The Temptation of New Pavement

DSC01038On my ride home from work today, I was faced with a dilemma. It was the same dilemma that I have faced for the past few days.

Should I forsake my regular commuting route in favor of a freshly-paved side road?

On Friday, Saturday and Monday, I stayed strong and continued homeward without testing the smooth, new pavement. Routine is important, after all, more important than gliding along a perfect new road…

I caved today. Well, technically I didn’t, my bike made the executive decision to deviate from our regular homeward route. My bike makes good choices. The fresh pavement was fast and silky smooth. Plus, our detour made the journey home feel like a bit of an adventure. On adventures, you must take pictures, or so I am told. So I stopped and attempted to photograph butterflies who were as camera-shy as they were beautiful. A German Shepherd was barking from across the road, so I soon gave up and continued down the road, until I turned onto a road that had not been paved, ever.

That’s when I remembered that I had left my sunglasses behind. Oops. I began to make a U-turn so that I could go fetch them, but since I have the bike handling skills of a five year old, I didn’t turn tight enough and my front wheel was threatening to plunge into a ditch filled with bushes. Clearly, I needed to brake. But as I was braking, I realized that I would have to unclip to avoid falling over in a pitiful heap. Normally, I prefer to unclip my right foot, but in this case, setting down my right foot would tip me over into the ditch.

“Haha, you are going to fall!” Taunted a helpful little voice in my head. I accepted the inevitable and prepared to tumble into some previously undisturbed shrubbery. But completely of its own volition, my left foot unclipped and suddenly I was standing upright. I have no clue how that happened, but I am glad it did.

Under the watchful eyes of the German Shepherd, I retrieved my sunglasses and then my bike and I went home.

Adding five miles to my commute? Maybe I should do it again sometime.

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8 thoughts on “The Temptation of New Pavement

  1. This post reminds me of the choice I make every day on my ride to or from work. I can either go up a gradual hill or steep hill. I always stress myself out over trying to choose. I like what you said about routine. Perhaps I should choose one route and stick with it. Sometimes I do a much, much longer route just to mix things up. Now I’m thinking about how I’ll get home today…hmmmm…oh yeah I have the car have to go shopping. UGH!

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    • Aww…that is sad, shopping stinks!
      Haha, I can sympathize with the stress of choosing a route, I changed my route through town last fall but I would ask myself every time if I wanted to switch back…it took me months to stop thinking about it.

      I love doing things a set, routine way, it is part of my personality. But mixing it up can be exciting at times 🙂

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  2. Ah, her powers have grown… Nice job staying upright – funny how the miles make us better cyclists like that, eh? Almost like you didn’t have to do anything. It just happens

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  3. Two weeks ago I was not so fluidly athletic in my turn as you. I missed my turn. Looked quickly behind and in front and saw traffic in the distance, but plenty of time to make the U-turn. I turned very tight with both feet stubbornly clipped in and wanting to stay that way. Over I went right in the middle of the road with cars approaching fast. I hobbled up, grabbed the bike and made it to the side without getting run over, but slightly embarrassed. Love/hate relationship with the whole clipless thing.

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    • Wow, I have never been called athletic in my life! Let alone fluidly athletic. I am glad I have you conned 🙂

      I am sorry to hear of your clipless mishap, most of the time when I am biking I don’t want to be invisible to cars but in situations like that wouldn’t it be awesome to be momentarily invisible?

      I don’t mind falling down quite so much if no one sees me 😉

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  4. I don’t have many choices on my route to or from work. I envy that. The unclipping has become intuitive for you. You are now included in the ranks of “real” cyclists! Falling over because of them was one of the first steps.

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