Sunday, September 06, 2009
There is no way I can compete with Pelotonia, but I did get some cycling in on Saturday for the annual Bike the Cbus event, a central-city tour of Columbus.
Perfect weather, perfect routes, perfect people - quite the enjoyable day!
First, I had to buy a bike helmet. You read right - I've never worn a helmet on a bike. Amazing I made it through childhood, college, work and trail cycling, eh!? But Bike the Cbus required a helmet so I trekked to Wally world and got the cheapest one. :) It didn't bother me as much as I thought it might, so yay, I can be a safe rider at last.
*Noise of portending*
The day was beautiful, about 60* at 8am, when I parked downtown and rode out to the start. Then got my swag bag and *facepalm* rode the mile back to the car to drop it off before hitting the road. Thwack thwack thwack.
The ride took us through the King-Lincoln District, Franklin Park Conservatory, Olde Towne East, Merion Village, German Village, Brewery District, COSI, Bottoms, Olentangy Trail, Harrison West, Victorian Village, downtown, Discovery District and back. Columbus is super-beautiful in the more gentrified areas, with huge brick houses, wrought-iron gates, slate rooves. This was a super-slow ride with lots of stops at green houses, YMCAs, local community associations, private bike shops and just random folks who offered to be a stop on the tour.
Pretty nice considering the last couple of races I've run - nice to have water and tech support when you need it (Twice Ridden Bikes pumped my tires up after they'd been bounced around on the brick streets of German Village).
Sadly, for all the beauty of the buildings and homes themselves, many of them are run-down, vacant places in need of fixing. I can see this happening, slowly, very slowly, in K-L and Olde Towne, where the homes are structurally sound. In the Bottoms the progress is still close to nothing, where most of the homes are clapboard and have oilpaper siding, many have fire damage from homeless squatters. Still, you can see where so much potential lies.
Everyone was so nice! Many group riders offered to let me join them, but I felt like maintaining my own pace and really enjoying the scenery and thinking my own thoughts. I only got off course a couple of times, but everyone else did too. :)
But oh yes, no day would be complete without a mishap or two. I let my mouth get ahead of me and called out to a group of teenaged riders to respect the traffic lights (they made left turns on red!) and got into it with them over their idiocy. Then *I* pulled out in front of a car. I also wiped out in front of the North Market after running over a crushed plastic bottle while braking. Didn't fall, but my bike frame slammed into my legs and have a beautiful bruise on my left shin. *facepalm*
Definitely glad I didn't even consider Pelotonia. ;-)
There were cycle races going on at the start/end point, so I checked my bike, grabbed a snack and watched before heading back downtown.
Pretty cool way to burn 1000 calories and see the city at the same time. HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who is in or near Columbus, it was grand.