Friday, November 19, 2010

Chasing the Light

The weather this week has been spectacular for riding to work. Temps in the 40s and 50s, to not ride to work is a Schande! In order to get to work at a reasonable hour and to take advantage of some truly serene times to be riding, I have to leave at 6 AM but it's worth it.  My new favorite route parallels the old Shepaug Railroad line that went from Bethel to Litchfield.  The route I take crosses the old line on Pond Brook Road, Rte 25, Rte 6 and Old Bethel Road.  I especially love part on Old Bethel Rd. 

The old farm steads lining the roads and the old train line that parallels this road is always great to look at and I continue to wonder whether it could be made into a rail trail. I have been thinking about trying to mix in some single track/unimproved rail trail on my ride to work in the mornings.  This bit of history would be perfect.

Image credit:  University of New Hampshire
Library Digital Collections Initiative
USGS 15 minute series
Danbury, CT 1892
Leaving the office in the afternoon, I find that I cannot leave past 4 PM otherwise I will arrive home in utter darkness.  Still proper illumination is key and I ride with my off road light all the time now, in addition to a flasher/strobe on the front of my bars, and a high intensity blinky on the back.  The headlight helps me see bumps in the road when it's really dark, especially by the time I hit the dirt road on Pond Brook.

At 4:15 and two miles into my commute the sun is already setting and having the headlight really helps.  Of course there are still those that are driving cars that despite all the safety lights I have on still feel that it's their right and duty to pass me as close as possible or to get in front of me at an intersection.  I love the fat, Yenta talking on her cell phone that blew through the intersection at Walnut Tree and Hawleyville Rd and cut me off as I started to cross into the intersection.  Or the old Bitty that had to zoom around me to get an intersection to make a right turn only to not even stop at the stop sign.  It's anarchy, I tell you!  Pure and simple driving anarchy!

In the milestone department, my Qball went over a 1000 miles after today's ride home.  Granted the last two years I have been riding it mostly as a Monster Crosser and Commuter.  I think the rear wheel needs some truing and I have to tighten the tape on the bars but overall, it's a great bike and I love riding it.

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