Today after work I rode to Rochester, then a little ways down the Paint Creek Trail, then back to work. It was a total of just over 16 miles, but they were particularly tiring. I also learned a bunch of things during the ride, and here are some of them:
· Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills are named that way for a reason. What is a fun, hilly area to drive is hell under one’s own power. A few miles of uphill with no trees gets tiring quickly.
· The gates at work will not open for a pedestrian or a person on a bicycle, regardless of if a person is swiping a badge or the guard is pressing the button. There seem to be hall effect sensors or something similar in the pavement, and my bike is too small, too non-ferrous, or both. Thankfully an AT&T guy was pulling into one of the data centers behind me, so I just pulled forward until the gate opened for him.
· The sort of crosswalks Rochester has installed on the Clinton River Trail are crap. Here is one. It has a raised median on which it is too small for a bike to stop, but it is ringed with plastic posts making it difficult to traverse in one go. These should be replaced with crosswalk signals and flashing yellows which turn red when someone presses a button. It’d then be easy to cross in light traffic, and easy (despite stopping) if traffic is heavy.
· I could ride to and from work in a reasonable amount of time, but the area near work would make it pretty unpleasant. I’d also be quite stinky and there aren’t showers at work. As I’ve now ridden this route in two separate pieces, one day when I have more daylight available I’ll do it in one go.
· Armhair, particularly mine, is very good at trapping gnats and other small insects when riding through swarms.
· I still don’t feel very comfortable on non-paved areas nor around other people while using pedals which attach me to the bike. I may need to loosen the tension, and I definitely need to work on the positioning of the cleats themselves on the shoes.
· Way, way too many people don’t know how to handle themselves around bike. When someone says “passing on your left”, don’t stop and turn around. Yes, you have the right of way, but you should be reasonably comfortable with where you are as well. You also should be courteous and not take up the whole width of the path with strollers, dogs, or your desire to ride two or three abreast at all times, particularly when you can see people coming in your direction.