Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rare Opportunity for a Drive

We had a corporate picnic in Edina yesterday afternoon.  I rode my bicycle the 10 miles between our corporate office and the park for the picnic.  Completely unfamiliar with a good bicycle route, I set out in the general direction and "winged it."

I wouldn't call it "lost" nor would I call the route I took direct, I wandered my way and arrived after having ridden about 45 minutes.  Unfortunately the only way to really "get there" was to ride down the right side of France avenue which is 6 lanes (10 counting left and right turn lanes) of stop and go traffic.  I was the only cyclist that I saw in the whole 10 mile ride and unless you call someone walking from a parking lot to the store a pedestrian, no one really walking anywhere.

My wife joined me, having left from our home in Roseville for what was about a 20 mile drive.  She arrived after having sat in traffic for an hour and 15 minutes at 3:00 in the afternoon.

The picnic lasted until about 6pm when we left together.  I stuffed my bike in the back of the hatchback for the ride home together.  We missed really getting any food at the picnic so instead tried to decide where to get some food for dinner. After driving for an hour to cover approximately 20 miles we stopped for burrito at Chipotle in Roseville close to home.

The whole experience reminded me of just how someone could coin the term: "Rat Race"  While I try to carve out a little niche for our life, I guess I look around a little bit with open and objective eyes wondering about life in such an inhospitable place?  Maybe it was just the experience of "driving?"


bother yam said...

Riding down France Ave. is one of the worst experiences you can have as a TC cyclist. I work very near to where you probably were and the whole Southdale area (France - Xerces, 66th - 76th) is a nightmare of inattentive shopping mall zombies, seniors and A-type speeders mixed in a toxic stew and flavored with arbitrary traffic lights. Mercifully, I ride just to the edge of this madness and arrive/escape from it through the soft, warm, grandmotherly arms of Richfield's suburban streets.

You have my sympathy for being exposed to this.

Reflector Collector said...

You nailed it brother yam!

It was a very miserable experience, one that would make me not want to live or work there.

Anonymous said...

So where is your advice to "get a map
and use the streets" and "it is a waste
of money to mark bike routes with signs"
(signs are about as cheap as you can get to create a bike network.) And "whiners
need a marked route to gramma Ethel"

I hear you are leaving town, may you have the equiv of France Av. to bike on the way there tough guy.

Reflector Collector said...

Wow, not sure if I am detecting a bit of hostility from Anonymous?

Get a map and use the streets; absolutely, great advice. If I hadn't been in such a rush to get there, I would have done so. I instead followed the directions provided while evaluating a new bike map wiki called cyclopath. The route that I was prescribed is not one that I would have chosen on my own, I'd much rather take the long way.

Mark bike routes with signs? Again, another brilliant idea. When trying to explain to novice users I'm often forced to directions like "take the one trail that sorta heads off to the left when you get to the intersection by the railroad tracks."

Sorry to disappoint, but I am not moving. The area I was considering was filled with narrow county roads and gravely goodness. As for the city I was thinking of; bikes and pedestrians seemed to out-number cars and what cars are there actually STOP for pedestrians. My wife and I both almost found it strange.

rigtenzin said...

I gather that sometime in the past, you said something that insulted the anonymous poster.

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