Quiet Roads on a Sunday Bike Ride

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Yesterday I went for a bike ride. By my norms it was a relatively cool day, just 27 or so degrees, compared to the 30-37°c I have ridden in, in the past. I was comfortable on the bike, with a cool breeze to cool me down.

The Marine Iguanas at Nyon Plage
The Marine Iguanas at Nyon Plage

I went by the lake and I think other people were heat struck. They were lethargic and inattentive getting off buses. They were all by the lake side, sunbathing like marine iguanas. As I road by the lake it was sometimes frustrating to see that the bike lane was used by pedestrians, with no thought to cyclists. The same pedestrians who had driven to the lake side in a car.

Relaxing at the Broken Chair

Place des Nations with the Broken Chair and Palace of Nations
Place des Nations with the Broken Chair and Palace of Nations

As part of the bike ride I went towards Geneva. Initially I wanted a short bike ride because I wasn’t keen to cycle. I eventually chose to ride to the broken chair. I stopped, but this time didn’t take a shower in the fountains, like last time. Instead I relaxed, and watched tourists taking self-portraits and group photos. I watched a parent get surprised by a jet of water as it increased in intensity and wet his shoes.

For some reason I felt relaxed, so I just stood, and watched. I wasn’t in a rush to continue. I wasn’t so warm that I wanted a shower. I was comfortable.

I then cycled towards the ICRC before going by the ILO, WHO, UNICED and other organisations. I then cycled by the airport where I stopped again. I watched a Qatar airways flight take off for Doha and a flight from the Aeggean come in to land, before an Air Algérie and British Airways aircraft landed. I was reminded of how much I love the sound of aviation. If I had the sound of aviation rather than music festivals I would be very happy. The sound of planes still excites me to this day.

Watching planes take off and land
Watching planes take off and land

Very Quiet Ride through Versoix and Beyond

What struck me once I felt Geneva behind was how quiet the roads were. I hardly crossed any walkers, any cyclists, any families with children. I hardly even crossed dog walkers. When I realised this I thought “This is a fantastic time of year to cycle. It’s so nice to have the landscape to myself. Not to worry about dogs, not to be frustrated by normal people, being normal. I think that I would quite happily emigrate to somewhere less densely populated, especially now, during a pandemic with no end date.

An old tree among young trees
An old tree among young trees

The Cycling Paradox

For me, cycling has a paradox. The paradox is that for as long as you are cycling at 20 km/h or faster you have a nice breeze to keep you cool. The moment you stop, you feel a wall of heat envelope you. I felt cool, and comfortable but I drank three water bottles of water. I drank one on the way to Geneva, then refilled one at the water fountain near the Parc Ariana, before heading to the ICRC. I then drank two more water bottles of water before I got home.

I was warm, and I was thirsty, but I was always comfortable. I was right to have two bottles of water with me, and I was even more rational, by re-filling my primary water bottle when I had the chance. I probably would have suffered if I had not.

The Mistake of Others

Other people make the mistake of sitting in the sun, by the lake, getting dehydrated and cooked by the sun, like Marine iguanas. I appear crazy, for walking and cycling in the heat but I’m not the one drinking alcohol and exposing me to the full strength of the sun. I don’t need to get into a metal box, either a car, or a bus, at the end of my activity. I just take the lift, with my bike, and get back to my apartment. It usually feels cool, compared to being in direct sunlight.

My skin felt cool, when I got home, evidence that I was not suffering from the heat, unlike other people.

At Ease On The Bike

Activities: 33

Distance: 1,014.9 km

Elev Gain: 7,433 m

Time: 44h 27m

I have spent fourty four and a half hours on the bike, covering a thousand kilometres in that time. If I feel more comfortable, that’s why. Cycling is a good sport when the conditions are good. It’s also a way of being active, without the use of the car. As convenient as cars are, I think they’re horrible to deal with. Society would gain a lot by reducing its reliance on cars. I think cargo bikes and electric bikes are a better alternative.

And Finally

For the next week I don’t think I will cycle. I have already been crashed into by a car driver whilst riding my scooter during one music festival. I don’t want to be run over by a Paléo person during this festival week. I will also be sleep deprived due to being unable to sleep as a result of noise pollution, as the sound engineers they hire at music festivals are not the brightest of the profession. If they were bright music festivals would be seen, not heard.

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