Monday, September 26, 2011

WWPD goes country

Had to bike to the vet in the next town over. No, not with Bisou. I did see a Golden Retriever run into the road, shortly after passing a sign about how there might be deer in the road. So I was prepared for the possibility of a large mammal charging towards me. The owner did not seem pleased, but might have considered a leash? Is my thinking on this matter too "city"? Shortly after, I did see a deer, but a dead one. Yes, I'm concerned about that Golden Retriever, but I'm thinking (hoping?) that because I saw no sign of anything on the way back, the dog is home safe.

There is a bike path on part of this route, but it's very much not a route designed for biking. That seems about the norm here - roads you can bike on if you get past the fear of getting run over by the truck on your left. Not massive highways, but, well, roads. After this rather exhausting trip, I can kind of see biking to the strip-o'-strip-malls across the river. I seem to have readily given up cityfolk behaviors like caring even a little bit how my hair looks, or wearing things not picked according to how comfortable I'd be on the bike. I have not, however, lost interest in acquiring groceries. I mean, I'm fairly confident I'd make it there, but not entirely sure it would be worth it in terms of how much I'd be able to carry back. Adventures await.


Anonymous said...

What was it Freud said? All our anxieties are mortal.

In some cases, more obviously so than others. Regardless, I'm with you. I could never ride my bike on the road.

Phoebe said...

But do you ride a bike somewhere other than the road? This is what I can't figure out - how, unless you're in the Netherlands, you'd use a bike to commute/run errands without near-death-experience after near-death-experience. Of course, when my alternatives are waiting the unknowable length of time before my husband and I have access to a car, relying on a not-so-reliable shuttle, or never leaving this somewhat isolated campus, I start to think a certain amount of risk - no doubt reduced the more I get used to riding - is worth it.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in driving communities most of my life, and mostly in very large cities.

I never rode a bike anywhere than up and down my suburban street in those places.

If I really want to bike around a city, I do, in point of fact, go to the Netherlands (some German cities are good, too, and I would imagine Belgium as well, although you would know much more of the latter than I). I am sure there are many many places in the U.S. where doing so at a tolerable level of risk is quite possible, although I am less certain those places are in high-density urban environments.

Phoebe said...

I'm not sure where Princeton-and-vicinity would rank in terms of danger. I was on a 45 MPH road, which struck me as basically extreme-sports territory, but no doubt someone more hardcore about this would say that that's nothing, just a little suburban road. It's probably easier to bike here than in Manhattan, certainly than some parts of Manhattan, but I'm doing so not because it's so much easier, but rather because there's no other way for me to get around at this point.

Nicholas said...

In the grand scheme of things, Princeton-and-vicinity is a little more friendly towards cyclists than most places. As I remember it, though, there are a lot of two-lane roads with no shoulders, which amp up the danger, even with friendly drivers. Princeton itself is probably not so bad; it's the -and-vicinity that seems like it'd be the biggest problem.