Tuesday, July 21, 2015

10 things I’ve learned on the Tow Path Trail

"Spike Shadows" Acrylic on canvas 12 x 25 2015
If you are a local, you know about our park system and its extensive network of trails that lead from the Lake to the River (as in Ohio River). My husband and I decided to dust off the old trail bikes and go a few miles (28 each time but who is counting) a couple of times this past month. As a walker, one sees the journey differently than one on two wheels so I have learned. Allow me to share this new perspective….literally and figuratively.

No this is not a Letterman List so there is no particular ranking of least to worst vision violations.

1.      The parks and trails have lots of rules posted. They remind you of them at most access points and break spots…most people don’t follow them. If one follows the rules and someone else does not, who is at fault when a near miss occurs? The “oh my gosh there is no room to pass bell dinging fool” or the “I don’t care, my conversation is more important bird flipper”?

2.      Bike shorts on men over 50. Don’t. Just don’t……at least not without some type of looser shorts over them…

3.      Sports Bras…..never could figure out what sport they are for, but jogging is not one of them. Even when you are on your own side of the trail, I have to time my pass so I don’t get knocked off my bike by those knockers. I also have to not run over my husband who has since fallen off his bike from the centrifugal force of his own whiplash.

4.      Turtles. There are monster turtles lurking in the canal. They sit on logs sunning themselves looking all passive and sleepy…I bet they eat little kids.

5.       Little kids. Teaching your kid to ride a bike for the first time on a busy trail is not a great idea. The wobbly little munchkins could run into a defensive middle-ager minding the trail rules. Defensive (and now wet) middle-ager can swim or at least stand up in the canal. Your kid is turtle food.

6.      Alligators. No, there are not any that I know of, but what a great prank! If I owned one of the canal side docks, I have a remote control alligator in the water, just waiting to start swimming along when someone is leisurely riding along enjoying the scenery. Gotta feed my turtles somehow!

7.      A sign that reads “no buggies on the trail” means you have gone really far! Wonder how many Amish have gone rouge and drag raced their buggies on the trail after dusk to prompt such a warning.

8.      The divided highway….sort of along the lines of biker shorts. This would be the baggy pants version of biker wear. Pull up those yoga pants ladies!

9.      Sasquatch. Another great prank. Way out in the remote sections of the trail…nobody around….a Sasquatch crosses your path in the distance, hesitating long enough for the image to register for an accurate reenactment of size for when Bobo comes to conduct a town meeting about the recent rash of Sasquatch sightings. Too bad bored kids in Amish country don’t have access to TV, or perhaps that is a good thing! Getting ambulance access to the trails for heart attacks or broken bones could be a bit dicey.

10.   Some people take this hobby way too seriously. Biker gangs (the pedal pushing kind) do occasionally terrorize the middle-agers moving along at a steady pace. “Passing on your left” comes the call, then a dozen or so spandex wearing, helmet clad, hunched over, speedsters zoom past…with one or two lagging behind just when you thought it was safe to ease on back over from the edge of turtle town. I ding my little handlebar bell in protest.

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