Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bike to Work Week

Friday was a good day.  It was the Mayor's Ride and Greenstreet had a little donut and coffee pre-ride get together.  I rode in pulling Copper, my 70 pound Golden Retriever, behind me in her Burley Tail Wagon.  This dog-pulling contraption is a bit wide so I decided to switch my route up a bit to avoid too much (acutally any) time on Center St.   I rode up and down the hilly road that is Frances St., one block south of Center.  Way more hilly but way less hectic.  Copper and I then connected to Twin Ridge Blvd and took the normal route from there. 

On Leavenworth at a red light just on the other side of the interstate I encountered a fellow whom I assumed to be homeless.  "Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey!!  You got a dog in there!" he said followed by maniacal laughter.
"Yup," I said. "Have a nice day!"  And off I pedaled.  Kept me smiling for a while.

Then, also on Leavenworth which never leaves me un-entertained, I ran into another cyclist riding to his place of work: ConAgra.  He was pedaling on the sidewalk and I noticed him bouncing off of un-cut curbs and dodging pedestrians.  I, of course, had to start up a conversation at the next red light.  "Nice morning for a ride, huh?"
"Sure is," he shot back, a bit winded.  He was riding an older Marin and was helmet-less at the moment.  "You always ride on the sidewalk?" I asked.  "Usually, it's kinda scary in the midst of all those cars."  The light turned green.

As we cruised nearly side by side (although I found it much easier and faster to cruise along in the street without the issue of curbs and walkers) we continued a bit of friendly banter.  I noticed after a few blocks, he was now riding in the street, although certainly hugging the curb.  I was happy that he took the chance for a bit and saw that it's not so scary to ride in traffic.  We parted ways at 13th St. when I turned north and he continued east-bound. 

Copper and I pulled up to Greenstreet and were greeted by about 10 other cyclists waiting outside in hopes of tasty donuts and coffee.  It was a glorious site: all of these other folks on bikes that had ridden downtown for the ride with the mayor.  Fun stuff. 

After stuffing ourselves with 4 dozen donuts and 4 gallons of OJ and 3 pots of coffee, the mass of about 40 riders hit the roads heading down towards the Kerrey pedestrian bridge where the festivities were to continue.  We were pleased to pull up to another huge group of supporters of bike to work week.  After a short proclamation by both mayors from Council Bluffs and Omaha, the rides through the streets began.  It wasn't all that realistic of a commute, considering there was a police escort and blocked off streets, but enjoyable nonetheless.

I want to hear from you all!!  Who's out there?  What/where/when are you riding?!  Let me know.

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