08 March 2011

Bike commute day 3, return home

Temperature: 52°F at 17:00 and at 18:30
Precipitation: none
Winds: none to light
Clothing: Top with 2 layers (Lycra longsleeve undershirt, skinsuit); Bottom only the skinsuit; ankle socks. Open-finger gloves. (Cool, still comfortable. A higher speed helped.)
Time: 0:46:50 for 12.5 miles
Bikeway users: 21 pedestrians, 18 cyclists, 7 dogs

Just before 5 p.m., I checked the online weather report. "Oh no! The radar shows light rains in Preble County. Gotta make my closing up quick and get out soon, to beat any 30 mph storm tour." As it was, I still didn't finish my workday until 5:20, and then I was on my way to the locker room to change to my kit.

17:51—depart from work, with a good catch of a green light at Research. Three oncoming cars nicely waited for me to cross before making their left turns. In this short leg still on Research Park streets, two "boiclists" were tooling along toward me on their small-frame bikes, and I whistled and greeted them. A few more cars were on their way home from work. Relatively light traffic as I crossed Woodman and Woodbine. Moderate traffic on Linden, which paused-stopped for my crossing.

18:03—trestle remains at Linden. Under the overgrown bikeway west of DPL's executive golf course, a huge number of cyclists, some dozen or so, all ages, including a very cute young man in a motorized wheelchair, passed me going in the opposite direction. Maybe a class or club? They seemed surprised by me, almost oblivious to taking much of the width of the bikeway, but not in any aggressive way, rather out of joy of each other's company.

The Burkhardt crossing was busy, but cars stopped at the crosswalk. On the other hand, the heavy traffic at the Airway crossing absolutely refused to stop. I got off the bike, motioned at the crosswalk markings, held up my hand, and still motorists were zipping through in both lanes. In a break in traffic, I made it to the island. Raised my hand again, this time to the west-bound traffic, no result. Motioned at the crosswalk markings, no result. Then only when a break occurred, with perhaps a 100-foot opening, I stepped into the crosswalk, rolling the bike beside me. A white pickup pulled to a stop, and I waved thanks to him. Last year, I wrote the Riverside police about the need for monitoring and maybe ticketing traffic on Burkhardt and Airway. I've never seen a patrol car here, and motorists ignore the crossing with impunity. And with some flipping of birds. Both these streets can be problematic, though sometimes there must be courtesy dust in the air. Not today, at least here.

18:14—west gate to Eastwood Park. I pushed again here in the park, and the minute didn't click to 15 until I had crossed the creek and crested the rise to the old railway path. I noted the Mad River was still deeper and faster than usual, so I planned to take Monument again to bypass flooding. At the rise, I saw a regular bikeway user, Rick-the-Walker. I stopped as I reached him, noted to him I haven't seen him in the last days, and he wished for better weather to come soon. I was on my pedals again, and wished him good weather and hope in the coming Spring.

As I approached the open area east of Findlay street, I saw ahead of me the 17th cyclist of the day, heading off in the same direction as me, fully dressed in cold-season gear, red rear light flashing. It took almost 3/4 mile to catch him, and as I passed, I asked, "Have you taken this way in the past couple days?" By then, we had already passed underneath the Findlay Avenue bridge. He removed earbuds and quizzed me with a look, and I repeated my question. He said no, and I explained that it was likely flooded at the approach to Webster, and that the beginning of fence up above us was one of the last exits to Monument before being boxed in by steeper ridging, fences, and walls. I exited, but he kept on.

Along Monument, I stopped at Keowee for the light, and then was able to pedal through all the lights up to Main Street. I stopped there, happy to catch my breath.

18:24—passing the zig-zag up from the Mad River Bikeway, as I travel on Monument Avenue. Pedalled hard through the west half of downtown, and reached a red light at Riverview. The climb up Grafton hill was a bit hard, but better than yesterday. The crossing at Salem was against a red light, though I stopped long enough to see that no traffic on Salem was closer than a block. I didn't press so hard up the Bryn Mawr hill today.

18:37—arrive home, moderately out of breath. My time today was only a minute longer than yesterday's, and each of the legs was the same each day, except for the last one.

I had planned on going to Practice Yoga this evening, but I've written through the time needed to get there for the last class. Tomorrow, when rain is forecast, may be the better day for a yoga class. I'll do several asanas now before I prepare my dinner. Looking forward to pesce e pasta!