I suppose that most of you already know (it wasn’t a secret or anything) that I recently relocated the RW Clan to Beaufort. For those of you that don’t get out much, Beaufort is a lovely, sleepy little town where you’d be unsurprised to find a cyclops manning the gas station register. I’m not saying that the place is creepy or reminiscent of scenes from Deliverance or anything, I’m just saying that the town is a little different from Morehead City. For one thing, you are many times more likely to see bicyclists cruising the sidewalks.
Keeping in mind that while it is technically against the law to operate a vehicle (NCDOT defines bicycles as vehicles) on sidewalks, these particular cyclists have nothing to fear from the fuzz as their average speed seems to be about 2 mph. In fact, they seem to be moving too slowly to keep the bike upright and I’m starting to suspect them of being either closet engineering geniuses working on a new gyroscope, or space aliens.
I wasn’t even completely moved into our new place yet (The rubber padding on the walls hadn’t been installed) when I was already receiving snide comments about biking to work. “I’d like to see you bicycle to work from Beaufort! Ha, Ha” Apparently people think that bicycling places is hard to do. Or perhaps they view the one high rise bridge between Beaufort and Morehead City as an insurmountable barrier passable only by automobiles and seagulls.
Bicycling someplace is only difficult if you are trying to do it as quickly as you would in a car. The space aliens can tell you that if you travel slowly, it is possible to get someplace on a bike without even breaking a sweat. (Please understand that I’m talking about other people here; I break into a sweat getting the bike out of the garage.)
As for the bridge, well I suppose that I could bust out my “go to” line about how growing up in PA I had to walk up steeper hills to get the mail, but that would be a bit of hyperbole and I try not to indulge in that very often. So instead I’ll just say this: If you see me (or any other cyclist) grunting up over the bridge, please be considerate and give us a foot or two of room… Oh and for the love of God, don’t honk!
As soon as I get the shifter on my 1973 Iconic Peugeot Champion 3.2 fixed, I’ll be joining the ranks of Beaufortian Bicyclists, though I think I’ll leave the gyroscope testing to the experts.