Friday, November 1, 2013

Could I ride my bike to work??

     It's only 4.3 miles from my home to my work and I've always wanted to ride my bike there just for kicks.  It couldn't be that hard, if you remember I rode 17.5 miles recently with my son.  My biggest dilemma was what route to take to get there in one piece with no or little bloodshed.   The route I always drive is down a road that has 50 mile an hour traffic and a very narrow bike lane.  Most of the people drive like maniacs!!

     There is another option and that is to go through a winding subdivision, which wouldn't be a straight shot but it would be safer.  My friend Jean Gist from DMC had a third option which I really liked a lot, or so I thought.  The bike route my son Matt and I took the other day which was back through a hilly rock quarry would be off the beaten path, but I would avoid all of the traffic and I wouldn't have to go through the winding neighborhood.  This route would also take me right to the main road about a half mile from my work.

     On a quiet Saturday afternoon I decided to give this route a test run.  For the "average Joe" this would be perfect; when I rode it with my 23 year old son Matt I felt very safe, but riding it on my own I pulled out my bag of "what ifs".  What if my tire slipped on a rock or a twig, what if I was halfway  up a hill and ran out of steam and flew backwards, or if I lost my balance and ended up with a major case of road rash, or worse,  requiring a full body cast...out in the middle of nowhere.

     After miles upon miles of nervous riding I was coming up to the area where I would leave the bike trail and join all of the motorists on the main road.  However, the road that connected the two happened to be about fifty yards of gravel.

   Out came the "what ifs" again.  What if my tires slipped on the gravel or what if I went so slow to make sure that didn't happen and then I stopped?  My crazy leg was already fatigued from over five miles of hilly riding and I may not have the strength to start back up again, on gravel no less.

     I did manage to make it to the main road, then subsequently  to my work unscathed, but it ended up being six miles in all.  That was a learning lesson for me.  I'll take that route again I'm sure, but doubtfully on my own.

     My route back home ended up being in the winding neighborhood after all, and it was a much more pleasant trip, not to mention a mile shorter.  Live and learn, the only way to know what works is to try, and I'll try anything once:)

Have a great weekend!



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