Yesterday I expected to go home in the same way that I went to work: in a motorized vehicle. For reasons that shall remain obscure, I had to walk instead. Now, If you are an avid follower of this blog and have diligently committed every random fact to memory, then you know that’s a distance of a little over six miles. The weather was fine, and it was a very nice walk, but you learn some things when you finally walk a ride that you have so many times ridden. (I realize that sentence may perhaps be described as grammatically awkward, but I prefer to think of it as being intriguingly constructed.
1. Steve says: “Any walk over a quarter mile sucks. That’s why I always carry an extra
Well, at the beginning of the walk, I did find myself wishing that I had my bicycle. Also, at the end of the ride, by which time my feet were beginning to complain a bit, I did wish I had my bicycle. In the middle of the ride, however…well, I wished I had my bicycle then, too.
The walk really was quite pleasant, but I do have to admit that I would nearly always rather be riding.
2. Many drivers care just as little about pedestrians as they do about cyclists.
I have often wondered if those drivers who honk as they are coming up behind me would honk if they were coming up behind a pedestrian. The answer, in at least one case, is definitely yes. This is particularly odd since I was walking on the correct side of the road, so the car was coming up behind me but was in the other lane. I don’t really know what message that particular honk was intended to convey, so I’ve decided it was something like, “Hey, how come you aren’t riding your bike?”
Drivers who don’t pull over to give any clearance to a cyclist hugging the shoulder, certainly don’t pull over to give any clearance to a pedestrian who is actually walking on the shoulder. I’ll admit that I tend to swing out to give such people a little extra room, but a lot of people don’t.
3. Dogs are different when you are on foot.
I’m not sure how to explain this one.
Two dogs who typically ignore me when I am on the bike came trotting out to meet me as I walked past. Well, I don’t know that they wanted to meet me precisely. One of them, fortunately the extremely small member of the pair, was giving every indication of wanting to see the color of my insides. Neither of them actually left their yard to pursue me, however. In the case of these particular dogs, I think they ignore me when I’m on the bike because they don’t want to chase me. Even the one who sounded like he was cussing me out in dog language was merely sauntering after me. If you can’t catch a guy who’s walking, then you aren’t really trying.
\There is a self storage place along this route with two chows guarding the fenceline. When I ride past, they bark at me and run along the fence and generally look fearsome and dangerous. (When I say two chows by the way, I actually mean six chows but four of them are recent additions and are slightly smaller than throw pillows. They are puppies, in fact.)
As I walked past, the puppies looked at the adults to figure out what to do about the interloper. One of the adults ignored me and the other one ran to the fence and wagged it’s body and gave a doggie grin and seemed to do everything in its power to communicate the fact that it was a good doggie and wanted to be friends.
I didn’t actually try the experiment to find out.
4. I see a lot more when I am walking.
Well, that one makes sense. I’m closer to the ground and going slower. Not everything that I saw was worth the seeing, mind you. I never realized how much manure gets spread on some of the fields that line this route. I never realized how much garbage lines the road, especially beer bottles and, oddly enough, cds. (No, I didn’t look at them to see what they were. They probably had manure on them.) I didn’t see that dead fox the last time I rode by.
I’m sure there was some natural beauty out there. It always seems like it when I’m on the bike, but I didn’t notice it this time.
I think the next time, I’ll ride instead.
See you on the road.