Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Emerging Patterns

This is probably nothing to get startled about... but I've noticed that for the last month or so, we seem to be experiencing Global Cooling.  At least at this latitude.  But - if memory serves, the same thing was happening about this same time last year.  (Six months from now, we'll be in the throes of Global Warming once again.)

I enjoy a bit of personal amusement in the autumn.  Being quite "weather-extreme tolerant" (largely as a result of many years of cycling in widely-varying climatic conditions), it amuses me when I'm still in shirt-sleeves, and cross paths with cyclists who are bundled up like they're headed for Antarctica!  You know - thick hooded goose-down parka, heavy mittens, scarf across face, etc.  When it's 50 degrees I always want to ask, "What are you going to do when it gets cold?!"

Also, the "bike room" parking at the office clears out, this time of year.  In the summer, there might be 30 or 35 bikes parked in there... now there are 3 or 4, and a couple look to have been abandoned.  Another fairly regular year-round cyclist observed, "Cold weather has a way of weeding out the weak and infirm."  Among the general population and among the cycling population!

Longer term, as I think about it I detect another pattern.  20 years ago I would take the most direct route, the majority of the time.  I was focused on transportation efficiency on the bike... wanting to select the fastest way from Point A to Point B.  Nowadays I'll frequently diverge more, sacrificing a minute or two for a more aesthetically-pleasing ride.

Almost every weekday, I ride down a quarter-mile stretch of 4-lane road (Americana Boulevard), where the downhill slope makes it practical to "take the lane."  At the bottom, I can peel off to a bike path through the park.  Doing so definitely adds distance and time to my ride... but it is always such a pleasant change of atmosphere, to put the motor traffic noise behind me!  The extra minute or two is a small price to pay.  (And, in all honesty, my speed is 3mph slower than it was 20 years ago, so rapid transit is less of a factor in any case.)

1 comment:

Clancy said...

While overall numbers are down, I still see more cyclist than 5 or 6 years ago. Bannock and Franklin seem to be the Northender's choice to get downtown.