Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Commuting Downtown to Evansdale

Recently, I got involved with the Campus Connector project which is a bike/walk path from Grant Ave and 8th up to the Green House/Watertown near Ag Sciences. It's a great idea, and seems to be moving forward, after nearly 10 years of planning. There were a lot of great reasons why, primary because there is no route that is both safe AND legal way to get from downtown to on top of the hill that is all the rest of WVU.
The primary routes one would take are Beechurst, University, Jones, 8th, 6th, Rail-trail/Arboretum, Stewart St.

  • Beechurst-is the only one of these roads that I am aware of WVU Cyclists being hit by a car. Makes no sense as it has a wide shoulder (with a bit of debris), but traffic speeds are around 50mph

  • Universtiy-This is most of the team's method, except we take the sidewalk. Yea sure it's illegal, but I'd rather be in jail than underground. Road is narrow, with a blind turn, bikes would go 8-10mph, while cars go 35.

  • Jones-very low traffic, pretty steep hill. Usually glass everywhere. Bottom 1/3 is 1way, the wrong way.

  • 8th- Probably the safest, legal way to get there. Long steep hill, minor traffic, very wide, very visible. It's not a direct route though, so takes much longer.

  • 6th - Less traffic than 8th, but has a killer short kicker just before getting to Grand Central (Positive Spin). Then you go through a parking lot with another hill.

  • RT/Arboretum-no car traffic until you cross US19. Much longer way around. Safe, and legal.

  • Stewart St-A lot of traffic, but slightly wider roads and more visibility. Could ride the sidewalk. there are options to go through some side streets and come out at top of Jones.

So this new path would be great, you go down Grant, and up this path which won't exceed 8.3% grade, comparable to University Ave.

I post this because today, the University sidewalk was covered in ice and so I tried to take the lane on University coming up. And I just took the Traffic Skills 101 course. Even with low traffic today, I feared for my life and turned into Grand Central. If I could redo, I'd have gone up 8th street today.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cross Training Shenanigans

A few weeks back, Zerbe had a brilliant idea and went into managerial mode. He recruited a group, primarily made up of WVU cyclists, to play in the Pro Performance coed soccer league. (That's association football for our European readers.) Unfortunately, Zerbe has spent more time in the hospital lately than on his bike, making him unable to participate. (get well soon, broski!) The soccer team, however, lives on in his honor.

Game 3 was tonight. With record low teammate turnout, we blew away the competition and secured our first win. In fact, our intimidating roster so thoroughly frightened the opposing team that the referee was forced to pull us aside before the match for a quick chat. With a weak wave toward the opposite, empty end of the pitch, the referee informed us the other team was not coming. Amid sighs of disappointment, Adam Schwarzweller made a few masculine grunts of victory, lightening the mood.

Through quick wits and fast talking, our group was able to recruit a few bystanders from a previous game to join us for a short 25 min scrimmage. It was great, informal fun, with rule changes made on the fly to accommodate everyones desires. 25 minutes later, we were all exhausted and happy some of the pre-paid facility time had not gone to waste.

2 games left. 2 victories on the horizon. Finals, then Christmas. Great way to end 2009.

More Shenanigans: