Today was the official "Bike to Work" day, but you'd hardly know it by the delays encountered on my noon ride along the Cedar River trail.
Even as gas prices jumped to $3.69/gallon locally, vehicular traffic seemed to be heavier than usual on a day that was perfect for riding a bike, walking, or most anything besides driving a car. After meeting up with Tom Hicks and Brian Farrell, we took our usual path to the trail -- only to be blocked by a slow-moving train. (In this case, by slow-moving I mean back and forth.)
We headed downtown to catch the trail there, battling winter-worn streets and residual sand. Downtown was where we encountered the most vehicular traffic -- and these drivers didn't seem the sort to share the road with cyclists. After taking the turn at the now-closed landfill, which was particularly ripe today, we were slowed again, this time by a turtle. A big turtle! I wished I had brought my camera at the time, but I'm just now realizing my cell phone has one. D'oh!
In addition to the usual encounters with geese, we passed a snake on the return to campus. No deer on this trip, but Tom told of a recent occurrence.
I support efforts to encourage a healthy and environmentally friendly alternative form of transportation. Hopefully as more people begin riding bikes something will be done about all the obstacles.
We had a good 15-mile ride, don't get me wrong. But I'm craving the open road. Tomorrow I'm planning to bike home from my son's baseball games in Vinton, about 30 miles away. As Hayden Fry said, "You have to scratch where it itches."