Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Night Riding on the M.U.P.

Today was supposed to be a commuting day. But, my daughter had a Girl Scout meeting at the same time that my wife had a doctor's appointment. Being the noble husband and father that I am, I offered to forsake my bicycle commute to get the Princess to the meeting and get the monkey off of the Queen's back.

"Oh, I hate for you to give up your ride. I'll make it work."

I already knew that it wouldn't. I also knew that there would be one stressed out mommy and one disappointed little girl if everything didn't go according to plan. So, I said, "I can go for an evening ride, instead. Don't worry about it. I'll drive."

Today, a steady gentle rain came down from late morning until dinner time. That's great news for Houston (we've had a drought most of the summer), but bad news for a commuting cyclist (drivers were quite cranky the last time I rode in the rain). So, I picked a good day to drive.

After getting the meeting wrapped up and homework supervised, it was almost sundown. The streets were wet and the air was saturated with moisture. When I think of dark, slick, and steamy, it usually isn't bike riding that flashes across my mind . . .

After dark, I generally wear clear safety glasses to keep road debris, insects, etc. out of my eyes. When stopped, those glasses generally fog up; once I start riding again, they clear quickly. Not so tonight. It finally got so bad, that I removed them so I could see drivers and the street more clearly.

In Houston, when the temperature drops, all of God's creatures come out to play . . . especially the little bitty ones . . . especially when near plant life. When I got to the trail, the glasses went back on . . . fog or no fog.

I'm not sure, but I think tonight was my first instance of scofflaw riding. I didn't see a sign to confirm it, but I think the path at Addicks Reservoir closes at sundown. My bad! Oh, well . . .

Turns out I wasn't the only one on the trail. A couple of ninjas rode past; I hope they were only riding on the trail and not on the public roadways.

Another guy rode by with an incredibly bright helmet-mounted light. I got to get me one of those!

Eastbound bike lanes on Briar Forest were full of water and debris. Tonight, there was no question in my mind about whether I should take the regular lane or not! The few drivers traveling eastward with me didn't seem to mind.

So, I sit here at 10:35, wide awake with my endorphins running full tilt. It was a great ride!

And, I bet I'm gonna pay for it in the morning . . .

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