Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Long Shadows and Echoes

Yesterday was my last bike ride of the year. Here's a recap:

The high temp for the day was set to be 74 degrees. Glorious. I left work early and was out on my bike by 3:45 p.m.

Prior to my departure I had a huge internal debate about taking my camera along for the ride. I knew I would find the urge to take photos along the way... but I also knew that sunset was set for 4:59 and if I spent time stopping for pictures I wouldn't be able to bike as far in the daylight. Sadly, my camera stayed at home.

I started off on University and followed that until I could cut over to the Stone Arch Bridge. The south wind took me by surprise but the additional force made a better workout. From there I picked up 2nd Street and biked in front of the Guthrie Theater and Gold Medal Park. I joined the bike lane on 11th and crossed over Washington Avenue. Traffic was light so my navigation was quite easy.

There is a trail that runs parallel to the light rail, so I took advantage of that to join up with the Midtown Greenway. There is always good people watching as you bike by the Cabooze. The light rail was pretty active and for the first time I really noticed the echo sounds from the rails as the train approaches. I'm not sure how to describe the sound but I like to think of it as a magical hiss.

One of my favorite parts of this route is the Martin Olav Sabo Bridge that goes over Hiawatha Avenue. I especially like the way this bridge looks at night. I really need to trek down there sometime after dark and get some night photos.

The first section of the Greenway after the pedestrian bridge is pretty simple. I think this is where I started to pay more attention to all of the long shadows from people and buildings. At one point I was biking and there was a great shadow of myself to my left. Traffic on the Greenway was light and I found comfort in my increasing speed. I continued on to Uptown and knew I needed to turn back around 4:30 p.m. I didn't want to end up biking through downtown in the dark and rush hour traffic. My bike lights came in handy during the last 20 minutes of my ride and I got back home at 5:00 p.m.

This ride feels like a good way to end the biking season for me. I don't have the cold weather gear to keep riding through the cooler temps. Plus, most of my daylight hours will now be spent indoors at work. My next workout will be tonight - my usual loop around St. Anthony Main. The temps are supposed to stay warm and hopefully I can find something bright to wear so I can be seen as the sun goes down.


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