Those of you who pay attention to my sidebar may have noticed that my ride changed about two months ago. Now instead of pedaling off into the wilds of Gahanna I get to pedal into the wilds of downtown every day. This change has some advantages. First, it shaves about 3 miles and ten minutes off my commute. Second, it’s mostly downhill heading into work. Both of these make it much easier for me to overcome a reluctant morning and still get on the bike. Of course, there are disadvantages as well; the most obvious being that it is, thus, uphill to get home.
But the most interesting disadvantage is that the way into downtown is busy enough and I’m fast enough that traffic actually affects my time. Thus far the fastest I’ve been able to make it downtown is just under 16 minutes, which doesn’t even come close to my best time out to Gahanna. Plus normally I’m running around 17-18 minutes, not because I’m not pouring it on but because I have to stop and start for traffic.
I first noticed this when I used to work downtown about 7 years ago. Because of traffic lights, I can actually match the time of most cars in getting downtown. Inevitably I’d keep seeing the same cars every time I got to a red light. And that was on my old tank of a bike. Now that I’m really moving not only do I catch the cars, but the lights change my time because I have to keep stopping and starting.
Another factor is the buses. I can actually completely beat the buses without even trying very hard, but first I have to get around them. Fortunately COTA has started using biodiesel, which means that if I get stuck behind one I don’t have to deal with clouds of black smoke. But I do have to wait until they stop or traffic lets up in the left lane to get around them. Fortunately the COTA drivers are very respectful to cyclists. I’ve heard bad things from other cities about bus drivers, so I’m grateful.
But probably the worst is the idiots. I dealt with idiots on the way to Gahanna too, but there are more cars and thus more idiots driving downtown. Most of the idiots fall into the “pass me and then turn right in front of me” category, and the rest fall into the “get pissed that they can’t pass me then pretend they don’t see me when I get to the same red light” category. There are also a few of the “shout something clever from the sidewalk” kind.
But this morning I had a real gem. Some idiot was riding my rear impatient to get around me. When he finally did he shouted something unintelligible at me, which I ignored. When I caught up with him at the next light I was tempted to greet him and offer a good morning, but wisdom and some measure of self-preservation prevailed.
There was another cyclist a little ahead of me, and when idiot reached him he again shouted something, but this time, being behind him, I could understand.
He said “Fucking Democrat!”
Oh, so that’s how you can tell what party someone belongs to!
Entry filed under: Cycling.