Sunday, December 01, 2013

On Your Left, Thank You, Have a Nice Day

Yoga is good for your spiritual well-being. There's a lot of talk about why this is, but what it boils down to is that yoga makes it much easier to reach your toenails. One cannot achieve inner peace with a sloppy pedicure.

Fortunately, I've always been flexible, so I'm really more into cycling.

Bicycles are, alas, the red-headed stepchild of modes of transportation. Drivers, who are naturally entitled to get wherever they are going as quickly as possible, get very frustrated at the presence of cyclists. (Less so, oddly, at the presence of thousands of other drivers, who are slowing them down a heck of a lot more; but there you go.)

Pedestrians don't like cyclists either. On shared-use facilities, you're supposed to yield to pedestrians, which is theoretically no problem. But it would be nice if pedestrians on a hike-and-bike trail had more sense that maybe they ought to be prepared to encounter different types of trail users, to keep to the right and try to refrain from taking up the entire width of the trail whilst too engrossed in their dogs/children/conversation partners/phones/navels to notice repeated calls of "On your left!... Excuse me!... Behind you!... On your left, folks!" to the point where you just want to say fuck it and get an air horn for your bike and if they don't like it they can maybe, I don't know, STAY OUT OF THE GODDAMN WAY.

But that's the path to the Dark Side. It's important to be nice. And it's even more important to be nice to the people who piss you off than the people who don't, because, you know, it's easy to be nice to the people who don't. And where's the sport in that?

Today was a nice day, a brief respite from the bipolar swing of "SUMMER! NO, WINTER! NO, NOW IT'S SUMMER! Ooh, spring. PSYCH! WINTER, BEEYOTCHES!" that Texans typically endure from November through February. It's also a Sunday. It's the Sunday after Thanksgiving, which for some people involves second helpings, pie, and - God help us - Cool Whip.* So the beautiful hike-and-bike trail around Town Lake, for which we have Lady Bird Johnson to thank, to the point where you'd think they'd name the lake after her or something, but no, it's called Town Lake, was pretty crowded.

I like the part east of I-35. This picture was taken behind the softball fields at the Holly Street Power Plant, where a giant live oak shades the park bench overlooking the grass sloping down to the water. It's a beautiful spot, the turnaround point of my lunch hour rides, though of course today we didn't have to hurry back. You can also see, across the water, the new boardwalk under construction that will complete the hike-and-bike trail loop around the lake. It's well elevated on pylons above the water, since we do get flooding now and then, and plenty wide enough for three suburban moms with double baby joggers to spread out comfortably and ignore your attempts to alert them to your presence.

But you can't see it in my picture, so someday when it's open I'll have to brave the crowds and go out and get some pictures of it.

Meanwhile, have a nice day, and maybe get out and ride your bike. Don't forget to yield to pedestrians.

*I'm sorry, but there is just no excuse for Cool Whip, especially not in this day and age.

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