Monday, July 04, 2005

Raising eyebrows at Publix

I have been out of town for most of the weekend, so today is the first chance I've had to ride in a couple days. My destination was the Publix supermarket located in the Twelve Oaks Shopping Center. A person on a bike is something of a novelty at Twelve Oaks because it's located near the confluence of two very busy six lane asphalt rivers.

I have found the back way into Twelve Oaks. I take the Habersham Street bike lane north across Derenne and then turn right onto Varn Drive. From there, I ride through the parking lot of the Buckingham South Retirement Community and enter the Twelve Oaks parking lot behind the Pier 1 store. Without this route — which allows me to avoid Abercorn Street — Publix would be pretty much unreachable for me.

The popular perception that a cyclist would have to brave Abercorn to enter Twelve Oaks accounts for some of the surprised glances I receive from fellow shoppers. They really don't expect to see a bicycle at Twelve Oaks. I noticed a battered Roadmaster mountain bike parked just inside the store in the area where shopping carts are stored. It's the only other bike I've seen there. I don't know if it belonged to a customer or employee. I wonder if its owner uses the same route in and out of that I do.

On the way back home, I encountered a pedestrian walking north in the bike lane. As I passed her, I said, "The bike lane is for bikes." I didn't look back to see if she moved to the sidewalk. The bike lane was free of debris and parked cars.

Miles: 5
Weather: Clear, 93 degrees. Heat index: 101!
Time of day: Early evening
Other cyclists observed: 1 (competitive/training)
Number of cyclists riding on the wrong side of the street: 0
Total miles this bike year: 8

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