Yesterday I took the Rivendell Road on its first proper ride–a ten mile roll in the country. Nearly eighty degrees, no clouds, no wind and little traffic. Good company, too. It could not have been more right.
Today, the opposite. I pedaled into the city, to the record store. Despite seventy degrees and light wind, heavy and aggressive traffic left me rattled. A crossover that close-passed me on Monday did so again today (I recognized the make, color and the white stick figure family sticker in the rear wind0w–I’m assuming the figures represent the driver’s family and not people the driver has mowed down). Busses were tailing me and/or close-passing. One bus nearly rear ended me when I stopped at a crosswalk to let a pedestrians cross. That’s the law here, but no one ever stops. That’s surely why the bus was surprised (and a reason to start ignoring the law like everyone else does). A nineties Nissan Z revved its engine behind me at a light (I didn’t know if he was communicating threats or simply trying to keep the motor from dying). I was shaking when I got to the record store and didn’t stay long. I just wanted to get home.
On the way, one person stopped at a light and complimented the black ANT and said thanks for the reminder to get her bicycle out this weekend. Rare and wonderful, but it still did little to loosen the grip of doom closing my throat. Spring is bad. People get crazy. Fridays are the biggest days for road rage. I should have stayed home or pedaled into the country again. Anyway, I am glad to be home and safe.
Good that I really love biking. Experiencing what I just did, I would forgive someone new to biking for posting their bike on Craigslist immediately upon returning home. It just takes a few aggros to spoil a ride. Love that I can ride for a week before catching multiple aggros during a single ride. If it happened more often, I’d have to consider hanging it up.
I stopped by my neighbor’s house today to see how he and is wife are doing. Their house backs up to ours and I had seen neither of them outside for months. He used to bike so I asked if was still at it. No, he said, because he is just too scared of the traffic. He used to live in a much smaller town, a college town. Our town isn’t that big, and there are plenty of colleges here, but on days like today I get a bad vibe generally from the motorists. My neighbor is much older than I am. Balance becomes an issue. I understand why he opted to quit. Still frustrating. He isn’t walking much. Biking was his only exercise. Not good.
Wednesday, after pedaling the Rivendell Road in the city just for grins, I stopped by another neighbor’s house only to find that his wife had died since I last visited with him. That was a real kick in the stomach. I never met his wife, but if he relied on her half as much as I do on Lacey, I understand why he looked utterly lost and sad. I stayed there a couple of hours talking with him. Meanwhile, Lacey had come home from work and was terribly worried. I am always here when she comes home, or at least leave a note. I rarely carry a cell phone and if I do it is off. Lacey’s fine now, but my neighbor… I am sick for him. Life!
Tentatively moving onward. It is Friday. That’s good for something. I hope your weekend is great.