First things first. Today I got out of the house around 7:45am, and took Montgomery Rd. west to Bonnie Branch Rd. I did the same thing Monday, except I left 10 minutes later, at 7:55. That 10 minutes makes a big difference. At 7:55, there are tons of school buses on Montgomery Rd, leaving the middle school after drop-off. I had at least 10 of them pass me on Monday. It doesn’t make for a very pleasant ride, especially given how narrow Montgomery Rd. is between US 1 and Marshallee Dr. Today was much nicer – just 1 bus. Montgomery is never going to be my first choice of routes on school days, but I still like to take it once or twice a week to mix things up, and all the better to have it relatively free of school buses.
Today was the sloppiest day for riding that I’ve had in the 3 years I’ve been bike commuting year round. I’ve ridden in some messy conditions before, but today took the cake. Extra runoff from last night’s rain, combined with already muddy conditions in the park, combined with extremely warm and muggy weather, all added up to a sort of perfect storm of slop. There was a little bit of everything: wet, dirty leaves; damp, oil-slicked roads; mud puddles; wet mud; dry, gritty patches of dirt; you name it. In the park, I made the mistake of riding through the runoff water in the roadway in the Glen Artney area (near Lost Lake), thinking it would help clean off the bike. Instead, it ended up splattering mud on my shoes, socks, and bike. I spent an hour last weekend cleaning the bike off, and looks like I’ll be doing it again this weekend. Yeah, I’ll be happy when this September is over. Bring on some nice, cool, crisp Fall weather.