Monday, June 27, 2005

Schmoozing with Rush Hour

The gearing I have on the Cross-Check right now stinks for hammering in traffic. I had to put my exploring fatty rear wheel on, because my daily commuter wheel started popping spokes. That's what I get for riding a wheel I didn't build.

I didn't put the tighter gearing on because I was just going to respoke the commuting wheel and slap it back in. Then this trip south came up.

In spite of this handicap, I went out to rub shoulders with rush hour. I needed a ride. I hadn't had one in 57 hours and it felt more like a week. Sitting in a car is a great way to induce a sort of slow quadriplegia.

How many million more people live here than were here when I left? Traffic density is sick. And yet everyone was polite and nice. It's eerie, considering some of the harassment cyclists endured in the early 1980s. The danger now is not malice, it's carelessness. The cyclist has to plan how to make left turns from busy roads, and how to wait for long red lights, but still make a quick getaway on the green.

Any ride I come home from is a good ride. Today's was better than that. The country roads delivered the goods one more time. There were a few more cars than in the old days, and a few gated developments along the way, but a lot looked like the same old farm land. How do these places survive?

The main roads were bumper to bumper, of course. But General's Highway has a decent shoulder. Most of the traffic was headed out of town, opposite to the direction I chose. The timing worked out perfectly to lay into a screaming left turn through a gap in traffic to get off General's Highway into Dunton Road, where I'm staying. Snap that left turn signal. Set up the line. Drop in. See what this fat touring tire will do.

Now supper will taste better.

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