Home > Uncategorized > My Xmas bike ride

My Xmas bike ride

When I went for a quick walk in the park this morning, I noticed that the street was very empty, the neighborhood very quiet, since most everyone was indoors or away for Christmas.  Plus it was relatively warm, in the upper 40s — no white Christmas this year.  So I figured it would be a perfect opportunity to take my bicycle out for my first ride since the seat was repaired (I forgot to bring my helmet to the bike shop, since I didn’t realize they could do the repairs in a few minutes, so I had to walk the bike home).  Not only would the traffic be light, so I could ride in the streets without worrying much about dodging  cars, but the university campus would be empty, so I could ride around there without worrying about dodging students.

So this afternoon — once it had even topped 50 degrees F — I went out for my ride.  And no sooner did I get into the street that I had to deal with three approaching cars in quick succession.  Oh, great.  But after that, the road stayed mostly empty.  I even got the unprecedented experience of riding on an almost totally empty Calhoun Street — something I’d never have the courage to do under normal circumstances, since it’s generally a pretty busy street (although the sidewalk on the university side is usually quite crowded too).  I’ve never had such an easy time riding from home to campus.  And the campus was indeed empty enough that I could ride around the various plazas and pavilions, doing multiple loops around the various crisscrossing sidewalks.  It would’ve been roomier to go down to the Campus Green at the northeast corner, or even across to Burnet Woods, but coming back from either of those places would require a lot of uphill riding and I wasn’t sure I was up to that.  I wanted a fun ride that gave me a reasonable amount of exercise, not something where I really had to strain myself.  And actually, now that I take a look at the satellite view in Google Maps and compare the two, the areas where I did my riding add up to almost the same area as the Green.  Since they’re closer than the Green, the total distance I rode was less, but my total round-trip distance was probably something like two and a half miles — enough to leave me tired in a way that feels good and relaxed, like I accomplished something, rather than sore and exhausted.  All in all, a nice present for myself.

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  1. December 29, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Wait..you walked the bike home because you didn’t have a helmet? IS that a law there???

    • December 29, 2011 at 10:39 am

      I believe it is a law, yes, but it’s also common sense. Riding without a helmet is dangerous, particularly since I didn’t have my pant-leg straps either and there would’ve been a risk of getting my cuffs caught in the gears. Maybe if I’d ridden slowly enough the risk would’ve been reasonably low, but I just didn’t want to. I don’t ride without a helmet and I don’t drive without a seatbelt, period. Not because the law compels it, but because my own safety and good judgment compel it. (I’ll never understand why seatbelt and helmet laws are necessary. How could people be more frightened by the threat of paying a fine than by the threat of being crippled or killed? That’s a bizarre set of priorities.)

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