Warning: this post will be littered with photos!

I’m sure everyone knows about that rosy outlook on life. However, sometimes those rose tinted glasses are literally sunglasses with red lenses.

And I can attest that they really do make things look better!

I got them because I needed low-light eye protection. That they did interesting things with the light today was a bonus!

So here begins the litter…as soon as I stepped outside the door, I was struck by the interesting light and cloud interaction. *snap*

It set the stage, I think. I’ve been whining lately about how hard it has been, this daily-photo thing I set myself up for. Today, it was easy, and that was greatly appreciated!

About halfway through my commute, going through the sound wall I talked about a week or two ago, I’m at almost eye level with I-95. I always look at the traffic. It is odd, but if the traffic is jammed up there, it is going to be rough on the road I’ll be on soon, and while it is fine for traveling straight along the road, it makes for a difficult no-turn-lane left turn I have to make. Frankly, especially in the dying light, I don’t trust that the cell-phone-wielding drivers will see the road, let alone someone in it. I’ve never actually felt in danger, but it is the small extra dollop of stress….and so on the days of jammed traffic, I choose to ride on the extremely uncomfortable poorly kept not very safe sidewalk for the quarter mile or so until I get to the MUP. The one with the bridges I love.

Anyway, looking at I-95 today, it was clearly a sidewalk day.

As I was halfway down the steps, one of the giant trucks caught my eye.

It made me laugh, for some reason. I have no idea what the truck is advertising, but to see a giant grinning man peering over the side of the highway, it just seemed absurd.

As I made my way onto the MUP, after the torturous jolting along the sidewalk, the clouds and light again caught my eye, this time with the added wonder of water and reflection.

And I tried to get going again, and had to stop almost immediately to take yet another picture.

I love bridges. I love reflections.

I was very happy. And for some reason as I was putting my camera away, I had a second where I was looking over the rim of my sunglasses.

Those rose tinted sunglasses.

And I realized that there really is something to that rose tint. Here’s what I saw through my sunglasses, what made it especially compelling to stop to take those pictures:

What a difference that rosy outlook makes!

I did warn you that there would be photo litter.

Considering my struggles the past week to have something (anything!) to post, I have to say, it feels good to have a whole bunch, and to just post them with abandon.

What a strange month this has been!

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I was counting up the weeks since I started bike commuting, and it has been 5 weeks, amazingly. I feel like I’ve only just gotten started, it doesn’t feel like I could have been doing this for a month already!

Maybe I feel that way because I’m still getting in shape. Last week was the third week I rode 3 days, but the first week I rode those three days all in a row. I could feel the difference. This week I am aiming for 4 days in a row, and given that I’ve already done 3, looks like I’m going to meet this goal.

The bike computer has been on the bike almost 2 weeks now, and it will bump over its 200th mile tomorow on the way home. That’s a bit more than 8 gallons of gas, for my truck. And that’s sort of cool, that in 2 weeks, I’ve already saved that much gas. Half a tank, really.

My legs are tired, but not unreasonably so. They’re not really sore, just not in quite good enough shape to take all this riding in stride…yet. It has surprised me, that it is taking this long. I think it is the hills. I rode fairly consistently one summer in Denver, on MUP along a river, and it was almost entirely flat. 30 miles was a piece of cake. Not so now! Some of my hills have me working hard to not dip below 5 mph.

I have been seeing more bike commuters, which has been exciting for me. I think the weather has cooled down, and they’re out more now. Or something like that. I seem to count between five and seven other bike commuters in the mornings. Less in the afternoon, for some reason.

Today I was actually passed by a bike commuter, and yes, this was exciting as well! He was much MUCH faster than me, and I could only sigh with envy as he powered away going up something of a hill. He said “hey” as he passed me.

Being on the bike is like gaining instant community, at least with many of the bikers I see.

Sadly, I have only seen one other woman on my commute, and just one time. I’m not sure if she was commuting, or perhaps making a shorter trip to the store – she was riding a very nicely functional looking comfort bike, which I tend to think would be tiring for long rides. She was definitely riding for transport, not sport, so I figure it counts in my “bike commuter” tally. I really am interested in the utility biking, the transport, rather than the sport viewpoint. Not to say that the sport biking isn’t fun, but in this country there is such a different mindset with biking that those of us who bike for transport are the odd ones out.

I really wish I’d see more women out there.

This past weekend I was driving to and from Philly, and it was pretty much traffic hell in each direction. 3.5 hrs up, 4 hrs down, and it normally would take more like 2.5 hrs.

note that there is no motion blur

note that there is no motion blur

no motion = no motion blur

no motion = no motion blur

I’d look at the bikes attached to many of the cars and have fantasies of ditching my truck, grabbing a bike, and pedaling off the awful highway and into a place of sanity.