Thursday, April 02, 2020

Cycling In The Margins

Just off old Shirey Way, which is essentially an in-town Level B Road.
Strange days indeed. That's the thought going on inside my head anymore. I have two children stuck in the house and venturing outdoors is sometimes made out to be so dangerous by some folks that you'd think by merely breathing the air I am doomed. I'm not going to get into all that here, but just to illustrate the "vibe these days", which is pretty weird.

So, it rained most of Wednesday morning. No bike riding then! Oh.....I probably should tell you. For the foreseeable future I have Wednesdays off again, just like in old times. Back when we could leave our homes with no fear of...... well, you know. Now while I have mid-weekdays off again, I am trying to continue to get rides in. But the rain delayed me until after lunch and with some other pressing things I had to do, well, time was a big issue. No fear though! We have hidden gems in the margins of these cities around here which beg to be explored.

I took the fenders off the pink MCD the other day and installed the Spinergy wheels with the WTB Resolute tires again. After riding slower tires for months, these wheels and tires feel like cheating. They are so good. I noticed that much straight away. The Resolutes are smooth too. Uncannily so for such a knobby beast. But they do make noise! This tire has a very distinctive noise on pavement.

I made my way down my commute to work, mostly, but I cut off at Hackett Road to take in Shirey Way. Well, that's its old name. That "In town Level B" is always a good time, and very lightly trafficked. I saw one lone walker and never got closer than 50 yards to them. Then on my way out I saw an elderly lady with a young man, (grandmother and grandson?), both on mountain bikes. I passed them with a very wide berth. These would be the only people I would see on an hour and a half ride.

Empty path ahead. Possibly due to a massive head wind!
I decided to head home a different way so I went down the bike path which follows the Cedar River Southeastwards toward home. Unfortunately the wind was out of that direction in a fairly stiff way, and the terrain is flat and wide open on that bike path. In other words, there was no where to hide. I was going to have to pedal into that for a couple of miles.

Okay, so no big deal. I get in the drops, put my head down and crank out a rhythm on the pedals, I'm cooking along this mostly deserted bike path with only a few Canadian geese to say hello to along the way. As I get lost in a thought I suddenly hear a hissing noise like my tire is going flat. But then it gets louder and all of a sudden I see in the corner of my eye a goose with its pink tongue sticking out at me about six inches from my head as I pedal by. Whoa!

I guess I'd better pay attention!

That was all the excitement I got as I made my way back into my neighborhood. I pedaled down a deserted alleyway and turned left, right, then left again to the house. Back to home base! Why do I feel like a kid playing a child's game of some sort of tag where you are only safe in a certain spot, and if you are not there you might be "it"?

I don't know, but I definitely do not want to get tagged!


youcancallmeAl said...

JUST WOW! Decided to go to street view of your town and scout some of these Cedar Falls trails etc that you talk about!! That town has some gorgeous bike/walking paths and trails! What a fantastic little bike friendly town!! Lucky boy!

Guitar Ted said...

@youcancallmeAl - Yes, you are correct. We are very fortunate here when it comes to cycling opportunities.

Anon said...

The feeling of getting home safely after being out in risky conditions reminds me of the brief period that the DC sniper was on a rampage. I used to live just a few miles from the middle school where he shot a young boy, and I remember the fear I felt every time I went out for a ride. They were shooting people in such a random way that you could not feel safe anywhere. It was terrifying. Thankfully, it was short lived unlike our current predicament.

Guitar Ted said...

@ Anon - That sounds terrifying!