Connectivity: Biking to Work
I made it in one piece, and I feel accomplished. (physically and psychologically). I rode my bike to work (roughly 10-12 miles). I think the worst part was trying to pack all my stuff into my backpack that I need for the day. The thing weighed a ton with my laptop, clothes and toiletries, paperwork, and my breakfast and lunch. Lesson one: drive your stuff to the office early in the week, and take all the stuff you need and leave it there instead of trying to pack it all on the day of the ride.
I met one other biker this morning. We played a little “tag” on Sawmill and then Longstreet – but once we got on the greenway, he apologized and left me in a cloud of dust.
The entire ride took about an hour, mostly because I stopped to take a few photos like this one of the steam rising off Shelley Lake (now you don’t get to see that on your commute to work, do you?).
And I had to stop at Harris Teeter in Cameron Village to get the milk to go on my cereal – that was just one thing I could not figure out how to do with equipment I now own. I need a thermos.
Crossing North Hills, I noticed these cones that draw attention to the crossing here. On Saturday, when we did our dry run, we saw these, and motorists seemed to be more aware and stopped to let us cross. One observation: we need more of these kinds of attention-grabbing signs and signals to drivers to let them know to be cautious where bikes and walkers are crossing.
On the greenway, the City has installed these fabulous way-finding signs that are not only attractive, but really help directionally challenged people like me find my way around.
When I left the greenway, I rode through the Country Club Hills neighborhood as planned, and made my way to my right turn onto St. Mary’s street. I was met there with a line of cars headed, I am guessing, to the nearby schools. Two light cycles later, I was on my way up St. Mary’s (and it’s a long, slow up.)
The most fear-inducing part of my route was this intersection at St. Mary’s and Glenwood. I had to coach myself through (you can do it, you can do it, you can do it – just act like a car!) to do the little jag right then left then right to stay on St. Mary’s. This nice gentleman said hello to me – I think he was shocked to see me, honestly.
St. Mary’s between Glenwood and Wade was quite pleasant. I don’t know whether it was the fact that the hills were behind me, the traffic had calmed a bit, or that I knew I was almost there, but I relaxed a little more and could enjoy the fresh air and the beautiful surroundings. I did run into a number of people along the way who said hello – something else you don’t get when you drive your car to work.
The next big intersection to cross was Wade Avenue. This was not as scary as the last big intersection, except that — and here is the connectivity lesson – all bike lane amenities stopped. The lane between Wade and where I turned right to go to Cameron Village is wide enough for one car — and little ole me as long as I think thin and don’t need to dodge a pothole.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a bike rack at the Harris Teeter where I stopped to get the milk for my breakfast of champions (shredded wheat, strawberries and skim milk.