Thursday, May 29, 2008

Poke a Dragon in the Eye, Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die

Road construction has made my long commute from Dog Mtn complex. Riding into the office in the mornings is spiritual, O My Gentle Reader—going home is like being throw into the ring with a hairy sweaty thug who is willing—and able—to beat the living shit out of you.

Its 100 degrees, traffic is fast, bumper to bumper, not sympathetic or courteous—kind of like a bunch of really riled-up sheep—following each other from a mindless job back to their little boxes, on the hillside…

So I rode to the YMCA this morning instead of driving and parking the car. It bode well for me, Gentle Reader, and the 1.5 mile Stretch of Death, with potholes, no shoulder and bit of a climb (not noticed by car) I conquered quickly. At 6 a.m. there was little traffic, and what there was, drivers seemed not at all phased by slowing slightly and passing me.

Going home if I try this route, it may be another story. It would be like climbing up the scales of a Dragon’s back then poking him in the eye. Yeah, like really really pissing him off.

Dragon's Back, or Magee and Shannon Rds. Coming in is okay, but look at the bumper to bumper mess, and its a bit of a climb... This is an image from back in April.

What I’ve tried to do with my commuting, mes amis, is take routes that make it easy for motorists. I do not want to ride all the way back to Dog Mtn because at one point, I would have a difficult three mile climb to my house, right at rush hour, no bike lane and a narrow pot-holed road—speed limit is 50 mph. This is just the way to anger people because they just want to get home. They don’t want to slow down and wait—I don’t blame them. I will also mention that it would 100 degrees plus—brutal.

But this leaves me with few alternatives if I do the 50 mile round trip to the office and back. I’d have to take the old jeep roads. They’re okay on a road bike, but going up-hill and with no pavement—it is incredibly slow going (unless you’re Paul Layton).

So driving 9 miles to the YMCA and riding 15 miles in works well. It’s a little less than an hour and I’m not exhausted when I get to work, and I’m not falling asleep at the dinner table when I’m home.

Bev has an appointment late this afternoon. I will ride to meet her at the appointment—which is about 5 or 6 miles from the Desert San, and I’ll stow the bike and get a ride home. If I would have driven into work today and home, that would be 50 miles round trip. Add Bev’s appointment of about 45 miles round trip, that 95 miles. With me biking that cuts the miles in half. This is so cool. I believe people are realizing now that they probably really do a lot of un-necessary driving—and would like to change that if they could.

If I drive everyday during the week, that’s 250 miles, and now pushing $60 a week to fill up. If I bike in from the Y during the week, I ride 150 miles. For me that is significant—but really I just enjoy riding.

I was pleased that I tried something new and what looked somewhat tricky by car, was actually okay (mostly) by bike. I ride the 1.5 mile Stretch of Death—I live to blog again.


No comments: