Friday, June 03, 2011

Bike Commute 2011 - Day 20

This is from yesterday, 2 June 2011

IN -

Cold this morning or at least it felt that way. It was about 60o with a slight wind. I was wearing a tee shirt and shorts, but I must be acclimated to much warmer weather because I was freezing.

It was bright too, even though I left earlier than I have since the first week. If it keeps getting lighter this way I'm not going to need my hat in the morning.

I wear the hat to be able to hide oncoming headlights behind the bill. This helps protect my nightvision. If I didn't then as soon as the car passed I wouldn't be able to see the street in front of me, even with my own lights.

12mph Easterly baby! That's what I'm talking about. I didn't feel any faster or like the wind was pushing my back, but it did feel easier and more pleasant. The sky was dusted with very high wispy clouds so it wasn't exactly blue, but it was still delightful.

As I crossed Butterfield (at the light as instructed, but as very few others do, me I've tried cheating and cutting across at the driveways away from the intersection and light, but I'm the kind of guy who gets caught, either by traffic or by cops, and it ends up taking longer, so that and the legal signs makes me not cheat and to do it alone), anyway, as I crossed Butterfield I saw a guy cheating across with a guitar on the back on his bike.

I hurried to catch up to him. He was moving very well considering that he had a full sized guitar and what looked like an amp on the back rack of his bike. As I very slowly caught up to him I saw that he was a lot smaller than me, he wore boat shoes and pedaled with the arch of his foot on the pedal (rather than the ball). I was most amazed at the speed he was getting because he seemed to have a large generator on the back and it was making a whiny whirring sound. Unless it was a motor, but I'm not sure if you can pedal those when the motor is working.

He seemed to be about my age or younger. I got up behind him and stayed there for several blocks. I didn't think it would be right to pass him since at a cruising speed I was probably only going one or two mph faster than he was. The pass would have been very long, or I would have had to really push to get past quickly and we'd end up with him follow me closely as I inched away from him.

I guess I'm not a born journalist because I could not think of a good conversation I could have with him if I did pass.

In retrospect, I should have pulled up next to him, asked him about the guitar, the generator/motor, and asked to take a picture.

I really, really need to push myself to make contact with the people I encounter while I ride. There is a lot of car culture in me and I think that subconsciously I think it would be too hard to hear, we'd be traveling too fast, and the other rider is in his own little world. That's how I drive, but it's not how I ride and I think if I train myself I will learn a lot through communication that I couldn't have through mere observation.

Speaking of observation, there are a lot of purple flowers along the trail right now so I took a picture of some.

Pretty along the North Shore Bike Path near Milwaukee Avenue

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