For one reason or another, I've been off the bike for what seems like almost two weeks, now. Travel, meetings, sailing class... I've had more than the usual constraints to bike commuting lately, it seems.
Today I pulled on the shants one leg at a time, straddled my trusty Rawland and rolled up the alley into a beautiful morning. I've been riding Chicago Ave. rather than Park and Portland lately because I find the noise and speed of Park and Portland tiresome and the diversity of Chicago Ave. more interesting. The pavement on Chicago absolutely sucks, however. It's like a third world country north of 38th Street.
The hassle factor on Chicago, aside from pavement, is buses. I had a run in with a Metro Transit bus a few weeks ago and reported it. The bus blew by my within inches of my bars, then cut me off to pull into a stop. After dancing around this driver for about 10 blocks (bikes move at about the same speed as buses, so they can be hard to pass) I finally turned off and rode the last leg of my journey on side streets. Subsequent rides have been less confrontational, but the buses still continue to be an annoyance on Chicago Ave.
This evening, I had the epiphany that I don't need to race the damn buses. My strategy as I left the office was that once a bus passes me (hopefully with at least 3-feet of space), I will sit up, shift down, put on a smile and enjoy the fine scenery of Chicago Ave at a leisurely pace until the bus is over the f-ing horizon.
Good plan, but it was not needed - no buses today. Instead I amused myself by taking random pictures on the way home, such as the photo at the top of this post.