Monday, June 13, 2016

A Day Out and About

Yesterday was sunny and 70s—perfect for riding the bikes all over town. Except that it was so windy! Oh well, it was still a great day to be out and about on the bikes, and so we were.

Some major construction was recently finished along Route 59. The main purpose was to widen this very busy thoroughfare, but the finished product also includes a fantastically wide and smooth new sidewalk. Trying to follow 59 under the train tracks on a bike was once a sketchy affair to be avoided except as a last resort, but this new sidewalk has transformed it into one of the more attractive route options. We have taken advantage of it only once or twice since its completion, and yesterday when we considered the best course to travel from the church to the thrift store, there was no question—straight down the wonderful new sidewalk on 59, of course! It's a breeze! But, it was not such a breeze yesterday.

Several sections of the new sidewalk—which appeared finished and ready for use when we last enjoyed cruising it, I don't know, maybe four weeks ago—have been removed, and frequent "sidewalk closed" signs now warn of each abrupt interruption of smooth concrete. What? We had to keep hopping off the bikes to walk over sharp drop-offs and sections of rugged gravel—more difficult for Len since he was towing the Croozer this whole time. Why? Why are sections of a brand-new sidewalk being torn up and replaced? Is their first attempt falling apart, and they now must make repairs? Regardless of the reason, what a tease. I hope the sidewalk gets put back together again soon.

Annoyed but otherwise unscathed, we made it to Savers. We donated a couple of bags of random stuff and then, of course, browsed the store. We hemmed and hawed over an accent table that we considered hauling home in the Croozer but ultimately (and more wisely) chose to pick it up later with the car.

Then we biked-walked back over the fragmented sidewalk twice more—to go from Savers to a friend's house and then from the friend to the grocery store. Even though this was functional biking and not a picnic ride through the forest preserve, it was still time spent rolling along in the sunshine and fresh air, and so it was enjoyable.

Also, did you know if you want people to give you strange looks, you should just walk around a store wearing your bicycle helmet? I'm not sure why it attracts such attention or seems to throw people off so much, but it never fails. Or, maybe they've been giving us weird looks all along and we only notice it when we're wearing our helmets.

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