Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Squirrel On Wheels

Traffic has been pretty bad on the highway, an endless flow of vehicles stumping along at speeds that infuriate locals, barely the speed limit mostly and substantially less on the scenic bits. The news paper is full of vituperative comments about crowding in the Keys.To me the Keys are always crowded in winter, I'd just like to see more younger dynamic visitors. ON the subject check out this youth on a motorcycle. We were in the car on Cudjoe Key when I got passed by a motorcycle on a double yellow line. He then proceeded to tailgate the car in front, his shirt tails flapping and his plumber's crack there for all to see. I should have been gobsmacked, if you believe Sandi (in her recent comment) but I took it in stride. Motorcyclists of an older more sober stripe call these bright sparks squids, or squirrely kid a surfing terms they say...
Overseas Highway, Florida Keys

I like to make progress as the British say but I reserve my passing to US rules of engagement, on dotted yellow, with turn signals and spending as little time as possible in the opposite lane. That makes me an old fart and far from squirrely... I pass for fun usually not to save time. The best way to arrive early is the ride a steady speed on a completely empty highway, not particularly fast but steady. That happens in summer, not in January. And then there are accidents. Two people have died so far this year on the Overseas Highway which seems quite a low number considering how distractedly I see people drive. Last week a major wreck on Rockland Key backed up traffic for ten miles, so I stretched out in the grass for a few minutes and read my Kindle on my phone on Sugarload Key. When traffic started to move steadily I put my gear on and rolled into the traffic flow easily as cars fail to pay attention when they are in line and huge, unconscionable gaps appear in the stream of vehicles.

US1, Sugarloaf Key

It's been a challenging winter so far, with unpredictable rain showers, some cooling just recently, but also lots of clouds and vast great swathes of traffic. All made much more fun for a squirrelly two wheeler!

One rides the same road day after day and I suppose it could get boring but then we see different weather, fresh traffic, varying shades of scenery and we make a fresh road out of the same daily ride. Slow moving cars become obstacles to be handled, weather can offer a challenge and on those days when there is nothing to be done we sit back and watch the islands and the mangroves and the waters go by. Riding like a squid - a squirrely kid- is just not smart.

We old men plod along and make progress our way.