Wednesday started out foggy with severely restricted visibility. I had hoped to ride to Sharon, WI but it is more than 100 miles away and I would need an early start to get there and back before dark. So the late start foiled that idea. Eventually the skies cleared and the fog burned off. Wednesday turned out to be PERFECT! By noon, the temperature had hit the mid-60s with a gentle breeze, sunny skies and everyone and their mother out and about.
I decided to visit relatives, which required riding in heavy traffic to and fro. Oh, well…I figured it would be an opportunity to practice urban street strategies, which I can read about all I want, but nothing, and I do mean “nothing” beats the real thing. It is easy to avoid these situations if one lives in the boonies and never bikes in the city. But when you reside in the city, you need to know your terrain. No matter where I venture out, I can’t avoid downtown traffic. Before reaching those desired back roads, I am guaranteed to have at least one wrestling match with a cabbie who behaves as if playing Pac Man with me.
Thus, I try to stay sharp by scheduling planned rides through my auto and people congested neighborhood. I know no better way (to hone my scanning skills, exercise good risk management and stay mindful of the zoo out there that demands keeping my head in the ride every second) than to get out there and do it in real time.
I rode 50 milesRT that demanded a lot physically and mentally. I admit that there are occasions when I can sneak a peek at a building sign along the side of the road. Not true for Wednesday. Every brain cell, every muscle fiber focused on the ride, the road, and all the death-wish pedestrians who walk around as if they have bumpers on their butts, darting into the street, chasing down greatly missed sunrays or something equally crazy.
My neck aches this morning, which I attribute to excessive head checks and perhaps a little tension in the shoulder area from the ride--I don’t know. Still, nothing diluted the unadulterated joy the glorious weather provided. If this could last another six to eight weeks, I’d promise not to whine too much about the long harsh winter that I know is coming.