Monday, September 30, 2013

How I Beat Asthma by Bicycling

Okay, first of all, you dont beat Asthma.  You control asthma.  Asthma sucks.  Anyone who has it can tell you how it feels like having an elephant sit on your chest.

I was diagnosed with asthma as a kid.  I was allergic to cats. Fine with me; I didnt really like cats.  Had these knock out pills I took any time I had an asthma attack.

Life went on.  I grew old.  And then maybe 12 years ago, my asthma went terrible.  Went from never using my inhaler to using it multiple times a day.  The doctor I went to see said that technically I was dead - that's how bad my lungs were.

The doctor had me take an allergy test; I failed the test.  I was allergic to everything (well, at least I reacted to everything).  Doctor said I was a disaster.  He gave me a big bag of powerful medicine and put me on monthly allergy shots.

Life went on. And I didnt get better.  I am one of those guys who always ask questions.  Whenever an allergy / asthma doctor was on the radio, I would listen.  I read a lot.  I listened a lot.  And I paid attention to myself.

And I didnt get better.  And I asked my doctor, I said, "you know, you have been treating me for a long time, and I havent gotten better.  What is the deal?"  He said I should come in for more testing. 


I was getting sick of testing.  I was getting sick of testing, and allergy shots that didnt do anything, and bags full of medicine, and a doctor who didnt seem to be making me better.

And finally I had enough.  I stopped all of medications; I stopped the allergy shots; and I did three big things:

Triggers:  I paid attention to my triggers.  And though I did not want to admit it, my trigger was a hockey locker room.  I cant tell you what it was.  Mold.  Bacteria in bags that were never emptied.  Just general stench.  But hockey rinks made triggered me.  I stopped going in hockey rinks; I stopped having allergic reactions.

Salt: I was sitting at a party.  And it turned out the guy I was sitting next to was a doctor.  I am not the type to hit people for free advice, but he was offering it.  He asked, "is there a time you ever feel good."  I said yeah, at the beach.  He hit me upside the head.  "Salt water through your sinuses.  Get your sinuses clean and you will feel better."  I started using a neti pot.  Yeah, its weird.  But it is great to have clean sinuses.  It has been huge help. I feel like I can breath.

Cycling: I had not yet controlled my asthma but at this point I was doing a good job.  I was looking for something else to get me all the way home.  I listened on the radio to someone talking about using yoga to help control asthma.  The person said yoga is effective because of the breathing, which increases your lung capacity.

Sounded like aerobic exercise to me.  Having ended my career as an ultimate frisbee player, I decided that I would cycle - every day.  Good hard aerobic exercise.  Forcing air in.  Forcing air out of my lungs - as well as any mucus that might come up.  Make the lungs healthy.

These three things have made the world of difference.  Gone is the bag of drugs.  Gone is the steroid treatments.  Gone is the allergy shots.  Gone is the constant visits to a doctor's office who could not make me well.  I feel better than I have felt in, well, about 12 years.

If you have asthma, it is on you to take responsibility, and work this out with your doctor.  Asthma is a serious medical condition. 

Dont be satisfied with being ill - ask questions and listen to smart people.  If your doctor isnt making you well, consider getting a different doctor. Change your lifestyle.  Keep a journal and see if you can figure out your triggers.  Most importantly: Live healthy - really healthy (get enough sleep, eat good foods, take your vitamins, get away from pollution).  Experiment with a neti-pot. Finally, consider exercise; make your lungs healthy by using them.  

Friday, September 27, 2013

Spoke'n Word :: Diamond Derby Saturday! :: Bike Theft :: Bike Parking at Tysons Metro ::

  • Crystal City Diamond Derby is this weekend.
  • Arlington Fun Ride is next weekend.
  • Bikeswell The Movie is Oct. 10th at Arl Cinema and Draft
  • From the Arlington crime report: ATTEMPTED GRAND LARCENY (Bicycle), 09/15/13, 3600 block of S. Glebe Road.  A subject was seen at an apartment complex bike cage and was found in possession of burglarious tools. John Sears, 31 of Washington, DC, was arrested and charged with fail to identify, burglarious tools and possession of drug paraphernalia and held without bond.
  • Bike parking at Tysons Metrorail stations, FABB

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Concrete Falling from 66 Brdge over Lee Hwy @vadot @ArlingtonDES @ARLnowDOTcom #bikedc #bikearl

UPDATE:  VaDOT tweeted "Crews are cleaning up the debris and our Bridge Team is on its way to the site."   

Tip of the Hat to VaDOT and ArlingtonDES who are always VERY responsive.

Concrete appears to be falling off of the Hwy 66 bridge over Lee Highway in Lyon Village, Arlington.  

This is from the sidewalk on the north side of Lee Hwy, underneath the bridge.  Concrete is on the sidewalk, the bikepath, and the road.  Some of the chunks on the sidewalk are about the size of baseballs - if a cyclist hit these coming down the sidewalk they would likely flip.  There are other chunks up on the embankment that are as big as footballs.  

This is a dangerous situation.  I swept as much of the concrete as I could off the sidewalk and up to the side; no guarantee that more wont come down.

A report has been filed with VDOT here. And it has now been reported to Arlington DES.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bikeumentary: BikeSwell Thur. Oct. 10 at Cin & Daft

BikeArlington invites you to the exclusive movie premiere of the "bike-umentary" of the year. BikeSwell - Smart Movement in Arlington, Virginia features local bike advocacy rock stars and highlights the triumphs and tribulations of making Arlington a premiere bicycle friendly community!

Date: Thursday, October 10thTime: 7pm - 9pmLocation: Arlington Cinema & DrafthouseRSVP:
Tickets are free but a $5 donation to the non-profit organization, Phoenix Bikes, is strongly suggested. With event assistance from the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee, the feature presentation will be followed by a panel discussion so you can learn more from some of the people involved in Arlington's "Smart Movement": There will be prizes raffled off after the film, donated by BikeArlington, the League of American Bicyclists, WABA and New Belgium Brewery. Phoenix Bikes has generously donated a bike that will be raffled off as the Grand Prize!
BikeArlington, in partnership with the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee, presents the "bike-umentary" of the year: BikeSwell - Smart Movement in Arlington, Virginia.

This film features local bike advocacy rock stars and highlights the triumphs and tribulations of making Arlington a premiere bicycle friendly community. The feature presentation will be followed by a panel discussion so you can learn more from some of the people involved in Arlington's "Smart Movement":

•Chris Eatough (Panel Moderator) - BikeArlington Program Manager
•Jason Berry - Director, Gripped Films
•Mark Blacknell - President of the Board, Washington Area Bicyclist Association
•Gillian Burgess - Founder, KidicalMass Arlington
•Edgar Gil Rico - League Certified Instructor, Hispanic Marketing Specialist
•Jakob Wolf-Barnett - Chair, Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hey Bike Orgs..... it's CFC time again... are you participating?

During last year's Combined Federal Campaign, it did not seem like bicycle organizations woke up to the campaign until well into it (and by that time fed employees had already decided who to give to). Well, its CFC time. If you are a bike non profit and you participate in CFC, NOW would be a very good time to announce that fact, provide you CFC number, and explain why people should give to you.

I mean, I'm just saying....

(I will try once again to compile a list of participating bike orgs, and circulate it)

Friday, September 20, 2013

No CABI for You! 12th & D St SW @bikeshare #bikedc

Source: Know your meme
It's been three long tough years.  We have seen CABI.  We have seen CABI pass us by.  CABI had a grand birthday party in our 'hood.  CABI came to our own CABI party when we became silver partners. CABI celebrated with us as we were designated a BFB. CABI came to our bike fair. CABI bikes pour through our streets.

Yet we remain a destitute neighborhood lacking service coverage. According to bikeshare best practice literature, a CABI station should be within 1/3 mile of its target audience.  And within 1/3 mile of 12th and D St we have exactly... NO STATIONS.  We are surrounded by stations.  All too far away to be effective.  

Hell, they even installed a 2nd station up on Independence ave before they gave us coverage.  


I dont know, man.  I just dont know.

Hey CABI.  For a birthday present, can we talk about bringing a station down to 12th & D St SW.

Thanks. Happy Birthday anyway. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Spoke'n Word - Cyclist Struck on WOD last week - Virginia Bicycle Awareness Month - Interbike - The Transportation Apocalype

Upcoming Alexandria Bike Lane Meetings

A public meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 18 to discuss proposed bike lanes for King Street between Russell Road and Janney's lane in Alexandria.
When: Wednesday, September 18. 7:00 pm
Where: Maury Elementary Cafeteria, 600 Russell Road
The City of Alexandria is proposing to narrow the moving lanes to provide traffic calming and install bicycle lanes in both directions. These will connect to the King Street Metro to the new bicycle lanes installed on Janney’s Lane, as called for in the City’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Mobility Plan, and will require parking removal on that section of King Street.  Do to the removal of parking we expect a lot of opposition.

On Monday, September 23rd, Alexandria’s Traffic and Parking Board will review proposed bike lanes for King Street between West Cedar Street and Janney's Lane.
When: Monday, September 23, 7:30 pm
Where: Council Chambers, City Hall, 301 King Street
The decision on this rests with the Transportation Department, with the advice of the Traffic and Parking Board. Thanks to all who have already contacted the Alexandria City Council. That helps our elected leaders understand the breadth of support for this important proposal.

A poll on whether people want the bike lanes.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Spoke'n Word - Sept. 14 Alex PBAC Family Ride - PP Farm Tour and Picnic - Portland Transport Boss' Bike Stolen - Hammerhead Bike Nav - How Many Cars Did I Pass Today

This video was tweeted by our good friends at Bike Arlington.  When I ride home up the Custis Trail up Lee Hwy, I regularly like to race the 3 bus up Lee Hwy to Glebe Road.  I almost always win.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Spoke'n Word - 13 Ways to Steal a Bicycle - 233 Year History of the Bicycle - HAWKs to be seen on GWParkway - @APSVirginia Celebrates Biking to School

  • The 233 Year History of the Bicycle in a Chart Gizmodo
  • Green, Stuart P., Introduction: Symposium on Thirteen Ways to Steal a Bicycle (August 28, 2013). New England Law Review, Vol. 47, No. 4, 2013.
    • What is the optimal level of specificity for defining criminal offenses? How should we divide and classify crimes so that they accurately represent a given criminal act’s distinctive features -- whether it is wrongfulness, harmfulness, deterrability, or detectability -- while at the same time avoiding the kind of over-particularity that leads to needless confusion and problems in administrability? Nowhere are these issues more difficult or contested than in connection with the law of theft -- owing to the extraordinary diversity in how rights in property are formulated, the peculiar twists and turns of legal history and law reform, and the sheer ingenuity that offenders use to infringe such rights.

      The proper level of offense specificity in theft law is a key theme dealt with in my recent book, Thirteen Ways to Steal a Bicycle: Theft Law in the Information Age. It is also a theme that, to one degree or another, has engaged the attention of the distinguished group of commentators gathered by the New England Law Review for this symposium on the book: Susan Brenner, David Gray and Chelsea Jones, Peter Karol, Mary Sigler, and Ken Simons. This introduction sets the stage for the contributions that follow and offers a selective rebuttal to at least some of the arguments offered.
  • Parkway Traffic and Safety Improvements
        The George Washington Memorial Parkway, in consultation with the Federal Highway Administration, will be temporarily installing a flashing beacon warning system at the trail crosswalk of the northbound lanes of the Parkway just prior to Arlington Memorial Bridge, one mile north of I-395.  The temporary installation is planned to be in place for approximately thirty days between early September and early October as a trial to help inform the upcoming environmental assessment process that will evaluate long-term safety and traffic improvements in the area.
        The warning system is designed for bicyclists and pedestrians who want to cross the Parkway and to alert motorists of the presence of trail users.  Trail users can activate the flashing beacon and notify motorists of their intention to cross the Parkway.  The purpose is to improve safety and increase awareness by slowing down traffic when pedestrians and bicyclists want to cross the Parkway.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Phoenix Bike Sale Saturday Sept 7 at Big Bear Cafe #bikedc #arlingtonva

To quote the keepers of the rules:
While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.
Here's your opportunity for N+1 from Phoenix Bikes

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Arlington Street Survey - Win a Kindle Fire!

Photo by Cliff1066 (Flickr (CC))
BikeArlington is hoping you can help BA out with a new project BA working on:

BikeArlington wants to do a new style of map and we want some community input. We’ve put together a short 3 minute survey and are going to be giving out a Kindle Fire to one respondent and need help spreading the word to non-bikers. Regular bikers and commuters like yourselves are good too and we're not trying to exclude anyone, but we don’t have as much trouble getting reaching the regulars.

Here it is: