Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Bike Path

I keep experimenting with different routes for the bike ride to and from work. I've noticed that the best travel path depends heavily on the time of day; a good route at 7pm isn't the same as a good route during rush hour. This isn't a deep insight, but it adds a layer of complexity to the task of choosing a route. And, because I'm on a bike, I'm not necessarily interested in the shortest path. I already know what that is (Massachusetts Avenue), but it's packed with poorly-timed stoplights and hordes of inattentive drivers. I'm fine with going a mile out of my way, if it means a more scenic or safer or easier or more interesting route; an extra five minutes on the bike is fine with me. Given that, I've got a lot of options for how to get around, and I'm having fun trying different routes.

So far, one of the real winners on the trip downtown is Brookside Parkway/Tenth Street/Fort Wayne Avenue/North Street/Meridian/Monument Circle. I'll have to play with little variations on the route, but so far it might be my favorite downtown trip. The first half of the trip has light traffic, Meridian Street takes me past the parks and monuments, and the trip around the Circle is nice. Also of note, the worst possible trip home is Mass Ave to Tenth Street, then Tenth all the way to Lasalle. That three miles of Tenth is not only a bit dangerous, it's also a bit depressing; it travels through a pretty crappy neighborhood or two. And, as a general observation, bad neighborhoods tend to have worse drivers in them -- or at least roads that make avoiding bad drivers more of a challenge.

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