Not to diss my adopted city, but there surely is no worse place to try to ride a bike. The combination of hideous pavement, narrow busy streets, ancient street irons (sewers) and well-scattered neighborhoods to be avoided makes it a fairly dreadful place to try to undertake a leisurely ride. Unfortunately, I’m over there every weekend for Nutcracker rehearsals, which give me a nice window of opportunity, but I get tired of the relatively safe and enjoyable ride to the Albany Rural Cemetery. So yesterday I thought I’d shoot out to the State Office Campus (an arrangement of loops within loops that makes for long, flat, uneventful riding, traffic-free on weekends), and then over to the SUNY campus and back. (Has ever there breathed a soul so black that it looked at SUNY Albany and said, “My god! What beauty!” I fell in love with the campus of Syracuse University the first time I ever visited there; I can’t imagine anyone even falling in like with SUNY’s campus.) But I disliked the thought of going back in on Madison or Washington, both nasty rides, so I cooked up a return route that included only temporary lapses of sanity: riding along Fuller Road, shooting through two malls, and then coming out way over on Sand Creek Road. Little lapse of memory trying to keep Albany-Shaker and Watervliet-Shaker roads straight, but it all came out in the end. Nice 32k on a gray but warm day, but I won’t be doing it again. At the same time, the bike path is under desperately needed renovations (though I’m not convinced they’re doing much of a job in places), so there’s really not a great set of options.
Today, didn’t really want to ride but felt the need to because it’s nice and warm (62 degrees) though not pretty out. Unfortunately, left my tool bag behind, and since I don’t want to end up stuck in a place like Watervliet with a broken spoke, flat tire or loose headset without any hope of repair, I bagged it and came home. The leaves are calling me, anyway, and I think I’ll answer them with a lawnmower.