (And by October 30th please … my apologies for getting this posted so late.)
Although a couple of days were lost in transit (Italy), #330daysofbiking count is still on target. As of today, have ridden 189 of the past 208 days,with 159 days remaining. And so it goes.
(Coming soon … tales of a new city bike, “Elisabetta”. 🙂 Photos and details to come; stay tuned.)
A few of the random pictures from the recent days of #330daysofbiking. (And I am on a mission to try and stay on top of things from here on, not letting this stuff pile up into one big post. Apologies.)
The weather has been pretty spectacular; dry and not so hot. Lovely and cool in the mornings and evening. Fall is around the corner, and the prospect of autumn riding stirs my heart.
The official count: As of today, have ridden 147 of the past 160 days. Sometimes nice long road rides, sometimes just a grocery haul or errand run. On my own, or with “my boys” or friends, it is the daily elixir – it is happiness in motion.
Note: Returning Dillon to school, had some time to check out more amazing architecture on the Berry campus. This is part of the Winshape Retreat located within the Berry property. Story behind it: college founder Martha Berry traveled to France and upon return, decided to build a dairy farm resembling the architecture of Normandy. It was part of the college’s Ag pgm for over 75 years. Eventually, the Cathy family (Chick-fil-A chain) was given the opportunity take it over when the dairy operation changed location, and they converted it into a retreat for church & marriage encounters, a youth summer camp, as well as corporate gatherings, etc. They also offer a variety of scholarship opportunities and special residence halls for Berry students up in this area, known as Berry’s “Mountain Campus” … several miles removed from the main academic center. The students living at the Mountain Campus have the option of taking a shuttle bus (humorously referred to as the “chicken wagon”) to classes, or cycling/walking on the Viking Trail – which is a great paved path between the two locations. It was a beautiful ride (below).
Day of rain. Strong storms rolling through the region – everything from rain to hail to high winds, and even some tornados (although fortunately not here).
We had a few light showers in the morning, but during a break in the action, Mark and I went out for a ride – hoping to get out and back before things got too nasty. We couldn’t have timed it more perfectly. The clouds were rolling, and the wind was picking up, but we managed to have a dry ride – a few drops of rain only at the very end, near home. I think I was making Mark pretty nervous – my typical stopping to take photos, while he kept eyeing the threatening skies.
My latest “beef” happens to be about some recent roadwork done by the folks at TDOT. About a week ago, some large and very noisy machinery showed up on our road. They ended up carving rumble strips/troughs/markings along the edges of our road – a narrow two-lane road that has barely any shoulder to begin with. I’m not sure why and when this decision was made – although being down in a valley, we tend to see a fair amount of early morning fog, and visibility on the road can be pretty bad at times.
Maybe it has made things safer for automobiles, but it has made my riding life a bit more of a brain-rattling headache. Now it is nearly impossible to move over onto (or even slightly beyond) the white line, without shaking the teeth out of my head and causing some control issues with my bike. It’s incredibly jolting – much more so than I ever would have expected. So now I’m pretty much forced to take the lane to avoid the rumble strip – which extends into the lane fairly significantly in several sections. I’m sure TDOT wasn’t ever considering cyclists in making the decision; a definite sign of priorities (and our not-so bicycle/pedestrian-friendly local culture).
Right now as I sit here, the wind is blowing pretty viciously, and I hear the rumbling of thunder in the distance. A sure sign that I should probably sign off and turn off my computer before the power goes out. Looking for some sun tomorrow. Fingers crossed!
An addendum to the rumble-strip mention … twitter friend @brennen forwarded this article to me, about the increasing numbers of rumble strips being installed on roads around the country (thanks to stimulus dollars), and the significant hazards they are posing to cyclists. It appears LAB along with several other advocacy groups are attempting to have changes made to (shoulder allowances, pass-throughs, etc.) to make it safer for cyclists. Very good article: http://www.bikingbis.com/blog/_archives/2010/4/28/4514086.html