Friday, May 22, 2009

Bob on a Bicycle

The CRI office is only 5 1/4 miles from my house and so, one Saturday afternoon last year when I went out for a bicycle ride, I decided to see if riding to work was a viable idea. It proved to be a fairly easy ride and so about a week later I did it on a work day. Dressed in shorts and a t-shirt and with a change of clothes in a gym bag, I set off and was able to make the trip in about 35 minutes.

Since then, I have tried to do it at least once a week. There are a couple of prerequisites, though.
The temperature in the morning has to be at least 55 degrees. I tried doing it a few weeks ago when the temp was about 48, rode about six blocks before deciding that I would need to wear warmer clothing. At that point, I went home, changed, and drove to work.
Second, there can 't be any rain in the forecast. I certainly would not set out in the morning if it was raining, but I also do not want to be riding home on wet roads.

There are a couple of uphill stretches on the way to work where, more than once, I've said to myself, "Why am I doing this? I'm 58 years old!" But then I get past those parts and it's, "That wasn't so bad even though I'm 58 years old." And riding home is easier since those stretches are downhill in the other direction.

My route takes me past the Bethpage Park Golf Course, which will host the U.S. Open next month. Last year, I would find numerous golf balls in the road -- the driving range is just up the hill -- and I would pick them up and give them to Howard, my boss, who is an avid golfer. It started as a joke, but by the end of the summer, I'd picked up about 130 balls, which filled a basket under his desk.
No golf balls this year; they're erecting a huge platform and tent in the middle of the driving range for the Open. In fact, they have turned parts of the course into "tent city," and have been erecting bleachers all over as well. This started in February and has been continuing steadily ever since. I presume it is happening all over the course, not just in the relatively small portion I can see from the road.

I notice that I get some strange looks from people I pass, particularly from the kids at the school bus stops. I guess they don't expect to see someone who looks old enough to be their father (or grandfather, more likely) riding by on a bicycle. Well, when I was their age, I probably would have reacted the same way.


  1. Okay, one one hand, yes, if you had been a more precocious lad, and/or I had been a more precocious lad, you could be a grandfather to an elementary school-aged kid by now. But on the more important hand, you've still got at least a few years before you have to worry about your hypothetical as-of-yet-unconcieved grandchildren.

  2. I have high school classmates who have children in their 30s, certainly old enough to have their own 10-year-old kids.
    As for my as-of-yet-unconceived grandchildren, I hope I'm still riding my bicycle when they are in elementary school.