Greetings fellow and aspiring cyclists,
What's happening on this mid June morning? I’ll tell you what. The sky is shedding moisture onto the bike path. There is not only a breeze on my skin but now drizzle. It's my first day of commuting in the rain. No chill, no problem... except for frizzy hair, but nothing that my flat iron won't cure once I arrive at Bikestation. I wonder what I should wear when it really rains. That's a blog for another day.
I am beginning to notice many bike path regulars every morning and they recognize me. Unfazed by the drizzle, we acknowledge each other with cheery good mornings and waves. I am getting more comfortable in my routine.
That being the case, I will confess that my bumps and bruises are nearly all gone. Not a complainer by nature, I didn’t disclose my daily encounters with my new bike that I was convinced was on the attack. Now that I have been cycling for several weeks, I seem to be cycling smarter and getting muscle memory. My shins have learned to avoid the pedals while walking. My rear end has learned to sit on the seat in a way that avoids bruising. My legs have learned to stand on the pedals to avoid the impact of body jarring bumps. My brain is learning about the appropriate speed for sharp turns and balance--thank goodness I wear a bike helmet. There’s a story there, but I won't bore you with the details.
After work today our daughter has invited her father and me to her place not too far from us for dinner and a business meeting. She is the Marketing Director of our small family business. So that I won’t be late, I decide to venture off my familiar beach bike path to the Broadway/1st Street bike route and ride with the cars to get there. Horror of horrors!! I've got to do it sooner or later if I'm going to call myself a cyclist. In the same way I psyched up for labor and delivery years ago, I tell myself "hundreds, no thousands, maybe millions of people commute on the street every day across the country, and they survive." Well I'm here to inform you that I survived, and unlike L and D, it was actually quite pleasant.Bikestation on Broadway, I look across the street and notice a bike route sign. Tentatively crossing this unaccustomed territory, I discover a separated bikeway from the traffic by a curb. Why hadn't I noticed this before? I take off and gingerly approach the first intersection. For heaven’s sake… this bike lane has its own traffic signal at the other side of the intersection. It is the cutest little electric traffic signal displaying glowing red, yellow, or green bikes at cyclist eyelevel to indicate whether one should stop or go. The green bike is glowing so I proceed through and pass several other intersections in accordance with the red or green glowing bikes. Then, darn it, the little bike boulevard ends and I am rerouted with a sign toward Bluff Park and the 1st Street Bike Route. One block to the right from the left turn pocket, I am proud to report, I enter 1st Street. This street has no little electric bike signals but it is very wide, and it has a wide painted bike lane. I travel maybe two miles past the large, beautiful old homes in the area. Cross traffic has stop signs at almost every intersection--a very good thing. Our daughter lives two blocks off of 1st, and I arrive on time for her delicious pork loin dinner.
This ride has been an enlightening and thoroughly enjoyable adventure, but then for me they all are.