Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Well, it should have been a quickie, but apparently the electronic "Your Speed" sign on Indian Avenue wasn't working. And I wasn't traveling all that quickly when I passed it anyway.

It was Saturday, I think, when I rode my bike out in that direction to deliver (by hand) a message to a friend whose phone number I couldn't find, whose email address I didn't have, but whose physical address I knew, so off I went with a handwritten note in my pocket just in case she wasn't home. And after flying (really, it does feel like flying) down the hill past St. George's ... around the corner pedaling fast along the beach ... then a bit more slowly along Hanging Rock Road ... then more-slowly-still and somewhat-uphill through the intersection with Third Beach Road ... up the continuing incline (quads burning a little now) toward those beautiful sloping vineyards above the Sakonnet River just before Hopelands — but, wait, there's a house being built where the vineyards used to be, behind the green fence (ah, progress) — I saw something strange.

Way up ahead there were numbers flashing ... indecisively, it seemed. Single digits only: 8 ... 7 ... 9 ... 7 ... 8 ... 9. Even after I realized it was a speed limit sign, and that it was registering me, on radar, approaching on a bicycle, I couldn't pedal hard enough (it was uphill remember) to get myself into double digits. Pathetic. I topped out at 9 miles per hour.

Then, after delivering the message to my friend (who confirmed that the "Your Speed" sign was the newest addition to the neighborhood) and being cautioned against riding my bike along Hanging Rock Road (not due to hanging rocks, but because those twists-and-turns are blind, and a car could very easily knock me into the ditch), I went back the other way ... taking a left at the stop sign onto Third Beach Road ... downhill again (whee) past Peabody's Beach. The road is so smooooooooth now that it's been repaved ... except I nearly flipped over the handlebars upon braking all-too-suddenly when I encountered sand, the biggest hazard of all. It must have washed over the road during last week's flooding and rains.

All hazards aside, it was lovely; such nice views — different views, a sense of distancefrom that direction. Then there's the calm of Third Beach compared to the crowds (all relative in April) and softly crashing waves just around the corner ...

But, to be honest, I was tired and feeling a tad off-balance at this point, having pedaled (hard) up the hill two or three more times trying to capture the image of the speed limit sign flashing 9 as I approached on my bicycle ... camera-to-eye ... a bad idea on a bike ... a definite hazard ... and without success.