Thursday, May 18, 2017

In Which We Greet Buggy Bike to Work Week

Cedar Lake, Tuesday night. Took longer trail route home after giving exam. This is about 7:30 p.m. or so.
 Well, the universe rewarded me a bit this week for being a bike commuter.

As I rode to work Tuesday morning, I was greeted as I was about to exit the Rockwell-Collins parking light at the F Avenue light. A nice man, who I later identified as Paul Fiegen, asked my shirt size, and handed me a “Bike to Work” shirt. He also offered granola and water, but I declined, as I was in a bit of a hurry to get to the office.
Tuesday, I got a free shirt! Front and back.
“We’ll be back on Thursday,” he called as I cycled on.

Wednesday was a very stormy day, and I didn’t ride. While it had been very muggy and warm Tuesday, the storm signaled a shift, and it was a nice crisp morning when I started out Thursday.

And, sure enough, the Bike to Work party was in full swing at the same spot. I stopped and chatted for a bit with Paul Fiegen, who is past president of the Linn County Trails Association; and Derek Stepanek, owner of Northtowne Cycling and Fitness.

There was a traffic guy form the city there, too, although I didn’t catch his name—we had an interesting exchange about the video-controlled traffic lights the city is installing, and how they may be made more effective for bikers. Paul signed me up for a prize raffle, although I’m not sure I’ll be able to make the Friday party where I could be a winner. It all depends on when a graduation event at MMU gets over. And Derek gave me a few gifts—a lip balm and a glue-less patch kit that I now have in my bike bag.

Well, thank you, Cedar Rapids, for including me in a minor way in Bike to Work Week hoopla. And Phillip Platz, Paul says “hello.”

Chatting with Paul Fiegen of trail association Thursday morning.
It’s been a decent biking week, but man it is buggy. The 80-degree days made all insect eggs in North America suddenly hatch, and gnats and mosquitos are making their presence known and felt. (Pause to scratch one of my wrists).

The school year is almost over, and I’m taking too long of a break from a pile to grading to write this post—but there you have it. It’s time for sunscreen and Bug Soother! The first library ride—Bookworms on Bikes—is coming up soon, and serious RAGBRAI training starts next week.

Peony in bloom at Quality Inn along Cedar River Trail. Took the trail route home Thursday.

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