I Pedaled a Bicycle

The ride from my home to Troy is the best medium distance ride in the area.  At 20 miles round trip, the ride is mostly flat, includes some bike trail and is pretty scenic. Troy is an interesting destination, too, with a strong farmer’s market, good antique stores and the best coffee roaster in the area.  Today was the first time I made the trip this summer. The summer was too rainy and cool and I suffered from a powerful bout of laziness. Glad I made it to Troy before winter arrives.DSC04486

The first quarter of the ride is in Albany from my home, through downtown Albany and to the Hudson River. Turn left at the Hudson River and the next five miles are spent on a paved trail along the Hudson River. DSC04464 The trail looks like it was resurfaced this summer.  It used to be pretty bumpy but is perfect now. The last couple of miles require pedaling along the streets in Watervliet.  A mile of this segment is spent passing the Watervliet Arsenal.  Established in 1813, this arsenal is the oldest in the country.  The grounds are shared by Benet Laboratory. The arsenal and the laboratory work together to develop and produce very big cannons for the US military and research future weapons systems. Creepy!  An imposing place that I would love to show you, but I am reluctant to take photos.  Thought I could pluck one from Google images, but apparently I am not alone in my hesitation to photograph military facilities.

I was more comfortable, but only slightly, photographing this cute Polish Deli.  Why were their shades pulled most of the way down?  I couldn’t really tell if they were open.  I thought the signs were classic.  Nothing says in it for the long haul like hand printed signs, but as likely as not they and the paper sign have been there longer than I have been around.  It is”Olde,” after all.  DSC04474

Watervliet also is home to a swimsuit store complete with two live Boxers in the window. The one in front is sporting a bone in his mouth.  Looks like a big cigar and fits in perfectly.  The Boxers noticed me taking their picture but didn’t seem bothered. Good swimsuit store Boxers.DSC04473

In Troy I was invited to attend a used book sale at the beautiful downtown public library. I didn’t find anything to bring home, but I was awed by the building and its fixtures, which included stacks with iron stairs and glass floors (presumably intended to allow light to pass), marble work, stained glass, chandeliers, a fire place and iron and wood book shelves. DSC04441

Really enjoyed the case of stuffed birds in the foyer, too. Surely some were collected in not cool ways, but if we take good care of this collection there is no need to collect any more birds. We can all visit these and be satisfied.DSC04435

Made it nearly home without a single incident, but in the last mile I experienced three close calls. First a car passed me and then pulled to the curb to park in my path. I was going slow and was able to stop, but I get the sense that the driver intended to cut me off. When I passed, he was cursing up a blue streak. DSC04440

Two blocks later, a young man driving with windows up and earbuds in turned left in front of me. I broke hard enough to pull some cable through my brake straddle cable carrier and yelled “HEY” and  “STOP” and he did. I have gotten really good at yelling quickly and loudly and was glad he heard me.  I was right in his path when he stopped. DSC04444

Three blocks later a car waited to pull out from a cross street until I was almost in the intersection. I was pretty frazzled by this time, lost my cool and screamed “WTF!” The driver smiled at me as she continued on her way.

Happy to report I was able to let these three incidents go. I used to get really steamed up and the heat stayed with me for an hour or so.  I used to chase down drivers and scream at them at stop lights. Never did any good, probably made a lot of enemies, and I was lucky to have not been punched or worse. DSC04479

Today, I was simply glad to pull into my driveway. I adjusted both brakes and tightened the cables. I heated a cup of cider. I am pleased as all get out to be writing to you, and am looking forward to another adventure tomorrow.

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