Thursday, November 30

über komüt

The last four or so miles of my old commute have been relatively the same since 2003 or so.  It wasn't the worst commute ever for me.  That woulda been the eleven something miles from Mint Hill into the Queen City.  Miles of 45MPH narrow two lane connecting to miles of 40MPH four lane... shit sidewalks, lotsa pull-ins for business driveways...

That was bad.

But the last fourteen years have been pretty good.  Aside from a couple miles of sidewalk (next to a super busy 45MPH four lane) and the addition of trolley tracks in the roadway the last coupla miles, it's been relatively pleasant.  Those tracks have been a pain in the ass, especially through Central Piedmont Community College, what with all the students getting dropped off hilly nilly (and illegally).  Oh yeah, and the part that goes past The Spoke Easy where you have to choose riding over storm grates (possibly wet) or a narrow strip of concrete that has tracks on one side and a gaping seam on the other, both capable of swallowing the 23mm tires on my tarck bike.

I've seen people go down there, and I've also seen the results.  It ain't pretty.

Mickey, third senior (or second rookie) messenger in Charlotte.  Same same.

Anyways, my new commute... or better yet, new commuteS.

There's at least three decent ways to get to the uptown from my new house.

1. Peaceful neighborhood to bike lane to another bike lane to the path that runs along the light rail all the way to uptown.  It's exposed to the sun most of the way, so nice and toasty for winter commutes.  Added bonus; cars yielding for ME at the crosswalks, so no waiting on traffic lights.

2.  Ride over to the greenway (which is gonna eventually gonna cut through my hood) and ride it all the way to just outside uptown.  This will be a great option when it's hot outside or if I need to stop at Bike Source for... things.

3.  Charlotte Bike Route #2 is super close to my house.  It's more shaded, cuts through tons of neighborhoods, and has plenty of hills.  When I get tired of bike lanes or headphone afflicted path users, I've got a pretty sweet option this way:

I really like the light rail path the most, partially because once I get on it, I can see the big buildings in the distance.  I pass by a bunch breweries, people, and Bill Nye's place... which will be convenient if I have an urgent science-related need.  It's also almost all gradual uphill on the way in, and totes opposite on the way home.  Buenos.

The only real loss of quality in my bike life is that I'm further away from the place where I used to get my greenway junk mile mornings.  It was a pretty ideal locale to mindlessly spin away from cars and people in the mornings, but it's almost eight miles from my house now.  Since I was only bagging 1-1.5 hours of ride time out there before work, it's just not feasible any longer.  I don't know where I'll get those rides in next "season," but it sure as shit won't be the Backyard Trails right near my house.

I won't be the morning spider web sweep guy.  I tried that a few years ago, and riding twenty feet, taking a web to the face, screaming like a toddler, and doing a full-body check for arachnids does nothing for me.


Steven Butcher said...

You haven't lived 'til you feel a spider crawling around in your hair under your helmet!

Glen Evans said...

yea! but how's this going to effect your season!