Monday, July 14, 2008

What if...

I get a lot of "what if" questions. If you think fielding the occasional radio program or television interview is a bit of work, you haven't seen what it's like being the so-called "expert" of all thinks bike and transit among more than a hundred co-workers.

There are the occasional "how do [you/I]..." questions, but by far, the vast majority of my co-workers quandaries are of the "what if..." variety. I'm assuming this is mostly so that they can come up with vivid hypothetical scenarios for which to stump me or at the very least tell them that there are, in fact, situations where I'd opt to use an automobile. Most of these questions are due to weather. "What if it rains?" "What if there's a tornado?" "What if it's below freezing outside?" "What if it's 105°F in the shade?"

Honestly though, I rarely find myself asking those questions. One that keeps popping up again and again is at the intersection of 79th Street and Switzer. It's here that I make my rogue journey through forbidden territory. "No Thru Traffic", displayed in bold-face white and red font. This business park joins Switzer and Nieman quite nicely, though. It's a perfect shortcut. "What if I kept going straight through?" I've asked. In fact, Karen has on occasion completely spaced off the turn onto 79th and kept going straight through. Never once have I actually gone through there until this evening. Now I'm kicking myself.

Switzer turns into Marshall, which is part of the route I used to ride when I lived in Olathe. I'd turn off of Marshall onto Nieman back then, but had I kept on going, I'd end up on Switzer. Marshall also has ramps to 87th Street, just a few blocks from my home. This might actually get me home quicker in the evening than taking the two business parks. I'll have to time it.

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