Thursday, September 22, 2016

In Which Money Appears on Shifting Streets

Amid fall leaves starting to appear on pavement--this. Well, OK.

A very mixed week of bike commuting—I was dodging rain for much of the week, but was still able to ride.

I wish they had less rain north of here, as the Cedar River is expected to make a mess in downtown Cedar Rapids next Tuesday, no doubt playing havoc with trails in that area. Of course, the damage to businesses and homes are a much more serious blow than washed out bike trails, so here’s hoping the raging waters of the mighty Cedar scare us more than scar us.

Thursday--the rain came down pretty hard, but briefly. Walking back to Warde Hall from the library to get Clarence and head home. Wet pavement, but dry skies, and I'll take that.

Anyway, early in the week, not sure if it was Monday or Wednesday—it had to be one of the two because its darker on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I leave for work earlier in the morning—I found a dollar on the sidewalk on C Avenue. Money has an odd impact. For a few coins, I won’t stop; in fact I’ll hope that if a kid lost them, she or he comes back and finds them.

For $100 (or more) I would call CR Police. But a one spot seems to be in that sweet zone—too easy to blow away to leave in place, too small to not claim. Thank you, universe, although I’ll probably end up slipping it into a church collection basket—I need the good karma more than anything a biker could buy with $1.

As I said, much of the week was spent dodging rain, but I was largely successful in that. I did have to wait until about 7 to leave Thursday night, but otherwise the storms we had were not time during my commute.

I did run into another problem. The City of Cedar Rapids apparently had decided that pavement is passé, and seems to be converting many streets in the Kenwood neighborhood into gravel roads. F Avenue, an almost unavoidable main road of my commute, has been closed for several days, and the alternative streets to the east all have fresh, loose gravel on them.

It's too loose for comfortable biking, that's for sure. And too many signs like the one below. Sigh.

Not exactly a bike friendly surface, although I’m been more worried about a sharp pebble flat than a spill—fortunately, Clarence is a very stable bike and I’m an old man biker—one skill we old man bikers have is we can balance when the bike is moving very slowly. Maybe a physics guy can explain it—does big guy equal big momentum equal stable biking at very low speeds, or am I just conditioned by years of slow biking to balance well while barely moving?

Anyway, I will be glad, I think, when the street work is done. But I hope they don’t convert too many of the streets I ride on. Gravel! In the midst of a city!

Not a fan.

Wednesday or Thursday? Foggy morning on the way to work, crossing MMU campus. Pretty sky, below, on Wednesday. Clouds sadly have brought too much rain to the area, but they can made the sky look nice.

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