After stripping/cleaning/rebuilding my bike two weeks ago, I had been so swamped with work I had not taken it out for a spin. Today that changed. I rode out of the city to the field office I work at to put in a little extra work. Riding was glorious.
With a clear sky, bright sun, 90 degree air temp, and 20% humidity, I had hit the pavement. After 5 miles I had realized two things:
1) I miss WV. California drivers ARE terrible.
2) Bakersfield is flat. Flatter than motown rail trail flat. The only real hills within 20 miles of the city are the river levees and the interstate ramps. =(
California drivers respect cyclists less than back country WV folk. (who at least treat us w/ good-natured, mild curiosity as they pass within inches) The CA DOT has made a point of installing bike lanes on most major roads through Bakersfield. Unfortunately, most local drivers use this as a convenient extension of their lane while passing and cutting corners. I'd play chicken with a coal truck on 119 anyday compared to a CA soccer mom in an SUV.
So while I try to find interesting routes to ride, I am anticipating my return to WV, hills, roads w/o bike lanes, and backroads I can't get lost for hours on.
7 months ago