Today’s ride

It’s been a minute or two since I wrote about my day’s biking.  It’s not that I haven’t been biking; in fact, I’ve logged almost 950 miles this year, having crossed the 900 mile-threshold earlier this week.  I’ve just been so busy that writing about each day’s ride is a luxury I cannot often afford.

But today I can.  I began my day by downing several cans of some iced coffee beverage or other, having slept later than planned.  You see, I had scheduled a bike ride with a friend for 8:00 this morning, the beginning of which was compassionately delayed until 9:00.  (Hi Stacy!)  Ordinarily I would have made a proper pot, er, press, of coffee at home had I not overslept, but no matter.  I was sufficiently caffeinated to begin my day.  So I biked east on Southern Avenue to meet my cycling pal.  After rendezvousing near campus, we set off on the Greenline.

The morning was warm and humid – this is a Memphis summer after all – but not too unbearable.  We biked to Shelby Farms on the Greenline, which was quite busy with cyclists, runners, and walkers, despite the day and time.  After resting for a moment at Penal Farm Lake Number Three (!) we headed back to our point of origin and, after a few pleasantries, separated.

I then biked home and spent the rest of the morning relaxing and sweating.  It seems these days that there is no amount of water I can drink and feel my thirst quenched.  Admittedly I have been spending an enormous amount of time in the mid-day sun and heat, the effects of which are hard to shake off.  After an hour or so of respite, and a much needed shower, I headed off to Local Gastropub to watch the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team face off against Japan in the World Cup.  If you’ve been following the news, you know how the match ended.  We lost.  But our team played really well, and I was happy to see how much chatter the game generated on facebook.  It was good to see Americans getting excited about soccer.

By then it was getting near 5:00 PM, so I once again mounted my trusty bike and headed home.  After changing clothes, I settled down into my evening of reading, eating dinner, and writing.

Here’s a map of today’s ride.

Screen shot 2011 07 17 at 10 48 47 PM

And a clickable link if you are interested.

I must share one story from this morning’s ride before I sign off.  Stacy and I were almost to Shelby Farms and were approaching the intersection of the Greenline and Mullins Station Road.  We were slowing to a stop as we approached the stop sign on the Greenline.  To our left, a vehicle heading south on Mullins Station had stopped at the intersection, presumably to let us proceed unimpeded.  Just as we were beginning our final approach to the intersection, the driver of an SUV approaching from the south honked his horn at us.  We stopped in time to see the driver dramatically point at the stop sign we had just passed, as if to admonish us for … biking?  Not driving?  Not screeching to a halt at this first sign of his shiny wagon?  All we could do in response was look in open-mouthed wonder at our new friend.  Apparently some cyclists had offended him to the point that he felt the need to correct us for their past misdeeds.  OK, fine.  Thanks for the feedback.

Altogether though it was a good day to be biking in Memphis.  My schedule permitting, I hope to write a few more blog entries about my cycling adventures of late.  Until then, thanks for reading.


  1. patrick

    While perhaps your SUV friend was being a bit over the top in his response, I find the most dangerous aspect of the greenline to be the miseducation that riders/walkers/runners have the right-of-way. A couple months ago a crowd of us screamed in horror as a father with a baby in a trailer almost got taken out crossing Graham. It was the same scenario you describe in which a car in one direction has stopped, but the other direction is still flowing free. Fortunately in that case, he was able to back out of the road before getting hit. Hopefully the next light systems going in at Highland and that other street (forgetting at the moment) will reduce the risk somewhat. But someone is going to get hurt unless we greenliners recognize that we have a stop sign.

    Hi Doug.

    • Doug

      Hi Pat! I agree with you on your point about a lack of proper education among many people who use or cross the Greenline about right-of-way. Fortunately Graham was one of the roads where the new crossing lights were installed, so hopefully there will be fewer accidents and near misses. In our case, we were coming to a stop when Mr. SUV got all dramatic. But had he stopped as well, and had there been no other oncoming traffic from any direction, I would have felt fine crossing without stopping. (It helped that there’s really good visibility at this intersection. The northbound traffic actually comes up a small hill when approaching the Greenline.) The trouble comes at larger intersections (like Graham or Highland) where it’s really hard to see what’s in the far lanes until you are almost in them.

      Anyway, thanks for the comment!

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