Friday, March 05, 2010

The River

10 watt commuter light, and Lumotec with the Schmidt hub.

My 27 mile commute into the office begins with a fast one mile down hill, and then I've got a section of climbing on busy Tangerine Rd, and then on Moore Rd more climbing. Moore road is rural and there's no traffic at dawn--just rabbits, coyotes, deer, and an occasional owl peering down from a tall saguaro or a telephone pole. The town of Oro Valley comes next--the pavement is new and smooth--just got to watch out for motorists pulling in and out of shops. Then more climbing until I reach about mile 22 or 23, and at last a fast descent into the office. This takes me almost 2 hours. I'm having to go this way because of major road construction on my usual route to work. I have to have myself in bed by 9:30 p.m. the night before so I can get up and get on the move--or else I'm falling asleep by late afternoon.

There is the fast way, but it is dangerous. This morning I just felt like taking it--what the heck.

Thornydale road dives South for three miles. Instead of the steady climb on Moore Rd, I'm riding 25 to 27 mph down on a narrow beat-to-hell road full of pot holes--there's no shoulder--and most of the edge of the pavement is crumbling gravel. You must ride in the lane and cars and trucks just have to go around you because you can't get over. At 5:45 to 6:00 a.m. this stretch of road is mostly deserted if I'm lucky.

The last few years have seen more traffic, and not just the working guys, who for the most part have no problem with a cyclist and safely pass, but more the in a hurry git outta my way types. It is not a road for the faint of heart, Gentle Readers of This Blog. What I do is ride balls-to-the wall and just get it over with.

The pavement is shit--rough and cracked and broken. Bone shaking is what it is, mes amis. In order to tame this stretch--I've attached my 10 watt battery powered commuter light. That with the Schmidt hub and going 25 mph, there's enough light to see what's up ahead--and allow the extra split second to miss that crack or pot hole. I have no illusions about these three miles. If I hit something wrong, I'll wipe out--so far I've been lucky; I've just blown tires after slamming over a crag or crack. Car drivers speed down this stretch too, and they are not friendly and they let me know. I would rather they rant and yell at me than pass me fast and as close as they can on purpose. After these three miles, I am flowing on sweet smooth pavement and everything seems fine.

No other pictures for you, mes amis, because I was deep in thought riding on the River Bike Path after leaving River Rd--the river is a river and has been a river for days and days. We've had so much rain, and there's still so much snow in the mountains, that water is flowing with gusto and purpose--it is beautiful and serene--and a shadow of fragile fresh green life appears everywhere as I ride on into the rising Sun.

I can take the Rive Bike Path for 12 miles. While it is not fast, there are no traffic lights or stops, and this morning no runners or walkers--only me.

I am happy to report that my bones did not hurt, and the legs felt good--yes I felt good.

Cheers! Bruce

1 comment:

Red Bike said...

27miles, owch.

My commute is a nice and little 9miles each way. I have a choice between taking the road (30-40mins) or more or less the same route but via cyclepaths / bridleways. - 90mins.

Most times (apart from when i'm late) the cyclepaths win even though it takes 3 times as long. Theres not much in the two routes distance wise. The cyclepath just takes longer because you have to keep stopping for anti-motorcycle barriers or you're going slowly through deep mud.