We gave a brief overview on what it is like riding in a bike in Davis in a previous post. We wanted to expand upon our biking experiences.
When we arrived in Davis it had been a long time since we had done any biking. A few rides while we were traveling, but nothing that could be described as strenuous or long. Upon arriving in Davis, our hand was forced. We spent the first 3 weeks in town with only our bicycles for transportation. (Okay, so we did have Abby; was parked in storage since our driveway was too small to keep her at the house and HOA covenants didn’t permit that type of classiness in the neighborhood anyway.) Even after the car arrived, we stayed with bicycling.
In the last 14 weeks, we each have put about 575 miles on our bikes. It is probably closer to 625 since we did not have odometers for the first couple of weeks.
Our reintroduction to bicycling everywhere was a rather rude awakening. Muscles protested the new and consistent work, our butts protested the bike seat. Our transition was aided by the fact that Davis is rather flat. The most intense hills are the overpasses that cross the interstate. This is not the place to be if you are training for the mountain stages of the Tour de France. It was also helpful that the network of bike paths offered some safe alternatives to using the bike lanes all the time. This was especially key since Alex was being towed in a trailer. The bike infrastructure here is really amazing and promotes bicycling.
A fun discovery about riding in Davis in the spring is the wind. It always seems to be blowing, and it always seems to be a headwind. The wind just swirls, and we were always working hard into it while all sorts of dust and pollen bits were blown into our eyes.
Alex’s daycare was located on the other side of campus; riding through campus was challenging, especially if your timing was off and it was class change. The mob of students on bikes, skateboards, and walking in the bike path was unreal. It was a dangerous situation because of all the people riding with earbuds (can’t hear the weak bike bells) and texting (truly oblivious to the outside world, no way they could apply the brakes fast enough if they needed to). We worked hard to coordinate drop off and pick up to avoid the crush of students during class change.
It was also easier to ride our bikes downtown than trying to find parking for the car.
Overall, we really enjoy being able to ride our bikes. We are hoping that where ever we land next will have a bicycle friendly culture.
Oh yeah, the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame is in Davis. We park by it every week as we shop at the farmer’s market, but we have never actually gone in. And check out this video by the Empty Seat.