DIARY OF A COOL-WEATHER RIDER

by

Barbara Zimmerman

How great is it to ride this time of year! Riding Polar Bear in winter is a challenge! Riding in the fall is lovely! Summer is abominable! But spring riding – ahhhh – just the best!!

I get up in the morning, check the thermometer and voila!! - the temperature is over 50! I put a thin sweater over my clothes and don Gerbing pants sans electric liner. The leather jacket and gloves are enough. No wires to feed anywhere or plug in. I'm off! The sun warms my back. The air is clean and crisp. I’ve missed the school buses and garbage trucks. There’s no slow poke in front of me, no cage trying to jump sideways into my safety zone on Route 1 in Mercer County. All’s right with the world!

Monday, May 9 – Drats! Can’t ride today may have a court appearance. I find out just before leaving my office that the trial was adjourned and the subpoena I was going to court to quash will be withdrawn. And I didn't ride to work for this?? Ratzle-fratzle!!

Tuesday, May 10 – I'm ready! Pull the car out. Pull the bike out. Back the car into the garage - so the birds don’t decorate it. I'm off. Just got the bike out of the shop after a complete service and new tires. She sings. I sing - and smile a lot. “Stayed too long at the dance.” Just as I leave the office after 7:00 p.m. the skies open up long enough to put on the rain suit. I poach on the ride home.

Wed., May 11 – The ride today is refreshing - physically and spiritually. I'm totally alone on Riva Avenue along the Farrington Lake - serene!! When I get home I decide to chain the bike to the side porch railing, cover her and leave her out overnight. I won’t have to jockey the vehicles in the morning. The cover needs a shower because the birds decorated it - before my son took it to cover his teacup cycle! I get the hose hooked up and spray the cover. All clean! Where’s my pocketbook, lunch bag, bike keys?? I get my spare set of keys from the house, the wet cover comes off and I extricate the items I left on the bike before I so lovingly covered her. I find the bike keys – tucked in my waist band.

Thursday, May 12 – The bike cover was dusty. Have to do a quickie with Honda Cleaner before leaving for work. But today I find all back roads home except for about 2 miles!!! I am ecstatic!!! Now if only I can retrace the route in the morning.

Friday, May 13 – Did pretty well finding my highway-free route to Lawrenceville! Only had to go about 3 miles out of my way. At the point where I can make the last 2 miles to my office without going on Route 1 - I go for it. This road is usually backed up but it’s after 9:00 a.m. - should be clear. WRONG! I turn around in a condo complex, turn onto the ramp for Route 1 and what to my wondering eyes should appear – 4 lanes of stopped-dead traffic! I get a lot of friction-zone practice. My left arm feels like it will fall off. It takes me an additional 20 minutes to weave over to the far left lane and take an alternate road to my office.

Next week will be fabulous!! I got the highway-free route and alternate approach to my office down pat! I’ll be singing!

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