The other day I decided to take a different route to work. I was looking for a change of scenery and found a way to work that seemed safe and added a mile and a half to my ten-mile trip. Since I actually wanted to ride a little further this seemed like killing two birds with one stone.
The new route was easier. I got on the road near my home and stayed on it for at least half the trip. It was a busy road but it went through a newer part of town so it was well planned with bicycle lanes the entire trip. It was also good because it allowed me to keep a faster pace than usual. I actually spent part of the ride passing cars that were stuck in traffic. Since I didn’t have so many turns and stops, I made it to work in one hour and five minutes, just about my usual time on the shorter ride.
Unfortunately, it seems with every silver lining there is a dark cloud. I assume Florida is not home to every idiot driver in North America but it sure has more than its share. I talked about bicycle lanes in another post, Riding on Sidewalks. In that post I mentioned almost getting hit by the mirror of a passing truck. This time I had a car drift into the bike lane and barely miss me. That forced me over to the far right of the lane where a pickup truck, two vehicles later, also drifted into the bike lane. I guess I was lucky the first car forced me over. It also seemed that every large vehicle, such as buses, would come uncomfortably close when passing me.
If anyone is curious, I recorded that trip and a few others using mapmyride.com. They have a nice feature that uses Google Earth to show a “Flyover” of the route. I tried to embed the video code directly into this page but for some reason it did not work. Some of my maps are private because they go directly to my home so if one does not work, try another. If you sign up, feel free to send me a friend request.
I decided to stick with my older route for now and rode home from work that way. If I want a change of pace I will have to go riding on the weekends, but that is time reserved for my wife. We bought her a bike a few months ago but it was too hot for her then. After that, her seat hurt so I bought her a comfy seat but then her wrists hurt from leaning forward on the ride. I few weeks ago I looked at another recumbent bike that I would really like to have but can’t afford it now. Rose said that perhaps after Christmas I could get a new recumbent and she could have my current one. Then she would ride with me. No comment!
In other news, on the way home on my ride mentioned above, my chain fell off while changing gears. It was dark at that time and even though the street I was on had lights, it was still difficult to see. I put the chain back on and then got back on the road but when I tried shifting to a higher front gear, the shifter broke apart and I was stuck in the lowest gear. I had to finish the last three or four miles of my trip in that gear.
I ordered a new shifter, that I think is correct, and it should arrive tomorrow or Wednesday. Hopefully I will be able to figure out how to install it. In the mean time it looks like I will be driving to work.