25 July 2011

Bike-commute day 58—to work

Monday, 25 July 2011.

Soon after I dropped down to the bikeway from Monument Avenue Bridge, I spied a group of three cyclists some half mile ahead of me, on the upstream side of Riverscape. A pack of rabbits! I thought as I increased my cadence to chase them down. As long as they don't take the zig-zag up to the Green Bridge, I'll catch them in a bit, I bet.

They went along the Mad River (Good, they're heading my way) as I passed under the pavillion at Riverscape, and further along crested the small rise at Keeowee as I passed below the zig-zag. I checked my time, to measure the distance between us when I reached the same point. (One minute, twelve seconds.) They held a 55-second lead at the curve before the dip below Findlay Avenue, and it seemed I had lost sight of them entirely at the plateau above that dip. But as I curved into the straightaway by the water pumping stations, I saw them again momentarily, dropping into the level above the concrete embankment below the firefighters' training camp. (Nice. Thirty-eight seconds.) As I entered Eastwood Park, I again caught a glimpse of one of the trio, before he slipped into the rockwork train trestle. (Twenty-three.)

I followed him through the trestle, and saw the same cyclist stepping out of the saddle at the FiveRivers maintenance shed. Probably ready to start work soon, and he could count the ride as an inspection of the bikeway. I continued along Springfield Street, crossed at the intersection with Smithville, and saw the remaining two cyclists crossing Smithville as I navigated the weaving bikeway along the creek.

Just after I also crossed Smithville, I reached close enough to hear them conversing, done for the moment with intensity in their ride. The rear rider noticed me as they slowed for the Park Row crossing, and he said "Clear" for my benefit.

As I passed, I said, "On your left. Thanks there, and good morning."

They made no attempt to match my speed, and the last I saw them was at the meadow around the former Multi-Service building, when they entered the clearing and I left it.

Lots of fallen twigs and walnuts needed careful steering for the half mile between Airway and Burkhardt. About a mile further on, a fallen tree across the bikeway required a stop and step over the trunk.

Ride conditions
Temperature: 71 to 75°F at 07:20
Precipitation: none
Winds: calm
Clothing: Skinsuit, ankle socks, open-finger gloves
Bike: Lotus Legend fixed gear
Time: 00:41:06 for 11.92 miles
Heart rate: 132 bpm HRave, 148 bpm HRmax
Bikeway users: 9 cyclists, 17 pedestrians, 3 dogs
Playback of the ride.

No comments: