Friday, October 11, 2013

In Which I Fret About Shortcuts

Walking stick suns itself on MMU sidewalk Thursday afternoon. I ride down this sidewalk every morning, but luckily guys like this don't sun themselves early in the morning.

What kind of biking week was it?

In a word: Glorious. Cool, dry nights were followed by warm, dry afternoons. The sun shone all week long. Some mornings I needed a sweater, but not on the sunny rides home. I also had several dark rides home—and, yes, then sweaters were needed. In October, even early October, the night cool creeps in quickly.

I had two rides with my biking buddy Amelia. And I also went to work with lights on most mornings, but the sunrises were pretty.

I was also shown a shortcut by another bike commuter.

I cross Collins Road by exiting Rockwell-Collins parking lots onto F Avenue. I don’t have much choice, really, because there aren't many ways to get south of Collins.

At the end of F. Just to the left of those red signs in the background, there is a trail I can use to cut off three blocks or so from my route.
On Wednesday morning, another gray-haired gentleman was waiting on a bike at the Collins Road light. We chatted briefly, and as we headed down F, he noted before we got to 42nd Street that there was a shortcut through the neighborhood.

So, I followed him. When we got to the end of F, it turns out there is a dirt path that leads south, rather than having to cut east two blocks and come back a block.

I used the route again Friday morning, but a little dog was barking at me the whole time. I felt a bit uncomfortable using the shortcut with the barking dog right there. No, he wasn't big or fierce enough that the dog itself bothered me—it was that I was sort of sneaking through a grass alley. I wasn't in anybody’s yard, but still—I’m sure having that yippy dog yapping at 7:30 a.m. wasn't exactly fun for the neighbors, either.

So I fret a little about this new route. I’m sure I won’t be able to use it ever in the dark—it’s strictly a daylight option. It does save me about three blocks of travel, but I take the extra 3 minutes from now on if I’m headed in early.

Don’t want to bother the neighbors. Still, I’m glad I’ve been shown that shortcut.

Even more, I’m glad it was the kind of week when riding was at its prime.
Oct. 9 at noon, MMU had a health-promotion walk. I participated, got one of the shirts, and wore it that night on my bike ride home. It was just that kind of week.

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