Sunday, March 14, 2010
That's how many I passed in the first hour of my bike ride.
Actually, it was more, but I got tired of counting.
They were lined up bumper to bumper on the way to the beach and the famous Shrimp Festival Parade.
The bridge to Ft Myers Beach would be closed from 9-12 Saturday.
But that wouldn't bother me.
I was doing a quick 20 miles before Pathology lectures. I would be back over the bridge before 9:00.
Then that flat tire happened!
Where is Frank when you need him?
This is why I got that new Droid phone (well and because my last on drowned in the back pocket on a rainy bike ride).
Bishop (KC named my Droid from Aliens) googled Ft Myers Bikes and found a bike shop in 2 miles. So I started walking.
Unfortunately the bike shop was ground zero for the big parade. I passed large numbers of brightly dressed and little dressed people. There were red hatters and shriners, lots of shriners.
Finally there was Fun Bikes. To my surprise they specialize in motorcycles, but the owner at least had the equipment and wherewithal to fix my road bike's flat.
But how now to get back north for my meeting? Oh, you can go over the bridge he said. It's just closed to cars.
And, in fact, I got to follow the Shrimp Festival 5K run over the bridge.
Meetings over, I took off again to finish the next 60 miles. Back down to Ft Myers Beach, Lovers Key and Bonita Springs. Easy ride. Tail wind. That bodes poorly for the ride back home.
And the ride home was a nightmare - not so much because of the wind but because of the winding down Shrimpers. I easily passed more than the 554 cars this way back. I was precariously sandwiched between the steaming cars on the left and the lurching revelers spilling off the sidewalks on the right. Several bumped into me, stepped in front of me, sent me rolling into sidewalk cracks.
I hoped dearly that the ones in cars were more sober than those walking.
Finally back over the bridge and I was starting to drag. Gone 69 miles, surely I could make it the last 11.
I would go 11, quick standing break, then finish the last 5.
Oh, but the last 4 1/2 - Sumerlin Avenue - straight into the 20 mile per hour wind. On the left side of the road - the only side with a sidewalk. And I wasn't going to dare the shoulder (or lack thereof) on the other side.
Two and a half miles out and the sidewalk ends. At least there's a wide shoulder. And the cars have the setting sun to their backs. They should be able to see me.
But facing straight into those whooshing cars I began to wonder - what if they're impaired?
Lean over to change the radio?
Swerve two feet?
They would be so sorry. "I never saw her" they would weep, "I didn't mean to."
That would be the end of my dreams, my aspirations, my life.
I'm sending a donation to MADD tomorrow.
If I survive.