Saturday, June 20, 2009

Yield for Tractors

It’s funny the kind of stuff you miss once it is gone. Just up the hill from our house is Cherry Lake Road, a favored weekday ride, or part thereof, as it includes nice scenery, very little traffic, and rollers that make for modest climbs that allow you to feel like you are not a total slacker, but aren’t real challenging either.

At any rate, I have been going up and down Cherry Lake Road ever since I started riding again about ten years ago. I would estimate that I have done that ride at least a couple hundred times. Although I don’t think I ever said anything about it to Kathy or any of my riding buddies, a special feature of the road on the return trip back home was a mysterious five foot groove in the surface, parallel to the direction of travel, on the right third of the lane, and just wide enough to trap a standard 23 mm road tire. Mind you, I have never heard of anyone catching a tire in it or taking a spill on its account, nor have I noticed any blood stains or helmet fragments in the area, but long ago I took careful note of its location (at the bottom of the hill, just before the tractor caution sign as you approach the tree farm offices) and I have always taken due care to avoid getting too close to it. As with venomous snakes and spiders, as long as you give these road menaces a respectful amount of space they won’t hurt you.


Well, when I wasn’t watching, the county slipped in and re-surfaced most of Cherry Lake Road, burying the groove under a few inches of fresh asphalt! Who would have thought that anyone would miss a potentially murderous road hazard? I have to admit that I do. It contributed to the road’s unique character. Cherry Lake Road is now a blemish-free, fast-rolling ribbon of smooth blackness, with crisp yellow center lines, like so many others. It will be a good match for the subdivision that will replace the lovely tree farm once the economy picks up. Ah, well…

Speaking of venomous snakes, last weekend we visited the Reptile World Serpentarium near Kissimmee. The facility is supported by the sale of venom milked from many, many common and exotic poisonous snakes on the premises. Worth the trip!