I was also going to use the term “adventure” in the name of today’s post — I guess Dottie and I think alike! Whatever you want to call it, yesterday’s ride took me off my beaten path and allowed me to face a new challenge: Green Hills. Any Nashvillian knows that the traffic on Hillsboro Rd. anywhere south of Wedgewood is pretty heinous. It’s so bad that I take back roads when I drive. But there was no reason I couldn’t bike those same back roads — or at least that’s what I told myself when setting off after a happy hour near my work to attend an (excellent) reading at Davis-Kidd by author Mary Pat Kelly.
My friend P (iPhone photographer extraordinaire and native Nashvillian) asked if I really wanted to ride to the mall. I explained my bike friendly route. “Glen Echo? What about the hills?” she asked. I brushed off her concern.
Until my detour onto Graybar showed me what she might have been talking about.
The hill that counted was the one in the distance here, waaay up at the horizon. It was steep.
Nevertheless, Le Peug and I made it to our destination, after a brief detour through the parking lot of Hillsboro High School and a soccer field (Le Peug’s off-road performance was impressive). Not willing to actually cross Hillsboro Road or brave the parking lot of the Green Hills Mall on my bike, I locked Le Peug near a bus stop across the street from the mall. He looked a little lonely. I don’t think bikes come to the bus stop too often.
After waiting in vain through two light sequences for a pedestrian signal (and there was a button to press and a crosswalk and everything), I strode into traffic when the lights turned green in my direction, after making eye contact with the guy who would have liked to be turning left right into me. It’s funny how once you start bicycling or walking, you realize just how unprepared city infrastructure is for such revolutionary forms of transportation.
The road home was through the dark, so no pictures — but I made the 3.5 mile ride in 25 minutes, which is pretty fast for me, and only about 8-10 minutes longer than it would have taken me to drive. Three cheers for charting new territory! It’s always a special day when another part of the city is accessible to me by bike, but there’s one reason that this new route is especially sweet: it means my favorite donut shop is now just a ride away. I should probably tell them they’ll need to install a bike rack.