Mellow Monday

Today was the last day of my four-day weekend.  I didn’t sleep in, I was up puttering around the house.  I did some useful things, and wasted some time.  I wasn’t feeling energetic enough to go out on an epic ride.

I was running low on coffee.  I normally buy my coffee at Vint on Main Street because it’s right across the street from work.  I wasn’t working today, but I still needed coffee for tomorrow morning.

It was pleasant riding my commute route when it wasn’t rush hour.  I bought a pound of coffee and drank a cup while I was there.  I then headed eastward and turned south on Baxter Ave.

The LMPD have been known to be (mostly) bicycle friendly.  Some of them even do bicycle patrols.  The Jefferson County Sheriff Department… not so much.  One local bike advocate was ticketed by the sheriff’s office for not riding in a bike lane.  Kentucky does have an oddly-worded law requiring it “if practical”.  After much public outcry, the ticket was tossed.

Anyway, I was on Baxter Ave, which does not have a bike lane.  It has “flexible lanes”.  There are a total of four lanes.  The outer two lanes are for parking most times, but that changes between 4:00pm and 6:00pm, and no parking is allowed.

So, it was 4:05 and there were no cars in the right lane.  I took the right lane (it is narrow) and was moving along about 17mph.  I sheriff department SUV was behind me.  Rather than pass in the other lane, he honked his “buzz” horn.  I don’t know what they call it, but the sound makes it clear it’s an emergency vehicle.  He did not turn on any lights, so I ignored it.  After three more buzz-honks, I stopped in the middle of the lane and asked him if he was pulling me over.  He made several confusing hand gestures.  I repeated myself.  He made a clear hand gesture to get moving, so I did, still taking the right lane.  A few blocks up, he turned right while I continued straight.

I spent the next several minutes being amused about the sheriff.  He’s probably used to harassing cyclists, and they do what he says, whether they were breaking the law or not.  The incident with the local advocate probably lead to an internal memo being passed around, and my refusal to squeeze to the right in a narrow lane reminded him of it.

I continued on to Bardstown Rd and stopped at Cumberland.  I’m not supposed to drink beer or eat “heavy” food.  So I had only one beer, several glasses of water, and a salad.

Tim and I communicated via text, and I rode to meet him during near River Rd for a quick ride.  I rode a very urban, very heavy traffic route getting there.  It’s not something I do in a group, but there are days, and today was one of them, where I feel strong enough to mostly keep up with traffic.

I met up with Tim and we rode through Indian Hills, St Matthews, Seneca Park, and Cherokee Park.  His original plan was to hit the Beargrass Creek Trail, but last night’s deluge would mean mud, so we buzzed along Lexington Rd instead.  We continued out Mellwood Ave back to the start location.  It was about 13 miles in about an hour.

There were many cyclists out for the evening.  It was a bit cool, but pleasant.  Tim wasn’t feeling well, he wrote more about that here.

We went our separate ways, and I headed back down Mellwood Ave into downtown before heading south on Third St.

I ride Third St as part of my commute home most every day.  I pass Third Avenue Cafe most every day, but I can’t remember ever going there.  So, I stopped and locked my bike up outside.

I had another salad, and another beer.  I also had more water.  Salad doesn’t do much for energy when cycling.

By the time I left it was fully dark.  I’m glad for the SON hub and B&M lights to get me home safely (yes, I was riding the pink-barred single-speed.)

I arrived home with 33.2 miles for the day.  Nothing epic, just a mostly lazy, pleasant day.

Fun Facts

Due to the moisture and proximity to the river the gnats and other small bugs were horrible.  I ate several.  Tim had one in his eye.  I looked like a poppy-seed bagel by the time I stopped at Third Avenue Cafe.

Because I had originally just planned to ride 3.5 miles to buy a bag of coffee then ride home, I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt (and a helmet).  Other than wishing for long sleeves as it got cooler, I was perfectly comfortable during the ride.  Another 20 miles and I might have been wishing for a chamois.

I felt bad for Tim.  He was obviously not feeling well, but I was feeling quite strong.  It’s good to get out and ride when you’re having a bad day though.  I think the ride did him some good.

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