Saturday, October 30

Bike Arvada

Boone and Lily and I took a long-ish bike ride this afternoon.

I wanted to ride the entire Little Dry Creek Trail, but we ended up punctuating it at Carr Street as we headed west and took Carr south to the Ralston Creek Trail. It had been a long ride to that point.

My goal of exploring a bit of northern Arvada came after an intensive bike inventory mapping in Google Earth.

In preparing to take over the Bike Arvada website I have been doing a bit of research. I have realized I am lacking a bit of first hand knowledge of northern and eastern Arvada so I am attempting to fill in my mental map as well as get some first hand knowledge of what I know is out there.

It was a good ride, though I wish we had been a bit better prepared and that we had a little more time. But that leaves more to explore on another day.

We rode 57th through Olde Towne, crossed over Wadsworth and picked up the Ralston Creek Trail for a short jaunt to the Clear Creek Trail, and then we took the CCT to its junction with the Little Dry Creek Trail.

Its a nice trail for the most part. We hit one section that went to rough dirt and huge gravel for a couple hundred yards, and then we crossed back into Westminster and headed up a section we called the Concrete Canyon.

Then near Wadsworth the trail disappears and you have to ride on high traffic streets for a bit, then we turned parallel to 80th headed west and missed the trail, instead we were riding along the sidewalk on 80th. At that point I decided we needed to head home instead of pushing our daylight.

We got on some nice bike lanes that en ended up having one blank spot for about half a mile and then we did a heinous climb up Carr Street to the high point of a very high ridge. Just before Wadsworth I had put Boone on the towbar because I knew we'd be on streets more so I was pulling him and Lily (in the trailer) up the wall of Carr.

Then we were looking down the other side, the bottom dropping out from under us and we screamed down to the low point at the Ralston Creek Trail. We were then about half a mile from the "tractor park" and from there a short distance home.

It was a good ride. It would have been much more enjoyable with just the trailer or alone or with just Mandy, but it was still enjoyable and Boone seemed to have a good time.

Friday, October 29

Hits the Spot

My plan was to ride down to the Ralston Creek Trail and then take it west, cutoff down through Apple Meadows and along highway 93 to Ford Street, pick up the Tucker Gulch Trail and bust through downtown Golden to work. Blew that plan.

Instead I did my normal Clear Creek Trail alternate route to downtown Golden and stopped in the credit union for a few bucks cash to get a breakfast burrito at the shack on South Golden Road. However, as I was pulling out of the credit union I spied the Hits the Spot Café next door and I remembered they have breakfast burritos.

I propped my trusty Cannonball up against the wall outside and stepped into the dim, but homey interior.

"You can have a seat anywhere you like," the young girl behind the counter offered.

As I pulled off my bike helmet I asked, "You have breakfast burritos?"

"We do!" she replied.

"Can I just get one to go?"


So I ordered a breakfast burrito that came out as big as my forearm. It was a little pricey ($6 as opposed to $4 at the shack on SGR) but the burrito was huge and stuffed with eggs, hashbrowns and bacon. Mmm bacon!

I tucked it in my back pack and continued on toward work, one warm breakfast burrito richer.

I had to eat it in two sittings. There was no way I could eat it all at once. After my initial push the last four inches of it taunted my from its foil on my desk. Finally I gave in and finished it off, wishing I had gotten two.

Wednesday, October 27

Profit Margins

I had a rivet on my right side pannier break when the kids and I rode the Medicine Bow Trail. Being the slacker I am I have not gotten it fixed, mainly because I only use the left one for commuting.

Well, this morning the rear rivet on my left pannier broke on the way to work. I'm sure I can make it home with what I have, but I'm going to need to get a rivet tool to fix them both (and probably the other two at some point in the future). I really wish I could afford to splurge on higher quality panniers, but unfortunately that isn't an option.

I did figure up that I am saving $10.75 a week in gas alone by riding over driving. And based on the 50 cents a mile figure I read somewhere (that's what it takes to operate a car) I am saving $44.50 a week by riding over driving. Having said that, it seems like I have to keep spending money to keep riding. Not that what I've spent on riding comes close to $44.50 a week.

I've spent maybe $500 this year riding my bike. I've had to buy a few tubes, two new sets of tires (one for the Giant, one for the Cannonball), fenders, a rear rack, cable cutters and a new jacket. I'm not going to say Motobecane and call it good at around $500 in the past 10 months. And really, when I outfitted the Cannonball to commute I spent $35 on fenders, $40 on a rack and $60 (I think) on tires. But those items should last for quite awhile. If I had to replace tires and tubes only I would be spending less than $200 a year easy.

Savings on gas alone if I ride for an entire year (50 weeks) would be about $540. Using the 50 cents a mile figure I'd be saving $2,225 by riding every day to work instead of driving. Too bad its not just fun money to spend, I'd be the proud owner of a Raleigh Sojourn right now. But its good I can ride and cut our expenses. That alone makes it worth the effort.

This year has been the first year I've relied heavily on the bike for transportation and since July it has been my sole mode of transportation to and from work. It took me a couple of months to get my system down and now I am pretty much an old hand at this commuting thing. I just have to maintain status quo.

In the future I see needing to replace my bottom bracket and my rear rim (dinged it on the Switzerland Trail), but otherwise I think I'm set. The rivet tool to fix the panniers should be $15 or less and will allow me to fix any future broken rivets as well. I've saved more money by doing a lot of bike maintenance myself. Sometimes its daunting, but so far I've been successful at everything I've attempted to fix.

Tuesday, October 26

Deconstructing Road Rage: Part 1

I've read articles and passages in books that address road rage and the underlying reasons behind our aggressive roadside manner. I do agree that when we are made to feel impotent behind the wheel we lash out at the obstacles within our path. I think that is a valid deduction. However, I also feel that there is a much more subtle thing going on than just reacting to an affront on our manhood (or womanhood).

The animal part of our brains is deeply uncomfortable with the prospect of piloting large complex machines at a high rate of speed along side many other large complex machines also moving at a high rate of speed. Our nervous systems go on high alert, even when we are inattentive and we become territorial, defensive and aggressive all at the same time. Despite our relative experience in motor vehicles that our instincts are truly aligned NOT to drive vehicles at high rates of speed.

When we are confronted with obstacles in our path, impediments to forward momentum and threats to our safety upon the road we become angry, we become subconsciously defensive and we lash out to protect ourselves in a situation we never truly felt safe in to begin with.

It is normal in our world to put unqualified people in control of machines that are far more dangerous than we allow ourselves to believe they are. It is too easy to get a drivers license and even easier to modify our behavior once behind the wheel to suit our own habits, wants and whims. Who says I can't talk on my cell phone, eat, put on makeup, curl my hair or read a newspaper while driving? Who says my eyes always have to be on the road? Who says I can't stop quickly if I need to?

When confronted with their inherent shortcomings as a driver almost everyone becomes defensive, but the truth is NONE of us are the drivers we think we are. Movie make it seem as if anyone can get behind the wheel and start doing the Tokyo Drift.

Sorry, it just ain't so.

So when the roadway, the environment or the currents of traffic force us to slow down, take stock of what we're doing we start to see the whole shebang with more clarity and I think it frightens us. I think we want to stay in our complacent mindset, happily, obliviously gunning down the road thinking we really can control the metal beast under our widening backsides. We don't really like to think about how inadequate we truly are behind the wheel.

My gas pedal will never stick. I'll never have a blowout at 75 mph. Deer don't jump out in front of me. If only those $#@%&! cyclists would get of the road, everything would be just fine!

Monday, October 25

Autumn Rain

No flying monkeys, but I might not have been able to see them through rain pelted glasses.

I left Applewood in a whirlwind of golden leaves, glowing from early morning sun against a backdrop of angry indigo clouds. I brilliant rainbow split the entire scene for a surreal moment that only needed dramatic music and an award winning plot line to score an Oscar.

Cranking against the wall of wind and rain through Denver West I acknowledged to myself that I was probably going to be late for our Monday meeting.

I was. And I was greeted with a stern look, a meaty hand pointing at the clock and a gruff voice. My boss said: "The meeting starts at nine."

My response was: "You'll be alright."

He asked that the doors be closed and the room got quiet. Unfortunately I had missed the previous comments about lateness in general and more specifically relating to my absence.

Now, in my defense, I am ALWAYS early to the meeting. I've sat through every other meeting-starts-at-nine speeches. Never missed a one. And he saw me come in the building soaking wet. I grabbed my stuff and went straight to the locker room and from there straight back to the meeting. I was ten minutes longer than usual on my ride in because of the rain. When I left the house in Arvada there was no rain. In fact, I didn't see the ominous clouds until I was about halfway to work.

Oddly, he didn't direct the lecture at me. Apparently comments had been made before I walked in the room. A co-worker informed me that when he commented on me being late to the meeting she informed him that I was still five minutes earlier than he had arrived to the meeting the previous week. It was more of a general department-wide tongue lashing.

Oh well.

I fared pretty well. I was prepared (always be so) for the worst. If I had been really smart I would have stepped into my rain pants when I stopped to put my jacket on. My legs looked like burly cherry popsicles when I got to work.

Life is good.

Friday, October 22

Bicycle Dreaming

I used to fantasize about being able to commute by bike to work. I used to fantasize about being able to ride my bike to go places I wanted to go. I should be very, very thankful that I've been able to locate myself in a place that allows me to fulfill those long held fantasies.

When I was still working on my undergrad degree at Eastern Kentucky University I drove first an hour from home in Stanton to work at UPS in Lexington. After finishing up at UPS some days I would drive across town to work at a second job and then an hour back home that evening. Other days I would drive 30 miles from Lexington to Richmond to class after leaving UPS. Then after class I would drive the last hour home from Richmond. There were days I spent almost three hours in the car.

When I worked on campus for Facilities I took advantage of the situation and rode a borrowed bike around campus in pursuit of my duties. It was my first taste of cycling for utility in a long, long time.

When we moved to the Denver Metro area I was giddy to be able to ride my bike from the room I was renting at the time to work. I was fortunate that my place of employment is bike-friendly, right down to having a locker room with showers. There were days I let weather dissuade me from riding, but I was finally able to fulfill those fantasies. It was nice.

I've evolved as a bicycle commuter. I used to drive at least one day a week to bring clothes, food and other incidentals to work. Now I haul everything (a day's worth at a time) in a pannier. I used to drive more than ride because of weather, distance and lack of motivation.

Last year I (we) made the commitment to drop one of our two family cars and completely rely on my bike for my primary mode of transportation. So far it has worked very well. In the last six months I've basically ridden five days a week and very, very seldom succumbed to the temptation to drive or get a ride from my wife.

Even when I was sick last week I rode to work.

I hope I never forget how much I dreaded my long car commutes in Kentucky. I hope I always remember how much I ached to be able to get out of the car and ride my bike, just to ride, not even to commute, but just to have the time to be out of the #$%& car.

I've learned to be pretty self-sufficient with my cycling, repairing, maintaining, and diagnosing my problems. Occasionally I need some help from the local bike shop, but I have saved a lot of money by giving it a go myself.

And when I have to spend money on my bike I think of all the tanks of gas I've saved by riding, all the wear-and-tear miles and expenses I've avoided on a car by pedaling to my little heart's content (well, not quite). The trade-off has been well worth it so far.

I'm truly thankful I have the opportunity. I felt oppressed by car culture in Kentucky where there was no way possible for me to be a bicycle anything, much less commuter. I was just a dreamer.

Now I'm living the life.

Thursday, October 21

Let's Be Friends

The League of American Bicyclists puts out a list of bicycle friendly cities. I have lived in five on the current list, a Silver level and four Bronze level cities. Of course my hometown is like a Mud level, but that is another story for another day.

I currently live in a Bronze level city (Arvada) and think it is a great place to be a cyclist.

Looking at the list I identified the cities that I live close enough to to consider a day trip to drag a few bikes and ride around doing some "research". I'll obviously revisit those I've ridden in already that are in close proximity. I re-ride Golden every day.

But I think I want to do some sort of writing project centered around this theme. I have lived in places that most definitely were NOT bicycle friendly and I have lived in some exceptional places when it comes to being a cyclist. Do I agree with the LAB's categories? We'll see.

Further research (photos and observations):

Boulder, CO

Fort Collins, CO

Breckenridge, CO
CO Springs, CO
Denver, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO

Arvada, CO
Carbondale, CO
Golden, CO
Lakewood, CO
Longmont, CO
Vail, CO

I've ridden in (cities I've lived in are bold):

Denver, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO

Arvada, CO
Dayton, OH
Golden, CO
Lakewood, CO

Lexington, KY
Vail, CO

Wednesday, October 20


Hyper-vigilance is key. Being visible only helps you if the motorist SEES you.

I assume all motorists are inattentive. That's the survivalist mentality.

Today I was riding a few inches shy of the line between the bike lane and the driving lane on 10th Avenue in Golden as I approached a cross street. I have reflective tape on my sleeves, a flashing light on my bike, I was riding in the most visible part of the roadway but the sun was behind me.

A truck pulled up to the intersection to cross in front of me. He had to stop, I didn't. I saw him look my way, but I saw the full sun on his face and I was moving into the shadow in front of him.

I knew he was going to. And he did. Even though he LOOKED right at me he didn't SEE me. And it really wasn't his fault.

I grabbed both brakes hard and yelled "HEY!" as I saw him surge forward to cross directly into me.

I stopped. He stopped. Crisis averted.

If I had not been cognizant of the situation, if I had been blundering down the street oblivious to the currents of traffic I would have been smashed across the grill of his truck. And honestly, expecting him to have seen me was asking a bit much. I was a small target with the sun behind me. Great if you're a fighter pilot, not so much if you're a bike commuter.

The event didn't even get my heart rate up. I saw it coming and acted accordingly. I try to always make eye contact with ANY motorist that may cross my path. If I can make eye contact and see that they see me I can plan accordingly. If they don't see me I assume they're going to act as if they don't know I'm there. It's saved my hide more times than I can count.

Hyper-vigilance should be requisite for all travelers upon the roadways, but more so for cyclists.

Tuesday, October 19

Trip Report: The Switzerland Trail at Tom's Pace

Tom kept asking if he was holding me back. I kept telling him no. At first it was to be polite, to ensure him that I was enjoying myself. I was enjoying myself. But my legs were itching to pedal harder. Its an ailment I've lived with my entire life: the inability to sit still for more than a split second.

It was especially hard to restrain my pace as we descended 750 feet in the first three miles down to Sunset. I disguised my stops as photo ops, and in fact I got a few good images of Tom coming down and passing me headed on down the Switzerland Trail.

At Sunset we were certain there would be climbing involved on the ride. I had assumed…I know! I know! I had assumed that because it was an old railroad grade that the climbing would be minimal and easy. Wrong-O! Well, I guess it was minimal and actually easy, but the fact that we could look out across the valleys and see the total loss and gain over the miles ahead of us made for a psychological ambush we had not expected.

The initial yards out of the quiet hamlet of Sunset were steep, but the angle quickly relented and we settled into a low gear crawl punctuated by plenty of photo stops. The views were incredible and we had behind us an ever increasing vista of the snow-capped summits of Indian Peaks. Sugarloaf Mountain loomed in front of us to the east and I knew we would soon reach a trailhead there and easier terrain beyond.

Tom asked again if he was holding me back and implored me to go on, that he would catch up. I admonished him that I was not being held up and that the pace was perfectly fine for me, though secretly I worried about the time. We both wanted to do the entire trail, but the day was wearing on and the window of opportunity was slowly sinking shut.

And then we reached Sugarloaf. We both felt good. The grade was relaxed beyond and after a short lunch break we resumed Tom's pace toward our goal. After Sugarloaf I really began to settle into the speed for the day and I began to thoroughly enjoy the sweeping vistas and expansive canyons beneath our feet. As we rounded the south side of Bald Mountain our views of Indian Peaks were temporarily cut off but we were rewarded an amazing view of James Peak and a glimpse of Mount Evans to the south.

"If I'm holding you up, you just go on and I'll catch up."

"Nah, I'm fine." I replied absently as I took in the view of James Peak, the scent of autumn forests, aspen leaves rotting and pines in the sun.

We were also gaining elevation. Mount Alto, near where we started is at 8,500'. Sunset is 7,760' and Sugarloaf trailhead is just over 8,400'. The end of our route at the Peak-to-Peak Highway is about 9,085'. It’s a steady climb from Sunset all the way to the PTP, though the grade seems to ease after Sugarloaf. It doesn't and we crawled ever onward until we were suddenly surprised by a stripe of pavement cutting across our path at the bottom of a downhill.

"That's it!" I cried.

We commiserated for a few minutes about the ride as motor vehicles blurred past. And then we turned our wheels back the way we had come and began the long, steady descent to Sunset all the time knowing we had a three mile climb out of Fourmile Canyon back to the Jeep.

My photo stops were cut short as Tom would fly past, screaming down toward Sunset and the inevitable climb out to the car. I'd have to jam my camera back into its bag and jump on the pedals to try and catch up. After one long wait for him to cross a valley so I could get a long distance shot of him it took me a solid five minutes to catch up with him.

And then we were back in Sunset. The downhill fun was officially over. We paused, sucked in a huge breath and downshifted as we pedaled out of Sunset.

Turns out the last three miles of the ride were the steepest at almost 4%. Those little engines back in the day COULD!

As we wound back out of the canyon to our parking spot we were rewarded with more amazing views of the mountains, canyons and at last the Fourmile Fire scar. About a mile from the Jeep we reached an overlook down into a scorched valley. So very sad

The ride was good. Tom was giddy and kept saying that I had picked a winner for our ride. It was a very enjoyable ride at a great pace. I had not killed myself in traversing the 26 miles from end to end and it was a good day seeing the mountains from the saddle of a bike.

As I get older I realize the value of slowing down, taking things in. My body still wants its breakneck pace, but my mind is starting to enjoy the trip.

Wednesday, October 13

Social Karma

I'm not a big proponent of karma. I do believe in providence, however, I don't believe God has an economy of give and take based on our day to day actions.

I do believe in a sort of social karma. If you behave admirably within your community that positive energy is going to come back at some point to benefit you. As the proverbial butterfly wing in Hong Kong, a simple wave, smile or generous act can reverberate through a community and come back to its originator disguised as a similar positive act.

Enough of these acts can change the mood of a community.

Alternately, negative energy can pulsate through a community as well. We must be careful how we affect the social climate of our communities.

I say this because recently I have noticed (and benefited from) a trend in motorists allowing me as a cyclist to go first through a four-way stop.

More often than not motorists will wave me through an intersection even though it is not my turn. I appreciate these gestures, no matter what their motivation. Many times the generous act allows me to maintain my momentum, or at least not to have to come to a complete stop and I can continue down the road without expending inordinate amounts of energy.

Occasionally I think it may be because motorists don't understand how to deal with a four way intersection and in lieu of creating a traffic incident they choose to allow the cyclist (or other vehicle) through. That's ok I guess. At least they're thinking and not just driving zombie-like down the road, oblivious to everything but the bluetooth device in their ear.

Anyway, it has made me think long and hard about my own behaviors and I see that putting positive energy into the system is the best way to behave and promote a strong, cohesive community.

Tuesday, October 12

Why HPT Matters

Why do I care? What's the big deal? Why can't motorists just drive their freakin' cars and me leave them well enough alone?

I guess there really is no big deal. I could leave them alone and not make a fuss. I'm not really a fanatical environmentalist. Heck, I don't consistently recycle!

The big deal for me is that cars have been a ceaseless series of frustrations and disappointments. I could never afford a new (or newer) reliable car. And so I have always been stuck with clunkers that don't suit my needs. And if I couldn't afford a decent reliable car I sure couldn't afford maintaining a clunker and I wasn't born with mechanical aptitude adequate for tinkering with the modern automobile, nor did I absorb it from my environment. Nothing there…dad wasn't a huge tinkerer either.

On the other hand, I can fix a bike. Just about anything related to a bicycle I can fix. I've been tinkering more and more. I can sort of true a wheel. I've maintained my clunker bike for 16 years now. I am just much more successful onwith the bike.

I hate traffic. I hate congestion on the road. I weary of parking, planning and dealing with cars. I hate sinking money into an inanimate object that continues to frustrate me no matter how much attention I give it.

The bike is so much simpler. Despite my weather woes this morning the bike is truly much more efficient in terms of maintenance, fuel consumption and effectively getting me where I need to go. Even when I end up having to spend money on the bike to fix or upgrade I am still spending hundreds less than I would spend in routine maintenance on a car (I say this from experience).

Bikes make more sense.

Despite ending up at work soaked and cold I did enjoy my ride. I had the Clear Creek Trail mostly to myself. The leaves have started to fall, carpeting the concrete path and tinging the air with the nostalgic smell of their decay. I could hear the creek gurgling beside me as I rode upstream. If I had been in a car I would not have been able to sense nature so directly, so personally.

I was annoyed when I got to work, as every person I saw on my way in commented that today was not a good day to ride and that I was hard core, crazy, etc. I was really getting annoyed. Today riding in was not really a choice. I have no car. My wife needed the car this morning. I could have gotten a ride, but it was far more convenient to just ride my bike. And I was telling myself that I need to just ride when I don't necessarily feel like it or when the weather is soggy.

Getting a ride in a car this morning would have gone against my belief that going to a one car family was a good idea. I am still struggling with the decision. I try to convince myself that it was ALL conscious choice and that I am not a victim of circumstance. But then on days when I feel bad and end up riding I want to blame circumstance. If only I had gotten the promotion/raise I could have afforded: 1) a place to live closer to work OR 2) to have fixed my polluter OR 3) a car to replace my polluter.

Those things may be true. And I may actually be a victim of circumstance. However, I DID make a conscious choice even if I am a victim. Even though in our society it is expected that you propel an SOV from home to work and back each and every day in pursuit of a "living." I knew I didn't want to be herded with the sheep. I knew I wanted to break from what is expected and make my own way in the world. And while I chose, I sometimes feel like the choice I made was the only option I had. Is it truly choice?

Better question is this: even if I had no other choice than the one I made, is the choice I made the BEST choice?

So far, I think so.

But today I don't want to ride. I want to sleep. I want to rest.

Why does human powered transportation matter?

To completely strike a non-sequitur: When all else fails, you can still ride a bike.


I just discovered a website called While my day does not align perfectly with the honku message I quick jotted this down:

Wheels cut the puddles
Rain soaks a green jacket through
Wet feet do not feel

And in regards to the crazy SUV pilot from last week:

I'm taking the lane
You're honking your horn at me
You don't understand

Rainy Day Cross Town Traffic

Well, I discovered today that my clothing that is advertised as "waterproof" and "breathable" are neither.

Woke up to a truly rainy day. Seems like a rainy November day in Kentucky. We don't get many of those here on the fringe of the prairie. Steady. Cold. Wet.

I put on my Columbia boots and jacket (both Omni-tech) along with my cycling tights and fleece gloves. I knew the tights and gloves weren't waterproof and was ok with that. Both items keep my warm even when wet.

I fully expected the boots and jacket to keep me warm and dry. Nah. Nada. Nyet. Nien.

I was soaked through to my torso. At first I assumed it was sweat but toward the end of my ride I realized the jacket was soaking through. Same with the boots. Whe nmy right foot first felt wet I thought it might just be cold seeping through the boot, but by the time I got to work my socks were soaked.

With the boots it could be that water seeped from my tights down through my socks and into the boots. It seemed like a lot of water for just some wicking action, but I'll grant that as a possibility.

With the jacket, even if it was just me sweating within it (which I seriously doubt) I was so wet it was irrelevant if the moisture came from within or without. Either not breathable or not waterproof or both…

I'll never make it this fall as the temps get lower with my current system. I need to figure it out.

I might be able to mitigate the problem with my footwear by wearing gaiters or rain pants. As far as the jacket goes I'm not sure what to do. If I dress warmly enough with wicking layers to mitigate the damp I become uncomfortably hot as I ride.


Monday, October 4

I Don't Like Mondays

Apparently no one else functions well on Monday mornings either.

I had a car back out in front of me just east of Kipling. The driver was moving slow and I had plenty of time to go around, but even as I went around they kept right on backing out in the street.

I had a motorist honk at me in Denver West (I then flipped him off much to my shame) and then wait for me in a parking lot to yell that I should not be in the middle of the lane. I was in the middle of the lane because if I stay to the right edge then he would have just buzzed me and almost clipped me before honking. I'm sure his response to the bird in that situation would have been that I shouldn't be in the road at all.

I tactically ride in the middle of the right lane (there are two) through the 30 mph zone because every time I've ridden on the right edge of the lane I've been buzzed uncomfortably close. When I take the lane motorists typically give me plenty of space and pass safely in the left lane. There are far fewer instances of people buzzing me and cutting me off too soon.

Then I had a CSP vehicle pass within a couple of feet of me on South Golden Road. Really?! If a law enforcement officer flaunts the three foot rule what does that say to citizen motorists? What kind of example is that?

Today was a rare day. Most mornings my commute is unremarkable.