17 March 2011

Bike commute day 5, to work—Scents and Glass

Temperature: 39°F at 07:30, 43°F at 07:55
Precipitation: none
Winds: none to light
Clothing: Top with 2 layers (Lycra longsleeve undershirt, skinsuit); Bottom with 1 layer (skinsuit); ankle socks. Open-finger gloves. (Cool, almost comfortable; fingers too cold. A higher speed didn't really help.)
Bike: Trek 850
Time: 0:50:00 (approx.) for 12.5 miles
Bikeway users: 2 pedestrians, 2 cyclists, 4 tree trimmers

First light at 07:18, enough light for cycling at 07:38, official sunrise at 07:45, real start at 08:00.

08:20—departing from home. The Miami River had receded from the bikeway, but it was still lapping at the bikeway edge, all the way from below the YMCA through to Riverscape. Some of the bikeway there still had drying mud, but nothing slippery.

08:33—passing the zig-zag up from the Mad River Bikeway. What an envigorating ride this morning! As I passed along the Mad River, I smelled fresh lumber from Requarth's, mildly sour milk from Rumpke's, burnt carbon from Dayton Forging & Heat, freshly budding Saint Anne's Lace, and fresh mud from the stream outside of Eastwood Park.

08:43—passing the west gate to Eastwood Park. The smells of the second leg gave way to offensive odors of paint spraying south of Fair Park Avenue. At least the supreme offense of Multi-Service is no more! I noted that two separate spills of glass were on the east-west section of bikeway north of Miami Valley Manufacturing & Assembly, and a third spill was about a block north of the Airway crossing, right at the entrance to the bootleg BMX path. South of Airway, I rode through local aromas again: hot frying oil behind Old Hickory Barbecue and the fetidness of the glades west of the DPL executive park.

08:56—passing the trestle remains at Linden. Before I could cross Woodbine, I had to walk my bike around a truck in the bikeway. The wood chipper behind the truck was redolent of freshly chewed wood, fed by the DPL crews who were giving a tonsure to the trees underneath the electrical lines. Then after crossing Woodman, I smelled the composted mulch—almost like ensilage from my farmboy youth, and finally the soapy-sulfide smell from the Montgomery County Eastern Waste Treatment Plant.

09:10—arriving at  work.