I love my bike commute. It’s more than a workout, or a way to get to work. It’s a fun slice of fresh air I get to inhale twice a day, and it’s never the same ride twice. Most of them are uneventful for the most part, but today’s rides offer a couple of stories I’ll share.
Blinking Sheep Dog
This morning it was dark when I headed out, so I lit myself up like a Christmas tree. I have two blinking red lights on the back of my bike, in addition to the blinking one on the back of my headlamp. I have a white light on my handle bars as well as the white front of my headlamp. All lights were flashing as I headed onto a path in a small dark park in the first quarter of my route. I was concentrating on climbing the second of three roller-coastery knolls when I heard VERY LOUD BARKING approaching me quickly from behind.
The barking startled me so much out of my morning peace that I shrieked as I came to a full stop. I don’t shriek. I’m not a shrieker, but I did this time! I looked around to see a young border collie challenging me. Ohhhh, I wasn’t prey, I was a blinking sheep.
Silly pup, it wouldn’t leave. I looked around for its owner and eventually spied him puffing around the other knoll I’d just flown over. He was calling, but doggie still didn’t want to let me go. With a little patience I cajoled the collie to me for a chin scratch to make friends. Once it was convinced I was human and friendly, I sent it back to its human and carried on my merry, adrenaline-enhanced commute.
Touch Down Free
Today was gorgeous, and on beautiful days when I have nothing immediately pressing after work I take the long, scenic route along the NE path home. Several parts of the NE path have been under construction this summer and last, but today I rode home entirely on paved paths, with very minimal street riding at either end. The new River Walk is lovely, and open all the way east of Centre Street. I still had to detour around the Fox Hollow golf course south of 16 Avenue, but at least it’s paved. The brand new wider paths around the power installation at 41st Avenue stretched all the way north to Goddard Avenue. Yay!
The traffic lights downtown at the beginning of my commute worked in my favour, so I didn’t face another car-crossing until the bus barns. That light also sent me through, and with no traffic on Goddard I was just about home free. No-touch-down commutes are rare, but paths help.
For the record, today marked my 76th bike commute of 2011. September has been absolutely lovely for riding this year – we’ll see what October holds.