Tuesday, December 30, 2008


After what seemed like around two weeks—but what was probably closer to about five days—of fighting snow, ice, and slush on our local streets, I rode around today on highways and byways almost completely free of frozen precipitation of one form or another and this thought occurred to me:

I love me some pavement!

It sure is a lot easier, less stressful, and dare I say (mostly) more fun to spin your two-wheeler around on a surface that’s relatively smooth, provides actual traction, and allows one to keep two feet on the pedals at all times without fear of suddenly finding oneself violating the commonly stated maxim of bicycle riding to “keep the rubber side down.”

And it also made me feel, perhaps somewhat counterintuitively, far more favorably disposed to automobiles than I sometimes am, as the realization that, were it not for the existence of those gasoline-powered conveyances, all this pavement that serves me so well today would be non-existent, or at least, far less prevelant.

So a shout-out to cars everywhere; thanks for being the impetus behind so many miles of fine-riding concrete, asphalt, and even macadam all over the place.

This isn’t to say that the streets of Seattle are without their quirks; there’s lots of sand left behind from the department of transportation’s efforts to make the roads drivable last week and I’m knocking wood that I don’t get multiple flats in the next few days riding through all the debris left over from the storm, but frankly, I’ll take it.

As gratifying to my ego as it was to be able to continue cycling in the wintry conditions, I much prefer the freedom that relatively clear streets provide. Pedaling all over town today, while not quite the adventure it’s been of late, was a good deal more predictable than it’s been, and way faster, too.

No doubt I’ll soon take pavement for granted, but today, anyway, I celebrate its existence.


Anonymous Tommy Williams said...

The first paved roads were created for bicycles and the first cars got the benefit of the cycling infrastructure. Funny how it's all turned around now.

3:11 PM  
Blogger chunter said...

yes, bikes were definitely the first driving force of pavement. were it not for cars we might have just as many roads today, just narrower.

4:10 PM  

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