Oh, well. If I just really need to feel the heat I can go down to Phoenix and visit my cousin, Angie, which is what I did two weeks ago. I needed to take care of some family business down there and ended up driving down on a Sunday morning a day ahead so that we could have a chance to socialize via bike around her neck of the woods. With temperatures in the low 70's we had perfect biking weather and decided to pedal from her house over to Central for lunch at Postino. Very chic!
|Bike Parking at Postino is very respectable, as if they want patrons to arrive on bikes!|
|As I keep watch over our beloved bike, ma fair cousine tries to avoid eye contact w/ reality TV wannabes.|
|Salads so good we ate every bite. And don't Angie's nails look lovely?|
After lunch, we parted ways for a few hours while I pedaled on to my appointment further down Central. It's easy to be judgmental about Phoenix's bike friendliness in comparison to Flagstaff but honestly, I enjoyed my trip. I pedaled for a few blocks on a bike lane. I stopped at a light and a pedestrian in the crosswalk chatted me up briefly about my Dahon; turns out he had a folding bike, too. A block or so later the bike lane directed me to merge on to an extra wide sidewalk that seemed to be designed for both walkers and cyclists. Very nice, indeed. I like bike lanes but if I can pedal on a segregated path that's my preference. I pedaled along this way for until I arrived in the Central Phoenix area. The Metro Rail was at the left for the entire distance. The rail stops are really attractive and I would have loved to get some shots of them but the battery on my cell was running low. Damn! I saw so many people with bikes waiting from trains . . .
Eventually, I destination was insight and luckily very near ASU, where I found . . . . more excellent bike parking! Lots of bikes locked up to the corrals but many open spots as well. Again, my protective nature for my Dahon kicked in and I wondered if it would be safe. My bike would definitely be out of my visual range. I decided to remove the seatpost, my bike African bike basket and my bungee cord and take them with me. Was it overkill? I don't know? I hated standing out from carrying my seatpost but I decided that it made my bike a little less theft-worthy.
My appointment ended at 5 p.m. and I set out for Angie's house near Indian School and 15th. Maybe a five mile trip. Oh, how I wanted to stop at Postino for another glass of wine. I passed on my return route but, since I had to drive back up to Flag, I reigned in the urge. Since I followed Angie to Postino in the first place I didn't totally trust that I knew the route back to I used Verizon Navigator on my Android. I don't have room for a docking device on my handlebar so I propped it up against my Coach bag in basket for a perfect view. The trip back was surprisingly brief, despite all the stops I made to admire some of the renovated ranch houses I saw along the way. Also unexpected was how comfortable I felt traveling by bike on largely unfamiliar streets. I visit Phoenix pretty often but it's a huge city so I don't actually know my way around. I never feel that comfortable on Phoenix streets and road when I'm in a car. In those instances, I'm far to worried about keeping up with traffic or running into another car to possibly enjoy myself so I almost always prefer Bob or Angie to do the driving. Sort of makes me wonder if I'd even want to own a car if we lived in Phoenix. Between my bicycle, the Metro Rail and the bus, would a car even be necessary in a car-centric city? Maybe my Phoenix and south Cal readers can weigh in on that?