Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Toe clips and kicky sandals

Just a quick 10.7 miles on a warm, humid summer evening. I left right after dinner with the intention of determining if a male person could buy a pair of work shoes in the new mall along 75th Street.

Twilight was setting in as I was setting out at about 7:30 p.m. I tried to ignore the reality: days are getting shorter. Summer will soon draw to a close. It won’t be long before …

I pushed the gloomy thoughts away and soon settled into a moderate pace, assisted by the new toe clips. Where have these things been all my life? Why isn’t this general knowledge? I installed them just two weeks ago, and already they seem indispensible. Being able to pull as well as push on the pedals has added a good 2 mph to my average speed, and definitely increased my endurance.

The warm, wet air turns comfortably cool when converted to a 12 mph breeze. I swisshhh through small puddles from the day’s heavy rains. The red strobes — the small one on the back of my helmet and a much brighter one mounted on the rack — are doing their job: cars are giving me a wide berth. The headlight on my helmet, a small, one-bulb LED, is surprisingly effective. It wouldn’t cut it out on a dark country lane, but in the well-streetlighted suburbs, it’s more than adequate.

The new mall is well-stocked with fashionista shoppes that will no doubt close within two years: Nordstrom Rack, Loehmans,
Whole Foods, World Market and a Hallmark Store. If I needed some darling kicky sandals, some arugula tips and a sappy birthday card, this would be the place. For a nondescript pair of brown leather work shoes, not so much.

But I’m not too disappointed. It’s a nice night to ride. I take the long way home.

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