Saturday, August 13, 2011
I arrived late to Philly on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, it was hot and humid, and I spent the day with Billy Bob going to his attorneys office, taking a long walk, and then going to visit the Penn Pain Clinic to see if they could help my friend deal with his chronic pain resulting from his lung surgery last year. They apologized for letting him fall thru the cracks so long without seeing him. In any event, I got the instructions to get to the closest trailhead for the Schuylkill, and got on the trail at about 6 p.m. What an absolute zoo. The trail is paved, but smaller than one automobile lane in width, with all traffic moving on the right side with the left lane being people coming at you. There were thousands of people walking, walking dogs, running, and biking at insane speeds. I was constantly swivel headed trying not to get hit. I went out three miles past the art museum, turned, and came back. There were instances where guys were flying toward me on bikes with their hands off the bars cleaning their glasses or drinking. When you went to pass people on the left, you were forced into oncoming traffic, and then some whacko on a bike would go outside of you to pass even further on the left, and scare the poor folks coming at them. CRAZY! I passed a lot of people, but an occasional fast person would pass me. I stayed as far right on the path as I could most of the time. At one point, three crazy bikers were coming at me, and I turned my head to the right to spit in the grass, and this girl was quietly passing me on the grass, and I ended up spitting on the left side of her neck. She gave me one ugly look, but obviously if I knew she was coming there, I would have waited. Anyway, I told my boy Terrible about this, and being a professional cyclist for a while, he found this to be hilarious. I had visions of some dufus walking a small dog that heads left, causes a bike to crash on the dog's leash, and then flies into me and breaks my leg again!! I got back to the trail again today midday in the rain, and there were about 10% as many people there as were there on thursday evening. So, for the rest of my stay, I will try to avoid "rush hour" on the trail and do my best not to become an accident statistic!