Monday, June 8, 2009

Paved roads, Police Cars, and working on weekends

The Sunday morning ride has begun.

First up at 6:00 AM to go to 7-11 over broken glass for a newspaper due to the morning delivery ran out. Coffee, “Sunday Morning”, eggs, soy bacon, and swirly rolls break the dawn.

Then it is off to travel the usual Sunday route, but what will the streets look like?

A couple of weeks ago, the Grove Avenue path was being torn up. Scrapping the surface down 3” deep creating a rough gravel and concrete rocky bumpy road. Not good for a bike or a butt.

So the past two weeks have been new routes detouring around the construction, but today I would take another preview.

Looking west there was a beautiful black path of smooth asphalt and freshly painted white lines.

Checking the traffic behind and becoming much more aware of the new path, I wondered if it completed my travel or would I have to divert to the north through unknown neighborhood where doped up kids stab their “uncles” to death.

Magically due to the sleepy daze and the smooth surface, I arrived at Libbie Avenue with ease.

Drifting down toward my next turn and applying more brakes than normal. The refitting of my ride has made it much more responsive and 25 MPH still worry me on this sunny morning.

Onto Patterson Avenue which has just the year before been resurfaced with the smooth black asphalt and start to drift down to Willow Lawn Drive? Both of these streets were smooth enough already, but I guess the rich BMW, Lexus owners must have persuasive pressure on the city council to get smooth roads redone at taxpayer’s expense.

Last year the roads leading to the grocery store were also resurfaced, but this was not a “main” thoroughfare and a small neighborhood. While I can attests that the potholes were formable, the summer crews and all their machinery, trucks, shovels, water buckets, hard hats… lay a strip of black tar down the center of the street. While I appreciated the minimal effort through the winter making my repeated rides easier and safer, the weather and heat is taking toil on the repair and the patch is coming apart. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

The new Sunday ride will be smoother and removes the excuse to climb the Malvern hill.

The Boulevard to Libbie path holds funny memories for me, as that was my reason for not driving today, even when it was smooth.

As I travel I see a police car parked. Then I see another one.

On my morning ride there is a Richmond City police cruiser parked on a sleepy side street. I’ve seen it move so I know it is not parked to scare off criminals as a decoy. I wonder the policy to allow officers to drive city vehicles home. And though it makes me feel somewhat safe, it worries me about the expense. Partially when I read that some officers live as far away as Williamsburg or Portsmouth. Am I given them a FREE ride?

And two cruisers parked conjure danger. What are they looking for? Where is the trouble? Adrenaline rush speeds the journey.

Now I respect the men-in-blue (it used to be brown but they looked like big boy scouts or a bad cadet corps ((sorry Ronnie, they usually wear gray)) and they were always out of step in parades or falling over each other during the resistance to African American freedom or getting bit by their attack dogs over long haired kids blocking a block on Grove Avenue).

I will leave a restaurant or office if a uniform police with sidearm sits down. Weapons can be trouble so I try to avoid them. Even if its concealed and I see it, I’m gone.

Don’t misunderstand me. The protection they provide keeps our society on an even keel and when I want protection from trouble I want to see as man blue flashing lights as I can get.

As I finish my meditative journey on this bright morning I ponder the statement from a friend of mine about not working on weekends. I wonder, “Who doesn’t work on weekends now?”

Today’s work demands 24/7 attention to cells, tweets, emails, social networking, presentations, reports, …… the list goes on and on. Technology has given us a global resource to contact each other no matter where we are or what time it is.

This is what employers expect. And expectations are what becomes reality. So don’t miss two days out of the seven. You may miss an idea, which you can attend, or admin or contend or resin.

But my ride is over so I read, drink bottle water (from the faucet) and listen to the birds sing.

1 comment:

Art said...

I don't mind. Sometimes the cadets were out of step, but not usually! And yes, gray was the color!

I always like your ride sagas. I guess it's that I can follow along, since your paths are so familiar to me.

They way you "not" work on the weekend is simple. Turn the equipment off. In a CRISIS (we have a "continuity of Operations Plan" -- (or COOP) (doncha love it) I am always reachable, but in general most crises can wait till the workweek.

AND reflection is as important (more important actually) than instant access.