Wednesday, May 6, 2009

the joy of clicking

I love it when things click!
into place, that is.
and I'm not just speaking of cycling shoes.

one of the greatest joys in life --- at least for me --- is to truly understand something. I have tried to reinforce this excitement and enthusiasm with my children, in hopes that they will always feel the same joy I do when the pieces suddenly fall together and you see the entire picture.
yes, my kids often think I'm weird, but I am resigned to this, as it's all in that attempt to help them become the very best selves they can be.

something clicked for me on my ride yesterday.

the last couple times I've ridden up emigration I've noticed some hieroglyphs spray painted onto the road, across the bike lanes. the first one I noticed was an arrow pointing to the right, and the letters "str". I looked to the right (gee, don't I follow instructions well?) and saw nothing out of the ordinary, but noticed that the creek was 3 or 4 yards in that direction. stream? do they need to point that out? it pretty much runs down the entire length of the canyon . . .
soon I saw another set of arrow-and-letters. the same letters, str. again, I looked to the right.
I am a pavlovian dog!
yes, the stream was still there.
this time I thought perhaps they were going to put up some of those yellow and black striped cautionary signs at these points, warning drivers that the stream was off to to right.
but why? why would this be even remotely necessary?
I have had experience before with these kind of markings, cycling in a state that is forever doing road work. I know that signs will soon be placed at the edge of the road where the arrows point. but what kind of sign could it possibly be?

the next time I saw the same set of markings I just let it sink in. as the next. and the next.
I reached the top and turned, and noticed more of these markings on the way down, but also noticed that some of those arrows were pointing to rocky hillsides with no water anywhere near.
there went stream, right out the figurative window.

key point to remember: when I am riding I am working hard. oxygen is primarily directed to leg muscles, leaving very little left over for the brain. things that would ordinarily click immediately take much, much longer. yes, the click is coming.

three miles from the bottom of the canyon I saw the umpteenth set of these strange markings. (this morning I counted, and there are 17 adding both sides of the road; please remember though, the lack of oxygen to the brain, and forgive me if the count is off by one or two.)
and suddenly it clicked.

share the road.
s t r.


this is the phrase the bicycling coalition is trying to drum into everyone's head in the state of utah . . .

gotta love it, regardless how long it takes.

and now, of course, a new mystery exists, because along with those 17 str markings, I saw 3 arrows with the letters sfo, spaced somewhat abstractly in the canyon.
I know the san francisco airport is nowhere near to emigration canyon, and I've racked my brain (even my well-oxygenated brain) and have come up empty-headed.
if you figure that one out, please let me know.

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