The coffee shop I go to (Kaladi Brothers) is about 2.2 miles from my house, on my bicycle route. I head down Warren, cut through the D.U. campus, hit Warren where it resumes and then go up the alley to where Kaladi sits on Evans Avenue. It typically takes me 10 to 13 minutes in either direction, on a bicycle, depending on whether or not I have to wait for cross traffic at either Colorado Boulevard or University Boulevard (or both).
Today, I rode to Kaladi on a bike I had built up for Kris, the painter. I built the bike up in trade for the Fuji Touring bike and some unspecified painting to be done in the future. If I get a motorcycle re-sprayed, or want wet-coat on a bicycle, Kris will do it for me.
Kris walked from his house, and rode his bike home. I planned on hitching a ride with Randy, since we had made plans to meet for coffee, this morning. Due to some mix-ups and missed communications, we never got together for coffee. I had left my phone at home, accidentally, and thought Randy would just show up. He was trying to get ahold of me, and never came down since he couldn't confirm with me.
Life in the Information Age.
So, I ended up walking back to my house. I followed the same route home that I had biked, earlier, and was interested in the difference between walking and biking the route. You see a lot more of surroundings when you slow from driving speed to bicycling speed. And, you gain just as much when you slow from bicycling to walking speed.
I now know, for instance, that the entire length of Warren has sidewalk along the north side of the street, except in front of one mansion-style house. (I walked on their grass, because I think that they are no better than anyone else, and should be complying with the zoning ordinance which requires the sidewalk to be there.) Also, the first three houses on Warren, west of Colorado, have dates stamped into their walks and driveways indicating that they were built in 1961, the year I was born.
Useless information, for sure, but interesting to me in that context.
The walk took me about 35 minutes. I was strolling, doing the walking equivalent of the riding I usually do. As I have left my 30s farther and farther in the rearview mirror, I have found that my average speed on the bike has dropped. Some of that, admittedly, is the result of aging and a loss of strength due to the passage of time. But, a great deal of it has to do with the fact that I have developed a certain...I hesitate to say "mature"...attitude toward speed versus enjoyment. I tend to ride, and walk, at a pleasurable pace, now, rather than a "training" pace.
But, even as slow as my bike riding is, it seems fast relative to my walking speed.
If I had the ability to just pull up stakes and take off on an long-term adventure, I would like to walk from one coast to the other. Then, I would get on a bicycle and ride back to my starting point. Imagine how fast the bike trip would seem, after having walked across America.
Perhaps I would then ride a motorcycle to the opposite coast and fly back. Each consecutive trip would be quicker, and the rewards would dwindle with the increase of speed. But, having the opportunity to directly compare those four modes of transport (foot, pedal, motor, airplane) would be pretty interesting.
Unfortunately, I will have to leave that to a younger, less-encumbered adventurer (or a trust fund baby) to do. I'll just read the book and watch the Travel Channel show about it, I suppose.
Or, maybe I'll get invited along.