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The Same "Different"; But Even More So...

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The Same "Different"; But Even More So...

Old 04-26-19, 02:50 PM
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BobbyG
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The Same "Different"; But Even More So...

On this beautiful, sunny, spring-morning's ride to work (in Colorado Springs) I took an alternate detour for variety.

It's a detour I have taken home from work many times over the last 20 years...but this was the first time I remember taking it in to work.

So while I was familiar with the neighborhood landmarks, I encountered them in reverse order and saw them framed against a different backdrop as I was facing the other direction. It brought a new perspective to everything...literally.

Also, I was riding more effortlessly, since it was morning, I was fresh and full of energy, plus I was now going downhill, instead of the usual end-of-the-day uphill slog through these streets.

As I passed the Athelete Center at the Olympic Training Center I now faced the entry of a familiar building but saw over the door "Peter Ueberroth Athelete Center," something I don't recall seeing since it is usually behind me.

My wife and one daughter had both worked at the Olympic Training Center in the past, and before that my father-in-law was stationed there when it was Ent Air Force Base; the temporary home of NORAD while the Cheyenne Mountain facility was being built.

I then saw the green roof of the former Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe train depot. While this route does have me pass right next to it, I had no idea I could see it from so far out, because, once again, it is usually behind me.

What made this so meaningful is that my father-in-law had a lay-over at this station on his way from Texas to Cheyenne Wyoming in 1952 or '53. He said he thought Colorado Springs looked like a beautiful place to raise a family, and 10 years later, in 1963, he moved his family here to work at Ent Air Force Base.

Of course biking through quiet residential streets allows one the time and low-stress environment to think and reminisce in a way that driving on fast busy rush-hour streets doesn't.

Temple Shalom and East United Methodist Church, the parks and sidewalks where my family played and walked...then, over the tops of some homes I saw the townhouse my wife and I lived in until we moved to our current home 20 years ago. Again, a view I don't see while facing the other way in the afternoon.

As I have mentioned in other previous posts, I occasionally take alternate streets while riding one of my four possible routes to and from work and it adds an element of adventure to my commute.

If you are fortunate enough to mix up your routes and sub-routes, I highly recommend it.

This morning it was just a one-mile detour, but it filled my head and heart with such joy.
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Old 04-27-19, 05:40 AM
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Pictures please? :-)

Yeah, mixing things up can do wonders. It leads to discovery, adventure, fun, more exercice ...

Sometimes I choose an alternative, safer route when the weather is more risky. Paths that offer more grip, provide more cover or shelter, more lights etc. Other times I just want to break away.
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Old 04-27-19, 06:13 AM
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reminds me when in 1979 while working at a resort on the cape so I could spend the summer w my girlfriend, I had an apt. over the office & my parents came to visit. they brought our cat but their motel didn't allow pets so I kept it in my apt. one night for fun I took the cat for long walk down a sandy foot trail to a favorite remote lake. as we walked the cat preferred to be in front. & I was surprised to see the cat occasionally stop & look back up the trail we were walking on. I surmised it was so it would know how to get back. but maybe it was to check for predators. but I don't think so. if I ever got in front of the cat it stopped. it wanted to take the lead. while at the "pond" it played with frogs in the moonlight. it was a good walk
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Old 04-27-19, 07:08 AM
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The Same "Different"; But Even More So...
Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
On this beautiful, sunny, spring-morning's ride to work (in Colorado Springs) I took an alternate detour for variety.

It's a detour I have taken home from work many times over the last 20 years...but this was the first time I remember taking it in to work.

So while I was familiar with the neighborhood landmarks, I encountered them in reverse order and saw them framed against a different backdrop as I was facing the other direction. It brought a new perspective to everything...literally...

Of course biking through quiet residential streets allows one the time and low-stress environment to think and reminisce in a way that driving on fast busy rush-hour streets doesn't.

Temple Shalom and East United Methodist Church, the parks and sidewalks where my family played and walked...then, over the tops of some homes I saw the townhouse my wife and I lived in until we moved to our current home 20 years ago. Again, a view I don't see while facing the other way in the afternoon.

As I have mentioned in other previous posts, I occasionally take alternate streets while riding one of my four possible routes to and from work and it adds an element of adventure to my commute.

If you are fortunate enough to mix up your routes and sub-routes, I highly recommend it.

This morning it was just a one-mile detour, but it filled my head and heart with such joy.
Originally Posted by Bikewolf View Post
...Yeah, mixing things up can do wonders. It leads to discovery, adventure, fun, more exercice ...

Sometimes I choose an alternative, safer route when the weather is more risky. Paths that offer more grip, provide more cover or shelter, more lights etc. Other times I just want to break away.
In a similar vein, I have posted:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I'm very motivated by novelty, and stymied by boredom on a bike, but I do have the motivation of commuting to work.

I have found that when I drive my frequent, decades-old routes I often notice things I had not seen before. I think it’s because I can look around at more than just the road surface when driving.

So when the commute [route] is getting too familiar, I just raise my head higher and look over a wider field of view….
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
A local BF subscriber @rholland1951 who contributes hundreds of photographs to the local Metro Boston thread from the same 11-mile long MUP he rides, once commented something like that "just the lighting / time of day / day of the year makes the ride “different.”

So too does the direction, one way, or the reverse.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 04-27-19 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 04-27-19, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
…As I have mentioned in other previous posts, I occasionally take alternate streets while riding one of my four possible routes to and from work and it adds an element of adventure to my commute
Similarly, I have posted:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Yesterday I replied to this thread, “How has your commute evolved over the months / years?.”…So I have expanded and slightly altered your format…to report my commute:

Kenmore Square, Boston to Norwood over 30 years

Route: Reverse commute from downtown on four different routes of a minimal distance of 14 miles, each defined by a different hill; can expand to about 30 miles to train

Environment: In order of hill difficulty: Gritty [but safe] urban, pleasant suburban, pleasant urban, ritzy suburban

Hills: One moderate hill on each route, then smaller hills; estimate only about 1-2 miles flat

Frequency: Variable over the decades; currently about 50% in winter; 75% nice weather (work is an obstacle)
PS: Thanks for the Like.

I continue to read your posts whenever I encounter them.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 04-27-19 at 07:47 AM. Reason: added PS
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Old 04-27-19, 08:27 AM
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I've moved my home and for work several times since I started bike commuting and now my ride to work takes me along most of my original route from work. I've riden this way for years, but it seems new in a way to be riding in the other direction at different times.
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Old 04-27-19, 08:34 AM
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For me, just about every commute to or from work requires stopping somewhere either for stuff relating to the house renovation, meeting someone, shopping for the evening, something relating to the child or a drink after work.

I enjoy interacting with the same routes at different times in different directions. Have a nearly-car-free lifestyle is great in many ways, including how one interacts with their urban environment.
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Old 04-27-19, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
For me, just about every commute to or from work requires stopping somewhere either for stuff relating to the house renovation, meeting someone, shopping for the evening, something relating to the child or a drink after work.

I enjoy interacting with the same routes at different times in different directions. Have a nearly-car-free lifestyle is great in many ways, including how one interacts with their urban environment.
I have previously posted about how I interact with my cycling environment, in a much wider sphere than my own neighborhood.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…Appropos of this comment, for the past few years after doing training rides all around [Metro Boston], I have thought this about these long rides.

Whereas inhabitants of neighborhoods know their areas as an entirety, I know them as routes with peculiar things I note as landmarks. It becomes very satisfying when I ride a new route and it suddenly intercepts a familiar route in the same neighborhood, and that neigborhood now becomes more of an entirety to me too.

Often when I meet someone new, I ask them where they live because invariably I’ve ridden through their neighborhood, and that question spurs a lively conversation.
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Old 04-27-19, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I have previously posted about how I interact with my cycling environment, in a much wider sphere than my own neighborhood.
I also have a geographic constraint of a 9mi2 island with roughly 300k people. The details are great as the island has about 12 distinct boroughs that represent social class divisions (think racial divisions in the US). Thus, there's 12 of every item (library, schools, veg shops, coffee houses, pubs, garages, etc...). It makes samples the 100+ pubs quite interesting. As a foreigner, they grant access to all classes and enjoy having some interesting discussions.

Interestingly, as a American-born foreigner, it's very interesting to see the races mixing and people being separated based on perceived class driving by accent employed, social currency, manner used and word selection.

Living by bicycle is a godsend as I otherwise wouldn't interact with these so much as I pass through 3 or 4 of these on my short 1.5-mile commute.
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Old 04-27-19, 11:07 AM
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We moved last year to the other side of Lake Natoma. From the west side riding in along the lake for about four miles, I passed the Aquatic Center twice and had a view of the lovely spire of the Mormon temple that replaced my employer's long-ago rec center. I miss those. On my route now I've got fewer views but do have a really nice stop for a view of the lake and its rowers at China Wall
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Old 04-28-19, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I continue to read your posts whenever I encounter them.
Thanks, that really means something to me, Jim, because when I joined bikeforums 10 years ago, your posts were very instrumental in teaching me how to think about biking in traffic and how to be as safe as possible, as well as how to bike commute better in general.

Before bikeforums I had 17 years of trial and error on my own. After bikeforums I quickly learned better strategies and better ways to bike commute that didn't require much money, if any, and it changed my life for the better.

So thanks again, Jim!

PS It was interesting to read that each of your 4 routes is defined by a hill, because here in Colorado Springs, hills define everything about my routes.
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Old 04-29-19, 11:09 AM
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I test rode an alternative to part of my route on Sunday, and found a way around some of the lights I seem to always get stuck at. There are a couple of small bridges over a small creek on this new part too, I'm looking forward to riding them once the rains stop.
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Old 05-03-19, 01:54 PM
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I got to ride that slightly different route today and avoided waiting at a couple of the light I usually got stuck at. It was great too!
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Old 05-06-19, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
I test rode an alternative to part of my route on Sunday, and found a way around some of the lights I seem to always get stuck at. There are a couple of small bridges over a small creek on this new part too, I'm looking forward to riding them once the rains stop.
Saw in an article they're closing half of southbound Lakeshore Dr. this morning. Is that going to shift more traffic into your route(s)?
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Old 05-06-19, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Saw in an article they're closing half of southbound Lakeshore Dr. this morning. Is that going to shift more traffic into your route(s)?
Fortunately it's not, that's pretty far away from me.
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