|It's all uphill from here
||[Sep. 21st, 2006|01:37 pm]
When I step astride my bike this evening and pedal away from the office, I will not be heading into the sun as usual, but will trek further east to join Ferrett for an evening of minding our friends' almost-three-year-old daughter. Carolyn is an absolute joy, but the bike ride is making me nervous. There is no avoiding the fact that there is one heck of a climb up to Cleveland Heights.
Now, I can cruise for miles on relatively flat surfaces, but I must confess that I suck at hills. Being on the West Side, this is generally not a problem - we are at the beginning of the great, flat center of the U.S. Between here and Cleveland Heights, however, lie the first little toes of the Alleghany Mountains. The elevation rise doesn't seem like that much when you're driving in a car, but the fact is that Kat and Eric get snow on days when we get nothing but rain.
And today, I have to make that climb on a bike.
Now, if my legs give out, I can always hop off and push. It lacks all dignity, but it is possible. The bigger worry, however, is the choice of roadways. If I go up Cedar Hill, I either have to ride on the sidewalk on the wrong side of the road (which means negotiating across all that traffic) or ride on the road in the midst of a lot of very impatient (and kind of crazy) commuters, because there is no sidewalk on the uphill side of the road. The other possibility is MLK, but I haven't driven up it often enough to know if there even are sidewalks.
The third possibility is to wait until after rush hour and take my bike on the train to Shaker Square. That, however, strikes me as cowardly - how am I ever going to learn how to do this if I don't do it?
Coming home won't be a problem; Ferrett is bringing the bike rack in the car. Riding back would be kind of fun, but it would also be really dark. About 23 miles in the Really Dark. Through some parts of town that, after nightfall, get Really Scary.
It's interesting; when Ferrett first suggested this, I immediately made excuses - have a cold, really tired, want to get some things done tonight. The truth, though, was that I am nervous about how best to do it. And when I realized that, I also realized that I have to do it.
Time to stretch my wings a bit. And my legs.