Monday, September 18, 2006

Carless in Raleigh, Days 2 and 3

It's amazing how much your leisure activities depend upon you having a car. Fortunately, my Saturday - day 2 of our little social experiment - was not too action-packed. I went out canvassing for Greer Beaty, my NC House candidate. The meeting point was near where I went yesterday for lunch - fortunately, though, some of my fellow travelers took pity on me and gave me a ride. They also offered to give me a ride for Tuesday night call nights - a very good thing since the call nights happen in northeast Raleigh and that would just be one hell of a bike ride. Greer invited me out to dinner afterwards - that I rode my bike to. Afterwards, I got my first night ride in - a three-mile round trip to the movie theater. Crossing Route 1 was somewhat of a hassle, since the Walnut St. bridge has no shoulder to speak of. But my reflector vest and headlights served me well, and I survived.

I had to look around at the movie theater for a good ten minutes to find somewhere to lock up my bike. Which brings me to rant #1: the lack of bike racks/posts/other things to hook a bike to at major shopping centers around here. Seriously, folks, is it that hard to provide a hitching post for us bikers? I've been riding for a whole three days now, and I've had too hook my bike to two handicapped-parking signs, two trees, and a couple of handrails. Universities are good about that kind of thing - the rest of the world should be too.

So Saturday was good. About nine miles total logged.

Ah, but then Sunday.

I had a football game in northwest Raleigh that I usually go to. The game starts at nine. I had asked the other players to swing by to pick me up if I was on their way - the problem being that all the other players live in the godforsaken wasteland known as North Raleigh. Which means I was consigned to riding my bike for the fifteen miles to the Jewish Community Double-Wide up in far north Raleigh. I woke up a full hour later than I wanted to - I didn't get on the road until 7:30. Good thing, too - I showed up at 8:55, a good ten minutes before anyone else. If I had left at 6:30 like I had wanted to, I would have been really bored.

Then I played football for roughly an hour and a half. I thought it was funny that the guy defending me kept bugging me about going deep on every play. Hey, if you can't keep up with a guy who just biked fifteen miles on approximately five hours sleep, you got other problems.

Fortunately, someone was kind enough to take me roughly halfway back after the game, so I only had a ten mile ride back. Either way, between twenty-five miles of bike riding and 90 minutes of wind-sprinting, I worked out my quads more in five hours than I had worked them in my previous 24 years on this planet.

The ride wasn't that strenuous, really (at least not on the way out). The most annoying thing was the lack of sidewalks in Raleigh. Seriously, after you cross the line from Cary into Raleigh, the sidewalks stop. They attempt to start again occasionally, but fail miserably. And it's not like they replace the sidewalks with industrial-sized shoulders either. Nope. It's either roadway or grass/dirt/swamp/whatever substance happens to be off the right side of the road at the time.

Tomorrow I'll have to ride to NCSU to pick up the homework I'm supposed to grade, so that'll be a good test of my ability to make that daily ride. Though if I can pull off today's exploits, I think I can manage pretty much anything. Six miles? Nothing. Bring it on.

Also, I'd like to thank Rock Cartwright for showing up to play tonight, and I'd like to exhort the rest of the Redskins to join him sometime. It's fun. Really.


Ben said...

You are my new hero. My new hero whom I will never emulate.

I'm taking MARTA into work in Atlanta. Does that count?

Mike said...

The lack of sidewalks is technically okay given that bikers are supposed to share the road with the cars, but I see your point. Have I mentioned I'm ridiculously jealous of the awesome shape you will be in before long?

Also, I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Cuck the Fowboys. Cuck them long and cuck them hard. Also, bench Brunell. What the everloving hell was that floating pass into double coverage inside the red zone when we only need a first down? Seriously, let's give Campbell a shot.

Jeff said...

Yes. Duck Phallus and the Fowboys too.

(Incidentally, the "duck phallus" thing is awesome. I posted it in a comment on Ben's blog too.)