Thursday, January 30, 2014

A (wintery) mix of things

Recently, I decided to service my car and have the engine oil changed. I had a feeling I haven't done that in a long while. I found the receipt from the last oil change with the date and the odometer reading:
and compared that with the current one:

That was a bit of a shock: 5400mi in 2.5 years. That's how much I drove my car. I use it only if the weather is really bad (like a heavy downpour, etc.) and only to drive to/from work (~7mi one way). As you can tell, this doesn't happen too often, otherwise I wouldn't have driven only 2000 miles a year. Once a while, I keep questioning whether it even makes sense to keep it, but because it's a 12-year old car, fully paid and still runs well, I want to keep it for those emergency situations. I found out that it doesn't cost me that much annually (mostly extra insurance). It has new tires that I purchased a few years ago and is generally pretty well maintained.


There is a number of new constructions going on around my workplace in Burlington, MA. One of them is this:
3rd Ave, Burlington, MA (Source:

This place is still far from being done but it seems to raise quickly. Months ago, I wasn't sure what this place was going to be. At first, I thought it may be just another office building - like many others around, but then I thought about the mall. The developer will probably argue with calling it just a mall and likes to call it a "social place" but it really doesn't change its function as just another retail space. Whatever. What worries me though, is that those beautiful visualizations show that the whole place is clearly prepared for drivers, not just people. Huge parking lots, no bike paths, not even bike racks shown, not a single virtual cyclist in those renders, limited sidewalks. I guess this shouldn't surprise me - this area of Burlington is not people-friendly anyway. I am pretty sure that the developer of 3rd Ave didn't even consider changing the status quo and adding some bike-friendly facilities.


I wrote about this concept bike some time ago and now, apparently, the prototype bicycle is getting closer to some small-scale production. If you don't know what the Izzy Bike is, watch the video:

I am still not sure if that riding position is indeed superior in comfort to a regular city bike but as I didn't have a chance to ride the bike, I can only speculate.

"Berger's truths" are now online. You can read them here. Unfortunately, the comment system does not work for now so I can't leave a comment what I think about those "facts".


The days are finally getting longer. It's no longer pitch black when I leave my office at 5 p.m. although on the other hand by the time I get home it's completely dark. Just a few more weeks and I'll be done with riding in darkness will this winter season.


The last thing today - a true biking city - Groeningen. From the American standpoint, this kind of city center may look really odd as its very quiet, with slow moving traffic and few cars. But, ask yourself, wouldn't you like to live in a city like Groeningen?

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