Friday, May 27, 2011

Found On Road Friday

Rubber saguaro antenna topper

I didn't know what this was at first. Upon examination of the parts--a rubber saguaro cactus, sunglasses, bandana, antenna mounting orifice in the base--I recognized it as an antenna-topper. Exactly the sort I would put on my commuter bike to extend happiness and whimsy all around the town. If I had an antenna on my commuter bike.

Ocean shells along a freshwater canal

To my semi-untrained eye, these appeared to be ocean shells piled up beside the canal. A head-scratcher. Farther along the path, though, I found that some of the path had been apparently experimentally peppered with tons of the tiniest shells. So it's possible an enterprising hunter-gatherer walked along and picked out some interesting stand-outs, then, upon accumulating a larger haul than expected, dumped it into this puzzling pile. Or, someone dumped out their saltwater aquarium here just because. Both the cactus and the shells made me smile and consider.

Single lane construction zone traffic jam on 44th also made me smile

Believe it or not, half a mile of single-lane backed-up traffic creeping through a construction zone also made me smile. Why? Because I was on my bicycle! The right lanes here were blocked off, and also full of trucks just a little out of the picture on the left. When the light turned, though, there was a nice opening, and traffic began moving a bit, so I was able to smoothly merge right in behind with no delay, flow into the traffic lane and NOT ride through the coned-off area. That doesn't seem like a good idea to me any more: for several reasons including Steve A's experience and recommendations, I try to stay with the main traffic flow. It worked perfectly here, and I stuck with it right up to an opening in the cones when I made a sharp right turn and bailed out onto a side street that I knew would also work as an alternate route. Funny that the cars chose to stay with the creeping line rather than follow me. I passed other cars headed toward the mess, and part of me wanted to wave them down, tell them to go back, follow me another way, save themselves the creeping aggravation of a line of slow-moving cars. Moooooooo, I can say. But it all went so smoothly up to that point that I didn't want to change tactics. 

The weekend: it is long. Enjoy it. Get up. Go ride.



  1. There is a certain amount of perverse pleasure to be had when we come upon traffic congestion that doesn't affect the bike rider, eh?
    I wonder if the drivers feel the same happy twinge when they break into free space and are able to smoothly accelerate past those of us pedaling on the side of the road?


  2. That antenna topper is the best. There's got to be some way to affix that to your bike, no?

  3. That antenna topper MUST be related to Gumby somehow!

  4. jt, I once saw a cyclist grinding up a long, semi-steep hill on a hot day, while I was driving up in a car with AC. I felt a happy twinge.

    Apertome, I am looking, but have not found a 100% great location for the saguaro antenna topper on the bike yet.

    Steve, Gumby was invented by Art Clokey in the early 1950s while he was attending USC. It would be great here if I could state categorically that the Cowboy Cactus Antenna Topper was invented by Clokey's son, Festus, but I can actually find no information on who really invented the foam antenna decoration.


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