Since we are in southern Florida I decided to spend a week with a client I have in the area. And let me pause to say that I am INCREDIBLY blessed to have 2.5 clients who have been very supportive of my reduced hours, crazy work schedule and remote office. To them I say, thank you thank you thank you!! We found an RV park only 3 miles from the office which means I can easily commute by bike AND the family still has the truck to use. Its a win-win!! I’m usually not a big fan of business trips: being away from your home, living in a hotel, eating out for every meal, being apart from your family, driving an unfamiliar car and not getting to commute by bike. But this business trip has none of those and its awesome!!
The RV park is in a county park called Topeekeegee Yugnee Park, or T.Y. Park for short. The only negative reviews of the campground were about the noise of the commuter train that goes RIGHT next to the park. Compared to the blaring train horns in Longmont these are pretty quiet. The park is right in the city and has a lake, big trees and a great bike path to start out my ride. I go through some residential areas before the last little stretch on a busy 4 lane road but with a healthy bike lane.
People seem to be friendly and give me plenty of room. I did get honked at a couple of times but then I realized that there is a lot more honking here compared to CO. In Colorado, honking translates (usually) to anger, frustration, etc. In my travels to other countries I’ve noticed that often honking is just a form of communication between drivers like turn signals and flashing your lights. In Greece and Nepal there was almost a honking language. Things like the “I’m not going to stop at this stop sign because I won’t be able to get started again up this steep hill with this heavy load” honk. Or the “you’ve still got room over here” honk when two overly decorated Tata buses are passing on a narrow mountain road. As I road a motor scooter around the island of Santorini almost everyone gave a short little “toot toot” to let me know they were behind me and about to pass. And so, whether I’m interpreting the honks correctly or not (probably not), I’m going to assume the drivers are simply communicating kindly with me rather than yelling at me.
I had contacted my client before hand to ask if there was a bike rack or if bikes were allowed in the building. They said it was no problem, just bring my bike up to the office. So on day one I did just that and it was fine. There were zero other bikes outside the building and I’m pretty certain mine was the only one inside the building which surprised me a little. The weather here is perfect, there are no hills, and traffic is pretty bad if you are in a car…the perfect recipe for bicycling!
Day two starts out with a great ride and as I walk into the building there are two security officers who are bee lining to meet me at the door, “No no no!! There are NO bikes allowed in the building, especially not in the elevator.” I inquired where the bike racks were outside the building (which I knew did not exist) and they said they did not know. To which I responded “which is why I am bringing it inside the building…you do not provide appropriate parking for bicycles”. They told me I’d have to lock it up to a railing. I just about had steam coming out my ears!! I left quietly and did not make a scene….but boy was I miffed. I’m admittedly biased but why so much hate for the bicycle?? I did NOT have a bike lock with me because I was counting on bringing it in the office so my client let me store my bike in his car for the day.
Day 3 rolls around, I bring my lock and lock my bike to a railing outside (which will get you a fine in some locations!) and head into the building. There are many other offices inside the building and on my way to my clients’ office guess what I see? A lady walking some big ugly, drooling dog down the hallway!! Are you kidding me??!! How can that be ok but a bike not be ok? Day four I see the same lady and the same dog. I also see a lady with a stroller and in the stroller is….you gotta be kidding me…A DOG. This simply does not compute inside my head…on so many levels. Turns out that one of the offices in the building is for an online pet supply company.
Its a minor thing really so I won’t let it bother me. It definitely makes me appreciate how bike friendly Boulder county is back home. I felt like I made good progress during the week with my client and I had 5 solid days of bike commuting (even if it was only a 3 mile ride each way).