Here’s your Monday interestingness for the last week of August. Filled with bikes, gear fixing, bikes, coconut fig popsicle, and creativity:
1) HOW TO GET LAWMAKERS TO PRIORITIZE BIKE SAFETY OVER PARKING
Apparently context matters. A successful example out of Montreal shows that calculating the potential number of spots in relation to ALL area parking when proposing a conversion to safer bicycle lanes helped lawmakers, residents, and businesses understand how small of a percentage was actually being converted – and how underutilized parking is in general.
2) BACKPACKING DIY: HOW TO FIX A BROKEN ZIPPER
Finally! My rain jacket can be re-used! Here’s a great DIY from Backpacker Magazine with tips and needed tools to fix your wonky or broken zipper. May your sleeping bags, tents, and all other zipper-joined materials be useable once again!
3) MORE PEOPLE BIKING TO WORK IN A RURAL COUNTY? AWESOME!
Yet again, my birth state continues to make glorious progress! I grew up near Harford County, MD, and can confirm it’s a place where most homes are ranked “car dependent” on WalkScore.com, making sidewalks a fantasy, let alone infrastructure for people on bicycles. UNTIL NOW! More people are riding these country roads and not just weekend warriors – work commuting atop two-wheels is on the rise! Let’s see what happens, but if it continues to get better, this area could set a national example for other, more rural places (like Washington County, OR) where people on bicycles have traditionally been considered an out-of-place rarity & nuisance.
4) BICYCLE FRIENDLY BUSINESS DISTRICTS IN NYC!
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5) MMMM… CHAI SPICED, COCONUT FIG POPSICLES (GF & VEGAN)
Figs are ripening, it’s f*&king hot outside, and coconut milk is delicious! Check out this awesome, simple summer recipe that’s sure to please friends, loved ones, and your mouth.
6) HOW TO BOOST CREATIVITY WITH AN IDEAL DAILY ROUTINE
Trying, perhaps unsuccessfully, to get some writing or creative work done? “The Psychology of Writing” by Ronald T. Kellogg offers insight into how our environment shapes our productiveness, what details detract from the process, and how important a daily routine can be. A few snippets from the post:
Kellogg reviews a vast body of research to extract a few notable findings. Among them is the role of background noise, which seems to fall on a bell curve of fecundity: High-intensity noise that exceeds 95 decibels disrupts performance on complex tasks but improves it on simple, boring tasks — noise tends to raise arousal level, which can be useful when trying to stay alert during mindless and monotonous work, but can agitate you out of creative flow when immersed in the kind of work that requires deliberate, reflective thought.
…But the key psychological function of [dedicated] environments isn’t so much superstitious ritualization — an effort to summon the muse through the elaborate juju of putting everything in its right place — as cognitive cueing. Kellogg considers the usefulness of a special space used solely for writing, which cultivates an “environment that cues the desired behavior”
…This strategy is rather similar to the one most often recommended for treating insomnia — instituting a regular bedtime and using the bedroom as a space dedicated solely to sleep, in order to optimize the brain’s ability to enter rest mode upon going to bed and cue that behavior each night just by entering that environment.
And Kellogg’s insight into the usefulness of cultivating a productive morning:
“When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until morning when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that.”
Well, I’ve filled my creative space for morning and am off for the day!
Enjoy the blooms and flavors and scents of the height of summer, and keep on pedaling, Ladies!