Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bike Path

The bench reads Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail, more an idea than a reality as the trail is a series of interrupted segments.I lost my oomph on my way to work, the line of traffic was endless and going 42 miles per hour and I got bored with dawdling along. So I pulled over to take a break in the middle of the Saddlebunch Keys near Mile Marker 13 and pull out my camera. Cars used to drive on these old 1910 railroad bridges. Up till 1982 when they were used for the main roadway they had narrow handrails on the sides made of welded up railroad track. Now the road bed is made narrow by the massive cement parapets on each side, but the bridges were never very wide: There is a plan in the works, and with federal money stimulating it, it might even happen, to create a bike/pedestrian path the one hundred sixty kilometer length of the Keys. Bits of this hundred mile plan are completed as we see here with this illegally parked motorized vehicle on the bike path: The proposed heritage and scenic trail would run alongside the Overseas Highway, and it would have to owing to the general lack of land around here:
In winter I see a fair number of joggers, dog walkers and cyclists along this stretch. I think they come from the RV park just down the road and their presence tells me the winter snowbirds are back. Right now the place is pretty much empty:
Except the roadway isn't too empty during rush hour. One of the pleasures of working nights is that the city of Key West is emptying itself of all the office workers as the night shift comes into town, and there are fewer of us than them:I was struck by the image the hurricane resistant power lines made:
For some reason I was also struck by the distorting mirro effect of the turn signals on the motorbike. The Bonneville comes equipped with big old fashioned turn signals. On the Triumph forum, home to people who modify their bikes at vast expense rather than riding them, people love to spend hundreds of dollars replacing these things with tiny, barely legal turn signals. I remember when turn signals were an invention of the dastardly Japanese bike industry and real riders never used them. Nowadays they are so common I would feel odd not using my signals every time I change lanes or direction. And I would like to think a few cagers out there might bother to notice them.
In a few months perhaps the ambient roasting conditions will have chilled out enough to make sitting out here a pleasant experience, instead of the sort of torture approved as an alternative to water boarding by people who should know better.
Summer views are magnificent...
...wilderness without even a mountain:
But enough of such day dreaming, it's time to get back on the road to work. Mile Marker Nine:One day that 50cc Yamaha Zuma may be able to sneak a rather safer 40 mph ride on an expanded shoulder while cyclists might get their own path well out of traffic between Big Coppitt and Stock Island.