Election Day Ride to the ‘ville

I was able to vote first thing in the morning – arriving at the polling station at 5:45 to cast my vote. It was shaping up to be a no ride day because we had parent teacher conferences at 10:40 in the morning. By the time I attended that and returned to work there would be no time for a ride. Then the brainstorm hit – why not ride to the conference? I did a quick mileage check and determined in was 9.5 miles to the school in the Highlands. I did a quick run by the boss and he agreed it would be cool even though it would cost me about 10-12 minutes per leg. This would be my first ride that could really count as a “CO2” ride or what ever its called. It was a pure substitution for a car ride

I set out using my most direct route to the river and made it to the first major hurdle – the 2nd Street Bridge.
Second Street Bridge Photo by Jonathan W
This bridge has had some biking fatalities and is really the only way between southern Indiana and Louisville. After the last unfortunate death the city marked the bridge a little better and painted what they call “sharrows” on the two outer lanes. A month ago I surveyed some riders and heard universally to use the sidewalk. I like the idea of better roads and routes for bike riders but not enough to die for. It was a little clumsy to navigate back onto 2nd street after the cross but I eventually made it. 2nd street is a main thoroughfare and was recently converted to two way traffic. It really was easy to ride as far as traffic but the lights are not timed well and there was a lot of stopping and waiting. I swung left onto Broadway and may my way to the Highlands. A woman in a Neon kept honking at me – at least five times! Broadway is at least 3 lanes plus a parking row wide in this stretch. She apparantly wanted me to ditch into the parking area so she pass me. I did not cooperate. She had two clear lanes multiple times to get around. Finally at a light she went around. Just 4 blocks later she turned right – about 15 feet ahead of me. That is what interests me the most about riding in the city – it is really not any slower to do. As she passed I made no gestures, said no words and barely made any eye contact. Her problem really.

The rest of the ride there went pretty smooth. I did have some signal problems at Broadway and Baxter but eventually it changed. I made it to the school with about 5 minutes to spare and was able to stash the bike and help my wife get all of the children in.

We walked to the local Jimmy Johns at Highland and Baxter and soaked in the sun sitting outside and having a great lunch on a beautiful day. There can’t be too many of those days left this year.

Heading back to work I thought I would try to take Market Street to work back the bridge. I recall a bike lane on Market and I thought I would try that. It turns out that the bike lane only goes the other way. It was kind of a slow grind to make it back to Indiana. The bridge sidewalk was nerve wracking again but not too bad. Once I hit Indiana it was all familiar roads and I rode back feeling great.

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