Monday, May 18, 2009

Bike to Work Day with Mayor Kendall

As you know Friday was National Bike to Work day.  I had the day off so I didn't see a need to ride my bike to work.  

The City of Marysville has a small celebration ride every year to commemorate Bike to Work Day which I've never done so I thought I'd give it a try.  I left the house at 7:15 and rode down to the library where the ride was to start.  When I arrived there were 3 police cars and about 20 cyclists in the parking lot.  I thought to myself this must be either the makings of a standoff (Spandex and Lycra Gang vs. The Cops) or the ride must have a police escort.  As I got a little closer I noticed that the Mayor of Marysville was in the parking lot and he was on a bike too. This confirmed my suspicion that we would have a police escort for the ride but didn't erase the vision in my head of the geeky cyclist taking on the police.  I'm kind of thinking that just one of the police officers could have taken all of us while simultaneously eating a donut but we would have certainly out ridden him if he was on a bike.

As I hung out in the parking lot I chit chatted with a few fellow cyclist for a minute or two.  It's really not that hard to start up a conversation with a cyclist, all you have to do is ask them about some aspect of their bike and then just step back.  My tactic this time was "what do you think of your Speedplay pedals"?  That is all I had to say and the conversation took off from there.  After a few minutes of pedal opinions we were interrupted by the Mayor who wandered over to shake some hands.  He introduced himself as Mayor Kendall and we spoke for at least 5 seconds.  I guess he didn't have an opinion about pedals.   

After a few minutes the Mayor gave a short speech, mounted his bike and we were off.  The Mayor was leading the ride and since he didn't want to drop any of his fellow townspeople he really took it easy on us.  I'm thinking the average speed was all of 10 MPH.  At every turn we had police blocking off traffic so we were able to ride like we owned the road.  Here's a shot of the ride after we had abandoned the bike lanes and basically took over the road.

As we neared our final destination the only obstacle left was a 4 way stop.  For some reason we didn't have a police escort at the intersection but not to worry the Mayor blew right through it like it wasn't there.  He didn't even attempt the slow and go technique that I've been working on for years; it was simply the go technique.  I was both impressed and scared all at the same time.

Our final destination was Comford Park where they had a Bike to Work rest station set up stocked with Clif Bars and other goodies to give away.  I ended up coming home with yet another bike bottle for our ever growing collection which I still don't think is big enough.

In summary, the ride was all of 1 mile but it was kind of fun getting out and riding with the community and running stop signs with the Mayor.  Not everyone can say they've done that before.


Linda said...

Glad the Mayor didn't have an imaginary finish line at the end of the 1 mile where he sprinted. Sounds like a nice gesture for the towm to do.

Jenny-Jenny said...

It was a good warm up for the 'short' ride we took later that day and the clif bars hit the spot 15 miles into that one.

Buttsy said...

Not sure if I would get out of bed early for a 1 mile ride - but the mayor might have been looking for some support from the cycling community.......maybe I am just cynical but people in positions like that usually have an agenda...but at least he "walked the walk".....and you got pics to prove it