Happy America Day, Americans and nationalities inferior to Americans! I'm out working on a barge (not related to launching fireworks- I'm just really into barge culture), but I was lucky enough to have sent to me a guest post, for which I am very, very grateful. Thanks, Dave! So, between parades, hot dogs, and flag-waving, please do indulge yourself in one of the most un-American activities about one of the second most un-American activities: reading about biking. USA! USA!
Dave’s Not Here.
More precisely, Dave is a guest blogger from Owings Mills, Outside Baltimore. So he’s there.
Thanks to B of TFTS fame for letting me post a guest commute even though he and I have different political orientations. I mean he’s one of those wear your work clothes on the bike, upright rider types. I think he’s one Surly fixie away from being a hipster. I’m the racing bike, lycra clad superbiker. I time my ride in and home and keep track of every mile. 734 so far this year…
My ride in started around 6:30AM after a fruit smoothie and a shave. I left the house in the fog and damp to grunt up the hill for about ¾ of a mile to the light. It’s always RED. Thankfully the car sensor can also sense my steel bike and after a bit I am paroled. A little down and I get to climb some more; up to the 2 mile mark. I think I’m grumpy after such a rude start, but there isn’t anyone around to gripe at so I’m not sure. Winands Road is next, and it’s sort of level, if you ignore its rolly-polly-ness. There are no bike lanes here, or anywhere on my trip. Not even a sharrow. Is that the cost of living in the suburbs? [Ed. Note: Yes. Also good schools and ample TGI Fridays]
By now I’m pretty warmed up. No need to eject any clothing, but comfortable. The hills are pretty good for that. Next I’m on Marriotsville road. As I bump over the speed bumps, I can smell coffee brewing. And dryer sheets. Every day it’s coffee and dryer sheets. Today a man was getting into his car as I hit the next bump. Coffee, dryer sheets and cologne.
I raced a school bus to the top of the hill. I won! It was all me, the speedbumps slowing the bus down had no part in my winning. The bus, not knowing its part in this drama, roared away without comment.
Then there was a much too brief downhill. It feels so good not pedaling, I don’t even think of stopping at New Town Starbucks as I pass; even though I can smell the aroma. I also can imagine the gurglings of the espresso machine. Mmmm coffee.
When I first rode Dolfield, it was a small country road that ran up Pleasant Hill. A dubiously named hill at best. Pleasant my ass. Now it’s 2 lanes each way with a median. But the hill part is still there. Here I started to see the first people not in cars. First up is a poodle, attached to a 20-something female in a sweater. Neither appear to be moving. Next is the exact opposite. A big sweaty guy in a baggy sweat-suit (which appears to be doing its job) is jogging with a Rottweiler. I’m glad there’s a thick leash on him. No telling what the guy might do if he was let loose.
Then things got a bit strange. I pedaled past a group of High School kids waiting for their bus. Both today and one day last week, a girl from the group rushed to the street edge when she saw me, and said something. I think she asked me if I like candy bars, but that would be just a bit weird. I mean I had always heard that it was the old man that asked the little girl if she wanted some candy; not the other way around.
A twist, turn, and a log “weeeeee” down the hill, and I’m at the light at Reisterstown Road. Soon after, I ride past Timber Grove Elementary School. I pass this school every day, and I have never seen any children, teachers, parents, or cars in the parking lot. I know the school is still in operation. I guess I’m just always too early, or too late to see anyone.
Gwynnbrook Ave is the fastest stretch on my ride in. With my hands in the drops, and my head down, I hit 35.7MPH without trying. I don’t really try too much on my way to work.
Gwynbroook runs into Garrison Forrest Road and that run me up to work. After a quick shower I’m at my desk. Another 13 mile commute completed! 52minute and 25 seconds. More information to record. And I can’t forget, a text to the wife saying I made it safe. Because, I did.