26 May 2011

Bike-commute day 31—to work

Today is bike to work day for Research Park, so I'd not taken more than coffee for breakfast at home. Despite the lack of carbs, I had more than enough energy for the ride—maybe I should resume carrying a bagel for a breakfast at work instead of taking time to eat before the commute.

The storms from last evening continued intermittently through the night, with one lightning and wind event around 02:30 that woke me up from dreams about a whole-world epidemic of the Spanish flu. However, the skies had light clouds in the morning, the radar showed no approaching rain storms, and the street was dry down the block. So I set off to work.

As I crossed the Monument Avenue bridge, I could see the river was up, but not close to the bikeway. So I dropped down to the bikeway at the Monument Ramp and headed north and east. Within 50 feet of the ramp up to the YMCA, water covered the bikeway. I slowed, and entered the water to test its depth. It was clearly more than hub deep, so I turned around and ascended the Monument Ramp to take the crushed-gravel path that parallels the river to Main Street.

Across Main Street and into Riverscape, I could see the bikeway under the gazebo was flooded to about a foot, though the way was clear a bit upstream at the zig-zag ramp below the Green Bridge. So I took it down.

Before the Webster Street bridge, the path was flooded except for a two-foot portion, but beyond the bridge, the path was fully flooded to bottom bracket depth. I slowed to avoid much splash, and did a few flutter pedals to impel my "craft" and avoid getting my feet wet. The rest of the bikeway route was mostly dry, with a few areas under the tree canopy still damp or wet.

I saw Tom Helbig, the outdoor recreation and special events coordinator of Five Rivers MetroParks, and Dan Sahli, the new FRMP cycling coordinator, waiting for traffic to pull out as I turned to the Research Park training center. It was an opportunity for a quick introduction of Dan and some jabber about the weather and the development of the ZooBomb event and Sprockettes troop. Tom laughed when I suggested that he, Andy W, Kevin T, and I would make a great gender-fuck version of the Sprockettes. When I suggested it could be a mixed-sex group, he said there were some women who likely could be interested in it. ...All we need are the kids' bikes and costumes.

Ride conditions
Temperature: 61 to 64°F at 06:50
Precipitation: none, after very heavy rains overnnight
Winds: calm to 10 mph from the south
Clothing: Skinsuit; ankle socks. Open-finger gloves.
Bike: Trek 850
Time: 00:49:52 for 12.45 miles
Heart rate: 131 bpm average, 149 bpm maximum
Bikeway users: 6 cyclists, 4 pedestrians, 0 dogs, 0 goslings
Here is a playback of the ride. 15th Garmin day.

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