Wednesday, July 11, 2007

And We're Back

Not that I've actually been gone or anything. Just enjoying my summer too much to blog. Or, alternatively, being so tied up with work and home projects and cycling and CDFFL and three god-damned admin-only head-to-head contests at Worth that I really haven't had time and energy to blog.

Speaking of bicycling (no, you can't tune out now, you'll like this post, really), there are a number of hazards involved in bicycling in Saint Paul and its surrounding communities. Cars, obviously, and trucks. Potholes and other wheel-damaging things in and on the roadway.

Then too, there are the living hazards. People. People with dogs whose leashes stretch the entire width of the bike path. Dogs without leashes. Squirrels and rabbits. The occasional deer. And, of course, Orthodox Jews, who (as you can imagine) are considerably more dangerous than the rest.

Seriously. Part of my commute involves a ride down (and in the afternoon, back up) Edgcumbe Road, a curvy hill connecting the lower and upper Highland Park neighborhoods. Near the top of the hill is an Orthodox (possibly Hasidic/Lubavitch) temple, Adath Israel. There are no sidewalks on this stretch of Edgcumbe, and even in the early morning darkness I'll sometimes be speeding downhill around a curve at 20-something mph only to find a bearded dude dressed in solid black walking up the road right at me. It's scary. And not just because they're Orthodox. I've taken to riding out closer to the middle of the road -- there are sometimes fewer cars than Jews out at that hour. And Orthodox Jews aren't generally in the middle of the road.


Monday, July 02, 2007

More Bike Blogging

There. You were warned.

Scooter is hard at work training for RAGBRAI, and I'm so glad I'm not going. Seven days and 476 miles sounds, well, brutal. Add to that the sleeping on the ground and I'm just as happy not to be going; my lower back has been complaining a little about the mileage I'm putting on as it is.

Today's commute was smooth. The return trip in particular felt really good: 56 minutes, 13.8 mph. For me, that's about as good as it ever gets with the hybrid and the panniers.

Sightings: a truck driver who didn't cut me off at an intersection when he could have, but instead waved me through. A pair of inline skaters who (as all inline skaters seem to) completely ignored the yellow stripe dividing their portion of the path from that belonging to oncoming traffic. Many bunnies, even a few on the afternoon leg of the ride.