Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bike Commuters: Bethesda's Only Hope

WTOP has an article out today detailing how Betheseda, Maryland is about to get royally BRAC'd. Basically, by way of Base Realignment and Closure the Walter Reed Army Medical Center is going to be absorbed into the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. This is unfortunate as the NNMC is right across the street from the NIH which as we all know employs roughly 115% of DC area residents.

"Today, you have about 500,000 visits to the Bethesda campus," says Phil Alperson, the BRAC point man in Montgomery County. "After BRAC is fully implemented, you'll have about a million visits per year."
"You currently have 3,000 people crossing the street from the Metro station to the Navy (Medical Center). By September, that number will double to 7,000."
To put that increase more clearly...

Let me get this straight, the amount of visits to the BRACosphere will double and every one of these people is going to want to cross the street? This is a total BRACtastrophe!

Montgomery County Council member Roger Berliner was quoted in the article.

"You take gridlock and you multiply it by two and you have OMG!"

I've obtained some raw video of the interview which can be seen here.

It seems that the only hope for achieving Bractopia is bike commuting.
"There also will be a campaign to get people out of their cars and onto bikes -- a popular concept across the street at National Institute of Health.

Joe Cox, employee transportation coordinator at NIH, counts more than 600 members in the bike commuter club there.

Even when the weather is bad, we have some die-hard commuters. Their motto is they're 'non-polluter commuters.'"
I'm curious to see how this will effect my commute into Bethesda. A large number of commuters I talk to work at NIH which has fostered a healthy bike commuting environment. For my sake and all those who frequent BRACthesda I hope the Capital Crescent Trail is "bumper to bumper" come September.

Monday, May 9, 2011

How Many Danzigs Is That?

I just stumbled upon this DANZIG calculator over at TCMTG. I have spent the morning trying to figure out exactly how many Danzigs I cover a week on my bike.

That's a lotta Danzigs.

After that I measured how many Danzigs it would take to fill up my water bottle.
... nice

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Craptastic Commute

I feel exceedingly fortunate while I'm bike commuting. I feel this way when I see traffic backing up or people slumped behind the wheel fighting to gain a few more feet. Rain or shine my mind is racing; one side of my brain is having fun riding the bike while the other side wanders happily from one thought to the next.

This is what happens during the ride.

Before the ride things are different. I am busy getting ready; the usual three S's, make lunch, let daughter help make lunch, find my bike clothes, play with daughter, get daughter and wife out the door, find the rest of my bike clothes... etc.  It's in this frantic pace that I sometimes forget how fortunate I am, especially on a crappy day like today. I have already acclimated to the warmer days and this 40 degree rainy shitfest isn't very inspiring.  I bitch and moan to myself and sheepishly ask my wife for a ride into the office, she calls me a pussy... point taken.

After they leave, I bitch and moan some more... I'm gonna get soaked and cold and when I get to the office I'll be soaked even more so. I'll have to set up the shanty town, ring out my socks in the parking garage and hope everything dries for the ride home... there's nothing worse than putting cold wet bike clothes back on, etc.

I finally get ready and force myself to push off from the front porch. One side of my brain immediately started having fun while the other thought about pollen, then bees, then if Hesher is going to be any good and if Osama was wearing shoes when they got him and when will chanterelles come back and so on and it seemed my craptastic commute ended the moment I started pedaling.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Morel Mushrooms 2011

I've been taking a little break from blogging for a few weeks to rest my brain among other things. I am back with a spring post about one of the many things I geek on. Morel mushroom season is coming to an end here in the mid-atlantic and I give this season a big thumbs up.

It's quite ugly but very tasty... #TWSS

Normally I find a handful of morels about the size of my pinky but this year while on a lunchtime walk from my office I lucked into a hillside of huge grey and yellow morels and a few small blacks. They were so big I had to return to the office with a shirt full and spent the rest of the day with morel spore prints all over my banjo brothers t-shirt.  **highly professional**  

The geek part is that I'm attending tonight's MAW Spring Wild Food Tasting. Last year it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot about what it edible in our area, also my chicken of the woods curry went over pretty well so I thought I'd check it out again this year.